HISD Board of Education to consider community’s calendar recommendation

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday will consider adopting a 2017-2018 academic calendar supported by 89 percent of survey takers.

The proposed calendar would give students and staff a full week off for Thanksgiving. The first day of school for students would be Aug. 28, and the final day of classes would be June 1. For the first time, HISD this year allowed parents, students, staff, and community members to vote on their preferred calendar. After more than 75,000 votes were tallied, nearly 90 percent favored the calendar option that is being brought forward for board approval.

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High school students earn job skills from City of Houston internship program

Twelve Worthing High School students will be recognized Tuesday by the Houston City Council for their participation in an internship and job training program with various city departments to build career readiness skills while learning about community services provided to residents.

The students are participating in a two-year paid internship with at least four city departments – Health and Human Services, Houston Police, Information Technology, and the Houston Public Library – to learn about areas such as cybersecurity, urban planning, finance, administrative support, and employee relations.

“Our students are gaining valuable workforce training and experience from local city government professionals who are serving as mentors by preparing them for future success,” said HISD District IX Trustee Wanda Adams. “We’re excited to see our students be recognized for their commitment to this program and look forward to watching them continue to grow into young business professionals.” Continue reading

HISD students compete in Coding Challenge Day

On Saturday, Dec. 3, HISD Advanced Academics and the STEM Teacher Development team hosted “Crack the Code: A Coding Challenge Day” with HISD students to kick off Computer Science Education Week, which is Dec. 5–11. Students and teachers from 27 district elementary and middle schools participated in the challenge day, which was held simultaneously at two locations – Southmayd and McGowen elementary schools.

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White House spotlights HISD classroom computer science efforts

The Houston Independent School District’s efforts to increase the number of teachers trained in computer science and to immerse all students in computer programming from elementary to high school have earned the White House’s attention.

The White House computer science fact sheet outlines President Barack Obama’s plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science in school. The fact sheet titled A Year of Action Supporting Computer Science Education for All (#CSForAll) shows the progress various states have made in computer science by adopting higher standards to better prepare students for success in careers and college since the initiative first launched in January.

The factsheet highlights HISD for its plans to double the number of computer science certified teachers over the next two academic years; expand advanced computer science courses by offering Advanced Placement computer science programming and computer science courses at 38 HISD high schools by the end of the 2017 school year; and adopt computer science standards that will provide for teaching computational thinking skills to 215,000 HISD students in grades pre-K to 12. Continue reading

Bryan Bordelon named new principal of Sharpstown International School

Bryan Bordelon poses for a photograph, November 7, 2016. (Dave Einsel)Bryan Bordelon has been selected as the new principal of Sharpstown International School. He began his teaching career as an English Language Arts teacher at Scarborough High School in 2007. Bordelon served as an ELA Teacher Development Specialist, the principal of Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, and assistant principal of Westbury High School. Most recently, Bordelon was an assistant principal at Austin High School. He graduated from the University of Texas and holds a master of arts in Chinese studies from the University of Michigan and a master of arts from the University of Texas in educational administration.

HISD’s alternative certification program now accepting applications 

If you or someone you know is interested in starting a challenging and rewarding career as a teacher at HISD, the district is now accepting applications for its Effective Teacher Fellowship (ETF).

ETF is searching for qualified, passionate and effective educators for the 2017-2018 school year who will help HISD students reach their potential.  Continue reading

HISD celebrating Inclusive Schools Week on Dec. 5-9 

The HISD Office of Special Education Services is partnering with the Inclusive Schools Network to celebrate Inclusive Schools Week on Dec 5-9.

Schools, parents, and community members can take part in the celebration by downloading lesson plans, activities, and resources by clicking here. This year, the Inclusive Schools Week’s theme focuses on the concept of being a hero.

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HISD to host Dream Summit for students

Event to help students apply for college, financial aid

The Houston Independent School District College Readiness and Multilingual Department will host its second Dream Summit to assist students with the college application and financial aid process on Saturday, Dec. 10.

The event aims to help HISD DREAMers, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, visa holders, permanent residents, refugees, and asylum grantees along with their families. Students will have the opportunity to speak with district representatives who will help them learn more about financial aid requirements and guidance with the application process.  Admissions representatives from several community colleges and Texas universities will be on hand to answer questions and will host information sessions on the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).

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Waltrip HS band director receives award plus $1,000 grant for school music program 

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Jesse Espinosa

Waltrip High School band director Jesse Espinosa was recently selected as one of 20 inspiring music teachers across the country by Give a Note Foundation and 21st Century Fox as part of their “Music Education Idols” competition.

Students, parents, and community members nominated music educators online by describing how a music teacher inspired them to discover their creative potential. Espinosa was nominated by a student’s parents, who submitted a video testimonial about his influence at the school. Espinosa was later selected as a “Music Ed idol” and will receive a $1,000 grant for the Waltrip music program.

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Lamar HS nearing start of construction

The initial construction phase for Lamar High School is expected to get underway this month after the district approves the project’s Guaranteed Maximum Price and issues a “Notice-to-Proceed” to the construction manager-at-risk, Gilbane Construction.

This first phase of construction — dubbed “Phase 0” — will focus on re-routing underground utilities, relocating the central utility plant, and demolishing a small portion of the current building that stands in the footprint of the new construction. Some street parking and athletics activities will be impacted.

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