Category Archives: News

Principal brings wealth of experience to Kashmere HS to help exit campus from state’s ‘Improvement Required’ list

Reginald Bush

Principal Reginald Bush knew it was “challenge accepted” when he was named principal at Kashmere High School, an Achieve 180 campus, prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year. 

On a typical school day at Kashmere, you can find Bush in his signature military-style fatigues, mingling with students in the halls and checking in with teachers and staff to monitor the ongoing instruction happening in classrooms. 

“From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I knew that I needed to focus on supporting the teachers, building their toolkits and modeling effective practices that would quickly move the data,” Bush said. “I built the campus’ culture on the idea of ‘No Teacher Left Behind,’ and I wanted to make sure we kept the human element at the forefront of everything we did with our faculty and students.” 

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HISD’s Report Card: 92 percent of schools earn passing grade on state accountability system 

Kashmere High School rewrites history by earning passing grade

The Houston Independent School District earned an overall high “B” rating by the Texas Education Agency under the state accountability system for the 2018-2019 academic year, exiting nine campuses from the state’s “Improvement Required” list. The district earned a grade of 88.

According to the ratings released by TEA, 92 percent of HISD schools (250 out of 271 rated campuses) earned a passing grade. For the first time, all HISD schools received a letter grade under the state’s new A-F rating system, which was implemented in 2018. Fifty-seven HISD campuses earned A’s, 78 earned B’s, 86 earned C’s and 29 earned D’s. A minimum grade of “D” is required for a school to receive a passing rating.

“We are extremely proud of all of our teachers, principals, school support officers, and area superintendents for working diligently to help our students succeed,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Our students demonstrated significant gains, and we are committed to empowering them to thrive academically.”

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Blackshear ES unveils inspirational new mural to Third Ward community

Despite the soaring temperatures, an enthusiastic crowd gathered outside HISD’s Blackshear Elementary School on Wednesday for the unveiling of a new campus mural that celebrates the school’s recent academic achievements and improvement in literacy. 

“We now have the best mural in the city of Houston – the most beautiful mural in the city of Houston,” Blackshear Principal Alicia Gobert Lewis said. “At Blackshear, we want to make sure that everywhere children look they see something beautiful.” 

The mural, which as the brainchild of Lewis, was designed and painted by Houston-based artist Reginald Adams. His art installations can be seen in historic and underserved communities across the U.S. The theme of the mural is Break Every Chain, and it is brimming with literary elements, colorful books, and powerful images of children reading. 

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Bond Oversight Committee members receive program update, tour Barbara Jordan Career Center

The HISD Bond Oversight Committee got an up-close look at the new Barbara Jordan Career Center during their second quarter meeting Tuesday.  

Committee members made their way up the school’s modern learning stairs and through hallways filled with natural light and turquoise accent walls. The group took pictures along the way and tried on a simulator helmet in the welding classroom.   

The tour — led by Principal Ross McAlpine, HISD Construction Services Senior Manager Sizwe Lewis, and HISD Project Manager Zorana Marquez-Campos — made stops in the school’s health science classroom, and cosmetology, automotive and diesel, culinary, welding, and construction management labs.  

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HISD meets its newest Team HISD members at New Teacher Academy

There wasn’t an empty seat in sight as more than 1,500 new teachers filled the gymnasium at Kingdom Builders for their first day as members of Team HISD at the district’s annual New Teacher Academy.  

With parking overflowing to the adjoining streets, it’s one of the district’s most exciting days as HISD welcomes and prepares those who have decided to embark on the journey of teaching. 

The four-day conference is a collaboration between Onboarding & Organizational Development and the Professional Support & Development teams. Planning begins more than six months before as district representatives gather to produce an action-packed week filled with information and resources new teachers need as they navigate through their first year at HISD.  

As the many new faces nervously headed to training focused on curriculum and lesson planning, a few of the district’s newcomers shared a bit about themselves and why they are eager to get started for the 2019-2020 school year. 

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HISD Police Department welcomes 15 new officers

Fifteen uniformed men and women gathered with friends and family Wednesday at the High School for Law and Justice to be sworn in as the district’s newest law enforcement officers.

The audience cheered after each officer had a shiny silver badge affixed to their uniform by a family member or friend. The new officers walked across the stage proudly, pausing to shake their colleagues’ hands and accept congratulations.

 “Before stepping foot on a school campus, please remember that some of our students deal with challenges beyond what you can imagine,” HISD Police Chief Paul Cordova said, offering the officers a few words of advice just before they were officially sworn in. “Remember to have a warm smile and a bit of compassion.”

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HISD expands fine arts access to all elementary schools

Inspired by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan’s mission to provide fine arts education to more students, HISD will add a fine arts teacher to 37 elementary schools across the district for the 2019-2020 school year.  

“For the first time in recent history, all HISD elementary students will have access to a certified fine arts teacher,” HISD Director of Fine Arts Wenden Sanders said. “HISD views every student as an emerging artist, and thanks to Dr. Lathan’s vision, students will have ample opportunity to develop those creative skills.”  

Up until this year, roughly 20,000 HISD elementary students had little to no access to fine arts instruction. Now, those students will have the chance to participate in either music, theater or visual arts on a daily basis.  

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Parent University to kick off for second year with districtwide workshops

The Houston Independent School District will kick off its second year of Parent University on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at all district campuses.

The workshops will connect parents and children to resources offered by the district to create successful academic careers as well as safe and healthy environments at home and at school. 

A variety of district and community program representatives and experts will be available for parents to connect with individually. After the districtwide event on Sept. 17, Parent University workshops will take place monthly at geographically dispersed locations at 5:15 p.m. as follows: 

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2012 Bond Program nears completion

Almost seven years after Houston voters approved a $1.89 billion bond to replace and repair 40 schools across the district, including 29 high schools, the 2012 Bond Program is coming to a close.  

Only four schools remain under active construction as part of their original scope of work – Northside, Lamar, Austin, and Bellaire high schools. 

“We’re excited about the work we’ve done over the summer,” Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said. “We’re proud of the 21stcentury learning spaces we’ve created.” 

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HISD students to eat all meals at no charge this school year

As parents prepare for the upcoming school year, Nutrition Services has taken one key responsibility off their plates — providing students with breakfast, lunch, and dinner free of charge for the second year in a row. 

All HISD schools are once again qualified to operate under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision, which provides students with access to three healthy meals each day — at no cost to them and without having to fill out a free and reduced-price meal application. 

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