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        FOR RELEASE                                                                                CONTACT:  Tonya Harris
        August 31, 2017                                                                             (202) 393-2427 or tharris@cgcs.org 


    Urban School Coalition Mobilizes Big-City School Districts
    To Help Houston Public Schools in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 – The Council of the Great City Schools this week responded to the challenges of Hurricane Harvey by mobilizing the coalition’s 68 large urban public-school systems to provide clothing, school uniforms and school supplies and other assistance to aid the Houston Independent School District.

    Many big-city school districts have responded to the Council and plan to donate school supplies and offer other assistance to the Houston school system, including Atlanta, Des Moines, Miami-Dade County and San Diego, to name a few. (Examples below.)

    “The Houston Independent School District continues to have an immediate need for children’s clothes of all sizes, school uniforms and school supplies,” says Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. Donations should be sent to Mark Smith, Delmar Stadium, 2020 Mangum, Houston, TX 77092.

    Another way to help Houston’s schools is through a donation to the school district’s HISD Foundation – http://www.houstonisd.org/Page/164281.

    Moreover, the Dallas and Austin school districts are preparing to accept thousands of displaced Houston students. And Houston Schools Superintendent Richard Carranza, past chair of the Council’s Board of Directors, has received advice from other superintendents in the coalition, especially those who have experience in responding to major natural disasters.

    “This is yet another example of how the nation’s urban public schools work to support and improve each other,” Casserly points out.

    The urban schools coalition has mobilized big-city school districts in the past to respond to large-scale catastrophes. The Council helped the New Orleans school system in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and provided aid to urban schools recovering from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, and at least two California earthquakes.

    It has also worked with FEMA and other federal authorities, including the U.S. Department of Education and Congress, in helping provide disaster relief to urban schools.



    Examples of Urban-School Support For the Houston Independent School District (HISD)
    In the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

    Albuquerque Public Schools
    • Albuquerque Public Schools posted Council of the Great City Schools information to help Houston schools on the district website and social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) – and included a link in the APS community newsletter.

    Atlanta Public Schools
    • Atlanta Public Schools is sending hundreds of backpacks stuffed with supplies.

    Austin Independent School District
    • Austin ISD is enrolling children impacted by Hurricane Harvey that have evacuated to Austin.
    The district is also collecting donations for the Austin Ed Fund Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which will provide school supplies, clothing, basic needs and financial support for students enrolling in Austin ISD campuses. Austin ISD’s Project Help program will coordinate this program.

    Boston Public Schools
    • Boston Public Schools is sending toiletries, diapers, baby formula, non-perishable food and new clothing and blankets to the Houston school system.

    Dallas Independent School District
    • Dallas ISD is immediately enrolling students impacted by Hurricane Harvey, who have been displaced and are housed with family and friends in shelters and hotels. Uniform assistance and school supplies will be also provided. The Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center has been designated as a Mega Shelter for flood victims. Students who have evacuated to this location and wish to attend school while they are in Dallas, will receive bus service to and from John F. Kennedy Learning Center, Alex W. Spence Talented/Gifted Academy, and North Dallas High School, depending on their grade level. Dallas ISD will not turn away students who may not have the required enrollment documentation, including immunization records. Of note, counselors, social workers, and psychologists are ready to provide assistance to students who are in need of their services.

    Des Moines Public Schools (various school activities of support):
    • North and Roosevelt high schools: They are pairing up with the goal of filling a truck with supplies for the school district.
    • East High School: Students in the deaf program at the school made signs on how people can help, but it was primarily things such as giving to the Red Cross.
    • Central Academy: the magnet high school is planning a TBD donation drive to involve several schools in the district (since their enrollment comes from several schools).
    • Merrill Middle School: they are doing ‘Hats and Hoodies for Houston’ today; students who bring a donation for HISD can ignore the dress code.
    • McCombs Middle School: students are doing ‘Dimes for Hurricane Harvey Relief’ to raise funds for the American Red Cross.
    • Greenwood Elementary School: they are collecting supplies through the end of next week for HISD.
    • Hubbell Elementary School: they are having a hat day on Friday, and money raised will be given to the HISD Foundation.
    • Walnut Street School: students volunteered yesterday at Meals from the Heartland (a group based in Des Moines that prepares ready-to-eat meals shipped to areas in need around the world); meals currently being prepared are being shipped to the Houston area.

    El Paso Independent School District
    • El Paso Independent School District will send school supplies, clothes, toiletries, and water to HISD.
    • The district, new car dealerships and several news stations have joined forces to collect and deliver much-needed supplies to the thousands of southeast Texas families that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In an operation called El Paso Cares, the three groups began collecting the necessary supplies that shelters and responders need to tend to displaced families in the Houston area. The collection will continue through Friday, Sept. 8.
    • The district is ready to offer education and housing services to any children and families that arrive in El Paso because of the evacuation. The district is ready to provide buses for the transportation of families and hire certified substitutes to provide instructional services to displaced school-aged children.

    Fort Worth Independent School District

    Fort Worth ISD is partnering with Goodwill Industries and will be accepting donations to support Hurricane Harvey evacuees. The school district is also letting the City of Fort Worth allow the activation of the district’s Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center as a shelter for people who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. “We have a responsibility to help the children, families, and others who have been so tragically affected by this storm,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “Given the scope of this catastrophic event, we want to do anything we can to help as many fellow Texans as we can.”
    Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center was used as a similar shelter in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The City of Fort Worth and the American Red Cross will conduct the sheltering operations while the Fort Worth ISD provides the venue.

    Fresno Unified School District
    • The Fresno Unified School District is getting its students involved in helping kids from HISD.

    Kansas City Public Schools (Missouri)
    • The Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri is sending hundreds of backpacks with school supplies for Houston students.

    Miami- Dade County Public Schools
    • Miami-Dade County Public Schools is sending children's clothes and school supplies. And building inspectors are standing by.

    Milwaukee Public Schools:
    • Milwaukee Public Schools has been promoting donations to the HISD Foundation, and posted a blog from the superintendent encouraging people to support HISD through donations to the foundation or by sending supplies and clothing. The district is also going to hold a clothing and supply drive, starting today through the end of next week.

    Norfolk Public Schools:
    • Norfolk Public Schools will send 200 backpacks with supplies to Houston. Also, one of the district’s high schools, Booker T. Washington, will collect toiletry items at every home game this football season to send to displaced residents.

    Oklahoma City Public Schools

    • Oklahoma City Public Schools has sent information to its staff and social-media sites to consider donating to Houston’s HISD Foundation. The district is also available to accept students relocating to Oklahoma City from southern Texas.

    San Antonio Independent School District:
    • San Antonio ISD is welcoming students displaced by the hurricane, and students may register immediately in any of the district’s schools.

    San Diego Unified School District:
    • San Diego Unified School District is asking San Diegans to send donations of clothing of all sizes, school uniforms, and school supplies to aid the Houston Independent School District.

    St. Paul Public Schools
    • St. Paul Public Schools is sending an all-staff message today to suggest that employees make donations to disaster relief sites to help displaced Houston families, or that schools handle the collection/sending of donations.

    Many other big-city school districts, including Los Angeles, Broward County (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Denver, Nashville and Palm Beach, have also responded to the Council of the Great City Schools, and are providing information on their district websites encouraging support for the Houston Independent School District.

    The Council will continue to update information from urban school districts supporting the Houston school system.