HISD Board joined by mayor, lawmakers with message of unity for Houston’s children 

HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said Tuesday that the departure of Superintendent Richard Carranza does not change the vision and mission of the district, which remains committed to delivering a quality education to all children “in a unified way.”

“We are one vision, and that is to ensure IR (Improvement Required) schools come off IR, that we don’t have any additional schools go into IR, and that we can use our use limited dollars in a way that does the least harm to impact our classrooms,” Skillern-Jones said.

Superintendent Carranza accepts new role in NYC

She delivered the message standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow trustees, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, state Rep. Alma Allen, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. All emphasized that the city, state, and federal government have a role to play in ensuring the success of the district, and that the district is more than one person.  Continue reading

One new school, three new additions to open this month

One new school building and three school additions will open to students when they return from spring break on March 19. The campuses are part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program to rebuild or replace 40 schools across the district. Continue reading

HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza accepts new role in NYC

Houston Independent School District Superintendent Richard Carranza on Monday announced his decision to end his tenure as the leader of Texas’ largest school district.

Carranza assumed his role as superintendent with unanimous Board of Education approval in August 2016, promising to improve student academic achievement, provide student support through wraparound services, and create a system of equity for the district’s 284 schools.

“It has been an honor and privilege to have served the students of the Houston Independent School District and bring a voice to communities that have historically been underserved,” Carranza said. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce my departure as I embark on this new journey. I am looking forward to the opportunity of serving the 1.1 million students in New York City. I am forever grateful to the people of Houston for allowing me to be a part of this great city.”

While Carranza leaves in the midst of HISD facing several challenges, we are confident in the ability to overcome those challenges with viable solutions.

“We the Board wish Carranza the best in his endeavors and appreciate the leadership he brought to this district,” said President Rhonda Skillern-Jones. “We are committed to continuing the work he began and moving the district forward.”

The Board will meet on Thursday to discuss next steps.

HISD’s 2018 Principals of the Year are from Braeburn ES, Jones Futures Academy 

It was a day full of surprises on Thursday as Superintendent Richard Carranza, Chief Academic Officer Grenita Lathan and school board members, made their rounds to name the district’s 2018 Principals of the Year at Braeburn Elementary School and Jones Futures Academy.

Braeburn Elementary School Principal Santos Reyes was crowned as HISD’s Elementary Principal of the year, while Jones Futures Academy Principal Geovanny Ponce was named HISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year.    Continue reading

HISD Police, Risk Management join Florida think tank following school shooting

As students and teachers make their way back to classes this week in Parkland, Fla., the community is seeking normalcy and continuity through vigils, community focus groups, and a think tank made up of members from some of the nation’s largest police agencies.

As part of that think tank, the HISD Police Department and Risk Management Team joined with law enforcement officers and safety practitioners from across the country on Monday to discuss school safety issues.

The session was held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on March 5, and it was hosted by the Miami-Dade Public Schools Police Department. Continue reading

Superintendent updates collaborative on HISD wraparound services efforts

The trauma of Hurricane Harvey continues to affect students in HISD and across the Houston area, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza told a behavioral health collaborative on Friday.

Representatives from more than 20 school districts gathered at the Center for School Behavioral Health collaborative luncheon at the United Way for an update on what HISD is doing to meet the mental health needs of students and teachers in the wake of the hurricane.

HISD Superintendent Carranza spoke about how critically important social and emotional services are to ensure that students are ready to learn. Continue reading

Project aDOORe artwork exhibit to visit Hermann Park 

A traveling fine arts exhibit of doors known as Project aDOORe will stop at Hermann Park’s Lake Plaza on Saturday, March 3 at noon as part of Hermann Park’s 8th annual Student Performance Series.

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. Students from 26 HISD campuses turned doors from storm-damaged homes into works of art that have been showcased throughout the city.   Continue reading

Wilson Montessori prepares to welcome students to new building addition

Construction on the three-story addition to Wilson Montessori is wrapping up, with the school preparing to open a portion of the facility next week and complete the remainder of their move-in over spring break.

Workers are finishing interior touches, and plan to do a final cleaning before crews start setting up furniture. Exterior site work, including sidewalk installation, will be complete in the coming weeks.

The Montrose-area prekindergarten through eighth-grade school is receiving a $24.7 million makeover as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond program. The project includes construction of the addition, as well as renovations to the historic main building, which was built in 1924. Continue reading

Northside HS community celebrates construction progress, leaves mark on new school


Festive music filled the air at Northside High School on Wednesday as alumni and community members walked along a Panther-purple carpet into a wall-signing celebration held to mark the construction progress made at the school.

About 200 attendees were treated to student performances and heard from guest speakers before being invited to add their signatures to special wall panels, which will be permanently exhibited in the new building.

“Generations upon generations have entered these doors,” Northside Principal Cecilia Gonzales said. “Today they can leave their mark, which will be on display for generations to come. It’s really exciting.” Continue reading

Westbury HS moving into new building addition


Construction on Westbury High School’s two-story building addition is wrapping up, with the school beginning to move into the space this weekend and use the new classrooms as early as March 5.

Classroom furniture setup is complete. Furniture installation for the dining commons and other flexible spaces is underway, as are final interior touches and wood floor installation in the main gym.

The school will be fully moved into the new addition by the time students return from spring break. Continue reading