Author Archives: HISD Communications

HISD School Choice applications for 2021-2022 school year open Saturday

First of five school choice fairs slated for Sept. 19 via Microsoft Teams

Houston Independent School District parents can begin applying for their child to enter a choice program for the 2021-2022 school year on Saturday, Sept. 19. The district’s first of five school choice fairs will also take place on Saturday, Sept. 19 virtually through Microsoft Teams from 9 a.m. to noon.

HISD offers a comprehensive selection of magnet programs at 112 schools, as well as program choice transfer options to all 280 schools in HISD, to meet every students’ academic needs and interests. HISD magnet programs include College & Career Readiness, Fine Arts, Futures Academy, International Specialty Schools, International Baccalaureate, Language Immersion Schools, Language Programs, Montessori, STEM & STEAM, Single-Gender College Preparatory, and Vanguard.  HISD program choice transfer options include Boundary Option, Career/Technology Education, Dual Language, and International Baccalaureate.

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HISD Director of Athletics named to board of Touchdown Club of Houston

Houston Independent School District Director of Athletics and UIL Activities Andre’ Walker has been named to the board of the Touchdown Club of Houston, an organization established in 1966 that is dedicated to community service and sharing fellowship through football.

“We know that Andre’ will represent the district well,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “He is a tireless supporter of student-athletes and we are proud of this appointment and his many other accomplishments.”

Walker is an HISD graduate of Kashmere High School and an alumnus of Texas Southern University who holds a Master’s degree in Education from Prairie View A&M University. He served as a teacher and later an assistant principal at Key Middle School and Kashmere High School.

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HISD Board approves formation of District of Innovation Committee

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved 9-0 a resolution concerning virtual instruction that provides flexibility for the district, if needed.

Currently, HISD is scheduled to begin in-person instruction on October 19, 2020, pending COVID-19 conditions. The board voted to provide flexibility to extend the virtual learning period for an additional two weeks if that becomes necessary based on recommendations from health authorities.  As announced on July 15, HISD’s plan to provide face-to-face instruction beginning on October 19 has not changed.

Trustees also approved a plan to carry out online learning on Election Day, November 3, 2020 to accommodate voters and maintain safe conditions for students and staff amid COVID-19 conditions. Per state law, the district is required to make campuses available as voting sites during elections.

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Transportation Services ready to transport select students when school year begins

Though most HISD students are starting school virtually, Transportation Services was back on the road on Sept. 8, providing student shuttle service to and from 36 digital learning centers across the district.

Strategically located across the district, digital learning centers provide students without technology access a place to complete their daily virtual lessons during the district’s online-only first six weeks of school.

Students who have been previously identified as needing technology will be assigned to a select center, based on the location of their home school. Once assigned, the home school will provide parents with their student’s bus stop and pick-up and drop-off times.

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HISD teams up with Texans, Reliant to encourage perfect attendance during virtual learning

The Houston Independent School District is teaming up with the Houston Texans and Reliant to encourage attendance in virtual learning during the 2020-2021 school year through the “Attend to Win” initiative. 

Throughout the fall semester, which ends January 29, 2021, HISD students and classrooms will receive inspiring messages from Texans players and celebrities through public service announcements and other forms of communication. Students and classrooms with outstanding attendance in virtual learning can win special prizes such as signed footballs and jerseys, backpacks, a virtual tour of NRG stadium, and more.

“It’s imperative that all students are logging in daily and engaging virtually with their teachers,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “I welcome the support of the entire Houston community to achieve educational excellence in our district, and I want to thank our friends at the Houston Texans and Reliant for their partnership in our work to educate all children.”

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Interim Superintendent kicks off first day of virtual learning with districtwide tour

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan embarked on a whirlwind tour of the district on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands of students, educators, parents, and staff began the first day of the 2020-2021 school year virtually with a charge to Reconnect Safely and Return Strong.

Lathan spent the day making in-person and virtual visits to campuses and online classrooms to speak with students, parents, and teachers encouraging them as they began, calling the 2020-2021 school year the district’s Year of Flexibility.

“We are very excited for today because March was the last time many of us saw our students,” she said before the start of the districtwide tour. “The first day of school certainly looks different this year, however, I remain optimistic that with continued determination, resilience, and flexibility, 2020-21 can be our best year yet.”

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Kolter ES teachers adjust to teaching in new school without students

When walking into Jennifer Heemer’s fifth grade classroom at Kolter Elementary School, it’s hard not to get excited about learning.

The walls are adorned with colorful decorations, including a poster reminding her students to “think outside the box” and class photos from her 21 years of teaching. Natural light from a wall of large windows fills the room and illuminates the two rows of perfectly-arranged desks.

There’s only one thing missing. Students.

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As school year starts, curbside student meals program kicks off

Under a cloudy sky, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan greeted Westbury High School students and their parents on the first day of the school year.

But instead of navigating blue and grey painted halls that would normally be crowded with students, she and new Principal Jerri Nixon were busy handing out pre-packed meals to Westbury families in the parking lot.

As students across the district return to school virtually, HISD Nutrition Services is offering daily curbside pickup for breakfast and lunch meals at 86 strategically located schools, including Westbury.

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HISD opens select campuses as Digital Learning Centers for students in need of technology

Beginning Tuesday, September 8, HISD will open 36 campuses as Digital Learning Centers (DLC) for elementary and middle school students who do not have access to technology needed to participate in online learning at home.

The Digital Learning Centers will be located across the district and open from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. All students at the Digital Learning Centers will be provided breakfast and lunch daily at no charge. Breakfast will begin at 7:15 a.m. daily.

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HISD Nutrition Services to serve curbside and classroom meals this fall

After a week-long break, the Houston Independent School District is relaunching curbside student meals distribution on Tuesday, Sept. 8 — the first day of the 2020-2021 school year.

HISD Nutrition Services will offer daily curbside pickup, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 86 schools strategically located throughout the district. Each day, families can go to any location to pick up one pre-packed breakfast and lunch meal per student. The meals are served at no cost to families.

Parents must show proof of enrollment in an HISD school — such as a student ID or report card — to pick up the meals.

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