HISD families encouraged to participate in Harris County housing study

HISD is encouraging families to participate in a Harris County housing study conducted by The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University that will examine the types and prices of homes needed in Houston-area communities.

The “My Home is Here” survey will help Harris County better understand the complexities around homes for all residents of the area. A public-facing survey and a field research team has been created to ask residents to provide relevant information on how to make changes in the way the County leverages public dollars and coordinates with housing developers to bring the types of homes needed for the community.

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Seven HISD schools ranked number one in various Children at Risk categories of best public schools

DeBakey HS for Health Professions named best public high school for 14th consecutive year

Park Place ES, T.H. Rogers each ranked number one in two different categories

Nearly 100 campuses in the Houston Independent School District have received high rankings on Children at Risk’s annual list of best public schools in the city’s eight-county region, with DeBakey High School for Health Professions once again declared the best public high school in the area.

Park Place Elementary School and T.H. Rogers School each received number one rankings in two different categories.

Park Place is number one on the list of Consistent Gold Ribbon elementary schools. It is also number one on the list of Pandemic Proof elementary schools because it has received high marks from Children at Risk for three consecutive years.

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HISD, No Kid Hungry to provide up to 5,000 holiday turkeys to families in need

For a lot of families, the holiday table doesn’t feel complete without a turkey as its centerpiece.

Nutrition Services will be able to provide that holiday hallmark — and a little extra holiday cheer — for up to 5,000 HISD families thanks to a partnership with and generous donation from No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit organization that aims to end child hunger.

Up to 5,000 turkeys will be distributed to Houston families just ahead of HISD’s winter break during Neighborhood Supersites scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 16. The turkeys are funded by an $80,000 donation from No Kid Hungry.

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Walnut Bend ES teacher named November Teacher of the Month

Fifth-grade language arts and social studies teacher Molly Lashway thought she was finishing up a conference with her principal when she saw a parade of decorated vehicles coming around the corner outside.

As cars covered in colorful balloons and streamers rolled past to the sound of happy music, Walnut Bend Elementary School Principal Michele Dahlquist revealed to Lashway that she had been named the district’s November Teacher of the Month.

“I had no idea that this was happening this morning,” Lashway said. “I’m just glad I didn’t come to school dressed like a pilgrim today, because that was something that I considered for the day before Thanksgiving Break. But I’m really grateful for all of this.”

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Celebrate 12 Days of Code with a variety of coding exercises for every grade level

HISD is inviting all students to celebrate the 12 Days of Code in December with interactive calendars that allow them to engage in a new coding experience every day.  

Coding helps students solve problems, use logic, and think creatively, and it gives them a foundation for success in 21st-century careers. The activities in these three calendars for elementary, middle, and high school include Block-based coding, Python, and JavaScript, developing skills in computational thinking, sequences, loops, and debugging programs. 

Activities are made fun and engaging incorporating characters from StarWars, Frozen, and the Grinch with music from some of the industry’s top artists.  To access the 12 Days of Code calendar of activities, go to HoustonISD.org/12DaysofCode

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First virtual Dream Summit series event puts students on path to college

HISD kicked off the district’s Dream Summit Series on Thursday with the “Launch the Dream” virtual event, which was filled with information to help students take the necessary actions and steps to make their college aspirations a reality.

The HISD Office of College and Career Readiness and Multilingual Programs DREAM Summit annual event, which is held each year to aid HISD DREAMers, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, visa holders, permanent residents, refugees, and asylum grantees, along with their families, was adapted into a series of virtual events giving more students a chance to make their college dreams come true.

Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Rick Cruz welcomed students and their families to the virtual event applauding them for their commitment to the future.

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Student winners of 2020 holiday greeting card competition announced

In a virtual ceremony with participants, HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan on Wednesday unveiled the winners of its annual holiday greeting card student art competition from nearly 100 entries across the district.

“This event presents a special opportunity for the district to share our students’ artwork with the greater community,” Lathan said. “It is my pleasure to help showcase the work of our student artists and the fantastic work our fine arts teachers are doing to cultivate these talents across the district.”

The winners for 2020 – fifth-grader Ediel Chávez of Crespo Elementary School, seventh-grader Michell García of Wharton Dual Language Academy, and senior Viviana Pérez of Sam Houston MSTC – were among 18 finalists from elementary, middle, and high schools. All finalists received a boxed set of their holiday cards. The winners received gifts from sponsors Raising Canes, Jerry’s Artarama and the Glassel School of Art. All finalist holiday card designs will be available online for purchase.

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Madison HS teacher honored for work in health, physical education

Madison High School teacher Paula Ceaser has been awarded the 2020 K-12 Health Education Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD).

The award is in recognition of “excellence and leadership in the HPERD profession for demonstrating leadership, achieving excellence, and being an outstanding representative of the teaching profession.”

Ceaser has taught physical education at Madison for 12 years and serves as a department chair and a lead teacher for HISD, helping to shape curriculum for health and physical education across the district. Ceaser said her role has allowed her to bring new opportunities and ideas to her students, from archery and fishing to participation in a grant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote adolescent health initiatives.

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HISD Gifted and Talented director named 2020 GT Administrator of the Year

HISD Director of Gifted and Talented Education Tia Locke-Simmons has been named the 2020 GT Administrator of the year by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented.

The honor will be presented at the virtual INSPIRE: TAGT Awards Celebration during giftED20, the TAGT Annual Conference, in December.

The award recognizes service, contribution, and commitment to gifted education, and administrators who are working to advance the world of gifted education.

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