Category Archives: Facilities Services

HISD hiring 400 custodians as district shifts operations in-house

HISD is looking to fill more than 400 custodial positions before the end of the year as the district transitions from outsourced contract custodian services to fully in-house operations.

More than a quarter of the district’s 280 schools are currently serviced by contracted vendors.

The transition will move the 79 outsourced campuses ­­to in-house service by Dec. 1, 2021, in accordance with Texas Legislative Budget Board recommendations for improving operational efficiency.

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Business Operations hosting job fair June 26

The Houston Independent School District is hosting a job fair this weekend to find candidates to fill several key operational support positions, including bus drivers, custodians, mechanics, HVAC technicians and grounds crews.

Interested individuals should attend the Business Operations Job Fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 West 18th St.

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Budding artists surprised as winners of Blast Off with a Healthy School Breakfast art contest

First-grader Nidarshani Chinthagunta gasped and her eyes widened as a bright turquoise bike adorned with white balloons was wheeled into the T.H. Rogers conference room where she stood sandwiched between her mother and school principal.

Grabbing the 20-inch Titan Tomcat by the seat and handlebars, she carefully eyed the new bike as she whispered a shy, “thank you.”

Nidarshani was one of two grand prize winners in the district’s “Blast Off with a Healthy School Breakfast” art contest held in honor of National School Breakfast Week in March.

More than 60 students submitted original artwork using the breakfast theme. A panel of judges from the district’s Nutrition Services and Fine Arts departments selected the top winners at the elementary and secondary levels.

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Park Place ES receives long-awaited honor for innovative, school-wide recycling program

Recycling isn’t something an afterschool robotics club would typically dedicate its time to, but the RoboTigers at Park Place Elementary are no ordinary club.

The RoboTigers won first place in the All-Earth EcoBot Challenge last year after launching an ambitious, school-wide recycling program and contest that resulted in 23,000 pounds of recycled material.

The impressive accomplishment was initially overshadowed by the pandemic. But nearly a year after being declared winners, Park Place finally had its time to shine last week as the RoboTigers received a plaque honoring their contributions to sustainability.

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HISD hosting job fairs to recruit new bus drivers

Transportation Services is hosting more than a dozen job fairs over the next four months to recruit new bus drivers in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year.

Though no decisions have been made about next year, the department is ramping up recruiting efforts to prepare for the possibility of transporting more students this fall. Bus service was limited during the 2020-2021 school year due to physical distancing restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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For Earth Month, HISD challenges campuses to take steps toward sustainability

Education and awareness play a critical role in creating a sustainable future — but it also requires action.

That’s why this April, HISD’s Energy and Sustainability department is asking campuses to show appreciation for the planet by taking the 2021 Earth Month pledge and participating in eco-friendly activities.

“Our students are global citizens. It’s important for them to learn about our planet and how they can help take care of it,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Earth Month gives us the opportunity to highlight our efforts to reduce our environmental impact while also promoting sustainable behaviors inside and outside the classroom.”

Campuses that take the pledge are encouraged to participate in designated Earth Month activities. They earn points for completed activities, which range from tallying the number of students who walked or biked to school to writing essays on the meaning of sustainability.

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HISD awarded more than $342,000 for energy-saving efforts

The Houston Independent School District’s efforts to save energy and reduce utility costs are paying off in a major way.

The district received more than $342,000 through the CenterPoint Energy SCORE program, which rewards school districts with cash incentives for implementing energy saving projects and strategies.

The incentives were due in large part of the work of two departments — Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations and Construction Services. Together, they helped the district more than triple the amount received during the previous 2017-2018 earning period.

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Crews keep students, staff warm during coldest days of the year

On the rare occasion that Houston temperatures drop to freezing, it’s not just people who may struggle to get going in the morning. HISD schools and buses need extra time to warm up, too.

But for every cozy classroom or bus ride, there is a team that has braved the weather in the dark and early morning hours to make learning environments comfy and safe for students’ arrival.

They are the cold-start crews – the ones who are called in when temperatures drop to 32 degrees and below.

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T.H. Rogers alum and plant operator focuses on encouraging others

When students at T.H. Rogers School are dismissed for the day, Thomas Winston’s shift is just getting started. 

As a plant operator, Winston works nights, but looks forward to the time when he gets to cross paths with the elementary and middle school students as they make their way home.

Sometimes he simply greets them with a warm hello, other times he likes to give advice and prepare them for the outside world.

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HISD’s return to the classroom supported by $200,000 donation from Phillips 66

The Houston Independent School District has been disinfecting schools daily in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, and a $200,000 donation from locally based international energy company Phillips 66 is now supporting those efforts to protect students and staff.

HISD has utilized the donation to outfit schools with state-of-the-art electrostatic cleaning supplies and equipment. The Phillips 66 donation is designed to assist with safe continuation of in-person instruction on district campuses.

“There is no doubt that this generous gift is making our campuses safer,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We deeply appreciate Phillips 66’s desire to help HISD keep our campuses clean and safe.”

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