HISD Board of Education approves agriculture and healthcare educational programs for students

 During its regularly scheduled meeting, the Board of Education approved several agreements that will expand educational opportunities for Houston Independent School District students.

One agreement will allow the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to provide specialized adjunct faculty to support the expansion of project-based instruction at campuses with agriculture Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study. The high-school campuses included in this program are Bellaire, Chavez, Furr, Harper Alternative School, Lamar, Madison, North Forest, Sharpstown, Washington, Westside, and Worthing.

The trustees also approved an agreement with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry to provide educational experiences in a healthcare setting to HISD students.

The purpose is to provide students with the ability to observe firsthand healthcare training and skills necessary to be employed in a health-care setting.

The Board of Education also voted to authorize HISD to execute an agreement with Workforce Solutions to provide career planning, training, and other tools to students.

Under the agreement, Workforce Solutions will provide virtual and face-to-face training, labor market resources, curriculum, and job fairs to all HISD students. Workforce Solutions will provide four trained specialists to collaborate with HISD campuses to engage students in classroom presentations and with opportunities to establish partnerships and connect with industry and postsecondary training providers.

These partnerships are connected to a broader district initiative to provide high school students with more opportunities to earn college credit by completing courses at a postsecondary institution close to their community.

The Board of Education approved an agenda item that would bring a SPARK Park to 11 HISD campuses. Funding for SPARK projects is provided from multiple external sources along with HISD’s $5,000 contribution for each park. SPARK also combines resources from Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Harris County, the private sector, neighborhood groups, Parent-Teacher Association/Parent-Teacher Organization groups and concerned citizens to fund the SPARK construction and/or re-SPARK improvements.

For the 2021–2022 academic year, SPARK has secured funding for the proposed development of projects at the following campuses: Anderson ES, Golfcrest ES, Harvard ES, Herrera ES, Kashmere Garden ES, Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, Poe ES, Reynolds ES, Sinclair ES, West University ES, and Wharton ES.