Category Archives: Career/technical education (CTE)

Sam Houston MSTC teacher named finalist for national award in Career and Technical Education

Sam Houston MSTC Plumbing and Pipes Trades teacher Raul Ortega has been named one of 50 finalists from across the nation for the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.

The award, which was started in 2017 by national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt, recognizes outstanding instruction in skilled trades in U.S. public high schools.

Ortega, a licensed plumber, is entering his ninth year at Sam Houston MSTC. Ortega’s hands-on classroom includes bathroom and kitchen simulators where students learn to install fixtures and piping systems using curriculum from the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER). Students enrolled in the program also perform basic plumbing repairs for homeowners in the Sam Houston MSTC community and learn directly from local employers who visit Ortega’s classroom regularly to hire graduating seniors. 

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HISD seniors announce future plans during Virtual Career and Military Signing Day

HISD Career Readiness students from across the district recorded their plans for after high school during the district’s Virtual Career and Military Signing Day.

Students will be entering the workforce in various career fields, including healthcare, agriculture, food services, public safety, as well as joining the Military.

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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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HISD to host virtual career fair for seniors

HISD’s Career Readiness department will be hosting a virtual townhall next week for high school seniors interested in entering the workforce after graduation.

“Seniors to Success 2.0” will be held from 2 – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20 and will highlight career training programs and other career opportunities for HISD seniors. Nearly 20 local employers, including Goodwill, H-E-B and Allegiance Staffing, will be on hand to discuss interview strategies, tips for success and current job openings with pay ranging from $10-16 an hour.

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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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HISD to celebrate 12 Days of Code with a new coding experience every day

HISD is inviting all students to celebrate the 12 Days of Code in December with interactive calendars that allow them to engage in a new coding experience every day.  

Coding helps students solve problems, use logic, and think creatively, and it gives them a foundation for success in 21st century careers. The activities in these three calendars for elementary, middle, and high school include lessons such as designing web pages with HTML, creating a virtual pet, developing interactive art, and even teaching a robot to make crepes. 

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Students weigh career options at HISD’s Ready to Work Career Fair

Students interested in learning about career training programs and other career opportunities packed the HISD Educational Learning Center on Tuesday for the district’s second annual Ready to Work Career Fair hosted by HISD’s College and Career Readiness Department.  

The Ready to Work Career Fair gave more than 700 HISD seniors from 30 high schools the opportunity to explore different career options through hands-on experiences and information sessions.  

“What is so cool about today’s event is that it gives our students a chance to learn about career training programs,” Assistant Superintendent for College Readiness David Johnston said. “This is a special opportunity for those students who want to go and obtain a certificate or enter a workforce program.” 

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Sterling HS students take flight in aviation program

Moving carefully around his assigned aircraft, high school senior Christian Colon of Sterling Aviation High School diligently checked the fuel tank valve, cabin and wing flaps as part of the required pre-flight checklist prior to takeoff. 

After two reschedules, a day filled with clear and sunny skies finally arrived for Colon to complete his first solo flight at the Pearland Regional Airport as the first among six students moving a step closer to receiving a pilot license. 

Colon along with his peers are a part of Sterling’s long-standing aviation program, which allows students to graduate with an associate’s degree from Houston Community College, as well as a Level 1 pilot’s certification.  

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College and Career Readiness Month activities continue all month

The Office of Strategy & Innovation has planned a variety of October events for the second annual College & Career Readiness (CCR) Month with the theme “Take Control: Explore. Design. Launch Your Future!”   

CCR Month is a fun and creative way to engage students and introduce students to a variety of college and career options. 

HISD’sCollege Readiness Department is visiting high schools all month and continuing through Nov. 15 to assist seniors and their parents fill out their applications for financial aid. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward getting many different types of financial aid for school, and finishing the FAFSA early is the best way to maximize college award packages.

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HISD announces CTE partnership with HCC, construction firm to provide students free certifications

As a young boy, Jorge Rubio, a sophomore at HISD’s Austin High School, idolized his father and dreamed of one day following in his footsteps. Now, thanks to a new CTE partnership, Jorge has a chance to live out his dream. 

Jorge, along with 24 other students from Austin and Milby High Schools, participated in a commitment ceremony on Wednesday at HCC’s Southeast Campus for the district’s new dual credit, two-year construction certification program in partnership with MAREK, a specialty construction company. 

“This opportunity means a lot to me and my parents,” Jorge said. “My dad is a construction worker and he is my inspiration.” 

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