Author Archives: HISD Communications

HISD Board of Education names Chief Academic Officer Grenita Lathan as acting superintendent

Grenita Lathan

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education unanimously voted to name Chief Academic Officer Grenita Lathan as interim superintendent of the state’s largest school district.

Lathan was tapped to serve as the interim leader of HISD while trustees search for a permanent replacement for outgoing Superintendent Richard Carranza, who is stepping down after nearly a year and a half with the district.

Lathan will assume the role of acting superintendent immediately, and she will become interim superintendent on April 1. Continue reading

Report shows HISD has taken steps to improve special education program

 The American Institutes for Research (AIR) released a comprehensive new report that finds HISD has already taken specific action that will enable the district to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and implement the report’s recommendations more effectively.

The report, Special Education Program Review, was commissioned by the Houston Independent School District. The HISD Board of Education contracted AIR to assess the district’s strengths and areas in need of improvement with respect to its special education program. The results of the review were presented at the March HISD Board of Education meeting by experts from AIR. Continue reading

HISD Board of Education to consider reduction in force

‘Critical shortage’ positions eliminated from list of positions eligible for RIF

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday will consider a reduction in force for certain term- and continuing-contract employees.

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, 2018 in the Manuel Rodríguez Jr. Board Auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St. Click here to view the full agenda.

Trustees are expected to consider the two annual reduction in force (RIF) agenda items related to being able to execute a reduction in force of teachers and other campus-based employees, as well as certain central office employees who hold term and continuing contracts. These agenda items were originally scheduled for consideration at the Board’s February meeting, however trustees voted to delay a vote until March. Continue reading

Superintendent urges business community, lawmakers to advocate for public education funding changes

HISD Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones says board is committed to strategic and innovative collaboration on behalf of students

Speaking before a packed crowd, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza and HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones urged business professionals and state lawmakers to work with the district in advocating for changes to the state’s funding system for public education.

“The last time the state of Texas updated its school funding system, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States. That was 1984, and a lot has changed since 1984,” Carranza said. “We need a school finance system that will reflect the needs of today’s students and does not so heavily rely on local property taxes to fund schools. We continue to do more with less because the state does not give school districts their fair share for public education. We have lawmakers in the room right now, and we urge them to support a system that provides a better education for our children in the 21st century.”

Continue reading

HISD Board of Education approves contract for construction of four Harvey-damaged schools

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a construction contract for the rebuilding of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Scarborough, Kolter, and Mitchell — severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Trustees authorized district officials to negotiate and execute a Construction Manager-At-Risk — more commonly known as CMAR — contract with Satterfield & Pontikes Construction. A CMAR contract requires the contractor to commit to completing a project within a guaranteed maximum price. Though that price has not yet been negotiated, the agenda item states that the total cost of the project is not to exceed the project budget. Continue reading

HISD hosting community meetings on Improvement Required campuses

HISD Board of Education President Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Trustee Jolanda Jones, and Trustee Wanda Adams are hosting a series of community meetings at schools currently in “improvement required” status, or IR, as designated by the Texas Education Agency.

Ten HISD campuses have struggled academically for four or more years and must meet all state standards this year. State law under House Bill 1842 says if any school currently in IR for the fourth year or more does not meet state standards this year, the state will close it or appoint a Board of Managers to run the school district. Continue reading

HISD Board of Education approves turnaround plans for schools in year two Improvement Required status

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved turnaround plans for the campuses designated Year Two Improvement Required by the Texas Education Agency.

Schools with this designation have not met state standards for two years. These four campuses – Bonham Elementary School, Gregory-Lincoln Education Center (prekindergarten through grade 8), Madison High School, and Washington High School – are required to develop and submit a two-year plan to improve student outcomes. Continue reading

HISD Board of Education approves revised turnaround plan for Kashmere High School

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a revised turnaround plan for Kashmere High School during a special meeting on Thursday.

This is the eighth consecutive year for Kashmere High School to be deemed as “improvement required” — one of the designations used by the TEA to determine whether schools are meeting state standards. As a result, the district is required to submit to the state a plan detailing how it will improve student achievement at the school.

HISD submitted an initial turnaround plan on Oct. 19, but it was rejected last week by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, who asked the district to resubmit the plan with a more detailed description of the budget, staffing, and financial resources required to implement the turnaround. Continue reading

HISD Board of Education approves inclusive practices for special education students

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a resolution to strengthen current services provided to HISD students with special needs to succeed in the general education classroom.

This resolution lays out a set of best practices for increasing the time that special education students spend in the general education classroom, while providing additional services and the support needed.  The district recognizes the need to raise expectations for students with disabilities and educate them in the least restrictive environment.

“As the district focuses on equity in every classroom, we understand our special needs students deserve every resource we can offer to ensure they succeed,” Superintendent Richard Carranza said.  “This resolution is a necessary next step to delivering the services they need.” Continue reading

Three HISD incumbents prevail on election night, one open seat filled, and two open seats head to runoffs

Houston Independent School District Board President Wanda Adams and Trustee Anne Sung were re-elected to the Board of Education Tuesday, while Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca won a seat she was previously appointed to, and Sue Deigaard won the open District V seat.  The District I and District III seats will be decided in a runoff election.

Adams, a graduate of Kashmere High School and Texas Southern University, won a second term as the trustee for District IX. President Adams defeated Gerry Monroe and Karla Brown.

Sung, a Bellaire High School and Harvard University graduate, won her first full term as the trustee of District VII. She was elected in December of 2016 to fill the unexpired term of Harvin Moore. Trustee Sung defeated John Luman. Continue reading