A Letter from Dr. Lance Hindt, Katy ISD Superintendent
Dear Parents/Guardians, Community Members and Staff,
Due to limited personnel as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey and its impact on thousands of families, it is projected that Katy ISD schools will reopen on Monday, September 11. Staff who can safely commute to work are asked to return to their campus or office on Wednesday, September 6.
There is a tremendous amount of work ahead of us over the coming days, weeks and months as we prepare to welcome back our students and restore our neighborhoods, homes, and roadways impacted by the storm. But with that said, there are simply no words to describe what has transpired over the past week. From the arrival of a devastating storm, to flood waters leaving thousands of residents without a home, to the entire community coming together during a time of need. More than ever, I’m truly proud of the Katy ISD family who didn’t hesitate to extend a “helping hand.” We’ve always been close-knit, but now I can say without a doubt….WE ARE UNITED AS ONE, WE ARE KATY ISD STRONG!
The generosity and support of Katy residents, staff and even students who came together when we opened three Katy ISD shelters has been simply amazing. Community members have spent countless hours volunteering and caring for those who may have lost access to their homes, possessions, or just needed a warm meal as they figured out their next steps. Meanwhile, our Katy ISD bus drivers who were not directly impacted by the storm, jumped on school buses to lead rescue efforts—resulting in hundreds of people being saved from flooded areas. Administrators prepared schools for state and federal emergency agencies needing staging areas. Local faith-based organizations and businesses generously donated time and resources to assist with needs at our shelters. Community members and staff manned the phone centers…the list goes on and on.
But even now, our efforts are far from over. A number of Katy neighborhoods are still flooded, evacuated or recovering from water damage. Two Katy ISD campuses (Creech Elementary and Beck Junior High) suffered severe water damage that will require significant time to repair and restore, while 14 of our campuses are located within neighborhoods directly impacted by flooding. We currently have crews working to repair structures so that the majority of our facilities will be ready when students return. More information about schools impacted by floods, waived absences, resources available to families affected by the storm, and other frequently asked questions will be distributed to parents and guardians by the end of this week.
We understand this has been a very difficult time for many families. Some in our community have lost everything. As our students return, staff will be attentive to the specific needs of those who may continue to be affected or displaced due to the floods. They will work closely with families to help them get the assistance they may require as we continue to weather the aftermath of this storm.
The safety of students, staff and the community has and will always be the priority for all decision- making efforts as we continue to work together to fully recover.
Finally, I think we can all agree that Katy’s legacy of service to one another, along with community pride, were at its finest this past week. Thank you Katy!
Lance Hindt, Ed.D. Superintendent