Category Archives: Career/technical education (CTE)

Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarships now open

Apply by March 1 for a full career and technical education scholarship 

Students considering a career in construction, transportation, nursing, or industrial technology may qualify for a full scholarship in one of these fields or many more. Local and national industry data show a need for highly skilled employees in high-growth jobs with great earning potential. 

Since 2012, the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarship has been awarding worthy HISD graduates full scholarships covering their two-year degree or certification program in these high-demand careers. This scholarship includes not just tuition but books, fees, etc. 

This year, 100 full scholarships are available from Finger for a career and technical degree or certificate program in the fields of automotive, construction, digital information and technology, industrial technology, health science, law, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation distribution. Included in these fields are HVAC, pipefitting, cybersecurity, welding, maritime transportation, and more (see application for a complete list). 

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Office of School Choice to host virtual lunch and learn series for students

HISD students are invited to attend a series of virtual lunch and learn programs presented by the HISD Office of School Choice in partnership with The Ion of Houston and Pumps and Pipes.

The first event, Careers in Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, and will feature speakers from Xecta Digital Labs, Plug & Play Tech Center, and The Ion.

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Jones Futures Academy, Next Level Urgent Care to host virtual student wellness fair

HISD middle and high school students are invited to attend a virtual Wellness Fair presented Next Level Urgent Care, Jones Futures Academy and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas.

The wellness fair will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5. During the fair, students will have access to workforce readiness opportunities, as well as an opportunity to meet and interact with health care professionals without having to leave their campus.

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Washington HS engineering students learn new skill with face shield project

For Booker T. Washington High School sophomore Rebecca Stansell, the first day of face-to-face instruction for the 2020-21 school year had some added emotion – and even a few nerves.

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan was scheduled to visit the historic Independence Heights neighborhood campus on the first day of face-to-face instruction, where she would be greeted by Stansell and fellow engineering students with a customized face shield designed to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

“It was thrilling, but a little nerve-racking because I had never met the superintendent. There was a lot of moving around, and a lot of people.” Stansell said. “We assembled her face shield last week, and I think she was happy – and even a little surprised – to see that we customized it by putting her name on the shield.”

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HISD Board approves $41 million budget amendment

$2.3 million in grants for mental health, afterschool supports also approved

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education voted 8-0 with one abstention to approve a $41 million budget amendment to fund additional supports for special education, pay for personal protective equipment (PPE), enhanced cleaning services and supplies, and computer devices and hotspots.

The extra funding for special education amounts to $17 million and has been under consideration since August of 2020. The funding will pay primarily for assigning speech-language pathologists to campuses where students in need have been identified and allow for expansion of the number of existing Intensive Intervention Teams. The funding will also pay for the addition of mental health specialists to address students’ emotional and behavioral challenges. The district will also use the additional funding to increase the number of occupational and physical therapists and assistive technology specialists.

The board also adopted by a vote of 9-0 the district’s 2020 tax rate of $1.1331 per $100 of taxable property value to allow the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector to begin the preparation of 2020 tax bills.

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October is College & Career Readiness Month

The Office of Strategy & Innovation is excited to announce HISD’s third annual College & Career Readiness Month (CCR Month) in October.

CCR Month is a fun and creative way to engage students and introduce them to a variety of college and career options. This year’s theme is “Take Control: Explore. Design. Launch Your Future!” Each week of the month will highlight a specific CCR theme, including:

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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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