Category Archives: 21st century schools

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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Construction continues on 2012 Bond realignment projects

Although the Houston Independent School District is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction work has continued on several 2012 Bond realignment projects across the district.

Realignment projects are new, board-approved projects that were not part of the original scope of work but are funded by surplus bond funds. The projects include natatoriums at Milby, Washington, and Yates high schools, Westbury High School’s fine arts wing, and Sharpstown International School’s dining canopy.

Milby’s natatorium is 98 percent complete. Construction Services is coordinating with HISD Technology and HISD Security Maintenance for remaining minor work. The pool will be ready for the 2020-2021 school year.

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Austin HS to open in January 2021 due to COVID-19

The new Austin High School is now scheduled to open in January 2021 — a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school was originally scheduled to open in August 2020. HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said the new timeline was due to a three-month delay in the school’s furniture shipment and manpower shortages caused by mandated social distancing requirements resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Austin will remain at its current temporary learning center located across South Lockwood Drive until the new facility opens.

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Lamar HS construction nears completion

Construction at Lamar High School is continuing, as allowable under the public health guidelines, with renovations to the original building now 80 percent complete.

The renovation work, designed to preserve the building’s historically significant architecture, included the construction of a new child care wing, welcome center, and updated ROTC and Career and Technical Education classrooms.

The athletic fields — including football, baseball, softball, soccer practice fields — and tennis courts also are underway.

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Scarborough ES construction 94 percent complete

Construction at the new Scarborough Elementary School is steadily progressing, despite the district being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work on the campus has continued, as allowable under the public health guidelines, with a reduction of the workforce to adhere to social distancing requirements.

The $23 million project is tracking at 94 percent completion, with site work, paving, underground utilities, structural steel, roofing, interior wall systems, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation complete. Exterior wall systems and interior finishes are ongoing.

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Construction on 2012 Bond schools continues despite districtwide closure

With most of the country shut down in an attempt to flatten the COVID-19 curve, HISD’s Construction Services — designated an essential service — is continuing to work on school construction across the district.

HISD Construction General Manager Andreas Peeples said construction is expected to continue as allowable under public health guidelines but noted that required public health measures are affecting normal operations.

“We must comply with requirements that individuals must remain at least six feet from any other person,” Peeples said. “This is important, but it does result in inefficiencies in mobilizing labor and materials and a general reduction in labor forces.”

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Washington HS pool construction nears halfway mark

Washington High School students soon will be able to practice their favorite swimming strokes in their new four-lane pool and natatorium, which is set to open in April. 

Tracking at 45 percent completion, the natatorium features large garage-style overhead coiling doors that open to allow fresh air inside and fencing at each opening to maintain a secure perimeter.  

The pool’s concrete foundation was poured last month, and pool walls are being constructed. After the pool is formed, the concrete deck and locker rooms will be finished.  

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