Category Archives: Board of Education

HISD Board approves $41 million budget amendment

$2.3 million in grants for mental health, afterschool supports also approved

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education voted 8-0 with one abstention to approve a $41 million budget amendment to fund additional supports for special education, pay for personal protective equipment (PPE), enhanced cleaning services and supplies, and computer devices and hotspots.

The extra funding for special education amounts to $17 million and has been under consideration since August of 2020. The funding will pay primarily for assigning speech-language pathologists to campuses where students in need have been identified and allow for expansion of the number of existing Intensive Intervention Teams. The funding will also pay for the addition of mental health specialists to address students’ emotional and behavioral challenges. The district will also use the additional funding to increase the number of occupational and physical therapists and assistive technology specialists.

The board also adopted by a vote of 9-0 the district’s 2020 tax rate of $1.1331 per $100 of taxable property value to allow the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector to begin the preparation of 2020 tax bills.

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HISD Board of Education to host virtual community meetings on district goals for student outcomes

Virtual Community Meeting 2 (ENGLISH ONLY)
Thursday, Oct. 15, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Zoom Meeting Link: https://bit.ly/2SkKKiL
Passcode: hYT3qT

The HISD Board of Education will host two community meetings ahead of a vote to set new district goals for student outcomes. All meetings are virtual and open to the public.

Trustees are scheduled to vote on the goals during a special meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22.

“Our mission as the Board of Education is to educate the whole child so that every student in HISD graduates with the tools to reach their full potential,” HISD Board President Sue Deigaard said. “As we discuss and consider new goals for student outcomes in our district, we want to better understand the views of our communities, which is why public participation in these community meetings is important to us.”

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HISD recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month 

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday issued a proclamation designating Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in the district.  

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with the anniversary of the 1821 Independence Day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The month also encompasses the independence days for Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept. 18).  

Throughout the month, a variety of virtual events showcasing performances, art, and many other displays of the rich Hispanic culture can be observed across the city of Houston.  

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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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HISD Board approves $54.6 million budget amendment to help students Reconnect Safely, Return Strong

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a $54.6 million amendment to the 2020-2021 budget, which includes a $31 million purchase of devices and wireless hotspots to help close the digital divide and ensure students are equipped to Reconnect Safely and Return Strong when classes resume virtually on Sept. 8.

The district has provided 76,362 devices for students in need since the pandemic and plans to distribute 22,750 additional devices by next month. HISD has provided 6,628 hotspots for students in need and plans to distribute an additional 19,151 of the wireless devices by next month as well.

The added appropriations in the budget amendment will also fund additional special education positions, personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing signage, plexiglass dividers, and instructional supports.

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HISD trustees voice support for ‘Reconnect Safely, Return Strong’ reopening plan

During a special meeting, Houston Independent School District trustees publicly supported the district’s Reconnect Safely, Return Strong reopening plan to begin the 2020-2021 school year.

To safeguard the health and well-being of students, staff and families as the City of Houston confronts an increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases, HISD will begin the school year on September 8 instead of August 24.

Classes will continue virtually for six weeks. In-person classes will begin October 19, subject to change based on COVID-19 conditions across the City of Houston and guidance from local, state, and federal health officials.

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HISD Board approves resolution to seek District of Innovation designation

Editor’s Note: The HISD Board of Education is hosting a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 to gather feedback on beginning the process of becoming a District of Innovation, as designated by the TEA. More information can be found here.

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education at its virtual meeting on Thursday voted 7-2 in favor of a resolution to initiate the process of designating HISD as a District of Innovation.

By adopting District of Innovation status, HISD could exercise greater local control over decisions impacting positive educational outcomes for students. The resolution approved by the Board of Education outlines specific exemptions from state law that the district would seek, including:

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