HISD’s Department of Academic and
Career Counseling invites all district staff, students and parents to join
them in recognizing Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and
largest drug prevention awareness program.
Red Ribbon Week, which is celebrated
annually October 23-31, has taken on national significance mobilizing
communities to educate students and encourage participation in drug prevention
activities. Wearing red ribbons during the month of October represents the
pledge to live drug-free and honors all who have lost their lives in the fight
A day before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, Tiffany
Irving and her son Grant eagerly delivered school supplies to his kindergarten
classroom at Mitchell Elementary, just south of Hobby Airport.
Little did they know then that Grant’s supplies — along with
the rest of his building and three other elementary schools across the district
— would be destroyed in the coming days as the storm dumped unprecedented
amounts of rain on the city.
Unfortunately, the damage wasn’t limited to the school. The Irving’s
home just around the corner from the school also flooded.
Kolter Elementary School Principal Julianne Dickinson began
to feel the weight of Monday morning before the sun went down the day before.
For Dickinson, Monday was different for a few reasons — the
start of in-person instruction, the return of students to classrooms after eight
months, and the required use of masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the most special reason was that it was her students’
first day in their newly constructed school.
you follow Eliot Elementary School Plant Operator Irma Martinez along on her
new cleaning route, you’ll see her clean and disinfect the school from
wall-to-wall — figuratively and literally.
part of her new duties, Martinez is required to clean and sanitize restrooms
and high touch surfaces every hour. It includes walls, door handles, light
switches, faucets, cafeteria tables, and anything else young students may touch
that could harbor viruses.
“I try to help the students as fast as I can,” Martinez said. “That’s why I don’t work by myself. I work with my team.”
Chantal Duval-Jackson’s Kickstart Karate students lined up
in neat rows and ran through warm-up drills on Monday with their usual
precision and enthusiastic shouts of “Kiai!”
The only noticeable differences on the first day of face-to-face instruction at Navarro Middle School were the addition of masks and carefully staggered checkerboard mat to ensure social distancing measures were observed.
Duval-Jackson, who has taught karate at the school for nearly
10 years, had the extra challenge this year of creating a safe space for her
students – not an easy task considering karate usually is a full-contact sport.
She has about 150 students in sixth through eighth grades, and about 30 percent
of those students have opted for in-person instruction. The majority of her
students are participating virtually.
HISD campuses may have been closed for months, but the team at Highland Heights Elementary School has been working around the clock to make sure their school community is safe, clothed, fed, and supported.
The Highland Heights Resource Center officially opened its doors on Monday, welcoming new and old Honeybees to the first-of-its-kind center, which offers families much-needed items such as food, clothes, shoes, and toiletries.
Heights Wraparound Resource Specialist Brendella Chavis has worked diligently to
make sure students were supported.
Nurse Janda Jelks’ first year as a school nurse has been
unusual and challenging, but she has leveraged her creativity and enthusiasm to
excel in her new role.
Jelks, who worked in a hospital before coming to Mark White
Elementary School, said her goal is to foster relationships between parents,
teachers, and students and ensure the return to face-to-face instruction is as
smooth as possible.
“Our priority is making sure kids are getting as much
instruction time as they can, either virtually or in person,” Jelks said. “I
would hate for something that I’m doing, even though it’s state-mandated, to
cut into that. So instead of the students coming to me, I come to them.”