Category Archives: Futures Academy

Worthing HS undergoing physical and academic transformation

With modern construction underway and a new administration in place, Worthing High School is on the verge of a transformation.

While construction crews work tirelessly to rebuild the 59-year-old school nestled in Houston’s historic Sunnyside neighborhood, new Principal Khalilah Campbell-Rhone is doing the same from the inside out.

“My desire was to come in and put Worthing back on the map,” Campbell-Rhone said, recalling how the school’s academic programs were once highly sought after and school pride was ubiquitous. “We can get back to that.”

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New Washington HS taking shape as construction progresses

Construction is more than halfway complete at Washington High School, where crews have completed installation of the building’s west side structural steel, exterior concrete walls, and exterior brick.

Crews are making steady progress. Installation of the exterior glass on the $51.7 million facility is underway, and the west side of the building is ready for both paint and flooring.

“It’s exciting to see what’s taking place,” Washington Principal Carlos Phillips said. “This will be the face of our school.”

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Futures Academy graduation celebrations time for congratulations, reflections, farewells 

91 students in academies earn associate’s degrees from HCC, up 75% from last year

By the time Futures Academy students graduate, they have been with the same group of students for as long as four years. Before they go their separate ways—with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in career certificate in hand—they are gathering to say goodbye and promising to stay in touch.

The Futures Academy is a dual-enrollment model that enables students to fulfill high school graduation requirements while simultaneously earning industry certifications, college credits, and for many, an associate’s degree. Continue reading

New partnership gives Scarborough HS students hands-on training in HVAC

A new partnership with Lone Star Community College is giving some HISD students a leg up on high-demand careers in the HVAC field.

Students taking the dual-credit course on HVAC (which stands for “heating, ventilating, and air conditioning”) are now in their second semester of the class at Scarborough High School. In it, they receive both classroom instruction and time in the lab, where they get hands-on experience with air conditioning units, electrical wiring boards, and other equipment.

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Rick Cruz selected to serve as HISD’s new Chief of Major Projects

Richard (Rick) Cruz poses for a photograph, January 6, 2016.

Richard (Rick) Cruz poses for a photograph, January 6, 2016.

Houston Independent School District Major Projects Officer Rick Cruz has been selected to lead his division, replacing outgoing Chief Don Hare, who is retiring.

Cruz, a former fifth-grade teacher who was tapped to serve in the HISD administration after launching the district’s successful EMERGE program more than five years ago, will officially assume his new role on Jan. 25.

In his new position, he will be tasked with managing the College Readiness and Counseling and Guidance departments, as well as major initiatives designed to transform education in the district, such as the EMERGE and Futures Academy programs, and Linked Learning.

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New programs, new construction, new opportunities at Sterling HS

Students at Sterling High School are greeting the new school year with excitement, energy, and optimism. The school’s new principal, Justin Fuentes, is enthusiastic about his school’s programs and the opportunities it offers students.

Besides Sterling’s resident aviation program and an aviation engineering and designing program through the Michigan Institute of Aviation Technology, it also offers a Futures Academy in logistics and global supply chain management, as well as law enforcement forensics, automotive, and dual-credit courses towards a certificate in welding. Continue reading

Futures Academy seniors get valuable industry experience through Walgreens internship


Sometimes, opportunity dwells just down the street. Twenty-two rising seniors from the Futures Academy at Jane Long Academy are discovering this truth through pharmacy technician internships at Walgreens locations across the city.

The Long students involved have all taken dual-credit pharmacy classes at Houston Community College (HCC). They will receive additional credit from HCC upon completing their internships at Walgreens, which could easily lead to pharmacy technician jobs or scholarships to attend pharmacy schools. Two interns, rising seniors Marilyn Mendoza and Jonathan Urguilla, have already received job offers from the stores at which they are interning.

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Summer Bridge program preparing Futures Academy students for success

Rising sophomores get tips from former Futures Academy students and EMERGE fellows

The journey from high school to college to a career can be challenging, but HISD’s Futures Academy is helping students develop the skills they’ll need to get there.

The Summer Bridge Program is arming rising high school sophomores with critical knowledge in the areas of time management, team building, communication, and money management. Four sessions are scheduled for June and feature classes taught by Futures Academy and EMERGE alumni.

“One way we thought this message would resonate with students is by having former HISD Futures Academy and EMERGE students returning from their first year in college lead the sessions,” said Michael Love, assistant superintendent of the Futures Academy. “This allows the students to learn directly from peers who recently walked the same hallways as them.”

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Magnet Spotlight: Scarborough HS preparing kids for careers in computer science

Campus is the sixth and last to be featured in a series of articles on magnet schools with space still available

Scarborough High School students tour the Houston ISD data center, March 12, 2014. (Houston ISD/Dave Einsel)

Scarborough High School students tour the Houston ISD data center, March 12, 2014. (Houston ISD/Dave Einsel)

In today’s digital world, the value of technical computer know-how cannot be overstated.

That’s why HISD is giving students a leg-up in that industry by offering classes in networking and computer administration through the Futures Academy at Scarborough High School.

Scarborough is one of eight district campuses offering a specialized course of instruction designed to give students a strong foundation in traditional subject matter, as well as the technical knowledge they need to land jobs in high-demand fields right after graduation.

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UPS representatives encourage Sterling Futures students to pursue logistics and global supply

Students in the Futures Academy of Logistics and Global Supply at Sterling High School learned first-hand about the field from representatives of the world’s largest shipping and logistics company, United Parcel Service (UPS).

Arthur Wilson, UPS South Texas division manager, and Trey Wyre, Katy branch manager, told the students about their educational and career paths on Jan. 16. They also offered insights into the company and the careers it offers in a field that’s expected to grow by 22 percent in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median salary in the field is more than $80,000.

Sterling Futures Academy students can earn an associate’s of applied science degree along with their high school diploma and industry certifications, and are exposed to information and opportunities in the logistics and global supply workforce as part of their education.

Both UPS representatives told Futures educators that they would be interested in helping to mentor Sterling students.