Category Archives: Facilities Services

HISD Business Operations launches new brand focused on students

With more than 7,000 employees, Business Operations is the largest division in HISD. But what exactly do we do?

Before students can ever file into their classrooms, bus drivers and crossing guards must get them safely to school. Cafeteria workers must make them a nutritious breakfast. Custodians, police officers, and construction crews must make sure they have new, clean, safe spaces in which to learn.

The breadth of our work touches all facets of the district, and support is at the heart of everything we do. We help lay the foundation for student success — most of the time behind the scenes.

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Transportation Services to host job fairs throughout summer

Transportation Services is continuing its recruiting efforts as the school year comes to an end, with the department hosting four job fairs this summer to hire new bus drivers.  

The district has been working this past year to address a bus driver shortage by adding more drivers to its roster. The job fairs will continue through June and July. 

“We want people who are reliable and hardworking,” Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “My goal is to have one bus driver for every route as we head into next year.”  

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Barbara Jordan Career Center celebrates grand opening with unique ribbon-cutting experience

Barbara Jordan Career Center rolled out the red carpet for guests on Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of its new building.

The event was held in the school’s state-of-the-art welding center where students awed guests by welding through a brightly colored metal strip, which took the place of a traditional ceremonial ribbon.

“Moving to this new facility has energized adults and students alike,” Principal Ross McAlpine told guests. “Each day I witness teachers transforming their classrooms and labs into wonderful learning environments. And every day students approach me to let me know how much they enjoy the opportunities that Barbara Jordan offers them.”

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Facilities Services and Fleet Operations employee’s desire to help leads to 47 years of service

Sherry Jones

As one of the longest-serving employees in Facilities Services and Fleet Operations, Sherry Jones’ career is fueled by a desire to be of service and to help wherever she can.

Jones – an administrative assistant – has been with HISD for 47 years. In that time, she’s worked with 15 managers and under the leadership of 11 superintendents, working hard to ensure her department is always properly supported.

According to Jones, her strong work ethic and desire to be of service was instilled by wise words from her mother that she carried with her throughout her career.

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HISD takes home 18 state awards for communications, community engagement efforts

The Houston Independent School District earned top honors for its work in communications and community engagement during the 2019 Texas School Public Relations Association Annual Conference in Cedar Creek. 

Presented to HISD Communications and HISD Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach teams, the accolades covered nearly all facets of the teams, including writing, videography, graphic design, marketing, branding, and special events. 

HISD Communications took home the prestigious Crystal Award for the 2018 HISD State of the Schools special event “Rebuild + Reimage,” which consisted of a multifaceted communications campaign that employed a variety of media, including graphic design, production, video, livestreaming, social media and three-dimensional table cards with hover animation. In addition, it also won two Crystal Commendations Certificates of Merit. Business Operations Strategic Engagement and Outreach took home 15 Star Awards medals, including five gold, nine silver, and one bronze. 

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After Harvey, Facilities Services continues to keep close watch over HISD

When Hurricane Harvey hit, Facilities Services Security Maintenance Dispatcher Kenneth Johnson left behind his home and relocated to the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, where he could monitor and serve the district.

“It was kind of scary,” Johnson said, recalling images captured on security cameras when the storm hit. “Water was going up the hallways.”

As the flood waters rose, some HISD locations lost their security camera feeds, but Johnson kept calm and helped organize response logistics, which included determining where to send technicians for maintenance.

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Looking back, moving forward: Business Operations after Harvey

For Houston Independent School District Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, dumping an unprecedented 51 inches of water on city.

“I remember being excited about the start of school. We were ready to welcome our students and have a good year,” said Busby, who oversees HISD’s Business Operations division. “And just like that, it came to a screeching halt.”

The damage was considerable. With nearly all schools needing some repair and a few so damaged they would need to be rebuilt, the start of school was postponed by two weeks. Some schools were so damaged that they were delayed further or even relocated to temporary campuses.
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Facilities Services completes cleaning, renovation work for new school year

HISD’s Facilities Services department has spent the summer working on projects designed to repair, renovate, and enhance school learning environments for returning students.

The custodial staff began their work immediately following the last day of school. At all schools, the team conducted a deep cleaning that included cleaning windows, walls and vents, removing graffiti, and disinfecting all areas.

The maintenance team completed preventative maintenance of all major equipment and made both major and minor renovations to several campuses.
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Business Operations employees start school year with in-service trainings

As students get ready for the upcoming school year, Business Operations employees are doing the same, dedicating time for professional development that will better prepare them for the year ahead.

Held across the district throughout August, the in-service sessions provide employees with critical training related to their respective roles as well as the latest state and federal guidelines. They also serve as a welcome back for employees who were off duty during the summer. Continue reading

Construction Services GM has lifelong love for building things

 (Houston Independent School District)Andreas Peeples was in grade school when he first became fascinated with the idea of building things.

At just 8, he often found himself staring at walls, trying to figure out how they stood up by themselves and what they were made of.

“I would go behind the door and poke little holes in the wall to see what was in there,” Peeples said.

Now, the general manager for HISD’s Construction Services is responsible for building them.

With a bachelor’s degree in construction and engineering and a masters in management, Peeples oversees school construction across the district, including the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, which calls for the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools. Continue reading