Category Archives: Middle Schools

HISD launches new student information system, parent portal

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.

“Collaboration 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.”

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Two HISD campuses selected for Microsoft Imagine Academy

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 certifications.

“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.”

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HISD kicks off Camp Spark during live launch event

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 enrichment camp.

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 course.

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Project Explore ready to help HISD middle school students Reconnect Safely, Return Strong

Project Explore students attended the Summer Companion Camp at the Houston Humane Society this summer. 

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 advising sessions.  

“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.”

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HISD Special Populations to offer Parent Labs in August and September

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 school year.

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.”

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HISD utilizes highway billboards to promote district’s reopening plan

HISD is hitting the highways around the city to promote the district’s Reconnect Safely, Return Strong reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Four billboards have been posted around town on some of Houston’s most heavily traveled roadways, including:

  • 610 South at Beechnut
  • I-45 at Fugate
  • I-69 South at Westpark
  • I-45 at Park Place
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HISD Board approves $54.6 million budget amendment to help students Reconnect Safely, Return Strong

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.

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HISD, Houston Food Bank hosts community food distributions on Fridays in August at NRG

The Houston Independent School District, in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, is hosting mass community food distributions on in August at NRG Stadium.

Nutrition 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.

Distribution 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.

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HISD teachers to create lessons for HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV

HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV lessons will continue this fall, and teachers will be able to develop content to be broadcast across various platforms.

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.

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HISD welcomes back district leadership for 2020-2021 school year

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.”

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