Author Archives: HISD Communications

HISD summer fine arts camp inspires future artists

Avani, a rising fifth-grader from MacGregor Elementary School, has dreams of becoming an abstract visual artist, and after two weeks at HISD’s Fine Arts Summer Camp at Tanglewood Middle School, that dream may soon become a reality.  

“One day, I have dreams of making abstract art and putting it all over my walls – just splattering paint all over my walls,” she said. “I think camp will help me do that.” 

The four-week camp, which is offered to students in grades 3-12, is a superb exhibition of creativity by HISD students who are immersed in the district’s first ever summer fine arts camp. The idea was inspired by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan’s mission to provide fine arts access to more students throughout the district, according to HISD Theatre Curriculum Specialist Jared Berry. 

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HISD Business Operations to Host Job Fair at Delmar Stadium

The Houston Independent School District Office of Business Operations is hosting a job fair on Saturday, June 29, 2019, from 8 a.m. to noon at Delmar Fieldhouse to recruit employees for several of its departments. 

The Business Operations division — responsible for key support services such as police, nutrition, transportation, and maintenance — is seeking individuals for seven different positions in four different departments. Open positions include: 

Facilities Services and Fleet Operations 

  • Custodians 
  • Plumbers 
  • Fire extinguisher technicians 
  • Senior HVAC repairer 

Nutrition Services 

  • Class A CDL warehouse driver 

Police Department 

  • Police officer 

Transportation Services 

  • Bus driver  

“As we prepare for the upcoming school year, we want to ensure we’re fully staffed and ready to go on the first day of school,” Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby said. “We’re looking for employees who are hardworking, reliable, and believe in our mission — supporting the students of this district.”  

Business Operations representatives will be on hand to conduct application reviews and onsite interviews. Applicants are asked to bring their valid driver’s license, social security card or their employment authorization card/visa, if applicable. Some positions will require drug testing.  

For more information, call 713-556-6150. To learn more about Business Operations, visit the Business Operations website

HISD students show across-the-board gains in all subjects on STAAR End-of-Course exams

The percentages of Houston Independent School District students who passed the spring 2019 STAAR End-of-Course (EOC) exams increased in all subject areas of the tests. Students took five exams covering Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II and U.S. History.  

Students at some of HISD’s lowest-performing schools made vast improvements on the Algebra I, Biology and U.S. History STAAR tests. 

There are four performance levels on STAAR tests: Did Not Meet grade level – failed, Approaches grade level – passed, Meets grade level – passed at a higher level, and Masters grade level – passed at the highest level. 

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HISD Board of Education rejects proposed budget for 2019-2020 school year

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Tuesday voted 6-3 against the proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year.  

On June 27, trustees will again consider adoption of the proposed budget, which will include a recommended compensation package for all HISD employees and other HB 3-related items. State law requires the budget to be approved by June 30. 

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Dual credit class connects students to community

Taking dual credit classes can be a daunting task, but Sonia Noyola at Northside High School has found a way to ease her students into the program by connecting their projects back to the community.  

Since she started teaching dual credit Government classes at Northside, Noyola’s students’ community awareness and empowerment projects have served as an extension of her dual credit classroom. 

Their latest project was S.H.I.N.E. (Spirit, Honor, Innovation, Nuance, Education) Fest, a student-led film competition held at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall that attracted submissions from several HISD schools and postsecondary institutions. The connection between these projects and the dual-credit course content is not lost on her students.   

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HISD athletics camp focuses on improving water safety for students across the city

The whistle blows at Lamar High School’s natatorium, and students attending HISD’s athletics swimming camp return to their breast stroke drills and breathing exercises.

Summer is here for students, and that means tons of fun in the sun and swimming pools with friends. That is why veteran Coach Stephen McDonald wants to ensure HISD students have the proper education to have a safe and fun summer around water.

“Naturally, our students are going to gravitate towards activities such as swimming, and we fail them if they aren’t prepared,” McDonald said. “By offering the swim camp, we are making sure our students understand the importance of how to enjoy water in a safe way.”

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HISD’s Achieve 180 program receives positive results for STAAR

HISD’s Achieve 180 program finished strong for the 2018-2019 school year, holding two of its biggest end-of-the-year meetings with district staff and campus principals to discuss best practices, modifications, and next steps. 

“As we start preparing for the 2019-2020 school year, we still have a great amount of work in outlining more progressive solutions and assessing the program’s strengths and weaknesses that will better support our students and campuses,” Achieve 180 Area Superintendent Felicia Adams said. “As we look to redefine our approach through the program’s academic and supportive services, it is my hope that we exceed the even greater expectations set for next school year.”  

The Achieve 180 cross-functional team, which includes district administrators, teacher development specialists, nurses, and wraparound specialists, received the first round of positive news as it relates to the turnaround program’s student performance.  

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Preliminary STAAR scores show significant gains in reading, math for HISD students in grades 5 and 8

At least 70 percent of Houston Independent School District fifth- and eighth-graders passed STAAR reading and math exams this year, according to preliminary numbers from the Texas Education Agency. On the math test, a slight majority of the eighth-graders, 51 percent, who passed with minimum scores last year, passed with scores well above the minimum this year.  

Overall, the most significant improvements on the STAAR exams were seen among students who attend some of the district’s lowest-performing elementary and middle schools: Blackshear, Dogan, Highland Heights, Mading, Wesley and Woodson elementary schools, along with Patrick Henry Middle School. 

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Eliot ES earns Lighthouse School distinction

Leadership, potential, change, motivation, education. These five core standards are on display at HISD’s Eliot Elementary School, which led the campus to become one of only two schools in the district to be named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School.  

This distinction, given by the FranklinCovey Foundation, is given to schools like Eliot Elementary that have produced outstanding results and student outcomes by implementing the Leader in Me Program.  

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HISD summer STEM camp promotes 21st-century skills

Bailey, a rising third-grader from Travis Elementary School, wanted to grow up to be a cheerleading coach, but after just two days at HISD’s STEM Summer Camp at Heights High School, those dreams have changed. 

“I used to want to be a professional cheerleading coach, but now I want to be somebody who helps NASA,” she said. “Now, I want to work in Mission Control.” 

Bailey, along with hundreds of other students from around the district, is spending her summer break learning about robotics and coding. This is the first year for the summer program, which provides STEM-based curriculum activities for students in grades 3-12.  

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