Asusena Gonzales’ 9-year-old son, Brandon Martinez, is deaf and
attends the Region
4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD) at HISD’s T.H. Rogers School.
been at Rogers since the age of 3, growing and learning like any other student.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The school closed and went fully remote in
March, and Gonzales worried that virtual school would be a challenge for
her son and that he could fall behind, but Brandon exceeded all expectations.
“He was able to learn multiplication through virtual learning, and
that was shocking to me because I thought he would be delayed but … it has been
really great,” she said. “Actually, we’ve been learning with him, and learning
the signs to assist him, which has been really good.”
The Office of Special
Education Services invites parents to the first virtual
Autism Services Meeting of the school year from 9:30 a.m. to 11
a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
This is an opportunity for
parents to receive information and recommendations on reconnecting safely
and returning strong, as well as to learn strategies on implementing in a
virtual setting for academic success.
The Houston Independent School
District will host its next virtual Parent
University workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
The theme of the second session
will be “Family Engagement.” The workshop will
begin with a general
session followed by virtual breakout sessions that will include information on district programs, parent
engagement, community resources, and how parents can become active partners in
the successful education of their children.
and Talented department is offering virtual parent-information sessions on
Gifted and Talented, often referred to as simply G/T, for parents who
would like to learn more about HISD’s G/T programs.
provides two program options for Gifted and Talented (G/T) students Vanguard Magnet and Vanguard Neighborhood programs.
The Vanguard Neighborhood programs are designed to meet the needs of G/T
students at the school to which they are zoned, and the Vanguard Magnet program
provides an environment where G/T students can work with their peers at a
Vanguard Magnet School.
K-12 schools offer programs designed to meet the needs of G/T students.
Both programs provide a differentiated curriculum by modifying the depth,
complexity, and pacing of the general school program.
Houston Independent School District’s Office of Multilingual Education will
hold its annual 4th
Annual Virtual Parent Leadership Conference for parents to learn supports
and strategies that will help students to be successful while
learning from home.
conference will be held virtually from 9 a.m.
to 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 24. The conference is
designed for parents and guardians of HISD students.
year’s conference will feature a variety of workshops on how parents can work
with their children at home. The conference will feature recognized
speakers who will inform and inspire parents of English Learners to become
advocates for their children’s education. Sessions will be offered
in English and Spanish. Translation will be available.
The Houston Independent School District kicked off
its third year of Parent University on Tuesday with the first of six virtual
The theme of the first session was “2020-2021 School
Year 101” and focused on the district’s “Reconnect Safely, Return Strong”
reopening plan. The workshop’s general session walked attendees through
important parts of the district’s Instructional Continuity Plan.
“Team HISD has been hard at work to adapt to this new
reality of social distancing due to COVID-19,” August Hamilton, HISD General
Manager of Strategy and Innovation, said during the evening’s introduction.
“This evening offers us the ability to share with some of you this work and the
ability to better inform our parents how they can support their students during
this time of online learning.”
Starting with the
second six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year, Houston Independent School
District families will be required to select either in-person or virtual instruction
for students. The first day of the second six weeks is October 19.
HIPPY is a school readiness program for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children that helps parents prepare their preschoolers for academic success. Instructors virtually instruct parents for an hour a week over a 30-week period during the school year, and model research-based learning activities designed to help Pre-K children develop skills in reading, math, and science.
practice the activities with their children over the week until they learn a
new activity during the next lesson. Children whose parents participate in the
program consistently outperform their peers in reading and math in
kindergarten and first grade.
In preparation for the
upcoming school year, HISD parents began lining up at Northline Elementary
School early to receive technology that will help when online classes begin
daughter Mila, a rising fourth-grader at Northline, received a Chromebook that
she is excited to start using. Villafuerte says she’s relieved the district is
making technology available to students during this challenging time.
“I really appreciate
that they have tried to accommodate as many families as they have,” she said. I
am still concerned about schools opening in October, so if we can continue with
online learning, we would like to take that approach, and this makes that
possible for us.”
Varona, a rising ninth-grader from DeBakey High School for Health Professions,
has dreams of pursuing a career in science, and after one week at HISD’s
all-virtual Camp Spark, those dreams are stronger than ever.
“One day, I
have dreams of creating medicine that will help people,” he said. “Camp Spark
has really encouraged me to pursue those dreams.”
The two-week camp, which is offered to students in
grades pre-K through 12 and provided at no cost, is designed to get students re-engaged as the district prepares
for online learning, and provides online lessons that focus on physical
fitness, science, literacy, math, internet safety, technology and art.