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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
‘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.”
Campus specialists to coordinate non-academic supports for students
Wisdom High’s School’s new Wraparound Resource Specialist Wagma Isaqzoy has only officially been on the job for a few weeks, but her efforts are already making a lasting impact on students.
Recently, with the help of the nonprofit group Be the Peace Be the Hopeand the support of Wisdom High School’s ESL Department, Isaqzoy organized a three-day workshop for 200 of the school’s newcomer students. The workshop focused on the unique social and emotional needs of being new to the United States and culminated with a celebration event on campus Dec 11. At the event, students received a Citizenship Month certificate from the Houston Mayor’s Office of New Americas. Continue reading →
Leaders from Dogan ES and Henry MS provide progress update to board
Students at Patrick Henry Middle School are getting intense support and specialized interventions to improve their literacy skills as part of the district’s Achieve 180 initiative. The campus has added a literacy specialist, is utilizing a universal screener to determine student reading levels, and is providing literacy report cards for every student.
“We will be having meetings for all of our parents to go over the report cards so they can understand what level their child is at,” said Principal Kenneth Brantley. “Plus we are going to provide them with free resources and things they can do at home to directly support their child in reading and writing.” Continue reading →
Event to help students apply for college, financial aid
The HISD Office of College and Career Readiness and Multilingual Programs departments will be hosting the third-annual Dream Summit to assist students with the college application and financial aid processes on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St., Houston 77092.
High school students and their families are encouraged to attend the free event. Students should contact their campus college-access coordinator, counselor, or college-success adviser regarding transportation. Five seniors will have a chance to win $500 scholarships for college.
The event aims to help HISD DREAMers, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, visa holders, permanent residents, refugees, and asylum grantees, along with their families. Students will have the opportunity to speak with district representatives who will help them learn more about financial aid requirements and guide them through the application process. Continue reading →