Tag Archives: Memorial ES

HISD announces partnership with Kennedy Center to expand student access to the arts

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Thursday that the Houston Independent School District together with the City of Houston would serve as the 19th site for their national arts education program.

The Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child program will take existing resources from HISD, local arts organizations, the City of Houston, and the Kennedy Center and combine them to increase arts opportunities and provide high-quality arts education for 7,000 students at 11 schools.

The schools include Atherton, Benbrook, Eliot, Hartsfield, Hines-Caldwell, Kashmere Gardens, Memorial, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Whittier elementary schools, and Hamilton Middle School. Additional schools are expected to be added in the coming years. Continue reading

Author visits build love of literacy through inspiration, encouragement

Author Barney Saltzberg with Visual Art Specialist Rebecca Stewart

Author Barney Saltzberg with Visual Art Specialist Rebecca Stewart

Whether you’re five, 15, or 55 years old, it can still be a thrilling experience to meet someone who actually created a book you enjoyed. If it makes a big enough impression, the experience can even make you a reader for life.

That’s why a number of HISD schools regularly invite popular authors to visit their campuses as part of the district’s literacy initiatives, such as Harvard ES, Patterson and Red elementaries, and Burbank Middle School.

Barney Saltzberg was the latest writer/illustrator to bring inspiration and encouragement to students. He came to Memorial Elementary School on Feb. 13.

“His visit was awesome,” said Visual Art Specialist Rebecca Stewart. “He spoke about not being a very good student. He said he was terrible at spelling. No one—not even his parents—was very optimistic that he would ever do anything significant, because he had such a hard time in school. But he loved to draw, so he drew all the time. When he went to art school, he still didn’t think he was very good, but a teacher looked at his drawing one day and said, ‘You need to write a book with that character.’ So he did. And the little boy who had such a hard time at spelling is now a best-selling author with more than a million books in print.” Continue reading

HISD school board to consider plan to reduce classroom overcrowding

The Houston Independent School District is working to readjust attendance boundaries at almost two dozen schools in an effort to reduce classroom overcrowding.

The move is in response to a directive from the Texas Education Agency, which requires kindergarten through fourth-grade classes to have no more than 22 students per classroom. Classes that exceed that number must request a state waiver.

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HISD, Neil Bush encourage Houstonians to give back by reading to students

Community asked to spend at least 30 minutes a week reading to a child

HISD and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation encouraged Houstonians to volunteer for the Read Houston Read literacy program in honor of ‘Giving Tuesday’ — a day specifically established to celebrate generosity and give back.

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Microsoft’s ‘Bing in the Classroom’ comes to HISD

A kindergarten class is studying about butterflies and can share the dramatic migratory adventure of the Monarch butterfly through the eyes of children in a classroom in Mexico. That is what Sylvia Huerta, a kindergarten teacher at Memorial Elementary School, is hoping to do through the technology introduced at her school by Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Bing in the Classroom initiative offers the transformative power of technology to schools with ad-free search, Surface laptop-tablets for classrooms, and digital literacy lessons. Through hands-on training at the school, Memorial ES teachers learn how to navigate the technology. Continue reading

HISD schools celebrate International Literacy Day

Many Houston ISD schools held special events to celebrate International Literacy Day on Sept. 8.

Anderson Elementary School students held a parade of book characters, and they participated in a special presentation of the Wizard of Oz. Students and staff donned costumes to perform the story.

“We want to make sure the love of reading comes to life,” Principal Roslyn Vaughn said. Continue reading

Surprise! Shearn ES students find new program, meet the superintendent

Shearn Elementary School is one of 14 HISD schools launching the school year today as a dual-language campus, with instruction in both English and Spanish, and students had a special visitor this morning.

Dr. Terry Grier dropped in as the school day began to greet students and parents, and to pump up their enthusiasm for dual-language. “I sure wish we had this when I was in school,” Grier told a trio of fifth-grade school leaders who guided him on a tour of Shearn.

Marques Foster was delighted to hear about the new program. “I really want to learn Spanish,” she said. “I know it’s important to have more than one language.” Continue reading

Countdown to 2014-2015: What’s new in HISD #5 — Dual-language programs expanding to 14 more schools

This is the sixth in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.

When the school bells sound Monday in HISD, 14 additional elementary campuses will be conducting classes in two languages, as the district expands its successful dual-language program to a total of 32 schools.

The structure offers foreign language immersion for English-speaking students and a bilingual program for Spanish speakers.

The expansion process started a year ago, when all HISD elementary schools were invited to apply for the successful program. Those chosen have spent months preparing. HISD has a six-year plan to turn at least half its elementary campuses into dual-language schools by 2020. Continue reading