Category Archives: News

Interim Superintendent Lathan to receive Audrey H. Lawson IMPACT Award

Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan will receive the Audrey H. Lawson IMPACT Award this weekend at the annual scholarship luncheon and fashion show hosted by Houston’s historic Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.

Lathan is among six community leaders selected for the impact they have on the local community. Other honorees include NASA’s Chief Education Officer Adena Williams Loston, Metropolitan Transit Authority General Counsel Cydonii Fairfax, NASA General Counsel Sumara Thompson-King, commercial and residential real estate broker Courtney Johnson Rose and author and Pastor Mia K. Wright.

“I am honored and humbled to be in such great company,” Lathan said. “I want to thank Wheeler Avenue Inner City Visions, Inc. and the Women’s Guild for recognizing me and the other outstanding women who work very hard to uplift our respective communities.”

The annual luncheon and fashion show is named for late community leader and activist Audrey Lawson, who was the wife of the founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Rev. William A. Lawson. An HISD middle school also bears Audrey Lawson’s name.

The annual scholarship luncheon has already taken in a record $103,000 this year to assist local students achieve their higher education goals. 

Name That Book competition makes developing literacy skills fun

HISD middle and high school students from across the district will gather to show off their reading comprehension skills next week during the annual Name that Book competition.

Coordinated by the HISD Department of Library Services, the contest serves to acquaint HISD students with classic literature, as well as contemporary award-winning books, representing a variety of genres.

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Board receives update on Achieve 180’s progress from the 2017-2018 school year

HISD Board receives an update on Achieve 180’s progress from the 2017-2018 school year

The HISD Board of Education received an update on Thursday from Assistant Superintendent of Research and Accountability Carla Stevens, who shared key achievements from a 250-plus page comprehensive report on the progress made within the Achieve 180 program for the 2017-2018 school year.

With testing coming up in April, it’s time for Achieve 180 and HISD’s Research and Accountability to fully vet the program’s progress to further predict the trajectory on the future of the program.

“It’s important to have these types of reports where we can have enough time to interpret the data, provide recommendations, and take a proactive approach in developing a plan for the 2019-2020 school year,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said.

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C. Martinez ES teachers to read bedtime stories via Facebook Live

The Houston Independent School District’s C. Martinez Elementary School is starting a weekly Facebook livestream event to focus on literacy. 

Every Tuesday evening, students can login to Facebook (CMES Readers Den) for “A Night in the Wolves Den” and listen to a special guest read a bedtime story.  The intent is to help build literacy at home by engaging with CMES teachers and staff in a way that is current and fun. 

To join in, add CMES Readers Den as a friend on Facebook and turn in on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. to hear a bedtime story read by a teacher. 

All east area campuses’ weekend activities cancelled, sporting events relocated

Friday, March 22 – 5 p.m.

With reports of the Deer Park industrial fire re-igniting this afternoon, all on-campus activities for east area campuses this weekend (Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24) have been cancelled. Weekend sporting events also have been rescheduled at alternate locations.

Thursday, March 21 – 1:30 p.m.

According to Harris County Office of Emergency Management, the shelter-in-place for Deer Park has been lifted.

As an added precaution at campuses closest to Deer Park: All outdoor activities will continue to be held indoors, all after-school activities are cancelled, and after-school sporting events have been rescheduled at alternate locations. Principals from those impacted campuses are contacting parents directly with more information.

In addition, HISD has been conducting random air-quality testing at those east area campuses – and those tests are continuing.

We will continue to provide updates as they become available. You can follow immediate updates via social media at and

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Art teacher’s past influences his students in the classroom today

Art has been a driver of social change throughout history, and Edison Middle School visual arts teacher Gerard Caliste is using his experience as a student artist to transform the way his students view their craft and the world around them.

“My kids are learning to paint on anything,” Caliste said. “They are learning to see anything as art. They love the creation process, and I make sure to facilitate that first.”

In his teens, New Orleans-born Caliste, who is one of 22 teacher artists selected to exhibit new works for the Inaugural HISD Visual Art Teacher Exhibition, became involved with the New Orleans based youth art organization YAYA, which gives artistically talented inner-city youth the space to have non-critical access to creative materials. And, according to him, the organization gave him the support he needed to develop his artistic confidence and skills.

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Status of magnet applications now available

Parents and students who submitted an application to a magnet program for the 2019-20 school year during Phase I (Sept. 28-Dec. 7, 2018) can now check the status of their applications online.

Parents who created an online account will be able to find the results posted on their parent dashboards at Application-status letters were sent out by U.S. mail on March 12, 2019.

Next Steps

Once you receive your application status, there are steps you must take to secure your place:

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Students, teachers prepare for upcoming AP exams

HISD Advanced Placement students and teachers are invited to attend AP: The Countdown to help prepare for Advanced Placement exam season.

AP: The Countdown will take place at Energy Institute High School from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 30. Throughout the morning, students and teachers will participate in three different review sessions aimed at helping them feel confident and prepared for AP exam season.

The event is free, open to all HISD AP students and teachers, and breakfast will be provided. Students should bring a notebook, a pencil, and a laptop. In addition, transportation will be available at select schools.

Advanced Placement coursework prepares students for college and careers. Students can earn college credit hours and save thousands of dollars in college tuition when they earn a three or higher on AP exams.

During the 2017-2018 school year, 10,242 HISD students received college credit by scoring well on their AP exams, saving their families $11,782,500 in college tuition. AP courses leverage rigorous instruction to help students become independent learners.

Students should register here by March 27. Teachers can register via OneSource using Course Code #927001.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Suzanne Acord at / (713) 556-7240.

HISD launches new tagline across the city

If you’ve visited local movie theaters recently or driven around town, you might have noticed the district’s newest marketing campaign featuring HISD’s new tagline: HISD Empowers.

The tagline emphasizes HISD’s role in building stronger, more confident students. The district launched the series of advertisements in an effort to highlight the district’s positive impact through educational initiatives and services.

The billboards are located at: I-10 and Mary, US Hwy. 225 and Main Street, I-45 South and Edgebrook, Loop 610 and Kirby Drive.

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Principals at Achieve 180 campuses receive district recognitions

While the district prepares for Spring Break, campuses and leadership in the Achieve 180 program are taking a moment to celebrate their academic and leadership achievements for the month of March. 

Earlier this month, the district announced Principal Khalilah Campbell-Rhone of Worthing High School as HISD’s 2018-2019 Secondary Principal of the Year

The Secondary Principal of the Year kicked off the school year learning that her campus was removed from the Improvement Required list—a notable accomplishment in just one year as principal at the campus.  

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