Per a tweet from the official HISD Twitter account, the first day of school for HISD students will be Monday, Sept. 11, weather & facility conditions permitting as the result of widespread displacement from the historic weather system that battered the Houston region from Friday until about Tuesday night.
Administrative staff and principals will report to work Sept. 5, while teachers and all other staff will report on Sept. 8 in preparation for students’ returns. Due to widespread evacuation, HISD will also be relaxing its school uniform until January 2018.
Free student meals to be provided as result of Harvey
The Houston Independent School District has received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture to waive the required application process for the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program. This decision means all HISD students will eat all school meals for free during the 2017-2018 school year.
The decision comes in the wake of the devastation created by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. Despite the federal waiver, HISD is still asking parents and guardians to complete and return the application. The National School Lunch/School Breakfast Program applications and surveys are available at https://mealapps.houstonisd.org. They can also be accessed by visiting the HISD Nutrition Services website and clicking on the “One Form Means So Much” button on the right side of the page. The information received in the forms helps the district to secure funding and track student data.
“The flooding that is affecting the city of Houston has been devastating to so many. Some of the areas that are the hardest hit are filled with working parents whose limited funds will need to go toward recovery efforts,” said Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “This waiver will give our families one less concern as they begin the process of restoring their lives. It will also provide a sense of normalcy by allowing students to have access to up to three nutritious meals each and every school day.”
Earlier this year, HISD certified 191 schools to participate in the Community Eligibility Program — giving nearly 123,955 students access to free lunch and breakfast. Just last week, the Texas Department of Agriculture approved the district’s application to offer free supper to all of the district’s students. This latest announcement supports the district’s goals of reducing food insecurity and providing food to as many students as possible.
“It will take months, possibly years for the city to recover. We expect families to be displaced, students to attend new schools, and many of them possibly using alternative ways to travel to and from school,” said Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins. “We want to reduce any stress connected to food while families work toward getting their personal affairs in order. All HISD students will have access to good food, made with as many local and fresh ingredients as possible and served with love and a smile.”
The waiver will take effect immediately, allowing students to take advantage of free meals when school resumes
Resources available for employees affected by Harvey
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, HISD employees and their household members have access to the resources below to help them with flood-related issues such as shelter and transportation, filing claims, counseling, legal assistance, critical medications, and more.
Employee Assistance Program
The Aetna Resources for Living Employee Assistance Program can assist employees with finding housing/shelter and transportation, processing information related to filing claims, accessing FEMA and similar resources, and receiving counseling services.
To access the program, employees can visit mylifevalues.com and enter the following username and password:
You can also call 1-855-574-HISD (4473). Call centers will be functioning 24/7.
You can find more information here: http://promoinfotools.com/Communications/ecard/Svcs/EmPrep/NaturalDisasterResourcesE-blast2016ARFL2HHarvey.html
The PDF also has crisis and disaster resources for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, including information on shelters, FEMA, disaster assistance, ways to volunteer, legal assistance, road closures, and other emergency information.
HISD is processing payroll normally for the Sept. 6 payday, and all employees should receive their paychecks as expected on Sept. 6. Due to the storm, new employees may not have been added to the payroll system. Payroll will work to correct this and any other issues as soon as possible. Payroll processing for the Sept. 20 payday will begin on Monday, Sept. 11.
The Hattie Mae White Employee Wellness Center and two area Concentra clinics are open for regular hours and available for use by HISD employees and their dependents. Employees who are benefits eligible can use the clinic with a $65 office visit co-pay. Employees and dependents enrolled in the medical plan can use the clinics at no charge.
* HISD Employee Wellness Center at Hattie Mae White
4400 W. 18th St.
Houston, TX 77092
Hours: Mondays & Fridays: 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursdays: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays: 8 a.m.-noon
* Concentra Kirby
9321 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77054
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 am.-5 p.m.
* Concentra Katy
12345 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77079
Hours: Monday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Wednesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday-Friday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Teladoc: Aetna is making Teladoc available at no cost for residents of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Members can call 855-220-4585 to register and be connected to a physician. Their doctors are U.S. board-certified internists, state-licensed family practitioners, and pediatricians licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. and living in the U.S. When a visit is requested, Teladoc will connect the member with a doctor licensed in the applicable state.
Critical medications: For employees in need of specialty medications, Express Scripts is calling all members to determine where they are so critical medications can be delivered to members’ locations or nearby safe locations. (Patients are required to show identification.)
Eyewear: If you’ve lost, broken or damaged your eyewear in the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, call 866-652-0018 to talk to an EyeMed representative. Agents will have policy-specific support, plus the ability to send (at no-cost) an emergency pair of replacement Adlens Adjustable Glasses. If you prefer to order permanent replacement glasses or contacts, your EyeMed representative can provide free, expedited shipping from Glasses.com and ContactsDirect.com. For emergency replacement Adlens Adjustables, be prepared to provide the address where they can be shipped or whether you will instead pick them up from a designated local store. Glasses will be sent to you with free overnight shipping (must call by 2:30 pm for same-day processing).
EyeMed is also continuing to work with their network of local Gulf Coast providers and with OneSight to provide additional resources and support.
Please contact HISD’s Benefits Service Center at 1-877-780-4473 for further assistance.