Category Archives: Achievement/Recognition

Rice University study: HISD pre-K students more prepared for kindergarten 

A study by Rice University released Wednesday has found that the Houston Independent School District’s pre-K program significantly increases preparedness for kindergarten after as little as one year compared to students who do not attend pre-K.

The study, conducted by a postdoctoral fellow at the university, cites English and Spanish assessment scores from kindergarten students after one and two years of pre-K.

The study found that English-assessment test takers who attended one year of HISD pre-K had 2.8 times greater odds of being ready for kindergarten than a student who attended zero years of HISD pre-K. Students who attended two years of HISD pre-K had 3.8 times greater odds of being school-ready than those who attended zero years of HISD pre-K, and 1.4 greater odds of being school-ready than those who attend one year of HISD pre-K.

Get the detailed report here.

HISD Scholars Banquet honors 100-plus high school seniors at top of their class 

The Houston Independent School District paid tribute to the top students from each high school’s graduating class during the annual Scholars Banquet.

The 101 valedictorians and salutatorians were recognized for their dedication and hard work during the banquet, which was held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, at the Westin Oaks Houston.

“I commend you all for your commitment to academic excellence,” HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza told students. “You have made it a personal priority to prepare for college and ultimately your successful future.”

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Art cars created by HISD students win multiple awards

Heights High School and Rebecca Bass’s tribute to Prince, “Purple Reign,” took home the top prize at the 2017 Art Car Parade, winning the Mayor’s Cup Grand Trophy and $2,000.

It was one of several big HISD winners at this year’s 30th anniversary of the popular parade, which was held Saturday, April 8 in downtown.

“The Chronicles of Northside” by Northside High School, with Ann Bass, won a trophy and third place. The car was covered in yearbook photos to celebrate the school’s 90th anniversary. Continue reading

HISD schools share #LoveMySchoolDay tributes on social media

April 11 is Love My School Day, when schools across the country are asked to flood social media with the reasons why their campus is a great place for students and staff. HISD schools answered in a big way, sharing photos, video, and comments about why they are proud of their school community.
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Liberty HS crowned UIL academic district champion 

On March 25, 43 Liberty High School students competed in the University Interscholastic League district meet and won a medal in each of the 22 categories.

“We dispatched our opponents, including our nearest rival Challenge Early College High School, by 241 points,” said Martin Klein, Liberty High School teacher and UIL academic coordinator.

The school’s achievement makes it the academic sweepstakes district 24-4A champion for two years in a row – with a team made up of 95 percent English Language Learners.

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Madison HS senior graduates despite health challenges 

Surrounded by his family and doctors, as well as HISD Board President Wanda Adams, Madison Principal Orlando Reyna, and staff members, senior Erick Reyes donned a graduation cap and gown for a moving bedside ceremony at Texas Children’s Hospital on Friday.

Fox News was there and posted this story on their website.

Erick has been suffering with bone cancer for the past two years and was recently moved to hospice care. He enrolled at Madison in 2012 and was well on his way to graduation when he was diagnosed with bone cancer.  Erick struggled to continue his studies while receiving treatment but had to stop due to the severity of his illness. He went into remission and returned to campus to finish his final classes, but unfortunately, the cancer returned. Although Erick was unable to complete his dream of walking across the stage with his classmates, he was pleased to be honored with his diploma.

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Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan named National Magnet School of Excellence

Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan has been named a National Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America, the national association for magnet and theme-based schools.

“We are very excited to receive the Magnet School of Excellence Award,” said the school’s principal, Dr. Jyoti Malhan. “Every day, I see our faculty, staff and Baylor College of Medicine collaborators going above and beyond for our students, stepping in for coworkers, and making sure that our campus operation is seamless, and instruction is uninterrupted. I am fortunate to work with Team Awesome.”

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Parker ES named National Magnet School of Distinction  

Parker Elementary has been named a National Magnet School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America, the national association for magnet and theme-based schools.

“Parker has always been an outstanding school and it is a true honor to be recognized by Magnet Schools of America” said Principal Lori Frodine. “The stakeholders truly deserve this recognition, because it is through their collaboration that makes Parker such a special place.”

To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America must submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators. These schools are judged and scored on their demonstrated ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme.

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Power of Public: Solid support systems that keep every child on track

Destini Williams, right, navigated the most difficult time in her life without leaving her studies behind, thanks to help from Deborah Greco, left, with Communities in Schools. The group is one of many that partners with HISD to provide behavior and medical services, parent education, and other social services that address the whole child.

Editor’s Note: February 27 through March 3 is Texas Public Schools Week, and we are celebrating by sharing personal stories throughout HISD on how public education is helping students succeed. Tweet at us @HoustonISD and share how public education is positive force for you or your student, using the hashtag #PowerofPublic.

Destini Williams remembers many times in the past four years when she could have dropped out of school. Like when her mother died of breast cancer a month before the start of her freshman year. Or a year later when her father suffered a stroke that put him in the hospital and rehab for nine months. Or after his second stroke last fall.

“She has the determination to keep going even when a lot of people would have given up,” said Deborah Greco, a licensed social worker for Communities in Schools of Houston and part-time counselor at North Houston Early College High, where Destini is a senior. “Her story is not common, but it’s not extraordinary either. The issues are so huge for students, it’s difficult for them to focus on school.” Continue reading

Power of Public: Supporting leaders who believe in every child

Principal Bertie Simmons has transformed Furr High by believing in every student who walks onto her campus. “We’re trying to teach them they can make a contribution to the world in a very positive way. They usually don’t get outside their own neighborhoods. It makes a big difference to open their eyes to new ways of doing things.”

Editor’s Note: February 27 through March 3 is Texas Public Schools Week, and we are celebrating by sharing personal stories throughout HISD on how public education is helping students succeed. Tweet at us @HoustonISD and share how public education is positive force for you or your student, using the hashtag #PowerofPublic.

Furr High Principal Bertie Simmons grabs a turquoise soccer ball from a bag in her storage closet, tosses it to the tall boy standing in her office, and instructs him to kick it around.

The boy — a junior in a neighboring district hoping to re-enroll at Furr — looks dubious but follows instructions. After a few minutes, the 82-year-old principal takes the ball back and holds it up as she connects a cord attached to a bulb, which immediately begins to glow. Continue reading