Over the holiday weekend, teachers and administrators from 10 HISD high schools hit the streets in Houston’s North and Central Divisions hoping to connect with the community and re-engage students who did not return to school this fall.
Participants from Washington, Houston MSTC, Kashmere, North Forest, Scarborough, Northside, Austin, Wheatley, Lamar, and Waltrip High Schools gathered early on Saturday, Sept. 23, and set out to knock on doors. The aim of these initiatives—Find Your Way Back North and The Central Mission Recovery Project—is to help re-engage students by visiting them at home, identifying their reasons for not returning to school and offering them solutions to help them get back on a path to graduation.
“We deeply appreciate the dedication of the volunteers who supported us on Saturday, and it fills us with great enthusiasm to witness that some of our students can now pursue their high school journey and ultimately earn their diplomas,” said Diego Linares, Principal of Houston MSTC, who participated in the North Division walk along with other teachers, staff, and volunteers. “Regardless of their individual stories or the circumstances that led them to discontinue their schooling, we want them to know that we are here to support them wholeheartedly, and we welcome them with open arms.”
HISD is the largest school district in Texas, and as such, it caters to a massive and diverse student body with a variety of individual needs and challenges. HISD’s Wraparound Services Department works alongside community partners to provide critical non-instructional support by offering resources and services to students and their families both in school and out. These supports are crucial for the success of HISD’s scholars, and these re-engagement initiatives do the hard work of connecting students and their families to these resources and letting them know that they are not alone, their absence is felt, and their campus and their district supports them.
“Our goal is to help our families see the opportunities available and make them achievable,” said North Division Superintendent Orlando Riddick. “We strive to reconnect these families with their home school and offer a friendly and convenient pathway back to their school.”
Find Your Way Back North, The Central Mission Recovery Project, and the West Division’s re-engagement walk earlier this month are just a few of many student re-engagement efforts that HISD teachers, administrators, and volunteers participate in every school year. For more information about HISD’s Wraparound Services Department, see their website or follow them on Twitter at @HISD_Wraparound.