Category Archives: Health/Wellness

HISD employee COVID-19 vaccination opportunity

HISD is partnering with Next Level Health to provide two drive-through vaccination opportunities on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m and Wednesday, Sept. 22, from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Hattie Mae White east parking lot. 

Next Level is providing the Pfizer vaccine. HISD staff who are interested in being vaccinated should register on the Next Level link below and complete the online health history and electronic consent form prior to arriving on site. Only staff members who pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive the vaccination. 

Register here for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Cars will enter the HMW east parking lot at their scheduled time and be checked in. After receiving the vaccine, the staff person will remain in the designated waiting area for 15 minutes of monitoring.

HISD updates COVID-19 dashboard to monitor new school year cases

With the return to in-person instruction for all HISD classes on Monday, Aug. 23, the district’s COVID-19 dashboard will be reset to reflect confirmed cases for the new school year to better inform the community.

The online dashboard will continue to track the number of confirmed COVID-19 student and staff cases by campus as originally designed to ensure transparency. The reset version will go live as the first day of school begins.

“We are in the midst of a pandemic, so we want to assure our parents and the community that all information is provided and updated in a timely fashion,” HISD Superintendent Millard House said. “The dashboard is an effective way to share information to staff members and families.”

The dashboard will continue to be updated daily, allowing users to review student and staff data by location and districtwide. The map showing where cases are throughout the district will also be updated. As new data for the school year is added, current cases will be displayed for the most recent 14 days.

The dashboard will strictly follow all applicable privacy laws as it relates to the release of personal health information.

To view the COVID-19 dashboard, go to HoustonISD.org/COVID19Dashboard.

For more information on HISD’s Back to School Plan, visit HoustonISD.org/ReadySetGo.

A special message from Superintendent Millard House II

The following letter from Superintendent House was distributed on the night of August 5 to HISD parents, staff, and community members:

Dear HISD Community,

The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our guiding compass in all of our decisions. As a result, during tonight’s agenda review meeting, I announced that I will propose a mask mandate for students, staff, and visitors at all schools, buses, and facilities to be voted on next week by the Board of Education. The mask mandate will become effective upon Board approval during next Thursday’s board meeting, August 12. In light of the announcement by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to raise the COVID-19 threat level to “red,” additional safety measures are needed to protect our students, staff, and families.

The mask mandate applies to everyone regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated. In partnership with health officials, three HISD schools are offering vaccinations this Saturday. If your child is 12 or older, I encourage parents to stop by and get a shot. No appointments are necessary.

  • Dogan Elementary School, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Deady Middle School, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Kashmere High School, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The 2021-2022 school year begins on August 23, and we will continue to monitor the situation and work with health officials for frequent updates, which we will share with you. The safety of all HISD staff and students continues to be our top priority.

Sincerely,

Millard House II
HISD Superintendent

Rapid testing for COVID-19 now available at all campuses, central office

To assist with ongoing efforts to support public health and safety, the Houston Independent School District is offering COVID-19 BinaxNOW Rapid Tests at all campuses and its central office.

The district has been provided with testing resources to test campus-based staff, district administrators, and a percentage of students (with permission from parents) through a statewide COVID-19 Rapid Testing program implemented in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The tests will be optional, but all staff who work on a campus are encouraged to participate in the program.

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Social media campaign, mask donation efforts encouraging students and staff to #MaskUp

HISD is launching a “mask-up” campaign as students and staff return to the classroom this week.

A districtwide social media campaign, #HISDMaskUpDay, will be launched on Friday, Jan. 8 and held in conjunction with a mass distribution of masks from Ever PPE Inc. and AOK Tooling. Recently, the two companies teamed up to donate 500,000 masking to HISD staff and students, encouraging them to stay safe and #MaskUp.

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Jones Futures Academy, Next Level Urgent Care to host virtual student wellness fair

HISD middle and high school students are invited to attend a virtual Wellness Fair presented Next Level Urgent Care, Jones Futures Academy and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas.

The wellness fair will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5. During the fair, students will have access to workforce readiness opportunities, as well as an opportunity to meet and interact with health care professionals without having to leave their campus.

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Longtime Navarro MS karate instructor creates safe environment for students to thrive

Chantal Duval-Jackson’s Kickstart Karate students lined up in neat rows and ran through warm-up drills on Monday with their usual precision and enthusiastic shouts of “Kiai!”

The only noticeable differences on the first day of face-to-face instruction at Navarro Middle School were the addition of masks and carefully staggered checkerboard mat to ensure social distancing measures were observed.

Duval-Jackson, who has taught karate at the school for nearly 10 years, had the extra challenge this year of creating a safe space for her students – not an easy task considering karate usually is a full-contact sport. She has about 150 students in sixth through eighth grades, and about 30 percent of those students have opted for in-person instruction. The majority of her students are participating virtually.

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Highland Heights ES welcomes students back with Family Resource Center

HISD campuses may have been closed for months, but the team at Highland Heights Elementary School has been working around the clock to make sure their school community is safe, clothed, fed, and supported.  

The Highland Heights Resource Center officially opened its doors on Monday, welcoming new and old Honeybees to the first-of-its-kind center, which offers families much-needed items such as food, clothes, shoes, and toiletries.

Highland Heights Wraparound Resource Specialist Brendella Chavis has worked diligently to make sure students were supported.

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Mark White ES nurse helps foster healthy, safe atmosphere for students

Nurse Janda Jelks’ first year as a school nurse has been unusual and challenging, but she has leveraged her creativity and enthusiasm to excel in her new role.

Jelks, who worked in a hospital before coming to Mark White Elementary School, said her goal is to foster relationships between parents, teachers, and students and ensure the return to face-to-face instruction is as smooth as possible.

“Our priority is making sure kids are getting as much instruction time as they can, either virtually or in person,” Jelks said. “I would hate for something that I’m doing, even though it’s state-mandated, to cut into that. So instead of the students coming to me, I come to them.”

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HISD to recognize Bullying Prevention Week

As part of National Bullying Prevention Month in October, HISD is recognizing this week as Bullying Prevention Week to raise awareness about the damaging effects of bullying.

Every day, thousands of students experience some form of bullying, especially online through social media and texts. Cyberbullying has increased significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. So now is a great time for HISD schools, staff, and students to raise awareness about bullying and the role we all play in making our schools accepting and welcoming environments for all children.  

This week has been designated HISD Bullying Prevention Week in conjunction with the Sandy Hook Promise “Start with Hello” campaign.  

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