Category Archives: Linked Learning

Campuses distribute technology to prepare for first day of virtual learning

In preparation for the upcoming school year, HISD parents began lining up at Northline Elementary School early to receive technology that will help when online classes begin next week.

Lourdes Villafuerte’s daughter Mila, a rising fourth-grader at Northline, received a Chromebook that she is excited to start using. Villafuerte says she’s relieved the district is making technology available to students during this challenging time.

“I really appreciate that they have tried to accommodate as many families as they have,” she said. I am still concerned about schools opening in October, so if we can continue with online learning, we would like to take that approach, and this makes that possible for us.”

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Student spotlight: Yates HS communications program covers State of the Schools

Editor’s note: This is the first in a weekly series of articles designed to highlight the work of HISD students, particularly as it relates to developing global graduate skills, connecting learning to careers, or preparing for higher education. In this inaugural feature, we take a look at the communications program at Yates High School, whose students covered the district’s State of the Schools luncheon on March 3 as a part of their project-based assignments.

More than 150 students currently participate in the communications program at Yates HS, and several of those young people got to attend HISD’s recent State of the Schools luncheon. While there, they applied what they are learning in the classroom to real life, honing their skills in photography, film-making, interviewing, and story-telling.

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Trustee to host Family Learning Academy on emerging career opportunities Feb. 27

HISD Board of Education Member Rhonda Skillern-Jones has partnered with the Family and Community Engagement and Linked Learning Departments to host the District II Family Learning Academy on emerging career opportunities.

The free event will take place from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, at Washington High School (119 East 39th Street, 77018), and will connect families with resources to help parents engage in their children’s education.

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Rick Cruz selected to serve as HISD’s new Chief of Major Projects

Richard (Rick) Cruz poses for a photograph, January 6, 2016.

Richard (Rick) Cruz poses for a photograph, January 6, 2016.

Houston Independent School District Major Projects Officer Rick Cruz has been selected to lead his division, replacing outgoing Chief Don Hare, who is retiring.

Cruz, a former fifth-grade teacher who was tapped to serve in the HISD administration after launching the district’s successful EMERGE program more than five years ago, will officially assume his new role on Jan. 25.

In his new position, he will be tasked with managing the College Readiness and Counseling and Guidance departments, as well as major initiatives designed to transform education in the district, such as the EMERGE and Futures Academy programs, and Linked Learning.

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Students exploring Linked Learning through Junior Achievement

Thanks to a $30 million federal Race to the Top-District (RTT-D) grant HISD won in 2013, students at 119 campuses are connecting the concepts they learn in the classroom to the real world that awaits them after graduation. 

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Automotive technician training program offers Sterling HS students hands-on career experience

Mapping out the road for life after high school can be intimidating for some students, but with the help of HISD’s Transportation department and International Trucks of Houston, students from Sterling Aviation High School are quickly on their way to meaningful careers in the automotive industry.

The Automotive Diesel Internship Program, sponsored by HISD’s Transportation Fleet Operations, creates a hands-on opportunity for departmental staff to train future automotive technicians and provide guidance to students. Training is divided among all five motor pools in the district in hopes of giving students the background and initiative to succeed in automotive mechanics.

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More teachers building connections between industry and classroom

Good teachers know how to inspire students by using the world around them. And that’s just what about 100 HISD educators have been doing this month through Teacher Externship Week, a program sponsored by Linked Learning in order to promote job-based education.

Various industries agreed to host core curriculum teachers for a week so that the latter could acquire first-hand experience and insights into career paths. After shadowing employers, teachers will bring their newfound wisdom back to the classroom this fall. Externship locations included the Houston Public Library, the Federal Reserve Bank Cybersecurity branch, Memorial Hermann Hospital, and the Houston Fire Department, among others. Continue reading

Adam Stephens named officer for innovative curriculum

Adam Stephens has been selected as the new officer for innovative curriculum. He will report to Chief Academic Officer Drew Houlihan.

Stephens joined HISD in 2003 and began his career as a special education teacher. He has held various other positions over the past 12 years, including regional manager, assistant principal, and principal. He most recently served as the assistant superintendent of Linked Learning. In this role, Stephens provided leadership in the areas of program conceptualization, design, implementation, and evaluation for the $30 million dollar Race to the Top District Grant.

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Linked Learning gives recent grads a jump on public works careers

LiLe_PubWksTour_440x230Students from Furr and Chávez high schools tour largest wastewater facility in the city

The source of our water is becoming the source of a career for several HISD graduates. Fifteen students who just graduated from Furr HS and Chávez HS were selected to partake in a three-week class on water maintenance that will result in them gaining Class D water operator licenses as well as eligibility for employment with the City of Houston Public Works Department.

The class is a part of HISD’s Linked Learning initiative, which combines academics and hands-on learning to prepare students for real-world experiences and career pathways.

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HISD to link virtual learning to classroom with on the job video conferences

Career professionals will soon be able to join an HISD class virtually to speak to students live on camera about their industry, giving students an up-close and personal look at numerous professions.

As part of a new HISD Linked Learning initiative to combine core academics with career-based knowledge, hundreds of career and technical education teachers participated in a two-hour training this week to learn how to use, a web-based platform that easily connects teachers and students with industry experts for video conferences. Although teachers often organize face-to-face student visits with professionals, this tool will allow teachers and students to participate in these sessions without having to leave the classroom.  Continue reading