Category Archives: District V – Sue Deigaard

HISD board approves administration’s request to restore COVID-related paid leave for staff

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a resolution on Thursday to extend paid leave to employees who are required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to a confirmed positive individual.

Employees will be able to apply for up to 80 total hours (or 10 days) of emergency paid sick leave if required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to the virus. The application can be found on the HISD Human Resources page under “Important COVID-19 Info.” In addition, principals will have the discretion to afford teachers and other campus-based employees the ability to work or teach virtually, if the employee needs to quarantine and if working virtually is a benefit to the campus and fulfills campus needs.

The approved resolution is an extension of certain leave benefits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which expired December 31, 2020. If Congress modifies or extends the federal act, the resolution also gives the superintendent the authority to determine how/if employees may use the 80 hours of leave originally provided by the FFCRA.

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January is School Board Recognition Month 

January is School Board Recognition Month, and the Houston Independent School District is proud to honor its Board of Education trustees for their dedication and willingness to serve as advocates for public schools.

The year 2020 brought historic, overwhelming challenges. However, HISD’s nine trustees navigated the unprecedented year with unwavering determination, charting a course to ensure that academic progress could continue for all students.

Our school board members are volunteers who shoulder critical responsibilities and often make difficult choices for our district, all without pay.

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Bellaire Cardinals inch closer to new athletic fields, school

Bellaire High School took a significant step toward the next phase of construction last month when the city approved a specific use permit allowing for the build of the high school’s new baseball and softball fields at 6300 Avenue B.

Abatement and demolition of the former Gordon Elementary School will begin soon to make way for the new fields.

The athletic fields are part of the 2012 Bond Program, which called for a rebuild of Bellaire’s existing school, which has been in use since 1955. Design plans for the $141.5 million, multi-phased project included the relocation of the baseball and softball fields to a site about two miles away to maximize space on the existing 18-acre campus.

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HISD board approves $250,000 grant for family mental health supports related to pandemic

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education accepted a $250,000 grant from School-Based Healthcare Solutions Network to address students’ and parents’ mental health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant, approved by an 8-0 vote with one abstention, will be used at 10 participating schools to assist families whether their students are enrolled in virtual or face-to-face instruction. Only 25 recipients across the nation are receiving the grant. The HISD schools are: Highland Heights and Wesley elementary schools; Attucks, Cullen, Henry, and Thomas middle schools; and Bellaire, Madison, North Forest, and Waltrip high schools.

Joining the board for her first regular meeting was newly appointed Trustee Myrna Guidry (District IX). The Houston attorney and law professor will fulfill the unexpired term of Wanda Adams who resigned to serve as a Harris County Justice of the Peace. The board term expires December 31, 2021.

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HISD Board of Education to host virtual community meetings on district goals for student outcomes

Virtual Community Meeting 2 (ENGLISH ONLY)
Thursday, Oct. 15, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Zoom Meeting Link: https://bit.ly/2SkKKiL
Passcode: hYT3qT

The HISD Board of Education will host two community meetings ahead of a vote to set new district goals for student outcomes. All meetings are virtual and open to the public.

Trustees are scheduled to vote on the goals during a special meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22.

“Our mission as the Board of Education is to educate the whole child so that every student in HISD graduates with the tools to reach their full potential,” HISD Board President Sue Deigaard said. “As we discuss and consider new goals for student outcomes in our district, we want to better understand the views of our communities, which is why public participation in these community meetings is important to us.”

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‘A sense of excellence’ as progress continues at new Bellaire HS

Natural light and a central “Main Street” hallway are the hallmarks of the new Bellaire High School, which is now 57 percent complete.

Part of the 2012 Bond Program, the project is on track to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 school year. The completion of Bellaire will close out the massive bond program, which included the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools, across the district.

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Bellaire HS gathers to celebrate start of construction on new building

The sun shone brightly upon Bellaire High School students, staff, and community members Tuesday as they gathered for the long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony in honor of their new school.

“While the road has been challenging and the process arduous, I believe that we are now ready to build a school that exceeds our initial expectations and that will propel our students into the future,” Principal Michael McDonough said.

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Lamar HS construction nears 70 percent completion

Driving down Westheimer Road near River Oaks, it’s easy to see progress on Lamar High School’s new building, as crews have surpassed the two-thirds mark and are on track to complete construction this summer.

The $122.9 million building was completely enclosed in January. Electrical wiring, ceiling grid, and drywall installation are in progress and HVAC installation is set to begin this week.

“I’m really pleased with the progress being made each day,” Project Manager Marvin Stone said. “It’s going to be a beautiful facility.”

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Kinder HSPVA showcases student artists at grand opening celebration

The atmosphere was festive at Kinder HSPVA, as music from student artists filled the air, welcoming guests to the school’s much-anticipated grand opening ceremony.

Built as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program, the $96 million five-story facility opened in downtown Houston last month, and kicked off the first in a series of events and performances Monday to celebrate the school’s new chapter.

“We’re here, Downtown! We’re home,” student emcee Alana Bright proclaimed to a cheering crowd. Continue reading

HISD Board of Education hosting meetings to gather input on superintendent search

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education is conducting a nationwide search for a permanent superintendent, and trustees are seeking input from the community about the qualities and traits they would like to see in their next district leader.

HISD Board of Education trustees have scheduled several meetings to gather feedback from the community that will be used to develop a superintendent candidate profile. The dates and times for the meetings are listed below.

In March, Dr. Grenita Lathan was named by trustees as HISD’s interim superintendent. Lathan will continue to serve in that capacity during the duration of the search.  Continue reading