Author Archives: HISD Communications

Transportation Services gearing up for next year, seeking to hire more drivers

With planning already underway for the upcoming school year, Transportation Services is employing a proactive approach to address issues involving routing and scheduling. 

General Manager John Wilcots IV said the department will stop making routing changes for the current school year on April 1. This will allow the department to begin planning for routes for next year — well in advance of the first day of the 2019-2020 school year.  

“As we plan the bus routing for next school year, we want to make sure our students are not walking long distances and that they don’t have long wait times to board our buses,” Wilcots said. “The work that we will begin on April 1 is critical to ensuring the school year gets off to a smoother start next year.” 

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Three HISD schools receive grants to boost theater education programs

Theater programs at three Houston Independent School District campuses have received grants from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative totaling nearly $50,000.   

HISD’s Chavez High School received $30,000 from the group to refurbish its set design workshop. The Chavez Lobo Theatre not only builds its own sets but also provides items for productions, classrooms and clubs for other campuses in the district. 

HISD’s Northside High School received $12,500 from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative to improve its theatrical library, playwriting curriculum and obtain high quality costumes.  

The district’s Gregory-Lincoln Education Center for the Performing and Visuals Arts received $7,107 for the purchase of a spotlight, sewing machine, costumes, stage props, a projector, and to establish a Theatre Arts reading/writing program. 

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HISD named Demonstration District by Texas Alliance of Black School Educators

The Houston Independent School District has been selected as one of the state’s two Demonstration Districts by the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE). 

The organization stated that HISD and Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan were selected based on success closing the achievement gap and making school improvements. 

“Every staff member, from our custodians to our key administrators, works tirelessly every day to serve our children,” Lathan said. “It is not always easy, but we are committed to the work and it is gratifying to receive this recognition.”  

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Win-Win Program at Scarborough HS builds bridge between law enforcement and youths

More than 140 Scarborough High School students joined law enforcement officers from the HISD Police Department, Houston Police Department and the Metro Houston Police Department in a program on Wednesday to reduce the number of hostile encounters between juveniles and law enforcement officers. 

The Win-Win Program, developed by the Houston Health Department’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, imparts conflict-resolution skills through interactive workshops and candid group discussions. 

Participants gathered together for a general assembly in the Scarborough High School auditorium, where they discussed the importance of strong student and peace officer relationships, which, according to Principal Roderick Trevino, Scarborough students are prepared for.  

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HISD to kick off spring voter registration drive on Presidents Day 

The Houston Independent School District will hold its districtwide voter registration drive as part of the district’s ongoing efforts to teach students about their civic duties and the voting process.

HISD will kick off the drive with a news conference on Presidents Day – Monday, Feb. 18 – at Westside High School (14201 Briar Forest Dr., 77077).

Pursuant to Texas state law, all HISD high school principals are designated high school deputy voter registrars and are required to register eligible students by distributing voter registration forms at least twice during the school year.

Voter registration cards are always available on all HISD high school campuses to encourage eligible students to register to vote.

HISD launches #FixSchoolFinance toolkit to push school finance reform  

The Houston Independent School District has created a #FixSchoolFinance toolkit to equip public education supporters with the necessary information to effectively advocate for school finance reform.

This educational tool provides an overview of the challenges with the current system, outlines proposed solutions, and serves as a platform for direct communication with key lawmakers during the 2019 Texas Legislative Session.

For the past year, HISD has been part of a statewide coalition of school districts, nonprofit organizations, and business leaders educating the public and emphasizing the need for meaningful changes to the state’s school finance system. Reforming school finance and reducing recapture are top priorities for HISD during the 86th Texas Legislature.  Continue reading

New Parent University session scheduled for Feb. 21  

HISD will host its fourth Parent University workshop from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at five locations throughout the district: Revere Middle School, and Chavez, Kashmere, Worthing and Challenge Early College high schools.

The theme for the session will be “Supporting Your Child’s Safety, Social and Emotional Growth.” The workshop will begin with a dinner and resource fair and will include information on district programs, parent engagement, community resources, and how parents can become active partners in the successful education of their children.  Continue reading

Math teacher at Navarro MS named Teacher of the Month for February  

What started off as an ordinary day for Navarro Middle School teacher Ana Maria Steen on Tuesday morning turned into a surprise of a lifetime when Area Superintendent Geovanny Ponce interrupted class to announce Steen as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for February.

“Why Mrs. Steen? Because she is the best,” Ponce said. “She not only puts her students’ educational needs first, but those of the entire campus, which shows in their academic achievements.” Continue reading

Governor calls on lawmakers to make education a top priority this legislative session 

On the first day of the 86th Texas Legislative Session, Gov. Greg Abbott had a strong message for both the House and Senate: Put education on the top of their to-do lists.

Abbott articulated the need to increase school safety, fix school finance, and reform property taxes. He also emphatically stated that lawmakers must solve these issues this session – a statement that received strong applause in both chambers.

“The state must invest more in public education, improve third-grade reading scores, pay teachers more, reduce recapture, make our schools safer, and prepare students for college or career,” Abbott later said during his inauguration speech. “We will do all of this without a court order telling us to do it. We will finally fix school finance in Texas.”

On Feb. 5, Abbott delivered his State of the State to the 86th Texas Legislature. Key themes of his remarks included the growing Texas economy, school finance reform, teacher pay, property tax relief, school safety, mental health, disaster response, border security, cracking down on crime and human trafficking, and support for Texas military personnel and veterans.  Continue reading

Northside HS senior wins student emcee contest 

Flanked by balloons and holding an oversized check, Northside High School Senior Tren’kell Reeves could not hide her excitement after discovering she had been named the winner of the student emcee contest for the HISD Foundation’s 2019 Public Education Matters Benefit Dinner.

“I am so happy that I am shaking,” Reeves, who goes by the nickname “TK,” said. “I have four younger sisters, and I just can’t wait to tell them!”

Along with hosting the event, Reeves earned a $2,500 college scholarship. Over 100 prospective emcees sent in audition videos, but according to HISD Chief Development Officer Ann Best Scott, Reeves’ video stood out.    Continue reading