Category Archives: High Schools

National Merit Scholarship Program names 81 HISD seniors as semifinalists

The National Merit Scholarship Program has named 81 Houston Independent School District seniors as 2021 semifinalists.

The high school seniors have an opportunity to compete for approximately 7,600 scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. Nationwide there are approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

“We are proud of our global scholars who are competing with their peers from across the nation for this prestigious academic honor,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We support and encourage them to maintain the level of excellence that has resulted in their semifinalist designation, despite challenges they may face in this year of flexibility.”

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HISD recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month 

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday issued a proclamation designating Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in the district.  

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with the anniversary of the 1821 Independence Day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The month also encompasses the independence days for Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept. 18).  

Throughout the month, a variety of virtual events showcasing performances, art, and many other displays of the rich Hispanic culture can be observed across the city of Houston.  

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Selection period for in-person or virtual instruction begins Sept. 21

Starting with the second six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year, Houston Independent School District families will be required to select either in-person or virtual instruction for students. The first day of the second six weeks is October 19.

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HISD chef selected to lead Texas AgriLife food videos

Nutrition Services Chef Trainer Brittany Jones is used to teaching others how to prepare tasty, nutritious meals. Now she’ll get to share her expertise with others around the state thanks to a virtual learning seminar.

Jones recently visited Texas A&M University where she filmed culinary demonstrations to be included in virtual lessons for the Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go program offered by Texas AgriLife Extension’s Junior Master Gardener program.

Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go curriculum is used in select HISD elementary science classes to teach students about gardening, nutrition, and physical activity to promote long-term health. Nutrition Services hopes to share the new virtual lessons, which complement the in-person curriculum, all HISD elementary teachers via science curriculum coordinators.

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HISD grad receives scholarship for work in MFAH’s #StrongerThanCovid photo series

An alum of the Houston Independent School District was recently presented with a college scholarship from Houston’s prestigious Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.

Mary Onwumere, a 2020 graduate from Lamar High School, received the $500 scholarship for her work in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s #StrongerThanCovid photography series. Mary’s work, along with 18 other HISD students, make up a virtual exhibition curated by the MFAH and can be viewed here.

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HISD students win Microsoft Innovation Challenge

The winning team, Heights High School’s Bulldog Apparel

Six Heights High School students took home top honors in a virtual entrepreneurship challenge last Saturday during Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas’ official JA Company Program kick-off.

The Microsoft Innovation Challenge empowered teams of students from across the district to come up with innovative additions to Microsoft’s communication and collaboration platform Teams that would increase productivity, and the human connection, at work, as well as in remote learning.

The winning team, “Bulldog Apparel,” was comprised of Heights students Bora Colkesen, Faustino Martinez, Joe Maddux, Emma Rodriguez, Alan Hernandez Saavedra and Kevin Valerio. After a 30-minute brainstorming session, the six students pitched their winning idea for a Teams poll icon that would give the meeting host immediate and direct feedback from participants.

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HISD School Choice applications for 2021-2022 school year open Saturday

First of five school choice fairs slated for Sept. 19 via Microsoft Teams

Houston Independent School District parents can begin applying for their child to enter a choice program for the 2021-2022 school year on Saturday, Sept. 19. The district’s first of five school choice fairs will also take place on Saturday, Sept. 19 virtually through Microsoft Teams from 9 a.m. to noon.

HISD offers a comprehensive selection of magnet programs at 112 schools, as well as program choice transfer options to all 280 schools in HISD, to meet every students’ academic needs and interests. HISD magnet programs include College & Career Readiness, Fine Arts, Futures Academy, International Specialty Schools, International Baccalaureate, Language Immersion Schools, Language Programs, Montessori, STEM & STEAM, Single-Gender College Preparatory, and Vanguard.  HISD program choice transfer options include Boundary Option, Career/Technology Education, Dual Language, and International Baccalaureate.

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HISD teams up with Texans, Reliant to encourage perfect attendance during virtual learning

The Houston Independent School District is teaming up with the Houston Texans and Reliant to encourage attendance in virtual learning during the 2020-2021 school year through the “Attend to Win” initiative. 

Throughout the fall semester, which ends January 29, 2021, HISD students and classrooms will receive inspiring messages from Texans players and celebrities through public service announcements and other forms of communication. Students and classrooms with outstanding attendance in virtual learning can win special prizes such as signed footballs and jerseys, backpacks, a virtual tour of NRG stadium, and more.

“It’s imperative that all students are logging in daily and engaging virtually with their teachers,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “I welcome the support of the entire Houston community to achieve educational excellence in our district, and I want to thank our friends at the Houston Texans and Reliant for their partnership in our work to educate all children.”

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Interim Superintendent kicks off first day of virtual learning with districtwide tour

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan embarked on a whirlwind tour of the district on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands of students, educators, parents, and staff began the first day of the 2020-2021 school year virtually with a charge to Reconnect Safely and Return Strong.

Lathan spent the day making in-person and virtual visits to campuses and online classrooms to speak with students, parents, and teachers encouraging them as they began, calling the 2020-2021 school year the district’s Year of Flexibility.

“We are very excited for today because March was the last time many of us saw our students,” she said before the start of the districtwide tour. “The first day of school certainly looks different this year, however, I remain optimistic that with continued determination, resilience, and flexibility, 2020-21 can be our best year yet.”

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As school year starts, curbside student meals program kicks off

Under a cloudy sky, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan greeted Westbury High School students and their parents on the first day of the school year.

But instead of navigating blue and grey painted halls that would normally be crowded with students, she and new Principal Jerri Nixon were busy handing out pre-packed meals to Westbury families in the parking lot.

As students across the district return to school virtually, HISD Nutrition Services is offering daily curbside pickup for breakfast and lunch meals at 86 strategically located schools, including Westbury.

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