Six new HISD schools open to students for the first time

The first day of school is always exciting, but the energy on Monday was palpable at six new HISD schools opening their doors to students for the first time.

The new schools — Mark White and Condit elementary schools, North Houston and South early college high schools, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, and Fonwood Early Childhood Center — were rebuilt as modern learning environments with flexible classrooms, increased access to technology, bursts of color, and lots of natural light.

Also formally opening to students on Monday was the modern, new classroom wing at Worthing High School and several renovated spaces at Waltrip High School. Continue reading

Superintendent Carranza goes on whirlwind tour of district on first day of classes

Click image for an interactive tour.

Click image for an interactive tour.

New HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza embarked on a whirlwind tour today of six HISD campuses – which took more than six hours and spanned 60 miles – on the first day of classes in the district.

Carranza’s itinerary covered each geographical area of HISD, and he visited with students, school staff, and community members at each location.

His first stop was at Law Elementary School on the south side, where he had the opportunity to visit a dual language classroom. Next up was Stevenson Middle School to the southeast, where he observed the launch of the district’s Literacy in the Middle program, which aims to improve middle school reading skills. Carranza then traveled to the Third Ward to Yates High School to learn about the school’s communications and maritime magnet programs. The tour then took him to Carnegie Vanguard High School near downtown, which is one of the district’s nationally acclaimed magnet schools. Next up was Wisdom High School (formerly Lee) to the west, HISD’s most diverse comprehensive high school. Carranza wrapped up the tour at Fonwood Early Childhood Center, where he observed pre-K students on their first day in a brand-new building.

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Worthing High School celebrates long-awaited classroom wing

Worthing High School supporters gathered Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of a long-awaited classroom wing, which supporters said will serve as a source of pride, excitement, and hope for both students and the surrounding Sunnyside community.

“We are Worthing!” Houston Independent School District Board of Education Trustee Wanda Adams said as she kicked off the Grand Opening celebration. “If you are happy to get to this day, let me hear you get excited! This is a celebration. Let’s get excited for Worthing High School!”

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Ribbon-cutting ceremony at North Houston Early College HS marks opening of new building

North Houston Early College High School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to celebrate the opening of their new building, located on the Houston Community College Northeast campus.

“We’re extremely proud of our beautiful, new, state-of-the-art facility,” NHECHS Principal Angela Lundy-Jackson said. “It took so much to get to this point, and I’m so appreciative to everyone who worked tirelessly to make our vision a reality.”

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HISD chef has a passion to serve children

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HISD Research and Development Chef Tom Valdivieso has a new appreciation for what he and his fellow chefs do at the district. As a first-time father of a newborn son who will one day attend an HISD school, Valdivieso understands the importance of his role.

“We always cook with students in mind so that we can make sure they get the necessary nutrients to succeed in school,” he said. “We are trusted with their well-being.”

Valdivieso evaluates the HISD school menu as part of his job to design school meals that are delicious and healthy.

“The goal is always to satisfy students,” he said. He accomplishes this by creating recipes, testing them, and tweaking them to perfection.

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Superintendent Richard Carranza to welcome HISD students back to school

New HISD leader will travel 60 miles while visiting 6 schools in 6 hours on Monday

Newly hired HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza will welcome students back to school on Monday as he crisscrosses the city on a six-campus tour.

A unanimous HISD Board of Education hired Carranza on Thursday, and Monday’s visits will be his first chance to get a glimpse of the district’s size, diversity, and variety of educational programs. Members of the HISD Board of Education will join Carranza along the tour, and members of the news media are welcome to cover all of his stops.

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Richard A. Carranza named HISD superintendent

Carranza calls on community to rally around city’s public schools

Richard A. Carranza assumed leadership of Texas’ largest school system on Thursday with a unanimous vote by the Houston ISD Board of Education to name him superintendent.

Carranza, 49, most recently served as superintendent of the 58,000-student San Francisco Unified School District. Carranza is a fluent Spanish-speaker and lifelong educator. He has served as a bilingual classroom teacher, a campus principal, and a senior-level administrator in Las Vegas and Tucson.

The Board of Education conducted a national search for candidates matching a leadership profile developed with input from more than 3,200 parents, teachers, taxpayers, and other community members.

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New Mandarin Immersion Magnet School campus near completion, set to open Monday

The new Galleria-area campus for the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS) is nearing completion, and construction crews are working hard to ensure that the building is all set to welcome students for the first day of school on Monday.

Part of the district’s current bond program, the $32.2 million school, located in the 5400 block of W. Alabama adjacent to the School at St. George Place, is one of HISD’s most popular magnet programs, with more than eight applications for every available spot. It draws students from all parts of the district and is one of HISD’s most diverse schools, but it long ago outgrew its initial location on the former Gordon Elementary campus in Bellaire.

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Board of Education set to name Richard A. Carranza HISD superintendent

carranza2New superintendent will address news media, meet with public following vote

The Houston ISD Board of Education is scheduled to finalize the hiring of lone superintendent finalist Richard A. Carranza on Thursday.

The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Board Auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th Street. After the vote, Mr. Carranza will address members of the news media and participate in a meet-and-greet with members of the public. The full agenda is available here. Continue reading

Back-to-school events and resources for parents 

Getting ready for the first day of school? There are a number of events and resources available to ensure children are ready for the new school year:

HISD Homeless Education Office Back-to-School Extravaganza

Free backpacks, school supplies, shoes, health screenings, and immunization for low-income HISD families, not just the homeless. Students must bring their shot records to get free immunizations. The Houston Food Bank will distribute fresh produce to families. Noon to 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, at Bethel’s Empowerment Center, 12660 Sandpiper Dr., Houston 77035.  Continue reading