Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday issued a
proclamation designating Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage
Month in the district.
Heritage Month kicks off with the anniversary of the 1821 Independence Day of
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The month also
encompasses the independence days for Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept.
the month, a variety of virtual events showcasing performances, art, and many
other displays of the rich Hispanic culture can be observed across the city of
Starting with the
second six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year, Houston Independent School
District families will be required to select either in-person or virtual instruction
for students. The first day of the second six weeks is October 19.
Nutrition Services Chef Trainer Brittany Jones is used to teaching others how
to prepare tasty, nutritious meals. Now she’ll get to share her expertise with
others around the state thanks to a virtual learning seminar.
Jones recently visited Texas A&M University where she filmed culinary demonstrations to be included in virtual lessons for the Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go program offered by Texas AgriLife Extension’s Junior Master Gardener program.
Learn, Grow, Eat, and Go curriculum is used in select HISD elementary science classes to teach students about gardening, nutrition, and physical activity to promote long-term health. Nutrition Services hopes to share the new virtual lessons, which complement the in-person curriculum, all HISD elementary teachers via science curriculum coordinators.
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.
The Houston Independent School District is teaming up with
the Houston Texans and Reliant to encourage attendance in virtual learning
during the 2020-2021 school year through the “Attend to Win” initiative.
Throughout the fall semester, which ends January 29, 2021,
HISD students and classrooms will receive inspiring messages from Texans
players and celebrities through public service announcements and other forms of
communication. Students and classrooms with outstanding attendance in virtual
learning can win special prizes such as signed footballs and jerseys,
backpacks, a virtual tour of NRG stadium, and more.
“It’s imperative that all students are logging in daily and
engaging virtually with their teachers,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan
said. “I welcome the support of the entire Houston community to achieve
educational excellence in our district, and I want to thank our friends at the
Houston Texans and Reliant for their partnership in our work to educate all
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan embarked on a
whirlwind tour of the district on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands of students,
educators, parents, and staff began the first day of the 2020-2021 school year
virtually with a charge to Reconnect Safely and Return Strong.
Lathan spent the day making in-person and virtual visits
to campuses and online classrooms to speak with students, parents, and teachers
encouraging them as they began, calling the 2020-2021 school year the
district’s Year of Flexibility.
“We are very excited for today because March was the last
time many of us saw our students,” she said before the start of the
districtwide tour. “The first day of school certainly looks different this
year, however, I remain optimistic that with continued determination,
resilience, and flexibility, 2020-21 can be our best year yet.”
After a week-long break, the Houston Independent School
District is relaunching curbside student meals distribution on Tuesday, Sept. 8
— the first day of the 2020-2021 school year.
HISD Nutrition Services will offer daily curbside pickup, Monday
through Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 86 schools strategically located
throughout the district. Each day, families can go to any location to pick up
one pre-packed breakfast and lunch meal per student. The meals are served at no
cost to families.
Parents must show proof of enrollment in an HISD school — such as a student ID or report card —
to pick up the meals.
members took hundreds of calls and answered questions on a variety of topics
during the district’s back-to-school phone banks on Friday as the district
helps families to Reconnect
Safely and Return Strong for the 2020-2021 school year.
The phone banks
gave the public the opportunity to ask questions in English and Spanish by
calling the HISD at H.O.M.E. hotline number at 713-556-(INFO) 4636.
“Every year, we hold our phone banks to ensure our parents and students can get their questions answered by talking one-on-one with an HISD team member,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “During this ‘Year of Flexibility,’ we want our parents to know that we are partners with them in their child’s education.”
Varona, a rising ninth-grader from DeBakey High School for Health Professions,
has dreams of pursuing a career in science, and after one week at HISD’s
all-virtual Camp Spark, those dreams are stronger than ever.
“One day, I
have dreams of creating medicine that will help people,” he said. “Camp Spark
has really encouraged me to pursue those dreams.”
The two-week camp, which is offered to students in
grades pre-K through 12 and provided at no cost, is designed to get students re-engaged as the district prepares
for online learning, and provides online lessons that focus on physical
fitness, science, literacy, math, internet safety, technology and art.
HISD’s Welch Middle School sparked to life for a few hours
on Saturday as parents and students drove through to pick up school supplies
during the 13th Annual Karen Johnson Back to School Bash.
This year’s event – hosted by the mother of retired Texans
wide receiver Andre Johnson – had to be narrowed down to a Drive Thru Backpack
Giveaway in accordance of COVID-19 physical distancing and safety measures. Nevertheless,
cars filled with excited parents and students lined up as items were loaded
into their trunks.
“Kids need their supplies for school, and some kids might be
embarrassed to ask for a pencil, or a pen or a notebook,” Karen Johnson said.
“We started in 2007 at Hobby Elementary and now, for the first time, we have
partnered with Welch Middle School. So hopefully we will be able to keep this
going for years to come.”