HISD Police Department welcomes new assistant chief and 11 officers   

Wearing sharp black uniforms adorned with embroidered patches, newly appointed Assistant Chief Paul Cordova and 11 new officers filed into the Thomas Middle School gym on Monday ready to be sworn in as the district’s newest law enforcement officers.

Family, friends, and colleagues cheered as each officer had a shiny silver badge pinned to their uniform.

“Today is a momentous occasion,” HISD Police Chief Robert Mock said, noting that the badges conveyed great responsibility. “This a day you are given great trust, a day to become a leader.”

With Monday’s swearing-in ceremony being the largest to date, the HISD Police Department now boasts of 216 officers. It is the only accredited public school district police department in the nation, responding to more than 81,380 calls per year across 300 square miles.  Continue reading

Emeterio Cruz named new principal of Sanchez Elementary

Emeterio Cruz (Houston Independent School District)Emeterio Cruz has been appointed principal of Sanchez Elementary School. He has been with HISD for eight years, starting as a fifth-grade bilingual teacher at Sutton Elementary School, where he was named teacher of the year in 2010. Cruz served as a teacher specialist at Shearn Elementary and assistant principal at Pugh and Anderson elementaries. He graduated from HISD schools and holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s degree in education as part of the HISD Leadership Cohort at University of Houston.

Don’t miss Texas’ annual Sales Tax Holiday on Aug. 11–13

Most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks exempt

Parents have the opportunity for some extra back-to-school savings during Texas’ annual Sales Tax Holiday on August 11–13, 2017.

The holiday provides exemptions from state and local sales taxes on most clothing and footwear priced at less than $100, saving shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. Many retailers offer sales and special promotions over the weekend, so shoppers can maximize their savings. For complete details, please visit TexasTaxHoliday.org.

HISD accepting resumes/letters of interest from qualified candidates for Trustee District III

The HISD Board of Education is saddened by the unexpected death of its longtime District III Trustee Manual Rodriguez two years before his term of office is set to expire in December 2019.  Trustee Rodriguez represented District III since 2003. The Board plans to fill the vacancy by appointment at a duly posted meeting on or before August 17, 2017. Qualified candidates residing within District III should submit resumes/letters of interest by email to the HISD Board Services Office, Attention: Veronica Mabasa, at Vmabasa@houstonisd.org not later than Friday, August 11, 2017 at 5 p.m.  Continue reading

HISD Trustees to host ceremony naming board auditorium after Trustee Manuel Rodríguez Jr.

The HISD Board of Trustees continues to mourn the loss of longtime Board of Trustees member Manuel Rodríguez Jr. In an effort to celebrate his life and memory, the board voted unanimously during its monthly agenda review session to name the board auditorium at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center the Manuel Rodríguez Jr. Board Auditorium.

Prior to the monthly Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Aug. 10, the board will host a reception to commemorate the renaming. That celebration is open to the public and will include a proclamation by Trustee Rodríguez’s longtime friend, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and other presentations.

“Trustee Rodríguez spent 14 years fighting in this auditorium for the students in District III and across the district to have access to the highest quality education HISD could provide for them,” says Board President Wanda Adams.  “We remain saddened by his loss, but it was only fitting that we do this small gesture to remind everyone of the warrior that fought here for so long.”

“The decision the board made to name the auditorium after Trustee Rodríguez shows the level of respect they all have for the work he did throughout his tenure to make HISD a better place for all students,” said Superintendent Richard Carranza. “From now on, every time anyone walks into the board auditorium, they will be reminded of a man who dedicated years to helping our students.”

The ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. There will be a ribbon-cutting around 4:30 p.m., and a brief video presentation inside the newly-named auditorium. The board will proceed with its regularly scheduled meeting immediately following the ceremony.

Please RSVP to ywences@HoustonISD.org by Aug. 8.


Read Houston Read volunteers needed for 2017-2018 school year 

HISD’s Read Houston Read program will soon kick off its fourth school year, and volunteers are needed once a week to read to a first-grade student — either in person or online.

The goal of Read Houston Read is to instill a love of reading in children, while giving Houstonians an opportunity to give back to their community. The program is part of the district’s Literacy by 3 movement, which aims to have all students reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.

If you have friends or family who might be interested in volunteering, encourage them to sign up at this link. All volunteers are required to pass a background check each year and attend a training session, which is online. From there, volunteers can pick a participating school and schedule weekly sessions with a student.

Optional Experienced Volunteer Refresher Trainings will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Please click here to sign up for the 1:30-2:30 p.m. session or the 3-4 p.m. session. Volunteers will receive an email as soon as campus volunteer opportunities are available, which should be the beginning of October.

Former Gov. Mark White, HISD school namesake, passes away

Former Texas Gov. Mark White addresses the crowd during a dedication ceremony at Mark White Elementary School on December 13, 2016.

Former Texas Gov. Mark White, namesake for HISD’s Mark White Elementary School and a longtime champion for the district and public education, passed away on Saturday at the age of 77.

White, a former chairman of the HISD Foundation, was deeply involved in the planning of the $23.4 million French dual language school, which bears his name and opened for the 2016-2017 school year.

At the grand opening celebration for the school last year, White acknowledged the significance of having the new building dedicated in his honor. Continue reading

New structure to strengthen student interventions

Campus-based Intervention Assistance Team liaison to train teachers during pre-service

The HISD Office of Interventions is implementing a new initiative and new structure for the 2017-2018 school year aimed at directly helping campuses strengthen student interventions.

Part of the new initiative is the appointment of campus-based liaisons at all schools who will work directly with the district’s Intervention Assistance Team (IAT) managers to better serve students with tiered instruction. The IAT manager structure has also been reorganized to align with the regions of the seven chief school officers and a new position, Director of Interventions, has been created.   Continue reading

Procurement takes home top award for second year  

National Purchasing Institute recognizes HISD for excellence  

 (Houston Independent School District)

For the second year in a row, HISD’s Procurement Services Department has taken home top honors from The National Purchasing Institute.

Just last month, the NPI awarded HISD the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award, which is earned by organizations that have demonstrated excellence through an evaluation that measures innovation, professionalism, productivity, e-procurement, and leadership.  Continue reading

Christopher Walker named new principal of Tinsley Elementary

Christopher Walker (Houston Independent School District)Christopher Walker has been named principal of Tinsley Elementary School. Walker has been an educator for 12 years, serving in various roles from teacher to teacher interventionist to assistant principal. He began his career with HISD as a special education teacher and since 2012 has served as assistant principal at Askew and Ashford elementary schools. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and child and family development from Texas Southern University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from University of Texas at Tyler.