The Houston Independent School District has moved to a new Student Information System (SIS) for the 2020-2021 school year. The new system includes a parent portal that will launch on Aug. 31.
Parents will be able
to use the HISD Connect Parent Portal as a tool to track information related to
their student’s schedule, grades, attendance, academic history, and more.
between educators and parents is more important than ever, as we prepare to
reconnect safely and return strong,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan
said. “HISD Connect will integrate seamlessly with online learning.”
Students at HISD’s Edison Middle School and Yates High
School will receive innovative technological instruction through the Microsoft
Imagine Academy as part of the company’s partnership with the City of Houston
to stimulate digital literacy in economically disadvantaged communities.
Edison Middle School and Yates High School students will
receive virtual instruction in coding, IT infrastructure, data science, and
attend virtual Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) camps. High
school students will also receive training in Artificial Intelligence, modern
workplace tools and office productivity in preparation for earning
“This is an incredible opportunity for students at Edison
and Yates, who will gain the tools and knowledge they need to close high-tech
skills gaps,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Participating
in the Microsoft Imagine Academy has the potential to be a game-changer for our
middle and high school students.”
Surrounded by the bright orange and white
colors of the Houston Dynamo, HISD Interim Superintendent Lathan led the
unveiling on Tuesday of the district’s first-ever, all-virtual academic
Camp Spark, which kicks off on Monday,
Aug. 24, launched with a live socially distant celebration at Houston’s BBVA
Compass Stadium. The virtual camp, which is designed to get students re-engaged
as the district prepares for online learning, will provide lessons that focus on physical fitness, science, literacy,
math, internet safety, technology and art.
New ninth-graders will take part
in a boot camp to prepare them for high school while 10th- through
12th-graders will participate in a College and Career Readiness
As the 2020-21 school year approaches, HISD’s Project
Explore is preparing to meet the needs of students across the district with an
array of virtual college and career readiness programs.
Project Explore, which connects middle school students to
college and career opportunities, is planning a variety of virtual expeditions
to introduce middle school students to the skills needed for secondary,
postsecondary, and career success, including virtual college campus visits and
“The Project Explore team is up for the challenge,” Project
Explore Director Mia Bradford said. “Our advisors will continue to offer the
most meaningful experiences possible to keep students engaged and forge
connections with career and postsecondary professionals.”
HISD’s Special Populations department will host a series of
Parent Labs in August and September to assist parents who have students in any
special populations program with navigating virtual learning for the 2020-2021
The Parent Labs will proactively engage and support parents with
programs such as autism, dyslexia, speech/language, 504, intellectually
disabled, and gifted & talented. There will be up to 20 sessions available by
disability area or special population group and will be accessible via live or
recorded formats. There also will be sessions available in Spanish.
“As we embark on a school year like no other, we know that
extra supports for parents and students are vital as we navigate a more virtual
approach to learning,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “These
live interactive sessions are designed to inform, engage and empower our HISD parent
community for the coming school year.”
The Houston Independent
School District Board of Education approved a $54.6 million amendment to the
2020-2021 budget, which includes a $31 million purchase of devices and wireless
hotspots to help close the digital divide and ensure students are equipped to Reconnect Safely and Return Strong when classes resume virtually on Sept. 8.
The district has provided
76,362 devices for students in need since the pandemic and plans to distribute
22,750 additional devices by next month. HISD has provided 6,628 hotspots for
students in need and plans to distribute an additional 19,151 of the wireless
devices by next month as well.
The added appropriations in
the budget amendment will also fund additional special education positions,
personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing signage, plexiglass
dividers, and instructional supports.
Independent School District, in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, is
hosting mass community food distributions on in August at NRG Stadium.
Services staff are expected to distribute 5,000 food packages as well as 5,000
packages of student meals. The family food packages will have up to 60 pounds
of food, while each student meals package will contain a week’s worth of breakfast
and lunch meals.
is open from 2 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 14, Aug. 21, and Aug. 28 in the NRG yellow lot.
Attendees must enter via the yellow lot main entrance off South Main Street.
During the final distribution — on Aug. 28 only — families also will receive
school supplies donated by T-Mobile, Reliant, and Kroger.
HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV lessons will continue this fall, and
teachers will be able to develop content to be broadcast across various
Starting on Aug. 10, area offices will distribute a survey
to collect basic information from interested teachers, such as school, grade
level, subject, and language. Teachers who complete the survey will receive a
link to upload a 10-minute video lesson by Aug. 17.
A committee will use a rubric to assess the submissions and
select 25 teachers to submit a weekly lesson during the fall semester for the
grade level band and subject of their application submission. Selected teachers
will be announced on Aug. 21 and will receive a stipend.
Cars covered with colorful banners and balloons lined up to
participate in the district’s annual Welcome Back event this week, which took
on a different format from previous years due to COVID-19 precautions.
Each car held an HISD principal and was decorated to
represent their respective campus. District leadership, including HISD Interim
Superintendent Grenita Lathan, danced to the music played by the DJ on site.
“This is the kickoff to the 2020-2021 school year, the Year
of Flexibility,” Lathan said. “We are excited to receive over 210,000 students
back to HISD. My goal is for all HISD students to be within reach and able to
obtain a quality education.”