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