Category Archives: HISD: Our Story

HISD expands free, full-day pre-K program at Woodson PK-5

New offerings include free transportation and after-school care, 11:1 student-teacher ratio for 3- and 4-year-olds

HISD is expanding its full-day pre-kindergarten program at Woodson PK-5 Leadership Academy to provide more 3- and 4-year-old students in the Sunnyside community with the opportunity to attend a high-quality program that will build a strong foundation of learning and will support the transportation, after-school care, and health needs of the families it serves.

The school will be hosting three upcoming events to encourage parents to enroll, including a pre-K roundup day, neighborhood block walk, and a registration carnival with school supply giveaways for 3- and 4-year-olds, immunizations, and a food bank.

Students who attend Woodson for pre-K in the 2018-19 school year will benefit from multisensory, hands-on instruction from high-quality teachers, as well as: Continue reading

HISD Foundation distributes second round of Hurricane Harvey relief grants 

Thanks to an outpouring of donations from many philanthropists and local organizations, the HISD Foundation distributed almost $200,000 in a second round of Hurricane Harvey relief grants this week.

The distribution comes right in time for more than 150 teachers and staff who were prepping for their summer break.

Grants ranged from $250 to $5,000, with the largest donation being selected personally by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan.

“We are happy to have the opportunity to give once again to those who needed the most,” Dr. Lathan said. “As we near the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, there are still individuals who are rebuilding and need all they help they can get.”

The Foundation decided in February to accept another round of applications from principals and administration for the second round. The grants were awarded based on need, the number of applications, and available funds.

Horn ES teacher upgrades classroom thanks to Innovation Grant 

Horn Elementary School students can’t help but have their senses ignited when they walk into the classroom of STEM teacher Alex Jones, a recipient of one of the HISD Foundation’s Innovation Grants this school year.

For the 2017-2018 school year, the Foundation was able to award more than $150,000 in Innovation Grants, thanks to the generous donations from local community members and business partnerships.

Jones received $7,000 to purchase tablets, drones, and robots for his classroom.  Continue reading

Interim superintendent’s message on immigration

There has been much discussion of schools and student immigration status in the news recently. I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that HISD remains committed to educating every student regardless of their immigration status. Our students are and will continue to be safe in our classrooms and on our campuses. No HISD principals, teachers, or any school personnel will ever report a student’s immigration status to authorities.

We believe all children deserve access to a world-class education — with no exceptions. HISD will never ask about a student’s immigration status, and HISD will never share information about a student’s immigration status or the immigration status of their families. We do not assist in deportation actions, and we do not report our students or families to ICE.

While there is still uncertainty at the federal level regarding the approach as it relates to DACA and DREAMER students, we will continue to provide resources and support to help our students be successful at HISD and beyond. We encourage you to visit HoustonISD.org/DACA for legal information and college access resources, and we hope that you will stay engaged and involved in your child’s education.

HSPVA and HSLJ graduating seniors get glimpse of new facilities

It was a bittersweet moment for seniors from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) and High School for Law and Justice (HSLJ) as they recently got a sneak peek inside their schools’ newly constructed buildings.

HSLJ students held a senior awards breakfast in their new building, while HSPVA students were treated to a barbeque lunch during their visit. Both groups posed for a special class photo to commemorate the occasion.

“We really wanted them to see the new building before they moved on,” HSLJ Principal Carol Mosteit said. “The students were amazed when they walked in. Their faces were priceless.”

As part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, both schools are receiving new buildings, which will be completed later this year. HSLJ will open to students in August, and HSPVA will open to students in January 2019. Continue reading

HISD students selected for Duke TIP recognitions 

HISD is proud to announce that as of May 30, 181 middle school students earned recognition from Duke TIP (Talented Recognition Program) for their scores on the ACT or SAT exams, as part of the national seventh-grade talent search.

Duke TIP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically gifted and talented students. The national seventh-grade talent search identifies, recognizes, and supports high-performing students. Through Duke TIP, these students receive college preparatory tools, enrichment, and summer opportunities.  Continue reading

A special message from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

We made it! Today officially marks the last day of the 2017-2018 school year. Without a doubt, we have faced many challenges, including Hurricane Harvey, a few winter weather days, and a host of other obstacles. But we didn’t let any of those things stop us. Instead, we came together as a community and helped our neighbors and our students persevere against all odds.

Our strong finish is a testament to HISD putting children first. This year, we launched several key initiatives — including Achieve 180 and Every Community Every School — to improve academic excellence and provide the social and emotional support that our students need to be successful in the classroom. We also established the K-12 Fine Arts Department to expand all students’ access to high-quality fine arts education. And we opened several new schools under the 2012 Bond Program, providing state-of-the-art learning facilities designed to foster collaboration and project-based learning — exactly the skills our students need to succeed in college and their careers. But that’s not all! Just recently we received even more good news: Our fifth- and eighth-graders made significant improvements on the math and reading STAAR exams this year! Continue reading

‘Prep Rally’ at Peck ES promotes hurricane preparedness

Representatives from Children at Risk, Save the Children, BakerRipley, and HISD gathered at Peck Elementary School on Thursday to emphasize the importance of being prepared when the next hurricane threatens Houston.

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan shared the hurricane’s impact on HISD schools and how the HISD Foundation provided $13 million in relief, as well as $300,000 in direct-to-teacher grants. The district’s Social and Emotional Learning Department trained hundreds of teachers and staff on how to recognize and deal with trauma in children.  Continue reading

High school dropout and law school grad urges Cornelius ES students to stay in school 

The fifth-graders at Cornelius Elementary School listened intently as their classmate’s mother spoke to them on Career Day recently. Khassidy’s mom, Ieshia Champs, was telling students to stay in school if they want to become all the things they had just told her they want to be—a brain surgeon, veterinarian, basketball player, teacher.

“You can’t do anything without school, nothing at all,” Champs said. “What you are learning here in school every day is going to shape your entire future.”

Despite dropping out of school and raising five children as a single mother, Champs recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall Law School. It took her 14 years, but she did it, and she is inspiring others to pursue their dreams.  Continue reading

Worthing HS students get up-close lesson on tech jobs in Silicon Valley

Students from Worthing High School got an up-close and personal look at in-demand tech jobs of the future in Silicon Valley.

A group of 20 computer programming students traveled to San Francisco earlier this month to spend time training with tech industry leaders at SoftBank Robotics’ RobotLAB. During the experience, they programmed two robots designed for retail and educational applications.

“The purpose of this experience was to open their minds to computer programming, because the robots are coming, and they’re going to be taking over a lot of jobs,” Worthing High School computer programming teacher Nina Jolivet said. “They’re going to need people to program these robots. Why not our students?” Continue reading