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Houston-Area School District Announces Startup After Harvey

Katy Independent School District announced its campuses are scheduled to reopen and begin the school semester following the devastation of hurricane and tropical storm Harvey.

With Houston encountering cumbersome damage from tropical storm Harvey with high-rise floods, Katy ISD west of Houston aims to reopen Monday, Sept. 11 to allow staff more time in planning and assisting amongst weather conditions. Selected staff able to commute safely to campus or office were asked to return to work on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Creech Elementary and Beck Junior High sustained severe water damage, district officials said. Altogether, 14 other Katy ISD campuses were relatively undamaged by flood waters. Still, a significant amount of effort is needed to make repairs.

Katy ISD Superintendent Lance Hindt released a letter to parents and staff of next steps the district will take while also recognizing the efforts of local residents.

“Community members have spent countless hours volunteering and caring for those who may have lost access to their homes, possessions, or just needed a warm meal as they figured out their next steps,” Hindt emphasized. “Meanwhile, our Katy ISD bus drivers who were not directly impacted by the storm, jumped on school buses to lead rescue efforts, resulting in hundreds of people being saved from flooded areas. Administrators prepared schools for state and federal emergency agencies needing staging areas. Local faith-based organizations and businesses generously donated time and resources to assist with needs at our shelters. Community members and staff manned the phone centers…the list goes on and on.”

Though schools will re-open on Monday, Hindt said he understands that many families were hit hard by Harvey and endure commuting challenges for their children to school, and that school staff will do its best to assist their needs.

“We understand this has been a very difficult time for many families. Some in our community have lost everything. As our students return, staff will be attentive to the specific needs of those who may continue to be affected or displaced due to the floods,” he added. “They will work closely with families to help them get the assistance they may require as we continue to weather the aftermath of this storm. The safety of students, staff and the community has and will always be the priority for all decision-making efforts as we continue to work together to fully recover.”

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