Author Archives: HISD Communications

Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarships now open

Apply by March 1 for a full career and technical education scholarship 

Students considering a career in construction, transportation, nursing, or industrial technology may qualify for a full scholarship in one of these fields or many more. Local and national industry data show a need for highly skilled employees in high-growth jobs with great earning potential. 

Since 2012, the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarship has been awarding worthy HISD graduates full scholarships covering their two-year degree or certification program in these high-demand careers. This scholarship includes not just tuition but books, fees, etc. 

This year, 100 full scholarships are available from Finger for a career and technical degree or certificate program in the fields of automotive, construction, digital information and technology, industrial technology, health science, law, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation distribution. Included in these fields are HVAC, pipefitting, cybersecurity, welding, maritime transportation, and more (see application for a complete list). 

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Parents asked to complete Fall 2020 Virtual/Remote Learning Parent Survey

To guide district decision-making, particularly moving forward on virtual learning, the HISD Research and Accountability Department is launching a districtwide Fall 2020 Virtual/Remote Learning Parent Survey.

The survey will run from Monday, November 9 through Tuesday, November 17. Parents are asked to complete the survey online at The survey is also available in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic.

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Colleges waiving SAT, ACT admission requirements

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an increasing number of colleges and universities are waiving the American College Testing (ACT) and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) as part of their fall 2021 admissions process. 

The SAT and ACT tests will not only be optional for students, but most colleges are also not requiring students to take the exams to be considered for admission.

“This presents a great opportunity for students,” HISD Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Rick Cruz said. “This allows them to demonstrate that they are academically capable in different ways.”

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Astros star third baseman donates iPads to Southmayd ES students

With homemade thank-you cards in hand, Tonya Middleton’s class at Southmayd Elementary School eagerly awaited a visit from a surprise special guest.

When Houston Astros all-star third baseman Alex Bregman burst through the school’s library doors on Monday with a smile on his face and gifts in his hands, a collective gasp could be heard from the group of students, all of whom are on the autism spectrum.

“It is a blast and an honor to be here,” he said while juggling a box of iPads for the students. ““Hopefully, these iPads help the students because it is a fun way to learn.”

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Eight seniors awarded $10,000 STEM scholarships

Eight HISD seniors each were awarded a $10,000 college scholarship through the Women’s Energy Network Houston’s Young Women Energized Partnership.

The scholarships are awarded to exemplary high school senior girls from the greater Houston area with exemplary academic records and who have demonstrated leadership potential throughout their high school career.

The winners will be honored at the Women Energized Network Houston’s virtual 2020 Young Women Energized event, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7. The program will feature breakout sessions on careers in STEM, scholarships, and will be headlined by keynote speaker and BEACON ocean energy probe inventor, Hannah Herbst.

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Third six weeks selection period for in-person or virtual instruction begins Nov. 9

With the third six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year approaching, HISD families have the option to revise their selection for either in-person or virtual instruction for students. The first day of the third six weeks is December 7.

The selection process remains the same. Parents will have from Monday, November 9, through Friday, November 13, 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 for the third six-week grading period.

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DeAnda ES named one of the best urban campuses in the nation

The Houston Independent School District’s James DeAnda Elementary School has been named one of the best urban schools in the nation by the National Center for Urban School Transformation.

“I want to congratulate the entire team at DeAnda Elementary School for their continued hard work and dedication to the children they are entrusted to educate,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Our outstanding educators there exemplify HISD’s mission to empower our students to become global leaders, to strive for excellence, and to become responsible citizens.”

A critical thinking initiative has been in place at DeAnda for more than five years. It provides a rigorous curriculum designed to transform instruction into real-life experiences.

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Third location added for weekly food distribution

As the holiday season approaches, Nutrition Services is opening a third location for its weekly community distributions of food and other supplies.

Starting Wednesday, Nov. 11, Barnett Stadium will host a weekly Neighborhood Supersite from 2 to 6 p.m. The district had planned to re-launch the Wednesday site this week but there was a delay in the delivery of supplies.

The distribution at the stadium, located at 6800 Fairway Drive, will be in addition to the Saturday sites at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center and Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Center.

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Marie Moreno named principal of Jane Long Academy

Marie Moreno has been selected as the new principal of Jane Long Futures Academy.

Moreno is currently the principal of Las Americas Newcomer School and will combine her duties as principal of Las Americas while leading Jane Long Academy.  She began her career as a teacher and assistant principal at HISD’s Wisdom High School before moving to Las Americas.  
Moreno has worked in the Jane Long/Las Americas community for 24 years and is passionate about English language learners.

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Bus driver goes extra mile for student safety

When HISD closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bus driver Althea McWhorter never got the chance to say goodbye to the seniors who rode her bus every day for four years.

For someone who thoroughly enjoys getting to know her passengers as she drives them to and from school each day, losing the chance to say goodbye was not easy. But she’s hoping this year will be different.

Armed with new bus safety measures and a duffel bag of disinfecting supplies, McWhorter was ready to welcome a new group of students returning this month for in-person instruction.

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