Storm in Texas: Some parents are upset by Houston-area school districts’ decision not to delay early school leaving

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Inclement weather in our area means school district officials must decide whether schools will remain open or schedule changes need to be made.

While the start of school was delayed in many counties due to poor weather on Tuesday morning, other counties opted to carry on as usual.

Houston ISD and Fort Bend ISD were among those who did not delay the start of classes Tuesday morning. Now they are being praised for it on social media.

ALSO SEE: Tornado, severe storms sweep through Madisonville

Fort Bend officials told ABC13 it was not an easy call. Some parents across the county believe the decisions should have been made earlier and not just before the kids were supposed to be in school.

“I was disappointed,” Sugar Land mother Allen Mu said. “I checked my phone (and) didn’t see anything. Fort Bend ISD standard time.”

Fort Bend County parents received mixed news as the county said schools were open and operating on a normal schedule, and the sheriff urged people to stay indoors.

At 6:53 a.m. Tuesday, Fort Bend ISD took to Twitter to let parents, students and faculty know schools were open and operating normally.

Just minutes later at 6:56 a.m., Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan tweeted that people in the area should stay grounded because of a possible tornado.

At 7:21 am, Fort Bend ISD again tweeted that Tuesday delays would be excused but still operating normally.

Less than an hour later at 8am on ABC13, Fagan again asked people to stay indoors.

“I’m just asking everyone to stay until this is over, if possible,” Fagan said.

ALSO SEE: 1 dead and over a dozen injured as tornadoes swept through North Texas

So how does the district decide when to reschedule, cancel, or move forward as planned? The Fort Bend ISD spokeswoman declined to be part of the story, directing us to a statement on her website.

Student and staff safety is always our top priority when working through inclement weather.

The district received data from area meteorologists during the evening (Monday) and early morning hours that the majority of our students would be traveling during the worst part of the storm if we were to issue a delay start. We monitored weather, road conditions, and other important information before 4 a.m. and made the decision to remain on the regular schedule, as did most other school districts in our area.

Weather patterns change unexpectedly. For example, on February 4, 2022, the expected ice didn’t materialize after we had canceled school the night before. The decision was made with the best information we had at the time.

The weather is unpredictable and in any event we will continue to do what we believe is best based on the information available to us at the time.

We want families to make the best decisions for their individual circumstances. Delays will be excused if we have inclement weather and we will work with families who have extenuating circumstances such as travel. B. Power cuts or road problems. We will continue to review our decision logs and work to ensure students and staff are safe.”

Speaking to ABC13 on the phone, spokeswoman Sherry Williams said it’s always impossible to please everyone.

SEE ALSO: Tornado overturns trailer, injuring parents and 3 young children in Beasley

Some Fort Bend County parents, like Michelle Alchatta, dropped their children into school a little later after making sure it was okay to drive.

“I brought my son around 8:30am when he had calmed down. I think they played it by ear and I don’t think they had any fault at all,” Alchatta said.

In a statement broadcast to ABC13, Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II said decisions at each weather event are discussed with multiple emergency operations partners in the area.

“The safety of our students, staff and families is of the utmost importance to our district – especially during weather events like the one that struck our region this morning.

Before each weather event, HISD leadership participates in various updates with emergency response partners across the region. We began monitoring this event over the weekend and as the system approached last night the district dispatched crews to ensure the flood-prone bus routes were passable and posed no danger to our students or staff. At the time, bus routes did not carry water, which would make them impassable. The latest forecasts also made it clear that conditions would improve by the time most buses would have to safely transport students to school.

Delays in arrival were anticipated due to timing and the rapidly changing nature of the weather system. Therefore, the District apologized for any delays for March 22 to all students at all of our locations.

For updates on this story, follow Daniela Hurtado on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Storm in Texas: Some parents are upset by Houston-area school districts’ decision not to delay early school leaving

Dais Johnston

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