Houston FAFSA Day results in: Large increase in applications for financial aid

The recently held Houston FAFSA Day, a partnership between HISD, Spring Branch ISD, the city of Houston and other local organizations, was a huge success and district administrators have the data to prove it. Early numbers from the Department of Education show an increase of more than 159 percent in the number of seniors who completed FAFSA applications.

The number of applications increased from 618 in 2013 to 1601 in 2014, mainly due to the efforts of a city-wide partnership during the first Houston FAFSA Day. The event opened the doors of all HISD High School to host parents, students and family members who were interested in completing the federal aid application. It took place for the first time on February 20 from 6-8 p.m.

NBA legends to Crespo students: Ball is in your court to stay in school

NBA legends visited students at Crespo Elementary Thursday to stress the importance of financial literacy and education.

Former Houston Rockets stars Clyde Drexler, who is a Sterling HS alum, and Elvin Hayes, along with former players John Lucas, Felipe Lopez and T.J. Ford, visited classes and talked to students about working hard on their studies and staying in school.

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Additional options and considerations presented for campuses on proposed closure and consolidation list

In a special meeting of the HISD Board of Education on Thursday morning, trustees heard additional options and considerations regarding the five campuses identified in the district’s proposed closure, consolidation, and reorganization plan. Trustees were also provided feedback from community meetings held at the schools. Among the new options to be considered by the board: move the Montessori program at Dodson to Blackshear; create a day care/ early childhood center at Nat Q Henderson; establish a career training high school at Jones to serve the southern part of the city (after Jones is used as swing space for the next 2-3 years), among other options. For a complete review of the options and considerations presented, please find the full presentation here (.pdf).

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HISD students to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday through nutrition and reading

Food Services, The Rice School pairing up for day of books, Dr. Seuss-themed menu items

Students across the Houston Independent School District will celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss on Monday, March 3, in coordination with Read Across America Day.

To celebrate both occasions, HISD Food Services is collaborating with The Rice School/La Escuela Rice for a day of healthy eating and reading. The celebration will kick off at 10 a.m. at The Rice School La Escuela Rice.

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Design of new Condit ES reflects school’s connection to community

During a community meeting at Bellaire’s Condit Elementary School to discuss a new school being built under HISD’s 2012 bond program, one overriding theme emerged: the school’s long-standing ties to the community.

“Condit is more than just a school that happens to be in a neighborhood or community. Condit is really directly linked to our community,” Condit Principal Dan Greenberg told the crowd of about 65 parents, teachers and community members who gathered Tuesday night. “It’s rare to find a community that cares so much about the well-being of the school like we do here.”

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HISD college-readiness programs attract NYC educators

Representatives of New York City’s Department of Education have been visiting HISD this week to learn more about how the district prepares students for success in college and career. Dusty Miller, La Shawn Robinson, and Ainsley C. Rudolfo attended HISD’s State of the Schools event, as well as visited Chavez and Sterling high schools and Eastwood Academy.

After hearing about EMERGE through the Council of the Great City Schools, they wanted to see it in action. EMERGE prepares talented students from underserved communities to successfully attend and graduate from Ivy League and other top-tier colleges.

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North Houston Early College HS community hears update on plans for new school

North Houston Early College High School is ready to leave behind its portables for a three-story building with a university feel.

“We need a school because we really don’t have one,” said Principal Angela Lundy-Jackson during a community meeting Tuesday night at the school. The school uses portables for its classrooms, cafeterias and administrative offices. “So we’re excited to see this project come to fruition. Moving these kids into the future is very much needed.”

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HISD superintendent announces expansion of dual language programs, new diversity initiative during 2014 State of the Schools address

District will continue focus on literacy and student achievement

During HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier’s address at the 2014 State of the Schools event, he reminded the sold-out crowd of the district’s successes, tough decisions and the work being done to transform schools into 21st-Century learning environments. He also announced several new initiatives, including the expansion of dual-language programs and a new diversity initiative, and unveiled a program that will address issues related to high student mobility rates.

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Grady MS community gets progress update for new building addition under 2012 bond

Temporary buildings used for classroom instruction at Grady Middle School could be gone as early as the summer in preparation for a two-story building addition that will connect to the campus’ existing facility.

“Temporary buildings are great, but the whole point is that they’re temporary,” said Principal Gretchen Kasper-Hoffman during a community meeting Monday night at the school. “We have to do what’s best for our students now and for our future students to ensure we have a sustainable building that will be here for years to come.”

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Boot-scootin’, chili cook-offs, and livestock shows part of HISD’s celebration of Go Texan Day

It’s a time-honored tradition for HISD students to kick off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) by observing Go Texan Day on Friday, Feb. 28. In addition to wearing western attire, HISD schools are building pride in their Texas heritage with a variety of educational programs and events. HLSR is an ongoing source of scholarships for college-bound students, and HISD seniors have received millions of dollars over the past half-century.

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