Eastwood Academy students become CyberPatriots

Students from Eastwood Academy are learning how to keep personal data safe, protect it from vulnerabilities, and “black hat” hackers and malicious software, all while having fun in the process. This is the second year that teams from Eastwood Academy are competing in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

The competition positions middle- and high-school students as newly hired IT professionals who must manage the network of a small company, utilizing their knowledge of networking, switches, routers, firewalls, TCP/IP protocols and architecture, and administration of various operating systems. During the competition, students will have to identify network vulnerabilities within a six-hour window. Continue reading

HISD students participate in first-ever UH Special Olympics Basketball Camp

Basketballs were flying around the Hofheinz Pavilion on Nov. 10, as more than 50 HISD students with special needs got to meet and play basketball with coaches and student-athletes from the University of Houston (UH) men’s basketball program.

For the first UH Special Olympics Basketball Camp, Cougar coaches and players set up six stations on the pavilion’s basketball court, and middle-school students practiced shooting, dribbling, passing, and other fundamentals. Continue reading

HAIS principal honored with outstanding school leadership award

The Houston Academy for International Studies (HAIS) was officially recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School at an awards ceremony on Nov. 11 in Washington, D.C., and Principal Melissa Jacobs-Thibaut was also presented with the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership.

The award recognizes campus leaders who are committed to doing whatever it takes to help their students meet high standards. The award’s namesake served as secretary of education from 1981 to 1985. Continue reading

Curriculum manager named Star Award winner by University of Houston

HISD’s Angela Miller accepts the Star Award from Robert (Bob) H. McPherson, dean of University of Houston’s College of Education, on Nov. 7.

A talent for obtaining federal grants that have benefitted both HISD teachers and the institution where they studied has earned Secondary Social Studies Curriculum Manager Angela Miller recognition this year from the University of Houston (UH). Miller was recently named the sole “dean’s choice” Star Award winner for 2014 by that school’s College of Education.

“The Star Awards are an opportunity for us to shine a light on our best and brightest alumni, faculty, and students,” said UH College of Education Director of Advancement Brandie Cleaver. “The Dean’s Recognition Award is to honor those individuals who have made an impact on the UH community but don’t necessarily fit into one of those categories.” Continue reading

Endurance sport training builds fortitude and fraternity at Sharpstown HS

The Aramco Houston Half Marathon is still about ten weeks away, but excitement is building at one HISD school, courtesy of a science teacher with a penchant for endurance sports. Sarah Kingston and a group of like-minded students and staff members at Sharpstown High School have been training together now for about five weeks in preparation for that annual event.

“Our students and staff ran a 5k race on Nov. 2,” said Kingston, “and it was an amazing experience. Last week, students ran the same two-mile loop that they did during the first week of training, and they were really able to see changes in their running.” Continue reading

HISD schools awarded STEM grants from ExxonMobil

Samuel Saenz

A proposal submitted by East Early College High School recently won the school a grant from ExxonMobil that will help fund science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs for girls.

Science teacher Samuel Saenz applied for the company’s Southeastern Consortium Minorities in Engineering (SECME) mini-grant by submitting a proposal entitled “G-3 (Girls, Gears & Gadgets): A Program to Encourage Girls from Economically Disadvantaged Families to Consider STEM Related Career Choice.” The proposal outlines a plan to form a girls’ robotics and engineering team that will not only program robots for competition, but encourage younger students from feeder schools to explore STEM career possibilities. Continue reading

Special Education expert shares lessons learned during PowerUp

Representatives from school districts as far away as Seattle and Boston sat in on Beth Goodrich’s presentation on the importance of considering the needs of special student populations when giving students access to laptops or tablets.

The HISD senior manager’s talk was one of many sessions at the fall 2014 meeting of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative, a national network of approximately 100 school districts committed to improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The topic of the gathering hosted by HISD last week was “Designing Learning Environments for all Students: Increasing Access Through Technology.” Continue reading

District’s Petroleum Academies show off their talents at the Shell STEM Showdown

Do you think you can build a geodesic dome from plastic straws and masking tape that will not only stand up, but also hold weight? Students from Milby HS, Westside HS, Energy Institute HS and the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, along with Fort Worth ISD’s Southwest High School, did just that in the spirit of competition at the Viva Technology™ Shell STEM Showdown at the University of Houston.

Three teams from each school teamed up with university students from UH, UH Downtown, Rice University, Texas A&M, and Texas Christian University. Guided by their college counterparts, the high schoolers competed throughout the day in a series of hands-on exercises designed to stimulate interest in the applications of technology. Continue reading

An ‘Up Close’ look at HISD’s magnet programs

The November edition of HISD Up Close with Board President Juliet Stipeche features a closer look at the robust portfolio of HISD schools that allows families to choose the campus that best meets their child’s academic needs and interests. In the video segment below, Manager of HISD Grant Development Jennifer Todd walks parents through the magnet application process and explains the variety of school choice options available at HISD, including Montessori, Vanguard, International Baccalaureate, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), and fine arts programs.

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HISD schools honor veterans

 (Houston Independent School District)

Mrs. Petry’s first-grade class at Lyons ES hold letters they’re sending to veterans

Students at Lyons Elementary are thanking the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, and they’re hoping to develop a continuing relationship with members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Students in Nekia Petry’s first-grade class wrote thank-you notes to members of the U.S. Coast Guard National Command Center in Washington, D.C. Their goal is to become pen pals with service members so they can learn about service, honor, country, and dedication while also work on improving their writing skills. Continue reading