Category Archives: HISD: Our Story

Fifth annual Special Education Conference planned for July 17-18 

The Office of Special Education will hold its fifth annual Special Education Conference next month for parents and educators to share supports and strategies that help students with disabilities to be successful – academically, socially, and emotionally.

The two-day conference will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 18 at Kingdom Builders’ Center (6011 W Orem Dr., 77085).

The theme of this year’s conference is “Engage, Restore and Support Every Student.” With presentations from teachers and thought leaders in the special education field, participants can expect to leave transformed and ready to begin the school year armed with new and effective instructional and behavioral strategies.  Continue reading

HISD ‘Get Growing Houston’ school garden program awarded grant from USDA 

The Houston Independent School District has been awarded a $67,395 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the district’s “Get Growing Houston” program.

Part of the USDA’s Farm to School Program, the grant will enable HISD’s Nutrition Services department to expand the program to 15 additional schools, which will be selected in the fall.

The program was piloted during the 2017-2018 school year in four elementary schools: Hobby, Shearn, Gallegos, and Cook.

“Get Growing Houston” uses an interdisciplinary approach to teach elementary school students about the importance of healthy foods and good nutrition through the creation and cultivation of school gardens.

“Once students feel the ownership of the garden, their preferences and willingness to try the produce they grew increases,” HISD Food Literacy Dietitian Julia Jarrell said. “It also opens the discussion to the benefits of a healthy diet, agriculture and cultural preferences, and exposure to other people’s relationship with foods.”   Continue reading

Program offers grads an opportunity to explore high-paying careers 

Are you a graduated senior interested in getting to work right away? Are you still trying to navigate your plans? HISD is offering an opportunity to explore high-paying careers in high-demand fields on Thursday, June 28 through BridgeYear.

Two sessions (morning and afternoon) will be offered to accommodate student schedules:

  • Session #1: 9 a.m. – noon
  • Session #2: 1 – 4 p.m.

Continue reading

HISD Board of Education moves forward with performance review

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted in favor of requesting a performance review to be conducted by the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB).

After considering public input since the May regular board meeting, trustees voted six to three to request a performance review from the LBB and concurrently withdraw their previous approval to procure an external performance audit. The LBB will begin working on the performance review this fall. Its findings will be used by the board in time to make informed decisions during the next budget cycle.

The Board also voted by a five-vote majority against the proposed 2018-19 school year budget. State law requires the budget be approved by June 30. Continue reading

HISD Construction Services rep follows in father’s footsteps

If you ask Zach Hoskins about his father, he’ll tell you that he has been nothing short of an inspiration and the motivating factor that lead him to work for the Houston Independent School District.

Since he was a child, Zach Hoskins has watched in awe as his dad — HISD Maintenance and Operations General Manager Al Hoskins — climbed the ladder of success, working his way up from a roofer assistant to senior management. Continue reading

HISD’s Special Education Parent Advisory Committee holds first meeting 

HISD’s Office of Special Education Services (OSES) held its inaugural Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) on Wednesday afternoon at the Hattie Mae White Educational Service Center.

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

The purpose of the committee is aligned to the Office of Special Education Services Framework, including parent advocacy and voice; instruction and support; compliance and monitoring; and professional development. The committee promotes active engagement with parents as partners of OSES with regard to the services provided to students with disabilities.

Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Special Education Services Shannon Verrett said partnering with the parents and community offers the best support for students and campuses.  Continue reading

Milby HS team takes second place in national Cooking up Change competition

What do you get when you combine chicken, zucchini, pinto beans, bananas, and yogurt?

You get the menu that snagged second place in the national Cooking up Change contest held this week at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

The Broadway Buffs of Milby High School — made up of students Roberto Blas, Jordyn Moore, and Esteven Mata — beat out four teams from Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Troy, Ala., to bring home the second-place trophy. The team from Orange County took top honors. Continue reading

Facilities Services dispatcher diligently serves, even in the midst of Harvey

It is often wondered if walls could talk, what secrets they could tell. But for Security Maintenance dispatcher Kenneth Johnson, walls don’t talk. They see.

Johnson is responsible for reviewing the security cameras for all HISD’s campuses and buildings. He ensures that customer care and security for the district is kept to the highest standards.

“If there are any emergencies that come about, any technical difficulties with our security systems in the campuses, my job is to have them solved promptly,” Johnson said. “It is critical for our staff and for our students that we know of these and solve them. Security is always our priority.”

A dispatcher since 2009, Johnson is assigned to the night shift. He arrives at his post early to review what the cameras have monitored throughout the day. Continue reading

Two-day ‘Camp Lit’ event kicks off HISD summer school  

The Houston Independent School District welcomed thousands of students to summer school, themed “Camp Lit” for literacy, on Wednesday and Thursday at Delmar Fieldhouse with a series of pep rallies and tailgates.

The summer kickoff for elementary students was held on Wednesday, and middle school students celebrated on Thursday.

“This is the brainchild of our interim superintendent. The idea is to continue our focus on literacy but in a way that is exciting and engaging,” Officer for Special Populations Courtney Busby said. “We want our students to know that meeting their needs in the summer is critical for their overall success. What better way to do that than with a celebration where all kids will leave with books to add to their personal libraries.”  Continue reading

Nutrition Services LEAD program graduates inaugural class

After eight weeks of rigorous classroom and on-site training, four former food service attendants are now prepared to lead and manage their own school cafeterias.

Stephanie Aguilar, Alma Dominguez, Neco Manning, and Tameco Williams are the first graduates of Nutrition Services’ LEAD — Leadership, Education And Development — Program.

The comprehensive training initiative is designed to provide school cafeteria workers with the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to advance to the next level in their career and become a team lead responsible for managing cafeteria operations. Continue reading