schools closed already

These 17 Houston-area schools have temporarily closed due to COVID-19

These 17 Houston-area schools have temporarily closed due to COVID-19

Students in a school classroom
Some 17 Houston-area schools have been forced to temporarily close.  Photo by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

On Monday, October 19, thousands of Houston-area students returned to in-person classes. Just one day later, the Houston Independent School District has announced more than a dozen school closures due to presumed or identified COVID-19 cases. In all, 17 campuses have temporarily closed. 

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, according to a press release.

Here the schools closed due to COVID-19 concerns as of Tuesday, October 20.

  • Foerster Elementary School
  • Houston Academy for International Studies High School
  • Lewis Elementary School
  • Roberts Elementary School
  • Bellaire High School (presumed case)
  • Daily Elementary School
  • Hines-Caldwell Elementary School
  • Houston Academy for International Studies High School
  • Lanier Middle School
  • Lawson Middle School
  • Pershing Middle School
  • Pilgrim Academy
  • Piney Point Elementary School
  • Valley West Elementary School
  • Waltrip High School
  • Westbury High School
  • Whittier Elementary School

As CultureMap news partner ABC 13 reports, HISD interim superintendent Grenita Lathan visited several campuses and was asked about the decision to open because the state threatened to pull funding if virtual learning went longer than eight weeks.

“I still would be opening school because, you know, and people can say what they want, but we have tried to rely on the science and follow the data, and take that information, not only the information we receive from our city and county health departments, the information that we receive from the CDC,” said Lathan. “I can say in collaboration with our other medical partners, we've utilized that information to make a decision. If we had been in a situation where we were back at 10 to 15 percent positivity rate in the city, then that will be a different type of decision.”

According to the HISD Dashboard, the district currently reports 89 active coronavirus cases, with 10 student and 79 staff cases. This is out of a student enrollment of 195,941 and a staff count of 27,195. 

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