Summertime is back-to-school time in state's largest districts


Houston Superintendent Richard Carranza said 35 of his district's nearly 300 school buildings were flooded or lost power. HISD is one of 17 districts in the greater Houston area. Teams from the district are still assessing damages on the campuses, and unlike its news release, the district's tweet on the opening qualified the date with "weather and facility conditions permitting".

In Calcasieu Parish, where floodwaters prompted the rescue of 500 people in the Lake Charles area, the school district initiated closures Monday. For example, Bryant Elementary in Riverside Unified School District adopted the Core Knowledge curriculum to attract and retain more students.

"We have a process to wrap our arms around them, to support them for a social service-type agency perspective", Rock Hill District Director of Communications Mychal Frost said.

Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Houston Independent School District board trustee, walks out of flood-damaged A.G. Hilliard Elementary School, following a tour of the school in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey, on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Houston. When you have to add additional days to the school calendar, that's not something that's planned for and it disrupts family time.

But the end of summer vacation before Labor Day - which many parents fondly recall as their last hurrah as they turned their attention back to their studies - doesn't sit well in some communities.

Penn Manor and Hempfield school district will have to start excluding students Thursday, Aug. 31.

"There is that slight chance there will be a delay past September 11, but we're working with all due haste to make sure we're going to meet that deadline", Carranza said. Many believe this activity will be a good lesson for the students.

After special education, high school science, high school math, middle school math and elementary teaching positions were the most hard to fill.

"We wanted to develop a program that would meet the needs of all of our kids", Marchant said. Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) officials say they first have to get their marching orders from the state. One operator said they have seen higher rates of absenteeism when neighboring districts are off and they are in session.

Students can pick up enrollment packets at any CCISD campus and will attend school in the zone of their temporary residence. He also noted that Liberty High School, a special high school for new immigrants, received significant enough damage from flooding that the district will likely have to find a new location for the school.