Houston ISD Superintendent Dr. Millard House II welcomed students back at schools across the district on Monday.
House, joined by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and HISD officials, toured campuses and discussed school resources. At Burrus Elementary School in Independence Heights, House gave his support and objectives for the new school year.
"It's our goal and my promise that every family within HISD's community will have the confidence, the necessary confidence for their child to have the co-curricular and extracurricular activities to ensure that they are important and understand that we will provide whatever it is that they need," House said during the presser.
Burrus was one of several stops on Monday. Later he attended Marshall Middle School to highlight safety in schools where he was joined by members of the “Safe Walk Home Northside” organization. The organization is a volunteer-based neighborhood patrol program that was created in memory of Josue Flores who was stabbed to death while walking home in 2016.
"So we know that people are requesting transportation; some at the last minute, some ahead of time,” House said. “But it causes us to have to move forward and make those adjustments. We are making those adjustments. And we look forward to getting better day by day by day."
House also acknowledged the struggle of some schools not having enough teachers.
"That is still a constant. It is public education and it has definitely taken a hit in terms of the number of teachers that are available, certified teachers that are available to do the job not only from a transportation standpoint, but from a certified standpoint in terms of classroom teachers,” House said.
When it comes to staffing, House said more than 95% of classes had teachers.
“We were pleased to be able to start today over 95% completed in terms of the number of teachers that we have in our classrooms,” he said. “Those 5% of our classrooms that do not have a certified teacher, we’re continuously hiring. We’ll be hiring today, and every day, continue with the interviewing process in our talent office."