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Floods force some schools to close or open later

Monday, April 18, 2016 22:59
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A handful of Houston-area school districts and campuses plan to close or start late Tuesday following significant flooding.

The Royal Independent School District in southern Waller County will shut down for the second straight day, while Alvin ISD in northern Brazoria County will start two hours late Tuesday. Klein Collins High School also will be closed after more than a dozen classrooms and the roof were damaged by the rainstorm Monday. In Houston ISD, only Liberty High School will be closed again Tuesday, though students will be notified about attending other campuses.

Students in many districts likely will have to make up the missed day or days, although some exceptions exist, according toDebbie Ratcliffe of the Texas Education Agency. Districts typically must use built-in make-up days before seeking a waiver from the education agency. However, some districts already added enough extra time to school days throughout the year to be covered.

“At this point, we’re following existing rules, which require a district to use its bad weather days before seeking a waiver,” Ratcliffe said Monday afternoon.

In the heavily flooded Greenspoint area, where more than 460 Aldine ISD students live in apartment complexes, families were being transported to the M.O. Campbell Educational Center, said district spokesman Mike Keeney. The Red Cross was helping operate a shelter at the facility, which reportedly was filling to capacity Monday afternoon, according to a Twitter post from Houston school board member and former City Councilwoman Jolanda Jones.

On Monday afternoon, Houston ISD officials were working to turn Johnston Middle School in the Meyerland area and M.C. Williams Middle in Acres Home into shelters, offering sandwiches, fruit and water to displaced families.

Most public and private schools were closed Monday due to the major rainstorms that soaked the Houston region. Those districts that opted not to cancel classes defended their decisions.
Curtis Rhodes, superintendent of Needville ISD in the southwest part of Fort Bend County, noted that his district had no underpasses or rivers and said the area received only half an inch of rain as of 6:15 am.

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