Attend a parent information session on HISD’s Gifted and Talented programs

HISD provides two program options for Gifted and Talented (G/T) students – Vanguard Magnet and Vanguard Neighborhood programs. The Vanguard Neighborhood programs are designed to meet the needs of G/T students at the school to which they are zoned, and the Vanguard Magnet program provides an environment where G/T students can work with their peers at a Vanguard Magnet School.

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Parents asked to complete survey as part of external review

Parents are being asked to complete a survey about their experiences having a child enrolled in HISD as part of a third-party review being conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

Responses from the survey will be used to improve special education services provided by HISD. All parents, including those whose children do not receive special education services in the district, are asked to participate.

The survey is available now in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic. It is voluntary and confidential – results will not be associated with your family or child.

Important Parent Survey (English)

Important Parent Survey (Spanish)

Important Parent Survey (Vietnamese)

Important Parent Survey (Arabic)

In April, the HISD Board of Education selected AIR to implement a comprehensive Special Education Program Review. The review will identify how the district is providing proactive intervention for struggling students, offer suggestions on the evaluation referral process, and examine the process for identifying students with disabilities. The review will also evaluate the development of the individualized education program (IEP).

In late September and October, AIR will be conducting visits to schools as part of its research.

Achieve 180 debuts with parade and community event in Sunnyside

Worthing feeder pattern schools join forces for ‘Southside Takeover’

HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza took to the streets of the Sunnyside community on Saturday, Aug. 19, for the first ever “Southside Takeover,” a back-to-school bash to kick-off the start of the 2017-2018 school year and the start of Achieve180.

“Achieve 180 is more than a plan or initiative,” said Carranza. “It’s a movement to better serve our historically underserved and academically challenged schools.”

The “Southside Takeover” featured Carranza at the helm of a parade with students, staff, and parents from Worthing High School, along with various other campuses in the south area, and a resource fair for families with free immunizations, school supplies, backpacks, uniforms, food, and entertainment.

“This is pillar six of our Achieve 180 plan in action, empowering parents and the community that surround our struggling schools,” said Carranza who donned a 10-gallon hat and cowboy boots as he walked the parade route around Worthing High School, “It’s more than just engagement. We must empower our parents and reconnect with them. We must help our communities understand that these are their schools, and they are welcome here.”

In addition to family and community empowerment, the Achieve 180 framework includes five other pillars: leadership excellence, teaching excellence, instructional excellence, school design, and social and emotional learning support.

As part of Achieve 180, each school will have a nurse, counselor, and librarian, and teachers will have two hours of additional professional development every Wednesday to improve their instructional practices. HISD has established cross-functional support teams across various departments to support Achieve 180 and has set up professional learning communities that are working together to customize support, assess practices, share expertise, and monitor results.

Achieve 180 includes 32 schools within and throughout various feeder patterns, including Worthing, Kashmere, Madison, Milby, North Forest, Washington, Wheatley, and Yates. Various other Achieve 180 campuses have been hosting back-to-school events over the past few weeks to strengthen family and community involvement at their school.

Christina Lovette named new principal of MC Williams Middle School

Dr. Christina Lovette has been appointed principal of MC Williams Middle School. Dr. Lovette has been an educator for 23 years, beginning her career with HISD as a history teacher at Patrick Henry Middle School and serving in various leadership roles across the district, including district coordinator and assistant principal. From 2010-2017, Dr. Lovette served as a principal and the director of curriculum and instruction in Alvin ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Dillard University in New Orleans and a master’s and doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Brian Gaston named new principal of North Houston Early College High School

Brian Gaston poses for a photograph, November 7, 2016. (Dave Einsel)Brian Gaston has been appointed principal of North Houston Early College High School. Gaston graduated from North Forest ISD schools and started his educational career as a 2010 Teach for America corps member at Hogg Middle School and later Heights High School. After serving in several instructional leadership roles, Gaston became dean of students at Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center and served as the school director training new teachers for the Teach For America Houston Institute. Most recently, he was assistant principal of the Business Academy at Heights High School. He was named 2011-2012 HISD Secondary Teacher of the Year, received the 2012 Kinder Award for Excellence in Teaching, and was named to the 2014 Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practices Honor Roll. Gaston received his bachelor of business administration in management from University of Texas at Austin and his master of education in teacher leadership from University of St. Thomas.

Milby HS celebrates the old and the new at grand opening ceremony

“It’s a great day to be a Milby Buffalo!” exclaimed HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza as hundreds of attendees cheered with pride and excitement at Milby High School’s highly anticipated grand opening celebration Thursday.

Current and former Milby Buffs filled the new school as the Milby Marching Thunder Band and Charlie’s Angels pumped up the crowd at HISD’s largest ribbon-cutting ceremony to date. Shiny gold and blue decorations adorned the large learning commons area, which showcases a combination of new construction alongside the historical front façade of the school.

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New HISD chief school officers and assistant superintendents appointed

Rebecca Brown, Nicole Moore, and Yolanda Rodríguez

HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza announced several new leadership appointments and a restructuring of the district’s Schools Office, improvements that are part of a larger effort to better meet the needs of HISD students, especially in historically underserved schools.

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Back-to-school events planned across district

It’s time to get ready for the first day of school, and we have prepared a list of events and resources to ensure your children are ready for the 2017-2018 school year.

HISD Back-to-School Extravaganza

Free backpacks, school supplies, shoes, health screenings and immunizations, and other giveaways for low-income HISD families. Students must bring their shot records to get free immunizations. In addition there will be fresh produce for families and application assistance with Medicaid, CHIP, and SNAP from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, at Bethel’s Empowerment Center, 12660 Sandpiper Dr., Houston 77035.

Back to School Bash with live music

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Facilities Services thanks its “lucky stars” during welcome back ceremony

Houston Independent School District’s Facility Services rolled out the red carpet for employees on Wednesday during a Hollywood-themed Welcome Back event designed to recognize workers for their outstanding performance.

Several hundred Facilities Services employees packed the bleachers of Barnett Fieldhouse to learn about new changes for the coming school year, including the development of new departmental values. Employees received surveys during the event to provide input on the values that are most important to them, as well as feedback on ways to improve the workplace culture and environment.

“Each of you is important,” Facility Services Officer Alisha Jolivette said as she addressed the crowd. “You have an impact on student education.”

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Grand opening celebration for new Milby HS set for Thursday

Construction at Milby High School, June 21, 2017. (Dave Einsel/Houston ISD)

Milby High School will host a grand opening on Thursday at 5 p.m. to celebrate the completion of its new facility, which was rebuilt as part of the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program.

The three-story, $79 million project is a combination of new construction and renovation that preserves the historical front facade while creating a modern learning environment for 2,000 students.

The historic, front-facing main building has been transformed into a bright, open student-union-style space with a dining commons, learning commons, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto a large courtyard. Continue reading