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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
For a lot of families, the holiday table doesn’t feel complete without a turkey as its centerpiece.
Nutrition Services will be able to provide that holiday hallmark — and a little extra holiday cheer — for up to 5,000 HISD families thanks to a partnership with and generous donation from No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit organization that aims to end child hunger.
Up to 5,000 turkeys will be distributed to Houston families just ahead of HISD’s winter break during Neighborhood Supersites scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 16. The turkeys are funded by an $80,000 donation from No Kid Hungry.
As the district prepares to close its doors for Thanksgiving, Nutrition Services is ramping up efforts to ensure all students have access to healthy food during the week-long break, which kicks off Monday, Nov. 23.
All campus curbside pickup locations will offer seven
days’ worth of student meals on Thursday, Nov. 19 — the final campus curbside
pickup date prior to Thanksgiving break. Typically, campus curbside pickups
offer three to four days’ worth, but not a week’s worth.
Additionally, a third Neighborhood Supersites will be held
at Sugar Grove Academy on Saturday, Nov. 21 — the final community distribution
before Thanksgiving. The new location is in addition to two existing
distribution sites on Saturdays and one on Wednesdays.