South Early College High School celebrates first ‘I Love STEM’ day

While many were planning to deliver flowers and boxes of chocolate on Feb. 14, the faculty, staff, and students of South Early College High School (SECHS) celebrated its first “I Love STEM” day.

Representatives from various organizations, including NASA, San Jacinto College, iRobot, and C-STEM came to share information about careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as donate materials for hands-on activities.

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Contractors network on construction project for Waltrip HS

Satterfield & Pontikes Construction met with about 30 subcontractors interested in bidding for construction work for the Waltrip High School building renovation during a networking event Tuesday.

“We want to get to know more about your company and how your company can fit into this project,” said William Chambers, a senior project manager with Satterfield & Pontikes.

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Under HB 5, student attendance is more important than ever

Student can’t learn if they’re not in class. And in HISD, attendance is getting even more attention as district administrators roll out plans to implement HB 5, the new law passed by the Texas Legislature that revamps graduation, testing and accountability requirements.

“We’ve always focused on attendance,” said Mark White, HISD’s director of School Support Services. “But HB 5 means students who don’t come to class will be at greater risk of falling behind or not graduating.”

Specifically, under expanded state requirements for school attendance, students who miss too many class sessions receive a grade of “NG,” which means that their grade is blocked due to poor attendance.

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Principals to discuss literacy during Twitter chat

Houston ISD principals traditionally collaborate via email and at meetings, but on Feb. 19 they’re chatting on Twitter and hope you will join the conversation.

The district’s second Twitter chat, which will be held from 1 to 2 p.m., will focus on literacy.

“The HISD District Literacy Plan is in the process of being revised,” said Carol Bedard, HISD’s director of literacy. “The purpose of the Twitter chat is to provide a forum for teachers, campus leaders, and district personnel to have their voices heard!”

You can be part of the conversation by following #HISDliteracy. If you have a comment or question, chime in by logging into your Twitter account on your computer or mobile device, and send your Tweet with that same hashtag.

HISD transportation managers recognize bus personnel during national Love the Bus Month

HISD transportation managers served a pancake breakfast to bus drivers and school bus personnel Thursday as part of a week of events held to recognize national Love the Bus Month.

Love the Bus Month, created by the American School Bus Council, raises awareness and appreciation in February for the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers who safely transport children to and from school.

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Board of Education Approves Expansion of Academic Parent-Teacher Teams Program

Spring class size waivers approved for submission to Texas Education Agency

The HISD Board of Education voted Thursday to approve the expansion of the Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) program by adding 30 additional campuses. This $1 million program is designed to assist schools with students struggling in literacy and reading. Schools will be selected from the lowest performing elementary schools within the district and a variety of additional criteria, including the need for additional parent engagement and participation.

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Time is running out: Seniors should apply now for a Broad scholarship

There’s not much time left to get a piece of the $550,000 in college scholarships earmarked for HISD seniors – the deadline to apply is March 3.

Thanks to HISD winning the Broad Prize for Urban Education in September 2013, graduating seniors can receive two- or four-year scholarships, depending on the type of higher educational institution they choose to attend. Students who enroll in four-year colleges receive $20,000 scholarships paid out over four years ($5,000 per year). Students who enroll in two-year colleges or technical programs receive $5,000 scholarships paid out over two years ($2,500 per year).

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Board of Education To Vote on Adding Academic Parent-Teacher Teams

Trustees will also consider state waiver requests on K-5 class sizes

The HISD Board of Education will consider Thursday expanding the Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) program, which engages parents directly in their children’s classroom success, by adding 30 additional campuses.

The APTT model replaces traditional parent-teacher conferences with three 75-minute group meetings involving all parents in the class, and one 30-minute individual session with the student, teacher and parents. During APTT meetings, teachers share student performance data and expectations for the class, review skills, and demonstrate hands-on activities parents can do at home to help their student master skills. Parents practice the activities with other parents in the class, and each family sets 60-day academic goals for their student.

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