Trustees exercise warranty with executive search firm previously utilized by district
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted 6 to 3 to exercise a warranty provision with an executive search firm to conduct a superintendent search.
The executive search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, issued a warranty when it conducted the district’s previous superintendent search, which resulted in the hiring of former superintendent Richard Carranza in August 2016.
Under the firm’s warranty, if the board became dissatisfied with the superintendent within two years from the date of employment, and if the employment was dissolved by either side due to resignation or termination, the firm would conduct a new superintendent search at no cost to the district, except for expenses. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday unanimously voted to adopt recommendations from the district’s Special Education Ad Hoc Committee, which was tasked with assessing HISD’s current special education program.
Approval to accept the report and its seven recommendations grants the interim superintendent the authorization to carry out the recommendations.
In a separate vote, the board also voted to sunset the ad hoc committee. Continue reading →
HISD has launched a new online hub for all legislative information to educate the community and encourage participation in the lawmaking process. The Legislative Center is a unique tool designed to expand the community’s access to state lawmakers and facilitate communication between Houstonians and key decisionmakers in Austin.
Houston Independent School District students showed strong gains that exceeded those made by the state in third- through eighth-grade reading and math, and on end-of-course (EOC) assessments in English I and Algebra I, according to preliminary 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores.
“This year, our students made significant progress on the state-mandated STAAR tests,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are excited about what these preliminary results mean for our schools labeled by the state as Improvement Required and our district’s accountability ratings. HISD is shifting course and turning schools around. We know that it is critical that we continue our commitment to strengthening the supports in place to further advance our progress in student achievement.”
Overall, the spring administration of the 2018 STAAR grades 3-8 assessment results indicate the district held steady or showed increases in the percentage of students meeting the Approaches Grade Level standard in reading, math, science, and social studies. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted in favor of requesting a performance review to be conducted by the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB).
After considering public input since the May regular board meeting, trustees voted six to three to request a performance review from the LBB and concurrently withdraw their previous approval to procure an external performance audit. The LBB will begin working on the performance review this fall. Its findings will be used by the board in time to make informed decisions during the next budget cycle.
The Board also voted by a five-vote majority against the proposed 2018-19 school year budget. State law requires the budget be approved by June 30. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved a recommendation from the Audit Committee calling for an external performance audit.
The Audit Committee recommended an external performance audit be conducted in order to ensure HISD is utilizing scarce resources as efficiently and effectively as possible to inform decision-making and budgeting by the board and administration for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond, and to build public trust by exhibiting good stewardship of public dollars.
In recognition of high school seniors who have exemplified great character and resilience, the Houston Independent School District is launching the HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholar Award – a scholarship of $5,000 or $2,000 awarded to one senior from every HISD high school.
This scholarship is designed for students who face hardships or challenges that may make higher education or career/vocational training difficult or even impossible to attain without assistance. The goal of the award – HISD’s first districtwide scholarship initiative for all high school students – is to remove as many obstacles as possible so that students can pursue higher education opportunities. 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.
Barbara Bush reads to kindergartners at Poe Elementary School in October 2015.
It is with sorrow that we regard the passing of Mrs. Barbara Bush. It is with joy that we celebrate a life so well lived and an exemplary model of advocacy for children.
Her vigorous pursuit of literacy for all children is indeed but a small testament to the person she was and to what she stood for.
Mrs. Bush’s literacy efforts will live through many generations of well-read children who as adults will instill those skills in their children thereby sustaining her never ending legacy.
The HISD Board of Education sends our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of First Lady Barbara Bush and will always be grateful for their sharing her with us and the many children she served.
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education during its regular April meeting voted to approve a resolution calling for federal action related to school shootings.
Trustees voted 8 to 0 to approve the resolution that acknowledges the Board of Education stands with the students of Broward County Public Schools, and students across the country including HISD in demanding effective and comprehensive action from the federal government to protect schoolchildren. The resolution includes a call for Congress to appropriate adequate new funds to allow the nation’s school districts to plan and coordinate school security efforts with law enforcement officials and make changes to buildings that may be necessary to protect students, teachers, and staff. Continue reading →