Author Archives: HISD Communications

District continues focus on safety as students and staff return on Jan. 3

Safety will continue to lead the way as HISD prepares to welcome students and staff back on Monday, Jan. 3. As part of the district’s efforts to prioritize safety, HISD will continue to enforce its mask mandate at all district offices, facilities, campuses, and school buses. 

To keep school and work communities safe upon everyone’s return, all students and staff are strongly encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to school or work on Jan. 3, regardless of vaccination status. 

HISD has expanded partnerships with community leaders and health officials to provide additional COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities to the community in the following ways: 

  • Free drive-thru COVID-19 PCR screening testing on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at the times and locations below: 
    • 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Chavez HS (8501 Howard), Westbury HS (11911 Chimney Rock), and Westside HS (14201 Briar Forest Dr.). 
    • 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Bellaire HS (5100 Maple St.) and Worthing HS (9215 Scott St.). To register, please go to https://bit.ly/3eB7hDn or contact Fulgent Genetics at cshou@fulgentgenetics.com or via phone at 346-803-5828 and select option 1. 
  • Free drive-thru mega site to expand access to free COVID-19 testing at HISD’s Delmar Stadium in partnership with the Houston Health Department. To register, visit HoustonHealth.org or call 832-393-4220.
  • Free COVID-19 PCR screening testing on all campuses to HISD students and staff beginning January 2022. A one-time consent is required for testing and can be filled out in the following link https://bit.ly/HISDC19Test.

Please note that all classes will resume in-person, but all non-athletic field trips, including enrichment or curricular trips are suspended until further notice. 

Proposed health and physical education instructional materials available for online review

HISD is currently reviewing new health and physical education instructional materials for grades K–12 as part of the Texas Education Association’s (TEA) Proclamation 2022 review and adoption process. Materials recommended by the district and adopted by the HISD Board of Education will be available for use in schools starting in fall 2022.

HISD invites members of the public to submit feedback on the materials under consideration via a district survey at https://bit.ly/P22-survey.

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Notice of Destruction of Special Education Records

Special Education records which have been collected by the Houston Independent School District (HISD) related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of Special Education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for a period of five years after Special Education services have ended for the student. Special Education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, completes his or her educational program at age 22, or moves from the district.

This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of HISD’s intent to destroy the Special Education records of students who are no longer receiving Special Education services as of the end of the 2015-2016 school year.  These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise.

After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but they may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for Social Security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc.  The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request the records in writing or in person at the following address:

Houston ISD Records & Information Management Department
4400 W. 18th Street Building B
Houston, Texas 77092
Phone: 713-556-6055
Fax: 713-556-7010
Email: recordsmanagement@houstonisd.org

Requests for records must be received prior to December 17, 2021.

Volunteer to change a child’s life through reading

Looking for a way to help HISD’s students? The district is resuming its popular “Read Houston Read” and “Real Men Read” programs this year. HISD recognizes the need to provide ongoing literacy support to students and is once again asking the community for volunteers to read to children.

Read Houston Read volunteers will work with the same student one hour each week for an entire year, either in person or virtually on the Microsoft TEAMS platform.

Houston Real Men Read is a mentoring program in which men volunteer at least one hour a month to read to students in third grade.

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Free, high-speed internet available to eligible HISD families

Deadline for families to register extended to Dec. 19

Access to reliable internet is an essential part of a student’s educational journey.

In another step to close the digital divide, the district is inviting households to apply for high-speed broadband internet through a partnership with the Texas Education Agency Connect Texas (TEACT) program.

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HISD names chief operating officer

Wanda Paul, a veteran business operations officer and Houston native, has been named chief operating officer of the Houston Independent School District. Paul begins her new role on September 20.  

With a career spanning more than three decades, Ms. Paul brings a wealth of experience to HISD, including serving as chief operating officer for schools in Texas and Florida.  

Most recently, she spent four years as chief operating officer for The School District of Palm Beach County in Florida. In this role, she oversaw more than 1,700 employees, 187 schools, and a $63 million capital budget. She also implemented a program to better track energy use and reduce utility costs. Before going to Florida, Ms. Paul served four years as chief operating officer for the Dallas Independent School District.  

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HISD Virtual Academy vs. Temporary Online Learning: What’s the difference?

HISD Strategy & Innovation Executive Officer August Hamilton explains the difference between the two virtual learning programs offered to students this school year. To learn more about each program, visit the HISD Virtual Academy and HISD@H.O.M.E. Temporary Online Learning websites.

HISD updates COVID-19 dashboard to monitor new school year cases

With the return to in-person instruction for all HISD classes on Monday, Aug. 23, the district’s COVID-19 dashboard will be reset to reflect confirmed cases for the new school year to better inform the community.

The online dashboard will continue to track the number of confirmed COVID-19 student and staff cases by campus as originally designed to ensure transparency. The reset version will go live as the first day of school begins.

“We are in the midst of a pandemic, so we want to assure our parents and the community that all information is provided and updated in a timely fashion,” HISD Superintendent Millard House said. “The dashboard is an effective way to share information to staff members and families.”

The dashboard will continue to be updated daily, allowing users to review student and staff data by location and districtwide. The map showing where cases are throughout the district will also be updated. As new data for the school year is added, current cases will be displayed for the most recent 14 days.

The dashboard will strictly follow all applicable privacy laws as it relates to the release of personal health information.

To view the COVID-19 dashboard, go to HoustonISD.org/COVID19Dashboard.

For more information on HISD’s Back to School Plan, visit HoustonISD.org/ReadySetGo.