The American Institutes for Research (AIR) released a comprehensive new report that finds HISD has already taken specific action that will enable the district to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and implement the report’s recommendations more effectively.
The report, Special Education Program Review, was commissioned by the Houston Independent School District. The HISD Board of Education contracted AIR to assess the district’s strengths and areas in need of improvement with respect to its special education program. The results of the review were presented at the March HISD Board of Education meeting by experts from AIR. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a construction contract for the rebuilding of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Scarborough, Kolter, and Mitchell — severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Trustees authorized district officials to negotiate and execute a Construction Manager-At-Risk — more commonly known as CMAR — contract with Satterfield & Pontikes Construction. A CMAR contract requires the contractor to commit to completing a project within a guaranteed maximum price. Though that price has not yet been negotiated, the agenda item states that the total cost of the project is not to exceed the project budget. Continue reading →
HISD Board of Education President Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Trustee Jolanda Jones, and Trustee Wanda Adams are hosting a series of community meetings at schools currently in “improvement required” status, or IR, as designated by the Texas Education Agency.
Ten HISD campuses have struggled academically for four or more years and must meet all state standards this year. State law under House Bill 1842 says if any school currently in IR for the fourth year or more does not meet state standards this year, the state will close it or appoint a Board of Managers to run the school district. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved turnaround plans for the campuses designated Year Two Improvement Required by the Texas Education Agency.
Schools with this designation have not met state standards for two years. These four campuses – Bonham Elementary School, Gregory-Lincoln Education Center (prekindergarten through grade 8), Madison High School, and Washington High School – are required to develop and submit a two-year plan to improve student outcomes. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a revised turnaround plan for Kashmere High School during a special meeting on Thursday.
This is the eighth consecutive year for Kashmere High School to be deemed as “improvement required” — one of the designations used by the TEA to determine whether schools are meeting state standards. As a result, the district is required to submit to the state a plan detailing how it will improve student achievement at the school.
HISD submitted an initial turnaround plan on Oct. 19, but it was rejected last week by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, who asked the district to resubmit the plan with a more detailed description of the budget, staffing, and financial resources required to implement the turnaround. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a resolution to strengthen current services provided to HISD students with special needs to succeed in the general education classroom.
This resolution lays out a set of best practices for increasing the time that special education students spend in the general education classroom, while providing additional services and the support needed. The district recognizes the need to raise expectations for students with disabilities and educate them in the least restrictive environment.
“As the district focuses on equity in every classroom, we understand our special needs students deserve every resource we can offer to ensure they succeed,” Superintendent Richard Carranza said. “This resolution is a necessary next step to delivering the services they need.” Continue reading →
Houston Independent School District Board President Wanda Adams and Trustee Anne Sung were re-elected to the Board of Education Tuesday, while Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca won a seat she was previously appointed to, and Sue Deigaard won the open District V seat. The District I and District III seats will be decided in a runoff election.
Adams, a graduate of Kashmere High School and Texas Southern University, won a second term as the trustee for District IX. President Adams defeated Gerry Monroe and Karla Brown.
Sung, a Bellaire High School and Harvard University graduate, won her first full term as the trustee of District VII. She was elected in December of 2016 to fill the unexpired term of Harvin Moore. Trustee Sung defeated John Luman. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a policy designed to reinforce the district’s commitment to providing students with wraparound services to better support their social and emotional needs outside the classroom.
The new policy – titled Student Support Services – outlines the Board’s belief that wraparound services are rooted in strong communities and directs the Superintendent to develop the framework for implementing community-based services.
The services are designed to address critical issues such as mental health, physical needs, food insecurity, violence at home, parent incarceration, and legal and crisis support. Continue reading →
At its first regular Board meeting since Hurricane Harvey forced a delayed start to the school year, the Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved extended school days for 12 campuses to make up instructional time.
The Board also eliminated five early dismissal days scheduled throughout the school year for all campuses.
The Texas Education Agency approved waivers that exempt students from making up the first nine days of missed classes. However, students at 12 schools starting after Sept. 11 will have to make up lost time beyond those days.
“There is no perfect solution,” Superintendent Richard Carranza said. “And as we talked about over the course of this weather event, flexibility will be key. But we are also making sure the extra time is not just seat time.” Continue reading →
The HISD Board of Trustees continues to mourn the loss of longtime Board of Trustees member Manuel Rodríguez Jr. In an effort to celebrate his life and memory, the board voted unanimously during its monthly agenda review session to name the board auditorium at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center the Manuel Rodríguez Jr. Board Auditorium.
Prior to the monthly Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Aug. 10, the board will host a reception to commemorate the renaming. That celebration is open to the public and will include a proclamation by Trustee Rodríguez’s longtime friend, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and other presentations.
“Trustee Rodríguez spent 14 years fighting in this auditorium for the students in District III and across the district to have access to the highest quality education HISD could provide for them,” says Board President Wanda Adams. “We remain saddened by his loss, but it was only fitting that we do this small gesture to remind everyone of the warrior that fought here for so long.”
“The decision the board made to name the auditorium after Trustee Rodríguez shows the level of respect they all have for the work he did throughout his tenure to make HISD a better place for all students,” said Superintendent Richard Carranza. “From now on, every time anyone walks into the board auditorium, they will be reminded of a man who dedicated years to helping our students.”
The ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. There will be a ribbon-cutting around 4:30 p.m., and a brief video presentation inside the newly-named auditorium. The board will proceed with its regularly scheduled meeting immediately following the ceremony.