Category Archives: Business Operations

HISD transitioning to twice-weekly curbside meal pickup, launching weekly community food distributions

As the district prepares to resume in-person learning this month, Nutrition Services is transitioning from daily to twice-weekly curbside pickup for student meals and launching two Neighborhood Supersites as part of a weekly community food distribution initiative.

The move to twice-weekly campus-based curbside pickup begins Monday, Oct. 12 thanks to a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It allows families to pick up several days’ worth of meals at each pickup — three on Mondays and four on Thursdays.

Neighborhood Supersites are designed to provide standing times and locations where the community can pick up 32 pounds of groceries — including produce, dairy, and meat — for their families, as well as a week’s worth of student meals.

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HISD crossing guards help students maintain physical distancing at Digital Learning Centers

As an HISD crossing guard, Mary Campbell has always placed a strong focus on student safety as she carefully ushered students across busy streets. This fall, her mission is no different – but her job is.

Campbell is one of 72 school crossing guards tasked with helping students maintain physical distancing at HISD’s 36 Digital Learning Centers, which provide students without technology a place to complete virtual lessons during HISD’s online-only first six weeks of school.

With the help of physical distancing floor markers, Campbell keeps each student six feet apart and leads them down the hall to breakfast.

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HISD chef selected to lead Texas AgriLife food videos

Nutrition Services Chef Trainer Brittany Jones is used to teaching others how to prepare tasty, nutritious meals. Now she’ll get to share her expertise with others around the state thanks to a virtual learning seminar.

Jones recently visited Texas A&M University where she filmed culinary demonstrations to be included in virtual lessons for the Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go program offered by Texas AgriLife Extension’s Junior Master Gardener program.

Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go curriculum is used in select HISD elementary science classes to teach students about gardening, nutrition, and physical activity to promote long-term health. Nutrition Services hopes to share the new virtual lessons, which complement the in-person curriculum, all HISD elementary teachers via science curriculum coordinators.

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Transportation Services ready to transport select students when school year begins

Though most HISD students are starting school virtually, Transportation Services was back on the road on Sept. 8, providing student shuttle service to and from 36 digital learning centers across the district.

Strategically located across the district, digital learning centers provide students without technology access a place to complete their daily virtual lessons during the district’s online-only first six weeks of school.

Students who have been previously identified as needing technology will be assigned to a select center, based on the location of their home school. Once assigned, the home school will provide parents with their student’s bus stop and pick-up and drop-off times.

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As school year starts, curbside student meals program kicks off

Under a cloudy sky, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan greeted Westbury High School students and their parents on the first day of the school year.

But instead of navigating blue and grey painted halls that would normally be crowded with students, she and new Principal Jerri Nixon were busy handing out pre-packed meals to Westbury families in the parking lot.

As students across the district return to school virtually, HISD Nutrition Services is offering daily curbside pickup for breakfast and lunch meals at 86 strategically located schools, including Westbury.

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‘A sense of excellence’ as progress continues at new Bellaire HS

Natural light and a central “Main Street” hallway are the hallmarks of the new Bellaire High School, which is now 57 percent complete.

Part of the 2012 Bond Program, the project is on track to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 school year. The completion of Bellaire will close out the massive bond program, which included the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools, across the district.

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Realignment projects near completion as 2012 Bond wraps up

It has been nearly 50 years since Booker T. Washington High School had a swim team. But as the high school’s new practice pool nears completion, that will soon change.

Washington’s new pool and natatorium are among several 2012 Bond realignment projects — new, board-approved projects funded by surplus bond savings but  not part of the original scope of work. 

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Lamar HS blends old, new as construction nears completion

For Principal Rita Graves, it is impossible for her to pick a favorite part of the construction project at Lamar High School. 

The $122 million project, part of the 2012 Bond Program, brings several improvements to the campus, including a new, state-of-the-art academic wing, renovations to its historic original building, and enhancements to the athletic fields.

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With cafeterias closed, Nutrition Services finds innovative ways to feed students

A group of Windswept Gardens Apartments residents made their way through the complex’s tree-lined central courtyard, which sits just a few hundred yards from the speeding cars and unending traffic of the Southwest Freeway.

Clad in face masks and carefully keeping their distance from each other, the families gathered around a blue tent where HISD’s Nutrition Services staff were handing out student summer meals in the afternoon sun.

The district has long offered a free summer meal program for students throughout the greater Houston community. In previous years, children would come to local schools to eat. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed the game, prompting Nutrition Services to look for innovative and safe ways to feed kids without a cafeteria.

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As construction nears completion, Austin HS looks to the future

For more than 80 years, the red-bricked Austin High School has been a mainstay in the Eastwood community. With construction nearing completion, the new school now strikes a balance of the past and present.

The $80.9 million project features modern classrooms, flexible learning spaces, and sound and lighting upgrades to the existing auditorium. The Art Deco-influenced façade also has been preserved and refurbished as a part of the project.

“This school has been here for more than 80 years. It was important to keep a part of this building that has been present in this community for so long,” Austin Principal Steve Guerrero said. “The entire building is just phenomenal. It feels very grand with lots of natural light. Every single part of the building is exciting.”

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