Author Archives: HISD Communications

10 reasons why students should submit their FAFSA or TASFA today

Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and TASFA (Texas Application for State Financial Aid) is the first step toward receiving the various types of financial aid for school, and finishing your FAFSA/TASFA early is the best way to maximize college-award packages.  

But how much do you know about these financial aid applications? Here are 10 reasons why students should submit their FAFSA ASAP! For info on TASFA, see below. 

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Community meetings scheduled on board goals

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education will be hosting several districtwide meetings to discuss the district’s board goals.

The focus of these meetings will be to better understand the educational expectations of parents, students, and stakeholders.

All community members are invited to attend and share their thoughts on the student outcomes they believe to be most important.

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‘Culture of trust, accountability’ at the center of North Forest turnaround success

Over six years ago, HISD faced an enormous challenge when it agreed to take over North Forest ISD, which had been plagued by years of low academic performance, a laundry list of state sanctions, and financial mismanagement – which eventually led to the order from the Texas Education Agency to close the district. 

Since taking on the seven schools in the North Forest district, HISD has made significant strides in improving the long-struggling campuses using strategies such as mobilizing effective teachers and principals, implementing reading mastery and corrective reading, extending the school day, and streamlining bus transportation to boost attendance.  

Five of the seven original transition team members are still part of Team HISD to this day, and the experience left an indelible impact on each of them. 

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Achieve 180 math teacher named October Teacher of the Month

There was a level excitement that could not be contained when math teacher Breana Chatman of Holland Middle School was surprised by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan as the Teacher of the Month for October. 

“Mrs. Chatman goes above and beyond the call of duty every time she steps into the classroom,” Principal Pablo Resendiz said. “She is very intentional in planning and ensures standards have been unpacked thoroughly before she designs her lessons.” 

Not accepting anything less than excellence from her students, Chatman pushes students understanding and knowledge of the mathematical process by using mathematical sentence stems, and utilizes interactive word walls and anchor charts to ensure the class environment supports all students. 

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The road to redemption: Wheatley HS on a journey to demonstrate academic growth

From a sprawling mural featuring famous politicians and educators to students laughing as they head to their next class, it’s hard to imagine Houston’s Fifth Ward community without Wheatley High School, the campus that has served many residents as a gateway to adulthood.  

There’s the feeling of perseverance and reassurance when you step foot onto the Wheatley campus. Plagued with the “improvement Required” label since 2012, the district learned in August 2019 that Wheatley wouldn’t meet standard for the 2018-2019 school year.

Despite Wheatley High School demonstrating tremendous academic progress and earning a passing grade of D this year with a calculated score of 63, they earned an overall rating of 59 due to a provision introduced into TEA’s 2018 Accountability Manual. 

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HISD to hold Parent Leadership Conference on Oct. 26

The Houston Independent School District’s Office of Special Populations will hold its annual Parent Leadership Conference for parents to learn supports and strategies that will help students to be successful – academically, socially, and emotionally.  

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 26 at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W 18th St., 77092). The conference is designed for parents and guardians of HISD students.  

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Sing your heart out with National School Lunch Week student jingle contest

Nutrition Services is sponsoring a student jingle contest in honor of National School Lunch Week, which is being held Oct. 14-18. 

National School Lunch Week was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 as an annual celebration of the National School Lunch Program. This year, the theme — What’s on Your Playlist? — highlights the variety of flavors and dishes offered in today’s school lunch.  

“National School Lunch Week provides us with a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of a healthy school lunch, while also reinforcing the importance of eating good food and expanding students’ palates,” HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins said. 

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State law requires distribution of bacterial meningitis information to parents and students

A new state law enacted by the 86th Legislature, HB 3884, requires school districts to provide information on bacterial meningitis to students and parents.  

Information on symptoms, how bacterial meningitis is spread, prevention, healthy habits and more can be found on HISD’s Health and Medical Services website. For downloadable PDFs in English, Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese, click here

As a reminder, school nurses, family doctors, and the staff at your local or regional health department office are excellent sources for information on all infectious diseases. You may call your family doctor or local health department office for more information.

College and Career Readiness Month activities continue all month

The Office of Strategy & Innovation has planned a variety of October events for the second annual College & Career Readiness (CCR) Month with the theme “Take Control: Explore. Design. Launch Your Future!”   

CCR Month is a fun and creative way to engage students and introduce students to a variety of college and career options. 

HISD’sCollege Readiness Department is visiting high schools all month and continuing through Nov. 15 to assist seniors and their parents fill out their applications for financial aid. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward getting many different types of financial aid for school, and finishing the FAFSA early is the best way to maximize college award packages.

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HISD announces CTE partnership with HCC, construction firm to provide students free certifications

As a young boy, Jorge Rubio, a sophomore at HISD’s Austin High School, idolized his father and dreamed of one day following in his footsteps. Now, thanks to a new CTE partnership, Jorge has a chance to live out his dream. 

Jorge, along with 24 other students from Austin and Milby High Schools, participated in a commitment ceremony on Wednesday at HCC’s Southeast Campus for the district’s new dual credit, two-year construction certification program in partnership with MAREK, a specialty construction company. 

“This opportunity means a lot to me and my parents,” Jorge said. “My dad is a construction worker and he is my inspiration.” 

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