Category Archives: 21st century schools

‘A sense of excellence’ as progress continues at new Bellaire HS

Natural light and a central “Main Street” hallway are the hallmarks of the new Bellaire High School, which is now 57 percent complete.

Part of the 2012 Bond Program, the project is on track to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 school year. The completion of Bellaire will close out the massive bond program, which included the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools, across the district.

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Realignment projects near completion as 2012 Bond wraps up

It has been nearly 50 years since Booker T. Washington High School had a swim team. But as the high school’s new practice pool nears completion, that will soon change.

Washington’s new pool and natatorium are among several 2012 Bond realignment projects — new, board-approved projects funded by surplus bond savings but  not part of the original scope of work. 

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Lamar HS blends old, new as construction nears completion

For Principal Rita Graves, it is impossible for her to pick a favorite part of the construction project at Lamar High School. 

The $122 million project, part of the 2012 Bond Program, brings several improvements to the campus, including a new, state-of-the-art academic wing, renovations to its historic original building, and enhancements to the athletic fields.

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Innovative 3DE high school model to launch at Austin HS

The Houston Independent School District and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas have announced a partnership to launch the innovative 3DE model at Austin High School.

United around the belief that equitable access to high-quality education is a lever to economic mobility, 3DE transforms learning to be more interconnected and better reflect the real world. The program will serve ninth-grade students this fall and will continue to grow as students move to the next grade level.

The 3DE program is designed to help drive student engagement and opportunity in high school to better prepare students for the demands of tomorrow’s economy. The 3DE model will help students achieve this by teaching them critical skills and knowledge in all content areas by combining traditional learning and with real-world experiences.

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As construction nears completion, Austin HS looks to the future

For more than 80 years, the red-bricked Austin High School has been a mainstay in the Eastwood community. With construction nearing completion, the new school now strikes a balance of the past and present.

The $80.9 million project features modern classrooms, flexible learning spaces, and sound and lighting upgrades to the existing auditorium. The Art Deco-influenced façade also has been preserved and refurbished as a part of the project.

“This school has been here for more than 80 years. It was important to keep a part of this building that has been present in this community for so long,” Austin Principal Steve Guerrero said. “The entire building is just phenomenal. It feels very grand with lots of natural light. Every single part of the building is exciting.”

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Principals of schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey excited to return ‘home’

A new school year typically brings a mix of emotions for Kolter Elementary School Principal Julie Dickinson. Feelings of excitement mingled with the hope that everything will run smoothly.

As Dickinson readies for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, she is once again experiencing those same feelings, but this time they’re tinged with the promise of new beginnings.

“There was a huge loss to get where we are today,” Dickinson said. “But I can’t think of a more deserving community.”

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HISD launches new student information system, parent portal

The Houston Independent School District has moved to a new Student Information System (SIS) for the 2020-2021 school year. The new system includes a parent portal that will launch on Aug. 31.

Parents will be able to use the HISD Connect Parent Portal as a tool to track information related to their student’s schedule, grades, attendance, academic history, and more.

“Collaboration between educators and parents is more important than ever, as we prepare to reconnect safely and return strong,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “HISD Connect will integrate seamlessly with online learning.”

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Two HISD campuses selected for Microsoft Imagine Academy

Students at HISD’s Edison Middle School and Yates High School will receive innovative technological instruction through the Microsoft Imagine Academy as part of the company’s partnership with the City of Houston to stimulate digital literacy in economically disadvantaged communities.

Edison Middle School and Yates High School students will receive virtual instruction in coding, IT infrastructure, data science, and attend virtual Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) camps. High school students will also receive training in Artificial Intelligence, modern workplace tools and office productivity in preparation for earning certifications.

“This is an incredible opportunity for students at Edison and Yates, who will gain the tools and knowledge they need to close high-tech skills gaps,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Participating in the Microsoft Imagine Academy has the potential to be a game-changer for our middle and high school students.”

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Delayed opening for four schools being rebuilt due to damage from Hurricane Harvey

The four elementary schools being rebuilt as a result of Hurricane Harvey are now scheduled to open in August 2020 — a three-month delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kolter, Braeburn, Mitchell, and Scarborough elementary schools were originally scheduled to open in June 2020.

HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said the new timeline is a result of manpower shortages caused by mandated social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bellaire HS construction surpasses halfway mark

Construction at Bellaire High School is now more than 50 percent complete, with the new school expected to be ready for students this time next year.

Crews have installed the roof structure for the new building, which includes wings for academics, fine arts, and physical education. The academic wing is now closed in and air-conditioned, with construction crews currently working on the finishing touches, including tiling and flooring.

Crews also are working on overhead construction in the auditorium high ceilings, digging out the pool and diving well, and construction of the interior walls in the athletics area. Air conditioning is expected to be flowing through the entire building by the end of July.

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