Wilson Montessori bond construction reaches 75 percent completion

Construction on Wilson Montessori is nearing the homestretch as work on the school’s new thee-story addition reached 75 percent completion this quarter.

The Montrose-area kindergarten through eighth grade school is receiving a $24.7 million makeover as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond program. The project includes construction of a new addition, as well as renovations to the historic facility, which was built in 1924. Continue reading

Board of Education’s updated Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals focus on equity, improving student outcomes

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education recently adopted changes to the District’s Vision and Beliefs, and approved the addition of a Mission, Constraints, and Goal Progress Measures, to serve as the district’s roadmap to success.

“Together, the Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals represent a sharper focus on the very specific steps we as a district must take to improve student outcomes. The trustees on the Board of Education are united in our commitment to ensure that HISD delivers the best possible education equitably to all students in our district,” said HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams.

The Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals reinforce HISD’s commitment to equity, closing the achievement gap, meeting the needs of the whole child, personalizing learning for each individual child, creating safe, joyful learning spaces, retaining qualified and effective personnel, operating with transparency across all departments, and engaging meaningfully with the community in all major decision-making.

The Board’s Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals are on permanent display in a series of posters outside the Manuel Rodriguez Jr. Board Auditorium.

Read more about HISD’s Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals here.

Carnegie Vanguard HS senior selected as Houston’s next Youth Poet Laureate 

Houston’s 2017-2018 Youth Poet Laureate, Rukmini Kalamangalam, is a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School.

For the third year in a row, Houston’s Youth Poet Laureate is an HISD student, and this year, the honor goes to Carnegie Vanguard High School senior Rukmini Kalamangalam.

Kalamangalam has big plans for the coming year. As part of the job, she is a cultural arts advisor on Mayor Turner’s Youth Council.

“I would like to establish a space where young poets and other artists can collaborate and share their experiences,” she said. “I would also like to start a column in a local publication where students can publish their favorite poems, and I would like to implement poetry readings in public places where people gather.”

Carnegie Principal Ramon Moss is especially proud of Kalamangalam. Continue reading

Austin HS moving to temporary campus in January

Austin High School students and staff will relocate in January to a temporary campus in preparation for the start of construction on their new building.

Construction of the Temporary Learning Center — dubbed by school officials as the “TLC” and made up of temporary buildings — is nearing completion, with plans for students and staff to report to that location on Jan. 8, which is the first day of the spring semester.

The temporary campus was built to ensure student and staff safety during construction. It is located along South Lockwood Drive, directly behind the existing school building.

“It’s becoming a reality. The move is starting to set in,” Austin High School Principal Steve Guerrero said during a recent Project Advisory Team meeting. “It’s still a move, but we’re working to make sure the transition will be as smooth as possible.”

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New Westbury HS addition set to open spring 2018

Construction on the new addition for Westbury High School is approaching 75 percent completion and on track to open in the second quarter of 2018.

The building is now fully enclosed with permanent power and HVAC systems up and running. Work will continue on exterior masonry and interior finishes into the first quarter.

“I love the new building,” Westbury Principal Susan Monaghan said. “Having the opportunity to walk through and see it room by room has us even more excited. We can’t wait to move in.”

As part of the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program, Westbury is receiving a new two-story addition with 26 classrooms, flexible learning centers, two new gyms, and a multi-purpose dining commons area. Continue reading

New Jersey student inspired to reach out to HISD in wake of Harvey 

Like millions of others across the country, Aleyna Kilic, a seventh-grade student in Jersey City, NJ, watched the news about Hurricane Harvey in disbelief at the devastation the storm wrought.

Instead of thinking, “someone has to do something,” Kilic knew she had to get involved personally.

Unsure about the best course of action, she reached out to the counselor at her school, The Learning Community Charter School, Shanelle Muse. LCCS is a PK-8 school with 585 students who come from all over Jersey City, which has been named one of the most diverse cities in the nation.   Continue reading

HISD teacher hiring event scheduled on Dec. 2  

The HISD Human Resources team is hosting an invitation-only Teacher Selection event on Saturday, Dec. 2, for prospective teachers interested in joining Team HISD.

To qualify, prospects must complete an application and meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a standard Texas teaching certificate or a valid teacher certification in another state
  • Be a current student teacher who will receive a certification upon graduation
  • Be enrolled in a state-accredited Alternative Certification Program pursuing a certification.
  • If you are an ACP candidate, upload your Letter of Acceptance, Statement of Eligibility, and unofficial university transcript with your application

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Support staff honored at appreciation luncheons across district  

Superintendent Carranza stops by Transportation luncheon 

It’s the season of thanksgiving, and the aroma of hickory smoke wasn’t the only thing that filled the air at the Northwest Motor Pool facility at their fall luncheon on Nov. 16.

Thanks to Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby, Transportation employees were treated to lunch and given a heartfelt thanks for their hard work in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Over the last two weeks, “thank you” luncheons have been held across the district for members of Team HISD who work in Facilities Services, Construction Services, Nutrition Services, the Police Department, and Transportation.

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April Williams named new principal of Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy

April Williams has been named principal of Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. Most recently, she served as principal of the two-time National Blue Ribbon School Oak Forest Elementary. Dr. Williams began her 15-year career with HISD as a fifth-grade teacher at Law Elementary School and served as a classroom teacher at Peck Elementary and Ryan Middle School. While at Peck and Ryan, she was named Classroom Teacher of the Year and English as a Second Language Teacher of the Year. Dr. Williams has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University. She holds a doctorate of education in professional leadership from the University of Houston.

HISD Board of Education approves revised turnaround plan for Kashmere High School

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a revised turnaround plan for Kashmere High School during a special meeting on Thursday.

This is the eighth consecutive year for Kashmere High School to be deemed as “improvement required” — one of the designations used by the TEA to determine whether schools are meeting state standards. As a result, the district is required to submit to the state a plan detailing how it will improve student achievement at the school.

HISD submitted an initial turnaround plan on Oct. 19, but it was rejected last week by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, who asked the district to resubmit the plan with a more detailed description of the budget, staffing, and financial resources required to implement the turnaround. Continue reading