Category Archives: District II – Rhonda Skillern Jones

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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Rooftop garden inspires learning and excitement at Atherton ES

Students and staff at Atherton Elementary are excited about the newest addition to their campus – a rooftop garden. And they have big plans for it.

“We can learn how plants grow and change over time,” said fifth-grader Nathaniel Alvarenga.

“It’s helping our ecosystems,” added his classmate Isacc Solis. “Birds and bees come, and the bees pollinate the plants.”

Atherton received a new building as part of the 2007 bond program, but plans for the rooftop garden were put on hold as other items took priority. Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones supported the garden, which is receiving its finishing touches this month. The project also got a boost from IDG Architects’ Ben McMillan, who donated funds last October. Continue reading

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

Change awaits Kashmere HS as renovation work passes halfway mark

Construction crews have completed two-thirds of the renovation work slated for Kashmere High School, and the final third is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

Integral parts are coming together quickly. Both the auditorium entrance and drywall are finished, the roofing is in progress, the new HVAC system is being installed, and the pouring of the driveway is almost complete.

“Our students and staff continue to work and learn as construction moves forward,” Kashmere Principal Nancy Blackwell said excitedly. “The changes are amazing.”

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Hundreds gather to dedicate, celebrate new Delmar Fieldhouse 

Standing before hundreds of cheering fans packed into the stands at the new Delmar Fieldhouse, HISD Board President Wanda Adams began to pump up the crowd.

“We need to get this party started! Are y’all ready?” she hollered, clapping her hands above her head as she led the fans in a celebratory cheer. Continue reading