Clad in super hero capes and masks, enthusiastic teachers and staff gathered in the foyer of the new Lawson Middle School to welcome students for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.
Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said the costumes were a reminder to students and parents of their power to move the campus forward and conquer obstacles that stand before them.
“It’s a new era of academic achievement” Bailey said. “Lawson’s academic status is now ‘Growth Distinction.’ We are no longer ‘Improvement Required.’ That alone has given us the additional boost of excitement preparing us for this new academic achievement.”
Under new accountability rating system, the number of schools with “Improvement Required” rating declines to lowest number since 2012
Although the Houston Independent School District received a “Not Rated” label for meeting the state’s criteria to qualify for the Hurricane Harvey waiver, the district was calculated to have earned an overall B rating under Texas’ new school accountability system, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced Wednesday.
According to the ratings released today by TEA, 91 percent of HISD schools (251 out of 275 rated campuses) earned a “Met Standard” rating for the 2017-2018 school year.
“I’m elated about the progress we’ve made,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “It shows that the allocation of additional resources for critical staffing, student supports, and wraparound services encompassed by Achieve 180 is working. Though we are excited about the news we’ve received today, we know we still have work to do.” Continue reading →
Research and Accountability Assistant Superintendent Carla Stevens also honored by CGCS for 25 years of service
HISD’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction has been awarded the “Making Strides Together Curriculum Award for Excellence in Urban Education” by the Council of the Great City Schools for the district’s work on its Achieve 180 program.
HISD Assistant Superintendent of Research and Accountability Carla Stevens displays her award for 25 years of service.
The award, which was presented this week in Minneapolis during the Annual Curriculum and Research Directors’ Joint Meeting, recognizes work across organizational silos to support a common goal to improve student achievement, as well as cross-functional teams’ planning, implementation, and progressmonitoring.
Achieve 180, which was implemented during the 2017-2018 school year, is a program to support, strengthen, and empower underserved and underperforming HISD schools. A key component of the research-based initiative is family and community empowerment. Achieve 180 also includes five other pillars: leadership excellence, teaching excellence, instructional excellence, school design, and social and emotional learning support. Continue reading →
Districtwins 5NSPRA Golden Achievement Awardsand multiple honors for print and digital communications
The Houston Independent School District Communications team was honored for its crisis communications to families, staff, and the community during Hurricane Harvey – the worst disaster in Houston history – with a Golden Achievement Award from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).
HISD’s Communications team, under the direction of Chief Communications Officer Rebecca Suarez, worked day and night to keep families and the public informed before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey. In addition to local communications efforts, the team also facilitated the dissemination of information on a state and national level.
“Harvey did not stop us, but it made us stronger. Despite the difficulties from the hurricane, we found creative ways to communicate critical and timely information to our students, parents, employees, and the community during one of the worst disasters in local history,” Suarez said. “I’m very proud of my team for the hard work and commitment to putting students first in everything we do.”
Golden Achievement Awards recognize exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communication, marketing, and engagement. HISD won a total of five Golden Achievement Awards for the following work: Continue reading →
Students from both campuses participate in five college tours
College-bound students from Worthing High School are reaching back to the elementary students coming behind them to cultivate a college-bound culture throughout the entire Worthing feeder pattern.
“We want the older kids to mentor the young students so they understand credits, extracurriculars, volunteer work, and that you need to perform well on SATs,” said Worthing High School Principal Khalilah Campbell. “We also want our program to grow and for relationships to keep growing so students who will eventually attend Worthing will be focused on college before they even walk through our doors.” Continue reading →
With a stunning view of the forest as a backdrop, North Forest High School stakeholders celebrated the grand opening of the first new high school to be built in the area in almost five decades.
More than 200 community members, students, and staff gathered Friday in the school’s dramatic two-story dining commons for the event, which featured student speakers, performances by the NFHS choir, and remarks by HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. Continue reading →
HISD will not submit any plans to the Texas Education Agency related to SB 1882
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Tuesday adjourned without approving a contract to partner with the governing board of Energized for STEM Academy as part of Senate Bill 1882. The district will no longer pursue this proposal, nor will the district submit plans for partnerships to the TEA.
The proposal was intended to give HISD a two–year pause on accountability from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and prevent sanctions from the state related to House Bill 1842.
HISD will continue to operate and manage the 10 campuses that have been in Improvement Required (IR) status with the state for four years or more. Those campuses are: Blackshear, Dogan, Highland Heights, Mading, and Wesley elementary schools, Henry Middle School, Woodson PK-8, and Kashmere, Wheatley, and Worthing high schools. The district’s goal is to help these 10 schools exit IR and continue to meet yearly standards.
“We are not bringing another partnership proposal to the Board, nor will there be another meeting to consider partnerships for the 10 schools,” said Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “Instead, we will continue to reinforce our commitment to helping students, staff, and families of our Achieve 180 schools continue the hard work they’ve done this year to transform their campuses and increase student achievement.”
HISD will make the necessary changes to the Achieve 180 framework to ensure the district provides them with the additional resources and supports they need to be successful. District administration will be holding meetings with staff and parents at these 10 schools to discuss Achieve 180 plans for their campuses in the 2018-2019 school year. Staff will remain in place at these 10 campuses unless a position is closed as part of the reduction in force HISD is experiencing across the district due to the $115 million budget shortfall.
Kashmere High School stakeholders gathered Tuesday to celebrate the grand opening of their new 21st century campus, which underwent major renovations as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.
Students, staff, alumni, and various dignitaries crowded into the large, brightly lit, central commons area as the nationally acclaimed Kashmere Alumni Reunion Stage Band joined with the dance team and cheerleaders to kick off the festivities. Continue reading →
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 →