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If Houston’s District Schools Keep Taking the Day Off, Students Will Never Catch Up

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By Danielle Durbin

There have been some good reasons to close schools over the past year—in the early days of the pandemic, for example, or during major weather events like the recent winter storm here in Texas. 

Last week, though, there was no such reason, but the Houston Independent School District (HISD) was closed again anyway. We have reached a point where if HISD feels like closing schools, the district will just go ahead and do it. As a mom of two girls, one in second grade and one in fifth, I was surprised to read a district update saying there would be no school at all on Monday and Tuesday. 

ALSO READ: Community WiFi Launched in Ikoyi-Obalende Local Council Development Area

On Wednesday, my daughters were to log on, independently, to an educational website for one hour—and that would be their full school day. The email from “HISD Academics” said students have the option to “[c]omplete at least one lesson in Imagine Learning (30 min) and one in Imagine Math (30 min). Total: 1 hour.” 

[pullquote]Since when is 30 minutes on a reading website and 30 minutes on a math website, without a teacher, considered school?[/pullquote] Furthermore, why were schools even closed last week in the first place? A district email on Friday, February 19, said that “due to the continued impact that our community has endured” there would be no in-person instruction until today, March 1.

To be sure, the winter storm was very difficult—like so many people, I had no electricity, heat, or water. A pipe burst in my kitchen, causing significant damage. But as is the case for everyone in our community, I’m having to make it work, fitting my personal responsibilities in with my job and the other things in my life. I have some help, and a supportive employer. Not everyone is so fortunate. 

[pullquote position=”right”]How could the district ask families to cope with another week of school closures on top of everything else?[/pullquote] Campuses should be closed when there is an imminent threat to people’s health and safety. That is not what was going on last week. There is no damage to my daughters’ school; the boil water order was lifted two weekends ago; power is back on, and the weather is beautiful. 

Many other Houston-area districts held classes in person last week. And even those that were only virtual still had staff teach remotely. HISD seems to be the only district that came up with a new definition of a school day—not eight hours, just one, and with no teachers. 

Rather than provide in-person instruction or a real virtual learning program, the district seemed to be more concerned about ensuring families understood that logging on for the one hour would be used for attendance—that point was emphasized in multiple emails. I can only assume this is because HISD wants to get “credit” for the day when it reports attendance to the state. 

Does the Texas Education Agency—our state’s department of education—think this is acceptable? 

We are nearly a year into the pandemic, and it has been hard, especially for kids. HISD should be doubling down to help children, given all they have missed. Instead, the district is closing schools casually, thinking we parents will just accept more missed days without any concern for how they affect our kids. 

None of the letters I have received from the district over the past week have acknowledged the toll of these continued disruptions.

We lost last spring. And in the fall, HISD didn’t open classrooms until mid-October. This school year, students have also had to quarantine—rightly so—when there have been suspected COVID exposures. Families understand and accept that protocol because it is part of keeping our community safe. But it is still a hardship. 

Now, two more weeks of interruption.

Even worse, [pullquote]I have seen nothing meaningful from HISD about how the district is planning to help children recover[/pullquote]—even though The Houston Chronicle reported in November that “42 percent of students failed one or more classes in the first marking period, up from about 11 percent in a typical year.” District holidays and teacher work days have continued as usual, and HISD opted not to adopt a longer school year. 

The academic fallout for kids is bad enough—but when school is not in session, many children also struggle with loneliness, hunger and abuse at home. Kids have never needed their schools more. My oldest daughter has an insatiable curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. She took it upon herself to write to our superintendent, Dr. Grenita Lathan, asking her to consider how hard it is for kids to be away from their friends and teachers. 

We all understand there have been legitimate reasons for schools to close. But closures should always be a last resort—only when circumstances truly warrant. I hope HISD will start caring more about serving students than the numbers it reports to the state, and will get serious about helping kids make up for lost time. They will never catch up if HISD keeps taking the day off.

Photo by twenty20photos, EnvatoElements-licensed.

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I Heard He Had His Pu.bic Hairs Put On His Face- 50 Cent Trolls Mayweather’s Hair Again

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GhGossip

When it comes to trolling in the Hip Hop world, no one does it better than Hip Hop legend and business mogul 50 Cent as he is on the ‘neck’ of Floyd Mayweather again with his trolls.

50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson and Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather has been in a very long ‘unsettled’ beef for a very long time now with both successful business men throwing shades at each other with the least opportunity.

But 50 Cent is way above Mayweather in trolls as he mostly makes the Boxing champ always feels uncomfortable on social media. Recall he started trolling Mayweather with his hair when the former welterweight Boxing champion made a public appearance with a heavy mustache could of months ago.

50 Cent in a post on social media posted the photo of his former best friend Mayweather with the heavy mustache trolling him that he took some hair from his ‘a$$’ and implanted it around his mouth.

The television guru couple of months ago wanted to settle the long beef with his former best friend in a boxing match after he threw a challenge to Mayweather of which Mayweather accepted the challenge for the boxing match.

But 50 Cent knowing what he was doing later called off the match 48 hours after Mayweather accepted the match saying the head of the ‘The Money Team’ can’t read two paragraphs of his best New Times Selling Book.

Well 50 Cent is back again trolling Mayweather about his hair when camera captured the Boxing champ with fully grown hair on his head during a pre-match brawl with YouTuber Jack Paul last night.

Floyd like you can’t show people my hair. LOL

WTF going on, on champ head… I heard he had his pubic hairs put on his face. Lol #bransoncognac#lecheminduroi

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Patience Ozokwor, Others React As Aki And Paw Reveals Intentions To Resume Acting Together

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GhGossip

In a post sighted on his Instagram page Osita wrote: “@chineduikedieze How far Edu? Just over here soliloquising. I just they see Dm and old clips everywhere. Guess is time to answer the call of nature and drop something. How you see am?”

Chinedu replied and wrote; @ositalheme, this will be interesting ooo
Should we give them a movie or series?

Guys what do you think?
Should we give you a movie or tv series,
What should we call it?

Celebrities and fans could not hold themselves as they trooped under the comment section to react to the news. Below are some reactions

“@patienceozokwo wrote “Whatever you call it we will watch”

@alexxekubo wrote “Yesssssssss we are ready”

@dilly_cious wrote “They may not look funny again because they look like big rich men now with pot bellies… Not the smallish aki and paw paw we know”

@thevc_store wrote “They are no longer funny now they have grown older cos they now act serious roles. The fun was in their mischievousness as children”

@badgirlsimz wrote “it won’t be interesting”

crazeclown wrote: AHHHHH PLEASEEEEEE I BEG UNA 😢 A MOVIE AND SERIES

adaameh wrote : All join 🙌🙌🔥🔥❤️❤️

aphricanace wrote: Yessooo…movie for sure!!!! We want another classic like 2 rats or aki na ukwa 🔥❤️

realchidimmaaneke wrote: We can’t wait to see you both

amazingklef wrote:A very funny series and movies !

officialowengee wrote: Give us a Movie, whatever name you decide will be good

mary_lazarus wrote: Very nice🙌🙌🙌

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DJ Cuppy slams troll who can’t stand her ‘transition to motherhood’ with puppies

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Celebrity disc jockey, Dj Cuppy savagely responds to a follower who subtly attacked her for showing extra care to her puppies.

The billionaire’s daughter had shared photos of her puppies wrapped in cosy towels as she affirms how the transition to motherhood has touched and made her a softer person.
“Motherhood is already making me a better person… I might even do giveaway soon,” Cuppy wrote while sharing photos of her puppies.

DJ Cuppy slams troll who can't stand her 'transition to motherhood' with puppies

In reaction, a follower expressed exhaustion of the renowned DJ’s act as he blatantly stated that he is so done with her behaviours.

“I cannot stand Cuppy anymore,” he wrote.

DJ Cuppy, however, did not let it cool before savagely firing back by telling the fan to ‘sit down’ since she cannot stand her anymore.

See their exchange below …

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