Category Archives: Health/Wellness

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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HISD employees to complete daily health screenings

The Houston Independent School District is preparing for students and staff to return to classrooms and office workspaces over the coming weeks.

The district’s top priority during this phase of returning to in-person work is the health and safety of students and staff. HISD is partnering with Axiom Medical to support employees. Axiom Medical has nurses on staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, as well as a chief medical officer. The Axiom Medical health screening app will help employees determine whether it is safe for them to come into work.

Effective Monday, September 28, all employees must use Axiom Medical’s Checkin2work (CI2W) app to log in and complete a daily self-attestation before arriving at work. The daily self-attestation consists of answering COVID-19-related questions. Employees without internet access should call HISD’s Health and Medical Services at (713) 556-7280 to complete the daily self-attestation.

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A special message from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

Following a statewide call on Tuesday between school district superintendents and Commissioner of Education Mike Morath, I wanted to provide an update on plans for the 2020-2021 school year – which remain to be finalized.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the situation remains fluid as we try to determine next steps on what the school year will look like. During his presentation, the commissioner emphasized that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is working with Gov. Greg Abbott’s medical advisors to establish public health guidance for school districts. While preliminary information has been provided by TEA, final guidance will not be available until mid-July.

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HISD Board approves resolution to seek District of Innovation designation

Editor’s Note: The HISD Board of Education is hosting a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 to gather feedback on beginning the process of becoming a District of Innovation, as designated by the TEA. More information can be found here.

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education at its virtual meeting on Thursday voted 7-2 in favor of a resolution to initiate the process of designating HISD as a District of Innovation.

By adopting District of Innovation status, HISD could exercise greater local control over decisions impacting positive educational outcomes for students. The resolution approved by the Board of Education outlines specific exemptions from state law that the district would seek, including:

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Food distribution site changed for April 16

As the Houston Independent School District continues its food distribution efforts throughout the district, there has been an update to one of Thursday’s distribution sites.

Hartsfield Elementary School, 5001 Perry St., will now host a food distribution site at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 16, replacing the site at Cullen Middle School, which has since been designated as a COVID-19 testing site for the city. All other sites for this week remain the same.

Although the site has changed, participants must still adhere to the same guidelines for food distribution. As families arrive at sites, nutrition staff will minimize contact by filling out the required Emergency Food Assistance Program forms for families and placing food in their trunks. Participants who walk to the sites also must adhere to social distancing requirements.

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