Category Archives: Parents

Transportation Services begins bus badge distribution

HISD Transportation Services began distributing personalized badges this week to HISD student bus riders as part of the district’s Student Badge Program.

Badge distribution began Thursday, Oct. 18 and Friday, Oct. 19 for a 22-school pilot group with general distribution across the district set to begin on Monday, Oct. 22.

The 22-school pilot group includes: Elmore, Herod, Lockhart, Parker, and River Oaks elementary schools; Woodson PK-5; Fondren, Pershing and West Briar middle schools; Carnegie Vanguard, Chavez, Lamar, Waltrip, Westbury, and Westside high schools; DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School; Houston Academy for International Studies, Gregory-Lincoln Educational Center, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan; Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men; and High School for Law and Justice.

A phased rollout of the Student Badge program allows Transportation Services to refine the program and address any unforeseen issues before implementing it districtwide to all campuses. Parents will be notified as their child’s school is set to be added to the program.

After a complete rollout of the program, replacement badges can be ordered through the Transportation Services website: www.houstonisd.org/transportation.

The Student Badge Program is designed to help the district track ridership and utilization of buses and routes, while also allowing parents to track when their child gets on and off the bus — enhancing efficiency and safety across the system.

Students must scan their badges as load and unload the bus each morning and afternoon. Parents who sign up for the service can receive real-time notifications via text or email alerting them of their child’s route activity.

For more information on the Student Badge Program or to learn how to sign up for real-time notifications, contact Customer Care at 713-556-9400 or visit www.houstonisd.org/transportation.

HISD holds its first official Parent University Oct. 18

Houston ISD hosted its first official Parent University workshop on Thursday, Oct. 18 at four geographically dispersed locations across the district—Fonville Middle School, Austin, Sterling and Westbury High Schools.

The theme for the first workshop was “Getting Involved with Your Child’s Education.” Each school provided resources and information fairs that focused on ways parents could become more involved at their child’s campus and the importance of parental involvement.

There were also a variety of district and community program representatives available to speak with parents.

“It’s important that we equip our parents with valuable information and resources that will produce positive academic outcomes for their child in and outside of the classroom,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said.

Parent University launched with informal events at all campuses on September 27. The new initiative was created to connect parents and children to resources offered by the district to create successful academic outcomes, as well as safe and healthy environments at home and at school.

The next Parent University is scheduled for November 15 at 5:30 p.m. Parents can look up locations and register to attend the next workshop by visiting: HoustonISD.org/ParentUniversity.

Free dinner, interpretation services and child care will be provided.

HISD to hold Dual Language Parent Leadership Conference on Oct. 20

Houston ISD invites parents of dual language students to attend the district’s inaugural Dual Language Parent Leadership Conference from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Hattie Mae White Building (4400 W. 18th St. 77092).

With the theme of this year’s conference, “Understanding and Advocating for Bilingualism and Bi-literacy,” participants can expect to leave transformed and ready to support their children at home with new and effective instructional second language acquisition strategies.

Click here to register.

 

New initiatives to address bus service challenges expected Tuesday

Bus riders across the district could see changes to their scheduled pick-up and drop-off times as part of an ongoing review designed to ensure all students have access to safe and reliable transportation.

In addition to scheduling changes, the Transportation Services department also is expanding the magnet hub program with the addition of two new hub locations, continuing to assign students to routes, and ramping up bus driver recruitment efforts to prevent driver shortages.

“Transportation to and from school is one of the building blocks for academic success,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “It’s imperative that we provide safe, reliable and timely service to our students. We will continue making changes until we can ensure we are meeting that goal.” Continue reading

HISD Parent University to offer opportunity for engagement, access to resources

All HISD schools to participate in kickoff event on Sept. 27

HISD will launch Parent University on Sept. 27, a new program for the 2018-2019 school year to support parents and families in the education of their children and introduce them to district programs, resources, and parent-engagement strategies.

To kick off the program, all HISD schools will hold their own Parent University events on their campus on Sept. 27. The HISD-led Parent University meetings will take place monthly, beginning in October, and will be conducted at four geographically dispersed locations throughout the city.

“This is an opportunity to better engage our families and parents across the district by providing them not only with the resources the district offers, but access to community-based organizations and our partnering entities,” said HISD Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Rick Cruz.

Each Parent University session will begin with a resource fair featuring HISD staff and community partners. At the end of the year, parents will receive recognition for their successful completion of the program.

More details, including locations and sign-up information, will be announced when details are finalized.

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