UPDATE: The Houston Community College System, University of Houston campuses, St. John’s School, Episcopal High School, Kinkaid School, Post Oak School, St. Thomas Episcopal, University of St. Thomas, have also announced they will be closed Friday.
By Charlotte Aguilar
After a day when Houston saw record rainfall, Houston ISD announced Thursday night (Sept. 19) that it is canceling classes and closing all offices Friday (Sept. 20) to “allow our students and staff time to recover from the conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Imelda and prepare our buildings.”
District officials had found themselves in a defensive mode all day with about 200,000 students in classes as street conditions worsened and emergency officials warned motorists to stay off roads because of dangerous flash flooding.
Early afternoon, the district tweeted that it was “following emergency management officials’ recommendation to continue to shelter in place inside our schools.”
Dismissal was held at the regular times, but chilling images of students and parents wading through floodwaters and buses inching through high water appeared on social media and TV news coverage. One TV crew covered middle school students at a northeast HISD campus being loaded into a Houston PD high water rescue vehicle instead of a school bus to be transported to their homes.
That triggered a statement from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan explaining the protocols HISD follows for calling off school, then the statement tonight canceling classes:
HISD MEDIA STATEMENT:
All HISD schools and offices are closed and classes are canceled for Friday, September 20 to allow our students and staff time to recover from the conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Imelda and prepare our buildings. Schools and offices are expected to reopen and classes to resume as usual on Monday, September 23.