The road to recovery after Hurricane Harvey for Humble Independent School District has been challenging, long and fast-paced, Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said during the Nov. 14 school board meeting. Kingwood High School was among the district's buildings that flooded during Harvey. Summer Creek High School is sharing its campus with Kingwood. view article arw

While the structures within Dickinson ISD garnered very little damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the lingering effects of flooding like that seen during the storm could last a lifetime – especially for kids. "The schools themselves did pretty good in the storm," said Tammy Dowdy, director of communications for Dickinson ISD. "Bay Colony got about two or three inches of water in about a quarter of the building, so the flooring was removed and everything was cleaned down before we reopened. Other than that, we fared really well." view article arw

In an effort to assist school districts ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Education Agency is asking other school districts to see if they have any excess instructional materials. Wichita Falls ISD Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths presented a proposal to the Board of Trustees Tuesday afternoon to participate in the efforts. The proposal was unanimously approved by the trustees – authorizing the district's operations department to assist those districts. TEA organized an Instructional Materials Need List that districts can utilize by listing excess materials they have that can be requested by other districts. view article arw

Good article - read and share!  - js - Ben Moore and his wife, Jane, (not real names) are both retired teachers in Texas. Since becoming age 65, they have obtained health insurance through the Medicare Advantage program offered by the Teacher Retirement System (TRS). Last year the premium for the Medicare Advantage was $209 a month for both of them. In addition, they each paid the premium for Medicare Part B. The deductible for their insurance was $150 each.  view article arw

A couple who once organized and cancelled a band trip for some North Texas high schoolers without refunds, now face charges for cancelling similar trips for students in California. Bradley and Margaret Matheson are charged with 93 felony counts after cancelling trips for dozens of students at four San Diego-area schools. view article arw

The Cleburne ISD board of trustees approved a resolution to donate several pieces of furniture to Rio Vista ISD during Monday night’s meeting. CISD Chief Financial Officer David Johnson said the board recently approved to purchase furniture for Marti, Cooke and Coleman elementary schools. As a result of this purchase, several pieces of old furniture were removed from those three campuses, he said. view article arw

Lubbock-Cooper ISD has raised more than $30,000 to benefit the students and staff of Aransas County ISD in Rockport, Texas as their schools recover from destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. District administrators adopted Aransas County ISD upon learning that, like Lubbock-Cooper, the ACISD mascot is the Pirate. The several week-long campaign was named "Pirate Strong for ACISD." view article arw

The Smithville City Council voted Monday night to have properties in the city that have been damaged by flooding reappraised. Bastrop County has been affected by five major floods since May 2015, with the latest caused by Hurricane Harvey in August dropping more than 23 inches of rain in Smithville. Officials have estimated over 100 homes were at least partially damaged in Smithville by Hurricane Harvey. view article arw

Donated school supplies traveled around 12 hours via the Sheriff's Office of Morgan County, Alabama directly into the hands of Port Arthur students Wednesday. Students from Hartselle, Alabama reportedly "adopted" the Port Arthur district following Tropical Storm Harvey, the school district said. view article arw

As winter sets in, Brittany Rivera is trying to create a warm place for her Bloomington High School color guard team.  "The small band hall had six classes put in there, which meant band had to practice outside," said Rivera, volunteer color guard director. "If it rained, that meant short practice for them."  Rivera set up a GoFundMe page Oct. 20 to raise funds for upgrades to the school's band hall, including cubby areas and storage for band and color guard members' equipment. view article arw

Two Texas library organizations have awarded nearly $300,000 to Harvey-impacted public media centers struggling to replace collections, repair facilities or serve those who lost their homes in the storm. On Thursday, the Texas Library Association awarded $102,600 in 25 grants, from sums of $2,500 to $15,000. Half of the recipients organizations are in the Houston area. Later in the day, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission announced $194,242 in grants, also to 25 organizations. Those awards ranged from $5,000 to $25,000. view article arw

The Sermon on the Sunday After

November 1308:41 AM
 

Days after a shooter burst into the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church last Sunday and shot 26 people execution-style, Pastor Frank Pomeroy—who lost his own fourteen-year-old daughter that day—announced that he plans to demolish the church building. When religious establishments are attacked, they can ruin the very sanctity and sense of security that churches, mosques, and temples offer their members. They can make a place of holiness and worship feel exposed and unsafe.  As Pomeroy tries to figure out how to move himself and his congregation forward, so too are other pastors around the state. view article arw

A line of about 85 people snaked from the entrance of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and curved around the block as the house of worship opened its doors to the public at 5 p.m. for the first time since a deadly shooting last Sunday.  Associate Pastor Mark Collins says people traveled from as far away as the East Coast to pray at the site of the shooting. He says that while they will be allowed inside the church to take part in the memorial, it was set up with members in mind.  Inside, broken windows and ceiling tiles had been replaced and bullet holes were filled. The vibrant church's sandy stained pews, carpet and all equipment had been removed. The walls, floor and pulpit were painted white. view article arw

Good look at the current conditions in Rockport/Fulton  - Jimmy Kendrick owns a 2,300-square-foot home on a corner lot in Fulton, Texas, a small town of about 1,500 people along the coast. Hurricane Harvey hit his home hard, and now he’s confined to his living room and kitchen because the roof is leaking. He still doesn’t have electricity in the rest of his house.  But Kendrick noted that his situation isn’t as bad compared to others in town. “Those people who can’t afford housing at all: their mental anguish is really hard right now,” he said.  Unlike others struggling to recover in this town north of Corpus Christi, however, Kendrick is the mayor of Fulton. view article arw

Many things are difficult after a natural disaster, from repairing damage to finding ways to pay for it all. Some things, however, are simpler - or could be. A good example would be the Texas Education Agency exempting Harvey-battered public school districts from state accountability ratings this year. Several districts in the region need waivers, along with others from Rockport to Houston. Here, the Port Arthur ISD has a special consideration. view article arw

The Humble ISD is expressing optimism that parts of Kingwood High School will be opened this coming spring. Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen tweeted on Monday that the district has a goal to open the academic wing of the campus reopened on or before March 19, 2018. Kingwood High School has been closed since September after the campus was inundated with floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey. view article arw

Hurricane Harvey was an immensely devastating hurricane that touched down on the Atlantic coast on August 27, 2017. The wreckage Harvey left behind put many people in a desperate position. Tens of thousands of families were left scattered across the country. They were forced to go to different towns in order to find safety. In these dark times, all we can do is help. Upon hearing the news of this heartbreaking event, the FJH interact club visited Aransas Pass, TX to drop off the donations gathered by the Fairfield community. view article arw

Texas' $61 billion request to the federal government for Harvey aid includes almost $5 billion for 70 projects in Southeast Texas, including buyouts for thousands of homes in flood-prone areas, drainage improvements and a "coastal spine" for Orange County. The projects, detailed in a presentation by Texas officials in Washington last week, are part of a massive federal aid request that's unlikely to be funded in full but outlines the scope of damage and a "wish list" for future protection. State officials estimate that Harvey is responsible for $180 billion in damages, up from a previous projection of $150 billion. view article arw

Port Arthur ISD superintendent Mark Porterie told the Senate Education Committee on Monday that it is "absolutely impossible" for the district to return to normal this year after Tropical Storm Harvey.  He and eight other superintendents testified at a hearing in Houston, asking the state for leniency in academic ratings and outlining ongoing problems in storm-affected districts.  Porterie said PAISD expects to have to pay for many of its own repairs, saying FEMA was "not as generous as they were in Hurricanes Rita and Ike." view article arw

Leaders of school districts heavily affected by Hurricane Harvey told a legislative panel on Monday that they would like to see Texas' accountability and testing requirements relaxed in the wake of the disaster. They also said the storms have dealt a financial blow and that they weren't optimistic about being reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or insurance anytime soon.  The superintendents gathered for a special meeting of the Senate Education Committee at the University of Houston. view article arw

Stockdale ISD officials believe some students were involved.  SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas - At least three students from schools near Sutherland Springs were among the 26 killed when gunman Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire inside the First Baptist Church there Sunday.  Officials from Floresville, La Vernia and Stockdale independent school districts confirmed this information at a news conference Monday.  Here's everything we know about the Sutherland Springs church shooting view article arw

26 killed, more than 20 injured in shooting Sunday morning.- FLORESVILLE, Texas - There will be extra counselors at all Floresville Independent School District schools Monday morning, less than 24 hours after a gunman walked into a church and began shooting.  “We are devastated by the tragedy in Sutherland Springs,” superintendent Sherri Bays stated in a Facebook post. “Our hearts are breaking for the families of the deceased and injured. These are our community members, friends, students and their families.”  Bays said there will grief counselors available to help students and staff affected by the shooting. The district will also re-route several bus routes that will be closed during the investigation. view article arw

Lance Hindt, superintendent of the Katy Independent School District, was riding in an oversized truck along South Mason Road after Hurricane Harvey when he spotted a huge pool of floodwater that "looked like a lake."  The lake engulfed Creech Elementary School and the surrounding neighborhoods.  "I was shocked at the damage I was seeing," said Hindt, who grew up in Katy and returned last year to serve as superintendent.  What he and other Katy ISD officials didn't know is that Creech Elementary, a few blocks from Barker Reservoir, had been built in what engineers call the reservoir's "flood pool." That's the area most at risk of being swamped when a major storm causes water to build up behind Barker Dam. view article arw

Firefighters from departments across Wise, Denton and Montague counties battled a large grass fire near the intersection of Farm Roads 51 and 455 Thursday afternoon in Slidell. The blaze, which burned nearly 400 acres, was sparked from a mower blade striking a rock, according to Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard. “That’s just how dry it was,” Beard said. Summer-like temperatures in the low 90s, humidity levels in the teens and southern gusts up to 23 mph fueled the fire that was reported shortly before noon. view article arw

Yamaha Corporation of America, in partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF), is inviting people across the U.S. and around the world to join the company’s “Share the Gift” campaign to help rebuild music education programs devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Through this campaign, Yamaha will donate over 1,300 instruments and music products – keyboards, guitars, headphones and recorders – to schools in hurricane-ravaged communities in Texas and Florida. view article arw

Thousands of schoolchildren in hurricane-hit Southeast Texas still don't have replacements for basic instructional materials destroyed in the storm two months ago.  And the process for restoring those losses is not at all kid-friendly.  Austin has created a gift registry of sorts, where school districts can list the textbooks damaged by the storm that need to be replaced. So far, 14 districts have registered for more than $1 million worth of needs.  Textbook publishers, individuals, organizations and other school districts then donate books.  While we give the state credit for creativity, these kids can't afford to wait for donations to roll in. They've gone without for two months already. They need these materials now, and Texas should provide them. view article arw

After first saying that just two schools needed repairs following Harvey, Beaumont ISD released documents last week showing that six of the district's buildings were damaged by the August tropical storm and that three schools failed air quality tests. view article arw

Look at this, interesting - js - A nearly $61 billion state plan to rebuild Houston and the Texas coast after Hurricane Harvey includes funding for three "coastal spines" to control flooding, new reservoirs and buyouts of thousands of properties. view article arw

About 281 New Caney ISD students have been coded as displaced by Hurricane Harvey, according to NCISD Public Relations Executive Director Dr. Scott Powers.  "Hurricane Harvey made what is usually a very exciting time for schools and students a very difficult time for many," Powers stated in an email to The Courier. "New Caney ISD is very happy to have students back, but we understand that challenges remain for many in the community."  "We have communicated to our families and our staff that the school district will work to provide support and assistance in any way it can as recovery continues," said Powers, noting that the district has had approximately 20 transfers related to the storm. view article arw

Little Cypress Junior High will have new faces on Monday as the entire Mauriceville Elementary population will begin classes at Little Cypress Junior High and will return to full day classes since Hurricane Harvey. This is the first building to complete the remediation process, according to a press release from the school, district. view article arw

The Belton Independent School District said the fire at the Leon Heights Elementary is being ruled as suspicious. Belton ISD said classes will resume at Leon Heights Elementary on Monday morning, following the fire officials preliminary investigation of the fire that occurred on Thursday evening.  view article arw

This week we had opportunities to shine a light on some extraordinary Texans who selflessly answered the call to serve their neighbors. Among the five Americans recognized at the “Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal” concert with a Point of Light Award for their volunteerism after Hurricane Harvey were Zachary Dearing of Rockport, and Murad Ajani and Kat Creech, both of Houston.   view article arw

Caprock High School has canceled classes for tomorrow, October 26. Amarillo ISD officials say a main water line has broken near the vicinity of the high school. view article arw

Classes are being moved for a Belton elementary school following a fire. Leon Heights Elementary Students will have classes at the Belton I-S-D Wall Street Auditorium and Administration Building, located at 400 North Wall Street. view article arw

More than 1300 Houston ISD students are displaced or homeless after Hurricane Harvey, according to records the district submitted to the Texas Education Agency.  That number is likely to change after the TEA changed how districts should categorize displaced students and as Houston ISD shores up its own internal estimates. But initial data shows four of the 10 schools with the largest numbers of displaced students are located in Southwest Houston, three in Meyerland alone. view article arw