The hurricane and the tropical storm caused challenging conditions for not only our community but the entire city of Houston. We are saddened to see the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey and the storm’s aftermath in Houston and neighboring areas. The storm has directly impacted many members of our Varnett family, and they are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
The storm has passed, but the aftermath remains. We are now on the Road to Recovery to make sure that students, staff and community have shelter, food, water and cleaning supplies. Let’s start with what we have done so far in attempting to get our kids back to school as quickly as possible.
On Wednesday, August 30 and Thursday, August 31, the facilities team and I assessed all VPS facilities to determine the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. The evaluation team determined that all school facilities suffered losses, which could not be corrected by the projected date for reopening the schools on September 5. As a result, I have developed a timeline for re-entry on September 11:
- September 5 - Directors, Nutrition Services, East campus and Administrative staff will report;
- September 6 - Teachers and all other employees will report;
- September 11 - All students will return.
The Southwest and the Northeast campuses will be fully ready in September. The damage to the East campus was more devastating than in the other locations, and it will not be ready on September 11. East campus will share space with Northeast, located at 8305 Mesa Road. We will use this site until we find another suitable one or the repair of the East campus is complete. Varnett will provide transportation for East students. I will include a bus schedule in the next update.
The cleaning crews have continued their work in all facilities over the Labor Day holiday weekend to assist us in getting the children back into classrooms.
Many families have suffered significant losses, which include homes and their contents. For that reason, the uniform rule is suspended until January. We want all students to report to school with or without uniforms.
The staff is excited that we are near the time when we will be reunited with our students. Until then our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Dr. Margaret Stroud
Superintendent of Schools