Lisa McManus has been selected as the new principal of Roosevelt Elementary School. McManus is returning to HISD after spending a year abroad with her family. She began her career in education as an elementary bilingual teacher serving students in Austin ISD and then in HISD. During her 11-year tenure in HISD, she also served as a middle school math teacher, teacher specialist, dean of instruction, and most recently as principal of Herod Elementary School. McManus earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Thanksgiving isn’t for another eight months, but dozens of Houston-area teachers and their students have been expressing their gratitude recently, after Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard came through on a promise to support literacy.
Campuses receive every distinction designation available from the state.
Twenty-nine schools from across the Houston Independent School District earned the maximum number of distinction designations from the state for their top performance throughout the 2014-2015 school year.
The campuses – 17 elementary schools, six middle schools and six high schools – earned every distinction designation awarded by the Texas Education Agency. Schools are eligible for distinctions if they are rated as having “Met Standard” — the highest rating under the state accountability system — and meet various other performance standards.
Mar Azcarraga has been selected as principal of Roosevelt Elementary School. She has been part of Team HISD for 13 years, during which time she served at the elementary level as curriculum developer, bilingual teacher, and in other leadership capacities, including grade chairperson, math lead, and presenter. Most recently, Ms. Azcarraga served as assistant principal of Hartman Middle School for three years.
Ms. Azcarraga received a bachelor of science degree in Computer Science from University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lamar University.
About 1,000 new and veteran teachers attended HISD’s ongoing teacher professional development recently, which included a heavy dose of Literacy By 3 training.
The sessions were designed to help teachers learn effective methods and classroom management techniques that lead to students reading on level by the third grade.
Charity Smith, a manager for elementary literacy training development, said the training ultimately benefits students by creating teachers who can implement hands-on learning in the classroom and provide critical-thinking exercises, all of which help build Global Graduates. Continue reading →
Guests at HISD’s 2015 State of the Schools luncheon got a side order of entertainment with their meal. Westside High School’s Wind Ensemble of 35 students provided music throughout the program under the guiding hand of Conductor Joey Brunson, and students from 19 HISD elementary schools sang the national anthem.
HISD is expanding its successful dual language program to 21 more campuses in 2015–2016, launching thousands of additional pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students on the road to learning a second language. Currently, 31 HISD schools offer a Spanish dual language program.
Starting in August, kindergarten students — and pre-kindergarten students, at some schools — will be learning in both English and Spanish. One grade will be added to the program each year until it reaches school-wide.
Students across HISD are giving back to those in need this holiday season in a variety of creative and inspiring ways. At Herrera Elementary, the school’s 3D design and print club produced toys using their 3D printer to give as holiday presents to children in their community. The toys were based on characters from animated movies and video games. Read more about that story here.
At Farias Early Childhood Center, Santa and his helpers — AKA HISD high school students —distributed toys to every prekindergarten child, thanks to a partnership with Leading Ladies, a nonprofit organization run by students from different high schools in Houston. Read more here.
During the month of December, students at Roosevelt Elementary joined the district’s effort to collect new toys for the Toys for Tots campaign. Approximately 140 new toys were collected and donated by students from that campus. See related story here.
And at Patterson Elementary, the school’s safety patrol joined forces with second grade students to deliver toys to patients at the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Galveston. Read more here.
Usually, the benefits of reading include a bigger vocabulary, greater word comprehension, and better conversation skills, but dozens of HISD students received a different type of reward recently from two of the district’s community partners for focusing on literacy over the summer.
Most of the students were recognized for participating in the district’s Extended Primary Year program, which was offered at 29 elementary schools.
“The HISD Literacy Team joined forces with Strategic Partnerships and Elves & More to award bicycles to 100 children who met their literacy goals, had excellent attendance and conduct, and exemplified a can-do attitude,” explained Literacy Director Cindy Puryear. “The Literacy Team will partner with Elves & More again this holiday season to reward more that 7,000 scholars for their hard work and determination. One thousand of those will be rewarded for meeting or exceeding their literacy goals.” Continue reading →