Author Archives: HISD Communications

HISD’s Special Education Parent Advisory Committee holds first meeting 

HISD’s Office of Special Education Services (OSES) held its inaugural Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) on Wednesday afternoon at the Hattie Mae White Educational Service Center.

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

The purpose of the committee is aligned to the Office of Special Education Services Framework, including parent advocacy and voice; instruction and support; compliance and monitoring; and professional development. The committee promotes active engagement with parents as partners of OSES with regard to the services provided to students with disabilities.

Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Special Education Services Shannon Verrett said partnering with the parents and community offers the best support for students and campuses.  Continue reading

Registration is open for pre-K students  

HISD offers high-quality instruction to help young learners reach their full potential 

Give your child a head start by enrolling them in prekindergarten now.

Pre-K is just as necessary for academic success as kindergarten or first grade, research shows. Not only will your child be more successful in school, but they will be more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and earn higher wages as an adult.

While all children benefit from pre-K, disadvantaged and low-income students often make the most gains. Children who are dual-language learners develop English-language proficiency and other valuable skills. Research shows that children who have enrolled in pre-K gain an advantage over their peers in the classroom.

HISD offers both free and tuition-based pre-K at many schools, as well as early childhood centers. All pre-K students in the district receive breakfast and lunch during a full day of instruction from certified teachers.

HISD expands free, full-day pre-K program at Woodson PK-5

To be eligible for free enrollment (non-tuition-based pre-K), your child must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2018, and live within the boundaries of HISD.  Additional requirements can be found here, as well as the district’s policy on 3-year-olds.   Continue reading

Facilities Services dispatcher diligently serves, even in the midst of Harvey

It is often wondered if walls could talk, what secrets they could tell. But for Security Maintenance dispatcher Kenneth Johnson, walls don’t talk. They see.

Johnson is responsible for reviewing the security cameras for all HISD’s campuses and buildings. He ensures that customer care and security for the district is kept to the highest standards.

“If there are any emergencies that come about, any technical difficulties with our security systems in the campuses, my job is to have them solved promptly,” Johnson said. “It is critical for our staff and for our students that we know of these and solve them. Security is always our priority.”

A dispatcher since 2009, Johnson is assigned to the night shift. He arrives at his post early to review what the cameras have monitored throughout the day. Continue reading

Two-day ‘Camp Lit’ event kicks off HISD summer school  

The Houston Independent School District welcomed thousands of students to summer school, themed “Camp Lit” for literacy, on Wednesday and Thursday at Delmar Fieldhouse with a series of pep rallies and tailgates.

The summer kickoff for elementary students was held on Wednesday, and middle school students celebrated on Thursday.

“This is the brainchild of our interim superintendent. The idea is to continue our focus on literacy but in a way that is exciting and engaging,” Officer for Special Populations Courtney Busby said. “We want our students to know that meeting their needs in the summer is critical for their overall success. What better way to do that than with a celebration where all kids will leave with books to add to their personal libraries.”  Continue reading

HISD expands free, full-day pre-K program at Woodson PK-5

New offerings include free transportation and after-school care, 11:1 student-teacher ratio for 3- and 4-year-olds

HISD is expanding its full-day pre-kindergarten program at Woodson PK-5 Leadership Academy to provide more 3- and 4-year-old students in the Sunnyside community with the opportunity to attend a high-quality program that will build a strong foundation of learning and will support the transportation, after-school care, and health needs of the families it serves.

The school will be hosting three upcoming events to encourage parents to enroll, including a pre-K roundup day, neighborhood block walk, and a registration carnival with school supply giveaways for 3- and 4-year-olds, immunizations, and a food bank.

Students who attend Woodson for pre-K in the 2018-19 school year will benefit from multisensory, hands-on instruction from high-quality teachers, as well as: Continue reading

HISD Foundation distributes second round of Hurricane Harvey relief grants 

Thanks to an outpouring of donations from many philanthropists and local organizations, the HISD Foundation distributed almost $200,000 in a second round of Hurricane Harvey relief grants this week.

The distribution comes right in time for more than 150 teachers and staff who were prepping for their summer break.

Grants ranged from $250 to $5,000, with the largest donation being selected personally by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan.

“We are happy to have the opportunity to give once again to those who needed the most,” Dr. Lathan said. “As we near the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, there are still individuals who are rebuilding and need all they help they can get.”

The Foundation decided in February to accept another round of applications from principals and administration for the second round. The grants were awarded based on need, the number of applications, and available funds.

Horn ES teacher upgrades classroom thanks to Innovation Grant 

Horn Elementary School students can’t help but have their senses ignited when they walk into the classroom of STEM teacher Alex Jones, a recipient of one of the HISD Foundation’s Innovation Grants this school year.

For the 2017-2018 school year, the Foundation was able to award more than $150,000 in Innovation Grants, thanks to the generous donations from local community members and business partnerships.

Jones received $7,000 to purchase tablets, drones, and robots for his classroom.  Continue reading

Interim superintendent’s message on immigration

There has been much discussion of schools and student immigration status in the news recently. I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that HISD remains committed to educating every student regardless of their immigration status. Our students are and will continue to be safe in our classrooms and on our campuses. No HISD principals, teachers, or any school personnel will ever report a student’s immigration status to authorities.

We believe all children deserve access to a world-class education — with no exceptions. HISD will never ask about a student’s immigration status, and HISD will never share information about a student’s immigration status or the immigration status of their families. We do not assist in deportation actions, and we do not report our students or families to ICE.

While there is still uncertainty at the federal level regarding the approach as it relates to DACA and DREAMER students, we will continue to provide resources and support to help our students be successful at HISD and beyond. We encourage you to visit HoustonISD.org/DACA for legal information and college access resources, and we hope that you will stay engaged and involved in your child’s education.

HISD students selected for Duke TIP recognitions 

HISD is proud to announce that as of May 30, 181 middle school students earned recognition from Duke TIP (Talented Recognition Program) for their scores on the ACT or SAT exams, as part of the national seventh-grade talent search.

Duke TIP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically gifted and talented students. The national seventh-grade talent search identifies, recognizes, and supports high-performing students. Through Duke TIP, these students receive college preparatory tools, enrichment, and summer opportunities.  Continue reading

A special message from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

We made it! Today officially marks the last day of the 2017-2018 school year. Without a doubt, we have faced many challenges, including Hurricane Harvey, a few winter weather days, and a host of other obstacles. But we didn’t let any of those things stop us. Instead, we came together as a community and helped our neighbors and our students persevere against all odds.

Our strong finish is a testament to HISD putting children first. This year, we launched several key initiatives — including Achieve 180 and Every Community Every School — to improve academic excellence and provide the social and emotional support that our students need to be successful in the classroom. We also established the K-12 Fine Arts Department to expand all students’ access to high-quality fine arts education. And we opened several new schools under the 2012 Bond Program, providing state-of-the-art learning facilities designed to foster collaboration and project-based learning — exactly the skills our students need to succeed in college and their careers. But that’s not all! Just recently we received even more good news: Our fifth- and eighth-graders made significant improvements on the math and reading STAAR exams this year! Continue reading