Why HISD didn't cancel school Thursday


HOUSTON – Many people are wondering why the Houston Independent School District didn't close its campuses Thursday as Tropical System Imelda battered the region with rain.

Students were stranded, and several parents said they were worried about the safety of their kids.

HISD stood by its decision to keep its campuses open and also clarified its decision-making protocol.

Here's a look at what the district said the process includes:

  • Days before weather events, the interim superintendent engages in numerous conference calls with the National Weather Service, Houston TranStar, other cities, counties, and emergency management agencies and school district superintendents from surrounding areas.
  • As the weather event nears, the frequency of the conference calls increases.
  • The morning of the weather event, the interim superintendent takes part in a conference call at 3 a.m. The HISD Risk Management Team also takes part in conference calls with emergency agencies.
  • Using data, analysis and recommendations from the National Weather Service, TranStar and city, county and emergency management agencies, the interim superintendent makes a decision on closures or delays considering the safety and welfare of students and staff.

HISD said that in Thursday's case, "the weather event, unfortunately, took a turn that was unforeseen by many area school districts and agencies. Throughout the day, we took proactive measures to keep our students and staff safe. We followed the emergency management officials' advice to shelter in place and maintain normal dismissal times."

For more information about the school closing procedures, click here.