Two winners to be announced at May 19 Educators of the Year banquet
Over the past week, HISD staff, students, and alumni voted more than 105,000 times for their “Fan Favorite” Teacher of the Year. Voters could choose from any of the campus-based Teacher of the Year nominees. The votes are now tallied, and the top four elementary and secondary teachers are moving on to round two. The finalists are: Continue reading →
Students and staff at Atherton Elementary are excited about the newest addition to their campus – a rooftop garden. And they have big plans for it.
“We can learn how plants grow and change over time,” said fifth-grader Nathaniel Alvarenga.
“It’s helping our ecosystems,” added his classmate Isacc Solis. “Birds and bees come, and the bees pollinate the plants.”
Atherton received a new building as part of the 2007 bond program, but plans for the rooftop garden were put on hold as other items took priority. Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones supported the garden, which is receiving its finishing touches this month. The project also got a boost from IDG Architects’ Ben McMillan, who donated funds last October. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District has selected Betti J. Wiggins as the district’s new officer of Nutrition Services.
Wiggins currently serves as the executive director of the office of school nutrition with the Detroit Public Schools Community District, where she is responsible for school-based meal operations in 141 schools for all USDA child nutrition programs. Under her leadership, she helped establish the Detroit School Garden Collaborative, which currently supports more than 80 school-based gardens and a two-acre school farm.
“We are excited to welcome Ms. Wiggins to Houston ISD to lead our school nutrition program,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “She has tremendous experience in school nutrition and will help us improve our program for both students and staff as we invest in new equipment, training and menus.” Continue reading →
Houston Independent School District (“the District”) is currently planning to access the capital markets in April/May 2017. The District anticipates selling the following transactions via negotiated sale. The final size and structure of the transactions have not yet been determined and is subject to change. While it is the District’s expectation to move forward with these transactions, it reserves the right to change or modify its plans as it deems appropriate. Continue reading →
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 →
Brenda Zackery doesn’t mind all the trucks and construction noise at Codwell Elementary across the street from her house on Tavenor Lane, part of a $12.5 million renovation of the school.
“I was upset when they closed it,” she said of the building, which was shuttered to students in 2014 because of moisture problems. “I had gotten used to the kids waking me up in the morning. It will be good for the community when they reopen it.”
Workers didn’t pause on Friday as neighbors, parents, students, and HISD staff gathered at the school site to officially celebrate the construction with a groundbreaking ceremony. The event was part of a milestone day for HISD’s South Area feeder pattern community, which also included a grand-opening celebration for the new Sterling Aviation High School just down the street.
Parents and neighbors gathered Tuesday at Askew Elementary to learn more about the construction of their new school, which is being built as part of HISD’s 2012 bond program.
“Construction is well underway. We’re moving and we’re moving fast,” Jorge Huerta, Askew’s project manager told the group, many of whom cheered the announcement.
The new school has a target opening in the third quarter of 2018, in time for the start of the new school year. Crews then will demolish the old building to make way for a parking lot and playgrounds, work that is expected to be completed by the end of that year.
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.
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.
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 →