Category Archives: Virtual Learning

HISD students to host Virtual Global Issues Summit

Staying connected is important now more than ever, and HISD Abroad is answering the call with next week’s Virtual Global Issues Summit hosted by HISD students.

Student hosts Van Nguyen and Boris Mejia, seniors from HISD’s Houston Academy of International Studies, will go live on Zoom at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27 to discuss the impact of global issues on high school students. They will be joined by guest speakers John Moravec, founder of Education Futures, and Carrie Olson, President of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. 

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HISD Board approves resolution to seek District of Innovation designation

Editor’s Note: The HISD Board of Education is hosting a public hearing at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 to gather feedback on beginning the process of becoming a District of Innovation, as designated by the TEA. More information can be found here.

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education at its virtual meeting on Thursday voted 7-2 in favor of a resolution to initiate the process of designating HISD as a District of Innovation.

By adopting District of Innovation status, HISD could exercise greater local control over decisions impacting positive educational outcomes for students. The resolution approved by the Board of Education outlines specific exemptions from state law that the district would seek, including:

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Interim Superintendent gathers feedback from parent leaders during virtual roundtable

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan on Wednesday hosted the first in a series of three virtual roundtables with PTA/PTO parent leaders to share feedback, provide insight, and address questions regarding distance learning efforts and information about the coming 2020-2021 school year.

During this first Virtual Parent Connection session, much of the conversation centered around HISD’s pursuit of the District of Innovation designation, resources to engage students and families, as well as ways that parent organizations can support their schools while the district is operating remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lathan said students, parents, and staff have done a remarkable job adjusting to distance learning and asked parents to share some of the needs they are experiencing. She also asked parents to share what would they need from her and HISD team as they prepare for the 2020-21 school year, and what assistance families need to navigate HISD virtual platforms.

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HISD to host virtual career fair for seniors

HISD’s Career Readiness department will be hosting a virtual townhall next week for high school seniors interested in entering the workforce after graduation.

“Seniors to Success 2.0” will be held from 2 – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20 and will highlight career training programs and other career opportunities for HISD seniors. Nearly 20 local employers, including Goodwill, H-E-B and Allegiance Staffing, will be on hand to discuss interview strategies, tips for success and current job openings with pay ranging from $10-16 an hour.

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HISD to host virtual high school graduation ceremonies

The Houston Independent School District has been working diligently to celebrate the Class of 2020 graduates while ensuring the health and safety of students, staff, and families. HISD has decided to facilitate all high school graduation ceremonies for our 11,000 seniors virtually.

Considering current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 health crisis, the district believes virtual graduations are the safest option. The virtual ceremonies will begin on June 14.

While the graduations will take place virtually, seniors will have an additional opportunity to celebrate with their fellow graduates, if they so choose, during a citywide celebration on June 5, hosted by Mayor Sylvester Turner. This citywide celebration will take place outdoors at school campuses following strict safety measures.

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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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Mayor, HISD interim superintendent announce citywide celebration for graduating seniors

Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a first-of-its-kind citywide outdoor celebration planned for graduating seniors.

Students will be invited to return to their campuses in their caps and gowns for the event, which will take place on Friday, June 5, simultaneously outside each HISD high school. All seniors attending will be required to wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The celebration is the brainchild of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner who will deliver his own words of encouragement to the class of 2020.

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Washington HS Principal wins H-E-B Excellence in Education Award

Booker T. Washington High School Principal Carlos Phillips has been named the H-E-B Excellence in Education Secondary Principal Award winner for 2020.

This year, Excellence in Education award winners were announced during a virtual “Toast to Texas Teachers” in celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week. The virtual event included surprise appearances from actors Matthew McConaughey and Eva Longoria, former NBA player Matt Bonner, and fashion designer Kendra Scott. 

Phillips, who was also the HISD Secondary Principal of the Year for 2019-2020, received a $10,000 cash prize and a $25,000 grant for Washington High School. Phillips was one of five finalists from across the state competing for the Secondary Principal Award.

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Fine Arts students use dance to express their feelings about pandemic

Alone but connected. Students from Bellaire, Lamar, Milby, Westside, and Westbury high schools have created a virtual collaborative dance performance eloquently expressing their feelings regarding social distancing. Forced to stay home, they are connecting with their fellow dance students virtually.

Watch the collaborative performance “Dance Alone Together” by visiting this link.  

This extensive project was edited and produced by students under the direction of their dance teachers and Sanja Korman, fine arts dance curriculum specialist. According to Korman, the next project from the group will be a dance inspired by a COVID-19 poem written by a Westside High School student.

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HISD Office of Special Education launches YouTube channel

HISD’s Office of Special Education has launched a YouTube channel to help special education students and their parents as they adjust to learning at home. 

The channel will be used as an instructional resource for teachers and parents and will offer engaging educational content for students. It includes videos for grade levels K-12 that focus on science, reading, and math.

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