The Houston Independent
School District Board of Education approved a $54.6 million amendment to the
2020-2021 budget, which includes a $31 million purchase of devices and wireless
hotspots to help close the digital divide and ensure students are equipped to Reconnect Safely and Return Strong when classes resume virtually on Sept. 8.
The district has provided
76,362 devices for students in need since the pandemic and plans to distribute
22,750 additional devices by next month. HISD has provided 6,628 hotspots for
students in need and plans to distribute an additional 19,151 of the wireless
devices by next month as well.
The added appropriations in
the budget amendment will also fund additional special education positions,
personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing signage, plexiglass
dividers, and instructional supports.
HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV lessons will continue this fall, and
teachers will be able to develop content to be broadcast across various
Starting on Aug. 10, area offices will distribute a survey
to collect basic information from interested teachers, such as school, grade
level, subject, and language. Teachers who complete the survey will receive a
link to upload a 10-minute video lesson by Aug. 17.
A committee will use a rubric to assess the submissions and
select 25 teachers to submit a weekly lesson during the fall semester for the
grade level band and subject of their application submission. Selected teachers
will be announced on Aug. 21 and will receive a stipend.
Houston Independent School District will soon launch an online course designed to provide parents with the tools
needed to support their child’s transition to the online classroom this fall.
The Parent Introduction to Virtual Learningonline course will be available on Monday, Aug. 10 at HoustonISD.org/ParentCourse. It is designed to introduce virtual learning and provide guidance to parents on the HISD @ H.OM.E platform. The course should be completed no later than Friday, Sept. 4.
District seeks to reach students who have not participated in at-home instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Houston Independent School District will launch its Students Within Reach/Return Strong campaign on August 3 with the goal of re-engaging children who have not participated in at-home instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
will be a targeted effort to reach students who have not connected with their
schools since virtual instruction began in March. The district will also seek
to connect with a smaller group that disengaged after May 1.
important as a district to ensure all students are engaged in meaningful
instruction and learning at all times,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita
Lathan said. “We will be persistent in our efforts to reach all of our children,
and when we do, we will ensure they have the resources and support needed to navigate
HISD has announced the suspension of the student
uniform policy for the upcoming school year.
The district understands that the COVID-19 pandemic
has created or increased the economic challenges that some families face. Relaxing
the uniform requirements will hopefully provide some relief for parents as they
prepare for the school year.
Houston Independent School District will soon launch the HISD @ H.O.M.E.
Hotline to provide timely answers to questions from students and parents about fall
on Monday, Aug. 3, students and parents can call the HISD @ H.O.M.E. Hotline
at 713-556-INFO (4636), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.
to 7 p.m. Operators will be on hand to answer questions in
English and Spanish pertaining to HISD @ H.O.M.E.
launched HISD @ H.O.M.E. (Home-based
Online Mobile Education), a distance learning plan, in the spring to ensure
students’ academic and non-academic needs were met as the district campuses and
offices physically closed due to COVID-19 precautions.
The 2019-2020 Houston Independent School District educators of the year were announced during surprise home visits, including visits by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan at the homes of the elementary and secondary teachers of the year and beginning teachers of the year.
The visits took place on Wednesday, May 6, and Thursday, May
7, during Teacher Appreciation Week and included yard signs, balloons, and gift
baskets near the front doors of the educators who were asked to come outside
for the announcements, in keeping with safe social distancing practices.
Appreciation Week is May 4 through 8, and it’s a time for our staff, students,
parents, and community to recognize our teachers.
For Teacher Appreciation Week, HISD is launching a fun campaign called “Get Emoji-tional” so we can share the love😍for our teachers on social media. Each day, share emojis as well as videos, photos and special messages with the hashtag #ThankAnHISDTeacherto show your support for teachers.
Ashford Elementary School fifth-grade Science Teacher Kirk Coppes
has received the 2020 HISD Elementary Science Teacher Grand Prize Award from Alliantgroup.
Six finalists from across the district were nominated by HISD for
the award based on their innovative teaching methods and ability to ignite the
interest of students in the subject of science. The grand prize award
announcement was made live on CW39’s “Morning Dose” on April 28.
Coppes, a veteran teacher in his 12th year in HISD and fourth year
at Ashford ES, credited the support he receives both at work and home for the
HISD aired a live virtual
town hall meeting on Tuesday, April 28, to assist students pursuing
postsecondary education options during the COVID-19 crisis.
The virtual town hall, which aired
in English and Spanish, opened with remarks from HISD Interim Superintendent
Grenita Lathan and featured experts in college admissions, scholarships and
financial aid, testing requirements, and enrollment.
Dr. Lathan thanked everyone
for their patience during this difficult time, saying, “Our goal is to give you
access to knowledgeable individuals who can provide up-to-date information,
resources, and answers to any questions you might have.”