School Closure/
Start Information

School Closure/Start Information

The school is closed from Monday, August 28 through Monday, September 4.

Tuesday, September 5: Staff in-service day
Wednesday, September 6: High School and Middle School begin
Monday, September 11: Elementary begins
Tuesday, September 12: Returning Primary students begin

Wednesday, September 13: Full-Day YCC classes begin
Thursday, September 14: New Primary students begin


Below are letters from Head of School Maura Joyce:


Friday, September 8

Dear Primary Families,

I am writing to you while volunteers arrive to help us begin the process of moving furniture into the gym to create the Primary environment for your students. With all of this help today and over the weekend, we anticipate opening the Primary classes next week as planned.

Returning students will begin on Tuesday, September 12, and new students will begin on Thursday, September 14.

Look for an email from the Primary teachers with details about this temporary arrangement of the classes and all you need to know about the start of school. We appreciate how patient and flexible everyone has been in the aftermath of Harvey. We are excited to have your children at Post Oak.

Thank you for your support!

Maura Joyce
Head of School


Thursday, September 7

Dear Post Oak Families,

Thanks to those who showed up to help move items to the Elementary classrooms at Episcopal High School today. It is taking shape over there, but we have much more work to do. Thanks in advance to those of you who will be on hand to help tomorrow and Saturday too (look for an email this evening with volunteer opportunities)!

I have a few updates for all of you as we manage through this month of temporary changes:

Elementary Classes
We are on track to open up all seven Elementary classes Monday, September 11. Instructions for arrival/dismissal and before and after-care will be sent to you via email this weekend.

Primary and FDYCC Classes
Please look for an email tomorrow with an update on Primary and FDYCC opening schedules.

Bearkats Athletics
All Bearkats practices will begin Monday, September 11, 2017:

  • Cross Country
    • High School runners meet at the High School building at 6:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday.
    • Middle School runners meet at the Bissonnet Campus at 7:00 a.m.
  • Flag Football
    • Middle and High School players meet at Feld Park at 4:00 p.m.
    • The shuttle leaves MDC promptly at 3:35 p.m. HS students must sign up for the shuttle.
  • Volleyball—NOTE new location and time
    • We received a generous offer from Presbyterian School to use their gym. Presbyterian is located half a mile from the Museum District Campus. This allows us to keep the girls practicing the next few weeks while our Bissonnet gym is used for classes.
    • Middle and High School girls volleyball will practice at Presbyterian School 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Players are welcome to remain at school and walk over to Presbyterian with the coaches for practice.
    • We are not able to provide a shuttle back to the Bissonnet Campus. Players must be picked up at Presbyterian after practice. The players will enter and exit the building on Oakdale street (Lancaster entrance).

    ASEP Classes

    • Please look for an updated ASEP class schedule from Miriam Winton. With our limited space, we will not be able to start all of our classes. However, many of them can begin, and others will be postponed until we are back in our building.
    • ASEP classes will begin the week of September 18.

    Parent Orientations

    • Middle School Orientation will take place Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m.
    • Elementary Orientation will take place in a few weeks, once the classes get settled into their new locations.
    • Primary, YCC, and PHE Orientations will be postponed until those classes are back in their spaces.

    POPA Welcome Dinner
    Originally scheduled for this Tuesday, 9/12, at the Omni, we have rescheduled the date and the location since the Omni was heavily impacted by the flood. Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, October 10 at Rice’s Faculty Club. Look for details in an email tomorrow.

    Thank you for your continued support!

    Maura Joyce
    Head of School


    Tuesday, September 5

    Dear Post Oak Families,

    Today the Post Oak staff reconnected to share their experiences of the last week and to prepare for your children and young adults to return to school. We were lucky to be led by Lori Scovill and Rebecca Smith, our two school counselors. They guided us through the process of recognizing our reactions to Harvey and its aftermath, and provided resources for working with students. I wanted to share these same resources with you, as you navigate feelings and thoughts about this natural disaster with your children at home. You can find them here.

    Update on the Bissonnet Campus:

    Walls are dry, and sheetrock is beginning to go in. We hope to have the big Servpro trucks and dumpsters leaving the campus by the week’s end. This will help us with all of our moving around: Elementary to Episcopal High School, Primary to our gym, and YCC to Studio June. We have come a long way in eight days. We have a slide show to share with you that takes you from the flood waters of last Sunday to Labor Day. Click here to see the slide show.

    Middle School and High School get started tomorrow, and later this week, I look forward to communicating with you about several things:

    • How you can help with the big move
    • Bearkats schedule
    • ASEP classes
    • Rescheduling of classroom orientations and other parent events

    Thank you for your continued support!

    Maura Joyce
    Head of School


    Saturday, September 2

    Dear Post Oak Families,

    Elementary, Primary, and YCC families were contacted yesterday via email or phone to discuss the plan of action for getting our Post Oak students back to school. I want to make sure everyone in the community is brought up to date:

    High School and Middle School will begin on their campus Wednesday, September 6.

    Elementary classes will begin the week of September 11.

    • Elementary classrooms affected by the flood will be relocated to Episcopal High School. EHS’s generous offer of classrooms for the next several weeks will house Mr. Pinto, Mrs. Sood, Mrs. Olitzki, Ms. Mistretta, and Mrs. Taj and their students. (The upstairs classes of Mrs. Pinto and Mrs. Nickerson will continue to function at Bissonnet.)

    Primary classes will begin the week of September 11.

    • All six Primary classes and Primary Home Environment will be set up in our gym.

    Full-Day YCC will begin the week of September 11.

    • Full-Day YCC will relocate to Studio June in Bellaire.
    • Sadly, we were not able to find an alternative space for our Half-Day YCC children. They will return when the school construction is complete. These rooms are our highest priority. It breaks our hearts to delay the start for these precious members of our community.

    Please be on the lookout for more emails with additional details about the start of school. We will run the Museum District Campus shuttle beginning Wednesday, but are still arranging for Bearkats and ASEP. Please be patient with us as we figure out these details.

    We are so fortunate to have worked out a plan for such a large number of our students, and now we have a lot of work to do. Moving these programs to new locations and setting up the classrooms is a herculean task, and we will really need your help.

    As we navigate next week, we know that we will be hauling a lot of furniture and materials. We will give a shout once we need help. We trust many will be ready with that same energy we have witnessed all week in helping those in our community.

    Thank you for your continued support as we all adjust to life after Harvey.

    Maura Joyce
    Head of School


    Friday, September 1

    Dear Post Oak Families,

    Maria Montessori’s birthday came and went yesterday, August 31. Her life’s work was dedicated to the betterment of humanity, one child at a time. As I witness the magnitude of heroic efforts by the people of Houston, I think of her and know that this was her goal: creating a pathway for children to become compassionate, community-oriented adults.

    Yesterday was a very busy day for all of us on the admin team as we continued to grapple with the logistics around our soggy Bissonnet Campus and the start of school.

    Some things we know:

    • The Bissonnet Campus will be under repair for the next four weeks. Rooms will begin to be accessible a few at a time. This makes the roll out of school tricky, but not impossible.
    • Tuesday, September 5, will be a staff in-service day. We need to gather as a staff, assess who of us needs help, and prepare ourselves as adults to open the doors to the students, some of whom have been through a very difficult week.
    • High School and Middle School will begin on Wednesday, September 6.
    • Elementary, Primary, and YCC classes will begin the week of September 11. Please look for a separate email tomorrow from Elementary Director Jeff Schneider and Early Childhood Director Mirani Smith outlining the plan for these classes, including location and start dates.
    • Many staff, students, and their families were deeply affected by the flood. Not everyone in our community is in a position to return to school/work. We will need to continue to support them as the weeks progress.

    Some things we don’t know:

    • Decisions about ASEP classes, after-care, and Bearkats are still in flux. We will roll out information as soon as we get it.
    • Parent and community events, like the classroom orientations, will be rearranged, but that will take a bit more time to figure out.
    • Our Annual POPA Welcome Dinner originally scheduled for 9/12 will be rescheduled to a later date.

    Moving forward:
    I know many of you are ready to have your children back to school and your lives back to “normal.” We want the same and will do what we can. Each day brings more questions, more solutions, and new challenges. I also know there may be about a million questions running through your head. Mine too! We will answer them as quickly as possible, but we are following the wise advice shared by HISD District Superintendent Richard Carranza in his interview Wednesday:

    • Accept that things will be chaotic for a long time.
    • Do as much good for as many children as possible to the best of your ability.

    We truly appreciate your patience as well as your support of the Post Oak community.

    Maura Joyce
    Head of School


    Wednesday, August 30

    Dear Post Oak Families,


    It was so wonderful to see many of you at the Museum District Campus Harvey Relief drive today. Wow! What a wonderful response to POPA’s call to action. As a community, we helped fill many boxes of donations to the Salvation Army shelter on McGowan. This work continues―please look for another email from POPA Co-Chair Nicole Pedersen about what is needed for tomorrow.

    Reminder: If YOU need help or can help others in our community and haven’t yet let us know, please email, and we will connect you.


    Today, several of us on the administrative team spent time at the Bissonnet Campus assessing the extent of the water we took in and the work that needs to be done.

    Here is the good news:

    • The water receded quickly, so drying out should take days not weeks.
    • The floors are in great shape. This is very important as flood restoration often involves floor replacement. Our classroom floors only need to be professionally sanitized. Office carpet will need to be replaced.
    • We had a crew on site today, the first non-rainy day since the flood and we are way ahead of the game in getting someone to take care of our school.
    • Our preparation last Friday was excellent—all of our materials and books are safe and usable.
    • The gym (rubber floor and concrete walls) and gym bathrooms (tile floors and baseboards) are in great shape and need very little remediation. Upstairs, of course, was not touched by water.

    Here is the challenging news:

    • The water made its way into every single downstairs classroom. Drying out requires that all of the sheetrock is cut out, 24 inches up from the floor.
    • In order to dry the walls and clean the floors, the classrooms have to be packed up and when finished, re-set for the students.

    I have some important meetings and calls tomorrow with our insurance adjustor and contractors before I will know which parts of the building may be usable by Tuesday, Sept. 5, and how to roll out opening school on both campuses. Additionally, I am in contact with ISD superintendents and heads of private schools to know their plans for next week.

    We have a massive effort going on—our remediation company will have over 50 people working tomorrow on campus. We are optimistic yet realistic about what we can do and will keep you informed along the way, but we must take it one day at a time at this point. I appreciate your patience with us as we piece together this puzzle.

    As we remain closed this week, I just want to remind everyone that all activities and events on our calendar are canceled as well.

    Thank you,
    Maura Joyce
    Head of School


    Dear Post Oak Families,

    Thank you to everyone who donated supplies and helped sort and deliver them today. The outpouring of support was incredible, and I am humbled by our community's generosity. We filled up our entire school bus with donations.

    Given the huge success of today's event, we've decided to do it again tomorrow. The shelters don't need much more, but there are other organizations that need our help. This time, we will collect:

    For Shelters:

    • Toiletries (in particular men's razors, mouthwash, and shaving cream)

    For Casa Juan Diego:

    • Coffee
    • Baby formula
    • Tuna
    • Canned Tomato Sauce
    • Pasta
    • Canned Vegetables
    • Sugar
    • Oil
    • Adult Diapers
    • Adult Wipes
    • Underpads
    • Bug Spray
    • Clorox Wipes
    • Toilet Tissue
    • Air mattresses

    We'll be collecting and sorting again from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow at the Museum District Campus (1010 Autrey). We also need people to help deliver the items. If you have a truck or large SUV, please let me know if you are able to help deliver.

    I'll be organizing volunteer opportunities into the next few months, at least, to help those impacted by the hurricane. If you have an idea or know of a group that needs our help, please contact me. Thanks to Erin Busby for the idea of helping Casa Juan Diego.

    All the best,
    Nicole Pedersen
    POPA Co-Chair


    Tuesday, August 29

    Dear Post Oak Families,

    The Post Oak administrative team has been meeting daily via web conference to check in about the status of families, staff, and our buildings. We are all looking forward to the rain stopping sometime in the next few days.

    A few updates for you regarding the buildings and our community:

    • The Museum District Campus buildings are still dry and in great shape. The water has drained really well in that area of town and it looks as if it has only been through a slow, soaking rain.
    • The Bissonnet Campus building took on some water, but it drained quickly. We have already filed an insurance claim, hired a cleanup and restoration company, and the abatement process begins tomorrow morning. Drying out takes some time, but we are ahead of the game at this point. The administrative offices present the most challenge as they are all carpeted. Classrooms will be much quicker.
    • I am happy to say that Mr. Schneider was able to go into the building and check on all of the classroom animals. They are fed and doing well! Please share this information with your children.

    I know that students are asking about the school and when they get to go back. I want you to reassure them that school will begin just as soon as it can. I have been in regular communication with the heads of several of the private schools in Houston, as well as an HISD superintendent. We are collectively talking about our communities of families and staff. We are all committed to returning to “normal” life just as quickly as possible. Post Oak, along with all schools in Houston, needs to make sure that our faculty and staff can make it to school and that our families can reach our campuses safely. We are monitoring this daily to see how quickly Houston gets back on its feet and how quickly we can open school.

    In the meantime, there are many, many Houstonians with great needs right now. Here are ways we are helping our community both in and outside of Post Oak:

    • We have been keeping track of those families and staff members who have been affected and are sending them a direct email today to ask what they need. If you need assistance and haven’t done so already, please contact your division director.
    • Division directors continue to be a resource for you. Please reach out to them if you have questions about how to talk to your children regarding Harvey, the school, pets at the school, etc.
    • We have been keeping track of those of you who have offered your homes, your skills, and any items that our families may need. We will connect you to those who need you!
    • As the Museum District Campus is in good shape, and there is another shelter opening up tomorrow morning in that neighborhood, we are going to be collecting items to help the new shelter. If you can safely get out of your house and you have items to donate, please come join us in helping our fellow Houstonians! Please look for an email from our Post Oak Parent Association (POPA) volunteers with the details.

    I look forward to drier days ahead!

    Thank you,

    Maura Joyce
    Head of School


    Monday, August 28

    Dear Post Oak Families,

    We hope that you are all safe and faring well on our third day of rain and flooding. We know that individual situations are changing rapidly as the rain keeps coming down and moving water out of the waterways. Please continue to be safe!

    Thanks to all of you who were able to check in with the division directors yesterday. We are gathering the information so that we can identify those who need help and those who have offered help. Please keep us updated on your status! You can continue to email your division director or you can connect on Facebook. Many thanks to the Yoo and Moudry families for creating a Facebook group to communicate statuses and find ways to connect. If you’d like to join that group, please use this link to request access.

    Also, the following are some links we thought might be useful:

    If you need assistance:

    If your house is damaged—new regulation regarding insurance claims:

    If you want to help:

    As mentioned yesterday, our current plan is to reopen both campuses on Tuesday, September 5. The school closure until that time also includes cancellation of all meetings, events, and after school activities.

    Continuing to wish for a break in the weather and a safe passage through this crisis in Houston.

    Thank you,

    Maura Joyce
    Head of School


    Sunday, August 27, 2017

    Dear Parents,

    For the safety of our students, families, faculty, and staff, both campuses of The Post Oak School will be closed this week due to the extreme flooding in our area. We will be in touch through email, Facebook, Twitter, and the website this week to provide updates. We plan to reopen on Tuesday, September 5, when we are confident the buildings and grounds are safe for students, and that families can travel safely to and from school.

    The Museum District Campus buildings are dry so far, as that neighborhood has been draining well. There is some water in the Bissonnet Campus building, which will need to be addressed.

    Please check in with us! We already are aware of members of our community who need our support, and in the coming days, we will no doubt have more. Please let us know whether you are ok, or if you need our help. Look for an email from your division directors and please respond to them about your status.

    Wishing all of us a break from the rain and a safe passage through this crisis in Houston.

    Thank you,

    Maura Joyce
    Head of School


    Please note: this closure includes all meetings along with all afterschool events and activities.