Proposed instructional materials available for review at HMW

The Houston Independent School District is participating in the instructional materials adoption process this year as part of the TEA’s Proclamation 2019, joining other school districts around the state in selecting materials for classrooms that will be used over the next eight years.

Instructional materials available for review include the following subjects.

  • English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR), grades K–8
  • Spanish Language Arts and Reading (SLAR), grades K–6
  • Spelling (English and Spanish), grades 1–6
  • Handwriting (English and Spanish), grades K–5
  • English Learners Language Arts, grades 7–8
  • Personal Financial Literacy (PFL), high school

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Hilliard ES holds grand re-opening celebration

The atmosphere was festive and joyful at Hilliard Elementary School on Thursday morning, as students and staff gathered to welcome guests, and celebrate the grand re-opening of their beloved campus, which was heavily damaged last year in Hurricane Harvey.

Hilliard students and staff spent last school year at the former Fonwood Early Childhood Center to allow crews time to repair and renovate their flood-damaged campus. The school officially moved back to their refurbished building over the summer, in time for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

“We are so excited to be on our home campus,” Hilliard Principal Erika Kimble said. “We are back, and we are thriving.”

Since Hurricane Harvey, the school — including all classrooms, the library, and the gym — has been completely restored, as have the campus grounds. Additionally, a new retention pond and extensive storm drainage system have been added to prevent future flooding. Continue reading

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan to remain at the helm of HISD

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education announced today that Dr. Grenita Lathan will remain as the interim superintendent of HISD, the largest school district in Texas.

During a press conference at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, trustees announced that they have mutually agreed to consider the reinstatement of Dr. Lathan as interim superintendent and the rescinding of Thursday night’s vote to appoint Dr. Abelardo Saavedra to the position.

“We are committed to working together as a board for the benefit of our students, and we are unified in our efforts to build a better governance structure for our children,” HISD Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said. “We are confident that Dr. Lathan is the right person to lead the seventh-largest school district in the nation as our interim, and we thank the public for their encouragement and support.” Continue reading

Transportation launching new tool for parents to track their child on HISD school buses

Transportation Services is introducing a new student badge program that will allow parents to track when and where their students board and depart HISD school buses.

Beginning, Oct. 29, students who are eligible for bus transportation service will use a personalized badge that must be scanned when they enter and exit their school bus.

“As we rectify some of the bus issues we have encountered this school year, this badge program will help to ease parents’ tensions,” said John Wilcots IV, interim general manager of Transportation Services. “They will know exactly when their child boards and exits the bus to go to school in the morning and the same at the end of the school day when they go home.” Continue reading

HISD to emphasize good food during National School Lunch Week

Nutrition Services will mark National School Lunch Week with cafeteria-decorating contests, Lucky Lunch Tray giveaways, and a behind-the-scenes cafeteria media tour to showcase the work that goes into making and serving good food.

With a theme of “Level Up with a Healthy Lunch,” National School Lunch Week provides the perfect opportunity to highlight the mission of Nutrition Services – providing students with access to good food that is simple, wholesome, colorful, and made with locally sourced ingredients.

The week is observed nationally from Oct. 15 to 19. Continue reading

HISD Board honors Worthing HS student for act of heroism

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday night recognized Worthing High School junior Marcus Dillard for an act of heroism that may well have saved the life of 72-year-old Houston resident Gloria Cage.

Cage’s car became disabled on Wednesday night after hitting a pothole. A short time later, her vehicle erupted in flames with Cage trapped inside. She said several cars drove by as she pounded on the window for help.

Marcus and his younger brother were passing by, and Marcus quickly turned around to assist Cage. Using a tire jack, Marcus and his brother Marvieon broke the windows of the car and dragged Cage to safety. Continue reading

HISD recommending no increase in property tax rates for 2018-2019

Homeowners in the Houston Independent School District wouldn’t see an increase in HISD property tax rates for the 2018-2019 school year under a proposal being considered by the district’s Board of Education on Thursday.

The board’s regular monthly meeting will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, in the Manuel Rodríguez Jr. Board Auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 West 18th Street. Click here to view the full agenda.

If approved by trustees, HISD would maintain the current tax rate of $1.2067 per $100 of taxable property value for the third year in a row. The tax rate includes two parts: $1.04 dedicated to funding general maintenance and operations and $0.1667 earmarked for debt service. Trustees adopted a $2 billion budget for the 2018-2019 school year last June based on this tax rate. Continue reading

DeAnda ES teacher named Teacher of the Month for October 

Fourth-grade students at DeAnda Elementary School thought it was just another day of learning prepositions and sentence structure, until Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan surprised their teacher, Hillary Smith, as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for October.

Having served as a fourth- and fifth-grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, Smith was selected for her tenacious spirit that brings literacy to life for students at DeAnda.

“We are grateful to have had Hilary serve DeAnda students for the last seven years,” said Principal Lauren Mailhiot. “Her high expectations coupled with passion pushes our students beyond their limits in both reading and writing.” Continue reading

HISD to host first PreK-12 Writing Summit for teachers

HISD’s Elementary and Secondary Curriculum and Development will host the district’s first PreK-12 Writing Summit for teachers on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Chavez High School (8501 Howard Dr. 77017).

The event, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature learning opportunities for teachers at all levels with topics such as reading/writing connections, writing across all contents, rubrics and anchor papers, small group instruction, discourse, writing conferences, writing portfolios, and much more.

All teachers who attend will receive a $10 voucher to purchase books from the Barnes & Noble pop-up bookstore that will be on site. Follow-up teacher development opportunities will be offered throughout the fall and spring during department chair/lead teacher meetings, as well as for parents at Parent University.

New Bellaire HS design unveiled to community members

Community members gathered in the Bellaire High School auditorium to witness the unveiling of the new school building’s design.

Bellaire’s $132 million project is a part of the 2012 Bond Program. The new building will feature a new three-story academic wing – containing classroom and administrative spaces – along with multiple flexible learning areas for group collaboration, library with makerspace, two gymnasiums, and an exterior courtyard.

“I think the renderings are amazing,” Bellaire Principal Michael McDonough said. “When you see the shared spaces, you think community, and when the students are together as a community, it invigorates school pride.”

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