The Houston Independent School District’s efforts to increase the number of teachers trained in computer science and to immerse all students in computer programming from elementary to high school have earned the White House’s attention.
The White House computer science fact sheet outlines President Barack Obama’s plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science in school. The fact sheet titled A Year of Action Supporting Computer Science Education for All (#CSForAll) shows the progress various states have made in computer science by adopting higher standards to better prepare students for success in careers and college since the initiative first launched in January.
The factsheet highlights HISD for its plans to double the number of computer science certified teachers over the next two academic years; expand advanced computer science courses by offering Advanced Placement computer science programming and computer science courses at 38 HISD high schools by the end of the 2017 school year; and adopt computer science standards that will provide for teaching computational thinking skills to 215,000 HISD students in grades pre-K to 12. Continue reading →
The Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS) on Monday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the school’s new Galleria-area building.
The $32.2 million school, part of HISD’s 2012 bond program, is one of six new campuses that opened across the district for the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
More than 100 supporters of the school, including State Rep. Gene Wu and Houston City Council Member Mike Laster, turned out for the event, which featured student performances, special presentations, a reception, and a tour of the new 119,000-square-foot facility.
Mandarin Immersion Magnet School will host a grand opening on Oct. 24 to celebrate the completion of its new building, which was built as part of the 2012 Bond Program.
The new school — the first of its kind in Texas when it was first launched in 2012 — formally opened its doors to students in August. Located just west of the Galleria on West Alabama Street, the $32.2-million, 120,000-square-foot facility is designed to accommodate up to 950 students.
The school was designed around a sun and moon concept. In accordance with the concept, bright colored learning spaces and academic areas are located in the sun wing, which represents energy. Common areas and community spaces — such as the cafeteria and gym — are in the moon wing, which represents reflection. The building also features a soaring, three-story atrium housing the central library and learning commons areas.
The grand opening will be held at the new school on Monday, Oct. 24 at 10 a.m.
Mandarin is among 40 schools — including 29 high schools — being renovated or rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program. By the end of 2016, construction will be underway on nearly three dozen campuses — more than at any other time in the district’s history. Once all work is complete, HISD will boast of one of the most modern portfolios of urban high schools in the nation.
The HISD College Readiness Dept. works closely with HISD high schools to create and maintain a college-bound culture. The district saw a major increase in college applications and FAFSA completions this past school year, with a 23-percentage-point increase in college applications over last year and a 10-percentage-point increase in financial-aid applications.
Twenty-eight new College Success Advisers (CSAs) and 15 new College Success Managers (CSM) were definitely a factor in the increases. Last summer, thanks to a Houston Endowment grant of $3 million, the college advisers and managers were hired and trained to assist district seniors with applying for college and scholarships.
Once construction is complete, the new Wharton Dual Language Academy will feature new learning spaces and labs, a new gym and library, an interior courtyard preserving heritage trees, and a grand, three-story, glass entryway.
Designs plans for the school’s renovation and new addition were detailed to nearly 100 Wharton parents and community members Thursday night during community meeting at the Wharton campus.
The project is part of the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program, which calls for renovation or replacement of 40 schools across the district. Construction at Wharton is expected to start later this year, with the Montrose-area school expected to re-open its doors in fall of 2018.
The project will expand the school’s capacity up to 900 students and eliminate all the temporary buildings from the site.
Work on the bond project to rebuild Davis High School is slated to begin this summer when construction gets underway on a parking lot off Tackaberry Street.
That new lot is part of an expansion plan for the Near Northside campus, and the first step in a three-phase project that will bring two additions and renovations to create a newly modernized school for 1,500 to 1,700 students.
“We’re basically working from the left of the campus to the right,” Architect Mark French of the IBI Group, told more than 40 people who turned out Thursday for a meeting to get the latest updates on the historic school.
Davis Principal Julissa Alcantar-Martinez opened the meeting by thanking the school community, especially the Project Advisory Team, for working together to move the project forward and to advocate for the best facility possible for students.
“They have stuck with this for three years even when it hasn’t been easy,” she said, noting that the school received $19 million in additional funding in December because of that support.
HISD’s brand new Mark White Elementary School (2515 Old Farm Road, 77063) will be opening its doors for the first time in the fall of 2016, and interested parents have until Friday, March 25, to submit their applications for admission.
The school, which is located just north of Westheimer on the district’s west side, will offer a French-language immersion program to students in prekindergarten and kindergarten during its first year of operation, and expand the program by one additional grade each year until 2021.
Biology teacher Demond Carter was “Caught in the Act” of delivering outstanding instruction to his students during a recent lesson on how to dissect a pig.
An HISD video crew, along with Secondary Curriculum and Development Officer Annie Wolfe, surprised Carter and his students and captured the video below.
The “Caught in the Act”— or CIA — video campaign was started by HISD to recognize highly effective teachers who are delivering instruction that will lead to students become Global Graduates: young men and women who possess the skills necessary to ensure success in college and the ability to compete in today’s global workforce.
Pilgrim Academy students pose with retired Jones Day attorney Jim Teater during a “Pathways to Law” exercise on Feb. 22.
Students at HISD’s Pilgrim Academy have been exploring the intricacies of the Fourth Amendment’s search-and-seizure clause as part of an ongoing partnership with the international Jones Day law firm.
Founded in 2013 by former Jones Day attorney Jim Teater (now retired), the “Pathways to Law” program is designed to help eighth-grade students develop a better understanding of the law and expose them to possible careers in the legal field.
These students from Condit ES were two of the more than 1,000 that attended HISD’s Winter UIL Meet.
HISD has been offering students the chance to compete in University Interscholastic League (UIL) activities for years, but the district recently hit an attendance milestone, when more than 1,000 elementary school students participated in a single UIL competition.
The UIL A+ Academics Winter District Meet, which took place at Davis High School, had students from more than 40 schools competing, making it the most-attended UIL A+ Academics Meet in district history.