Interim Superintendent holds school safety meeting with Bellaire HS students

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan joined HISD Police Chief Paul Cordova and other district leaders on Thursday at Bellaire High School for a discussion with a group of students to discuss safety and security concerns. 

Lathan said the district will explore additional safety and security steps to help students feel safer and more secure. 

After the meeting, which was attended by about 20 students, Lathan met with local media and announced that the district will immediately begin exploring additional security steps, including the installation of metal detectors on some campuses across the district.  

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A special message from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

Our hearts are still heavy as we mourn the senseless death of Cesar Cortes. The past days have been incredibly sad and difficult for the entire HISD community.

This afternoon, I met with students at Bellaire High School. I share the pain that I saw and felt from them today. We’re still asking why this tragedy happened.

I want our students and parents to know that their voices are heard. We share your concerns. I understand that a tragedy of this magnitude is scary. I am the parent of a child who attended Bellaire High School.

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Mitchell ES construction 60 percent complete

The new Mitchell Elementary School is more than halfway complete, and the building will be ready for the school’s young leaders to move in this summer.  

The $23 million project is tracking at 60 percent completion with site work, paving, underground utilities, structural steel, and fireproofing complete. Exterior and interior wall systems, roofing, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing installation are ongoing.  

The building is enclosed and interior finishes, such as flooring and ceilings, are expected to begin this quarter, as well as insulation under the building.  

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Nutrition Services special events planner supports staff, students


Special Events Planner Nicole Bean supports staff and students through her role with Nutrition Services.

Special Events Planner Nicole Bean has always been an organizer at heart, and that’s how she approaches scheduling and planning events in HISD’s catering department Houston Eats. 

Bean is responsible for planning and overseeing events and creating the orders for them. Her attention to detail and ability to accommodate the needs of Houston Eats’ customers has proven to be an asset in her role.  

“If you have 30 schools that want something all at the same time, it’s physically hard to be at all those places,” Bean said. “We only have so many delivery vans, so we have to be really creative in how we schedule. We also offer pickups. We really do try to accommodate everybody.” 

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HISD Police Department swears in new sergeants, captain and officers

The Houston Independent School District Police Department hosted a ceremony Wednesday to recognize the promotions of one new captain, four new sergeants and to swear in four new officers.

The celebration, which was held at the High School for Law and Justice for the officers and their families, honored the new captain, sergeants, and new officers, all who were sworn in at the event. HISD Police Chief Paul Cordova offered some words of wisdom at the start of the pinning ceremony.

“Before stepping foot on the campus, some of our students deal with challenges and issues that we can’t even imagine,” Cordova said. “You may be the first face they see and let it be with a warm smile and a bit of compassion because it may make all the difference in the world.”

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Achieve 180 campus reaches IB World School status

Yates High School, an Achieve 180 campus, has raised the bar even higher for the district’s turnaround program, becoming the district’s newest International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. 

“Becoming an IB campus is a huge accomplishment for an Achieve 180 campus,” Achieve 180 Director Brandi Gosnay said. “Yates has shown us that an underperforming and underserved campus has the potential to shift and provide opportunities for students that they deserve.” 

As the district’s fifth high school campus to receive official authorization to offer the Diploma Programme, Yates will now offer courses in a broad base of disciplines such as languages, mathematics, sciences, humanities, arts, physical education, and technology. 

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Kolter ES construction more than 70 percent complete

The new Kolter Elementary School will soon be ready for students, teachers, and staff to move in and the Cougars can hardly wait to be back home. 

The $23 million project is tracking at 72 percent completion and slated to be occupied by this summer. Structural steel, roofing, and fireproofing will wrap up this quarter. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation is 81 percent complete. 

“We’re only five months away from being able to move into our new school home and we’re thrilled,” Kolter Principal Julie Dickinson said.  

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Crespo ES student wins annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition

Fourth-grader wins $1,000 prize for original speech inspired by civil rights leader 

Crepo Elementary School fourth-grader Brandon Curbow tackled the timely topics of school safety and gun control while presenting his winning speech at the 24th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition. 

Curbow was awarded first place for his original speech that walked the audience through the feelings a student grapples with during an active shooter drill. 

The event was held Friday at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in downtown Houston. Curbow was among 12 HISD students to participate in the final round of the competition sponsored by Foley & Lardner LLP.  

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New trustees join HISD Board of Education, forming district’s first all-female governing body

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday welcomed four new trustees who joined five current members during the first board meeting of 2020.  

The new board members are Patricia K. Allen (District IV), Daniela “Dani” Hernandez (District III), Kathy Blueford-Daniels (District II) and Judith Cruz (District VIII). 

As its first order of business, the new board – the first all-female board in district history – elected officers for 2020: Susan Deigaard (District V) was elected President, Wanda Adams (District IX) was elected First Vice President, Judith Cruz (District VIII) was selected as Second Vice President, Patricia K. Allen (District IV) was elected secretary, and Daniela “Dani” Hernandez (District III) was selected as Assistant Secretary. 

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