Category Archives: Achieve 180

Professional Learning Communities driving effective instruction at Worthing HS 

Before Worthing High School teacher Mike Judge sits down and begins to map out a classroom lesson for his students, he meets first with a group of teachers and administrators from his campus to examine data, collaborate and share expertise. The group meeting is called a PLC or a Professional Learning Community.

“Our PLCs are the foundation of effective teaching here at Worthing,” Principal Khalilah Campbell told HISD trustees at a board presentation Dec. 5. “When we sat down as a team and really examined our campus data to determine the root cause of our school’s struggles, it became clear to us that is was planning.”

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Instruction at Mading ES gets a practice run to ensure quality lessons

Before delivering a lesson to his students at Mading Elementary School, fifth-grade teacher Marques Guillory often first presents his lesson to a group of teachers on his campus. The practice, called “at bats,” gives Guillory a chance to have a few swings at instruction before presenting in front of his students.

“It’s kind of like a pre-game or pre-lesson, and you get feedback from your colleagues,” Guillory said.


Mading, which is part of the district’s Achieve 180 initiative, is using the at-bats strategy to ensure every teacher delivers effective and quality instruction to students the first time. Mading Principal Nicole Haskins explained the at-bats strategy and other instructional techniques her campus is using to HISD Board of Education members during a presentation on Dec. 5. 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

Achieve 180 schools using new resource for student interventions

Universal screener allows teachers to identify struggling students and provide targeted plan of action

All HISD schools are using a new resource to ensure students who need interventions in reading and/or math receive the support they need.

The resource, called a universal screener, allows teachers to measure the current skillset of a student using a brief assessment that is conducted three times per school year. The data gathered from those assessments allows teachers to identify students who need interventions, plan a course of action to target their academic needs, and monitor their progress throughout the school year.

“By using the universal screener and the immediate data it provided, we were able to start interventions week one, we didn’t have to wait,” said Lysette Cooper, principal of Cook Elementary. Cook is one of 45 schools that is part of Achieve 180, a research-based action plan to support the district’s most historically underserved and academically challenged schools. Continue reading

Achieve 180 campuses providing literacy and wraparound supports for students 

Leaders from Dogan ES and Henry MS provide progress update to board 

Students at Patrick Henry Middle School are getting intense support and specialized interventions to improve their literacy skills as part of the district’s Achieve 180 initiative. The campus has added a literacy specialist, is utilizing a universal screener to determine student reading levels, and is providing literacy report cards for every student.

“We will be having meetings for all of our parents to go over the report cards so they can understand what level their child is at,” said Principal Kenneth Brantley. “Plus we are going to provide them with free resources and things they can do at home to directly support their child in reading and writing.”  Continue reading

HISD hosting Parental Involvement Conference 

HISD will be serving as this year’s host for the 2017 Statewide Parental Involvement Conference set for Nov. 30  to Dec. 2  at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near NRG Park (8686 Kirby Drive).

Title I and Achieve 180 schools are encouraged to have staff and parents attend this year’s conference.

Over the course of the three-day conference, parents and educators will learn strategies for empowering all school community stakeholders in an effort to increase student achievement and to meet the required mandates of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.  Continue reading

‘Communities of Practice’ visits kick off at Achieve 180 campuses 

Weekly visits by district departments part of centrally provided supports

Leaders from various HISD departments visited Patrick Henry Middle School on Oct. 12 for the first “Communities of Practice” visit under Achieve 180 , the district’s plan to increase student achievement at underperforming schools.

Achieve 180 is based on six pillars that will guide the transformative work across the district and includes centrally provided resources, support, and staffing for the 44 campuses in the program.

Each week, staff members from various HISD departments will visit a different school to tour the campus, observe classroom instruction, and view staff collaboration and instructional planning. The group then will meet to debrief what they saw and have a frank “think tank” discussion with campus and district leadership on instructional alignment at the school, teacher effectiveness, and specific problems of practice observed during the classroom visits.  Continue reading

Board receives progress update on Achieve 180 initiative

Kashmere, Wheatley, and Woodson PK-8 leaders present challenges and changes on their campuses

HISD Board of Education trustees received an update at the Oct. 12 board meeting on Achieve 180, a research-based action plan to support, strengthen, and empower underserved and underperforming schools across HISD.

Achieve 180 School Support Officer Felicia Adams made a presentation on the progress that has been made at the 44 campuses included in the program and outlined the amount of time that has been spent on each of its six guiding pillars: leadership excellence, teacher excellence, instructional excellence, school design, social and emotional learning supports, and family and community empowerment. Best practices from previous successful school turnaround initiatives have been incorporated into the pillars. Continue reading

HISD Trustees approve policy reinforcing commitment to wraparound services

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a policy designed to reinforce the district’s commitment to providing students with wraparound services to better support their social and emotional needs outside the classroom.

The new policy – titled Student Support Services – outlines the Board’s belief that wraparound services are rooted in strong communities and directs the Superintendent to develop the framework for implementing community-based services.

The services are designed to address critical issues such as mental health, physical needs, food insecurity, violence at home, parent incarceration, and legal and crisis support. Continue reading

Achieve 180 focus of District IX community meetings 

HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams is hosting a series of District IX community meetings  this month to discuss the district’s Achieve 180 initiative, a research-based action plan to support, strengthen, and empower underserved and underperforming schools. Nine schools located in District IX are included in the initiative.

During the Oct. 9 meeting at Madison High School, which is an Achieve 180 campus, Adams showed a welcome message from Superintendent Carranza, who asked parents and community members to join the Achieve 180 movement.

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