Category Archives: Parents

HISD asking parents to complete socioeconomic form

The Houston Independent School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to students at no charge for the 2018-2019 school year, but parents will need to fill out a new form to ensure Title I funding for HISD schools.

All HISD schools are now qualified to operate under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision, which allows HISD to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at no charge to all students, eliminating the need for free and reduced-price meal applications.

While parents will not need to complete and return a free and reduced-price meal application, they will need to complete a socioeconomic form (see below), known as the blue form.

In order for campuses to receive their Title I funding, HISD is still required to collect and report the socioeconomic status of each students to the Texas Education Agency. Continue reading

HISD principal named Region 4 Principal of the Year

Geovanny J. Ponce, principal of Jones Futures Academy, has been named the 2018 Region 4 Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP).

Ponce joins winners from the state’s 19 other Education Service Center regions in a pool of candidates for the honor of Texas Principal of the Year title. TASSP recognizes outstanding principals and assistant principals from each of the 20 regions every year.

“I believe in quality education for all children,” Ponce said. “We need to make sure our children will be successful in a global society by teaching them to be leaders.”

Ponce was selected to represent HISD in the Region 4 segment of the competition based on his outstanding performance with traditionally underserved children. Ponce instills collaborative leadership to ensure students from all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds have equal access high-quality learning opportunities. Continue reading

Fifth annual Special Education Conference planned for July 17-18 

The Office of Special Education will hold its fifth annual Special Education Conference next month for parents and educators to share supports and strategies that help students with disabilities to be successful – academically, socially, and emotionally.

The two-day conference will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 18 at Kingdom Builders’ Center (6011 W Orem Dr., 77085).

The theme of this year’s conference is “Engage, Restore and Support Every Student.” With presentations from teachers and thought leaders in the special education field, participants can expect to leave transformed and ready to begin the school year armed with new and effective instructional and behavioral strategies.  Continue reading

HISD Board of Education approves 2018-2019 budget

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved a $2 billion budget for the 2018-2019 school year.

The budget includes $17 million in increases for special education, dyslexia programs, and Achieve 180, the research-based program that will continue next school year to support underserved and underperforming schools. The budget also includes a performance review by the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB).

The board also voted to reduce the proposed performance review allotment from $2.5 million to $1 million, with the difference of $1.5 million being transferred immediately to the general fund reserve for operations. The total cost of the performance review to be conducted by the LBB has not yet been determined.  The LBB is expected to begin working on the performance review in fall 2018 so that findings may be used by the board in the decision-making process during the next budget cycle.

As other large school districts in Texas, HISD continues to face looming budget shortfalls in the coming years due to inadequate state funding and increasing recapture payments. HISD has been designated by the state as a property-wealthy school district under the state’s school finance system, despite the fact that almost 80 percent of students are considered low-income.

Recapture requires districts that exceed a certain per-student property wealth level to send local tax dollars to the state. The 2018-19 budget has a $272.5 million recapture payment budgeted.

Registration is open for pre-K students  

HISD offers high-quality instruction to help young learners reach their full potential 

Give your child a head start by enrolling them in prekindergarten now.

Pre-K is just as necessary for academic success as kindergarten or first grade, research shows. Not only will your child be more successful in school, but they will be more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and earn higher wages as an adult.

While all children benefit from pre-K, disadvantaged and low-income students often make the most gains. Children who are dual-language learners develop English-language proficiency and other valuable skills. Research shows that children who have enrolled in pre-K gain an advantage over their peers in the classroom.

HISD offers both free and tuition-based pre-K at many schools, as well as early childhood centers. All pre-K students in the district receive breakfast and lunch during a full day of instruction from certified teachers.

HISD expands free, full-day pre-K program at Woodson PK-5

To be eligible for free enrollment (non-tuition-based pre-K), your child must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2018, and live within the boundaries of HISD.  Additional requirements can be found here, as well as the district’s policy on 3-year-olds.   Continue reading

HISD Board of Education to consider proposed 2018-2019 budget

Proposed budget includes $19.2 million for special education, dyslexia programs, Achieve 180 and a planned performance audit

 June 12, 2018 – The Houston Independent School District Board of Education will meet Thursday to consider adopting the proposed 2018-2019 budget.

The proposed budget includes $16.7 million in increases for special education, dyslexia programs and Achieve 180, the program introduced this school year to support underserved and underperforming schools, which will continue in place next school year. The proposal also includes $2.5 million for a forthcoming performance audit. Continue reading

A special message from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

We made it! Today officially marks the last day of the 2017-2018 school year. Without a doubt, we have faced many challenges, including Hurricane Harvey, a few winter weather days, and a host of other obstacles. But we didn’t let any of those things stop us. Instead, we came together as a community and helped our neighbors and our students persevere against all odds.

Our strong finish is a testament to HISD putting children first. This year, we launched several key initiatives — including Achieve 180 and Every Community Every School — to improve academic excellence and provide the social and emotional support that our students need to be successful in the classroom. We also established the K-12 Fine Arts Department to expand all students’ access to high-quality fine arts education. And we opened several new schools under the 2012 Bond Program, providing state-of-the-art learning facilities designed to foster collaboration and project-based learning — exactly the skills our students need to succeed in college and their careers. But that’s not all! Just recently we received even more good news: Our fifth- and eighth-graders made significant improvements on the math and reading STAAR exams this year! Continue reading

High school dropout and law school grad urges Cornelius ES students to stay in school 

The fifth-graders at Cornelius Elementary School listened intently as their classmate’s mother spoke to them on Career Day recently. Khassidy’s mom, Ieshia Champs, was telling students to stay in school if they want to become all the things they had just told her they want to be—a brain surgeon, veterinarian, basketball player, teacher.

“You can’t do anything without school, nothing at all,” Champs said. “What you are learning here in school every day is going to shape your entire future.”

Despite dropping out of school and raising five children as a single mother, Champs recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall Law School. It took her 14 years, but she did it, and she is inspiring others to pursue their dreams.  Continue reading

May 9 is National School Nurse Day

This week is National Nurses Week, and May 9 is National School Nurse Day, a time to recognize and honor nurses’ daily contributions to education. HISD school nurses provide invaluable services across the district every day to keep students healthy and ready to learn.

“School Nurses are trailblazers for children’s health,” said Gwendolyn Johnson, HISD’s manager of Health and Medical Services. “They find innovative ways to help students and their families deal with diagnoses of chronic illnesses like diabetes or asthma and manage symptoms and administer medication.”    Continue reading

HISD updates standardized school start times for the 2018-19 school year

The Houston Independent School District announces revisions to standardized start/dismissal times for the 2018-19 school year in order to improve our delivery of reliable and affordable transportation to our students.

The updated times include two notable changes:

  • PK-8 and K-8 schools will now be grouped with middle schools, rather than elementary schools to have a later start/dismissal time of 8:30 a.m.-3:50 p.m.
  • Ten minutes will be added to each day for high schools and 6-12 campuses to account for eight optional early release days for final exams. Their start/dismissal time will be 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Beginning next fall, the district will operate with the following standardized start/dismissal times: Continue reading