Category Archives: News

HISD recognizes Red Ribbon Week

HISD’s Department of Academic and Career Counseling invites all district staff, students and parents to join them in recognizing Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program.

Red Ribbon Week, which is celebrated annually October 23-31, has taken on national significance mobilizing communities to educate students and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Wearing red ribbons during the month of October represents the pledge to live drug-free and honors all who have lost their lives in the fight against drugs.

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Scarborough ES welcomes Huskies to new home

A group of enthusiastic teachers clad in blue Huskies t-shirts cheered as students arrived at the new Scarborough Elementary School for the first time on Monday.

After undergoing temperature checks, the students marveled at their new surroundings and the colorful bilingual welcome signs awaiting them.

Fourth-grader Elizabeth Garza wore a black mask imprinted with the smile of a Cheshire cat, but the sparkle in her eyes made it clear she was smiling just as wide underneath it.

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Mitchell Elementary celebrates a ‘powerful’ return

As Mitchell Elementary School students arrived for the first day of in-person instruction, there were plenty of bright eyes and broad smiles, evident even underneath their masks.

The students entered the new school and looked on in amazement at their new surroundings. Teachers stood nearby reminding them to walk while observing physical distancing.

With their backpacks filled, the students made their way to their classrooms, greeted teachers, and quickly found their seats, ready to begin the school day.

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For one HISD family, a new school building to call home

A day before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, Tiffany Irving and her son Grant eagerly delivered school supplies to his kindergarten classroom at Mitchell Elementary, just south of Hobby Airport.

Little did they know then that Grant’s supplies — along with the rest of his building and three other elementary schools across the district — would be destroyed in the coming days as the storm dumped unprecedented amounts of rain on the city.

Unfortunately, the damage wasn’t limited to the school. The Irving’s home just around the corner from the school also flooded.

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Braeburn Elementary students head ‘home’ to new school

Students couldn’t hold back their delight as they entered the new Braeburn Elementary School for the first time on Monday — the district’s first day of in-person learning.

The long-awaited day marked not just a return to classrooms, but also the first time since 2017 that Braeburn students have been able to settle into a permanent home.

Teachers offered a friendly ‘hello’ and ‘welcome back’ to students as they entered the main hallway, were positioned in physically distant single-file lines, and then led to their new classrooms.

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Kolter ES welcomes students to new campus for in-person instruction

Kolter Elementary School Principal Julianne Dickinson began to feel the weight of Monday morning before the sun went down the day before.

For Dickinson, Monday was different for a few reasons — the start of in-person instruction, the return of students to classrooms after eight months, and the required use of masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the most special reason was that it was her students’ first day in their newly constructed school.

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Plant operators play an essential role in students’ return

If you follow Eliot Elementary School Plant Operator Irma Martinez along on her new cleaning route, you’ll see her clean and disinfect the school from wall-to-wall — figuratively and literally.

As part of her new duties, Martinez is required to clean and sanitize restrooms and high touch surfaces every hour. It includes walls, door handles, light switches, faucets, cafeteria tables, and anything else young students may touch that could harbor viruses.

“I try to help the students as fast as I can,” Martinez said. “That’s why I don’t work by myself. I work with my team.”

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Longtime Navarro MS karate instructor creates safe environment for students to thrive

Chantal Duval-Jackson’s Kickstart Karate students lined up in neat rows and ran through warm-up drills on Monday with their usual precision and enthusiastic shouts of “Kiai!”

The only noticeable differences on the first day of face-to-face instruction at Navarro Middle School were the addition of masks and carefully staggered checkerboard mat to ensure social distancing measures were observed.

Duval-Jackson, who has taught karate at the school for nearly 10 years, had the extra challenge this year of creating a safe space for her students – not an easy task considering karate usually is a full-contact sport. She has about 150 students in sixth through eighth grades, and about 30 percent of those students have opted for in-person instruction. The majority of her students are participating virtually.

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Mark White ES nurse helps foster healthy, safe atmosphere for students

Nurse Janda Jelks’ first year as a school nurse has been unusual and challenging, but she has leveraged her creativity and enthusiasm to excel in her new role.

Jelks, who worked in a hospital before coming to Mark White Elementary School, said her goal is to foster relationships between parents, teachers, and students and ensure the return to face-to-face instruction is as smooth as possible.

“Our priority is making sure kids are getting as much instruction time as they can, either virtually or in person,” Jelks said. “I would hate for something that I’m doing, even though it’s state-mandated, to cut into that. So instead of the students coming to me, I come to them.”

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Virtual Dream Summit Series to prepare international students for college

HISD’s College Readiness and Multilingual departments will be adapting the annual Dream Summit into a series of events called the Dream Summit Series to assist students with college applications and the financial aid process.

The virtual kickoff event for the series, Launch the Dream, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 6-7:30 p.m. High school students and their families are encouraged to attend the free event, which will be hosted in English and Spanish.

The event aims to help HISD DREAMers, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, visa holders, permanent residents, refugees, and asylum grantees, along with their families. Students will be able to speak with district representatives regarding financial aid requirements and get help with the college application process.

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