A special message from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

We made it! Today officially marks the last day of the 2017-2018 school year. Without a doubt, we have faced many challenges, including Hurricane Harvey, a few winter weather days, and a host of other obstacles. But we didn’t let any of those things stop us. Instead, we came together as a community and helped our neighbors and our students persevere against all odds.

Our strong finish is a testament to HISD putting children first. This year, we launched several key initiatives — including Achieve 180 and Every Community Every School — to improve academic excellence and provide the social and emotional support that our students need to be successful in the classroom. We also established the K-12 Fine Arts Department to expand all students’ access to high-quality fine arts education. And we opened several new schools under the 2012 Bond Program, providing state-of-the-art learning facilities designed to foster collaboration and project-based learning — exactly the skills our students need to succeed in college and their careers. But that’s not all! Just recently we received even more good news: Our fifth- and eighth-graders made significant improvements on the math and reading STAAR exams this year!

These are only a few of our success stories. Every day at schools across the district, our students and staff found new ways to approach learning. Parents and volunteers gave their time, money, and energy to our students and school communities. As you know, a parent’s investment of time and energy in their child’s education is a leading indicator of student success. You have helped us make a difference in the lives of our students. I truly thank you for being involved and engaged.

As you can see, this year’s challenges didn’t get in the way of the progress that is essential to our mission. HISD and the Houston community are strong and resilient, and that strength is built on the contributions of many people — including you.

As summer break begins, I have just a few reminders:

  • The best way for your children to avoid the “summer slide” is to read. I encourage you to read to your child and have them read to you. Find ways to make reading fun and interesting.
  • We are partnering with the Houston Public Library on a summer reading program, with the goal of having each student reading at least five books this summer. Students record the books they have read and earn rewards in the fall. You can access the program here.
  • HISD’s Library Services has a great website with summer reading lists and information about Learning Link, which gives students free, 24/7 access to Houston Public Library’s books and resources.
  • HISD is providing free summer meals for students at nearly 200 campuses. Learn more about the summer meal program here.

We hope you have a wonderful and safe summer, and we look forward to seeing you on Monday, Aug. 27.