Category Archives: District II – Rhonda Skillern Jones

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

HISD Trustees and Superintendent heading to Austin to discuss school finance solutions

Members of the HISD Board of Education and Superintendent Richard Carranza will spend two full days in Austin this week, collaborating with top state leaders to address changes to Texas’ school finance system.

Board President Wanda Adams, trustees Anna Eastman, Michael Lunceford, and Rhonda Skillern-Jones, along with Superintendent Richard Carranza will have scheduled meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with state leaders and members of HISD’s legislative delegation in Austin.

“The HISD Board of Education and administration are united in our desire to work constructively with our state leaders to identify funding solutions that put children first,” Adams said. “We all agree that Texas’ school finance system was never intended to take classroom resources from our state’s most needy children.” Continue reading

HISD Board of Education elects new officers

District IX Trustee Wanda Adams named 2017 president

The HISD Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to name District IX Trustee Wanda Adams president for 2017.

A Kashmere High School graduate, Adams was first elected to the school board in 2013. She previously served six years on the Houston City Council.

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Santa is part of the family at Fonwood ECC

Students and staff at Fonwood Early Childhood Center didn’t just get a new building this year, they also got a new friend.

The new early childhood center opened to students in August, but crews have remained on site finishing punch list items. Though most work is done after school hours, HISD Construction Project Manager Dwight Wilson is at the school most days to oversee the project and ensure students are safe and work is being finished correctly.

It’s safe to say he has made quite an impression.

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HISD unveils 2016 holiday greeting cards designed by students

The Houston Independent School District announced the winners of the district’s 2016 holiday greeting card competition that features creative student artwork highlighting family holiday traditions, seasonal decorations, and classic holiday songs.

The winners – fourth-grader Angela Ramos of Ed White Elementary School, seventh-grader Annette Hernandez of Pilgrim Academy, and 11th-grader Javier Garcia of Scarborough High School – were among 40 finalists from elementary, middle, and high schools. All finalists received a boxed set of their holiday cards. Their holiday cards also will be available for purchase and on display at the HISD administration building. Continue reading

Construction on new North Forest High School reaches halfway point

Construction on the new North Forest High School, located on the city’s northeast side, is now 50 percent complete and scheduled to be finished in the third quarter of 2017.

“The project has really gained momentum over the last quarter,” said HISD Senior Manager of Construction Services Meredith Smith, who is overseeing the project. “We’re right at the half-way point now, and there’s lots of activity on the site. We’re seeing progress every day.”

The new $59.5 million campus, which is being built on the east side of Mesa Road across from the existing school, will accommodate 1,500 students. Continue reading

HISD students raise SAT/PSAT scores by hundreds of points using free test prep from Khan Academy

Two Booker T. Washington students have become national ambassadors for successful SAT/PSAT prep by  increasing their scores a combined 670 points, thanks to free practice tools available to every HISD student through Khan Academy.

In mid-October, the CollegeBoard flew Valencia Grayson and Matthew Blue to the Council of the Great City Schools fall conference in Miami, where they were honored for their success with the Khan SAT prep. HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza also attended the conference, where HISD was recognized for actively promoting the Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy.

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HISD names new deputy superintendent

Samuel Sarabia

Samuel Sarabia

Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza has selected Chief School Officer Samuel Sarabia as the district’s new deputy superintendent.

Dr. Sarabia, a 29-year veteran educator, has spent his entire public education career working at HISD. He currently serves as chief school officer in the HISD Office of School Support for the district’s south area. He previously served as a chief school officer over elementary schools.

“Dr. Sarabia has been a well-respected and dedicated leader at HISD for more than two decades,” Carranza said. “He carries a robust background in public education and school administration with a remarkable track record in leading student-focused learning and increasing achievement for students of all backgrounds. I am excited to work with him closely as we focus on making HISD a world-class school district.” Continue reading

35 schools to be under construction by year’s end, BOC learns at quarterly meeting

The Houston Independent School District expects to have almost three dozen schools under active construction by the end of 2016, HISD Construction Officer Derrick Sanders told the Bond Oversight Committee (BOC) on Tuesday during their quarterly meeting.boc-oct-2016

Pending board approval of additional contracts, the district will have 35 projects actively underway, leaving just two — Austin and Bellaire high schools — to begin construction in 2017. Up from about two dozen projects in the last quarter, that is more active construction than at any time in HISD’s history, and also believed to be record-setting in Texas and the U.S.

“The quantity of contracts that we’ve moved through the process is incredible,” Sanders said. “We’ve gotten a lot done, but have a lot more to do. We welcome the challenge.” Continue reading

52 schools take on Family Friendly Schools Challenge

The Family and Community Engagement Department (FACE) is welcoming 52 HISD campuses into its Family Friendly Schools Program for the 2016-2017 school year – twice the number of campuses from the previous school year.

Through a series of research-based activities and strategies to expand and build relationships with families, link family events to student learning, build parent capacity and support efforts for parent empowerment, schools have an opportunity to earn a star toward one of three Family Friendly School Certification levels: Continue reading