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Houston-Area School Reopening Plans

The safe reopening of Houston area schools is critical to our region’s ongoing economic recovery. Parents and their employers need to have a clear sense of when school districts will begin offering in-person instruction to effectively make their own plans. That said, the health and safety of our children, teachers and staff should be the paramount concern. The Partnership has compiled the reopening plans of area districts to help companies in the region make informed decisions.

District Breakdown

Houston area independent school districts have developed plans around virtual and in-person instruction based on the situation in their particular part of the region. Plans will likely be adjusted week to week. The Partnership will maintain and update this spreadsheet as new information becomes available. Last reviewed on October 6. 

District Reopening Plans

COVID-19 Business Forum: Regional Back to School Update

Equitable access to connectivity and ensuring students receive school meals are two of several priorities greater Houston education leaders are incorporating into plans for the upcoming school year. The Partnership hosted a webinar on school reopening plans held on July 29 featuring Dr. Rodney Watson, Superintendent of Spring Independent School District, and Dr. Pam Wells, Executive Director of Region 4 Education Service Center.

Media Articles and Other Reports on School Reopening

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Digital Technology

Rice’s D2K Lab Offers Companies Free Data Science Assistance

3/3/21
Businesses and organizations in the Houston region looking to better understand their data to help make smarter decisions have a resource at Rice University.  Rice’s Center for Transforming Data to Knowledge, or D2K Lab, offers a weekly Data Science Consulting Clinic where organizations can get advice on how to collect, analyze and use their business data to plan for the future. It’s just one of the offerings of the Center, which also manages a capstone program that helps companies and large institutions like Texas Medical Center run big data projects over the course of a semester or year.  “These programs offer our students an opportunity to work with real world data science challenges while at the same time helping our partners leverage our student talent, as well as computational and machine learning capabilities, to find the solutions they need,” said Jennifer Sanders, program administrator for the D2K Lab. “Our Consulting Clinic is great because it’s free, it’s open to the public and it gives organizations and companies ideas on how to start to look at this data they have in new and useful ways.”  Client organizations can schedule a virtual appointment with students and faculty in the Clinic each Monday between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Students use this time to understand the challenges and objectives of the organization and then take the remainder of the week to develop a plan for the client to collect and use the data they need. Clients even get an additional free consultation with their team to help analyze the data they begin to collect. For example, a restaurant manager wanting to project his maintenance costs in the year ahead could work with clinic students to develop a statistical model analyzing previous costs and making projections to assist with the restaurant’s overall budget.  Before COVID-19, the clinic was a drop-in offering for organizations who were able to visit the Rice campus. Now that it’s gone virtual, the clinic’s reach has expanded to more organizations across the metro area, Sanders said.  The clinic has assisted more than 100 different organizations over the last two years, and more are learning about the opportunity each week.  “This work gives our students the experience of working on teams, presenting their findings—all of the things that make them a better professional,” said Shanna Jin, communications specialist with the D2K Lab. “What we’re really doing is training the next generation of real-world problem solvers.”  The information and data shared with the Lab is protected under sponsored research agreements signed with each client organization.   Learn more about the program and schedule an appointment at the clinic. 
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Digital Technology

Texas Led Nation in Economic Development Wins in 2020, According to Site Selection

3/1/21
Texas continues to dominate the nation when it comes to total economic development project wins, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lone Star State took the top spot for the ninth year in a row on Site Selection Magazine’s list of best performing states for economic development by total number of projects. That’s earned Texas the publication’s Governor’s Cup award once again.  Texas logged 781 projects in 2020, down from 859 qualifying projects the year before but still more than any other state as the U.S. grappled with the effects of the pandemic.  Ohio took the top spot on Site Selection’s list of most projects per capita.  According to Site Selection: “Both Ohio and Texas have diverse economies, as do the other high-ranking states, so that was a factor in their capital investment success. All states benefited from a strong national economy heading into 2020 — until COVID-19 slammed the brakes on their momentum. Economic development agendas turned to business recovery and assistance, and suddenly governors were seen leading daily pandemic updates and determining to what extent they would remain open for business.”  Texas Governor Greg Abbott told the magazine that all metrics are now moving in the right direction in terms of the state’s economic recovery. The Governor pointed to the drop in new cases and hospitalizations as well as other positive indicators. “We undertook a number of measures that were focused on trying to maximize businesses being allowed to remain open and operate safely and to minimize any type of shutdown,” Abbott told Site Selection, “and find the right blend of that and maximum public safety. We focused on keeping businesses open as much as possible and providing them the guidance and the tools, meaning we were able to surge testing supplies through chambers of commerce to help businesses be able to test employees, for example.”  Abbott said businesses use challenging periods like this one as an opportunity to chart their paths forward. “That’s something we saw from the phone calls we got during the course of the pandemic this past year — businesses wanting to either come to Texas or grow in Texas and using this time as an opportunity to do those expansions. What they see in Texas is extremely promising, and I believe our economy will be booming the latter part of this year and next year.” Houston specifically had a strong year in economic development, as well. In November, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced plans to move its headquarters from California to North Harris County, giving the region yet another Fortune 500 company. A month later, Axiom Space said it would build the world's first commercial space station at the Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport. That project is expected to bring 1,000 jobs to the area. Greentown Labs, Amazon and Google Inc. all announced projects earlier in the year. View other significant economic development projects in this region here.    Learn more about Site Selection's Governor's Cup lists and the publication's methodology and discover why companies across the country and around the world are considering Houston. 
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