Author Archives: HISD Communications

New Parent University session scheduled for Nov. 19 

HISD will host its next Parent University workshop from 5:15 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at four locations throughout the district: Oak Forest and Emerson elementary schools, Thomas Middle School and Furr High School. 

The theme for the session will be “Digital Citizenship.” The workshop will begin with a dinner and resource fair and will include information on district programs, parent engagement, community resources, and how parents can become active partners in the successful education of their children.  

This district-wide initiative was launched last September with a mission of connecting HISD parents and children to resources that support successful academic careers, as well as safe and healthy environments at home and at school. 

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Madison, Westbury high schools featured in Learning by Design magazine

Two schools built under the 2012 Bond Program have been recognized as outstanding projects by Learning by Design magazine. 

Madison and Westbury high schools were included in the Fall 2019 edition of the magazine, which is a premier source for education design innovation and excellence. The magazine assembled a panel of six architects and education administrators to review projects from across the nation.  

“It’s an honor to have Madison and Westbury high schools selected as outstanding projects by Learning by Design,” General Manager of Facilities Design Dan Bankhead said. “The two projects have provided students with modern learning spaces to support their academic efforts and we’re pleased that the work that went into these schools has been recognized by such a distinguished panel and notable publication.” 

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Westbury HS celebrates grand opening for district’s first-ever Wraparound Transformation Center

HISD’s Westbury High School celebrated the grand opening of its new Wraparound Transformation Center on Monday, a first-of-its-kind, in-house community resource hub.  

As the only WTC in the country, Westbury will offer high-risk students and their families comprehensive support services that may not have been accessible in their neighborhoods. These services address critical, non-academic issues that may impact students’ ability to learn by bringing together community partners and resources in one location and embedding them inside the school.   

“We like to make sure we are doing everything and all that we can for our kids,” Westbury Principal Susan Monaghan said during the ceremony. “That’s what the Wraparound Transformation Center is all about – providing anything and everything our students need. No task, no problem is too large.” 

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Food Literacy and Inclusion program launches at Bastian ES

As Bastian Elementary School students filed out onto the green campus lawn, two adventurous boys quickly claimed their garden bed and took turns prodding the large brown mushrooms growing along the side. 

Nestled alongside each other, the first- and second-graders paid careful attention as they were taught about garden safety and tools that can be used in a garden, like trowels, shovels, wheelbarrows, watering cans, water hoses, and even gloves.  

The duo was participating in a new student garden pilot program launched in October and designed to help students understand the importance of food literacy and living a healthy lifestyle.  

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HISD school leaders, business executives pair up for ‘Project Principal’

Nine HISD schools give business leaders an opportunity to shadow school principals

It was 8 a.m. on a typical morning at HISD’s Benavidez Elementary School, and Principal Zabeth Parra-Malek was on the go. After making the morning announcements, she stood at the front door greeting late arrivals, making sure they were fed and ready for the day. By 8:45, she landed in a PALS pre-K classroom for a drop-in observation with the school’s therapy dog, Lucy.  

What made this morning different was that she had a “shadow” – Kristie Ketron, an executive with Ernst & Young. Parra-Malek was one of nine HISD principals who hosted visitors like Ketron for Project Principal, an opportunity for business leaders to walk a mile in principals’ shoes. 

And they did plenty of walking, in and out of classrooms and meetings, highlighting the main message Parra-Malek wanted the community to hear: schools, teachers, and students are more than test scores and accountability ratings. 

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HISD bus driver offers helping hand to students in need

As a bus driver for the Houston Independent School District, Ethan Sowell knows his mission focuses on providing students with safe and reliable transportation to and from school.  

But for Sowell, his job isn’t just about driving a bus. It’s about making a difference. 

“Children can’t do anything about their situation,” Sowell said. “Somebody has to look out for them.” 

That’s just what he did earlier this month when he noticed a student on his route had become especially quiet and withdrawn and appeared self-conscious, especially about his clothes.

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Students at Cornelius ES celebrate becoming published authors

While most people dream of becoming published authors in their adulthood, students at Cornelius Elementary School celebrated the unveiling of their first published books with an exclusive signing and reading on Tuesday.  

Surrounded by family, friends and classmates, it was hard to miss one student—fourth-grader and MLK Oratory Winner David Ozuzu, who wore a smile that filled the room as he officially signed one of his three books that would reside in the campus library.   

“I’ve been writing since kindergarten, and it’s really exciting to see all of my ideas come to life in my very own book,” David said. 

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HISD to name student winners of 2019 holiday greeting card competition

17 finalists selected from nearly 100 entries this year 

The Houston Independent School District on Friday, Nov. 8, will unveil the winners of the district’s 2019 holiday greeting card student art competition. 

This year, 17 students from HISD elementary, middle, and high schools have been named finalists from a total of 95 entries. The 17 finalists were chosen by the district’s area superintendents.  

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Fifth annual DREAM Summit planned for Dec. 7

Event to help students apply for college, financial aid 

College Readiness and Multilingual Programs will be hosting the fifth annual DREAM Summit to assist students with college applications and the financial aid process on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St., Houston 77092. 

High school students and their families are encouraged to attend the free event. Students should contact their campus college-access coordinator, counselor, or college and career readiness advisor regarding transportation. Five seniors will have a chance to win a $500 scholarship. 

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New procedure for Transportation Services focuses on student safety

Transportation Services is strengthening its focus on student and driver safety with the implementation of a new practice to address student conduct concerns on the bus.  

The practice, which is being implemented this fall, addresses the procedures that bus drivers and Transportation Services leadership must follow when student conduct issues arise.  

The new policy requires drivers to complete a Student Conduct Form and submit it to their terminal manager when a student incident — such as eating and drinking, fighting, or defacing the bus — occurs.  

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