School Re-Opening Update

Good Afternoon St. Cecilia Community,
As the city begins to dry out, my heart aches and my prayersgo out to those who are still underwater or displaced from their homes. Today has been declared a National Day of Prayer. Let us all pray that God gives us the strength to overcome our hardships, the energy to continue working together, and the wisdom to lead our families and our communities the best that we can.


During these unprecedented times, information and situations are changing by the minute and our school re-opening will need to adjust due to some new information. Yesterday we learned  that our school may lie in an area that is now under a City of Houston water conservation effort due to the sanitary sewer service being flooded (see here). The map is not clear as the zip code applies to our school location, however, it may be that we are just outside the eastern limit of this order.  We are working on confirmation; if we are inside, it would impact our efforts to maintain sanitary conditions in our school.
We also have many staff members who are displaced or have water in their homes. There are a significant number of staff who live south of Buffalo Bayou and whose travel to school will be greatly impacted by road closures and the traffic around the bayou.  Additionally, we have an estimated 175 families that live south of Buffalo Bayou between Highway 6 and 610, approximately 60% of our families. The updates from the Memorial Villages Police Chief  have gone so far as to suggest we all stay off of the roads, especially between 10:00am and 3:00pm, as much as possible. Finally, we received word of power outages and mandatory evacuations for flooded homes between Highway 6 and Gessner, from Briar Forest to I-10. This too would greatly impact our families and staff.
Therefore, in light of this new information, and after consultation with our school board, we have decided to continue our school policy of following SBISD with respect to school closings and re-open our school on Monday, September 11.
This is a very difficult decision. One that likely has no “right” answer and one that we have not made lightly. While we desperately want to get back to “normal,” for our students and our families, we believe these extra three days may give our families and staff who are most affected by this devastation more time to recover and regroup. We understand there are many who are ready to have their children back at school and begin moving forward. We thank you all for your patience, understanding, and support as we work to do what we believe is best for our entire St. Cecilia Community. We encourage you to take this time to address your needs and the needs of your family and neighbors.  Various efforts are underway to organize the relief and support of our affected families, so look for communications from the school and parish regarding ways to help. I know that when we do return to school we will all be still adjusting to the new normal.
Together, we can help each other overcome these devastation’s and rebuild stronger than ever. Together, we will keep Christ’s light shining for others.


Warm regards and prayers,
+Jeff Matthews
St. Cecilia Catholic School
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