Free ‘Virtual Camp Adventure’ summer camp registration now open

Registration is now open for “Virtual Camp Adventure,” a free summer camp filled with exciting STEAM activities that can be done from the comfort of home.

Sponsored by The Children’s Museum of Houston and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Camp Adventure offers an exciting and unique STEAM experience. The exhilarating virtual experience takes place July 20 to July 24.

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Curbside summer meal sites, Fresh Bus stops closed due to inclement weather

Curbside summer meals sites at several schools and all Fresh Bus produce delivery stops are closed today due to inclement weather moving through the region.

The curbside summer meals sites at Sam Houston Math, Science, Technology Center, Revere Middle School, and Kashmere, and Milby high schools are closed. Service also may be interrupted at other sites, as the district will close any site that experiences lightning as the storm moves through the city.

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Chavez HS curbside summer meal site closed beginning Monday

The curbside summer meals site at Chavez High School is temporarily closed for cleaning and sanitization due to a possible case of the COVID-19 virus.

The new site had been scheduled to begin serving curbside summer meals for students and boxed produce for families on Monday. It is now closed until further notice. 

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HISD streamlines food distribution programs to better serve communities in need

The Houston Independent School District is streamlining its summer food distribution programs and launching a new partnership with the Houston Food Bank to better serve families with the most need.

Nutrition Services is revamping its Curbside Summer Meals and Fresh Bus programs, consolidating distribution sites to redirect resources to the communities with the highest demand.

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HISD announces 2020-21 academic year calendar

HISD will not move forward with a proposal to adopt the Year-Round Designation with the Texas Education Agency, which would have allowed for an amended 11-month academic calendar for the 2020-21 school year.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and recent increase in cases, the district will keep the existing 2020-21 academic year calendar, which provides for a later start date, with the addition of 10 targeted remediation days or Academic Boot Camps for students who may have fallen behind academically due to COVID-19. The later start date provides the district the opportunity to monitor the pattern of COVID-19 cases and make necessary adjustments as it relates to in-person, virtual learning, or a combination of the two.

The district also wants to be responsive to feedback received regarding week-long intersessional breaks during the school year being a difficult option for many parents.

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Kylene Vasquez named new principal of Ashford Elementary School

Kylene Vasquez has been selected as the new principal of Ashford Elementary School. Vasquez began her educational career as a Special Education Teacher Assistant and continued in HISD as a teacher, teacher specialist, and most recently served as the assistant principal at Grissom Elementary School. Her experience has afforded her opportunities to serve students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She attended the University of Houston, earning a bachelor’s in Fine and Studio Art, English, and a master’s in Administration and Supervision. Vasquez is currently completing her doctoral studies in Executive Educational Leadership at Houston Baptist University.

HISD launches Virtual Student Leadership Program

In response to the unique challenges presented by COVID-19, the Houston Independent School District hired nearly 100 interns to tutor students remotely this summer.

HISD quickly pivoted its traditional Summer Student Leadership Program, in which students are hired for in-person internships in a variety of departments, to providing high-quality academic instruction virtually.

The district is committed to ensuring that students have access to competitive summer employment opportunities. This comes at a time when companies across the country are rescinding previously slated student job and internship offers. Despite the circumstances, HISD students can gain paid real-world work experience, develop their soft skills, and become more competitive applicants for colleges, scholarships, and jobs.

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Annie Marie Garcia named new principal of Browning Elementary School

Annie Marie Garcia has been selected as the new principal of Browning Elementary School. She began her educational career with HISD as a high school student enrolled in the Texas Association of Future Educators organization at Sam Houston MSTC. During her 19 years with HISD, Garcia has served as a teacher at Lyons Elementary, and assumed teacher specialist positions at Ketelsen Elementary and most recently, Smith Elementary. In her leadership experience, she has been instrumental in collaborating with numerous elementary campuses in developing strategic literacy plans. Garcia holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Houston-Downtown and a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University

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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Yolanda Bruce named new principal of Fleming Middle School

Yolanda Bruce is the new principal for Fleming Middle School. Bruce joined Team HISD in 2016 after a 15-year tenure in Tennessee. Since joining HISD, she has served as a dean of instruction, leadership development program manager, and interim principal at various campuses. Prior to relocating to Houston, Bruce served as a statewide curriculum developer and a districtwide professional learning community coach. She has spent much of her career coaching teachers and leaders in high-needs campuses. Bruce received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Education from Tennessee State University.