Following a purple carpeted path, students, staff, and community members walked through an inflatable Panther tunnel, that led to a dining commons area decorated with purple and silver balloons in celebration of the Northside High School grand opening ceremony.
Festive holiday music filled the space as guests heard student performances from the Northside High School Jazz Band, Dancing Pantherettes, Choir, Ballet Folklórico, and Cheerleaders.
“This campus not only allows us to clearly express ourselves, but it inspires us to be more creative,” Northside Senior Jacquelin Ricalday said. “It’s great for current students, future students, and our community overall.”
The school spirit was palpable as the Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center Mighty Tiger Marching Band played crowd-pumping music and the Tigerettes danced in fringed gold leotards with big bows fastened to their ponytails.
The performances were part of the school’s homecoming week festivities, which included a pep rally-style grand opening held to celebrate the new school and the impact it’s had on students, staff, and the community.
“Transitioning to this building has been a new beginning for everyone,” Sam Houston MSTC Senior Deann Mendoza said, noting that the new school changed her classmates’ attitudes. “The atmosphere here is different in a good way.”
Two schools built under the 2012 Bond Program have been recognized as outstanding projects by Learning by Design magazine.
Madison and Westbury high schools were included in the Fall 2019 edition of the magazine, which is a premier source for education design innovation and excellence. The magazine assembled a panel of six architects and education administrators to review projects from across the nation.
“It’s an honor to have Madison and Westbury high schools selected as outstanding projects by Learning by Design,” General Manager of Facilities Design Dan Bankhead said. “The two projects have provided students with modern learning spaces to support their academic efforts and we’re pleased that the work that went into these schools has been recognized by such a distinguished panel and notable publication.”
The autumn chill did not stop the Mitchell Elementary School community from gathering Thursday on the site where their new school soon will stand to celebrate the progress being made on their new building.
Students in matching yellow T-shirts kicked off the event with a heartwarming rendition of “There’s a Leader in Me.” Mitchell Principal Elizabeth Castillo-Guajardo then spoke to the crowd in English and Spanish.
“We are so proud of the resiliency everyone has shown throughout this process,” Castillo-Guajardo said. “Our new school will be a symbol of promise and hope that will propel our students into their bright future.”
Red, white, silver, and blue balloons were artfully arranged into columns and arches alongside a bright red carpet that guided guests to the dining commons, where rows of black chairs were lined up.
The celebratory décor created a festive atmosphere for the official grand opening of the new Madison High School, built as part of the district’s 2012 Bond Program and opened to students in January 2019.
“It’s the perfect place to create a better version of ourselves,” Madison Senior Class President and Student Council Vice President Mariana Martinez said of the new school. “We’re really thankful.”
Hundreds of Kolter Elementary School families gathered Saturday at the site where their old school once stood, eager to get a peek at concrete and steel rising up from the ground before them.
Many were clad in red and blue shirts adorned with a proud and determined message: “Hurricanes are strong. Kolter is stronger.” Others held white paper fans emblazoned with, “Consider me a big fan of the new Kolter Elementary.”
All were there to celebrate the construction progress on the foreign language magnet school, set to re-open next summer after being destroyed two years prior by Hurricane Harvey.
Girls in colorful, ruffled dresses with yellow ribbons in their hair waved their arms back and forth as boys in wide-brimmed black hats and red ties tapped their feet and wooden swords on the pavement.
Moving to the steady beat of mariachi music echoing through the air, the Ballet Folklorico energized the crowd gathered before them to celebrate the construction progress made on the new Scarborough Elementary School.
“We are Scarborough. Whatever it takes, together we can. No excuses,” said fifth-grader Jasmine Savala, who was adorned with a bright pink construction hat and matching vest.
Braeburn Elementary School students clad in bright green T-shirts braved the summer sun Saturday as they converged on a construction site that was once home to their old school.
The students sat with parents and friends, some under umbrellas and sipping ice-cold water, and gazed in amazement at the site before them — two stories of steel beams that soon will be transformed into their new school.
“We are so happy that this building will be our final Braeburn campus and the best one yet,” said fourth-grader Oscar Perez, whose words were then translated by fourth-grader Stanley Jimenez for the largely Spanish-speaking crowd. “When we saw the blueprint for our new school, we almost couldn’t believe that we would get to learn in such a beautiful building.”
During her whirlwind first-day of school district tour, HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan stopped at Neff Early Learning Center, where she and other administration officials gathered to highlight to the media and community the expansion of pre-K education throughout the district.
“High-quality, full-day pre-K will continue to be a top priority in HISD,” Lathan said. “We must provide all children with a solid foundation as they embark on their educational journeys. Funding these programs are an investment in our children and our families.”
HISD’s full-day Pre-K program, which is offered to three- and four-year-olds, began in 2006. This school year, a total of 12 elementary campuses throughout the district will be expanding pre-K classrooms for a total of 38 pre-K rooms.
Gathered outside Lamar High School’s new main entrance, cheerleaders, Rangerettes, and the color guard shook their pompoms to the beat of the music played by the band, welcoming students back to school.
Inside, the hum of conversation filled the grand hall as hundreds of students peered around the two-story room, admiring the tall glass walls and massive, blue staircase, as they waited for the first bell to ring.
“The kids walked in wide-eyed saying, ‘It’s beautiful,’” Lamar Principal Rita Graves said, recalling how eager students had been to see the school during last week’s Texan Prep Days. “They’re just really excited to be learning in such a cool place.”