While the beginning of the new school year is usually a time of boundless enthusiasm and limitless excitement, I am saddened, as you are, that the start of 2017-2018 has been so uncharacteristically challenging for the many, many districts impacted by the recent Hurricane Harvey. Harvey’s historic level of rainfall, and the resulting widespread devastation, is nothing less than heartbreaking. The severity of the disastrous weather, and subsequent flooding, has left countless people in desperate need. The time it will take to repair and rebuild, seems almost incomprehensible.
While many districts along the Texas coast face closures for days or weeks to come, some have already posted uplifting responses on social media regarding their immense gratitude for the continued and generous support they are receiving from surrounding communities. The optimism expressed by these cities – communities that directly faced such unforgiving circumstances – is inspiring and encouraging. I have no doubt that these compromised communities will indeed rebuild and their schools will reopen soon, thanks to the assistance of educators like you.
I am inspired and moved by incoming news of the numerous school districts around the state that are providing substantial support to hurricane survivors. Countless Texas schools are raising funds, gathering food and supplies, and volunteering to assist hurricane survivors and their ravaged cities – proving once again how our schools serve as pillars of leadership, community and charity.
Know that Texas ASCD is thinking of you and your community!
Yolanda M. Rey, Ph.D.