Category Archives: Fine arts

HISD District III Honor Choir to perform with Superintendent Carranza 

It promises to be a memorable night. The East Area Schools Office and Fine Arts Specialist Dr. Sabrina Nguyen are presenting the inaugural concert by the HISD District III Honor Choir, with special guest soloist Richard Carranza, HISD superintendent, performing.

The concert will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at Chavez High School, 8501 Howard Dr., 77017. The evening is presented in memory of Trustee Manuel Rodriguez Jr., who was instrumental in launching the East Area Fine Arts Initiative during the 2016-2017 academic year. Dr. Sergio Lira was elected to represent District III in November. “I support all fine arts programs in our schools because they enhance the academic achievements of all our students,” Trustee Lira said.  Continue reading

VH1 Save the Music and Hard Rock Heals foundations donate $25,000 to Scarborough ES 

It’s been a rough six months for Scarborough Elementary School students, staff, and parents since Hurricane Harvey flooded their school, making it uninhabitable.

“We suffered a bit of a bump back in August,” said Principal Miriam Medina. “When I saw waves of water inside our beautiful school, I knew we wouldn’t be opening on time.”

It took a month, but they finally reopened in the former Terrell Middle School, which was large enough that they could all be together. Now the students are gathered in the auditorium to celebrate the donation of $25,000 to their music program, thanks to VH1 Save the Music Foundation in partnership with Hard Rock Heals Foundation.   Continue reading

Codwell ES celebrates 40th anniversary at grand opening ceremony

Eleven Codwell Elementary School violinists decked out in Michael Jackson’s signature black fedoras assembled Wednesday on the steps of their new stage as they performed the classic hit “Billie Jean.”

The musical selection performed by the Codwell Violin Ensemble served to formally kick off the school’s Grand Opening and 40th Anniversary Celebration.

The day held special significance for community members, students, and faculty — not just because it marked the anniversary of the school’s inception, but also because it marked the completion of a major renovation and repurposing of the Tavenor Lane campus.

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Personal stories exemplify how HISD is rebuilding, reimagining education

‘We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson’

If anyone could find a silver lining amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, it’s Robinson Elementary School Principal Paige Fernandez-Hohos. After being flooded with more than a foot of water, Robinson was relocated and students split between two adjacent campuses. Though not ideal, the situation made Fernandez-Hohos determined to give students a sense of normalcy. Vacant rooms and hallways sprung to life with decorations. Auditorium and gym spaces were transformed into cozy classrooms to accommodate more students. Fernandez-Hohos trekked back and forth between the two campuses. If she started the day welcoming students at one school, she ended it saying goodbye to students at the other. It was important, she said, that every class see her every day. Robinson students returned to their home campus in January, but Fernandez-Hohos said the storm taught her a valuable lesson about the spirit of her school: “When everything else is stripped away, all you’re left with is the bond between teachers and students. We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson.”

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Arts Access Initiative team meets to outline path for the future 

The Arts Access Initiative was launched in August of 2015 as a way to provide all students in HISD with equal access to a high quality arts education. At that time, HISD was selected by the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts to serve as the 19th site for their national arts education program.

For the past three school years, the pilot program has utilized resources from the district, Houston arts organizations, the City of Houston, and the Kennedy Center to increase arts opportunities for thousands of HISD students in dozens of schools. Young Audiences also provided invaluable support by acting as the backbone of the organization’s pilot phase. These first three years were funded through the generosity of the Houston Endowment, Inc., and the Powell Foundation.

What began with 11 schools in the first year has grown to 28,000 students in 44 schools for the current year, as well as some 40 partner arts organizations.  Continue reading

New Lawson MS makes steady construction progress

Construction on the new Lawson Middle School is making steady progress, with work now more than 70 percent complete and on track to be finished in the second quarter of 2018.

Walls and ceiling have been installed, and, in the coming weeks, crews will begin painting the gymnasium, locker rooms, and a section of the academic pods. Installation of the theater stage and elevator also are underway, and driveways are being poured on both the east and west sides of the building.

“It’s exciting,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said, noting that she and her staff would be doing a walk-through next week. “Last time they toured the building, it was just a shell. This time they’ll have a more vivid picture of what the spaces will look like since windows, walls, and doors are installed.”

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Project aDOORe exhibit on display at Hattie Mae White

An exhibit of student art from 26 campuses across HISD that features doors from storm-damaged homes transformed into works of art is on display at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.

The fine arts initiative — known as Project aDOORe Houston — aims to strengthen school communities that were most impacted by Hurricane Harvey by providing students with a means to heal through the creation of art. The exhibit will continue through Dec. 15.   Continue reading

New Westbury HS addition set to open spring 2018

Construction on the new addition for Westbury High School is approaching 75 percent completion and on track to open in the second quarter of 2018.

The building is now fully enclosed with permanent power and HVAC systems up and running. Work will continue on exterior masonry and interior finishes into the first quarter.

“I love the new building,” Westbury Principal Susan Monaghan said. “Having the opportunity to walk through and see it room by room has us even more excited. We can’t wait to move in.”

As part of the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program, Westbury is receiving a new two-story addition with 26 classrooms, flexible learning centers, two new gyms, and a multi-purpose dining commons area. Continue reading

HISD names student winners of 2017 holiday greeting card contest 

The Houston Independent School District on Monday announced the winners of the district’s 2017 holiday greeting card competition that features creative student artwork highlighting holiday traditions, seasonal decorations, and classic holiday songs.

The winners – fifth-grader Marissa Reyes of Scroggins Elementary School, seventh-grader Sophie Hinh of Pershing Middle School, and ninth-grader Daisy Prince of Lamar High School – were among 60 finalists from elementary, middle and high schools. All finalists received a boxed set of their holiday cards. All designs will also be available for purchase and on display at the HISD administration building.  Continue reading

HISD to unveil 2017 holiday greeting cards designed by students

The Houston Independent School District on Monday will unveil its 2017 holiday greeting card collection designed by students as part of the district’s annual holiday card competition.

This year, 60 students from elementary, middle, and high schools are finalists. The winning cards will be announced by HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza, who will select a winner from each school level.

The winning students will be present for the unveiling. All of the finalists’ holiday cards will be on display and available for purchase at HoustonISD.org/HolidayCards.