Category Archives: Wraparound services

Five HISD campuses becoming community schools to meet the needs of students, families 

Trustees approve $2.5 million grant to fund variety of wraparound services

About 4,000 students and their families in high-poverty areas will benefit from a $2.5 million grant that will provide wraparound services, including social, medical, financial, and emotional support.

The Board of Education approved the use of grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education that will convert five HISD campuses to community schools under the district’s Every Community Every School initiative.

The five schools are Thomas Middle School and Lockhart, Benavidez, Marshall, and Robinson elementary schools. The schools serve 3,898 students in communities with high poverty rates and a demonstrated need for wraparound services and supports.   Continue reading

HISD to offer free flu shots to all students for 2018-2019 school year 

The Houston Independent School District is partnering with Healthy Schools to offer free flu vaccines to students during the 2018-2019 school year.

A team of nurses and other staff from Healthy Schools will rotate to each campus for half-day clinics beginning in October through December.

Parents will be able to consent electronically or through a print copy. All parent consent forms and translations will be provided to campuses, and parents can either complete the form and submit to the campus prior to clinics or have their child bring the completed form on the day of clinic. Continue reading

HISD to host Back to School Extravaganza

HISD’s Homeless Education Office will host a Back to School Extravaganza on Friday, Aug. 17 to help students get ready for the 2018-2019 school year.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delmar Stadium (2020 Mangum Road 77092).

Free assistance will be available for Medicaid applications, Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) renewal and recertification, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Health screenings also will be available. Continue reading

May 9 is National School Nurse Day

This week is National Nurses Week, and May 9 is National School Nurse Day, a time to recognize and honor nurses’ daily contributions to education. HISD school nurses provide invaluable services across the district every day to keep students healthy and ready to learn.

“School Nurses are trailblazers for children’s health,” said Gwendolyn Johnson, HISD’s manager of Health and Medical Services. “They find innovative ways to help students and their families deal with diagnoses of chronic illnesses like diabetes or asthma and manage symptoms and administer medication.”    Continue reading

Jane Long Academy social worker feels called to make a difference 

Berta Alicia Ontiveros

As the school bell rings and chatter begins to fill the hallways at Jane Long Academy, Berta Alicia Ontiveros holds a squawking radio and smiles broadly as she approaches students who are still lingering after the tardy bell.

“Come on sweetie, you don’t want to be late,” she says softly.

Ontiveros is finishing her third year as a social worker for HISD. She works at Jane Long, a school with a diverse student body. Students speak multiple languages and come from varied backgrounds and cultures, which can sometimes make it difficult for them to adjust.  Continue reading

Assistant principal’s challenging youth helps him mentor students in disciplinary program

When you meet Tristan Love, assistant principal at HISD’s Secondary DAEP campus, you first notice how polite and smartly dressed he is – wearing a light gray suit, pink bowtie, and polished shoes. He has a sparkle in his eye and a smile for everyone. It’s a far cry from his former life as a gang member.

Love’s politeness and respect extend to his students at the school, who are among the most behaviorally challenged students in HISD. They all have been sent to Secondary DAEP from their home campuses, many of them gang members. But this doesn’t faze Love. He’s living proof that coming from poverty, a broken home, being a gang member, and living a life of violence doesn’t mean you can’t have a bright future.

“I tell my students, my job is to serve you,” Love said. “If I hadn’t run into the caring adults I did when I was younger, I don’t really know where I’d be.”  Continue reading

Project Prom this weekend to help students in need receive free formal attire 

The Houston Independent School District Student Assistance Department will provide free dresses, tuxedos, shoes, and accessories to hundreds of homeless and at-risk high school seniors planning to go to prom.

The third annual Project Prom event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 7, at Pin Oak Middle School (4601 Glenmont St. Bellaire, 77401). Students will be able to select formal attire from a wide selection of dresses and menswear.

The event also will include college and career resources; health services, including meningitis shots, which are required for all incoming Texas college students; free food; and giveaways.

HISD social workers recognized in March for national Social Work Month 

The National Association of Social Workers has proclaimed March to be Social Work Month, with the theme of “Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions.”

The Houston Independent School District includes 37 social workers on campuses across the district. These social workers provide crisis support, helping children overcome issues such as death and grief, and helping communities connect to resources to recover from natural disasters – most recently from Hurricane Harvey and flooding. Continue reading

Superintendent updates collaborative on HISD wraparound services efforts

The trauma of Hurricane Harvey continues to affect students in HISD and across the Houston area, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza told a behavioral health collaborative on Friday.

Representatives from more than 20 school districts gathered at the Center for School Behavioral Health collaborative luncheon at the United Way for an update on what HISD is doing to meet the mental health needs of students and teachers in the wake of the hurricane.

HISD Superintendent Carranza spoke about how critically important social and emotional services are to ensure that students are ready to learn. Continue reading

Personal stories exemplify how HISD is rebuilding, reimagining education

‘We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson’

If anyone could find a silver lining amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, it’s Robinson Elementary School Principal Paige Fernandez-Hohos. After being flooded with more than a foot of water, Robinson was relocated and students split between two adjacent campuses. Though not ideal, the situation made Fernandez-Hohos determined to give students a sense of normalcy. Vacant rooms and hallways sprung to life with decorations. Auditorium and gym spaces were transformed into cozy classrooms to accommodate more students. Fernandez-Hohos trekked back and forth between the two campuses. If she started the day welcoming students at one school, she ended it saying goodbye to students at the other. It was important, she said, that every class see her every day. Robinson students returned to their home campus in January, but Fernandez-Hohos said the storm taught her a valuable lesson about the spirit of her school: “When everything else is stripped away, all you’re left with is the bond between teachers and students. We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson.”

Continue reading