Washington HS celebrates the past and future in new building

Booker T. Washington High School alumni, community leaders, special guests, and elected officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the school’s 125-year anniversary and newly built engineering magnet school.

The $56.5 million project, which is part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, highlights the use of 21st century technology through its specialized engineering and science labs and flexible learning spaces that support project-based instruction and encourages collaboration.
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HISD Board of Education votes to initiate national superintendent search

Trustees exercise warranty with executive search firm previously utilized by district

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted 6 to 3 to exercise a warranty provision with an executive search firm to conduct a superintendent search.

The executive search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, issued a warranty when it conducted the district’s previous superintendent search, which resulted in the hiring of former superintendent Richard Carranza in August 2016.

Under the firm’s warranty, if the board became dissatisfied with the superintendent within two years from the date of employment, and if the employment was dissolved by either side due to resignation or termination, the firm would conduct a new superintendent search at no cost to the district, except for expenses. Continue reading

Energy Institute HS celebrates grand opening of new facility

Known for its innovation, Energy Institute — which once programmed robots to shovel dirt at its groundbreaking ceremony — decided to forego a traditional ribbon-cutting, and instead have students use a circular saw to cut a wooden board laser printed with the school’s logo. The cut pieces were then presented to special guests at the event.

“What a journey,” Energy Principal Lori Lambropoulos said as she looked out to the crowd. “This school is the first one of its kind in the nation, and we could not have done any of this without all of you in this room.” Continue reading

Cooking competition champs serve winning meal to fellow Milby HS students

Three Milby High School culinary students were transformed into real world chefs on Thursday, as they led the campus kitchen staff in preparing an award-winning meal for fellow students.

Students Jordyn Moore, Roberto Blas, and Estevan Mata — collectively named the Broadway Buffs — were the second-place winners of the national Cooking Up Change competition, which they advanced to in June after winning top honors in the district’s competition earlier this year.
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Top-Tier College Night scheduled for Oct. 9 at Chavez HS

Juniors, seniors, and students interested in getting a head start on the college process are invited to attend Top-Tier College Night on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Chavez High School (8501 Howard Dr., Houston, 77017).

Admissions representatives from top colleges across the nation will be on hand to answer questions about selective college admissions.

Students must RSVP by Friday, Sept. 28Sign up here to reserve a space and to learn about options for bus transportation from your campus. Dinner will also be provided.

The evening will begin with dinner and orientation from 4 to 5:30 p.m., followed by Selective College Admissions Workshops (freshmen and sophomores) and a College Fair (junior and seniors) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Continue reading

Parents invited to Autism Services meeting on Oct. 12

The Office of Special Education Services invites parents to the first Autism Services meeting from 9 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 at the Special Education Field Office (4040 West Fuqua St., Room 135, 77045).

This is an opportunity for parents to engage with other parents whose children have autism, learn what’s happening in the classroom, and hear about new research developments.

There will also be members from the HISD Autism team on site to answer questions and provide information on how you can support your child at home. Please RSVP here.

With four meetings scheduled for the school year, the district will host each meeting in different regions to provide an opportunity for every parent across the district to participate at the parent meetings.

HISD seeks applicants for new legislative advocacy initiative called H.E.A.R.

HISD is seeking applications for the Houston Educational Advocacy Representatives (H.E.A.R.) initiative, a coalition to advance the district’s legislative priorities in Austin and Washington, D.C.

H.E.A.R., launching this fall, is a volunteer group of business and community leaders, parents, teachers, principals, retired educators, philanthropists, and legislative staff. Participants will be asked to visit Austin to meet with lawmakers during the 2019 Texas Legislative Session.

“This school year, HISD’s recapture payment is estimated to be $272 million. The state will collect about $5 billion in recapture payments from over 200 school districts by the end of 2019,” said Ashlea Turner, HISD’s Chief Governmental Relations and Strategy Officer. “At HISD, recapture causes school budget cuts, fewer support services, and layoffs — with a direct impact on students. HISD’s recapture situation proves the current school finance system is broken. School finance reform is overdue in Austin.”   Continue reading

HISD Transportation Services holding job fair to recruit bus drivers

The Houston Independent School District’s Transportation Services department will host a job fair this month to recruit bus drivers as part of continuing efforts to make sure all routes are fully staffed and drivers are available for both new routes and to provide coverage if employees are absent.

The job fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Sterling High School.

Selected applicants will earn a starting hourly wage of $16.65 and will be provided free CDL training. Other benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance, Teacher Retirement System participation and special trip pay options. Continue reading

Salad bars set to expand across district this school year

When most people think about students’ favorite lunches, they think of the standards – pizza, hamburgers, mac and cheese. But the introduction of salad bars at school cafeterias across the district is challenging the notion of what students enjoy eating.

Last year, the Houston Independent School District’s Nutrition Services department introduced salad bars as a standard option at more than 20 elementary schools. The pilot program was a first for elementary schools and proved so successful that salads made up more than half the meals served on the first day. Continue reading

Grads Within Reach Walk scheduled for Sept. 22 

HISD will hold its Grads Within Reach Walk on Saturday, Sept. 22 to encourage students who have not enrolled for the 2018-19 school year to come back to their respective campuses.

The goal is to walk through the neighborhoods of 23 HISD high schools and identify students who have not returned to school and give them and their parents the necessary information to re-enroll.

HISD wants to develop a collective and sustainable approach to ensure that all students are receiving the appropriate support to return to school, stay in school, and positively benefit from the various services we provide.