Category Archives: News

Notice of Destruction of Special Education Records

Special Education records that have been collected by the Houston Independent School District (HISD) related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of Special Education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for a period of five years after Special Education services have ended for the student.

Special Education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, completes his or her educational program at age 22, or moves from the district. 

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NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars program now accepting applications

High school juniors from across HISD are invited to join NASA in exploring the moon to Mars through its High School Aerospace Scholars program.  

HAS is a unique, interactive STEM experience that culminates in an all-expenses-paid, week-long visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center during the summer. The experience begins with a 16-week online interactive course on NASA activities related to space exploration, Earth science, technology, mathematics and aeronautics. Students complete design challenges including 3D drawings, science quizzes, discussion posts, technology writings and monthly webinars with NASA scientists and engineers.  

Students with the highest scores will be invited to put the training to use at NASA, where they will get guidance from scientists and engineers and work with students from across the state to complete hands-on design challenges and plan a mission to Mars.  

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HISD expands student access to mental health supports

Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan and community partners on Friday will announce the expansion of district mental health and social emotional supports for students.

Through the mental health and wellness initiative, hundreds of HISD students at 15 campuses will have direct access to school administrators trained in trauma, crisis, abuse, and suicide prevention. This initiative is part of Dr. Lathan’s strategic priorities for the 2019-2020 school year to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of students.

Schools participating in the initiative include Dogan, Hartsfield, and Rucker elementary schools; Attucks, Fleming, Holland, M.C. Williams, Sugar Grove, and Thomas middle schools; Liberty, Madison, Washington, Westside, Wisdom, and Yates high schools.

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Veteran crossing guard creates community connections while keeping students safe

Crossing Guard Charlethia Vaughn is nearly a permanent fixture at the corner of Walnut Bend Lane and Briar Forest Drive during the school year.  

Every morning and afternoon, she is there to help Walnut Bend Elementary School students and their parents cross the busy street — even when the Texas heat is nearly unbearable, when the skies are pouring rain, or when it’s so cold, her fingers get numb. 

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” she said. “This community has really embraced me.”  

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Volunteers to visit students’ homes during annual Grads Within Reach Walk

The Houston Independent School District will hold its annual Grads Within Reach Walk on Saturday, Sept. 7 to encourage students to who have not enrolled for the 2019-20 school year to come back to their respective campuses. 

District administrators, community leaders, principals, and volunteers will set out from 22 high schools across the district to knock on doors and personally encourage students to return to school. Students will receive information on the many support systems and resources HISD offers to help them graduate.  

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Unique after-school program at Hogg MS helps students excel on, off court

Students lead Welsh official on tour of Mission Squash  

Last year, as Heights High School sophomore Faustino Martinez struggled in his freshman biology class, little did he know that an after-school program centered around an obscure sport would propel him to success. 

Thanks to Mission Squash — a unique after-school program at Hogg Middle School that combines intense academic training, community service and participation in the elite racquet sport of squash — he passed his class with flying colors 

“For me, support is the most important part of the Mission Squash program,” Faustino said. “They helped me gain a true understanding of the subject, and that’s what really turned it around for me.” 

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HISD students attend prestigious Tapia Say STEM Camp at Rice University

More than 20 HISD students were among a select group of scholars from around the state who were invited to attend the prestigious Tapia Say STEM Camp at Rice University this summer.  

The camp, which is sponsored by ExxonMobil, is available to rising eighth- through 12thgraders and features a weeklong residential experience with a challenging STEM curriculum. Campers experimented with hands-on STEM projects, like building miniature wind turbines out of household items such as glue, cardstock and popsicle sticks.  

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HISD Interim Superintendent, band students attend 2019 National Battle of the Bands

Two schools receive scholarships to fund instruments; students attend HBCU college fair

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan and band students from seven HISD high schools were invited to attend the 2019 National Battle of the Bands competition Sunday at NRG Stadium, where Washington and Kashmere high schools received $1,000 each for their band programs.  

“I am truly honored to be at such a historic and powerful event,” Lathan said. “Historically black colleges and universities play a significant role in educating and developing young minds and the future leaders of tomorrow.” 

Over 300 Houston Independent School District high school students joined thousands of other area students to enjoy the competition’s performances, featuring eight collegiate marching bands representing historically black colleges and universities. HISD high school band students in attendance included Austin, North Forest, Northside, Sterling, Waltrip, Westbury, and Yates.  

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HISD Foundation accepting applications for Innovation Fund program

The HISD Foundation is now accepting applications for its Innovation Fund program, which provides funds for teachers and schools to develop innovative projects that lead to increased student success.

The Foundation is funding projects that will:
  • Inspire students, teachers, and parents to think differently about school
  • Enhance the student experience and lead to improved academic outcomes
  • Implement district initiatives in innovative ways
  • Find a new solution to combat barriers of success for students
  • The program, which is in its second year, will allow teachers in grades pre-K through 12 to apply for a $3,000 – $7,000 grant. Two or more teachers from the same school can also apply for a Teacher Collaborative Grant ranging from $5,000 – $10,000.

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    Transportation Services update scheduled for Thursday

    Transportation Services is announcing its first round of bus route updates on Thursday. The changes will impact 445 routes with families being notified via SchoolMessenger. 

    These adjustments result from the department’s continued focus to increase route efficiency, as well as its efforts to process new requests for bus service and route and stop changes. Changes to routes are not uncommon at the start of the school year and mostly involve minor adjustments to stop times.  

    This year, Transportation Services will be making route update announcements on Thursdays, as needed, with changes to take effect the following Monday. The announcements distributed Thursday will take effect immediately after Labor Day on Tuesday, Sept. 3. 

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