Category Archives: Board of Education

HISD Board of Education elects president, new officers for 2021-2022

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education elected officers for the 2021-2022 school year during a special meeting on January 21.

District IV Trustee Patricia Allen, a former principal and longtime educator who worked for HISD for 35 years, was elected president.

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HISD board approves administration’s request to restore COVID-related paid leave for staff

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a resolution on Thursday to extend paid leave to employees who are required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to a confirmed positive individual.

Employees will be able to apply for up to 80 total hours (or 10 days) of emergency paid sick leave if required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to the virus. The application can be found on the HISD Human Resources page under “Important COVID-19 Info.” In addition, principals will have the discretion to afford teachers and other campus-based employees the ability to work or teach virtually, if the employee needs to quarantine and if working virtually is a benefit to the campus and fulfills campus needs.

The approved resolution is an extension of certain leave benefits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which expired December 31, 2020. If Congress modifies or extends the federal act, the resolution also gives the superintendent the authority to determine how/if employees may use the 80 hours of leave originally provided by the FFCRA.

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January is School Board Recognition Month 

January is School Board Recognition Month, and the Houston Independent School District is proud to honor its Board of Education trustees for their dedication and willingness to serve as advocates for public schools.

The year 2020 brought historic, overwhelming challenges. However, HISD’s nine trustees navigated the unprecedented year with unwavering determination, charting a course to ensure that academic progress could continue for all students.

Our school board members are volunteers who shoulder critical responsibilities and often make difficult choices for our district, all without pay.

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HISD board approves $250,000 grant for family mental health supports related to pandemic

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education accepted a $250,000 grant from School-Based Healthcare Solutions Network to address students’ and parents’ mental health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant, approved by an 8-0 vote with one abstention, will be used at 10 participating schools to assist families whether their students are enrolled in virtual or face-to-face instruction. Only 25 recipients across the nation are receiving the grant. The HISD schools are: Highland Heights and Wesley elementary schools; Attucks, Cullen, Henry, and Thomas middle schools; and Bellaire, Madison, North Forest, and Waltrip high schools.

Joining the board for her first regular meeting was newly appointed Trustee Myrna Guidry (District IX). The Houston attorney and law professor will fulfill the unexpired term of Wanda Adams who resigned to serve as a Harris County Justice of the Peace. The board term expires December 31, 2021.

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HISD Board of Education appoints Houston attorney Myrna Guidry to District IX position

During a special meeting Tuesday, the Houston Independent School District Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint attorney Myrna Guidry as the new trustee for District IX to fulfill the unexpired term of Wanda Adams.

Guidry was sworn in on Thursday at noon before the regular board meeting.

“I am grateful and happy to have this opportunity to serve the district by working to build up our students’ potential and do whatever I can to contribute to their ultimate success,” Guidry said.

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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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