Author Archives: HISD Communications

‘A sense of excellence’ as progress continues at new Bellaire HS

Natural light and a central “Main Street” hallway are the hallmarks of the new Bellaire High School, which is now 57 percent complete.

Part of the 2012 Bond Program, the project is on track to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 school year. The completion of Bellaire will close out the massive bond program, which included the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools, across the district.

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Realignment projects near completion as 2012 Bond wraps up

It has been nearly 50 years since Booker T. Washington High School had a swim team. But as the high school’s new practice pool nears completion, that will soon change.

Washington’s new pool and natatorium are among several 2012 Bond realignment projects — new, board-approved projects funded by surplus bond savings but  not part of the original scope of work. 

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Lamar HS blends old, new as construction nears completion

For Principal Rita Graves, it is impossible for her to pick a favorite part of the construction project at Lamar High School. 

The $122 million project, part of the 2012 Bond Program, brings several improvements to the campus, including a new, state-of-the-art academic wing, renovations to its historic original building, and enhancements to the athletic fields.

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Application deadline extended for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer

HISD families now have until July 31 to complete the application necessary to receive the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), a one-time benefit for families who lost access to free or reduced-price meals due to school closures.

The application is available online at yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT.

The $1 billion benefit program was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture to help eligible families buy food during the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-time benefit of up to $285 will be issued on an EBT card, which can be used as a debit card to assist families in buying food from any retailer that accepts the Texas Lone Star Card.

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HISD school buses to deliver fresh fruits and veggies directly to students each week

Next week school buses will roll once again, but for a special reason — they will be delivering fresh produce to students at 68 select elementary campuses as a part of a new produce delivery program.

Fresh Bus school buses will provide weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables to several locations in each school community, making fresh produce directly available to more than 36,000 students.

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HISD Board approves resolution to seek District of Innovation designation

Editor’s Note: The HISD Board of Education is hosting a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 to gather feedback on beginning the process of becoming a District of Innovation, as designated by the TEA. More information can be found here.

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education at its virtual meeting on Thursday voted 7-2 in favor of a resolution to initiate the process of designating HISD as a District of Innovation.

By adopting District of Innovation status, HISD could exercise greater local control over decisions impacting positive educational outcomes for students. The resolution approved by the Board of Education outlines specific exemptions from state law that the district would seek, including:

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HISD Police Department to host public forum as part of national re-accreditation process

HISD PD is nation’s only accredited school district law enforcement agency

The Houston Independent School District Police Department and a team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) will host a public forum as part of the department’s re-accreditation process.

The HISD Police Department became the first school district law enforcement agency in the nation to achieve CALEA accreditation in 2008. This year, the department is seeking its eighth renewal.

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HISD names interim chief financial officer

Glenn Reed, a 20-year veteran with the Houston Independent School District’s Budgeting & Financial Planning Office, has been named interim chief financial officer for the Houston Independent School District.

Reed assumes his new role immediately, reporting to Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan.

“Mr. Reed’s institutional knowledge of the district and longstanding reputation as a reliable resource on the district’s financial matters makes him an ideal candidate to fill this role,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “I have full confidence that he will continue the standard of excellence that exists in our finance department.”

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Deshonta Everett named new principal of Anderson Elementary School

Deshonta Everett has been selected as the new principal of Anderson Elementary School. With 12 years of experience in education, Everett previously served as an assistant principal at Welch Middle School for two years. Before joining HISD, he started his career as a middle school English teacher in Dallas ISD and served as an instructional coach, secondary ESL specialist and academic principal in the Crowley and Irving Independent School Districts. Everett holds a bachelor’s in English from Jackson State University, a master’s in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University, another master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas.

Cesar Martinez named Northwest Area Superintendent

Cesar Martinez has been selected as Northwest Area Superintendent within HISD’s School Offices department. Martinez brings 22 years of experience as a leader at the local, regional, and state levels of education. He started his career in the Broad Prize-winning Brownsville ISD as a middle school teacher, elementary school assistant principal, and principal. Martinez then continued as an education specialist with the Statewide Initiatives Division of the Education Service Center – Region XIII in Austin, Texas. There he managed the Technical Assistance Provider (TAP) Program and developed, identified, and supported effective instructional practices for the Title I School Improvement Plan (SIP) campuses of Regions IV and V of the state of Texas. He returned to a state school district as a middle school principal in Austin ISD and as a school leadership coordinator in Dallas ISD. Most recently, Martinez has coached and developed 34 principals from early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school campuses over the last five years as a School Support Officer (SSO) in HISD. He earned a bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s from the University of Texas at Brownsville and currently working to complete a doctorate in Education at the University of Texas at Austin.