Category Archives: Board of Education

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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Trustees approve comprehensive facilities assessment to address aging infrastructure across the district 

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a comprehensive, districtwide facilities assessment designed to aid administrators as they prepare to address aging infrastructure across the district.

Facing more than $4.7 billion in deferred maintenance needs, the assessment data will be used to drive the district’s response to maintenance issues, safety concerns, student population growth, and building capacity needs, as well vertical curriculum alignment and educational equity.

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New trustees join HISD Board of Education, forming district’s first all-female governing body

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday welcomed four new trustees who joined five current members during the first board meeting of 2020.  

The new board members are Patricia K. Allen (District IV), Daniela “Dani” Hernandez (District III), Kathy Blueford-Daniels (District II) and Judith Cruz (District VIII). 

As its first order of business, the new board – the first all-female board in district history – elected officers for 2020: Susan Deigaard (District V) was elected President, Wanda Adams (District IX) was elected First Vice President, Judith Cruz (District VIII) was selected as Second Vice President, Patricia K. Allen (District IV) was elected secretary, and Daniela “Dani” Hernandez (District III) was selected as Assistant Secretary. 

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January is School Board Recognition Month 

January is School Board Recognition Month, and the Houston Independent School District is joining other districts across the state to honor local leaders for their dedication and willingness to serve as advocates for public schools. 

These dedicated public servants become school board trustees to serve as advocates for school children because they are committed to improving public education and their communities. 

School board members devote many hours to making sure students receive a high-quality education and are provided with schools that are safe and have the resources and instructional programs to educate them to their fullest potential.  

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