To guide district decision-making, particularly
moving forward on virtual learning, the HISD Research and Accountability
Department is launching a districtwide Fall 2020 Virtual/Remote
Learning Parent Survey.
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.
Nurse Janda Jelks’ first year as a school nurse has been
unusual and challenging, but she has leveraged her creativity and enthusiasm to
excel in her new role.
Jelks, who worked in a hospital before coming to Mark White
Elementary School, said her goal is to foster relationships between parents,
teachers, and students and ensure the return to face-to-face instruction is as
smooth as possible.
“Our priority is making sure kids are getting as much
instruction time as they can, either virtually or in person,” Jelks said. “I
would hate for something that I’m doing, even though it’s state-mandated, to
cut into that. So instead of the students coming to me, I come to them.”
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.”
The Houston Independent School District partnered with several
churches throughout the city for the Sanctuaries of Learning program, which
offered hundreds of students a safe place to participate in virtual learning.
Now, as the district returns to face-to-face instruction this week, the program is ending, but not before having served an important purpose for HISD students and staff alike.
The program served students who had a device but were not
old enough to stay home alone or lacked internet access. Participating students
spent their school days in the church buildings, supervised by HISD staff and
church volunteers and receiving breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
Starting with the
second six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year, Houston Independent School
District families will be required to select either in-person or virtual instruction
for students. The first day of the second six weeks is October 19.
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.