Category Archives: District II – Rhonda Skillern Jones

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.

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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

Bond Oversight Committee updated on school construction; 13 campuses set to open

The 2018-2019 school year is shaping up to be a busy one for the Houston Independent School District, with 13 new campuses opening next month and five more slated to open in January.

The Bond Oversight Committee learned about the progress of the projects during their quarterly meeting on Tuesday.

To date, the district has opened 27 bond and non-bond projects and expects the current portfolio of building programs to surpass 80 percent completion by the end of 2018. Continue reading

HISD thanks Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for Harvey efforts

This week, HISD joined with more than 20,000 members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated to publicly thank them for donating thousands of dollars to district students and staff in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

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Hilliard ES home at last after being displaced by Harvey

Hilliard Elementary School has officially moved back to their home campus this week, after being relocated last fall due to flood damage resulting from 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.

Newly appointed Principal Erika Kimble said she is glad to be a part of Hilliard’s new beginning, and is looking forward to working in the renovated building.

“I’m excited about joining the Hilliard family,” Kimble said. “We’ll all get a fresh start together in this beautiful building. I can’t wait to welcome the students back in August.” Continue reading

Abatement underway at Scarborough ES

Work has begun at Scarborough Elementary School, where abatement is underway and demolition is soon to start.

The campus is one of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter — being rebuilt as a result of damages sustained last year during Hurricane Harvey.

Scarborough’s $23 million facility will accommodate about 750 students. The two-story 91,300-square-foot-building will feature open brightly-colored learning spaces, large windows, abundant natural light, and extended learning spaces throughout the building for individual and group collaboration.

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Jordan HS hosts beam-signing; PAT members tour site

Barbara Jordan High School for Careers students gathered this week in their old parking lot — now the future site of their new school — to ink their signatures on steel beams beneath the building’s learning staircase.

The students and faculty were invited to sign the beams as a way to commemorate construction progress and memorialize their signatures in the new structure, which is scheduled to be finished by the end of this year.

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