Category Archives: HISD @ HOME

Hotline available this weekend to support return to face-to-face instruction

The Houston Independent School District’s HISD @ H.O.M.E. Hotline will be available this weekend to provide answers to questions from students and parents about fall distance learning.

Students and parents can call the HISD @ H.O.M.E. Hotline at 713-556-INFO (4636), Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17 and 18, from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Operators will be on hand to answer questions in English and Spanish.

HISD mentoring programs celebrate students’ return with car parade supply distribution

HISD’s mentoring programs, Ascending to Men Project (ATMP) and Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success (ROSES), welcomed back over 600 students and their families to the new school year through socially distanced car parades.

The events, held at Kashmere, Worthing, Wisdom, Waltrip, and Milby high schools, served as an opportunity to holistically support students and families in high-need areas by supplying items to help meet some of their basic needs. The distribution of school supplies, food, and toiletries was made possible through the strategic work of HISD partnerships in collaboration with community partners Procter & Gamble and United Airlines, who donated and assembled over 1600 toiletries packs.

“With this unprecedentED situation we find ourselves in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that the need across our city has increased, but especially for our most underserved communities,” Candice Castillo, Executive Director of Equity and Outreach, said. “We are grateful for our community partners and their support to our students.”  

Under the umbrella of HISD’s Equity and Outreach Division, HISD’s Ascending to Men Project, and Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success mentorship initiatives connect students from historically underserved demographics in the district to community resources and mentors. In turn, these mentors serve as positive role models and advocates providing guidance and opportunities for educational, social, and professional growth.

As the programs continue to cultivate meaningful partnerships, the public can support HISD’s mentoring programs becoming mentors for either ATM project or ROSES.

Parents invited to virtual Autism Services Meeting on Nov. 10

The Office of Special Education Services invites parents to the first virtual Autism Services Meeting of the school year from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

This is an opportunity for parents to receive information and recommendations on reconnecting safely and returning strong, as well as to learn strategies on implementing in a virtual setting for academic success.

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HISD transitioning to twice-weekly curbside meal pickup, launching weekly community food distributions

As the district prepares to resume in-person learning this month, Nutrition Services is transitioning from daily to twice-weekly curbside pickup for student meals and launching two Neighborhood Supersites as part of a weekly community food distribution initiative.

The move to twice-weekly campus-based curbside pickup begins Monday, Oct. 12 thanks to a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It allows families to pick up several days’ worth of meals at each pickup — three on Mondays and four on Thursdays.

Neighborhood Supersites are designed to provide standing times and locations where the community can pick up 32 pounds of groceries — including produce, dairy, and meat — for their families, as well as a week’s worth of student meals.

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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to provide books to homes of thousands of HISD children

HISD is partnering with Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Books Between Kids, PNC Bank, St. James Family Life Center and the Waltrip Family Foundation to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to up to 5,000 children in Houston.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that provides free books to children from birth to age 5 in participating communities within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Ireland. Dolly Parton launched Imagination Library in 1995 to foster a love of reading among her home county’s preschool children. Today, the program gifts over a million books to children around the world each month.

Part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the “Book a Month” program will provide young Houstonians access to books by mailing a book directly to their home each month until the child turns 5. Families who either reside or attend a school in the following zip codes can sign up to participate in the program: 77009, 77011, 77012, 77017, 77020, 77022, 77029 and 77087. The first book each child will receive via mail will be Dolly Parton’s favorite—The Little Engine That Could

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HISD students, teachers attend prestigious virtual STEM camp at Rice University

Nearly 20 HISD students and teachers were among a select group from around the state who were invited to attend the prestigious Tapia Say virtual STEM Camp at Rice University this summer. 

At the summer camp, which is sponsored by ExxonMobil, students experienced five days of online STEM experiences led by Rice professors and experienced facilitators, which focused on building problem solving and communications skills. Each camper was challenged to design their own heatsink, simulating the process through which heat is transferred away from the processor in a computer to keep the device from overheating.

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HISD receives $1 million grant from Moody Foundation to help close digital divide

The Houston Independent School District will receive $1 million from the Moody Foundation to help close the digital divide by purchasing computers for HISD’s Achieve 180 students on some of the district’s underperforming campuses.

The funds will be used to purchase more than 2,000 devices for students in pre-K through fifth grade at schools where Achieve 180 program is in place. Achieve 180 is a research-based action plan to support, strengthen, empower, and increase student achievement in underserved and underperforming HISD feeder pattern communities.

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HISD hosts first virtual Parent University of the 2020-21 school year

The Houston Independent School District kicked off its third year of Parent University on Tuesday with the first of six virtual workshops.

The theme of the first session was “2020-2021 School Year 101” and focused on the district’s “Reconnect Safely, Return Strong” reopening plan. The workshop’s general session walked attendees through important parts of the district’s Instructional Continuity Plan.  

“Team HISD has been hard at work to adapt to this new reality of social distancing due to COVID-19,” August Hamilton, HISD General Manager of Strategy and Innovation, said during the evening’s introduction. “This evening offers us the ability to share with some of you this work and the ability to better inform our parents how they can support their students during this time of online learning.”

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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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