Monday marked the first day of the new school year for the Houston Independent School District, and everyone—from parents to the superintendent—expressed excitement about what that would mean for students.
Superintendent Terry Grier visited several campuses to welcome students and teachers back to class, including Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan and Thurgood Marshall Elementary School.
Baylor is one of two new secondary campuses opening this fall to offer students a highly specialized curriculum. (See related article on the other one, Energy Institute High School.)
“We’re very excited,” said parent Hilda Rodriguez, while dropping off her daughter, Ziara Esledon. “She wants to go into the medical field, and this is a great program, so we’re very enthusiastic.”
HISD Board of Education Trustee Paula Harris described the scene at Baylor as “amazing.”
“It’s just like the old days of climbing enrollment,” Harris said. “With 267 students, we already have more sixth-graders enrolled here this year than we had sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders last year.”[photoshelter-gallery g_id=’G0000asQDClBGc4c’ g_name=’2013-First-Day-of-School’ width=’600′ f_fullscreen=’t’ bgtrans=’t’ pho_credit=’iptc’ twoup=’f’ f_bbar=’t’ f_bbarbig=’f’ fsvis=’f’ f_show_caption=’t’ crop=’f’ f_enable_embed_btn=’t’ f_htmllinks=’t’ f_l=’t’ f_send_to_friend_btn=’f’ f_show_slidenum=’t’ f_topbar=’f’ f_show_watermark=’t’ img_title=’casc’ linkdest=’c’ trans=’xfade’ target=’_self’ tbs=’5000′ f_link=’t’ f_smooth=’f’ f_mtrx=’t’ f_ap=’t’ f_up=’f’ height=’400′ btype=’old’ bcolor=’#CCCCCC’ ]
“How many other middle schools do you know of…that offer Latin to all sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders?” asked Dr. Grier. “When you set the standards high, the sky’s the limit. This is a great day in HISD, and we’re pumped up. This is going to be one of the jewels of HISD.”
Dr. Grier noted that despite having only two months to prepare the North Forest community’s facilities for a new school year, the first day of school began remarkably well.
“I can’t believe how smoothly it’s gone,” Dr. Grier said. “It’s been phenomenal. Our team has done a fabulous job, and what we have now is some elated parents. It’s been a challenge, but out team was up to it.”
Read more about what the new school year will bring for HISD in this related story.