Author Archives: HISD Communications

Crespo ES student wins 25th annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition

Fourth-grader wins $1,000 prize for original speech inspired by civil rights leader 

Crespo Elementary School fourth-grader Vivianna Serna used her own experience with discrimination amongst friends as a guide for her winning speech at the 25th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition. 

Serna was awarded first place for her original speech that tackled hate and bigotry between friends, stating that Dr. King’s teachings showed her that she must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.

The event was held Friday at HISD’s Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. Serna was among 12 HISD students to participate in the final round of the Foley & Lardner LLP-sponsored competition, which marks its 25th anniversary this year.

Continue reading

HISD awarded more than $342,000 for energy-saving efforts

The Houston Independent School District’s efforts to save energy and reduce utility costs are paying off in a major way.

The district received more than $342,000 through the CenterPoint Energy SCORE program, which rewards school districts with cash incentives for implementing energy saving projects and strategies.

The incentives were due in large part of the work of two departments — Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations and Construction Services. Together, they helped the district more than triple the amount received during the previous 2017-2018 earning period.

Continue reading

HISD to participate in Souper Bowl of Caring

In partnership with Souper Bowl of Caring and the Houston Food Bank, HISD schools and staff are participating in the 2021 Souper Bowl of Caring, a youth-led, national food drive that mobilizes thousands of young people to fight hunger and poverty in their communities 

Beginning Jan. 18, one of the nation’s largest celebrations of serving and giving will raise awareness and tackle hunger in communities. HISD schools, departments, families, and staff are all invited to participate by doing the following:

Continue reading

Eliot ES teacher named January Teacher of the Month

On a chilly Tuesday morning at Eliot Elementary School, fourth-grade ELA teacher Fernando Lopez was teaching his students how to analyze a story when he was suddenly summoned to the school parking lot for a special surprise.

Cars covered in painted messages and decorations drove by Lopez, cheering him on for being named HISD’s January Teacher of the Month – not only for effectively teaching his students English, but also for helping them develop a love of reading. As a thank-you for his hard work, he will be driving a 2021 Honda CR-V, courtesy Sterling McCall Honda.

An alumnus of Eliot Elementary School, Lopez has dedicated the last 22 years to helping ensure his students grow in their acquisition of a second language and their ability to effectively read and communicate through writing.

Continue reading

Fourth six weeks selection period for in-person or virtual instruction begins

With the fourth six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year approaching, HISD families have the option starting today to revise their selection for either in-person or virtual instruction for students. The first day of the fourth six weeks is February 1.

The selection process remains the same. Parents will have from Monday, January 11, through Monday, January 18, to make their selection through the HISD Connect Parent Portal “Forms” section. If parents would like to keep their selection as-is, no action is needed. The current selected mode of instruction will carry over to the fourth six-weeks grading period.

Continue reading

HISD mentoring programs celebrate National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month, and HISD’s Ascending to Men (ATM) Project and Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success (ROSES) mentoring programs are celebrating by highlighting mentors and mentoring stories on their social media platforms.

National Mentoring Month is a celebration of the positive impact mentors have in their mentees’ lives. It is also a time where interest in mentorship and making a difference in the community is at its highest, with the excitement of a fresh new year and the goals and resolutions to impact others. HISD is encouraging the public to get involved and become a mentor.

Continue reading

Crews keep students, staff warm during coldest days of the year

On the rare occasion that Houston temperatures drop to freezing, it’s not just people who may struggle to get going in the morning. HISD schools and buses need extra time to warm up, too.

But for every cozy classroom or bus ride, there is a team that has braved the weather in the dark and early morning hours to make learning environments comfy and safe for students’ arrival.

They are the cold-start crews – the ones who are called in when temperatures drop to 32 degrees and below.

Continue reading

HISD board approves administration’s request to restore COVID-related paid leave for staff

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a resolution on Thursday to extend paid leave to employees who are required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to a confirmed positive individual.

Employees will be able to apply for up to 80 total hours (or 10 days) of emergency paid sick leave if required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to the virus. The application can be found on the HISD Human Resources page under “Important COVID-19 Info.” In addition, principals will have the discretion to afford teachers and other campus-based employees the ability to work or teach virtually, if the employee needs to quarantine and if working virtually is a benefit to the campus and fulfills campus needs.

The approved resolution is an extension of certain leave benefits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which expired December 31, 2020. If Congress modifies or extends the federal act, the resolution also gives the superintendent the authority to determine how/if employees may use the 80 hours of leave originally provided by the FFCRA.

Continue reading

HISD launches Wraparound Services Needs Map & Dashboard tool

The Houston Independent School District is launching a Wraparound Services Needs Map & Dashboard tool, a visual and interactive tool capturing areas of demand and trends of non-academic supports across the district.

This effort is the result of a collaboration between the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), ProUnitas and HISD Wraparound Services department as the district continues its strong commitment to serving the whole child through non-academic supports. Wraparound Services is dedicated to meeting the non-academic needs of students in order to support their academic achievement.

“In HISD, our goal is to support the whole child to ensure both their academic and social/emotional needs are met,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We thank our partners for helping to develop this tool, which will go a long way in identifying the high-needs areas in our district and ensuring delivery of wraparound services to those students and families who need our support the most.” 

Continue reading