Author Archives: HISD Communications

HISD, Houston Food Bank hosts community food distributions on Fridays in August at NRG

The Houston Independent School District, in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, is hosting mass community food distributions on in August at NRG Stadium.

Nutrition Services staff are expected to distribute 5,000 food packages as well as 5,000 packages of student meals. The family food packages will have up to 60 pounds of food, while each student meals package will contain a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch meals.

Distribution is open from 2 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 14, Aug. 21, and Aug. 28 in the NRG yellow lot. Attendees must enter via the yellow lot main entrance off South Main Street. During the final distribution — on Aug. 28 only — families also will receive school supplies donated by T-Mobile, Reliant, and Kroger.

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HISD teachers to create lessons for HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV

HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV lessons will continue this fall, and teachers will be able to develop content to be broadcast across various platforms.

Starting on Aug. 10, area offices will distribute a survey to collect basic information from interested teachers, such as school, grade level, subject, and language. Teachers who complete the survey will receive a link to upload a 10-minute video lesson by Aug. 17. 

A committee will use a rubric to assess the submissions and select 25 teachers to submit a weekly lesson during the fall semester for the grade level band and subject of their application submission. Selected teachers will be announced on Aug. 21 and will receive a stipend.

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Nutrition Services recognized for community outreach, focus on healthy eating

Nutrition Services received top honors for its school-based initiatives and ongoing community outreach in Food Management magazine’s 2020 Best Concept awards competition.

The department was named Editor’s Choice Best Concept Awards Best of Show for their efforts to feed families during the COVID-19 pandemic, expand salad bars to all campuses, and launch a food literacy program to help students understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

The magazine also highlighted the department’s Good Food campaign, which calls for all students to have access to nutritious food that is flavorful, colorful, wholesome, and locally sourced, and recognized the team for successfully converting from third-party management to self-operating status.

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HISD welcomes back district leadership for 2020-2021 school year

Cars covered with colorful banners and balloons lined up to participate in the district’s annual Welcome Back event this week, which took on a different format from previous years due to COVID-19 precautions.

Each car held an HISD principal and was decorated to represent their respective campus. District leadership, including HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, danced to the music played by the DJ on site.

“This is the kickoff to the 2020-2021 school year, the Year of Flexibility,” Lathan said. “We are excited to receive over 210,000 students back to HISD. My goal is for all HISD students to be within reach and able to obtain a quality education.”

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Sam Houston MSTC teacher named finalist for national award in Career and Technical Education

Sam Houston MSTC Plumbing and Pipes Trades teacher Raul Ortega has been named one of 50 finalists from across the nation for the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.

The award, which was started in 2017 by national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt, recognizes outstanding instruction in skilled trades in U.S. public high schools.

Ortega, a licensed plumber, is entering his ninth year at Sam Houston MSTC. Ortega’s hands-on classroom includes bathroom and kitchen simulators where students learn to install fixtures and piping systems using curriculum from the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER). Students enrolled in the program also perform basic plumbing repairs for homeowners in the Sam Houston MSTC community and learn directly from local employers who visit Ortega’s classroom regularly to hire graduating seniors. 

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HISD to launch Parent Virtual Learning Course

The Houston Independent School District will soon launch an online course designed to provide parents with the tools needed to support their child’s transition to the online classroom this fall.

The Parent Introduction to Virtual Learning online course will be available on Monday, Aug. 10 at It is designed to introduce virtual learning and provide guidance to parents on the HISD @ H.OM.E platform. The course should be completed no later than Friday, Sept. 4.

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Application deadline extended for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer

The deadline to complete the application necessary to receive the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) has been extended to Aug. 21. The one-time benefit is for families who lost access to free or reduced-price meals due to school closures.

The application is available online at

The $1 billion benefit program was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture to help eligible families buy food during the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-time benefit of up to $285 will be issued on an EBT card, which can be used as a debit card to assist families in buying food from any retailer that accepts the Texas Lone Star Card.

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HISD launches ‘Students Within Reach/Return Strong’ campaign to ensure all children engage academically

District seeks to reach students who have not participated in at-home instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Houston Independent School District will launch its Students Within Reach/Return Strong campaign on August 3 with the goal of re-engaging children who have not participated in at-home instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign will be a targeted effort to reach students who have not connected with their schools since virtual instruction began in March. The district will also seek to connect with a smaller group that disengaged after May 1.

“It’s important as a district to ensure all students are engaged in meaningful instruction and learning at all times,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We will be persistent in our efforts to reach all of our children, and when we do, we will ensure they have the resources and support needed to navigate virtual coursework.”

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HISD suspends uniform policy for 2020-21 school year

HISD has announced the suspension of the student uniform policy for the upcoming school year.

The district understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has created or increased the economic challenges that some families face. Relaxing the uniform requirements will hopefully provide some relief for parents as they prepare for the school year.

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HISD to host Camp Spark for academic enrichment leading up to new school year

The HISD Academics Department is hosting a virtual interactive Academic Enrichment Camp designed to provide students with enrichment leading up to the first day of the 2020-21 school year while reinforcing academic skills. 

Camp Spark, which will be held Aug. 24 through Sept. 4, is free of charge for all HISD students in pre-K through 12th grade.

Students will participate in interactive engaging activities in science, math, literacy, technology, and art. Ninth-graders will participate in a high school overview boot camp. A College and Career Readiness Series will be available for students in grades 10th through 12th. Other student camp activities include:

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