Like millions of others across the country, Aleyna Kilic, a seventh-grade student in Jersey City, NJ, watched the news about Hurricane Harvey in disbelief at the devastation the storm wrought.
Instead of thinking, “someone has to do something,” Kilic knew she had to get involved personally.
Unsure about the best course of action, she reached out to the counselor at her school, The Learning Community Charter School, Shanelle Muse. LCCS is a PK-8 school with 585 students who come from all over Jersey City, which has been named one of the most diverse cities in the nation. Continue reading →
This week, more than 140 teachers across the district were awarded grant money that will go toward putting classrooms back together in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Thanks to the HISD Foundation and many philanthropists and corporations locally and nationally, nearly $178,000 was awarded to teachers in partial or full grants of up to $1,500. The grants were awarded based on need, the number of applications, and available funds.
The storm left many HISD schools across the city damaged, and many teachers had limited resources to get their classrooms back up and running before the start of school. In September, teachers were encouraged to submit an application to request funds that would cover the costs of replacing classroom supplies, technology, and other resources that were lost as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey. Continue reading →
Carranza and COO Brian Busby surprised at monthly principals meeting
HISD Superintendent of Schools Richard Carranza surprised all district principals with a special ‘”HISD Strong” award at their monthly leadership meeting on Oct. 4, but then school leaders turned the surprise back on him.
While in the midst of being honored by Carranza for her efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Scarborough Elementary Principal Miriam Medina invited a group of fellow school leaders to the front of the board auditorium. The group then announced to the superintendent and Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby that they were awarding the two of them for their leadership during and after the storm.
“Speaking for myself and the group up here, I appreciate our Superintendent and Mr. Busby for their ability to take in all the information including the federal information from FEMA, the state, and local decisions being made at a moment’s notice and then distribute it to us,” said Bellaire High School Principal Mike McDonough, one of nearly a dozen principals who gathered at the front of the board auditorium.
The group, made up of leaders from campuses who had a delayed first day of school because of the storm, thanked Carranza and Busby for their for their strength, support, and commitment to HISD students, staff, and schools impacted by the storm.
“They made sure to make decisions with the help of us, the principals, and included our expertise and knowledge of our school communities,” McDonough said. “We appreciate it.”
Carranza, who was genuinely surprised by the award presentation, thanked the crowd and said the best was yet to come.
“This city cannot survive and this city cannot be a world class city without Houston ISD,” Carranza said. “HISD is the best school district in the state, and we are going to make sure everyone knows it!”
When some HISD students wanted to raise money for hurricane victims, they picked up their paint brushes and crayons and got to work. Tinsley Elementary School art teacher Phil Daum and his students are using art and technology to raise money for the HISD Foundation’s hurricane fund.
Basketball star Yao Ming toured the flooded Hilliard Elementary School on Sept. 26 to show his support for HISD students suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Hilliard is among the “top 10” HISD schools damaged by the storm, and it will be months before students will be able to return.
Ming joined Hilliard Principal Edrick Moultry and HISD officials at the school, which took on four feet of water from nearby Halls Bayou. Also on the tour were HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza, Board President Wanda Adams, and Trustees Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Diana Dávila, Anna Eastman, and Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca.
The streets in the neighborhood in northeast Houston just north of Halls Bayou were lined with furniture, drywall, and carpeting, a sure sign that their houses had flooded during Hurricane Harvey.
Joseph and Karina Mayorga had just finished remodeling their two-story house when the water came. Although they had only about a foot of water in their house, it was enough to destroy their living room furniture, appliances, new red-oak kitchen cabinets, and original hardwood floors dating to 1951.
In response to the devastating damage left behind by Hurricane Harvey on HISD schools and across the city, philanthropists and corporations locally and nationally have come together to create a Harvey Relief Fund that is managed by the HISD Foundation. Funds raised will go directly to support HISD teachers to eliminate as much financial burden as possible in replacing damaged classroom resources so instructional time can be maximized.
Teachers are encouraged to submit an application for funding to cover the costs of replacing classroom supplies, technology, and other resources that were lost as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey. Applications will be accepted Friday, Sept. 22, through Friday, Sept. 29.
Each applicant may be awarded up to $1,500. Partial or full grants may be awarded based on need, volume of applications, and available funds. Due to limited funds and the urgent needs of HISD teachers and students, all applications will be reviewed and awarded the week of Oct. 2, 2017. Continue reading →
Students at Fondren Middle School are launching a pantry for families in need, a year-long service that will serve as a community pantry for both students and families who were directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
The Fondren Pantry will be located on campus and will open to the community once a week to help ensure that all students have access to adequate food, toiletries, uniforms, and school supplies to help them be successful this year.
For those who wish to donate, these are the most-needed items:
Non-perishable food items
Uniforms: (khaki pants and solid white, gray, and black polo shirts)
Backpacks: (clear or mesh)
Detergent and other essential household products.
For questions, please call Fondren MS at 713-778-3360.
$100 gift cards distributed to teachers with delayed start dates
The HISD Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund has raised more than $1.3 million and the nonprofit group is wasting no time distributing the funds to support schools and staff that were most severely impacted by the storm.
On Friday, Sept 15, Foundation Director Ann Scott surprised those teachers still awaiting the start of school on their campus with a $100 gift card to either Office Depot, Crystal Children and Teacher Supply, or Lakeshore Learning. The amount of donated gift cards totaled nearly $37,000 and will be used by the teachers to redecorate their damaged classrooms or supply a new classroom in a different facility.
In addition, Scott announced that starting next week, the Foundation will begin offering grants of up to $1,000 to all HISD teachers who were impacted by Harvey. 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 →