As volunteers decked out with Houston Texans swag walked
into Wendy Martinez-Morales’ third-grade class at C. Martinez Elementary School
on Tuesday, students suspected they were in for a big surprise.
But, when Texans starting quarterback Deshaun Watson popped
into their virtual classroom, the students – and Martinez-Morales – could
hardly contain their excitement.
“We are huge Texans fans! I never thought anything like this
would happen,” she said. “It is really amazing that Mr. Watson took some time
out of his busy schedule to meet with us.”
With homemade thank-you cards in hand, Tonya Middleton’s class at
Southmayd Elementary School eagerly awaited a visit from a surprise special
When Houston Astros all-star third baseman Alex Bregman burst
through the school’s library doors on Monday with a smile on his face and gifts
in his hands, a collective gasp could be heard from the group of students, all
of whom are on the autism spectrum.
“It is a blast and an honor to be here,” he said while juggling a
box of iPads for the students. ““Hopefully,
these iPads help the students because it is a fun way to learn.”
HISD has partnered with Rice University’s Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), a program of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research and School of Social Sciences, to conduct a comprehensive study on educational equity across the district.
Recognizing its responsibility to continually improve
academic achievement for all students, HISD and HERC will examine equitable
access to educational programming, resources, supports, facilities and
opportunities for students by race/ethnicity, economic status, English-learner
status and other factors.
“Conducting a districtwide study on educational equity
— at this scale — is remarkable, and truly unprecedented in many ways,” HISD Interim
Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We know that for some of our students,
simply having equal access to opportunities and resources may not be enough of
the support they need to achieve their greatest academic potential. This study
will inform critical decision-making relating to equity and closing achievement
gaps across the city.”
The Houston Independent School District has partnered with the Houston Dynamo to provide students with virtual soccer lessons during summer school.
Beginning Monday, June 8 through the Clever Portal, Kindergarten through 6th-grade students can access Diesel’s Skill Builders, presented by Tom Byer’s Soccer Starts at Home. The program will offer daily video lessons featuring Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash players and coaches demonstrating various soccer skills.
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education
has issued a proclamation designating April 20 through April 24
as Volunteers in Public Schools Recognition Week in the district.
Every year, thousands of parents, businesses, and community
partners support students and teachers in HISD by donating their time,
resources, and knowledge through the district’s Volunteers In Public Schools
HISD’s VIPS program was started in 1970 by longtime HISD
educator Jean Davis Myers, who passed away in 2015. Myers served as executive
director of VIPS for 20 years and under her leadership, the program became an
award-winning national model.
The Houston Independent
School District and the Houston Food Bank will offer curbside pickup service at
all 36 food distribution sites districtwide beginning March 16 to help promote personal health
and social distancing.
Families who do not have transportation and must walk
to the site can continue to stand in line but will be required to stand six
feet apart from each other. HISD Police and staff volunteers will be on site to
enforce these measures and help with crowd control.
“Social distancing is a key measure we must implement
to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so adding curbside pickup and keeping lines
spaced out are important steps,” said HISD Interim Superintendent
Grenita Lathan. “Thanks to our partners at the Houston Food Bank and our police
and staff volunteers, we are able to safely distribute meals to our families in need
during this time.”
Students, employees, and the community are invited to attend the free Smart Scholars Foundation Community health fair on Saturday, Feb. 29 at HISD’s Bastian Elementary School.
The event, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is sponsored by the Houston Food Bank and will feature free dental, health, vision and hearing screenings for the community, as well as enough food to feed more than 300 families.
Hope Farms, a Recipe for Success Foundation dedicated to combating childhood obesity, will also be on hand doing culinary demonstrations to teach the community how to incorporate healthy vegetables and fruits into their diet.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 832-367-9688.
The Houston Independent School District Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support HISD’s strategic initiatives, will hold its Public Education Matters Benefit Luncheon on Friday, March 6.
The event will highlight the importance of community investment in public education and focus on the social and economic impact that results when public school students receive a quality education.
Santa arrived early at Wesley Elementary School on Giving Tuesday, as students in all grade levels received a free pair of shoes, courtesy of Communities in Schools of Houston.
Right on time for the holiday season, CIS partnered with Soles 4 Souls and Skechers, Gordmans and Macys to donate more than 350 pairs of shoes to students during the internationally recognized holiday.
“As an underserved campus, it’s beautiful to watch organizations and people donate their time and gifts to our students, who may not always have everything that they need or desire,” Principal TJ Cotter said.
Nine HISD schools give business leaders an opportunity to shadow school principals
It was 8 a.m. on a typical morning at HISD’s Benavidez Elementary School, and Principal Zabeth Parra-Malek was on the go. After making the morning announcements, she stood at the front door greeting late arrivals, making sure they were fed and ready for the day. By 8:45, she landed in a PALS pre-K classroom for a drop-in observation with the school’s therapy dog, Lucy.
What made this morning different was that she had a “shadow” – Kristie Ketron, an executive with Ernst & Young. Parra-Malek was one of nine HISD principals who hosted visitors like Ketron for Project Principal, an opportunity for business leaders to walk a mile in principals’ shoes.
And they did plenty of walking, in and out of classrooms and meetings, highlighting the main message Parra-Malek wanted the community to hear: schools, teachers, and students are more than test scores and accountability ratings.