HOUSTON, TX — Houston Independent School District or HISD Superintendent Millard House and district officials witnessed the “Ready, Set, Go” safety initiative in action on Monday, August 23 at Memorial Elementary School.
This “Ready, Set, Go” safety initiative provides students, families, staff, and the community a safe environment for in-person learning in the classroom with protocols such as required masks in all HISD buildings, constant sanitization of surfaces, COVID-19 vaccination sites, testing, and physical distancing.
Earlier on that day, at a news conference at Parker Elementary, House emphasized that if everybody can save just one life, it's worth it.
House toured the Memorial Elementary, started with him meeting Principal Jose Cordova and his administrative team, then he visited classes, and was seeing masks on students and sanitization stations in the classrooms. He said in the safety initiative that they are able to execute the plan as a team and keep schools safe and open for all students.
One of the highlights of the tour was visiting the Student Health Isolation Pod (SHIP) room which serves as a triage and isolation room for suspected COVID cases. SHIP will isolate students who are showing COVID symptoms, and place them in an area where they can be assessed. If they deem a student needs further evaluation, the student's guardian will be contacted by the nurse or the school to pick up the student.
When the students have been sent home, they need a negative COVID test and a doctor's note in order to be able to return to school. SHIP is part of CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance that started last year, and according to Health and Medical Services Manager Myrna Garcia, it has been very effective.
Nurse Elva Acosta said that although the past 18 months have been a roller coaster ride for them all, they must continue to push forward together in order to overcome these challenges. The school must implement safety guidelines from the beginning to set the trend for the rest of the year and that means mask-wearing and diligent hand sanitizing every day.
For his first year leading Memorial Elementary, Cordova will prioritize safety, claiming that it's the number one priority for him as a campus principal just like all HISD principals.
Cordova also affirmed that they know students cannot learn unless they are physically, socially, and emotionally well, so, at Memorial and all HISD campuses, they ensure that safety is at the forefront of every decision they make.
Learn more about the Memorial Elementary School at https://www.houstonisd.org/domain/22435.
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