NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars program now accepting applications

High school juniors from across HISD are invited to join NASA in exploring the moon to Mars through its High School Aerospace Scholars program.  

NASA wants today’s students to become the engineers, scientists, researchers and innovators of tomorrow. High School Aerospace Scholars offers a one-of-a-kind experience for Texas high school students to explore the possibilities of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related major or career. 

The experience begins this fall with an online interactive course on NASA activities related to space exploration, Earth science, technology, mathematics and aeronautics. Students complete design challenges including 3D drawings, science quizzes, discussion posts, technology writings and monthly webinars with NASA scientists and engineers.  

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Deadline extended for parents to select in-person or virtual learning

To provide families with additional time to make the decision that best meets their student’s educational needs, the district has extended the deadline to select either in-person or virtual instruction to Monday, Sept. 28.

As a reminder, parents can make their selection for either in-person or virtual instruction through the HISD Connect Parent Portal

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Three HISD schools named 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Memorial Elementary School, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy and the High School for Law & Justice have been designated 2020 Blue Ribbon campuses by the U.S. Department of Education.

This is the first time the schools have received the designation, which is awarded to schools that maintain high academic standards among all its students while demonstrating progress in closing achievement gaps among various subgroups of students.

“I am extremely proud of our schools for being recognized with this prestigious honor,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “The hard work is exemplified in the academic excellence of our students, and that takes an entire campus working together to reach such an impressive achievement.”

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District offices, facilities to remain closed due to inclement weather

Due to inclement weather from Tropical Storm Beta, and to ensure the safety of staff, all HISD facilities and offices will remain closed on Wednesday, September 23. District facilities are scheduled to reopen on Thursday, September 24, pending road and weather conditions.

Employees will be required to report to work remotely and remain available during regular duty hours. However, employees who are required to physically report to work will be contacted by their supervisors. Virtual at-home instruction will continue as scheduled as long as internet connectivity and power remain intact. All Digital Learning Centers will be closed.

Food deliveries at apartment complexes as well as curbside pickup – both scheduled for Wednesday, September 23 – also have been canceled.

Please be safe, remain alert to weather conditions, and follow the advice of local officials. More updates will be provided as we receive information from the National Weather Service and city and county authorities.

HISD encourages eligible students to register to vote

The Houston Independent School District wants to make sure students are responsible, active, and engaged citizens who recognize the importance of participation in elections.

HISD is encouraging eligible students to register to vote. Voting is a privilege and civic obligation. When people vote, they are empowered, and their voices are heard.

If you are a United States citizen and will be 18 before election day, which is Tuesday, November 3, then you are eligible to register. To register, go to votetexas.gov[, fill out the online registration form, and follow the instructions.

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Make sure you are counted by Sept. 30 for the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census deadline is fast approaching, and HISD needs the participation of every household to ensure the district receives the federal funding it needs to serve all students.

The deadline to respond is Wednesday, September 30.

Census data guides how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year. The census also impacts funding communities receive for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programs, and school lunch assistance. For HISD, this also means support in the way of funding for technology needs for virtual learning.

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HISD students, teachers attend prestigious virtual STEM camp at Rice University

Nearly 20 HISD students and teachers were among a select group from around the state who were invited to attend the prestigious Tapia Say virtual STEM Camp at Rice University this summer. 

At the summer camp, which is sponsored by ExxonMobil, students experienced five days of online STEM experiences led by Rice professors and experienced facilitators, which focused on building problem solving and communications skills. Each camper was challenged to design their own heatsink, simulating the process through which heat is transferred away from the processor in a computer to keep the device from overheating.

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District offices, facilities to close due to inclement weather

Due to the threat of inclement weather from Tropical Storm Beta, and to ensure the safety of staff, all HISD facilities and offices will close on Tuesday, September 22. District facilities are scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, September 23, pending road and weather conditions.

Employees will be required to report to work remotely and remain available during regular duty hours. However, employees who are required to physically report to work will be contacted by their supervisors. Virtual at-home instruction will continue as scheduled as long as internet connectivity and power remain intact. All Digital Learning Centers will be closed.

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HISD receives $1 million grant from Moody Foundation to help close digital divide

The Houston Independent School District will receive $1 million from the Moody Foundation to help close the digital divide by purchasing computers for HISD’s Achieve 180 students on some of the district’s underperforming campuses.

The funds will be used to purchase more than 2,000 devices for students in pre-K through fifth grade at schools where Achieve 180 program is in place. Achieve 180 is a research-based action plan to support, strengthen, empower, and increase student achievement in underserved and underperforming HISD feeder pattern communities.

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National Merit Scholarship Program names 81 HISD seniors as semifinalists

The National Merit Scholarship Program has named 81 Houston Independent School District seniors as 2021 semifinalists.

The high school seniors have an opportunity to compete for approximately 7,600 scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. Nationwide there are approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

“We are proud of our global scholars who are competing with their peers from across the nation for this prestigious academic honor,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We support and encourage them to maintain the level of excellence that has resulted in their semifinalist designation, despite challenges they may face in this year of flexibility.”

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