HISD voting on extended days for schools with delayed start

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Many HISD schools are back in session while contractors are working hard at the remaining campuses to assess damage and make sure they're safe for students to return on either Sept. 18 or 25.

Kolter Elementary in southwest Houston was one of the schools that suffered the worst damage in the storm.

Contractors say they're testing the walls for asbestos and that the boards below the windows will likely have to be ripped out.

HISD CEO Brian Busby says asbestos abatement is going on in at least nine schools.

Crews are working to prepare Gordon Elementary to take on the students from Kolter on Sept. 25.

Other students displaced include Robinson Elementary going to Holland and Pleasantville, Braeburn Elementary going to the former Debakey High School, Mitchell Elementary going to the former Rhodes Elementary and Scarborough Elementary going to the former Terrell Middle School.

The repairs to the damaged schools could cost up to $700 million, according to HISD.

Mitchell Elementary school students originally slated to go to the old Rhodes Elementary school on the 25th will now start a week earlier, on the 18th. Students at Forest Brook Middle will get to stay in their building and go back on the 25th.

HISD will consider a proposal to make up instructional time lost because of the storm by extending school days. The Texas Education Agency approved waivers that exempt students from making up the first nine days the storm took away. However, students at the 12 schools that suffered the most significant damage will have to make up any lost time beyond those days.

Here's how the proposed plan works: Students at the four schools scheduled to start on September 18 would be in school for 25 additional minutes every day. Students at the eight schools scheduled to start on September 25 would go for an extra 55 minutes. That extended school day would be effective from their first day of school until the end of the first semester in December.

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