Staying connected is important now more than ever, and HISD Abroad
is answering the call with next week’s Virtual Global Issues Summit hosted by
Student hosts Van Nguyen and Boris Mejia, seniors from HISD’s
Houston Academy of International Studies, will go live on Zoom at 2 p.m. on
Wednesday, May 27 to discuss the impact of global issues on high school
students. They will be joined by guest speakers John Moravec, founder of
Education Futures, and Carrie Olson, President of the Denver Public Schools
Board of Education.
Editor’s Note: The HISD Board of Education is hosting a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 to gather feedback on beginning the process of becoming a District of Innovation, as designated by the TEA. More information can be found here.
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education at
its virtual meeting on Thursday voted 7-2 in favor of a resolution to initiate
the process of designating HISD as a District of Innovation.
By adopting District of Innovation status, HISD could exercise greater local
control over decisions impacting positive educational outcomes for students.
The resolution approved by the Board of Education outlines specific exemptions
from state law that the district would seek, including:
Students from Black, Gregory-Lincoln, Hamilton, Meyerland, Pershing, and Revere middle schools collaborated on the HISD Dance Connected project, inspired by a narrative written by Pershing Middle School student Mariam Galstyan.
Mariam’s narrative, which is read by
Gregory-Lincoln student Kendal Burns, was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meyerland
PVA teacher Chadwick Peters did the video editing and sound mixing.
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan on Wednesday hosted the first in a series of three virtual roundtables with PTA/PTO parent leaders to share feedback, provide insight, and address questions regarding distance learning efforts and information about the coming 2020-2021 school year.
During this first Virtual Parent Connection session, much of the
conversation centered around HISD’s pursuit of the District of Innovation
designation, resources to engage students and families, as well as ways that parent
organizations can support their schools while the district is operating
remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lathan said students, parents, and staff have done a remarkable
job adjusting to distance learning and asked parents to share some of the needs
they are experiencing. She also asked parents to share what would they need
from her and HISD team as they prepare for the 2020-21 school year, and what
assistance families need to navigate HISD virtual platforms.
HISD’s Career Readiness department will be hosting a virtual
townhall next week for high school seniors interested in entering the workforce
“Seniors to Success 2.0” will be held from 2 – 4 p.m. on
Wednesday, May 20 and will highlight career training programs and other career
opportunities for HISD seniors. Nearly 20 local employers, including Goodwill,
H-E-B and Allegiance Staffing, will be on hand to discuss interview strategies,
tips for success and current job openings with pay ranging from
$10-16 an hour.
HISD’s Parker Elementary School Chorus has been selected as
a finalist in the 2019-2020 American Prize National Competition in the
Parker’s advanced chorus, under the direction of Marianna Parnas-Simpson, is nominated for The American Prize in Choral Performance—youth division. The advanced chorus is made up of fourth and fifth-grade students.
“It is a huge honor for our Parker students and their
families to be recognized like this on a national level,” Parnas-Simpson said. “It
is a testimony to their hard work and dedication to the choral art.”
The Houston Independent School District has been working diligently to celebrate the Class of 2020 graduates while ensuring the health and safety of students, staff, and families. HISD has decided to facilitate all high school graduation ceremonies for our 11,000 seniors virtually.
Considering current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 health crisis, the district believes virtual graduations are the safest option. The virtual ceremonies will begin on June 14.
graduations will take place virtually, seniors will have an additional
opportunity to celebrate with their fellow graduates, if they so choose, during
a citywide celebration on
June 5, hosted by Mayor Sylvester Turner. This citywide
celebration will take place outdoors at school campuses following strict safety
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.
Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent
Grenita Lathan and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a first-of-its-kind
citywide outdoor celebration planned for graduating seniors.
Students will be invited to return to their campuses in their caps and gowns for the event, which will take place on Friday, June 5, simultaneously outside each HISD high school. All seniors attending will be required to wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The celebration is the brainchild of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner who will deliver his own words of encouragement to the class of 2020.
Booker T. Washington High School Principal Carlos Phillips has been named the H-E-B Excellence in Education Secondary Principal Award winner for 2020.
This year, Excellence in Education award winners were announced
during a virtual “Toast to Texas Teachers” in celebration of National Teacher
Appreciation Week. The virtual event included surprise appearances from actors Matthew
McConaughey and Eva Longoria, former NBA player Matt Bonner, and fashion
designer Kendra Scott.
Phillips, who was also the HISD Secondary Principal of the Year
for 2019-2020, received a $10,000 cash prize and a $25,000 grant for Washington
High School. Phillips was one of five finalists from across the state competing
for the Secondary Principal Award.