Category Archives: HILZ

Futures Academy session teaches reality of income, money management

Long Academy student Jheysson Menendez imagined what his life would be like if he was a mail clerk with an annual salary just over $29,000.

“I have to cut back on my phone and cable bill,” Menendez said while making a budget during a financial literacy session Wednesday at the Junior Achievement Finance Park, an interactive community with business models created to teach students about career readiness, entrepreneurship, and money management.

Students were given real-life scenarios that consisted of a job, family, and home during the session, which was part of the Futures Academy Enrichment Week held Monday through Wednesday for rising 10th graders interested in applying for the academy. The academy offers students the opportunity to receive college credit, career training and industry credentials to provide them with options for a promising future after high school. Continue reading

Scarborough HS students make job connections during HISD tour

Scarborough High School student Christopher Velasquez hopes to turn his interest in computers into a viable career one day. The HISD senior now has a better idea of the available job opportunities in the computer industry thanks to a recent field trip to HISD’s Information Technology Department. “It’s really great to see people in action doing some of the things that I am learning in school,” said Velasquez.

The trip to the Hattie Mae White District Administration Building involved not only Velasquez but 60 of his classmates enrolled in Scarborough’s Futures Academy of Network and Computer Administration. As part of their coursework in the Academy, the students get hands-on experience in a high-demand, high growth industry and can earn industry certifications as well as an Associate of Science degree.

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Futures Academy week gives students unique field experiences

During Futures Academy week, students from seven HISD high schools took an inside look at the industries they hope to enter one day. Students who have been taking courses in Logistics & Global Supply, Engineering Technology, Process Technology, and Health Science saw how those studies can be valuable in the work place this week, giving depth and relevance to their rigorous education.

Kashmere High School students from the Process Technology program visited employees at Shell Deer Park who provided an in-depth look at oil refining and chemical manufacturing. Students heard from experts in the industry with decades of experience and valuable advice.

“You have a chance to do something special with your futures in the Futures Academy,” said Shell Learning Advisor David Sparks. “As you continue to grow and enter the field, you will continue to use teamwork more and more.”

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Board of Education votes to repurpose Jones and move Dodson

Jones to become specialized Futures Academy; Dodson students will move to Blackshear, Lantrip, and the Rusk School

The HISD Board of Education on Thursday voted 6 to 3 to repurpose Jones High School into a specialized Futures Academy with trustees Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Anna Eastman, and Paula Harris opposed. Trustees also voted 5 to 4 to close Dodson Elementary. Anna Eastman, Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Wanda Adams and Paula Harris were in opposition. These votes come after weeks of debate and conversation including nearly 75 comments from concerned citizens during the board’s meeting and the removal of three schools from the original closure and consolidation proposal.

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HISD School Choice Fair Offers Parents Opportunity to Explore Education Options for Students

Representatives from more than 70 HISD schools will be on-site

April 25, 2013 – When it comes to selecting a school, parents and students at the Houston Independent School District have a multitude of options from magnet programs to preschool programs to career and technical education academies and early college high schools.  Houston families will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 70 HISD schools at the upcoming HISD School Choice Fair on Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Hattie Mae White Education Support Center (4400 West 18th Street).

“In HISD, we are committed to providing equity in access to quality educational programs for all students,” said Assistant Superintendent of School Choice Dave Wheat.  “We want to help families choose an ideal school for their children based on the students’ interests, talents, and needs.”

The schools at the fair are those that still have space for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year.  The representatives from these schools will be available to answer questions, provide detailed information about their campuses and help parents fill out the application on site.

Information will be provided about HISD’s magnet schools, early colleges, vanguard programs for gifted and talented students, preschool programs, multilingual programs and other specialty programs, including the district’s newest additions to its portfolio, the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan and The Energy Institute High School.   Parents and students have until May 16 to apply for these two new magnet schools that will feature a highly rigorous curriculum emphasizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

For more information about the School Choice Fair, please contact the Office of School Choice at 713-556-6947.

HCC Professors Teaching at HISD Schools (w/ video)

At first glance it may look like a typical classroom at Scarborough High School, but at the head of the class is a college professor. “I tell them that when they enter this room it is not Scarborough High School but Houston Community College,” said HCC Professor Suni Diaz.

Diaz and other professors from HCC are teaching HISD students this summer as part of the Houston Innovative Learning Zone (HILZ) academies that opened this month at Scarborough and five other campuses, including the Long School, Furr, Kashmere, Sterling, and Booker T. Washington high schools.  The new academies offer students career training as well as the opportunity to earn career certifications and a college associate’s degree.

“It has all the benefits of college and it’s free,” said James Jackson, who is taking his first college class this summer as part of Scarborough’s HILZ Academy for Network and Computer Administration. “It was an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

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Education leaders tour Apollo 20 campuses to see how HISD is incorporating technology

Some of America’s most innovative education leaders gathered at the Houston Independent School District’s headquarters on March 19 for the second meeting of the League of Innovative Schools.

Fondren Middle School Principal Charles Foust (far left) explains to members of the League of Innovative Schools how his campus is using technology to drive instruction.

Designed to give educators a chance to dramatically increase student achievement through the wise use of technology, the league was launched by President Barack Obama in 2011 in tandem with Digital Promise, a new national education center created by the Congress and the U.S. Department of Education.

Superintendents from across the country attended the Houston meeting, where they—along with dozens of respected researchers and entrepreneurs—adopted the league’s membership charter, took part in break-out sessions on various topics, and toured one of five Apollo 20 campuses to see how HISD is using technology to drive instruction.

“Mr. McNairy, one of our history teachers, can get instant assessments and download data to his grade book immediately using the Classroom Performance System,” explained Fondren Middle School Principal Charles Foust, “while Ms. Perry can be anywhere in the classroom and her writing will appear on the SMART Board up front.”

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HISD hosts Career and Technical Education College Fair

HISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department, in partnership with the College and Career Readiness Department, is hosting a Career and Technical Education (CTE) College Fair  at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th Street, 77092) from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m today.

Students and their parents can discuss career options with representatives from various two-year colleges and technical and vocational institutions. Information will be available on several fields of study including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Automotive Services
  • Computer Technology
  • Cosmetology
  • Health & Medical Services
  • Hotel & Restaurant Services
  • Law Enforcement
  • Manufacturing
  • Military
  • Technology
  • Welding

Board unanimously approves creation of HILZ campuses at six HISD high schools

The HISD Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to draw students back into six neighborhood high schools with strong Career and Technical Education programs.

The Board endorsed the plan after hearing from several parents who voiced support for the strategic investment that will strengthen community high schools.

Students at Furr, Kashmere, Long, Scarborough, Sterling, and Booker T. Washington high schools will be able to enroll in the newly created Houston Innovative Learning Zone (HILZ) programs beginning this summer. By the time these students graduate high school, they will have earned a college associate’s degree and valuable career certifications to help them immediately land lucrative jobs in some of the region’s most in-demand professions.

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Board of Education votes today on career-training program for six HISD high schools

The HISD Board of Education is scheduled to vote today on a plan to draw students back into six neighborhood high schools with strong Career and Technical Education programs.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th Street.

Under this proposal, the School of Pharmacy Technology at Long would prepare students for the growing pharmaceutical industry by providing them with the clinical and business skills needed to work successfully alongside pharmacists and physicians.

If the program is approved, students at Furr, Kashmere, Long, Scarborough, Sterling, and Booker T. Washington high schools would be able to enroll in the newly created Houston Innovative Learning Zone (HILZ) programs beginning this summer. By the time these students graduate high school, they will have earned a college associate’s degree and valuable career certifications to help them immediately land lucrative jobs in some of the region’s most in-demand professions.

“These HILZ programs take traditional vocational education to a higher level,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “HILZ graduates will leave our high schools with certifications that Houston employers seek when filling high-paying job vacancies. HILZ graduates will also have 45 to 60 hours of college credit from our Houston Community College partner. These credits will transfer to articulated programs at Texas universities, positioning HILZ graduates for success in a four-year college if they choose to forego an immediate career.”

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