HOUSTON – The Houston Independent School District announced last week that the school year will begin virtually for all students and teachers amid COVID-19 concerns.
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan talked on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall about the district’s decision, why it was made and the plans to resume in-person teaching.
Lathan acknowledged that in-person teaching is the most effective way to educate our children but points to several factors that call for virtual teaching. For one, Houston-area COVID-19 numbers continue to rise. While only 14% of HISD teachers say they are ready to return to the classroom for in-person teaching.
HISD is also working to assist parents with students that need technology for virtual learning. The district plans to provide computers and technology help. Parents can call the helpline at 713-556-4636.
COVID clinical trial volunteers needed
The Texas Center for Drug Development is one of the organizations involved in Operation Warp Speed, the government’s plan to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. Between 300 to 600 volunteers are needed to take part in phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials. Dr. Frederic Santiago says any risk to volunteers is low. “The vaccine that you’re getting in this trial is at a lower dose so there’s not as many adverse effects were seen. There were no serious adverse effects so far so we’re fairly optimistic that most people will probably have a fairly good experience with this.”