Category Archives: Teachers

Campus, district leaders share best practices at first-ever all virtual PLS 2020

Nearly 2,000 district and school-based employees gathered online for HISD’s first-ever all virtual Professional Learning Series (PLS), three days of professional development, team building, and preparation for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

The theme of this year’s event, which took place June 15-17, was “Virtual Learning and Beyond: Bridging Gaps with Strong Systems.” A major focus of the series included preparing for a virtual school system, as well as management best practices and guidance for schools and teachers on how to support students engaged in online learning.

“We are embracing the virtual learning space across HISD, and PLS this summer is no exception,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said during the recorded general session. “It is our goal that our leaders rejuvenate, renew and reimagine the possibilities for the upcoming school year.”

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HISD 2019-2020 educators of the year announced during surprise home visits

The 2019-2020 Houston Independent School District educators of the year were announced during surprise home visits, including visits by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan at the homes of the elementary and secondary teachers of the year and beginning teachers of the year.

The visits took place on Wednesday, May 6, and Thursday, May 7, during Teacher Appreciation Week and included yard signs, balloons, and gift baskets near the front doors of the educators who were asked to come outside for the announcements, in keeping with safe social distancing practices.

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‘Get Emoji-tional’ to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4 through 8, and it’s a time for our staff, students, parents, and community to recognize our teachers.

For Teacher Appreciation Week, HISD is launching a fun campaign called “Get Emoji-tional” so we can share the love 😍 for our teachers on social media. Each day, share emojis as well as videos, photos and special messages with the hashtag #ThankAnHISDTeacherto show your support for teachers.

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HISD announces 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year finalists

Twelve finalists have been named as HISD’s 2019-2020 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year. The two winners will go on to represent the district in Region IV. The 12 finalists were selected from all 280 schools based on performance data and other criteria. 

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Ashford ES teacher wins Alliantgroup’s HISD Elementary Science Teacher grand prize

Ashford Elementary School fifth-grade Science Teacher Kirk Coppes has received the 2020 HISD Elementary Science Teacher Grand Prize Award from Alliantgroup.

Six finalists from across the district were nominated by HISD for the award based on their innovative teaching methods and ability to ignite the interest of students in the subject of science. The grand prize award announcement was made live on CW39’s “Morning Dose” on April 28.

Coppes, a veteran teacher in his 12th year in HISD and fourth year at Ashford ES, credited the support he receives both at work and home for the achievement.

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HISD Fine Arts explores innovative projects to support distance learning

The Fine Arts Department is working with teachers and students to promote the fine arts curricula, as well as additional projects to inspire students while distance learning is occurring.

Dancers from six HISD high schools worked together virtually to create a dance to inspire students studying at home via distance learning. The students are in the process of editing the video, which is part of a series titled “HISD Dance Alone—Together.” The video is expected to debut on Fine Arts Friday on April 24.

The Fine Arts Department is also receiving world-class guidance for instruction in theater arts. The Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and the Globe – three world-renowned theater companies in the United Kingdom – have granted HISD permission to use their online materials in the district’s theater curriculum. In addition, eight HISD theater teachers have created or are in the process of creating videos to accompany the HISD @ H.O.M.E. theater curriculum.

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HISD educators use 3D printers to produce face shields for health care workers, first responders

Houston Independent School District STEM educators are joining the effort to help first responders and health care professionals by producing face shields to be used in the fight against COVID-19.

Using HISD’s 3D printers, a team of six district educators are producing at least 100 face shields per week in response to the shortage of personal protective equipment.

The collaborative effort, which began on April 8 and is known as H-Force, is led by Houston Community College (HCC) and includes HISD, San Jacinto College, the University of Houston at Sugar Land, the Fort Bend County Judge’s Office, TX/RX Labs, and Alief ISD.

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‘This is changing learning’: Principals, teachers keep academic expectations high in new era of online instruction

With a districtwide closure in place and distance learning underway, what may have once been considered “normal” for principals and teachers in the seventh-largest district in the nation has changed for the foreseeable future.

Due to the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus, school districts across Texas were ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott to close until at least May 4, and that has made for huge adjustments at the campus and district levels.

“I assumed we would shut down for a week or two. But when I heard it would be through April, it was devastating for me,” said Worthing High School Principal Khalilah Campbell. “We knew it had to be done for the safety of our students and the community, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”

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HISD extends districtwide closure, will continue online instruction

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.

Until traditional 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 precautions.

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