HISD Board of Education approves school bus safety measure

Trustees also award school construction contracts

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved an updated Code of Student Conduct that requires students riding buses equipped with 3-point seat belts to wear them. The update also includes language encouraging students with access to lap belts to wear them.

The code update is in line with last year’s commitment by HISD to only buy new buses equipped with 3-point seat belts, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recommended. Doing so adds about $8,000 to the cost of a new school bus. This fall, HISD will replace 60 older buses with new ones equipped with 3-point seat belts. These new buses will be assigned to the longest routes carrying elementary school children.

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HISD launching Literacy in the Middle to boost reading skills for middle-schoolers

As HISD has worked to boost literacy among its younger students, the district is now expanding the successful Literacy By 3 program to include middle school students.

The Literacy in the Middle model includes best practices for read alouds, independent reading, writing, and small group instruction across all core disciplines for students in grades 6-8. Ultimately, students will be further engaged in their classes while advancing their literacy levels at the same time. Continue reading

June’s Workshop Wednesday features helpful tips to protect against cyber attacks

A group of 25 local business owners received tips and strategies for preventing cyber-attacks and security breaches on Wednesday during a monthly workshop hosted by HISD’s Business Assistance Supplier Diversity department.

Cybersecurity expert Peter Thomas gave a presentation on building cyber resilience and being proactive in a reactive cyber world. Thomas currently serves as chief technology officer of Blue Lance, a global provider of cybersecurity products and services that help companies assess and remediate the security of their information systems.

“The human factor is the biggest cyber risk and vulnerability for any organization,” said Thomas. “No machine can beat a well-trained employee.”

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Calling all teachers: HISD to host recruitment event at NRG Park 

As preparations for the 2016-2017 school year continue, HISD is inviting pool-approved applicants to attend a teacher job fair on Wednesday, June 15.

The fair comes on the heels of a three-day professional development seminar that campus leaders from nearly all HISD schools will attend, and they will be looking to fill as many vacant teaching positions as possible.

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EMERGE fellows get first-hand look at college life

Students tour over a dozen top-tier campuses in south and northeast

Nearly 200 students from high schools throughout HISD are getting a first-hand look at top-tier colleges in the south and northeast as part of the district’s EMERGE summer tours.

Ninety rising seniors are visiting schools in North Carolina and Virginia this week, while 75 rising sophomores are spending time in Massachusetts. The tours are designed to expose students in EMERGE, a program made up of high-performing students from underserved backgrounds, to colleges and universities outside of Texas, as well as opportunities to help them make the most informed decision in their pursuit of higher education.

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HISD Board of Education to consider school bus safety measure

Trustees also to consider awarding school construction contracts

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday is expected to consider updating the Code of Student Conduct to require students riding buses equipped with 3-point seat belts to wear them. The revision also adds language encouraging students with access to lap belts to wear them as well.

The proposal is in line with last year’s commitment by HISD to only buy new buses equipped with 3-point seat belts, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recommended. Doing so adds about $8,000 to the cost of a new school bus. This fall, HISD will replace 60 older buses with new ones equipped with 3-point seat belts. These new buses will be assigned to the longest routes carrying elementary school children.

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HISD dietitian named 2016 Outstanding Nutrition Educator

The Houston Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics presented HISD Education Dietitian Jennifer Lengyel with the 2016 Outstanding Nutrition Education Award recently at its end-of-the-year meeting, recognized Lengyel for her major contributions educating HISD students on nutrition.

Lengyel was awarded the distinction from among two other nutrition education professionals in the Houston area. The nominating committee recognized Lengyel’s inspiring leadership in nutrition education by teaching students healthy eating habits.

Nominating Committee Chair Kasandra Davis praised Lengyel’s innovative ideas for working with librarians, nurses and teachers. “Jenny loves teaching nutrition,” Davis said. “Many students remember her year to year and look forward to her exciting presentations.”

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Everett Hare named new principal of Bastian Elementary

Everett Hare poses for a photograph, April 4, 2016. (Houston ISD/Dave Einsel)Everett Hare has been selected as the next principal of Bastian Elementary School. He has served HISD in various capacities for 10 years, first as a teacher at Dodson Elementary School and next as vanguard coordinator at Pleasantville Elementary School. Since then, he has served in multiple leadership roles, most recently as assistant principal at Bastian since August 2015. 

Mr. Hare has a bachelor’s degree from Dillard University and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Texas Southern University, where he is currently completing his doctoral studies. Mr. Hare has two children who attend HISD schools. 

This summer will mark turning point for bond program

Every summer is hectic for HISD’s construction department, but the summer of 2016 is shaping up to be one for the record books as the district’s $1.89 billion Bond Program reaches a critical turning point.

With construction underway at about two dozen campuses and six new school buildings planned to open for the start of the new school year, there has never been a busier time for the district’s building programs.

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HISD boasts half of 8-county region’s top elementary, middle and high schools

District is home to No. 1 schools at every level in statewide rankings

Houston Independent School District campuses occupy half of the top 10 slots on the 2016 Children at Risk public school rankings of the region’s best public schools.

Additionally, HISD schools took the statewide No. 1 ranking in every category, with River Oaks No. 1 among elementary schools, T.H. Rogers No. 1 in the middle school category, and DeBakey High School for Health Professions No. 1 at the high school level.

The rankings were publicly released Monday at a ceremony conducted at HISD’s Pilgrim Academy, which received special distinction as a Gold Ribbon school, recognizing the region’s highest-performing, high-poverty campuses. Continue reading