Roam the hallways at Moreno Elementary School in north Houston, and you might see some lions, tigers, or even a few bears.
That’s because the elementary school’s theme for summer school is Summer Safari, giving students the chance to see wild animals without ever leaving their classrooms.
Enrollment for summer school at Moreno has increased this year, as it has at schools across Houston Independent School District. Many students are attending to help close the learning gaps from the previous year’s obstacles. And for teachers, it is a chance to see students in their classrooms—some for the first time in-person.
Parked under the summer sun in front of R. Martinez Elementary School, the bus could be mistaken for the typical mode of transportation seen across the district.
But after a second look, you will spot the bright colors, logos, and artwork that give it away: this isn’t your typical bus. Step inside, and the differences are even more obvious; gone are the seats and center aisle, replaced by Astroturf and hundreds of books for the taking.
This is the Literacy Bus, a partnership between HISD, the Astros Foundation, the Houston Public Library Foundation, and Occidental Petroleum. It’s a mobile interactive unit that encourages reading with the entire family, going to some of the most in-need neighborhoods throughout Houston.
HISD families can now apply for a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), a one-time benefit for families who temporarily lost access to student meals during the 2020–2021 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As students and staff arrive each morning at Baker Montessori School, they’re cheerfully greeted with a flock of clucking chickens.
The laying hens bob their heads up and down, trilling softly as they make their way around the large, enclosed chicken run safely housed near the gym. Some begin squawking, having laid their daily egg in the nesting area.
They waddle toward the entry and peck at the ground as a small group of students from Baker — formerly known as Wilson Montessori School — comes in to visit.
On sunny weekends, parents and students gather in the Baker Montessori School garden where they pull on gloves and grab rakes and trowels to remove weeds and leaves from the musky soil.
The students at Baker — formerly called Wilson Montessori School — are learning to grow fragrant flowering herbs and study their uses. Once the flowers bloom, students will cut some of the plants and infuse them in oil or dry them to make spices or teas.
Kendal Bailey has been selected as the new principal for Piney Point Elementary School. Bailey is currently the Assistant Principal at Piney Point Elementary School. During her 25 years in education, Bailey has taught middle school Language Arts and Choir. She has also served as an elementary school Library Media Specialist. Before joining Piney Point Elementary School, Bailey was Assistant Principal at Long Academy. She was named West Area Elementary Assistant Principal of the Year for the 2019-2020 school year.
Michele Rawson has been selected as is the new principal at Mark Twain Elementary. Rawson began her career in Fort Bend ISD, where she taught at the elementary level for a total of ten years. Fifteen years ago, Rawson joined HISD at Mark Twain Elementary. She taught fourth grade for six years and was also the GT coordinator. She has been the Assistant Principal at Mark Twain for the past 8 years.
Anna Montalvo has been selected as is the new principal of Looscan Elementary School. Montalvo has been an educator for 9 years and has served HISD as a teacher, interventionist, and teacher specialist. She has been the Assistant Principal at Looscan since 2018. She was recently named, “Assistant Principal of the Year” for the North Area. She helped Looscan Elementary out of Improvement Requirement (IR) status to having the highest TEA Rating of all Achieve 180 schools in 2019.
LaKeisha Mays-Ogbor has been selected as the new principal at Hobby Elementary School. Mays-Ogbor most recently served as assistant principal at Madison High School. She began her career in 2005 as a 4th/5th grade Science teacher at Peck Elementary. She also served as a Teacher Development Specialist before moving to an assistant principal at Garden Villas.