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Pre-Paid Lodging Card program goes districtwide

2014 January 23
by HISD Communications

You asked for it, you got it. The Pre-Paid Lodging Card that HISD piloted late last year has proven so successful that it has now been opened up to the entire district.

Any HISD employee who needs to travel for business and expects to incur at least $300 or more in charges for overnight accommodations is eligible to use the card.

For details, please see the related stories here and here or view these FAQ (.pdf). A downloadable flyer (.pdf) is also available.

Fund for Teachers grant application deadline Jan. 30

Summer may still be months away, but teachers who are interested in broadening their horizons through professional or personal development opportunities should consider applying for a Fund for Teachers grant.

The Fund for Teachers was established in 1998 by Raymond Plank, chairman of the Apache Corporation. Each year, it awards grants of up to $5,000 to individual educators and $7,500 to teams of educators for summer training and enrichment activities.

The grants are as varied as the people who apply for them, and proposals range from “language immersion” projects to geological expeditions and the exploration of historic places or famous travel routes. They are intended to rejuvenate teachers’ passions for learning and teaching so that when they return to the classroom in the fall, they do so with newly gained knowledge and enthusiasm to share. Last year, a teacher from Lovett ES traveled to Iceland to study volcanoes, and in 2012, HISD grant-winners went to Spain, Italy, and Alaska.

Applicants can submit proposals either individually or as a team, but all applicants must have a minimum of three years teaching experience and be full-time teachers, spending at least 50 percent of their time in the classroom, at the time that grants are approved and made.

All applications must be postmarked no later than Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. For more information, please visit the Fund for Teachers website.

Feb. 5 Eco-Schools webinar to focus on STEM education

The National Wildlife Federation will be hosting a webinar early next month for high-school science teachers and club sponsors who want to help their schools “go green.”

The event will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, and is entitled “An Innovative Approach to STEM Education.”

All webinar participants will be eligible to receive for a $500 grant to jump-start their projects. For complete details, please see this flyer (.pdf).

George Ranch to host Open House for Educators on Feb. 8

The historic George Ranch will be hosting an Open House for Educators on Sat., Feb. 8, 2014, and all HISD history teachers are invited!

Come take a journey through our state’s history by following four generations of one Texas family dating back to the 1830’s.

The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and highlights include: a tour of the facilities, sample activities at various locations, a cattle demonstration, and a quintessential 1930s bachelor house lunch of beef brisket, smokehouse sausage, beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and blackberry cobbler.

There is no charge for interested educators, but advance registration is required. And while families are welcome, only teachers will be provided with a free lunch (others can purchase one; prices are listed here). To reserve a spot, please contact Susan Rezeppa at 281-343-0218 ext. 220 or send an email to

Register now for Feb. 17 drug-free workplace training session

HISD will be conducting “drug-free workplace” training sessions on Feb. 17, 2014, for central office administrators, principals, principal designees, and managers. This training teaches personnel how to recognize impaired employees in the work place and how to call for a reasonable suspicion drug/alcohol test.

The session will take place starting at 10:30 a.m. in room 1E01 of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th St., 77018). The training is two hours in length and is good for four years before having to take the refresher course.

Participants must register through e-TRAIN using course code # BN0005.

Questions may be directed to Lynette Prater at 713-695-5862 .

Sign Up for Feb. 18 Educators’ Preview of the Magna Carta

Come learn more about the Magna Carta, the British document on which the United States Constitution is based.

Considered by many to be Great Britain’s most valuable export to the world, the Magna Carta continues to serve as the definitive document modeling basic civil liberties, and is the source of many of the most fundamental concepts of law.

HISD teachers can attend a special preview at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, from 4:00–7:00 p.m. thanks to the generous support of Shell.

For complete details, please visit the HMNS website. Registration must be completed by Friday, Feb. 14.

Want to grow as a professional? Join HISD’s new Toastmasters chapter!

If you’ve been trying to think of a way to advance in your career, look no further. HISD has a new Toastmasters club that can help you develop the skills you need.

Toastmasters is a nonprofit organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Members learn more about public speaking, how to conduct a meeting, how to listen effectively, and how to provide constructive feedback. HISD’s Toastmasters club currently has 30 members and is accepting applications. It received its official charter on Jan. 9.

To see if Toastmasters is right for you, come sit in on one of the monthly meetings. Meetings take place on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month from 5:05 p.m. until 6:30 the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th St., 77092), in either the cafeteria or Room 1E02.

All new members will receive a manual and resources about how to become a better speaker and more confident leader.

For more information, please contact Kim Golden or Theresa Campos at 713-696-0600 or and

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