Claycomb Associates, Architects

Fifth- and eighth-graders in Hurricane Harvey-affected areas who don't pass the state tests will not be forced to repeat the grade level this school year, Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath announced Thursday.Morath stopped short of waiving school and district ratings within the federal disaster area, an exemption sought by superintendents and educators across Southeast Texas. In a letter to school districts, he wrote that the TEA is collecting data so it can make decisions on accountability rules in the spring. view article arw

Garrison cancels class over flu

December 1508:40 AM

Garrison ISD has canceled all class for today and Friday because of an outbreak of flu-like symptoms among students. view article arw

Mid-morning at Mitchell Elementary on Thursday, there was an uncharacteristic stillness on the playground and only a few vehicles in the parking lot. The buzz of learning was elsewhere for the students, faculty and staff assigned to this far southeast Houston campus because there's mold and debris inside. view article arw

Classes will resume Thursday at schools in Mount Pleasant, Texas. A Mount Pleasant ISD spokeswoman says both the schools and the school buses will follow their regular schedules. No classes were held Wednesday due to a natural gas pipeline break the previous day that disrupted service to thousands of customers, including schools in Mount Pleasant and Mount Vernon. view article arw

With more than 60 campuses damaged by Hurricane Harvey, Fort Bend ISD trustees now face a projected $12 million shortfall in next year's budget. If the approved 2018-19 budget includes a salary increase for district staffers, the deficit could increase another $8 million or more, FBISD budget director Bryan Guinn told trustees recently. The main factor driving up district expenditures involves repairs to 66 schools damaged during Hurricane Harvey. Early estimates indicate repairs added approximately $16 million to the current year's budget, Guinn said at the Oct. 23 board meeting. view article arw

Students at four storm-damaged Houston ISD elementary schools wouldn’t return to their home campuses until at least 2020 under a district proposal for replacing the structures announced Monday. The $126-million plan calls for the four campuses — Braeburn, Kolter, Mitchell and Scarborough elementary schools — to be demolished and rebuilt at their current locations. The properties would be elevated to prevent the type of flooding that occurred after Hurricane Harvey, district officials said. view article arw

Just six days into the start of this year’s meteorological winter, San Antonio experienced its biggest snow event in more than three decades. On Thursday, Dec. 7. 2017, San Antonio saw 1.9 inches of snow -- much less than when the Alamo City was covered with 13.5 inches on Jan. 21, 1985, but still not insignificant. view article arw

Houston ISD officials are proposing to tear down four elementary schools ravaged by Hurricane Harvey and rebuild them — a plan that would keep students out of their home campuses until at least 2020. Students at Braeburn, Kolter, Mitchell and Scarborough elementary schools would return to new, elevated campuses on the same sites as the current facilities, according to a plan unveiled Monday. The district's board of trustees is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve funding for the $126-million proposal. view article arw

MOUNT PLEASANT, TX - According to Mount Pleasant ISD, Centerpoint Energy has lost natural gas distribution capabilities for all of Titus County and their pipeline is down. All campuses and offices in the district will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.  view article arw

When Harvey hit, it severely damaged several Houston Independent School District’s schools. Some schools like Hilliard and Robertson are being repaired and students will go back to their schools when the repairs are done. But HISD officials said there are four elementary schools: Kolter, Mitchell, Scarborough and Braeburn that have suffered catastrophic damage. So for those four schools, HISD’s school board will be looking at a $126 million proposal next week to knock them down and rebuild them.  view article arw

Texas superintendents have been pressing state administrators to relax accountability standards in the aftermath of Harvey, and some research backs up their argument. Turns out if bad weather keeps a student out of school, their academic performance drops significantly. A study from Harvard University found if a student misses just one day of school, they slip two spots in their math rankings, or percentiles. Daniel Bowen, assistant professor of educational administration at Texas A&M University, said that means education standards should be softened for schools impacted by Hurricane Harvey. view article arw

Several school districts, cities and other government agencies are still waiting for a Texas insurer to pay nearly $60 million in claims from Hurricane Ike, adding to more insurance worries in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. view article arw

In the nearly 18 months since Patricia Lambert was convicted of stealing from Beaumont ISD, the former administrator has paid less than $8,000 of the $500,000 restitution she owes the district, according to federal court documents filed Thursday. Lambert, a former BISD assistant superintendent, was sentenced in June 2016 to more than three years in federal prison for stealing half a million dollars from the Central High School booster club and student activities funds. view article arw

As thousands wait for insurance money to make repairs in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, more than a half-dozen school districts, cities and other government agencies are still awaiting payment from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on nearly $60 million in claims from Hurricane Ike. view article arw

Investigators have arrested three students accused of breaking into Donna North High School, stealing car keys and taking a school district police car for a joyride. Officers arrested Jesus Miguel Colunga, 17, of Donna; Agustin Juan Ramirez, 18, of Donna; and Orlando Ramirez, 17, of Donna, according to information provided by the Donna Independent School District. view article arw

Axtell ISD experiencing power outages

December 0808:15 AM

The Axtell Independent School District said they are experiencing power outages.  The school district said the issue will not be resolved for "quite some time".  view article arw

Several Austin-area school districts — including the Austin Independent School District — decided to cancel Friday classes once snow began to fall in the area. Friday school closures have been announced for the Austin, Hays, Eanes, Manor, Del Valle, Bastrop, Lockhart and Elgin school districts. view article arw

Students and staff in Austin ISD will get a day off tomorrow, Dec. 8. According to a press release, the district has decided to cancel school due to the forecast of freezing temperatures carrying over into the morning.  The potential formation of black ice on roads preventing morning commutes is the reason behind the cancellation instead of a two-hour delay, the release stated.  Less than one inch of snow is expected to gather overnight, according to the National Weather Service. Freezing temperatures will continue until 9 a.m. tomorrow before climbing to a high of 53 degrees around 3 p.m. view article arw

Klein ISD will begin repair and renovation work at Lemm Elementary School on Joanleigh Drive this winter in response to flood damage the school sustained during Hurricane Harvey, school officials said. Lemm Elementary sustained about 6-8 inches of water during the late August floods and is set to reopen in August 2018, said Robert Robertson, KISD associate superintendent of facility and school services. view article arw

First of the year - js - ROCKSPRINGS - Several school districts west of Bexar County are delaying start times on Thursday morning due to winter weather and ice on the roadways. view article arw

Three months after Hurricane Harvey, 11 percent of Texas Gulf Coast residents said they were still displaced and 33 percent said they had been late on rent or mortgage payments, according to a new survey published Tuesday by Kaiser Health News and the Episcopal Health Foundation. Uncertainty is the new normal for Yashica Foster, who has been staying a hotel paid for by FEMA for the past two months while she looks for a permanent housing solution. "It's taking a long time and not knowing what the outcome is going to be is nerve-wracking," Foster said. "We can't do anything but wait." view article arw

Senate leaders warned Tuesday that Hurricane Harvey could put a billion-dollar hole in Texas' budget, an ever-growing number that could affect how much money is available for other state programs. Only $20 million remains in the state disaster-assistance fund, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson said at a public hearing Tuesday on the status of hurricane recovery efforts. view article arw

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who initially estimated the state would have to spend at least $2 billion to address Harvey-related damage when lawmakers next meet in regular session, said Friday that the tab looks to be a smaller $1.5 billion. Hegar, who cited the figure during a speech at the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association annual meeting, said afterward that the change is due partly to costs for public schools coming in lower than first anticipated. view article arw

Three months after the Category 4 storm slammed into the Texas gulf coast and set off unprecedented flooding in southeastern parts of the state, the tab for Hurricane Harvey recovery is still growing. Texas leaders have estimated it will take up to $121 billion in federal money to rebuild public infrastructure and housing. It’s a huge sum that even state officials acknowledge they won’t get. State officials don’t have an overall estimate of the storm’s damage to private property. But more than 18,000 families were still living in FEMA-paid hotel rooms as of Nov. 13 and federal inspectors have visited more than 570,000 homes damaged by Harvey. view article arw

The person responsible for stealing a Donna ISD Police Department vehicle from Donna North High School on Sunday will be charged this week. An unnamed suspect broke in at about 10:30 p.m. and grabbed keys belonging to a patrol unit parked at the high school, according to DISD Police Chief Daniel Walden. The person driving the patrol unit attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office deputy, according to a news release issued by a district spokeswoman. view article arw

With flood damage to Humble ISD schools and facilities approaching $95 million, the district laid out its recovery plans and approved contracts to renovate flooded buildings in November. Four district schools and facilities—Kingwood High School, the Welcome Center, the Instructional Support Center and the district agriculture barns—were damaged significantly when Hurricane Harvey caused mass flooding in the Lake Houston area in August. view article arw

Jennifer Pedroza was touring her son’s elementary school in August when she found the carpet in the library ripped up and a hole in the ceiling.  Water had seeped in through the ceiling and onto a bookcase running beneath a row of windows at San Jacinto Elementary School. “It came down from the roof, down the windows and it ruined all those books,” Pedroza said. “There was mold on the books from water damage.” view article arw

DALLAS, Nov. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Since making landfall in late August, Hurricane Harvey has devastated the Texas Gulf Coast and has impacted over 6 million Texans, many of those being students who were in their first weeks of school or about to start school. view article arw

High Island Independent School District and Galveston County with SETEX Construction opened the new High Island emergency shelter Wednesday afternoon. The shelter is designed to withstand winds of over 175 MPH, and consists of 55 foot deep concrete auger-cast piles, 18 inch thick walls, and a 660k lbs. concrete roof. view article arw

Not directly about schools but could have significant impact.  Read - js - The special purpose districts that have powered development in the Cinco Ranch area west of Houston repeatedly failed to disclose to bond investors the risk of severe flooding from the adjacent Barker Reservoir, a Houston Chronicle investigation found.Hundreds of homes near the reservoir were flooded when Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas in late August. Many homeowners complained bitterly that they were never warned the reservoir could pour into their neighborhoods during an extreme storm. view article arw

Nearly three months after Hurricane Harvey destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings along Texas’ coastal bend, some of the donation money raised by people everywhere is slowly getting doled out. Little Lights Learning Center Director LaVeta Rodriguez said the Rockport day care center received money from an organization called Save the Children. She said her center was able to save the building, after buying a new carpet, fixing holes in the ceiling, and replacing some playground equipment. view article arw

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