Furr High School awarded $10 million grant

HISD’s Furr High School has won a $10 million Super School Project grant, beating out thousands of other schools who applied from across the nation.

The five-year grant, awarded by the XQ Institute, began with a call for innovative ideas for redesigning traditional American high schools to prepare students for college and the workforce. Only 10 schools were awarded grants.

Accepting the award at a ceremony in Washington D.C., Principal Bertie Simmons said the grant will help elevate Furr to a new level of achievement.

“Pretty good is not enough for us,” Dr. Simmons said. “We want to be a Super School. Just wait and watch and see what we do. It’s going to be amazing.”

HISD Trustee Diana Dávila, who represents the Furr community, said the grant will further strengthen the neighborhood high school.

“I want to commend Dr. Simmons and her team for taking the initiative to go after this highly competitive grant,” Dávila said. “HISD is a district of choice, and strong neighborhood schools such as Furr are the foundation.”

HISD has a strong record of winning competitive grants to benefit schools. In 2013, HISD was awarded a $30 million federal Race to the Top grant. That grant is funding HISD’s Linked Learning initiative that enables students to begin early college and career readiness through project-based learning. That same year, HISD won a $12 million grant to start six magnet schools emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math instruction.