Workers install tilt-walls and steel beams at Sam Houston MSTC

Construction on the new Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center is well underway and moving forward as scheduled with no significant impact to the timeline resulting from Hurricane Harvey.

Since breaking ground last spring, workers have completed underground mechanical, electrical and plumbing installation, along with most of the foundation work. Tilt walls are currently being raised, and are more than halfway complete.

“The project has been running very smooth so far,” said Skanska Project Manager Scott Conley, who oversees the Houston MSTC construction for the Houston Independent School District. “We’re on track with the schedule and pleased with the progress.” Continue reading

Nominations for H-E-B Excellence in Education awards due Oct. 22 

Staff, students, parents, and community members can make nominations 

Do you know an HISD educator that deserves the ultimate recognition for their hard work?

Nominate your favorite teacher and/or principal for H-E-B’s Excellence in Education award. Anyone can make a nomination, including HISD staff, students, parents and community members. You can even nominate yourself. Click here to nominate one or more HISD educators by Sunday, October 22, 2017.

Teacher finalists will win $1,000 for themselves and $1,000 for their campus. Principal finalists will win $1,000 for themselves and $2,500 for their campus. In addition, all finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the awards celebration and a special reception in their honor.  Continue reading

YWCPA construction surpasses midway point

When Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy students returned for the 2017-2018 school year, they came back to a new building addition complete with gym, locker rooms, and science and career technology labs.

The work is part of a $31.1 million project, which calls for general renovations to the campus, as well as a partial replacement of the building. Once complete, the school — part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program — will accommodate between 900 and 1,000 students.

“The renovations and new addition are wonderful,” said Interim Principal Tiffany Bob, who also serves as high school dean. “I can’t wait until the other phases are done. I’m looking forward to the final product.”

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Alejandro Gonzalez named new principal of Gallegos Elementary

Dr. Alejandro Gonzalez has been selected as the principal of Mario Gallegos Elementary School. Dr. Gonzalez began his career in education as a paraprofessional for Alice ISD and taught science in Pasadena ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Premont ISD, and Calallen ISD. His administrative career began in Clear Creek ISD, where he served as an assistant principal for seven years. Gonzalez also served as the principal of Alice High School and San Jacinto Elementary in Goose Creek CISD. He attended the University of Houston for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served for four years. Gonzalez has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University–Kingsville and a doctorate in education from University of Houston–Clear Lake. 

Teacher-turned-rapper breaks down college aid for Achieve 180 students   

Two students awarded $5,000 college scholarship from Sallie Mae

Students at schools in the district’s Achieve 180 initiative recently got an interactive lesson on college financial aid thanks to a visit from a former middle school teacher turned rap artist.

David Augustine Jr., also known as rapper Dee-1, addressed the crowd of high school seniors on the importance of applying for college and sang his hit single about paying off student loans. The song, Sallie Mae Back, is about how Augustine paid off his college student loans with an advance he received after signing a record deal.

“I was like, how should I spend this,” said Dee-1. “Most rappers buy a new car, they take a vacation, buy jewelry but I wanted to break all the stereotypes – and most importantly, I wanted to get out of debt.”  Continue reading

Community, staff invited to cheer on bands at 10th annual Marching Band Festival 

The impact of Hurricane Harvey will be felt at this year’s Marching Band Festival, which is from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9 at Delmar Stadium (2020 Mangum). Admission is free.

The 10th annual showcase will feature fewer bands after Harvey shortened practice time and left some schools with damaged instruments.

Community and staff are invited to cheer on the nine participating bands as they perform in front of UIL-level adjudicators who will provide feedback on music, visual effects and performance. The lineup is:

  • Washington HS: 5 p.m.
  • North Forest HS: 5:30 p.m.
  • Sharpstown HS: 6 p.m.
  • Scarborough HS: 6:30 p.m.
  • Heights HS: 7 p.m.
  • Austin HS: 7:30 p.m.
  • Sterling HS: 8 p.m.
  • Lamar HS: 8:30 p.m.
  • Waltrip HS: 9 p.m.

Volunteers needed for Special Olympics Field Days 

Annual event scheduled for Nov. 14 through 16

Volunteers are needed for the fifth annual HISD Special Olympics Field Days scheduled for Nov. 14, 15, and 16 at the Joe Kelly Butler Fieldhouse (13755 Main St., 77085).

About 1,700 volunteers are needed throughout the three days to help with setup and breakdown, athletic events, escorting students around the facility, serving lunches, and other tasks. Volunteers will be provided with on-site instruction and modeling for their specific assignment so they are prepared to work with the students, who range from elementary to high school age. Continue reading

North Forest HS construction approaches completion

With construction almost complete, the North Forest High School Bulldogs are on track to kick off the 2018 spring semester in their new building.

Both doors and kitchen equipment have arrived for installation, and marker boards are scheduled to be delivered in the coming weeks, project officials said. Carpet and ceiling tile installation also is underway.

The $59.5 million campus, which is being built on the east side of Mesa Road across from the existing school, will accommodate 1,300 to 1,500 students.

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Piney Point ES receives National Wildlife Federation Green Flag Award

Representatives from the National Wildlife Federation visited Piney Point Elementary School this morning to present the campus with the Eco-Schools USA Green Flag Award.

The Green Flag is the highest honor a school can receive from the NWF. Piney Point is only one of two schools in Houston to be recognized this year and one of three elementary schools in the state of Texas to receive the honor.

“Here at Piney Point, we truly live by our motto – Everyone Learning, Everyone Leading,” Principal Bobby Swaby said.

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District IX community meetings planned

Board president to address various topics, including Achieve 180

HISD Board President Wanda Adams is hosting community meetings for families and staff in District IX.

At the meetings, Trustee Adams will discuss various topics including the status of HISD and schools post-Hurricane Harvey and the launch of Achieve 180, the district’s initiative to support historically underserved and academically underperforming schools.

The community meetings are scheduled as follows. All start at 6 p.m.  Continue reading