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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
HISD campuses may have been closed for months, but the team at Highland Heights Elementary School has been working around the clock to make sure their school community is safe, clothed, fed, and supported.
The Highland Heights Resource Center officially opened its doors on Monday, welcoming new and old Honeybees to the first-of-its-kind center, which offers families much-needed items such as food, clothes, shoes, and toiletries.
Heights Wraparound Resource Specialist Brendella Chavis has worked diligently to
make sure students were supported.
Nurse Janda Jelks’ first year as a school nurse has been
unusual and challenging, but she has leveraged her creativity and enthusiasm to
excel in her new role.
Jelks, who worked in a hospital before coming to Mark White
Elementary School, said her goal is to foster relationships between parents,
teachers, and students and ensure the return to face-to-face instruction is as
smooth as possible.
“Our priority is making sure kids are getting as much
instruction time as they can, either virtually or in person,” Jelks said. “I
would hate for something that I’m doing, even though it’s state-mandated, to
cut into that. So instead of the students coming to me, I come to them.”
For Booker T. Washington High School sophomore Rebecca
Stansell, the first day of face-to-face instruction for the 2020-21 school year
had some added emotion – and even a few nerves.
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan was scheduled to
visit the historic Independence Heights neighborhood campus on the first day of
face-to-face instruction, where she would be greeted by Stansell and fellow
engineering students with a customized face shield designed to protect against
the spread of COVID-19.
“It was thrilling, but a little nerve-racking because I had
never met the superintendent. There was a lot of moving around, and a lot of
people.” Stansell said. “We assembled her face shield last week, and I think she
was happy – and even a little surprised – to see that we customized it by
putting her name on the shield.”