YWCPA construction on the fast track

Construction is advancing at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy with work on the renovations and new addition for the all-girl STEM school nearly halfway complete.

Work is progressing nicely — steel erection is complete, the metal decking has been covered with concrete, and the brick installation will begin in the next couple of weeks.

YWCPA Principal Delesa O’Dell-Thomas said she is ecstatic to see progress being made, and noted she was especially excited to see the new paint colors and select new furniture for the school.

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Construction Services administrative team tours new Milby, DeBakey high schools

HISD Construction Services administrative staff excitedly boarded a big yellow school bus last Friday, eager to tour several district construction sites and see the fruits of their labor.

“It really is a team effort to build these schools,” said Derrick Sanders, HISD’s officer of Construction Services. “Our administrative staff is as important to what we’re doing as the architect or project manager, so I wanted them to get a firsthand look at what they are helping to build.”

The group of about 20 staffers got to walk through the newly constructed Milby High School and DeBakey High School for Health Professions, both of which will open this summer. The field trip also included a drive-by of High School for Law and Justice, Yates High School, and Energy Institute High School, which are all well into construction. Continue reading

Rice University study: HISD pre-K students more prepared for kindergarten 

A study by Rice University released Wednesday has found that the Houston Independent School District’s pre-K program significantly increases preparedness for kindergarten after as little as one year compared to students who do not attend pre-K.

The study, conducted by a postdoctoral fellow at the university, cites English and Spanish assessment scores from kindergarten students after one and two years of pre-K.

The study found that English-assessment test takers who attended one year of HISD pre-K had 2.8 times greater odds of being ready for kindergarten than a student who attended zero years of HISD pre-K. Students who attended two years of HISD pre-K had 3.8 times greater odds of being school-ready than those who attended zero years of HISD pre-K, and 1.4 greater odds of being school-ready than those who attend one year of HISD pre-K.

Get the detailed report here.

HISD Scholars Banquet honors 100-plus high school seniors at top of their class 

The Houston Independent School District paid tribute to the top students from each high school’s graduating class during the annual Scholars Banquet.

The 101 valedictorians and salutatorians were recognized for their dedication and hard work during the banquet, which was held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, at the Westin Oaks Houston.

“I commend you all for your commitment to academic excellence,” HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza told students. “You have made it a personal priority to prepare for college and ultimately your successful future.”

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Art cars created by HISD students win multiple awards

Heights High School and Rebecca Bass’s tribute to Prince, “Purple Reign,” took home the top prize at the 2017 Art Car Parade, winning the Mayor’s Cup Grand Trophy and $2,000.

It was one of several big HISD winners at this year’s 30th anniversary of the popular parade, which was held Saturday, April 8 in downtown.

“The Chronicles of Northside” by Northside High School, with Ann Bass, won a trophy and third place. The car was covered in yearbook photos to celebrate the school’s 90th anniversary. Continue reading

Parents and community gather at Hispanic Parent Summit

On Saturday, April 8, Wanda Adams, HISD Board of Education President and District IX Trustee, held a parent summit to provide Hispanic families with access to information and resources to help support their students’ academic achievement.

Adams kicked off the event, addressing attendees in Spanish and sharing that “the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents, so it’s good to see so many of you here today because it’s a sign of how successful your kids – our students – will be.”

That message was also echoed by Dr. Adriana Tamez, Houston Community College Trustee for District III, who emphasized “the critical importance of being informed, partnering with teachers, and attending events like the Hispanic Parent Summit will benefit our kids’ futures.”

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HISD schools share #LoveMySchoolDay tributes on social media

April 11 is Love My School Day, when schools across the country are asked to flood social media with the reasons why their campus is a great place for students and staff. HISD schools answered in a big way, sharing photos, video, and comments about why they are proud of their school community.
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Furr HS parents get sneak peek of new school

Furr High School Principal Bertie Simmons celebrated her 83rd birthday last week by leading Trustee Diana Davila and other school supporters on a tour of their new campus, which is being rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program.

“It’s the most beautiful building in the district,” Simmons said. “We can’t wait to move in.”

With construction on the new facility now more than 80 percent complete, anticipation among stakeholders is growing every day as they see the project nearing the finish line. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-June, and the building then will be stocked with new furniture and technology, making way for teachers and staff to move in over the summer. Continue reading

Northside HS to discuss construction plans, timeline at bond community meeting

Northside High School will hold a community meeting to review construction plans, timelines, and other updates related to the rebuilding of their school under the 2012 Bond Program.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. It will be held in the auditorium at Northside High School, 1101 Quitman St.

Work on the $46.7 million project began with the creation of a new parking lot along Tackaberry Street — the first in a three-phase plan to create a modernized school for 1,500 to 1,700 students. Work on the school building is set to begin in the coming weeks, and plans call for two new additions, as well as major renovations to the existing building.

During the meeting, community members will have the opportunity to meet the contractor, review the construction schedule, look at design plans, and ask questions of various campus, district, and project officials.

Family Career Night planned for April 19 

HISD District VIII Trustee Diana Davila is hosting a Family Career Night from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 at East Early College (220 N. Milby St., Houston, 77003).

The event is for parents and students in grades K-12 in the Northeast and East part of the city and will provide the opportunity to learn more about different careers in the Greater Houston area, HISD programs and resources, and how to connect with high education and industry representatives. There also will be an opportunity to win a scholarship.

Dinner will be provided, as well as free giveaways throughout the event. In some cases, transportation will be available. Please check with your school for details.

For more information, contact HISD College and Career Readiness at 713-556-6981.