Author Archives: HISD Communications

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.

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.


Letter to community from HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza

Editor’s note: HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza sent the following letter to HISD parents and staff in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., shootings last week. For more on the district’s response, click here.

Dear HISD Community:

Our district joins the nation in mourning after the tragic loss of life at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Broward County Schools were among the first to step up to help our students, and today we stand in solidarity with them in the aftermath of this senseless attack.

We want you to know that the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. We continue to take proactive steps on every campus to ensure the effectiveness of our security measures and identify and address potential threats. The HISD Police Department and Risk Management Team are currently reviewing all emergency policies and procedures, and we will immediately begin increasing the number of drills that are conducted on every campus.

We are also establishing a new team trained specifically to respond to active threats and emergencies, and its members will be stationed throughout the district. In addition, the HISD Police Department conducts annual trainings for its officers on how to respond rapidly to an active shooter event, and in recent months the department provided its officers with additional safety equipment as a tactical response to potential threats on campus. Continue reading

HISD adding minutes to end of each school day to make up for storm closure

Note: Time added to end of school days will vary based on current schedules at each campus. Please check with your campus DIRECTLY for specific schedule information.

HISD will add extra minutes to the end of each school day for the remainder of the 2017-18 year. The added minutes will make up for instruction time lost to this month’s winter ice storm, which closed schools for two days Jan. 16-17.

  • All elementary schools will add 10 minutes to the end of their instructional day starting Jan. 29, 2018.
  • All middle schools will add 10 minutes to the end of their instructional day starting Jan. 29, 2018.
  • High schools will add between zero and 20 minutes to the end of their instructional day, depending on their current schedule, starting on Jan. 29, 2018.  The majority of high schools will need to add 10 or fewer minutes to their schedules, and the changes at individual high schools will be communicated by the schools.

By adding the makeup time to the end of each day, HISD can continue to provide students with safe and reliable transportation.

HISD will not need to add makeup days to the calendar, and no changes will be made to holidays, grading cycles, or the last day of school, which will remain June 1, 2018 for students and June 4, 2018 for teachers.

Superintendent to deliver keynote address at HISD State of the Schools luncheon

The Houston Independent School District will hold its annual State of the Schools luncheon, sponsored by Chevron, on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. The theme is Rebuild + Reimagine – highlighting how stakeholder support can help HISD rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and reimagine educational opportunities for Houston children.

The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the fourth-floor ballroom of the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel (1600 Lamar, 77010). Superintendent Richard Carranza will deliver the keynote address to nearly 1,500 members of Houston’s business, non-profit, and faith-based communities.

State of the Schools, hosted by the HISD Foundation, is an opportunity for business and civic leaders and other community partners to hear about district achievements and challenges from the past year and learn about district priorities, which include innovating teaching and learning in every classroom; uplifting historically underserved schools; bringing wraparound services to every community; and sparking young imaginations with the expansion of fine arts.

This year’s State of the Schools luncheon will benefit the Foundation’s Innovation Fund, which provides grants for teachers and schools to purchase equipment, supplies, and other items to enhance innovative teaching and learning in the classroom. Innovative projects completed by students from elementary, middle, and high schools across the district will be featured before the event in the “Innovation Zone” outside the fourth-floor ballroom.

In addition to Carranza’s keynote address, the event will feature various student performance and welcome remarks from 2018 Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones.

Those who are unable to attend but want to follow along may watch the address streamed live online at,, and

Follow us on Twitter — @HoustonISD and @HISDEspanol — to experience highlights from the event as they happen.


Gregory-Lincoln ES student wins annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition

Gregory-Lincoln Elementary School fifth-grader Tchanori Kone channeled the composed, fighting spirit of her civil rights activist grandfather, Ester King, with her winning speech about her dream to improve the lives of the poor and grant equal and fair access to health care and education for all.

Kone, a native Houstonian, won first place for her speech titled “Making the Dream Come True” at the 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition. Twelve fourth- and fifth-graders from two dozen HISD schools competed in the event, which challenged them to answer the question “What is your dream for today’s world?” with original speeches.

Continue reading

HISD thanks Houston Fire Department for sacrifices during and after Harvey

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, HISD students had the opportunity to thank Houston firefighters by creating gifts of art that reflect the heroism of their work.

Michelle Hernandez, a student at East Early College High School, created artwork portraying a firefighter whose shadow turns into a figure wearing a cape. “We might see a firefighter, but we all know they are all heroes,” said Hernandez.

HISD thanked firefighters during November’s College & Career Ready Day at Austin High School, where Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña reflected on the sacrifices made by the city’s firefighters during and after the storm.

“The men and women in our department responded admirably,” said Peña. “Some of these individuals were out there working two, three, four days straight.”

HISD District VIII Trustee Diana Dávila said first responders played a key role in getting Houston schools ready to welcome students back to the classroom — and back to a sense of normalcy — after Harvey.  “While everybody else was trying to get their lives together and get their homes together, our first responders had to go back and work,” said Dávila. “It’s these people that rally together and help make it all possible.”

Watch the video above for a look at how HISD said thank you to the men and women of the Houston Fire Department.