Category Archives: District II – Rhonda Skillern Jones

HISD to hold subcontractor outreach session for rebuilding of Harvey-damaged schools

The HISD Business Assistance Supplier Diversity team is holding an outreach session on Friday for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) interested in working as subcontractors on the projects to rebuild four schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Last week, the HISD Board of Education selected Satterfield & Pontikes Construction as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) tasked with overseeing the demolition and construction of the four elementary schools – Kolter, Mitchell, Braeburn, and Scarborough. Continue reading

District II community meeting planned for Feb. 15

HISD District II Trustee Rhonda-Skillern Jones will discuss the district’s 2018-2019 budget during a community meeting for Oak Forest Elementary School and Frank Black Middle School families at 5 p.m. at Frank Black Middle School (1575 Chantilly, Houston 77018).

Construction on new Washington HS nearing completion

Washington High School students and staff are edging closer to moving into their new building with the construction project now 85 percent complete.

Tile flooring and doors have been installed, as have cabinetry, countertops, and fume hoods in the career and technology classrooms, science and agricultural labs, and computer-aided design spaces. Crews are installing bathroom fixtures and sinks in the science and engineering labs where painting and floor staining also are underway.

In addition, crews are nearly done painting the auditorium and administrative offices and wrapping up installation of the school’s elevator.

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HISD Board of Education approves contract for construction of four Harvey-damaged schools

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a construction contract for the rebuilding of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Scarborough, Kolter, and Mitchell — severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Trustees authorized district officials to negotiate and execute a Construction Manager-At-Risk — more commonly known as CMAR — contract with Satterfield & Pontikes Construction. A CMAR contract requires the contractor to commit to completing a project within a guaranteed maximum price. Though that price has not yet been negotiated, the agenda item states that the total cost of the project is not to exceed the project budget. Continue reading

Bond Oversight Committee tours North Forest HS, hears update on bond and building programs

The Houston Independent School District Bond Oversight Committee got an up-close and personal look at a 21st-century learning environment on Tuesday when they toured the new North Forest High School during their regular quarterly meeting.

The eight-member group gathered first in the auditorium for a brief introduction and a chance to see the space’s retractable seating, before moving on to the dramatic main hall, which serves as a focal point for the school.

The space features modern chandeliers and lots of windows providing both natural light and views of the surrounding landscape. It connects to a food-court-style dinning commons with two levels of flexible seating. Continue reading

HISD hosting community meetings on Improvement Required campuses

HISD Board of Education President Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Trustee Jolanda Jones, and Trustee Wanda Adams are hosting a series of community meetings at schools currently in “improvement required” status, or IR, as designated by the Texas Education Agency.

Ten HISD campuses have struggled academically for four or more years and must meet all state standards this year. State law under House Bill 1842 says if any school currently in IR for the fourth year or more does not meet state standards this year, the state will close it, appoint a Board of Managers to run the school district, or order alternate management for these campuses. Continue reading

Hundreds turn out to beautify grounds of Hilliard ES after Harvey

Last fall, Hilliard Elementary School was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. Floodwaters breached the building and pooled in hallways, classrooms, and the cafeteria. At their worst, they rose as high as four feet.

The damage was so severe, students and staff had to relocate so construction crews could carry out a major overhaul of the building.

“Hilliard was wrecked,” HISD Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby said. “It was heartbreaking to see the extent of the damage.”

Five months later, the environment at the elementary school has completely changed — thanks in part to more than 640 volunteers from across the country, all of whom gathered last week at the newly renovated school to beautify the campus grounds. Continue reading

Kashmere HS celebrates grand opening of renovated campus

Kashmere High School stakeholders gathered Tuesday to celebrate the grand opening of their new 21st century campus, which underwent major renovations as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program.

Students, staff, alumni, and various dignitaries crowded into the large, brightly lit, central commons area as the nationally acclaimed Kashmere Alumni Reunion Stage Band joined with the dance team and cheerleaders to kick off the festivities. Continue reading

HISD Police Department adds emergency equipment to its fleet 

Just in time for the new year, the HISD Police Department received a donation of kayaks, rescue gear and other emergency equipment secured by District II Board Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones.

“During Hurricane Harvey, I witnessed our police department’s efforts assisting people get to higher ground using every resource we had – buses, SUVs and cars,” Trustee Skillern-Jones said.  “If we are going to be a part of rescue efforts, we need to ensure our officers are equipped with safe equipment that allows them do so.”   Continue reading

North Forest celebrates transition into new school with ceremonial walk

Hundreds of North Forest High School students followed Principal Darryl Henson across Mesa Road on Monday, coming together to formally mark their transition into their new school.

The $59.5 million campus is the first new high school built in the North Forest community in almost 50 years.

“It’s important to show our students that we are coming over into a new environment that was built just for them,” Henson said, talking about the importance of the ceremonial walk from the old building to the new one. “I want the kids to feel a sense of pride and ownership.”

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