The dreary skies of the last week cleared out just in time this Saturday for Rucker Elementary School’s principal to lace up her walking shoes and carry out her mission of making sure all her students know they are loved.
Principal Eileen Puente and group of volunteers and staff from Rucker Elementary School came together for a door-to-door effort to help check in on students who have recently struggled with attendance.
“We want them to know that we are here for them and we want them in school,” she said.
As clouds of monarch butterflies migrate south for the winter, many of them pass through Houston, where a special program allows HISD students to provide nectar-rich flowers and milkweed to nourish them.
Twenty-one HISD schools are participating in the Monarch Heroes program this school year, allowing students to create monarch habitat gardens to reverse the decline of the species.
The two-year program is part of the National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools USA Program, the nation’s largest comprehensive green school program.
While Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center students made their way to classes Tuesday morning, the HISD Bond Oversight Committee strolled through the hallways to see the new school in action.
Led by Associate Principal Ryan Hutchings and HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Sizwe Lewis, the group made stops in the school’s dining commons, cosmetology, robotics and math labs, gymnasium, and auditorium.
The Bond Oversight Committee is an independent citizens’ committee tasked with monitoring the bond program, ensuring revenues are spent appropriately, and evaluating program risks and controls. The group meets quarterly.
The Houston Independent School District Communications team was honored with two 2019 Lone Star Emmy awards in Arlington, Texas, during the 17th Annual Lone Star Emmy Awards ceremony.
HISD Communications was recognized for its promotional marketing video campaign, titled HISD Empowers, as well as a feature story about an HISD student, who despite being visually impaired, learned to develop her talents at school by playing the violin and guitar.
Under the leadership of Chief Communications Officer Rebecca Suarez, HISD Communications has become an Emmy-Award winning team, earning a total of six Lone Star Emmys. “I am incredibly grateful for an amazing and innovative team that is passionate about telling the inspiring stories of our students, teachers, families and community – the voices of our district,” Suarez said. “Our mission is to amplify those voices to continue to spread the good news.”
DeBakeyHS for Health Professions,DeAnda ES earn top spots
The Houston Independent School District has 22 campuses that placed in the top 10 on the annual Children at Risk list of best public schools in the eight-county region, with DeBakey High School for Health Professions continuing its streak as the number one high school.
DeAnda Elementary School is ranked number one on the regional list of Children at Risk Gold Ribbon campuses, which are schools that have high achievement rates despite high poverty rates. Sanchez Elementary School is ranked second on the list.
During a news conference today at the Children’s Museum of Houston, HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan joined other local educational leaders for the announcement of the school standings.
As the saying goes, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way,” and that’s just how Area Superintendent Felicia Adams chooses to lead the district’s turnaround program, Achieve 180.
“My leadership style is a hands-on modeling approach where I lead from the inside rather than the outside,” Adams said. “I am big on modeling and showing administrators what the work looks like to move a campus forward.”
A 25-plus year educator and former principal with her own accolades, Adams knows firsthand how to support the Achieve 180 campus leaders in gaining distinctions and closing achievement gaps within literacy and mathematics among the district’s most underserved populations.
Dressed in a red floral brocade dress and her blonde hair illuminated in lights, Cambry Gerardi, an eighth-grader from the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS), stood alone on a stage in Zhengzhou, China and shared her story of learning Chinese.
In near perfect Mandarin, the non-native speaker described to the judges of the Chinese Bridge World Language Competition how a simple, albeit significant, chain of events solidified her love of the Chinese language and led her to that moment.
“My trip to the Chinese Bridge (competition) has helped me improve my Chinese and connect with friends from all over the world,” she told the audience.
The students of Eastwood Academy got the reveal they’ve been waiting for on Wednesday when they celebrated the unveiling of their very own makerspace, thanks to community partner TXRX Labs.
Thanks to the long-awaited community project, students will no longer have to trek off-campus after school hours to complete their innovative projects such as motorized bicycles and 3D equipment. Instead, they’ll have everything they need for such projects right at their fingertips.
“We are excited for this workspace where students will be able to create and innovate to bring all of their ideas to life,” Principal Brandi Lira said. “By having the makerspace on our campus, we can open our doors to feeder patters on the East End where we can create other innovators within the community.”
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.”
Students interested in learning about career training programs and other career opportunities packed the HISD Educational Learning Center on Tuesday for the district’s second annual Ready to Work Career Fair hosted by HISD’s College and Career Readiness Department.
The Ready to Work Career Fair gave more than 700 HISD seniors from 30 high schools the opportunity to explore different career options through hands-on experiences and information sessions.
“What is so cool about today’s event is that it gives our students a chance to learn about career training programs,” Assistant Superintendent for College Readiness David Johnston said. “This is a special opportunity for those students who want to go and obtain a certificate or enter a workforce program.”