Category Archives: District IV – Jolanda Jones

Yates High School welcomes guests to the Lion’s Den to celebrate school’s grand opening

A sea of crimson and gold filled the foyer of Jack Yates High School on Oct. 16, as guests donning the school’s colors gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new 208,000 square foot building.

A host of special guests and community members joined students, faculty, and staff to recognize the special occasion. The festivities kicked off with high energy as the school’s Marching Motion band provided a show-stopping performance.

“The new building offers brand new technology and a new atmosphere,” Senior Class President Alyss Kerl said. “As a senior in the school of communication, printing technology pathway, I have been provided a new studio in the printing image tech class, which has allowed students to be introduced to industrial printing machines.”

The $65 million building features a grand entryway with large windows connecting the front and back entrances and flexible learning spaces specifically built to showcase the communications and maritime magnet programs.

“This day is important to me because all my family went to school here, so I am excited and proud that we have this new school,” HISD Board of Education District IV Trustee Jolanda Jones said.

Additional features include a three-story academic wing with flexible core learning centers and a one-story, high-volume performance wing with an auditorium as well as fine arts and JROTC spaces. Other features include a gymnasium and athletics area, and large dining commons with floor-to-ceiling windows.

While the gathering highlighted the beginning of a new chapter for the school, it also offered a chance to reflect on Yates’ rich history.

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan reminded students of the school’s storied past, which has produced a long line of trailblazers and pioneers.

“As you walk these halls, remember that you come from greatness. The new library and modern facility you now call home provides you with the tools you need to create your own legacy,” Lathan said.

Yates Principal Tiffany Guillory thanked those who were instrumental in the project, including the Third Ward community that voted for the 2012 Bond.

“I want everyone to be a part of our facility,” Guillory said. “You are welcomed into our facility to spend time seeing the beautiful things this building offers.”

The ceremony also included a rededication of the Hazel Hainsworth Young Library, whose namesake was one of the school’s first teachers when it opened in 1926 as Yates Colored High. Young’s daughter, Marianne Young Walker, addressed the crowd and said she knows her late mother is looking down and smiling.

Also in attendance for the day’s festivities were U.S. Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, Council Member Dwight Boykins, Council Member At-Large Mike Knox, and representatives from the office of Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who presented the school with a resolution.

The students of Yates’ communications magnet programs also lent their expertise during the grand opening ceremony by live-streaming the event for their classmates.

Following the ceremony guests were taken on student led tours of the new facility.

More than 80 percent of all school construction projects from the 2012 Bond are expected to top 80 percent by the end of 2018. Once all projects are finished, HISD will have one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.

Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest construction updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.

HISD Board of Education votes unanimously to reinstate Lathan as interim superintendent

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education voted unanimously to reinstate Dr. Grenita Lathan as interim superintendent of HISD.

The Board of Education also voted to authorize the Board President or her designees and the interim superintendent to bring back recommendations concerning executive coaches for trustees and the interim superintendent, respectively. Trustees voted to submit a request to the Texas Education Agency to change the district’s assigned governance conservator.

In addition, trustees voted to set a date for the completion of the superintendent search and adopt a resolution concerning reconciliation.

The firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates will conduct a national search for a permanent superintendent.

Energy Institute HS celebrates grand opening of new facility

Known for its innovation, Energy Institute — which once programmed robots to shovel dirt at its groundbreaking ceremony — decided to forego a traditional ribbon-cutting, and instead have students use a circular saw to cut a wooden board laser printed with the school’s logo. The cut pieces were then presented to special guests at the event.

“What a journey,” Energy Principal Lori Lambropoulos said as she looked out to the crowd. “This school is the first one of its kind in the nation, and we could not have done any of this without all of you in this room.” Continue reading

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

Yates HS students enter the new Lion’s Den for the first day of school

Festive music and cheers filled the air of the new Yates High School as students danced their way into the new facility to kick off the 2018-2019 school year.

More than 20 alumni — donning crimson and gold — gathered at the school’s main entrance chanting the school song as the band and color guard performed for students and staff in celebration of the new facility.

“The building brings life to Yates and the community,” said Yates alumnus Marcus Brooks, who is also the father to a current Yates senior. “It’s something new and fresh for the kids.”

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YWCPA welcomes students to newly renovated campus for first day of school

Excitement could be seen on the faces of many students at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy as they walked the halls of their newly renovated facility for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.

The school’s multi-phased construction project wrapped earlier this summer with completion of the final work to third-floor classrooms and learning commons areas.

“It’s definitely exciting,” YWCPA Principal April Williams said, mentioning the completion of the school’s final renovations. “It really sells our school well and the girls deserve it.”

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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

Thomas MS prepares for new students with building facelift

Thomas Middle School is getting a facelift this summer thanks to the help of the Houston Independent School District Facilities Services team.

The school is being updated to accommodate incoming middle school students from Woodson, which is transitioning this summer from a prekindergarten through eighth-grade campus to a prekindergarten through fifth-grade academy.

“I am excited for the students,” newly appointed Principal Vernitra Shivers said, noting that she was excited to see the dated campus get an update. “We will be growing in numbers over the summer, so this is needed.”

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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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YWCPA to showcase completed construction for 2018-19 school year

Construction on the newly renovated Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy is nearly 100 percent complete as the final phase of the project wraps up in preparation for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

When they return this August, students will be greeted by renovated third-floor classrooms, new extended learning areas, and updated restrooms, all of which will be complete in a matter of days.

“My students, staff, and I are beyond thrilled about the renovations,” YWCPA Principal April Williams said. “This updated, modern facility — which still has its character and charm from the past — will indeed change the way we teach and change the way our girls learn.”

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