Category Archives: District II – Rhonda Skillern Jones

HISD Board of Education hosting meetings to gather input on superintendent search

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education is conducting a nationwide search for a permanent superintendent, and trustees are seeking input from the community about the qualities and traits they would like to see in their next district leader.

HISD Board of Education trustees have scheduled several meetings to gather feedback from the community that will be used to develop a superintendent candidate profile. The dates and times for the meetings are listed below.

In March, Dr. Grenita Lathan was named by trustees as HISD’s interim superintendent. Lathan will continue to serve in that capacity during the duration of the search.  Continue reading

Six HISD schools set to open new facilities in January

HISD will open six new schools next month, bringing the total number of new campuses opened during the past year to 21 and marking the completion of more than 80 percent of all school construction projects.

Schools include Madison and Worthing high schools, Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center, Barbara Jordan Career Center, Wharton Dual Language Academy, and Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. All are part of the 2012 Bond Program.

“We’ve completed a record-breaking number of projects,” HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said. “Essentially, that means more students now have access to vibrant, modern, state-of-the-art learning spaces. That’s our goal.” Continue reading

HISD Board of Education unanimously votes to reinstate Lathan as interim superintendent

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education voted unanimously to reinstate Dr. Grenita Lathan as interim superintendent of HISD.

The Board of Education also voted to authorize the Board President or her designees and the interim superintendent to bring back recommendations concerning executive coaches for trustees and the interim superintendent, respectively. Trustees voted to submit a request to the Texas Education Agency to change the district’s assigned governance conservator.

In addition, trustees voted to set a date for the completion of the superintendent search and adopt a resolution concerning reconciliation.

The firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates will conduct a national search for a permanent superintendent.

Hilliard ES holds grand re-opening celebration

The atmosphere was festive and joyful at Hilliard Elementary School on Thursday morning, as students and staff gathered to welcome guests, and celebrate the grand re-opening of their beloved campus, which was heavily damaged last year in Hurricane Harvey.

Hilliard students and staff spent last school year at the former Fonwood Early Childhood Center to allow crews time to repair and renovate their flood-damaged campus. The school officially moved back to their refurbished building over the summer, in time for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

“We are so excited to be on our home campus,” Hilliard Principal Erika Kimble said. “We are back, and we are thriving.”

Since Hurricane Harvey, the school — including all classrooms, the library, and the gym — has been completely restored, as have the campus grounds. Additionally, a new retention pond and extensive storm drainage system have been added to prevent future flooding. Continue reading

HISD PD hosts ‘National Night Out’ against neighborhood crime

Music, laughter, and cheers filled the courtyard at Marshall Middle Academy of Fine Arts on Tuesday as students, employees, and community members participated in the HISD Police Department’s National Night Out celebration.

National Night Out is an annual event that aims to make neighborhoods safer by strengthening relationships between community members and police departments. HISD Police honored the day with a free public celebration, which featured local vendors and organizations, music, food, and appearances from emergency personnel.

“NNO is just a festive day. We host these events because we want our communities to feel relaxed in their neighborhoods,” HISD Chief Police Paul Cordova said. “We want them to collaborate on how to solve problems, meet each other, meet us, and feel comfortable.”

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Washington HS celebrates the past and future in new building

Booker T. Washington High School alumni, community leaders, special guests, and elected officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the school’s 125-year anniversary and newly built engineering magnet school.

The $56.5 million project, which is part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, highlights the use of 21st century technology through its specialized engineering and science labs and flexible learning spaces that support project-based instruction and encourages collaboration.
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HISD Transportation Services holding job fair to recruit bus drivers

The Houston Independent School District’s Transportation Services department will host a job fair this month to recruit bus drivers as part of continuing efforts to make sure all routes are fully staffed and drivers are available for both new routes and to provide coverage if employees are absent.

The job fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Sterling High School.

Selected applicants will earn a starting hourly wage of $16.65 and will be provided free CDL training. Other benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance, Teacher Retirement System participation and special trip pay options. Continue reading

Hilliard ES beginning school year in renovated building after Harvey

The start of school means many things to many people. But for the faculty and staff of Hilliard Elementary School, this year is a celebration of resiliency.

The excitement is palpable in the school, as teachers move about putting final touches on their classrooms. The pristine foyer features a colorful bulletin board proclaiming the school’s theme for the year — Mission: Possible.

“It’s good to be home,” Hilliard Principal Erica Kimble said. “That’s how everyone feels.”

It was just one year ago that Hurricane Harvey ripped through the Houston area, leaving the nation’s fourth largest city under 51 inches of water. The flood waters took no mercy on Hilliard, depositing as much four feet of water in some areas of the school. Continue reading

Four elementary schools look to future after sustaining damage during Harvey

When Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston last August, it left a devastating mark on nearly everything it touched — including schools.

Nearly every campus in HISD received some damage, but there were four elementary schools — Scarborough, Mitchell, Kolter, and Braeburn — that received damage so significant that they had to be rebuilt.

That process is now underway. Design plans have been approved, and construction on the new schools is soon to begin. The students and staff from each of the four schools will remain in temporary spaces until their home schools are rebuilt and opened, which is expected in January 2020.

Continue reading

Record-setting 13 HISD schools set to open for the 2018-2019 school year

This month, more than a dozen schools will formally open to students for the start of the 2018-2019 school year – the largest number of building openings at one time in district history.

“We’re excited to turn these new buildings over to the schools,” HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said. “I think we’ve created wonderful new 21st century learning environments for the students, and we can’t wait to see them enjoying the new facilities.” Continue reading