Spring Branch ISD thanks our community and staff for your understanding as the district closed Monday, Nov. 27, and Tuesday, Nov.28, due to the City of Houston’s Boil Water Notice.
It is important for our community to understand how SBISD made these decisions.
For Monday’s Closure:
- We learned of the Boil Water Notice at the same time as the public around 7:30 p.m. Sunday evening. Typically, Houston area superintendents receive information in advance of public notifications so that districts can begin to make plans. This was not the case on Sunday.
- The district immediately began assessing the situation to determine the impact on district operations and whether it would be possible to safely hold school on Monday.
- 57% of SBISD’s 33,653 students (19,202) live below the poverty line and may not have access to bottled water. These students would depend on the district to provide this resource.
- We were unable to secure the minimum number of bottles of water for Monday to assure all students had drinking water and the ability to wash their hands.
- We have legal requirements for handwashing in our PreK and childcare facilities. Hand sanitizer does not meet state law requirements.
- The overwhelming majority of our schools are in the City of Houston and use City of Houston water. This is not true for surrounding suburban districts that rely on separate water systems and therefore able to have school in session.
For Tuesday’s Closure:
- The district participated in a call that began at 6 p.m. on Monday evening with area superintendents. It was noted on the call that Mayor Turner announced it could be as late as noon Tuesday before the water sample results would be received and potentially cleared as potable water. The City of Houston could not provide an estimated time for a potential announcement.
- Considering the same lack of resources as Monday, no firm time for an announcement, and the need to provide families and staff sufficient time to make childcare arrangements, we made the call to remain closed.
Spring Branch ISD takes the decision to close school very seriously. We always work to find solutions to keep our district open whenever and however we can. It was not possible to do so on Monday and Tuesday this week.
In response to the school closures earlier this week, the District will discuss our emergency preparedness, protocols, and plans with the Board of Trustees next Friday at the Board’s winter retreat.
Community members should direct questions to Mayor Turner’s office directly regarding the Boil Water Notice, the City’s lack of communication to area superintendents about the Boil Water Notice, or the City’s operations relative to this matter.
No Makeup Days Required
Because our 2022-23 Academic Calendar has sufficient minutes to accommodate these days, no makeup days will be necessary.