Author Archives: HISD Communications

HISD to broadcast live DACA Town Hall

The Houston Independent School District will hold a live town hall on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at 3 p.m. on Nov. 13, and it will be streamed via HISD-TV and social media.

The program will address questions about DACA, which was created in 2012 to allow young people brought to the U.S. by their parents to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and to receive permission to work, study, and obtain a driver’s license. DACA recipients who did not apply for renewal by Oct. 5 are in danger of losing their protection from deportation and their work permit this year under a plan to start phasing out the program. Continue reading

Community relocation meetings taking place

As a result of Hurricane Harvey, some HISD schools have been damaged, and students are being relocated to other schools.

R.P. Harris Elementary School

HISD Trustee Diana Davila and will be hosting a community meeting to discuss the delayed start for R.P. Harris ES at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, at the school (1262 Mae Dr., Houston, Texas 77015). Parents may visit student classrooms after the meeting.

Vote in second round of ‘Fan Favorite’ Teacher of the Year

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

Rooftop garden inspires learning and excitement at Atherton ES

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

HISD names new officer of Nutrition Services

Betti Wiggins

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

HISD announces upcoming bond sales

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

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

Codwell ES and Sterling Aviation HS celebrations focus on neighborhood schools

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.

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Askew ES community hears construction update on new school

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.

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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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