Category Archives: News

HISD students adjust to new reality of distance learning

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series on how six HISD students are adjusting to the shift to virtual instruction throughout the district amid COVID-19 precautions.

Earlier this week, the district launched HISD @ H.O.M.E. (Home-based Online Mobile Education), a distance learning plan, and students at all levels of education are transitioning from physical to virtual classrooms.

We checked in with three students to see how their first week of distance learning went, the steps they’ve taken to succeed and the things they miss the most about school.

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HISD joins state agencies in campaign to promote healthy habits to prevent spread of COVID-19

The Houston Independent School District is joining the Texas Division of State Health Services and Texas Education Agency as the agencies roll out the “Apart We Stand Together” public health campaign.

The campaign’s goal is to ensure all school districts statewide and broader communities have access to a comprehensive set of information and resources about COVID-19.

The campaign will include easy access to health resources and information, with the goal of keeping Texas residents – from the smallest towns to the largest cities – healthier and safer as we all battle the spread of COVID-19

This public health guidance is based on what scientists know about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Find more information at Texas.gov/Covid19, and continue to follow updates from HISD at HoustonISD.org/HealthAlerts.

HISD to relaunch food distribution efforts on April 6 with centralized packing hub

The Houston Independent School District will relaunch food distribution efforts throughout the district beginning Monday, April 6, with a streamlined process that will implement increased safety measures.

HISD Nutrition Services will continue to work with the Houston Food Bank for the initiative and use the Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Facility as the central hub for this initiative. Staff will pack food boxes at the facility, which then will be delivered to the distribution sites Monday through Friday. Each site will distribute 500 boxes per day.

As a safety measure, HISD will also employ the Standard Distribution Method developed by the I Love You Guys Foundation, which will streamline efforts and include social distancing for both staff and families.

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HISD extends districtwide closure, will continue online instruction

With the federal government extending social distancing guidelines through the end of April, the Houston Independent School District will remain closed, providing online instruction until further notice.

In addition to the federal guidelines, this decision comes in response to the new executive order by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday to close all Texas schools until May 4. During this time, we will continue remote learning.

Until traditional classroom instruction resumes, the district has launched HISD @ H.O.M.E. (Home-based Online Mobile Education), a distance learning plan to ensure students’ academic and non-academic needs are met as the district remains closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

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Participating in 2020 Census has big impact on future of HISD

The 2020 Census is in full swing, and the Houston Independent School District needs the participation of every HISD household to ensure the district receives the federal funding it needs to serve all students.

The 2020 Census is a snapshot taken by the federal government every 10 years of all people who live in the United States and its five territories. The survey will ask how many people are living in a household, as well as their age, sex, and race. The 2020 Census does not ask about citizenship.

Everyone living in the U.S. on April 1, 2020, is counted, including children, babies, homeless or people living in shelters. Immigrants, regardless of their legal status in the country, are also counted.

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HISD to provide educational programming through HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV

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The Houston Independent School District is launching HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV to provide educational programming as part of the district’s HISD @ H.O.M.E distance learning plan.

HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV will kick off on Tuesday, March 31 with instructional videos that include lessons from teachers and teacher development specialists in several subject areas, including math, science, reading and writing, social studies, and fine arts.

“Our mission is to support students in every community with the educational resources they need to thrive, and this is an important step in that effort – especially given the current need to deliver instruction virtually,” said Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “I want to thank our HISD Communications and Academics teams for supporting our students during these unprecedented times.”

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HCC dual-credit classes to continue online

The Houston Community College System last week announced that due to nationwide school closures, high school students will have access to dual-credit courses online.

Beginning Monday, March 30, all HCC classes, including dual-credit courses, will resume with all coursework online. All courses will be completed through the college’s learning management system (LMS), Canvas.

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Food distribution efforts reach nearly 40,000 families

In a matter of eight days, the food distribution sites operated by the Houston Independent School District in partnership with the Houston Food Bank assisted nearly 40,000 families.

The 61 food distributions served approximately 1 million pounds of food to families in need before being canceled late Wednesday. Nearly 2,000 staff and volunteers assisted with the efforts and were able to serve 5,000 families per day throughout HISD. 

The cancellation of the distribution sites will remain in effect as the district re-evaluates its process for safely delivering this service to students and families.  

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Rucker ES holds neighborhood parade to connect with students

Rucker Elementary School Principal Eileen Puente knew that her staff would need to rethink how they would engage with students following Spring Break and the closure of HISD campuses due to COVID-19.

So, on Thursday, Puente and over 20 of her teachers and staff convened at Rucker with their vehicles, formed a parade, and drove through nearby streets and neighborhoods to check in with their students from a safe distance.

Like tens of thousands of other elementary school children across HISD, the 400-plus students, who call the southeast neighborhood school home, will not be returning to campus for several weeks due to intensifying precautions around the spread of COVID-19.

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