Transportation Services is conducting a comprehensive review of bus ridership at schools with high transportation eligibility to identify opportunities for route consolidation and increased efficiency.
The review is focused on 15 schools with low ridership, despite having a high volume of students who are eligible for transportation and have been assigned routes.
Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV explained that requests for transportation are often at their highest at the start of the school year. Once a request is made and the student is found to be eligible, the department is required to assign that student to a route and stop — even if they end up choosing not to ride the bus.
Two schools built under the 2012 Bond Program have been recognized as outstanding projects by Learning by Design magazine.
Madison and Westbury high schools were included in the Fall 2019 edition of the magazine, which is a premier source for education design innovation and excellence. The magazine assembled a panel of six architects and education administrators to review projects from across the nation.
“It’s an honor to have Madison and Westbury high schools selected as outstanding projects by Learning by Design,” General Manager of Facilities Design Dan Bankhead said. “The two projects have provided students with modern learning spaces to support their academic efforts and we’re pleased that the work that went into these schools has been recognized by such a distinguished panel and notable publication.”
As Bastian Elementary School students filed out onto the green campus lawn, two adventurous boys quickly claimed their garden bed and took turns prodding the large brown mushrooms growing along the side.
Nestled alongside each other, the first- and second-graders paid careful attention as they were taught about garden safety and tools that can be used in a garden, like trowels, shovels, wheelbarrows, watering cans, water hoses, and even gloves.
The duo was participating in a new student garden pilot program launched in October and designed to help students understand the importance of food literacy and living a healthy lifestyle.
Transportation Services is strengthening its focus on student and driver safety with the implementation of a new practice to address student conduct concerns on the bus.
The practice, which is being implemented this fall, addresses the procedures that bus drivers and Transportation Services leadership must follow when student conduct issues arise.
The new policy requires drivers to complete a Student Conduct Form and submit it to their terminal manager when a student incident — such as eating and drinking, fighting, or defacing the bus — occurs.
Each morning, food service attendant Pamela Cole makes her way down the special education hallway at Milby High School to serve a nutritious breakfast to her favorite students, each of whom she knows by name.
One day, Nutrition Services Team Lead Mari Thibodeaux assigned someone else to that hallway.
“The teacher called and said her students were waiting for Ms. Pam,” Thibodeaux said. “Can you believe they didn’t want anyone but her? It’s because she exudes excellence in all that she does.”
Students who walked into the De Chaumes Elementary School cafeteria on Wednesday were greeted with decorations featuring musical instruments, disco balls, and vinyl records.
Long cafeteria tables clad in green and yellow tablecloths with black and white music note centerpieces tied to colorful balloons — all in celebration of National School Lunch Week.
“I’ve never been a part of this type of event before,” De Chaumes third-grader Diego Martin Salinas said. “It feels kind of cool.”
Observed this year from Oct. 14 to Oct. 18 and featuring a “What’s on Your Playlist?” theme, National School Lunch Week aims to promote the benefits of serving nutritionally balanced meals to students.
The autumn chill did not stop the Mitchell Elementary School community from gathering Thursday on the site where their new school soon will stand to celebrate the progress being made on their new building.
Students in matching yellow T-shirts kicked off the event with a heartwarming rendition of “There’s a Leader in Me.” Mitchell Principal Elizabeth Castillo-Guajardo then spoke to the crowd in English and Spanish.
“We are so proud of the resiliency everyone has shown throughout this process,” Castillo-Guajardo said. “Our new school will be a symbol of promise and hope that will propel our students into their bright future.”
Nutrition Services is sponsoring a student jingle contest in honor of National School Lunch Week, which is being held Oct. 14-18.
National School Lunch Week was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 as an annual celebration of the National School Lunch Program. This year, the theme — What’s on Your Playlist? — highlights the variety of flavors and dishes offered in today’s school lunch.
“National School Lunch Week provides us with a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of a healthy school lunch, while also reinforcing the importance of eating good food and expanding students’ palates,” HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins said.
Red, white, silver, and blue balloons were artfully arranged into columns and arches alongside a bright red carpet that guided guests to the dining commons, where rows of black chairs were lined up.
The celebratory décor created a festive atmosphere for the official grand opening of the new Madison High School, built as part of the district’s 2012 Bond Program and opened to students in January 2019.
“It’s the perfect place to create a better version of ourselves,” Madison Senior Class President and Student Council Vice President Mariana Martinez said of the new school. “We’re really thankful.”