Tucked away on a side street in the shadow of the largest medical center in the world, DeBakey High School for Health Professions is the district’s medical magnet school, where students can learn more about the various career paths involved in the healthcare field, from the typical bedside options to the legislative branch.
Students like Cindy Choi, Paul Daniel, Caitlyn Davies, and David Dzul, all seniors, who gave Superintendent Millard House a tour of the school, which opened its $65 million, state-of-the-art, 194,000-square-foot building on the western edge of the Texas Medical Center in 2017.
House was visiting the school on its second day of the 2021-2022 school year. As the ongoing global pandemic continues to make headlines, students at DeBakey are preparing to be the next generation of healthcare professionals.
Superintendent Millard House II marked his first day of school in the Houston Independent School District by traveling from campus to campus, welcoming students back and peeking into their classrooms to watch them learn.
But his first stop — though not on his official schedule— held special meaning.
“As I dropped off my fourth grader at school this morning, he told me, ‘Dad, I have butterflies in my stomach,’” House said, referring to the range of emotions many students are feeling as they start a second school year amidst the pandemic. “That’s understandable.”
House told the story while speaking to a room of reporters and district officials who gathered at Parker Elementary School for HISD’s first-day-of-school press conference.
The following letter from Superintendent House was distributed on the night of August 5 to HISD parents, staff, and community members:
Dear HISD Community,
The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our guiding compass in all of our decisions. As a result, during tonight’s agenda review meeting, I announced that I will propose a mask mandate for students, staff, and visitors at all schools, buses, and facilities to be voted on next week by the Board of Education. The mask mandate will become effective upon Board approval during next Thursday’s board meeting, August 12. In light of the announcement by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to raise the COVID-19 threat level to “red,” additional safety measures are needed to protect our students, staff, and families.
The mask mandate applies to everyone regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated. In partnership with health officials, three HISD schools are offering vaccinations this Saturday. If your child is 12 or older, I encourage parents to stop by and get a shot. No appointments are necessary.
Dogan Elementary School, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Deady Middle School, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Kashmere High School, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The 2021-2022 school year begins on August 23, and we will continue to monitor the situation and work with health officials for frequent updates, which we will share with you. The safety of all HISD staff and students continues to be our top priority.
Around 100 representatives from organizations and groups from across Houston were present this week, as Superintendent Millard House hosted the latest in his series of meet-and-greet events.
This event was held to offer community and spiritual leaders the chance to meet the new superintendent as well as offer their feedback and ask questions about House’s plan for the Houston Independent School District.
In the gathered crowd, there were representatives from LULAC, Memorial Hermann Hospital System, Loving Houston, Discovering Youth, The Alliance Texas, Houston Federation of Teachers, United Way of Greater Houston, the Asian Chamber of Commerce, Legacy Community Health, and many others.
The first day of school is a common source of jitters and anxiousness. Students fidget with new backpacks, parents adjust to new schedules, teachers prepare to meet a new crop of students.
But for some members of Team HISD, August 23 this year will be more than just the normal first day of school. It will be their first day as school principals.
The 35 new principals in Houston Independent School District gathered at the HISD Education Learning Center for the New Leaders Institute this week, to brainstorm, network, gather resources, and get inspired for a new year.
Standing in the school garden just inside the signature red wall at the front of Sugar Grove Academy Middle School, new HISD Superintendent Millard House II listened as Science Department Chair Charles Huckaby listed off the vegetables and fruits growing in the verdant space.
“Potatoes, garlic, corn, jalapenos, tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, even ghost peppers, if you’re brave enough to try them,” Huckaby said.
“Not me! No way,” House joked in reply.
The stop at the garden was a part of House’s visit to Sugar Grove’s summer school, where he took a tour of the building and then held his first press conference as superintendent, outlining his goals for HISD.