Workshop Wednesday presents human capital strategies

G&A Partners Director Jose Laurel spoke to a crowd of local business owners and vendors on Wednesday offering advice on hiring and retaining good employees.

Laurel emphasized two critical requirements that are essential in achieving growth and success: employees must be eager to learn and companies must be willing to evolve.

Laurel asked attendees how often their companies administered employee reviews. While most in attendance said their companies conducted reviews annually, Laurel noted that the best practice was to conduct shorter appraisals on a regular basis. This ensures employees have the opportunity to get and give feedback.

Continue reading

HISD awarded more than $13 million in grants to expand college access programming

More students in the Houston Independent School District will have access to college readiness programming thanks to two grants totaling $13 million from Houston Endowment.

The three-year grants will allow the district to expand EMERGE, a program that helps students from underserved backgrounds attend and graduate from the nation’s top colleges and universities. Most students in the program receive more than $200,000 in scholarships and grants over four years. And more than 96 percent of all EMERGE students have graduated from college within four years, or are on track to do so. Continue reading

HISD named to College Board’s AP District Honor Roll for gains in student access, success

District, placed on list for first time, is among 447 across U.S. and Canada to earn distinction

The Houston Independent School District is one of 447 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll, a first for the district.

To be included on the 8th Annual Honor Roll, HISD had to increase the number of students participating in AP since 2015 while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. The district has more than doubled that number since 2007. Reaching these goals shows that HISD is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

“I am very proud of our students and staff for achieving this distinction,” Superintendent Richard Carranza said. “This honor is yet another example of the district’s commitment to offering rigorous options to all our students that we believe prepare them for their next level of education.” Continue reading

Milby HS educator riding in style after being named Teacher of the Month

Milby High School English teacher Jill Hobbs was beyond surprised when HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza and Sterling McCall VIP Services stopped by her classroom on Dec. 5 to proclaim her the HISD Teacher of the month. In fact, the Achieve 180 teacher and 20-year veteran was at a total loss for words when she learned that she would get to drive a 2017 Lexus ES 350 for a month, courtesy of Sterling McCall Lexus.

“I’m in complete shock, and have never had the opportunity to drive in luxury,” Hobbs said. “It is truly an honor to be awarded this month, and I can’t wait to enjoy the vehicle during my commute to campus and grad school.”   Continue reading

Instruction at Mading ES gets a practice run to ensure quality lessons

Before delivering a lesson to his students at Mading Elementary School, fifth-grade teacher Marques Guillory often first presents his lesson to a group of teachers on his campus. The practice, called “at bats,” gives Guillory a chance to have a few swings at instruction before presenting in front of his students.

“It’s kind of like a pre-game or pre-lesson, and you get feedback from your colleagues,” Guillory said.


Mading, which is part of the district’s Achieve 180 initiative, is using the at-bats strategy to ensure every teacher delivers effective and quality instruction to students the first time. Mading Principal Nicole Haskins explained the at-bats strategy and other instructional techniques her campus is using to HISD Board of Education members during a presentation on Dec. 5. Continue reading

HISD celebrating Inclusive Schools Week 

HISD is celebrating Inclusive Schools Week through Dec. 8 in partnership with the Inclusive Schools Network.

This year’s theme focuses on standing up for inclusion, and the district is encouraging all schools to share photos of their inclusive schools week activities on Twitter using the hashtag #HISD2017ISW.

In particular, HISD is recognizing seven schools for their inclusivity efforts: Dogan, Lyons, Peck, and Patterson elementary schools; Tanglewood Middle School; and Lamar and Washington high schools. They will be honored at the Board of Education Meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14.

This year, the Inclusive Schools Week’s theme is “Stand Up, Sit Tall for Inclusion.” Schools, parents, and community members can take part in the celebration by downloading lesson plans, activities, and resources here.   Continue reading

Project aDOORe exhibit on display at Hattie Mae White

An exhibit of student art from 26 campuses across HISD that features doors from storm-damaged homes transformed into works of art is on display at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.

The fine arts initiative — known as Project aDOORe Houston — aims to strengthen school communities that were most impacted by Hurricane Harvey by providing students with a means to heal through the creation of art. The exhibit will continue through Dec. 15.   Continue reading

TEA approves HISD’s revised turnaround plan for Kashmere HS

The Texas Education Agency has notified the Houston Independent School District that it has approved the modified turnaround plan for Kashmere High School.

In a letter addressed to Superintendent Richard Carranza and HISD Board President Wanda Adams, Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced TEA finds that the modified campus turnaround plan submitted on Nov. 17, 2017 “meets all necessary requirements and addresses the deficiencies identified in the original turnaround plan” and approved the plan to be implemented for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year.

“We are glad and thankful the TEA has accepted our plan,” HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams said.  “We know there’s a lot of hard work ahead, but our students, staff, administrators and the entire Kashmere community are ready.  As an alum, it is personal for me to see Kashmere succeed. Today’s letter signifies Kashmere is continuing to move in the right direction. I’m so proud of the principal for her commitment.” Continue reading

Energy Institute HS nears 90 percent completion

Construction on the new Energy Institute High School soon will reach 90 percent completion, with the building being furnished and outfitted with technology in the spring and teachers and staff moving in next summer.

Crews are currently working on interior finishes such as painting, ceiling panel installation, and sealing and polishing of concrete floors. Installation of carpet in limited areas and outdoor canopies will wrap up this quarter, as will final mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and safety inspections.

“Our new Energy building has been a labor of love for all of us who have contributed to its innovative design,” said Energy Institute Principal Lori Lambropoulos. “The high-tech facility will positively inspire our inventive students and staff to reach for the stars.” Continue reading

HISD recruiting teachers at hiring events in Florida

A team from the Houston Independent School District will travel to Florida this month to recruit and interview teachers for positions in critical shortage areas.

The district is looking for elementary bilingual education teachers who are fluent in both English and Spanish, as well as secondary math, science, and English/Language Arts teachers. Also needed are special education teachers with experience in autism education and deaf education at all levels.

Interviews/Job Fairs will be held in both Orlando and Miami. Candidates must pre-register and bring their teaching certificates, college transcripts, and/or a copy of their bachelor’s degree. Continue reading