Category Archives: Counseling & Guidance

ProUnitas donation helps HISD family after devastating loss of home

Three weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, an early morning fire swept through the home of an HISD family, causing them to lose everything.

The early April blaze not only destroyed the Jackson family’s home and the entirety of its contents, but it also left Destiny Jackson, whose five children attend HISD schools, with severe burns over a large percentage of her body after she ran into the burning home to carry her youngest son, Malik, to safety.

“My family and I are still dealing with a lot of emotion from that night,” Marcus Jackson said. “It is very hard for me talk about it, but what I can tell you is that my wife is the bravest person I know.”

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HISD to host Social-Emotional Learning at-home webinar

The HISD Social and Emotional Learning Department will host a webinar for parents next week to guide them as they adjust to distance learning.

“Incorporating Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) At Home” will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15. Parents and students will learn ways to incorporate SEL practices into their daily routines, understand the importance of mindfulness, and learn exercises and techniques that can be done by adults and students of all ages.

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HISD to host SEL Parent Webinar

The HISD Social and Emotional Learning Department will host a webinar for parents this week to guide them as they adjust to distance learning.

The webinar, titled “Coping Strategies for Parents” will be held on Wednesday, April 8 at 2 p.m. This is part of a weekly webinar series that provides social-emotional learning tools to HISD parents and students.

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HISD to hold Parent Leadership Conference on Oct. 26

The Houston Independent School District’s Office of Special Populations will hold its annual Parent Leadership Conference for parents to learn supports and strategies that will help students to be successful – academically, socially, and emotionally.  

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 26 at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W 18th St., 77092). The conference is designed for parents and guardians of HISD students.  

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HISD’s Ascending to Men Project will host roundtable discussion with students and community leaders

The Houston Independent School District’s Ascending to Men (ATM) Project will host a roundtable discussion next week with students and community leaders to foster dialogue centered around issues impacting today’s youth.

The discussion will take place from 6 – 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Jack Yates High School. Dinner will be provided beginning at 5:30 p.m. Participants will discuss the qualities of successful students, while sharing examples of how they can reach their personal and academic goals.

Participants will also share their own perspectives on the importance of developing quality mentorships and the impact they can have on a student’s success.

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Thank your school counselor during the week of Feb. 4-8  

If a school counselor has ever helped you to calm an anxious student, console a grieving child, or help a family in distress, then take a moment during the first week of February to thank him or her.

National School Counseling Week runs from Feb. 4–8, and this year’s theme is “School Counselors: Providing Lessons for Life.”Sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, the event highlights the work school counselors do to inspire students, help them achieve school success, and prepare for college and careers.

School counselors play a vital role in the lives of students and their families, offering guidance through difficult situations and pointing them toward additional resources.   Continue reading

Parent University helps Wisdom HS mom lead the way for new PTO 

Armed with a fresh notebook and pens for jotting notes, Wisdom High School parent Erica Alvarado bounced from table to table at Thursday night’s second Parent University session, gathering as much information and resources as she could.

Alvarado’s mission was twofold: Learn as much as possible to help support her children’s education, and pass along resources to fellow parents serving on Wisdom’s newly minted PTO, for which she is president.

Parent University was designed to connect parents and children to resources offered by the district to create successful academic outcomes, as well as safe and healthy environments at home and at school.   Continue reading

Preliminary HISD STAAR scores show strong gains across multiple grades, subjects, and student groups

Houston Independent School District students showed strong gains that exceeded those made by the state in third- through eighth-grade reading and math, and on end-of-course (EOC) assessments in English I and Algebra I, according to preliminary 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores.

“This year, our students made significant progress on the state-mandated STAAR tests,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are excited about what these preliminary results mean for our schools labeled by the state as Improvement Required and our district’s accountability ratings. HISD is shifting course and turning schools around. We know that it is critical that we continue our commitment to strengthening the supports in place to further advance our progress in student achievement.”

Overall, the spring administration of the 2018 STAAR grades 3-8 assessment results indicate the district held steady or showed increases in the percentage of students meeting the Approaches Grade Level standard in reading, math, science, and social studies. Continue reading

Jane Long Academy social worker feels called to make a difference 

Berta Alicia Ontiveros

As the school bell rings and chatter begins to fill the hallways at Jane Long Academy, Berta Alicia Ontiveros holds a squawking radio and smiles broadly as she approaches students who are still lingering after the tardy bell.

“Come on sweetie, you don’t want to be late,” she says softly.

Ontiveros is finishing her third year as a social worker for HISD. She works at Jane Long, a school with a diverse student body. Students speak multiple languages and come from varied backgrounds and cultures, which can sometimes make it difficult for them to adjust.  Continue reading

Personal stories exemplify how HISD is rebuilding, reimagining education

‘We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson’

If anyone could find a silver lining amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, it’s Robinson Elementary School Principal Paige Fernandez-Hohos. After being flooded with more than a foot of water, Robinson was relocated and students split between two adjacent campuses. Though not ideal, the situation made Fernandez-Hohos determined to give students a sense of normalcy. Vacant rooms and hallways sprung to life with decorations. Auditorium and gym spaces were transformed into cozy classrooms to accommodate more students. Fernandez-Hohos trekked back and forth between the two campuses. If she started the day welcoming students at one school, she ended it saying goodbye to students at the other. It was important, she said, that every class see her every day. Robinson students returned to their home campus in January, but Fernandez-Hohos said the storm taught her a valuable lesson about the spirit of her school: “When everything else is stripped away, all you’re left with is the bond between teachers and students. We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson.”

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