HISD Distributes Laptops to Teachers as Part of District’s New PowerUp Initiative

Eleven high schools to participate in pilot stage of program

The Houston Independent School District will kick off its pilot stage of the PowerUp program, a districtwide initiative to transform how teachers teach and students learn through technology, by delivering laptops to teachers at 11 campuses across Houston.  A press conference will be held on Tuesday, August 13 at 10 a.m. at Austin High School, 1700 Humble.

“We are thrilled to start implementing PowerUp, an initiative that will go beyond providing computer devices for students,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said.  “PowerUp will create transformational, digital-age instruction that will prepare HISD students to succeed in the 21st century and to compete with their peers around the world.”

The teachers at 11 pilot schools will receive their laptops before the start of the academic year and will undergo extensive training and professional development for an entire semester. The pilot high schools are Austin, Bellaire, Chavez, The Energy Institute, Kashmere, Lee, Madison, Sam Houston, Sharpstown, Young Men’s Preparatory Academy and Young Women’s Preparatory Academy.  The students will receive their computers in January 2014.

“Kids are learning differently today, so this PowerUp program is our entry into this fundamental change in instruction,” said HISD Chief Technology Officer Lenny Schad. “But it’s not just about the device, it is about changing instruction, and we are working around the clock to make this a success.”

Over the past few months, the HISD Curriculum Department has been creating an expanded and robust set of online instructional strategies and resources for the teachers, and the HISD Information Technology Department has been working arduously to ensure the pilot schools have the infrastructure they need to support the initiative.