Category Archives: District V – Michael Lunceford

HISD to open nine schools for 2017-2018 school year

Nine schools across the Houston Independent School District will formally open their doors to all students for the first time on Monday — the first day of the 2017-2018 school year.

New schools set to open this school year include Furr, Milby and Wisdom high schools, as well as Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men and DeBakey High School for Health Professions. DeBakey technically opened to summer school students in May, but Monday marks the start of its first fall semester in the new building.

Another four schools — Kashmere and Waltrip high schools, Sharpstown International School, and Codwell Elementary — underwent major renovations.

“These schools are the true definition of modern, collegiate learning environments, and we’re so excited to open them to students,” HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said. “For us, the first day of school doesn’t just represent the opening of these nine schools. It represents the completion of nearly half the projects in the 2012 Bond Program. That’s huge.”

All the schools — with the exception of Codwell Elementary School — were funded by the district’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, which calls for the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools.

The designs for each school are unique to their individual academic and community needs, but each places an emphasis on providing a modern 21st-century learning environment with centralized learning commons, flexible classroom spaces, outdoor learning areas, large windows allowing in plenty of natural light, outdoor learning areas, and other seating nooks where students can gather to create and learn.

Schools previously opened under the program include Tanglewood Middle, Condit and Mark White elementary schools, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, North Houston and South early college high schools, Fonwood Early Childhood Center, and Sterling Aviation High School. Construction was also completed on Delmar Fieldhouse and Butler and Barnett stadiums.

In addition to specific schools and stadiums, the bond program also includes work that will benefit students across the district, including technology upgrades, middle school restroom renovations, and safety and security improvements.

Construction is ongoing at more than two dozen additional campuses across the district. Once complete, HISD will feature one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the country.

 

Plan to rebuild Bellaire HS moving forward

The Houston Independent School District is moving forward with a plan to rebuild Bellaire High School at its current location on South Rice Boulevard and has formally submitted applications to the City of Bellaire for required permits and variances.

The first stop for the project proposal will be the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on June 13, when the request for a Specific Use permit will be considered. In addition, the district is seeking variances from the Board of Adjustments that would allow construction of a building of approximately 434,000 square feet with up to four stories on some portions toward the interior of the site.

The Board of Adjustments meeting is June 15. If the Specific Use permit and variances are approved, the project then could head to the Bellaire City Council in August for a public hearing and final vote.

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Hundreds attend dedication for new DeBakey HS for Health Professions

More than 300 students, teachers, parents, and medical center community members converged on the Texas Medical Center on Thursday to celebrate the dedication of the new DeBakey High School for Health Professions.

Columns of blue and white balloons flanked center stage and music from the DeBakey orchestra filled the five-story atrium as attendees took their seats, eager to celebrate the school’s opening and tour the new facility.

“This year we will be celebrating 45 years,” DeBakey Principal Agnes Perry said. “DeBakey High School for Health Professions has successfully introduced and honed an innovative magnet school model.”

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Bellaire HS senior twins have matching GPAs and class rank 

Bellaire High School’s Connelly twins may look alike, but they have forged two very different paths in high school.

Caitlin is varsity swim captain, loves Spanish and will attend Texas Christian University. Gillian is a varsity cheerleader, likes art and history, and will attend Texas A&M. So imagine their mother’s surprise when the calculations for GPA and class rank came back: The girls have the exact same numbers.

“I found it odd that they had exactly the same GPA and class rank,” said Elizabeth Connelly, who teaches second grade at Horn Elementary school. “I thought there must be a mistake, so I contacted the school to verify the information. But it’s correct.” Caitlin and Gillian both have a 3.8 GPA and a class rank of 208 out of 789 students at Bellaire.   Continue reading

Kinder HSPVA celebrates ‘topping out’ of new building

Workers and guests gathered on the fourth floor of the new Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts on Wednesday to watch as a crane hoisted an evergreen tree to the top of the structure, marking construction of the building’s highest point.

McCarthy Building Companies, contractor on the $80.2 million project, sponsored the Topping Out Ceremony as a way to thank workers and sub-contractors and celebrate their strong safety record. Company officials said the project has an average of 180 workers on site each day and has logged more than 175,000 man hours without a recordable safety incident. Continue reading

Construction Services administrative team tours new Milby, DeBakey high schools

HISD Construction Services administrative staff excitedly boarded a big yellow school bus last Friday, eager to tour several district construction sites and see the fruits of their labor.

“It really is a team effort to build these schools,” said Derrick Sanders, HISD’s officer of Construction Services. “Our administrative staff is as important to what we’re doing as the architect or project manager, so I wanted them to get a firsthand look at what they are helping to build.”

The group of about 20 staffers got to walk through the newly constructed Milby High School and DeBakey High School for Health Professions, both of which will open this summer. The field trip also included a drive-by of High School for Law and Justice, Yates High School, and Energy Institute High School, which are all well into construction. 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

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

Grammy Foundation selects HISD student to record album with young musicians

HSPVA senior to perform at Grammy events and attend annual awards ceremony

High School for the Performing and Visual Arts student Alexandria DeWalt’s dream to make music that the world will hear is coming true sooner than she imagined.

DeWalt is among 32 talented high school students from across the country selected by the Grammy Foundation for the 2017 Grammy Camp – Jazz Session where young musicians are provided the opportunity to record an album together, perform for some of music’s biggest names, and attend the Grammy Awards ceremony as guests of The Recording Academy.

The program encourages high school students to pursue professional careers in the music industry and makes them eligible for more than $2 million in college scholarships made possible through the Grammy Foundation’s college partners.

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