Author Archives: HISD Communications

Yates HS feeder pattern community celebrates back to school

Families from the Yates High School feeder pattern community gathered together on Saturday for a fun-filled back-to-school bash to help get students ready for the new school year.  

Over 400 people from Cullen Middle School, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan Middle School, and Blackshear, Foster, Hartsfield, Lockhart, Peck, Thompson, and Whidby elementary schools all received free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts, uniforms, shoes, and food vouchers at the celebration.   

“It was exciting to see the community come together in preparation for the school year,” Leesa Giles, Special Education Resource Teacher and Title I Coordinator at Foster Elementary, said. “Many families have less to worry about regarding supplies and other school-related items thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Yates Feeder Pattern Schools.   

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HISD school start times for the 2019-20 school year

The Houston Independent School District’s standardized start/dismissal times will remain the same for the 2019-20 school year. 

This school year, the district will operate with the following standardized times: 

Elementary schools and early childhood centers: 
Start at 7:30 a.m. and dismiss at 2:50 p.m. 

Middle schools and PK/K-8: 
Start at 8:30 a.m. and dismiss at 3:50 p.m. 

High School and 6-12 Schools: 
Start at 8:30 a.m. and dismiss at 4 p.m. 

Exceptions to the standardized start/dismissal times are in effect for certain campuses for the 2019-2020 school year. Please check with your campus directly to confirm start/dismissal times. 

Principal brings wealth of experience to Kashmere HS to help exit campus from state’s ‘Improvement Required’ list

Reginald Bush

Principal Reginald Bush knew it was “challenge accepted” when he was named principal at Kashmere High School, an Achieve 180 campus, prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year. 

On a typical school day at Kashmere, you can find Bush in his signature military-style fatigues, mingling with students in the halls and checking in with teachers and staff to monitor the ongoing instruction happening in classrooms. 

“From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I knew that I needed to focus on supporting the teachers, building their toolkits and modeling effective practices that would quickly move the data,” Bush said. “I built the campus’ culture on the idea of ‘No Teacher Left Behind,’ and I wanted to make sure we kept the human element at the forefront of everything we did with our faculty and students.” 

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HISD’s Report Card: 92 percent of schools earn passing grade on state accountability system 

Kashmere High School rewrites history by earning passing grade

The Houston Independent School District earned an overall high “B” rating by the Texas Education Agency under the state accountability system for the 2018-2019 academic year, exiting nine campuses from the state’s “Improvement Required” list. The district earned a grade of 88.

According to the ratings released by TEA, 92 percent of HISD schools (250 out of 271 rated campuses) earned a passing grade. For the first time, all HISD schools received a letter grade under the state’s new A-F rating system, which was implemented in 2018. Fifty-seven HISD campuses earned A’s, 78 earned B’s, 86 earned C’s and 29 earned D’s. A minimum grade of “D” is required for a school to receive a passing rating.

“We are extremely proud of all of our teachers, principals, school support officers, and area superintendents for working diligently to help our students succeed,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Our students demonstrated significant gains, and we are committed to empowering them to thrive academically.”

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Blackshear ES unveils inspirational new mural to Third Ward community

Despite the soaring temperatures, an enthusiastic crowd gathered outside HISD’s Blackshear Elementary School on Wednesday for the unveiling of a new campus mural that celebrates the school’s recent academic achievements and improvement in literacy. 

“We now have the best mural in the city of Houston – the most beautiful mural in the city of Houston,” Blackshear Principal Alicia Gobert Lewis said. “At Blackshear, we want to make sure that everywhere children look they see something beautiful.” 

The mural, which as the brainchild of Lewis, was designed and painted by Houston-based artist Reginald Adams. His art installations can be seen in historic and underserved communities across the U.S. The theme of the mural is Break Every Chain, and it is brimming with literary elements, colorful books, and powerful images of children reading. 

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Bond Oversight Committee members receive program update, tour Barbara Jordan Career Center

The HISD Bond Oversight Committee got an up-close look at the new Barbara Jordan Career Center during their second quarter meeting Tuesday.  

Committee members made their way up the school’s modern learning stairs and through hallways filled with natural light and turquoise accent walls. The group took pictures along the way and tried on a simulator helmet in the welding classroom.   

The tour — led by Principal Ross McAlpine, HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Sizwe Lewis, and HISD Project Manager Zorana Marquez-Campos — made stops in the school’s health science classroom, and cosmetology, automotive and diesel, culinary, welding, and construction management labs.  

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HISD meets its newest Team HISD members at New Teacher Academy

There wasn’t an empty seat in sight as more than 1,500 new teachers filled the gymnasium at Kingdom Builders for their first day as members of Team HISD at the district’s annual New Teacher Academy.  

With parking overflowing to the adjoining streets, it’s one of the district’s most exciting days as HISD welcomes and prepares those who have decided to embark on the journey of teaching. 

The four-day conference is a collaboration between Onboarding & Organizational Development and the Professional Support & Development teams. Planning begins more than six months before as district representatives gather to produce an action-packed week filled with information and resources new teachers need as they navigate through their first year at HISD.  

As the many new faces nervously headed to training focused on curriculum and lesson planning, a few of the district’s newcomers shared a bit about themselves and why they are eager to get started for the 2019-2020 school year. 

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HISD to host Ascending to Men appreciation luncheon

The Houston Independent School District will host a special appreciation luncheon for the men and women who have served as mentors during the successful first year of the district’s Ascending to Men Project (ATMP).

The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Friday, August 23 at the Boy Scouts of America Cockrell Scout Center (2225 N. Loop West, 77008).

Since it began last fall, the unique HISD program, which is open to male students, has provided academic, emotional, and social support to 1,088 students from 181 mentors.

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HISD expands fine arts access to all elementary schools

Inspired by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan’s mission to provide fine arts education to more students, HISD will add a fine arts teacher to 37 elementary schools across the district for the 2019-2020 school year.  

“For the first time in recent history, all HISD elementary students will have access to a certified fine arts teacher,” HISD Director of Fine Arts Wenden Sanders said. “HISD views every student as an emerging artist, and thanks to Dr. Lathan’s vision, students will have ample opportunity to develop those creative skills.”  

Up until this year, roughly 20,000 HISD elementary students had little to no access to fine arts instruction. Now, those students will have the chance to participate in either music, theater or visual arts on a daily basis.  

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Parent University to kick off for second year with districtwide workshops

The Houston Independent School District will kick off its second year of Parent University on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at all district campuses.

The workshops will connect parents and children to resources offered by the district to create successful academic careers as well as safe and healthy environments at home and at school. 

A variety of district and community program representatives and experts will be available for parents to connect with individually. After the districtwide event on Sept. 17, Parent University workshops will take place monthly at geographically dispersed locations at 5:15 p.m. as follows: 

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