HISD trustees heard a detailed update Thursday of dozens of new laws from the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature, but the focus was on one new measure – House Bill 5 – that will make huge changes in Texas graduation requirements beginning with current ninth- and 10th-graders.
The session was presented by HISD counsel David Thompson, who serves as one of the district’s legislative liaisons.
HB 5 reduces the number of STAAR end-of-course exams that must be passed for graduation from 15 to 5 and requires students to select a personal graduation plan between a basic “foundation” course of study and a more rigorous “distinguished” diploma that increases their chances for admission to four-year Texas public universities and state grants.
Playing, singing or writing music, creating artwork, and cooking aren’t just fun and life-enriching – the fine arts can turn into careers, too.
That’s been the message all week at Poe ES, a fine arts magnet school, where the PTO is sponsoring a Fine Arts Career Week through Friday, bringing in working artists from the community to give youngsters a chance to try everything firsthand, from woodworking to crepe-making.
Seven-venue event combines hoops with holiday giving
Michael Sudhalter photo/The Leader News
The Houston area’s best girls basketball players will face off at seven HISD venues December 5-7 in the 30th annual Houston ISD Basketball Tournament – combining action on the courts with a giant food and toy drive, in the spirit of the holiday season.
The National Wildlife Federation is hosting a workshop on Saturday, Dec. 14, for middle school science teachers to provide them with tools to launch a student-based energy efficiency program to make their school more sustainable and to get students more engaged in STEM. Continue reading →
A new team approach – blending classroom learning with home support — is revolutionizing teacher-parent conferences in an HISD pilot program.
Centered on “Academic Parent-Teacher Teams,” the approach being tried at eight schools brings in groups of parents to meet with their child’s teacher three times a year. Instead of merely walking out with a report card, these parents know where their youngster stands in relation to the rest of the class – and take with them important tools to help support in the home what’s being taught in the classroom.
In his fifth season with Reagan HS, Coach Stephen Dixon led the Bulldogs to 10 wins and their first district title in 54 years. He’s a finalist for the Touchdown Club’s Coach of the Year award for his achievements. (Photo by Michael Sudhalter/The Leader News)
Stephen Dixon, who led the Reagan Bulldogs to their first district football title in 54 years, has been named one of 10 finalists in the Touchdown Club’s Houston-area Coach of the Year race.
Dixon has coached at Reagan for four seasons, steadily building his team into a contender that won 10 games in its historic run this season and made it to the second round of the UIL Class 4A playoffs.
Meeting will focus on schedule, site needs and next steps for project
What: Community meeting to discuss the upcoming project to relocate and rebuild the High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice. The meeting will discuss the project schedule and site considerations, as well as the next steps for creating a 21st century facility.
Who: High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Principal Carol Mosteit, HISD administrators and Project Advisory Team members
When:Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Auditorium at the High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice, 4701 Dickson
Teachers at the schools involved in the district’s one-to-one initiative aren’t waiting until January, when nearly 18,000 students will be assigned their own laptops, to start using digital resources in their classrooms. Instead, many teachers at the 11 pilot schools in PowerUp are already integrating web 2.0 tools they have been learning at recent training sessions.
Imagine a school where students can write and do Google searches on the walls of their classroom.
“How wonderful would it be for kids to have access to this kind of technology on their classroom wall?” said Furr High School Principal Bertie Simmons. “You can write on it. You can search the Internet with it. It’s just a really neat and innovative way to teach a class.”
Some classroom walls in HISD’s newest campuses may be getting an upgrade with modular magnetic glass walls created by DIRTT (Doing It Right This Time) Environmental Solutions. The company, based in Calgary, Alberta, manufactures the walls, which are attracting attention as schools embrace 21st century learning environments.
Separate lists provided for boys’ and girls’ most desired gifts
Every year, HISD’s Longfellow Elementary students take it upon themselves to find the top gifts for children to help parents tackle their holiday shopping. Today, after more than a month of research, the fifth-grade students revealed this year’s top 10 most-wanted holiday gifts for boys and girls.
“My favorite part about the toy survey was working in teams,” said fifth-grader Dasani Godfrey. “We got together and came up with the different toys we thought students would want for the holidays.”
Johnston is the first from the Houston area to be so honored
Johnston Middle School’s Sinfonia orchestra will be heading to Carnegie Hall next April, thanks to a stellar performance at a National Orchestra Honors competition this spring and the encouragement of an internationally acclaimed conductor.
The orchestra was named one of three national winners in the “middle school strings” category of the contest held in May of 2013 after submitting recordings of two of its performances for judging.
Lamar HS will face Pearland at 1 p.m. Friday in the regional round of the UIL 5A Division football championships after blanking Alief-Taylor’s powerful offense Saturday, 36-0. Go to the Houston Chronicle’s website for an account of the game.
Lists to be released just in time for holiday shopping
What: For the fourth consecutive year, fifth-grade students at Longfellow Elementary School will host a press conference to release their top toys for children this holiday season based on the results of their surveys. For more than a month, the students worked in teams to survey classmates in the playgrounds, hallways, and cafeteria and then tallied up the results. Based on their own research, they have determined the most popular toys among young boys and girls that are also cost-effective for parents. In addition to the findings, the students will showcase samples of the top 10 toys for boys and girls, provided by Target.
HISD has selected the 18 high schools whose students will be receiving laptop computers in the 2014-2015 school year in the second phase of PowerUp, the district’s one-to-one digital transformation initiative.
Editor’s note: This profile is part of an occasional series on minority or women-owned companies that do business with HISD. The district’s minimum M/WBE goal levels are 20 percent for all levels of purchasing and construction, and 25 percent for professional services. In the 2007 bond program, that commitment reached nearly 34 percent. In the 2012 program, the contracts awarded to date reflect a nearly 51 percent M/WBE commitment.