HISD Board of Education votes to begin process of renaming three more schools

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved three resolutions that would begin the process of renaming three additional schools so they better represent the district’s values and diversity.

The renaming resolutions affect Albert Sidney Johnston and Sidney Lanier middle schools, and Jefferson Davis High School.

Trustees also approved the final reading of a discipline policy that makes HISD among the first nationally to ban suspensions and expulsions for students in second grade and below, except as required by law.

In accordance with the updated discipline policy, the district offers annual classroom management and equity training for all campus-based faculty and staff. Training focuses on creating a positive school climate, preventing crises and de-escalating disciplinary issues.

Under the renaming resolutions, each campus will be required to form a school-naming committee comprised of diverse staff, students, parents, and school stakeholders. That committee will be charged with exploring school renaming options that adhere to board guidelines and submitting recommendations to trustees by May.

The three campuses join four others — Henry Grady, Richard Dowling and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson middle schools, and Lee High School — that already have begun the renaming process.

The renaming of Reagan High School remains under consideration. However, it is not expected to go before the board until after a community meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16.

HISD is working with each school community to ensure it has a voice in the decision-making process and recommends a name that represents the mission, spirit, culture and success of each campus.

Also on Thursday, the Board of Education approved the first reading of a policy revision that would address inconsistencies related to non-comprehensive high school participation in University Interscholastic League sports.

Following a recommendation of the 20-6A District Executive Committee, the revision allows only comprehensive high schools to offer UIL athletic activities. Specialty high schools without attendance boundaries will not be able to compete in UIL athletics. UIL athletic programs currently offered at non-comprehensive high schools must be phased out by the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Carnegie Vanguard High School is currently the only specialty campus in HISD offering UIL sports.