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Halloween activities planned for South Belt kids

Fall has arrived, and with the cooler temperatures comes a variety of local activities for South Belt residents to enjoy.

While many traditional events have been canceled this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, others remain in place, with a few new events also being added.

– The Dobie Theatre Department will host an online haunted house Oct. 27 through Oct. 30. Titled “Escaping BLDG 900,” the four-part miniseries will air at 7 p.m. each night, with repeat showings at 8 and 9 p.m. The virtual event will take viewers through four story lines, as a series of characters try to navigate their way through Dobie Building 900’s twists and turns. Admission is $5 per viewing. To purchase tickets, visit the Dobie Theatre Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dobietheatre.

– The Parker Williams Branch Library will host a virtual costume parade at noon Saturday Oct. 31. Costume photos may be emailed to PW@HCPL.Net. The virtual parade will be featured on Facebook.com/ParkerWilliamsLibrary and Instagram.com/ParkerWilliamsLibrary.

While San Jacinto College South will not hold its traditional Fall Festival this year, the campus will host a drive-in movie event Wednesday, Oct. 28. Films include “Coco” (PG), to be shown at 7:30 p.m. and “Scream” (R), to be shown at 10 p.m. Space will be limited to 63 vehicles, or roughly 200 students at four to six per car.

The function is open to all students and staff and their guests. Due to limited space, all attendees must make reservations on the campus’s social media pages.
The Park at Bay Area assisted living center, 5000 Space Center Blvd. in Pasadena, will host its Trunk-or-Treat event Friday, Oct. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. Masks and social distancing required. Candy donations are currently being accepted. For additional information, call 281-721-2500.

Kindercare, 12002 Beamer Road, will host its drive-by Trunk-or-Treat event Friday, Oct. 30, from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. Parents are asked to pick up children by 6:30 p.m. so the event can start promptly at 6:45 p.m. For additional information, call 281-481-9309.

Scarsdale Family Health Center, 10851 Scarsdale Blvd. Suite 160, will host its Halloween drive-thru Friday, Oct. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. For additional information, call 281-824-1480.

Clear Brook Meadows, along with Legacy Martial Arts, will host a communitywide Trunk-or-Treat event Saturday, Oct. 24, beginning at 6 p.m. Decorated cars are welcome, but decorations are not required.

Cora’s Cottage Care, 10851 Scarsdale Suite 700, will host its Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 31, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event will feature bounce houses, face painting, games and food. Admission is free to families whose children attend Cora’s Cottage Care. All others will be charged $10 per family (up to eight). Costumes are encouraged.

Canceled events
Annual fall/Halloween events canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic include functions normally hosted by the Southeast Volunteer Fire Department, San Jacinto College, Almeda Mall, Crossroads UMC, Stuchbery Elementary, South Belt Elementary and Jessup Elementary.

More students back in school

Several Pasadena ISD students who had originally opted to study from home due to COVID-19 concerns recently returned to their respective campuses after the district’s first grading period was complete, school officials said.

For elementary students, this meant returning Wednesday, Oct. 21, after a nine-week grading period that ended the previous Friday. Students had the following Monday and Tuesday off, while Pasadena ISD staff had two staff development days.

For secondary Pasadena ISD students, the new start date was three weeks earlier, as they follow a six-week grading schedule.

According to district officials, phasing students in between grading periods makes the transition easier for both students and staff. Certain exceptions have been made, however, to allow students to phase in at different stages of the semester, school officials said.

At press time, it was unclear how many new face-to-face students the district would now have. At the beginning of this semester, only around 35 percent of Pasadena ISD students felt safe enough to return to brick-and-mortar learning, opting instead to continue to learn from home.

Thousands of local students and teachers had already returned to in-person instruction Sept. 8, with the number of reported COVID-19 cases being significantly lower than initially feared by many, including no major outbreaks and only three current active cases in the immediate South Belt area.The three active cases include one Dobie Main student and two from the Dobie 9 campus.

At press time Wednesday, Oct. 21, there were 24 known active cases in the Pasadena Independent School District, including 16 staff members and eight students, or roughly 0.04 percent of the school district’s overall population of 50,729 students and 8,101 employees.

Counting those who have recovered from the disease, Pasadena ISD officials report a total of 112 COVID-19 cases this semester, including 72 staff members and 40 students. The statistics include only face-to-face students and those participating in extracurricular activities.

Many community leaders, including longtime Pasadena ISD board member Fred Roberts, feel it is time for most students to now return to campus.

“My feeling is that it’s best for students to be in the classroom. Some students will do fine with virtual, but virtual learning is not the best way to get an education,” Roberts said. “I believe those children are safe in a classroom, especially if they’re wearing masks and social distancing. Our schools are extremely safe. They’re doing everything they can to protect the children.”

 

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