Weather worries for HISD

April 28, 2009 4:35:09 PM PDT
A lot of students who were planning on taking the TAKS tests Tuesday instead got a day off, or were allowed to show up late to school. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Area school districts have been assessing both weather damage and any flooding near campuses. About a dozen HISD schools have suffered damage from flooding or roof leaks.

There was a lot of confusion on the part of the staff and the parents Tuesday morning. Much of the problem comes from the sheer size of the district. A district spokesperson told us that the buses have to get a very early start to get all the students to where they're going and that the decision to cancel or not was made before the storms got really bad.

Regardless, it was a confusing and frustrating morning for parents of HISD students, especially those in the west region.

"They said Ashford Elementary was open and when I went there, they said it was only for teachers there and you have to stay home," said parent Afsaneh Shariary.

Just a few hours later, another frustrated mother had a completely different experience.

"But I got a call about 30 minutes ago and school was open today and just come over by noon," said Rumi Hensley.

Even so, lots of kids never made it to school.

"My son was the only one child in his class," said Hensley.

It was more than just students getting to schools. Lots of HISD staff couldn't get out of their own neighborhoods, adding to what was already a stressful situation since Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of TAKS testing.

"We were supposed to start TAKS testing today. We got approval from the state to delay that by one day," said HISD Spokesman Norm Uhl.

Once that word came down from the Texas Education Agency, some parents wished the district would have handled things differently.

"I think probably given the weather circumstances, cancelling would have been a better idea," said John Grimm.

All HISD athletic events were also cancelled Tuesday, while all absences were excused and all staff were paid. HISD will reopen on Wednesday.

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