Category Archives: News

HISD Board of Education names new chief audit executive

Garland Blackwell

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education has selected Garland W. Blackwell as the district’s new chief audit executive.

Mr. Blackwell most recently served as an internal audit director for Parsons, a global engineering services firm, where he established and directed the internal audit process for its regional offices in the Middle East and Africa. He has more than 25 years of internal audit and financial experience.

“The HISD Board of Education is pleased to welcome Mr. Blackwell to our district,” said HISD Board President Wanda Adams. “He is an accomplished internal auditor who will provide critical oversight of the district and recommendations for improvement that will safeguard district resources and support our core values. It has been a priority of our board and audit committee to fill this position to ensure that integrity and transparency are maintained across the district.”

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National Public Health Week event for families scheduled for April 1

The Houston Health Department will observe National Public Health Week (April 3-9) with a family health event on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Judson Robinson Community Center (2020 Hermann Drive, Houston, 77004).

The goal for this event is to create an interactive, fun and engaging experience for HISD families. The Houston Health Department is a longtime partner with HISD and hopes to connect as many families as possible on to on-the-spot services such as:    Continue reading

Magnet application statuses to become available March 23  

This week, parents who submitted magnet applications for the 2017-2018 school year will find out what programs their children are eligible to attend.

Parents who participated in Phase 1 of the application process (Sept. 30 – Dec. 9, 2016) will be notified of the status of their submissions on Thursday, March 23. Parents will have until April 6 to accept any offered seat. Phase I includes in-district applications only.

Parents who created online accounts will be able to find the results posted on their dashboards by 4 p.m. on March 23, and letters also will be sent out by U.S. mail to all parents who submitted an application.

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Coming soon to a movie theater near you 

Teachers featured in advertisement for district

If you head to the movies over Spring Break, you may see some familiar faces on the big screen.

Several HISD teachers are featured in a video advertisement to recruit teachers to the district. The 30-second spot, called “Teach in the City,” is aimed at enticing current teachers who live in Houston and the surrounding suburbs to come teach at HISD. You can watch the video below.

“Teach in the City” features a half dozen HISD teachers, including Morgan Greco, a second-year teacher at Herod Elementary School.

“I am thrilled to be part of this effort to recruit both new and veteran teachers,” Greco said. “I love working for HISD.”

HISD board to receive overview of financial impact of recapture and detachment of commercial property on district

The Houston Independent School District Office of Budgeting and Financial Planning will make a presentation on the financial impact of recapture and detachment of commercial property on the district to the HISD Board of Education during the board’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

Last month, the board voted to call a May 6 election to ask voters if the district should pay its recapture obligation to the State of Texas by sending lower recapture payments to the state or through detachment of commercial property in July.

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Have fun while learning over Spring Break

It’s already Spring Break time, so if you are looking for some great ideas for things to do with your children during the week of March 13–17, we have some suggestions. In a city the size of Houston, there are countless activities that are fun, educational, and affordable.

Here are some events that might be of interest:

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is free on Thursdays and open late that day, too – until 9 p.m. During Spring Break at the Museum, you can bring your child to the Spring Break studio between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., where they can make art from a difference medium every day. Free with general admission.

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Patterson ES students learn from Houston Symphony musicians 

Patterson Dual Language Literature Magnet school second-graders recently interacted and learned from “Community Embedded Musicians” with the Houston Symphony.

The CEMs visited the students during their ancillary time and helped them forge new connections between music and the art of storytelling and drama both before and after an in-school concert and a field trip to Jones Hall to see the whole symphony.  Continue reading

HISD to be closed March 13–17 for Spring Break

All HISD campuses and offices will be closed for Spring Break from Monday, March 13, through Friday, March 17, 2017.

Schools and offices will reopen for normal business on Monday, March 20, 2017.

Employees should consult the duty schedules posted here.

The HISD Police Department will be patrolling district facilities all during the holiday break. Emergencies may be reported by calling 713-892-7777.

Asian Advisory Committee to host Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration

HISD will observe the start of Asian-Pacific Heritage Month on Thursday, May 4, with an Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration at Kim Son restaurant downtown (2001 Jefferson Street).

As a part of that celebration, members of the district’s Asian Advisory Committee will recognize three outstanding teachers for their contributions to Asian students and to HISD as a whole. Teachers will be selected from the elementary, middle, and high school level and will receive a $500 cash prize each.  Continue reading

Houston ISD opposes school vouchers

Voucher programs such as education savings accounts or tax credit scholarships threaten the district’s school choice efforts

The 2017 Texas Legislative Session is underway, and state lawmakers are discussing school choice.

As a district of choice, Houston ISD is among many districts throughout the state to offer a multitude of academic options to parents and students. However, a voucher system – in the form of education savings accounts or tax credit scholarships – would disrupt what school districts like Houston ISD are already doing to provide choice. In addition, vouchers would have a damaging impact on the state’s public school system which educates more than 5 million children in Texas.

Recently, House Public Education Committee Chairman Rep. Dan Huberty said his committee will not allow vouchers to move through the Texas House. HISD applauds Chairman Huberty, Speaker Joe Straus and members of the Texas House for their courage and for standing in the gap for Texas’ children.

“On behalf of the 215,000 students and 287 campuses at HISD, the district strongly opposes harmful school choice legislation,” said HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams. “We are grateful for the work being done in the Texas House. The state’s constitution says, ‘It shall be the duty of the Legislature to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.’”

Nearly 80 percent of HISD’s students are economically disadvantaged and one-third are learning English.

HISD operates 119 magnet programs at 110 schools districtwide. Like many districts, Houston ISD offers choice from Pre-K through 12th grade to all children. HISD has high-performing magnet schools, charter schools, early college high schools, early childhood centers and a virtual school.

In 2016, 37 of HISD’s high schools were recognized among the most academically rigorous schools in the U.S. by the Washington Post. The district also is a two-time winner of the National Broad Prize, an honor awarded to urban school districts for closing the achievement gap.

“The Legislature’s main focus is to make sure the public school system works well,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “HISD is ready to do our part to boost student achievement and sustain high-quality choice programs for Houston’s children.”