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.
Briarmeadow Charter School students raised enough money at this bake sale to buy prosthetic limbs for two Cambodian amputees.
Two Cambodian amputees are now enjoying a better quality of life due to increased mobility, after students at HISD’s Briarmeadow Charter School completed a project that provided them with new prostheses.
Hea Yoeung, who lost her lower left leg in a motorcycle accident, and Dork Savorn, who lost his lower right leg after stepping on a landmine during a soccer game, both have new artificial limbs, thanks to a donation of $600 from the school’s first-graders. The students raised the money during a single bake sale, after learning about the needs of amputees around the world.
A group of 20 students at HISD’s Tinsley Elementary School is getting a head start on middle school, as well as a chance to build their leadership skills, thanks to a new council created by the principal.
Twice each month, 17 fifth-graders and three fourth-graders meet with the principal and faculty sponsors to discuss qualities of the Global Graduate and other subjects of interest, and once a month, they host a dinner for families and distinguished community members. The most recent dinner, held on Jan. 28, featured a special guest — Board of Education First Vice President Wanda Adams.
Digital Learning Day was created to showcase schools’ best practices and promote a new educational venue for students that is fun and interactive. In honor of that event, which takes place on Feb. 17 this year, HISD is declaring February “Digital Learning Month.”
Principals and teachers have been invited to participate by trying out new digital tools and innovative instructional practices, then showing how their schools are leveraging digital learning by posting content to social media using the hashtag #hisddigital. Students are also welcome to join the conversation.
Selected students will demonstrate their projects during a Digital Learning Day Expo scheduled for Feb. 11, 2016, at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th Street, 77092). The expo will take place just before the Board of Education meeting, which starts at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.