We hope this message finds you safe and sound. We know that many of our Deer Park ISD families were affected by the storm and flooding. Some of our employees lost their homes or other property. But, for the most part, it sounds like our area and our DPISD friends and family survived the storm.
All Deer Park ISD campuses will resume school according to our regular schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 5. (Monday, Sept. 4, remains a Labor Day holiday for students and employees.) All bus routes will also run according to the regular schedule. All employees will report to duty the same day.
FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH FOR TWO WEEKS
To offer additional support for our students and their families, we will provide free breakfast and lunch for all DPISD students from Sept. 5-15. This offer applies only to regular cafeteria meals (and does NOT include a la carte items). We know that many parents have not been able to work, which impacts household budgets.
LIMITED DAMAGE TO DPISD FACILITIES
We've received many questions from parents, employees, and community members about the state of our schools and facilities. Overall, the District endured Harvey very well. A few schools had small amounts of water in them resulting in minimal damage to carpet or equipment. The only building that received significant damage was Deepwater Junior High. The school's atrium flooded, and water damaged the library, which will be closed until it is completely cleaned.
STUDENT EMOTIONAL NEEDS
It is difficult to predict the emotional impact of a major disaster on children, and returning to a normal school schedule will probably offer some level of comfort for many students. However, we recommend that parents visit the following links:
For a good basic summary of how parents can help their children heal:
For a more detailed breakdown of the warning signs:
HURRICANE MAKE-UP DAYS
The Texas Education Agency has already contacted districts in counties affected by the storm regarding missed instructional days. We will have the opportunity to request a missed instruction day waiver, and all indications are that waivers will be approved for days missed from Aug. 25-Sept. 1. Once the District's waiver is approved, we will not have to make up the missed days.
Missing six instructional days means over a week of the curriculum was missed, and that information must be covered during the remainder of the school year. However, in an effort to ease students back into the school year, teachers will assign less homework than normal for the next week.
BACK TO SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Several school open houses were canceled because of the storm. Those will be rescheduled in the coming weeks, and schools will be in contact with parents soon to share updated information.
Many districts are not able to resume school next week, which could impact previously scheduled athletics events. DPISD Coaches will be in contact with players and parents regarding whether or not practices or games will take place as scheduled. Sports fans can always keep track of events by visiting the Athletics website at www.dpisd.org/athletics or by following the Athletics Department at www.twitter.com/dpisdathletics
We want to say a special thanks to our Maintenance and Operations team, which leapt to action once the storm had passed and made sure that our schools and facilities were ready for students to return. It is also a testament to the dedication of our employees that almost all of them will be available to welcome students back next week. (Those who can’t return either experienced significant property loss themselves or through an immediate family member.) Way to go, Team Deer Park!
We look forward to seeing all students as school resumes on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Thank you.