Although some local school districts decided to close due to Tropical Depression Imelda Thursday, Goose Creek CISD kept its doors open.
However, the district decided to let students go home an hour early when it was apparent Imelda’s floodwaters were causing too much havoc.
Superintendent Dr. Randal O’Brien explained how the district came to the decision to keep the schools open.
“When we initially made the decision early this morning to open our campuses and facilities after a 3 a.m. conference call with Harris County Flood District officials, the prediction was that all watches and warnings for our area would be lifted by morning,” O’Brien said. “Several
administrators drove around the district and confirmed that roadways were clear and waterways were able to handle the projected rainfall. We did not anticipate the unpredictable nature of the storm in moving back over our area, complicating the morning routine and resulting in a stressful day for students, parents and staff. Please understand that Goose Creek CISD considers the safety of everyone first and that the decision to have school today was made in good faith that the storm was going to pass through.”
A notice was sent out to Goose Creek CISD parents once the decision was made to release the students.
“Since the inclement weather has not passed through as predicted, we will release students one hour early today to help parents and bus drivers avoid rush hour traffic and allow everyone to get home safely,” the notice read. “All after-school activities are canceled for today. Please remember that tomorrow is a teacher staff development day/student holiday. Thank you for your understanding as we work through this together.”
Susan Passmore, Goose Creek CISD spokeswoman, said O’Brien, as well as Deputy Superintendent Dr. Anthony Price and Director of Transportation/Special Projects Rick Walterscheid drove around to make certain the buses could take the students home before making the call.
There were reports of students stuck at the schools after the decision was made, but Passmore said she is not aware of this happening.
“None of the principals reported that anyone stayed at school due to a parent not being able to pick them up,” Passmore said.
Passmore said Walterscheid reported all elementary, junior high and high school routes had been completed and there were no problems with the routes.
Passmore said Goose Creek CISD would be closed today for both students and staff.
Lee College made a similar decision to keep its main campus and its McNair Center open Thursday. However, four hours later, a notice was sent out from the college saying all campuses were closed due to power outages and continued storms.
Barbers Hill ISD decided to close its campuses at 5:45 a.m. Thursday.
“It all went well,” said Jami Navarre, Barbers Hill ISD spokeswoman. “Numerous employees could not get to work or were dealing with flooding in their own homes. Safety of students and staff will always be our No. 1 priority.”
A determination whether or not to cancel classes at Barbers Hill is expected to be made no later than 5:30 a.m. Friday, according to Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole.
Both Crosby ISD and Anahuac ISD both closed Thursday due to Imelda.