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All HISD campuses to reopen Thursday, district announces changes to COVID-19 closure procedures

Unlike some other districts, HISD's policy is to close schools when 2 more more cases are detected.

HOUSTON — All Houston ISD schools will reopen and resume face-to-face instruction Thursday after more than a dozen were temporarily closed due to confirmed positive or presumed positive COVID-19 cases.

HISD said all affected campuses have been deep cleaned and disinfected.

The district also announced changes to its COVID-19 closure procedures, saying it will no longer close campuses with one reported confirmed positive or presumptive positive COVID-19 case.

"Any infected or exposed students or staff will be notified, isolated and, if possible sent home, and the campus will undergo deep cleaning and disinfection overnight," HISD said in a statement. "Learning will continue as normal with students and staff remaining in their assigned classrooms throughout the day to limit movement and contacts. If two or more confirmed positive cases are reported on a campus, the campus will close and shift to virtual learning to adequately identify contacts of positive cases. All students on the campus will shift to virtual learning until the campus is cleared to re-open. Parents will be notified by their campus of any changes to the instructional day, and when in-person instruction has been cleared to resume."

CHECK THE HISD COVID-19 DASHBOARD HERE

“COVID-19 and the pandemic have disrupted education completely,” HISD interim superintendent Grenita Lathan said Tuesday.

Lathan toured a number of campuses on the district's second day of in-person learning and said families should expect further closures.

"You know, until next June or July, we’re going to be going through this," Lathan said. "And I will tell you, as a leader, it is very frustrating, I’m going to be very honest with you.”

Here's a full list of the schools that were temporarily closed:

As of Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, the schools listed below were temporarily closed and transitioned to virtual learning as a precautionary measure due to confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the campuses. As outlined in the HISD Communicable Disease Plan, the campuses will be deep cleaned and disinfected during the closure. Parents will be notified when the schools have been cleared to reopen. For more information about COVID cases in HISD, visit the COVID-19 dashboard at HoustonISD.org/COVID19Dashboard.

  • Forester ES
  • Houston Academy for International Studies HS
  • Lewis ES
  • Roberts ES

As of Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, the school campuses listed below were temporarily closed and transitioned to virtual learning as a precautionary measure due to presumed cases of COVID-19 on the campuses. As outlined in the HISD Communicable Disease Plan, the campuses will be deep cleaned and disinfected during the closure. Parents will be notified when the schools have been cleared to reopen. For more information about COVID cases in HISD, visit the COVID-19 dashboard here.

  • Bellaire HS
  • Daily ES
  • Hines-Caldwell ES
  • Lanier MS
  • Lawson MS
  • Pershing MS
  • Pilgrim Academy
  • Piney Point ES
  • Valley West ES
  • Waltrip HS
  • Westbury HS
  • Whittier ES

Affected schools sent alerts to families, and Lathan said those who may have had contact with infected students or staff members got a more detailed message. It’s the same process that’s taken place since the pandemic began.

Unlike HISD, many other Houston area districts do not automatically close schools based on confirmed cases.

Katy ISD, for instance, said partial or full closures would only come if mitigation can’t be handled otherwise.

In Spring ISD, specific classes or students may be moved to remote learning or areas of buildings closed for cleaning.

Klein Oak High School recently remained open after nearly two dozen football players tested positive. Klein ISD told us specific areas may be closed temporarily for deep cleaning, but not the whole school.

"Everyone is doing what they feel is best for their school community," Lathan said. "But our communicable disease plan committee made a decision that we would close the campus for at least 24 hours so that we can get the building cleaned."