The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation on Thursday unveiled a plan of action to boost literacy rates across people of all ages, and is partnering with the Houston Independent School District and other organizations to make literacy a top priority.
“We will not end the cycle of poverty until we end the cycle of low literacy,” said Bush Foundation President Julie Baker Finck in unveiling “Houston’s Literacy Crisis: A Blueprint for Community Action.”
“The blueprint’s purpose is to increase awareness of Houston’s prevalent literacy crisis, elevate literacy as a top priority, and mobilize the community into action,” she said.
The announcement follows the presentation of HISD’s comprehensive literacy plan – Literacy By 3 – to the Board of Education at a workshop last week. The plan engages students, teachers, parents, and community members around the goal of having every student reading with proficiency by Grade 3.
They’ll be front and center stage at each of their graduation ceremonies in a few weeks, but next week, HISD will honor high school valedictorians and salutatorians altogether at the annual Scholars Banquet, to acknowledge the accomplishment of finishing in first and second place in their class academic rankings.
Houston ISD will join the city in going dark for Lights Out Houston by turning off all lights for four days this week to reduce electricity consumption.
Lights Out Houston encourages businesses to take a pledge to save energy by turning off building lights overnight beginning at 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
The HISD Facility Services Department will turn lights off at 304 district facilities, including schools and the administrative building. The HISD Police Department and the district’s alarm communications facility will keep its lights on since both are 24-hour facilities.
Goosebumps appeared and tears were flowing during a celebration of the 64 graduating EMERGE seniors held at Carnegie Vanguard High School on Tuesday evening, April 22. More than 500 students, parents and special guests gathered for a celebration that included statements from graduating seniors and special speakers.
“Through EMERGE, I had opportunities I never thought possible, including traveling to the Northeast on an exciting college tour last summer,” said Furr High School senior and EMERGE scholar Karen Banda. “This fall, I’ll be headed back to Massachusetts to study economics at Smith College on a full scholarship as a Gates Millennium Scholar.”
The Council of Great City Schools has presented its 2014 Distinguished Service Award to HISD Chief Operating Officer Leo Bobadilla for his dedication to urban education. He received the honor at an awards banquet Wednesday during the council’s four-day Chief Operating Officers Conference in New Orleans.
The council, which brings together the nation’s largest urban public school systems in an effort to improve the education of urban schoolchildren, awards this honor to school chiefs who demonstrate a personal commitment to leadership, innovation, and professionalism in urban education. This is the eleventh year the award was presented to a school district chief operations officer.
HISD Schools Earn Spots on U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools Rankings
Several HISD high schools are featured in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools rankings, with one breaking the into the top 25. The list ranks 4,707 highest-scoring schools across the country and includes an overall national list as well as rankings by state. U.S. News & World Report also ranked the Best Magnet Schools and Best STEM Schools. Continue reading →
Editor’s note: This profile is part of an occasional series on minority or women-owned companies that do business with HISD. The district’s minimum M/WBE goal levels are 20 percent for all levels of purchasing and construction, and 25 percent for professional services. In the 2007 bond program, that commitment reached nearly 34 percent. In the 2012 program, the contracts awarded to date reflect a nearly 51 percent M/WBE commitment.Continue reading →