Category Archives: High Schools

HISD mentoring programs celebrate National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month, and HISD’s Ascending to Men (ATM) Project and Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success (ROSES) mentoring programs are celebrating by highlighting mentors and mentoring stories on their social media platforms.

National Mentoring Month is a celebration of the positive impact mentors have in their mentees’ lives. It is also a time where interest in mentorship and making a difference in the community is at its highest, with the excitement of a fresh new year and the goals and resolutions to impact others. HISD is encouraging the public to get involved and become a mentor.

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New Westbury HS fine arts wing ‘ups the ante’ for magnet program

When Nathaniel Melvin began teaching art at Westbury High School, he was assigned a classroom with no sink. For someone who specializes in building large sculptures and technical art pieces, that was an issue.

He installed one, but even then, the classroom never quite functioned the way he needed it to. There wasn’t enough cabinetry to hold supplies.

Melvin now teaches in a “visual arts studio” specifically designed to meet his students’ needs. Ample power is available via ceiling cables at each art table. There is plenty of built-in storage space. Most importantly — there is not one, but three sinks.

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Austin HS students start new year in new school

Austin High School seniors Daniel Miranda and Jesus Cantu greeted each other as they made their way through their school’s dining commons, stopping to soak in their new surroundings before the first bell rang.

“It looks futuristic,” Miranda said, first looking up at the contemporary lighting and then down below at the dining tabletops featuring the school’s mustang mascot.

“Futuristic?” Cantu asked with a laugh. “I think you mean modern.”

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HISD Neighborhood Supersites to resume weekly community distributions

With students back in class after winter break, Nutrition Services is re-starting its weekly Neighborhood Supersite community distribution program to ensure HISD students and families have continued access to good food.

The January supersites will kick off on Wednesday, Jan 6, at Barnett Stadium from 2 to 6 p.m. Another three supersites will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9 at Hattie Mae White and Hexser T. Holliday Food Services support centers and Sugar Grove Academy.

All sites provide seven days’ worth of student meals and family food boxes from the Houston Food Bank.

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District mentorship programs, HISD PD’s C.O.R.E Team promote positive youth-police dialogues

Students from across the district participated in a virtual conversation with the HISD Police Department’s C.O.R.E Team that focused on the importance of relational policing between police and youth.

During the event, Let’s Talk: Youth Promoting Social Action, more than 150 students from HISD’s mentorship programs, Ascending to Men Project (ATMP) and the Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success (ROSES), engaged in dialogue and asked officers questions about how to best establish relationships with local police.

According to Officer Odell McKinney, building relationships based on trust and understanding leads to strong partnerships between officers and students that help solve problems, break barriers, and create positive environments.

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FAFSA priority deadline for Texas students is Jan. 15

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward getting many different types of financial aid for school – and finishing the FAFSA early is the best way to maximize college-award packages. 

Even though the federal government doesn’t have a firm deadline as to when FAFSAs need to be completed, all 50 states do. And for Texas, the priority deadline is Jan. 15, 2021. 

When applying for student aid, timing matters. Each year, the Office of Federal Student Aid offers more than $120 billion through grants, loans, and work-study funds to help students pay for higher education. Priority for this money will be given to students who apply before the priority consideration deadline. 

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Winter reading program encourages students to read, earn prizes

Winter break is the perfect time for students to catch up on their favorite books, hone their reading skills, and earn a free book from their local Houston Public Library.

HISD is encouraging students to join the Houston Public Library’s winter reading program for kids and teens. From Dec. 1 through Jan. 15, students are encouraged to read or be read to 20 minutes a day for 10 days.

Students can read anything they like. Books, comics, newspapers, magazine articles, blogs, web pages, listen to an audiobook or have someone read to aloud; all of these types of reading count. 

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New Austin HS set to open after winter break

There are many features that Principal Orlando Reyna finds impressive about the newly constructed Austin High School, but the contemporary courtyard is by far one of his favorites.

“It just looks amazing,” Reyna said, smiling at the thought of it. “I anticipate it’s going to be a popular space for us to utilize and for students to congregate.”

After a semester-long delay due to pandemic-related manpower and delivery issues, Austin High School is finally set to open its doors to students on Wednesday, Jan. 6, following their return from winter break.

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Eight years later: A look back at designing schools for learning

These certainly aren’t your grandmothers’ schools.

At least that’s how Dan Bankhead, General Manager for Facilities Design, describes the newly redesigned schools built under the 2012 Bond Program.

A sharp contrast from the original buildings, classrooms are now bright, spacious, and flooded with natural light. Bold colors adorn the floors and walls. Shared spaces are reminiscent of trendy hotel lobbies and cafés.

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Bellaire Cardinals inch closer to new athletic fields, school

Bellaire High School took a significant step toward the next phase of construction last month when the city approved a specific use permit allowing for the build of the high school’s new baseball and softball fields at 6300 Avenue B.

Abatement and demolition of the former Gordon Elementary School will begin soon to make way for the new fields.

The athletic fields are part of the 2012 Bond Program, which called for a rebuild of Bellaire’s existing school, which has been in use since 1955. Design plans for the $141.5 million, multi-phased project included the relocation of the baseball and softball fields to a site about two miles away to maximize space on the existing 18-acre campus.

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