Category Archives: Bilingual

Excellence – Whatever it Takes: Sam Houston motto rings true as construction begins

The excitement was palpable as the Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center Mariachi Band began to perform on Friday, formally kicking off the celebration designed to mark the start of construction on their new school.

Blustery winds didn’t stop dozens of students, teachers, parents, and alumni from gathering in the school parking lot to witness the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Sam Houston — part of the 2012 Bond Program — and catch a peek of the construction that already is underway.

“I believe strongly that our students deserve a state-of-the-art school,” Sam Houston Principal Alan Summers said. “Not only because they deserve to go to a school that looks good, but also because they deserve to be in a building that has facilities to help prepare them for life after high school.

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HISD’s alternative certification program now accepting applications 

If you or someone you know is interested in starting a challenging and rewarding career as a teacher at HISD, the district is now accepting applications for its Effective Teacher Fellowship (ETF).

ETF is searching for qualified, passionate and effective educators for the 2017-2018 school year who will help HISD students reach their potential.  Continue reading

Wharton renovation, expansion plans presented to community; construction to start soon

Once construction is complete, the new Wharton Dual Language Academy will feature new learning spaces and labs, a new gym and library, an interior courtyard preserving heritage trees, and a grand, three-story, glass entryway.

Designs plans for the school’s renovation and new addition were detailed to nearly 100 Wharton parents and community members Thursday night during  community meeting at the Wharton campus.

The project is part of the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program, which calls for renovation or replacement of 40 schools across the district. Construction at Wharton is expected to start later this year, with the Montrose-area school expected to re-open its doors in fall of 2018.

The project will expand the school’s capacity up to 900 students and eliminate all the temporary buildings from the site.

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HISD teachers featured in new ad campaign

If you went to see a movie in the past week, chances are you might have seen several HISD teachers during the previews. HISD’s Human Resources Department recently launched an ad campaign aimed at enticing teachers who live in Houston and the surrounding suburbs to come “Teach in the City.” The recruitment campaign includes a 30-second segment currently playing at several movie theaters across Houston, four highway billboards, and a new website.

“Teach in the City” features a half dozen HISD teachers, including Morgan Greco, a first-year teacher at Herod Elementary School. “I am thrilled to be part of this effort to recruit both new and veteran teachers,” said Greco. “I love working for HISD. As a first-year teacher right out of college, I have more support than I could have ever imagined.”

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MCLIMS performs at World Peace Celebration

In honor of Veterans Day, some 450 students, teachers, and parents from Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School (MCLIMS) performed at the “Celebrating Diversity & World Peace” at Minute Maid Park on Nov. 7, 2015. They were invited to sing at the event, which also included a host of other performers.

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Longtime HISD educator named Bilingual Education Secondary Teacher of the Year

A recently retired teacher from The Rice School has been selected as the 2015 Texas Association for Bilingual Education Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Tanya Thompson, who retired in May after more than three decades with HISD, was selected because of her teaching philosophy, which uses personalized learning to cater to the learning style of each student. Continue reading

Arabic Immersion Magnet School holds grand opening celebration


HISD marked the formal debut of its Arabic Immersion Magnet School (AIMS) with a grand opening celebration on Wednesday.

“When Dr. Grier mentioned the possibility of opening this campus a little less than two years ago at the State of the Schools luncheon, I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Principal Kate Adams. “At the time, I was dean of instruction at an international studies early college high school in HISD, but I had also just recently become a mom. The idea of opening an Arabic immersion school seemed exciting, because it’s exactly the kind of school I wanted for my own daughter, one that’s preparing her to be a competent member of the global economy.”

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HISD kicks off 2015-2016 school year with emphasis on producing global graduates

The Houston Independent School District will begin the 2015-2016 academic year on Monday with the opening of the nation’s first public Arabic language immersion school, significantly expanded dual language opportunities and a continued shift to digital learning.

The Arabic Immersion Magnet School (AIMS) is among 283 HISD campuses that will throw open their doors on Monday and welcome back nearly 215,000 students from across the district. Bus drivers will begin transporting nearly 34,000 students to and from school, and cafeteria workers will begin cooking the 288,000 meals that they serve each day. Continue reading

Twain ES named national winner of DreamBox Math Challenge

TwainES_DreamBoxAttending a dual-language school has really paid off for one group of third-graders at Twain Elementary School.

Francisco Martinez’s Spanish immersion class at Twain has been named a national winner in the DreamBox Learning Math Challenge, a competition that requires students in grades K–8 to solve various math problems in Spanish. Continue reading

HISD sweeps ESL Teacher of the Year category at HAABE awards

The Houston Area Association of Bilingual Education (HAABE) announced its selections for the 2015 Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) Teachers of the Year on May 9 at its annual banquet, and the Houston Independent School District swept one entire category by winning ESL Teacher of the Year distinctions at both the elementary and secondary levels.

Osias Mendoza

Osias Mendoza

Osias Mendoza, who teaches at Love Elementary School, was honored as the HAABE Elementary ESL Teacher of the Year. He knows the struggle of learning in a second language and navigating a new culture first-hand, because he came to Houston from the Philippines as a young man.

Tanya Thompson

Tanya Thompson

Tanya Thompson, who teaches at The Rice School, was honored at the HAABE Secondary ESL Teacher of the Year. She has taught for 31 years, most of which have been in the area of ESL, and she is known for her commitment to creating a classroom in which all students are valued and challenged.

“These awards demonstrate the high quality of HISD’s teachers and the success of its bilingual/ESL programming,” said Assistant Superintendent of Multilingual Programs Gracie Guerrero. “I am very proud of both of them.”