The scene playing out on the stage at Ortiz Middle School on a humid May morning is a familiar one to many Houstonians.
Musicians decked out in embroidered pants, wide-brimmed sombreros, and colorful silk ties playing vihuelas, guitarróns, trumpets, and other instruments in a style instantly recognizable as mariachi music.
But what makes this group stand out is that the musicians are all under the age of 14.
“It makes me feel alive,” sixth-grader Joshua Campos said. “My problems, when I play, they just go away. I just think about the music.”
The fair will be held online at HoustonISD.org/PreKindergartenFair on Saturday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The meeting comes in advance of the April 30 deadline for Phase 1 applications for pre-kindergarten students.
When Nathaniel Melvin began teaching art at Westbury High School, he was assigned a classroom with no sink. For someone who specializes in building large sculptures and technical art pieces, that was an issue.
He installed one, but even then, the classroom never quite functioned the way he needed it to. There wasn’t enough cabinetry to hold supplies.
Melvin now teaches in a “visual arts studio” specifically designed to meet his students’ needs. Ample power is available via ceiling cables at each art table. There is plenty of built-in storage space. Most importantly — there is not one, but three sinks.
Parents who would still like to apply for a school choice program for the 2021-2022 school year have until Friday, Feb. 26 to do so.
After all applications in Phase 1 have been offered, eligible Phase 2 students who meet a program’s qualifications will be considered in the order in which their application was submitted, should the program have space available.
Any applications for students who live outside the HISD boundaries will not be considered until Phase 3, even if the application was submitted during Phase 2.
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.
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.”
First of five school choice fairs slated for Sept. 19 via Microsoft Teams
Independent School District parents can begin applying for their child to enter
a choice program for the 2021-2022 school year on Saturday,
Sept. 19. The district’s first of five school choice fairs will also take place
on Saturday, Sept. 19 virtually through Microsoft Teams from 9 a.m. to noon.
HISD offers a comprehensive selection of magnet programs at 112 schools, as well as program choice transfer options to all 280 schools in HISD, to meet every students’ academic needs and interests. HISD magnet programs include College & Career Readiness, Fine Arts, Futures Academy, International Specialty Schools, International Baccalaureate, Language Immersion Schools, Language Programs, Montessori, STEM & STEAM, Single-Gender College Preparatory, and Vanguard. HISD program choice transfer options include Boundary Option, Career/Technology Education, Dual Language, and International Baccalaureate.
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.”