Category Archives: District II – Rhonda Skillern Jones

Achieve 180 kicks off with back-to-school events 

Back-to-school events aimed at strengthening partnerships with parents and community   

Schools included in HISD’s Achieve 180 initiative are kicking off the 2017-2018 school year for their parents, students, and communities surrounding their campuses with everything from dance parties and parades to free school supplies, immunizations, and dental care.

Thirty-two schools are included in Achieve 180, a new district initiative launching during the 2017-2018 school year to support, strengthen, and empower underserved and underperforming HISD schools. A key component of the research-based initiative is family and community empowerment.   Continue reading

Officers challenged to ‘make a difference’ at HISD Police awards luncheon

HISD Police Chief Robert Mock encouraged his officers to get to know and build relationships with students, as he addressed the group at the department’s 20th Annual Awards Luncheon on Friday.

“You have the ability get to know these students and intervene in their lives,” Mock said. “I challenge each one of you to choose to make a difference.”

HISD police officers, personnel, and family members gathered at Brady’s Landing restaurant for the event, which celebrates the achievements, contributions, and outstanding customer service provided by the department during the academic school year. Continue reading

Fifth Ward community members tour the new Mickey Leland  

Excitement and nostalgia filled the air as community members from the historic Fifth Ward flocked to the new Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men on Friday to get their first glimpse of the new campus.

Roughly 50 school stakeholders and community dignitaries — including Gaston Leland, brother of late Congressman and school namesake Mickey Leland — crowded into the robotics lab, eager to see and learn about the facility, which is set to open to students for the first day of school on Aug. 28. Continue reading

Washington HS engineering students travel to White Sands Missile Range to launch rockets 

It’s an annual tradition. Students from Dr. Nghia Le’s High Altitude Rocketry class at Booker T. Washington High School and the High School for Engineering Professions travel to White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to attempt to launch a rocket they built themselves during the school year.

The results vary from year to year, but this year, the Golden Eagle 6.5 team considered their launch successful, although the rocket did not reach the required 100,000 feet or deliver NASA’s payload.

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New Washington HS taking shape as construction progresses


Construction is more than halfway complete at Washington High School, where crews have completed installation of the building’s west side structural steel, exterior concrete walls, and exterior brick.

Crews are making steady progress. Installation of the exterior glass on the $51.7 million facility is underway, and the west side of the building is ready for both paint and flooring.

“It’s exciting to see what’s taking place,” Washington Principal Carlos Phillips said. “This will be the face of our school.”

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North Forest HS construction edges closer to completion

The North Forest High School Bulldogs will have much to be excited about in 2018 as construction on their new building is 70 percent complete.

Installation of the building’s exterior windows are nearly complete, while painting, polishing of concrete, and hanging of drywall are ongoing, project officials said. Permanent power will be turned on this month, and HVAC units will be brought online.

“It’s going to be a beautiful campus,” North Forest Principal Richard Fernandez said, adding that he is eager for his students to see the school. “I can’t wait to see their reactions when they first walk into the new building.”

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Barbara Jordan HS breaks ground on new regional career hub

Neither gray skies nor threat of rain kept enthusiastic community members away from Barbara Jordan High School for Careers’ groundbreaking celebration on Tuesday, as more than 100 stakeholders turned out to mark the start of construction on a new $36.6 million facility.

“We’re celebrating an important milestone today,” said Jordan Principal Ross McAlpine. “We’ve spent a couple of years in planning, and now it’s great to see construction getting underway.”

The school is in the process of transitioning from a career magnet school to a regional career hub, which is open to students from nine area high schools. The new facility is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2018. Continue reading

Fonwood ECC dedicates new school

Dressed in tiny ties and sparkly dresses, dozens of four-year-old students from Fonwood Early Childhood Center stood before a crowded cafeteria and sang in celebration of the dedication of their new school.

The students are among the first to attend classes in the new early childhood facility, which opened this school year and was specifically designed to enhance the educational experience of the district’s youngest learners.

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HISD to celebrate new building dedication and two groundbreakings in May

Three HISD schools are celebrating construction milestones this month — Fonwood Early Childhood Center will dedicate its new building, while Wharton Dual Language Academy and Barbara Jordan High School for Careers will celebrate the start of construction on their new schools.

The first event will be held at Fonwood Early Childhood Center, where school officials plan to formally dedicate the new school that opened its doors to students for this school year. The new school, which serves the district’s youngest learners, features 27 classrooms, including two special education centers and specialized visual arts and science labs, as well as three outdoor play areas and an outdoor learning center. It also features vibrant interior colors with plenty of natural light throughout. Continue reading

Doors of Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy set to open this August

Students of Mickey LelandCollege Preparatory Academy for Young Men are in for a great start to the year as the long awaited opening of their new school edges closer.

The $42 million project is about 80 percent complete with move-in expected to begin towards the end of July. Finishing touches are being done to both the painting and drywall, while framing in the new building has almost concluded. Site improvements, such as the development of the outdoor track area, are already underway and should be finished by September.

“The kids are really excited to come back,” said Leland Principal Dameion Crook, who smiled when asked if his staff shared that emotion. “The teachers are pumped about it.”

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