The first day of school is always exciting, but the energy on Monday was palpable at six new HISD schools opening their doors to students for the first time.
The new schools — Mark White and Condit elementary schools, North Houston and South early college high schools, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, and Fonwood Early Childhood Center — were rebuilt as modern learning environments with flexible classrooms, increased access to technology, bursts of color, and lots of natural light.
Also formally opening to students on Monday was the modern, new classroom wing at Worthing High School and several renovated spaces at Waltrip High School. Continue reading →
Carrillo Elementary School students learn they are in the lead for the Read to the Final Four challenge in November 2015.
Nearly 10,000 HISD elementary school students will fill NRG Stadium (Reliant Parkway, 77054) on Friday, April 1 for the district’s announcement of the winner of the NCAA Team Works Read to the Final Four Literacy Program at Reese’s Final Four Friday event.
The program begins at 11 a.m., but prior to that, Waltrip HS’s band will play as students arrive, and Atherton ES’s drum line will perform before the announcement of the winning school at 11:40 a.m., which will receive a $5,000 cash prize, Final Four trophy, and campus celebration. The final four elementary schools in the competition are Browning, Carrillo, Dogan, and Janowski. Additionally, the top readers from each of the 68 schools will receive a bike from CYCLE. Attendees are welcome to stay for the remainder of the day and watch special practice games and tributes. The day’s activities are free and open to the public, including parking in the stadium’s Blue Lot beginning at 9 a.m. Anything brought into the stadium during all Final Four events must be in a clear bag, due to security. Some 125,000 clear bags are being given away at Houston hotels and the George R. Brown Convention Center, as well as on METRORail platforms. Find full details here.
A weeklong celebration of jazz kicked off at Waltrip HS on Feb. 29, as the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz brought its “Peer-to-Peer” jazz education program to HISD. HISD was one of only six school districts selected nationwide this year to host the program.
The program started with what the Institute dubs an “informance” — a performance and lesson combined — performed by a group of gifted students from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA).
“We’re here to share knowledge about jazz, but also, I guess, more importantly what jazz represents,” said LACHSA student and percussionist Austin Kim, 15. “The American values it teaches,” interjected LACHSA student and pianist Jamael Dean, 17.
Seeing was believing Tuesday night at Waltrip High School when those who turned out for a community meeting got a sneak preview of what’s to come with the ongoing renovation and construction project.
“You don’t mind coming in here for a meeting,” said Michael Arcos, whose son Aaron is a junior at the school. “It’s good to see this auditorium upgraded.”
New seats, cleaning of acoustical panels, stage floor replacement and new improved lighting in the auditorium are just some of the upgrades at the school, which is being partially replaced and renovated under the bond program.
Updates will be provided on design plans and project status for each campus
Community meetings have been scheduled during the first quarter for the following seven bond schools, to inform stakeholders of project plans to rebuild or renovate their campus as part of HISD’s $1.89 billion bond program. Attendees will hear from project architects and other team members and will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Waltrip’s project scope includes partial replacement and general renovations to the existing building to accommodate 1,800 to 2,000 students.
Students are remaining on campus throughout construction. Significant behind-the-scenes work has been ongoing in the past year including the upgrading of the campus main electrical service feed, replacement of electrical panels and transformers in several areas along with needed demolition work.
Installation of a new curtainwall system and windows and upgrades of athletics offices and locker rooms were the main focus in the third and fourth quarters. Replacement of the fire alarm, HVAC and electrical systems are ongoing. Band hall and JROTC renovations are now underway. Some renovated classrooms were made ready for move-in over winter break.
Current project work includes:
Auditorium seat replacement has begun with the installation new cushioned seating.
New fire sprinkler system pipe is being installed above the ceiling in the dining area.
Newly renovated CTE Health classrooms, science labs and other classroom areas including Extended Learning rooms in the three-story academic wing are being completed and HISD movers are setting these new rooms up for teachers’ and students’ use next week for school.
Renovation of the new Art Room lab is progressing.
Renovation to several existing restrooms in the three-story academic wing is nearly complete.
Renovation and build-out of the Boy’s Athletic Locker Room area wall stud framing is nearly complete and electrical work is under way.
The new Band Addition foundation is progressing and structural steel is on site, erection of steel columns and beams has begun.
As each area is complete and operable it is turned over to campus personnel for use. The project has a target completion date of third quarter 2016.
Nine HISD high school bands will be strutting their stuff in the district’s eighth annual Marching Band Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
The festival gives bands the opportunity to receive feedback on their music quality, sections, music effects, visual effects, and visual performance. The critiques will help the bands prepare for future performances and events.
Twenty-eight students in HISD’s English Language Learner and migrant programs spent two weeks of their summer participating in hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities at the STEM Leadership and Design Fabrication Academy at Rice University.
The students, who attend Austin, Chávez, Davis, Furr, Kashmere, Liberty, Lee, Sam Houston, Sharpstown, and Waltrip high schools, got a taste of what careers in a STEM-related field could be like. Continue reading →