Parents can sign up to participate in Special Education focus group meetings

The Texas Education Agency will be conducting focus group meetings on Monday, Feb. 26 for parents of students with disabilities across age and grade levels receiving special education services.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, performed a series of onsite monitoring visits to review Texas’ compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The final report was provided to TEA on Jan. 10, 2018.

The findings from that report require TEA to develop a plan to address four corrective actions. An integral part of the plan development process will be the gathering of input from stakeholders and other interested Texans. Continue reading

HISD District III Honor Choir to perform with Superintendent Carranza 

It promises to be a memorable night. The East Area Schools Office and Fine Arts Specialist Dr. Sabrina Nguyen are presenting the inaugural concert by the HISD District III Honor Choir, with special guest soloist Richard Carranza, HISD superintendent, performing.

The concert will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at Chavez High School, 8501 Howard Dr., 77017. The evening is presented in memory of Trustee Manuel Rodriguez Jr., who was instrumental in launching the East Area Fine Arts Initiative during the 2016-2017 academic year. Dr. Sergio Lira was elected to represent District III in November. “I support all fine arts programs in our schools because they enhance the academic achievements of all our students,” Trustee Lira said.  Continue reading

VH1 Save the Music and Hard Rock Heals foundations donate $25,000 to Scarborough ES 

It’s been a rough six months for Scarborough Elementary School students, staff, and parents since Hurricane Harvey flooded their school, making it uninhabitable.

“We suffered a bit of a bump back in August,” said Principal Miriam Medina. “When I saw waves of water inside our beautiful school, I knew we wouldn’t be opening on time.”

It took a month, but they finally reopened in the former Terrell Middle School, which was large enough that they could all be together. Now the students are gathered in the auditorium to celebrate the donation of $25,000 to their music program, thanks to VH1 Save the Music Foundation in partnership with Hard Rock Heals Foundation.   Continue reading

HISD Communications honored with 25 Star Awards, Platinum and Crystal certificates by TSPRA

The Houston Independent School District’s Communications Department picked up 25 Star Awards, as well as a Platinum Award Certificate of Merit and three Crystal Commendation Certificates of Merit, during the 2018 Texas School Public Relations Association Annual Conference in Frisco.

“We have a team of highly qualified individuals who are committed to doing exceptional work that supports and informs our schools and communities,” said HISD Communications Chief Rebecca Suarez. “It takes teamwork and dedication to tell the stories of HISD in an effective and compelling way, and I couldn’t be more proud of our department.”  Continue reading

Construction on new Madison HS reaches midway point

Construction on the new Madison High School has now reached the halfway point — a significant milestone for the building project, which is part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.

Exterior wall installation is nearly finished, and window and roof installation are underway. Brick work has begun on the southeast corner of the building, and fencing is now up along the perimeter of the school’s west parking lot.

Crews also are framing interior walls, installing utilities and flooring, and finishing concrete walls in the auto shop, as well as in locker rooms and restrooms.

Continue reading

Pop Up Shop for Harvey-impacted families Sunday, Feb. 25

Families impacted by Hurricane Harvey are invited to join HISD and the Houston Area Urban League for a free Pop Up Shop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, at Butler Stadium (13755 Main Street, Houston, 77035).

The Pop Up Shop will include new clothing for men, women, and children, household goods, bedding, towels, and a limited supply of furniture. Attendees are asked to bring their FEMA number.

District IX community meeting planned for March 20 

HISD District IX Trustee Wanda Adams will discuss the district’s 2018-2019 budget during a community meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20 at Westbury High School (11911 Chimney Rock, Houston 77035).

Trustee Adams will also discuss the difficult choices the district faces regarding improvement required campuses, HB 1842, and SB 1882. Questions from the audience are welcome.

The meeting will end with a tour of Westbury High School.

Codwell ES celebrates 40th anniversary at grand opening ceremony

Eleven Codwell Elementary School violinists decked out in Michael Jackson’s signature black fedoras assembled Wednesday on the steps of their new stage as they performed the classic hit “Billie Jean.”

The musical selection performed by the Codwell Violin Ensemble served to formally kick off the school’s Grand Opening and 40th Anniversary Celebration.

The day held special significance for community members, students, and faculty — not just because it marked the anniversary of the school’s inception, but also because it marked the completion of a major renovation and repurposing of the Tavenor Lane campus.

Continue reading

Must-see TV: HISD principal featured in ad to air during Olympics

Former Olympian and Woodson K-8 Principal Stephen Gittens is featured in a new ad that will air on KPRC (Channel 2) Thursday through Feb. 25.

The spot pays homage to Gittens’ role as a Track and Field Olympian and honors the dedication and drive of all members of Team HISD to serve every student in HISD.

The ad also features HISD’s new logo and tagline: Building Houston’s Future, Right Now. The tagline emphasizes HISD’s role in preparing a future Houston workforce that is college and career ready through initiatives including literacy, college access, wraparound services, innovation, and fine arts.

Be sure to tune in to KPRC to see the ad, or get a sneak preview below.


Carranza, local law enforcement urge HISD community to help in preventing school incidents, threats 

In the wake of the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza on Wednesday asked parents, students, and school staff to be the first line of defense when it comes to keeping HISD students safe.

“The best preventative measure is a well-informed school culture – a student body that feels comfortable bringing information forward,” Carranza said.

He urged students that if they “see something, say something” and report any concerns to an adult.

He also joined Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez in calling on parents to talk to their students about the consequences of making jokes or threats regarding school safety on social media, in person, or through other channels. Threats – even if considered a joke by the person who made them – are considered crimes.  Continue reading