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.
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
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.
Third-grade teacher Carmen Carfello was laser-focused on a reading aloud lesson with her students when Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan surprised her as the district’s Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for March.
“Words cannot describe how deserving this recognition is for Ms. Carfello,” Principal Jeff Amerson said. “She is always bringing the ELAR TEKS to life by using a mixture of real-world experiences, hands-on learning and Socratic discussions.”
Last school year, Carfello’s students passed with an 80 percent on the STAAR Reading with 50 percent reaching Masters-level, while 90 percent of her students passed STAAR Math and 60 percent reaching the Masters-level.
Love was in the air on Wednesday when Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan surprised fifth-grade math teacher Gerardo Chapa at Browning Elementary School as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for February.
“Mr. Chapa is very deserving of today’s recognition,” Principal Evangeline Campos said. “He routinely utilizes data to drive his instructional decisions and provides numerous opportunities for his students to engage in hands-on activities, which they absolutely enjoy.”
A favorite among students, Chapa recently transitioned from third grade to fifth grade, giving students another chance to enjoy his lessons, while also helping the campus launch its first-ever after-school program.
Northside High School Teacher Andrea Davis saw a window of opportunity when she learned about Project Equip, a pilot program offered by Rice University scientists and educators that is supported by the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.
Thanks to HISD and the Advance Placement office, Davis along with 17 other teachers was selected to attend a three-day workshop last winter to learn about OpenStax Tutor, an interactive learning platform that uses machine learning to adapt to the needs of individual students.
As part of Project Equip, the AP biology teacher is provided real-time data, which allows her to identify areas of opportunity for students and close achievement gaps at a faster capacity than most teachers across the district.
The Houston Independent School District’s Teacher Recruitment is hosting a districtwide job fair for experienced teachers on Saturday, February 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hattie Mae White (4400 West 18th St., 77092).
The district is searching for certified teachers in the following critical shortage areas: bilingual education, secondary science, secondary mathematics, and special education.
Young Elementary School fifth-grade science teacher Brittnay Douglas on Tuesday learned that she had been named the district’s Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for January.
“Douglas has served as an amazing science teacher that has made the classroom,” Principal Shanica Smith said. “She is always making the classroom fun as she creates autonomous thinkers.”
In her fifth year of teaching at Young Elementary School, Douglas ensures that her students are gaining exposure to new environments, especially during field lessons to Galveston State Park and TopGolf, where they learned about force and motion.
Achieve 180 teachers didn’t let Wednesday’s cold front stop the festivities as they prepared for their biggest challenge outside of the classroom — determining which campus had the best chili.
The district invited nearly 1,400 teachers from the turnaround program to a first-ever, pep-rally-style Achieve 180 Tailgate as a celebration of the teachers’ efforts to transform some of the district’s most undeserved campuses and critical student populations.
“This is our way of saying thank you for always making our students a priority,” Achieve 180 Area Superintendent Felicia Adams said. “Whether it’s arriving early, staying late, (or) constantly attending professional development opportunities, none of our achievements would have been possible with you.”
Fourth-graders at Osborne Elementary School were in the middle of their reading inference lesson Tuesday morning when their teacher, Demetria Washington, learned from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan she would be the district’s Sterling McCall Teacher of the Month for December.
“She has been a phenomenal educator this year,” Principal Mikia Barnes said. “She has adapted quickly to the demands of meeting her students’ needs by engaging in after-school planning to learn the new reading standards.”
The fourth-grade ELAR teacher is always striving to build her capacity, attending all North area trainings and learning to utilize FOCUS comprehension to close literacy gaps for her students.
There was a level excitement that could not be contained when math teacher Breana Chatman of Holland Middle School was surprised by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan as the Teacher of the Month for October.
“Mrs. Chatman goes above and beyond the call of duty every time she steps into the classroom,” Principal Pablo Resendiz said. “She is very intentional in planning and ensures standards have been unpacked thoroughly before she designs her lessons.”
Not accepting anything less than excellence from her students, Chatman pushes students understanding and knowledge of the mathematical process by using mathematical sentence stems, and utilizes interactive word walls and anchor charts to ensure the class environment supports all students.