SOUTHEAST TEXAS — UPDATE:
The Beaumont Independent School District announced it plans to reopen schools Monday, Sept. 11.
The Lumberton Independent School District will do the same.
West Hardin County Schools will be closed UNTIL MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 due to the effects of the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. We will reassess our situation on Friday, September 8th and release another update Friday afternoon. Please continue to monitor the District website (westhardin.org), Facebook page (@WestHardinCCISD), Twitter feed (@whccisd), and the local news outlets for updates.
FROM LAMAR UNIVERSITY:
Lamar University’s Fall 2017 semester, which was to have begun last week, will begin Tuesday, Sept. 5, using a hybrid face-to-face and online model, administrators announced.
With the Southeast Texas region still reeling from the unprecedented rainfall and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, kicking off the semester presents challenges for faculty and supporting staff also affected.
“We know it is no small feat for our faculty, or for our students, to begin to focus on resuming studies,” said Provost Jim Marquart, “but it is imperative that we begin the semester now to ensure students keep their educational goals on track.”
“I am encouraged by the dedication of our faculty, many of whom, despite tremendous hardships, are preparing to return to their classrooms or computers to engage with our students in the magic of learning,” Marquart said.
A number of classes will meet on campus as they normally do, but will also provide concurrent instruction via the University’s BlackBoard online learning system to a number of students. This hybrid model will enable students without transportation, or who have been displaced, to continue their course work.
“We may have instances where the courses that were formerly face-to-face will be entirely online,” Marquart said.
Already a national leader in online education, the transition will be rapid and second nature to most faculty at Lamar University, he said. A large number of LU’s residential students already have experience taking classes using BlackBoard, so few problems are anticipated.
The university is notifying students with specific instructions on how to begin classes using BlackBoard if they chose that option over attendance in the classroom, Marquart said.
“Our students’ educational well-being is our primary concern despite these challenging circumstances,” Marquart said.
For more information, visit lamar.edu.
Lamar University students who where sheltered from the storm in its Cardinal Village residence halls were presented with three options in an assembly today, the result of the loss of water service in the city of Beaumont.
Without water service, LU can’t continue to provide services for the 1,200 of students currently living on campus, officials said.
“Losing water services in the City of Beaumont has presented the university with a tremendous problem in providing ongoing support for the large number of residential students,” said LU President Ken Evans. LU is providing opportunity for students to return home and continue their studies online, or stay on campus as the university makes accommodations despite the challenges.
“We’ve been able to meet their immediate needs for the short term, but will not be able to do so for the large number of students as long as it may take for the city to restore its water services.”
During the period before, during and following the storm, LU was able to provide some activities and keep students safe, officials said.
“We have electricity, a good supply of drinking water, air conditioning, a dry place to sleep, Internet access, security, emergency medical care, and even dry ground,” said Evans. “It’s really something after everything going on in our surrounding communities, but we can’t sustain at this level for the duration that we anticipate the city will be without water.”
LU administrators presented students with three options, Evans said. Students with personal vehicles and a place to go that would provide for their needs will be provided up-to-date information on routes of travel that are open.
Students without cars would be provided transportation to temporary shelter at Stephen F. Austin State University, but would need to arrange transportation from there to their destination.
And thirdly, students who chose to remain on campus can do so, and the university will continue to provide for their needs as well, while also providing programming that will include service to the community in the wake of Harvey. For students who choose to remain on campus, the Sheila Umphrey Recreation Center will open, the Mary and John Gray Library will open and the dining service will provide meals three times each day, said Vicki McNeil, vice president for student engagement.
Great credit goes to the handful of staff members who have worked around the clock providing services for students who remained in Cardinal Village prior to, during and after the passing of Tropical Storm Harvey, Evans said.
A number of students pitched in to help meet the needs of Southeast Texas citizens who found themselves suddenly without homes and in need of shelter.
“We have been impressed with our resident students, especially with their eagerness to help out with meeting the needs of the many displaced persons who ended up in temporary shelter at the Montagne Center,” Evans said. “These are great young people and we are proud to call them Cardinals.”
The University is on track to begin classes Tuesday, Sept. 5, officials said. Some classes will meet face-to-face on campus, but will be available concurrently online through the university’s Blackboard system.
“There are tremendous challenges for our students, and also for our faculty, many of whom have been impacted by the unprecedented flooding,” said LU Provost Jim Marquart. “Working together we’ve established a way begin the semester and for our students to continue toward their educational goals.”
We are doing everything we can to make this environment safe, secure and vibrant,” Evans said. “As we start a new semester, we do so with a renewed sense of purpose, a community spirit, and a willingness to work together and help one another.”
All Orange County and schools will be closed until after Labor Day.
Hamshire-Fannett, Hardin-Jefferson, Beaumont, Colmesneil, and Lumberton ISD's will all be closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5., along with Lamar campuses.
The following schools have notified Region 5 that they will be closed Tuesday.
Beaumont (closed through Thursday, Aug. 31)
Orangefield (closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5)
West Orange-Cove (closed through Labor Day, until Tuesday, Sept. 5)
Bridge City (closed until Sept. 5)
Vidor (closed until Sept. 5)
Little Cypress Mauriceville (closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5)
East Chambers (closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5)
Bob Hope School
Diocese of Beaumont
Silsbee (closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5)
Hamshire-Fannett (closed until Tuesday. Sept. 5)
Lumberton (closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5)
Port Arthur (closed until after Labor Day)
Port Neches-Groves (closed through Wednesday)
Nederland (closed until after Labor Day)
Anahuac (closed until after Labor Day)
Chester ISD will be closed the remainder of the week and all athletic events for this week have been cancelled. Classes resume after Labor Day.
West Hardin County schools will be closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Burkeville Independent School District, after collaboration with all Jasper/Newton County School districts and Region 5 Educational Service Center, has decided, in the best interest of student and staff safety, to cancel school until September 5, 2017 due to Harvey.
Shorkey Education & Rehabilitation Center in Beaumont will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday (Aug. 29 and Aug. 30)
Lamar University is postponing the opening of the fall semester until Tuesday, Sept. 5.
From the university:
LU administrators have been monitoring Tropical Storm Harvey and its impact on Southeast Texas and working with local and state public safety services. Throughout this morning and afternoon there have been numerous reports of mandatory evacuations, delayed school openings in the Beaumont and surrounding areas, roadways that have become impassable and students, faculty and staff who are without services. The only reasonable and humane decision in light of these reports is to delay the start of classes until Tuesday, Sept. 5. All of those affected by this historic storm have our sympathy and support. We encourage all who are able, to do what they can to help others recover from this unprecedented event.
University business operations will also resume on September 5. Faculty and nonessential staff will not report to work until that day. Essential staff may be required to report sooner and will be contacted by their supervisors if necessary. Employees with hardships that prevent them from reporting should communicate with their supervisors.
The extreme activity and unprecedented difference between actual and forecast effect of Tropical Storm Harvey is challenging to all involved. Please be assured that the university is committed to the safety and well-being of the members of the Lamar University community.
As further developments arise, students, faculty and staff should monitor the university’s website, social media network and Connect-ED for further updates. All are urged to check local roadway and weather conditions to ensure personal safety while traveling.
Lamar University classes scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 30 have been canceled. This cancellation is in addition to those announced for Monday and Tuesday. University business operations will resume at noon on Wednesday, August 30. Faculty and staff are to report to work at noon on Wednesday to prepare for the first day of classes. Students, faculty and staff should monitor the university’s website, social media network and Connect-ED for further updates. All are urged to check local roadway and weather conditions to ensure personal safety while traveling. Lamar University administrators and the incident command team are continually assessing the situation with state and local public safety authorities. These changes are in response to the extreme and unprecedented variance in the forecast and actual activity of Tropical Storm Harvey. At this time, the Beaumont area is expected to receive heavy rain tonight and tomorrow. Rainfall is forecast to taper off during Wednesday morning.
LAMAR INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Lamar Institute of Technology will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 29.
School is closed Tuesday and Wednesay. School officials will monitor the situation to see if further action should be taken.
LAMAR STATE COLLEGE ORANGE
LAMAR STATE COLLEGE PORT ARTHUR
Ehrhart School will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 29.
BOB HOPE SCHOOLS
Bob Hope campuses (elementary and middle/high school) and The Hebert Adult Day Care Center will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 30.
Closed until after Labor Day.