Author Archives: HISD Communications

HISD Board of Education approves plan to establish an internal disciplinary alternative education program

March 10, 2017 – The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a proposal to establish an internal disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) for secondary students for the 2017-2018 school year based on a timeline and benchmarks prepared by district administration.

Currently, the district’s DAEP services are provided to secondary students by Camelot Schools of Texas, LLC. The district’s contract with Camelot is set to expire on June 30.

“Thank you to Camelot,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza, who had an opportunity to visit the Camelot facility this week. “There wasn’t one individual that I met that did not have the best of interest of our students in mind. But at the end of the day, these are our children. Every student will be educated in HISD by HISD teachers, principals, counselors, behavioralists, and support personnel.” Continue reading

HISD names new chief financial officer

The Houston Independent School District has selected Rene Barajas as the district’s new chief financial officer.

Dr. Barajas currently serves as deputy superintendent and chief financial officer of the Garland Independent School District, with more than 20 years of central administration experience in public schools. He has eight years of experience as a chief financial officer.

He previously served as an assistant superintendent for business and support services for the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District as well as a business manager and internal auditor for other public school districts in Texas.

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HISD elementary students’ poetry, artwork featured in Houston Symphony production

Poetry and artwork created by second grade students from Patterson Elementary School will be featured in the Houston Symphony’s Carnival of the Animals jazz production Saturday at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts.

With guidance from the Houston Symphony, the students wrote poetry based on the movement of each animal featured in the show and their personal interpretation of the music. To complement their poetry, the students also created visual art, which will be on display in the Jones Hall lobby on Saturday and Sunday.

Patterson, a dual language literature magnet school, was selected for the Houston Symphony’s School Residency program, designed to provide music education experiences for second-graders while exploring connections between music and literacy. As part of the program, the school receives two pre-concert classroom visits and one post-concert visit led by the Houston Symphony community-embedded musicians.

The program also is part of the district’s fine arts initiative to ensure students in the Chavez High School feeder pattern have the opportunity to continue learning about art, drama, and music from elementary through high school.

The Carnival of the Animals production is scheduled for 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 18 at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St.

 

HISD trustees approve election after TEA significantly reduces recapture for homestead exemption

TEA will now recognize half of the local homestead exemption in recapture calculations for districts statewide. HISD voters could stop detachment of property in July.

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted to call a May 6 election to ask voters to authorize sending lower recapture payments to the state rather than face detachment of commercial property in July. A May 6 election must be called by Feb. 17.  The swift timing allows the district to follow the deadlines set by the state and Harris County.

Previously, HISD’s recapture obligation was estimated at $162 million. Under the Texas Education Agency’s recent announcement of recognizing half of the local homestead exemption, along with adjustments made to student enrollment and property value figures, HISD is now subject to a reduced $77.5 million recapture obligation or the removal of about $8 billion dollars’ worth of non-residential, commercial properties from HISD’s tax roll.

HISD’s Board Trustees Wanda Adams, Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Anna Eastman, Mike Lunceford, and Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca voted for the approval of election. Trustees Diana Dávila, Jolanda Jones, and Manuel Rodriguez did not vote in favor of the item. Trustee Anne Sung abstained from voting. The ballot item in May, if passed, would stop the detachment and reassignment of commercial property and authorize the district to send lower recapture payments to the state than those earlier projected. If the measure fails, detachment would begin in July of 2017, unless the Legislature takes action before it adjourns on May 29. Continue reading

HISD names Lyons ES, West Briar MS administrators as 2017 Principals of the Year

Houston Independent School District Superintendent Richard Carranza, along with school board members, made surprise visits to Lyons Elementary School and West Briar Middle School on Thursday to name the district’s top campus leaders of the school year.

Lyons Elementary School Principal Cecilia Gonzales was named HISD’s Elementary Principal of the Year, while West Briar Middle School Principal Keeley Simpson was selected as HISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year. Both winners will advance to the state’s regional principal of the year competition.

“I am so proud of our principals and the incredible work they do each and every day to ensure the success of their campus, students and teachers,” Carranza said. “The level of student achievement at these schools did not happen by accident.” Continue reading

HISD alum Roland Martin returns to Yates HS to broadcast national TV news show

Journalist and author Roland Martin, a graduate of Yates High School, returned to the campus Feb. 6 to host his national TV news show live at the communications magnet school.

Martin, the host and managing editor of TV One’s News One Now, broadcast the show live from the TV studio at the campus. The show focuses on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an African-American perspective. He plans to hold another live broadcast at the school on Feb. 15 before being honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award at the district’s annual State of the Schools address, also that day.

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Grammy Foundation selects HISD student to record album with young musicians

HSPVA senior to perform at Grammy events and attend annual awards ceremony

High School for the Performing and Visual Arts student Alexandria DeWalt’s dream to make music that the world will hear is coming true sooner than she imagined.

DeWalt is among 32 talented high school students from across the country selected by the Grammy Foundation for the 2017 Grammy Camp – Jazz Session where young musicians are provided the opportunity to record an album together, perform for some of music’s biggest names, and attend the Grammy Awards ceremony as guests of The Recording Academy.

The program encourages high school students to pursue professional careers in the music industry and makes them eligible for more than $2 million in college scholarships made possible through the Grammy Foundation’s college partners.

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HISD Trustees and Superintendent heading to Austin to discuss school finance solutions

Members of the HISD Board of Education and Superintendent Richard Carranza will spend two full days in Austin this week, collaborating with top state leaders to address changes to Texas’ school finance system.

Board President Wanda Adams, trustees Anna Eastman, Michael Lunceford, and Rhonda Skillern-Jones, along with Superintendent Richard Carranza will have scheduled meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with state leaders and members of HISD’s legislative delegation in Austin.

“The HISD Board of Education and administration are united in our desire to work constructively with our state leaders to identify funding solutions that put children first,” Adams said. “We all agree that Texas’ school finance system was never intended to take classroom resources from our state’s most needy children.” Continue reading

Austin HS marching band receives Certificate of Congressional Recognition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Austin High School marching band were presented with with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition Jan. 15 during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Battle of the Bands at at Thorne Stadium.  The marching band has participated in various MLK activities since the band’s creation in 2005, including the battle of the bands every year.  The band nicknamed “Sonic Boom” has led the MLK Youth Parade since 2008, along with several other parades including Houston Veteran’s Day Parade, Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights Parade in Louisiana. The students also have participated in the Cinco de Mayo Parade, Fiesta Patrias downtown, Fiesta Flambeau in San Antonio, and Mardi Gras in both Galveston and New Orleans. The band is led by music director Keavon Runnels, who pushes the group to not only represent diverse cultures but also to experience cultures first hand.

 

Houston ISD Foundation to honor distinguished alumni

Journalist Roland Martin and BP Vice President of Operations Aleida Rios to be celebrated during annual State of the Schools address

A Peabody Award-winning journalist and a top leader of a Fortune 500 oil and gas company will be honored as distinguished alumni of the Houston Independent School District at the district’s annual State of the Schools Luncheon in February.
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