HISD board approves partnership with City of Houston to help at-risk, non-traditional students

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a partnership with the City of Houston that would allow HISD to use community-based multiservice centers to help reach non-traditional, at-risk students.

The partnership between HISD, the City of Houston Health Department, and the Mayor’s Office of Education would allow the district to offer its program through seven designated multiservice centers.

By using multiple community-based locations across the city and offering extended hours, the partnership aims to make it easier for students to participate in credit recovery programs and more likely to graduate ready for college or a career. At the centers, students would have access to face-to-face learning and online classes, as well as health, counseling, and workforce development services.

“The goal of this partnership is to keep our students from dropping out of school, while also better serving their social and emotional needs,” said Superintendent Richard Carranza. “All of our students deserve the chance to succeed, and this helps them do that. We are grateful and thank Mayor Sylvester Turner for his commitment to working closely with us to amplify opportunities for our students.”

According to the memorandum of understanding, the city would provide the physical space and security, while HISD would provide teachers and additional staff, educational materials, curriculum, textbooks, and technology equipment.

To fund the new partnership, HISD would need to close two campuses that offer similar services —Realizing Educational Advancement in the City of Houston (REACH) Charter High School and Advanced Virtual Academy (AVA). The closures would be effective at the end of the summer. Teachers who staff the two schools would be reassigned to multiservice centers.

The program would begin being offered to students in August 2017. The locations are:

  • Acres Home (6719 W. Montgomery Road)
  • Denver Harbor (6402 Market St.)
  • Hiram Clarke (3810 West Fuqua St.)
  • Fifth Ward (4014 Market Street)
  • Third Ward (3611 Ennis St.)
  • Southwest (6400 High Star Dr.)
  • Sunnyside (9314 Cullen Blvd.)

Also during the May board meeting, trustees approved the 2017-2018 prices for school meals offered in HISD cafeterias. The cost for a full price lunch with milk is set to increase 10 cents, per the USDA Paid Lunch Equity Tool. That means elementary, middle and high school lunches will increase from $2.25 to $2.35. The reduced price lunch offered to qualifying students will remain at 40 cents. Lunch for students who attend any of the 184 Community Eligibility Program (CEP) campuses will remain free, and breakfast will continue to be provided every day at no charge.