Bus driver goes extra mile for student safety

When HISD closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bus driver Althea McWhorter never got the chance to say goodbye to the seniors who rode her bus every day for four years.

For someone who thoroughly enjoys getting to know her passengers as she drives them to and from school each day, losing the chance to say goodbye was not easy. But she’s hoping this year will be different.

Armed with new bus safety measures and a duffel bag of disinfecting supplies, McWhorter was ready to welcome a new group of students returning this month for in-person instruction.

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Office of School Choice to host virtual lunch and learn series for students

HISD students are invited to attend a series of virtual lunch and learn programs presented by the HISD Office of School Choice in partnership with The Ion of Houston and Pumps and Pipes.

The first event, Careers in Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, and will feature speakers from Xecta Digital Labs, Plug & Play Tech Center, and The Ion.

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Carnegie Vanguard HS juniors create free tutoring start-up company

COVID-19 has presented several educational challenges that have exacerbated gaps in student learning, but two Carnegie Vanguard High School students saw it as an opportunity for positive change.

During the pandemic, juniors Aadhav Jai Murugesh and Levi Chen created Numerly, which provides easy-to-access, free tutoring services for students grades 3-8. Numerly’s goal is to uplift economically and medically underserved communities by making high-quality math and science education available for free.

“We wanted to do our part to help students succeed, regardless of the circumstances,” Murugesh said. “The math and science knowledge kids gain in elementary and middle school is crucial, and a strong foundation ensures that more challenging subjects are attainable in high school,”

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Jones Futures Academy, Next Level Urgent Care to host virtual student wellness fair

HISD middle and high school students are invited to attend a virtual Wellness Fair presented Next Level Urgent Care, Jones Futures Academy and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas.

The wellness fair will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5. During the fair, students will have access to workforce readiness opportunities, as well as an opportunity to meet and interact with health care professionals without having to leave their campus.

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Last virtual school choice fair on Saturday as Phase 1 deadline nears

Parents have a wide variety of choices regarding where to send their students to school in HISD, but time is running out to be in the first round of consideration.

Parents who still aren’t sure which school they want their child to attend next year are invited to the final virtual School Choice Fair from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Oct. 31. Representatives from HISD magnet schools will be available, and attendees can get help submitting their application. Parents can log into the virtual fair here.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 6 for guaranteed consideration in the first round. Any applications received after the Nov. 6 deadline will be considered only for schools where space is still available.  

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Cafeteria manager works diligently to feed students

Before 9 a.m. on the first day of school, Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center Cafeteria Manager Dony Jules had moved quickly to pack more than 70 student meals.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it was a slow start for someone who is used to feeding students by the thousands.

Jules is one of the hundreds of Nutrition Services staff who helped prepare and distribute meals to families at community food distributions during the early months of COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bellaire HS debate tournament goes virtual on global stage

More than 100 high schools from 23 states and China took part in Bellaire High School’s 65th Annual Forensics Debate Tournament earlier this month.

Despite the pandemic, participation was high, because, for the first time, the tournament was held virtually. The event was organized by Bellaire High School Debate coach Jay Stubbs.

The Bellaire tournament has a stellar reputation in the world of high school debating. The Boston Globe said it is “practically the Rose Bowl of the high-octane world of high school debate.”

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HISD parents asked to complete Student Information Verification form

With the 2020-2021 school year in full swing, it is important that all HISD parents complete the Student Information Verification application to ensure student information is accurate and up to date.

The form will be available on the HISD Connect Parent Portal from Monday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Nov. 13.

The Student Information Verification application will allow parents the opportunity to verify or update their information to stay connected to their student’s school, such as home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and emergency contacts.

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HISD recognizes Red Ribbon Week

HISD’s Department of Academic and Career Counseling invites all district staff, students and parents to join them in recognizing Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program.

Red Ribbon Week, which is celebrated annually October 23-31, has taken on national significance mobilizing communities to educate students and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Wearing red ribbons during the month of October represents the pledge to live drug-free and honors all who have lost their lives in the fight against drugs.

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Scarborough ES welcomes Huskies to new home

A group of enthusiastic teachers clad in blue Huskies t-shirts cheered as students arrived at the new Scarborough Elementary School for the first time on Monday.

After undergoing temperature checks, the students marveled at their new surroundings and the colorful bilingual welcome signs awaiting them.

Fourth-grader Elizabeth Garza wore a black mask imprinted with the smile of a Cheshire cat, but the sparkle in her eyes made it clear she was smiling just as wide underneath it.

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