Category Archives: HISD @ HOME

Special Education Fall Virtual Parent Summit set for Dec. 12

The Houston Independent School District will hold its 2020 Special Education Fall Virtual Parent Summit on Saturday, Dec. 12, providing parents with the opportunity to meet with Special Education professionals and attend online learning sessions.

This event serves as an opportunity for HISD to better support families and empowers them to be a partner in their child’s education. The theme of the event is “Supporting Educational Success During a Pandemic” and will address topics such as transition, instruction, compliance, and evaluation.

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Police Department’s CORE team to promote relational policing

To shed the negative image that often comes with wearing a badge, HISD Police Chief Pedro Lopez Jr. is following the lead of police chiefs nationwide to bring relational policing into HISD classrooms and neighborhoods.

That idea, along with a recent significant boost in department funding, paved the way for the district’s new police community outreach team CORE (Community Outreach Responsive Engagement).

“We are determined to go out into the communities, build back those relationships and bridge that gap that has increasingly widened with what has been happening throughout the country,” said HISD Police Officer Steven Bennett, who is one of the six officers serving on the CORE team. “We just want to get out there and do everything we can to repair this relationship between the community and law enforcement.”

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Texans star QB Watson surprises C. Martinez ES students with grant, prizes

As volunteers decked out with Houston Texans swag walked into Wendy Martinez-Morales’ third-grade class at C. Martinez Elementary School on Tuesday, students suspected they were in for a big surprise.

But, when Texans starting quarterback Deshaun Watson popped into their virtual classroom, the students – and Martinez-Morales – could hardly contain their excitement.

“We are huge Texans fans! I never thought anything like this would happen,” she said. “It is really amazing that Mr. Watson took some time out of his busy schedule to meet with us.”

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HISD to name student winners of 2020 holiday greeting card competition

The Houston Independent School District on Monday, Nov. 16, will unveil the winners of the district’s 2020 holiday greeting card student art competition.

This year, 18 students from HISD elementary, middle, and high schools were named finalists from a total of 99 entries. The 18 finalists were chosen by the district’s area superintendents. Those 18 entries then went to HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan for judging. She then chose one elementary, one middle school and one high school to represent the district as winners.

During a virtual ceremony beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, the winning cards will be announced by HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan.

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Parents asked to complete Fall 2020 Virtual/Remote Learning Parent Survey

To guide district decision-making, particularly moving forward on virtual learning, the HISD Research and Accountability Department is launching a districtwide Fall 2020 Virtual/Remote Learning Parent Survey.

The survey will run from Monday, November 9 through Tuesday, November 17. Parents are asked to complete the survey online at HoustonISD.org/FallParentSurvey. The survey is also available in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic.

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Bus driver goes extra mile for student safety

When HISD closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bus driver Althea McWhorter never got the chance to say goodbye to the seniors who rode her bus every day for four years.

For someone who thoroughly enjoys getting to know her passengers as she drives them to and from school each day, losing the chance to say goodbye was not easy. But she’s hoping this year will be different.

Armed with new bus safety measures and a duffel bag of disinfecting supplies, McWhorter was ready to welcome a new group of students returning this month for in-person instruction.

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Office of School Choice to host virtual lunch and learn series for students

HISD students are invited to attend a series of virtual lunch and learn programs presented by the HISD Office of School Choice in partnership with The Ion of Houston and Pumps and Pipes.

The first event, Careers in Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, and will feature speakers from Xecta Digital Labs, Plug & Play Tech Center, and The Ion.

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Carnegie Vanguard HS juniors create free tutoring start-up company

COVID-19 has presented several educational challenges that have exacerbated gaps in student learning, but two Carnegie Vanguard High School students saw it as an opportunity for positive change.

During the pandemic, juniors Aadhav Jai Murugesh and Levi Chen created Numerly, which provides easy-to-access, free tutoring services for students grades 3-8. Numerly’s goal is to uplift economically and medically underserved communities by making high-quality math and science education available for free.

“We wanted to do our part to help students succeed, regardless of the circumstances,” Murugesh said. “The math and science knowledge kids gain in elementary and middle school is crucial, and a strong foundation ensures that more challenging subjects are attainable in high school,”

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Cafeteria manager works diligently to feed students

Before 9 a.m. on the first day of school, Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center Cafeteria Manager Dony Jules had moved quickly to pack more than 70 student meals.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it was a slow start for someone who is used to feeding students by the thousands.

Jules is one of the hundreds of Nutrition Services staff who helped prepare and distribute meals to families at community food distributions during the early months of COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bellaire HS debate tournament goes virtual on global stage

More than 100 high schools from 23 states and China took part in Bellaire High School’s 65th Annual Forensics Debate Tournament earlier this month.

Despite the pandemic, participation was high, because, for the first time, the tournament was held virtually. The event was organized by Bellaire High School Debate coach Jay Stubbs.

The Bellaire tournament has a stellar reputation in the world of high school debating. The Boston Globe said it is “practically the Rose Bowl of the high-octane world of high school debate.”

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