Bond Oversight Committee tours Kinder HSPVA, hears bond program update

HISD’s Bond Oversight Committee toured the newly opened Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts on Tuesday at their quarterly meeting to review progress of the 2012 Bond Program.

HSPVA Principal Scott Allen and HISD General Manager of Facilities Design Dan Bankhead led the eight-member committee as they walked through the school’s grand entry hall, the 800-seat Denny Theater, the black box theater and the recital hall. Continue reading

HISD to kick off spring voter registration drive on Presidents Day 

The Houston Independent School District will hold its districtwide voter registration drive as part of the district’s ongoing efforts to teach students about their civic duties and the voting process.

HISD will kick off the drive with a news conference on Presidents Day – Monday, Feb. 18 – at Westside High School (14201 Briar Forest Dr., 77077).

Pursuant to Texas state law, all HISD high school principals are designated high school deputy voter registrars and are required to register eligible students by distributing voter registration forms at least twice during the school year.

Voter registration cards are always available on all HISD high school campuses to encourage eligible students to register to vote.

HISD launches #FixSchoolFinance toolkit to push school finance reform  

The Houston Independent School District has created a #FixSchoolFinance toolkit to equip public education supporters with the necessary information to effectively advocate for school finance reform.

This educational tool provides an overview of the challenges with the current system, outlines proposed solutions, and serves as a platform for direct communication with key lawmakers during the 2019 Texas Legislative Session.

For the past year, HISD has been part of a statewide coalition of school districts, nonprofit organizations, and business leaders educating the public and emphasizing the need for meaningful changes to the state’s school finance system. Reforming school finance and reducing recapture are top priorities for HISD during the 86th Texas Legislature.  Continue reading

New Parent University session scheduled for Feb. 21  

HISD will host its fourth Parent University workshop from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at five locations throughout the district: Revere Middle School, and Chavez, Kashmere, Worthing and Challenge Early College high schools.

The theme for the session will be “Supporting Your Child’s Safety, Social and Emotional Growth.” The workshop will begin with a dinner and resource fair and will include information on district programs, parent engagement, community resources, and how parents can become active partners in the successful education of their children.  Continue reading

Math teacher at Navarro MS named Teacher of the Month for February  

What started off as an ordinary day for Navarro Middle School teacher Ana Maria Steen on Tuesday morning turned into a surprise of a lifetime when Area Superintendent Geovanny Ponce interrupted class to announce Steen as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for February.

“Why Mrs. Steen? Because she is the best,” Ponce said. “She not only puts her students’ educational needs first, but those of the entire campus, which shows in their academic achievements.” Continue reading

Governor calls on lawmakers to make education a top priority this legislative session 

On the first day of the 86th Texas Legislative Session, Gov. Greg Abbott had a strong message for both the House and Senate: Put education on the top of their to-do lists.

Abbott articulated the need to increase school safety, fix school finance, and reform property taxes. He also emphatically stated that lawmakers must solve these issues this session – a statement that received strong applause in both chambers.

“The state must invest more in public education, improve third-grade reading scores, pay teachers more, reduce recapture, make our schools safer, and prepare students for college or career,” Abbott later said during his inauguration speech. “We will do all of this without a court order telling us to do it. We will finally fix school finance in Texas.”

On Feb. 5, Abbott delivered his State of the State to the 86th Texas Legislature. Key themes of his remarks included the growing Texas economy, school finance reform, teacher pay, property tax relief, school safety, mental health, disaster response, border security, cracking down on crime and human trafficking, and support for Texas military personnel and veterans.  Continue reading

Northside HS senior wins student emcee contest 

Flanked by balloons and holding an oversized check, Northside High School Senior Tren’kell Reeves could not hide her excitement after discovering she had been named the winner of the student emcee contest for the HISD Foundation’s 2019 Public Education Matters Benefit Dinner.

“I am so happy that I am shaking,” Reeves, who goes by the nickname “TK,” said. “I have four younger sisters, and I just can’t wait to tell them!”

Along with hosting the event, Reeves earned a $2,500 college scholarship. Over 100 prospective emcees sent in audition videos, but according to HISD Chief Development Officer Ann Best Scott, Reeves’ video stood out.    Continue reading

Chavez HS FFA student prepares for livestock show season 

As livestock show season picks up steam, Chavez High School Junior Jewels Hernandez is ready for her first time in the major show ring.

“I am really excited,” she said. “I hope to one day win grand champion at a major show.”

In just her first year with Chavez’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program, Hernandez has already had considerable success showing her Simbrah heifer, which is something she has long wanted to try.

“Going to the rodeo and seeing other kids raising animals really got me interested,” she said. “Once I found out I had the opportunity to raise cattle through the FFA program, I knew I had to try it out for myself.”   Continue reading

Two top HISD student athletes commit to Kentucky State, University of Texas on National Signing Day

Nearly 150 students sign letters of intent for collegiate athletic programs across the country

With their parents, coaches, and friends looking on, two of the Houston Independent School District’s top athletes announced they will attend Kentucky State University and the University of Texas to pursue their athletic and academic careers.

Mesi Wilson is a standout in volleyball at Bellaire High School who has been offered a scholarship to play at Kentucky State.

North Forest High School’s Javonne Shepherd, one of the top offensive tackles in the state, has accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Texas. Continue reading

Transportation Services bringing back internal recruiting

Transportation Services is tapping existing bus drivers to serve as department ambassadors tasked with recruiting fellow bus drivers and encouraging them to join their ranks.

The 20-member internal recruiting team will be established by mid-February, Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said. The hand-picked team will work on recruitment each day after they complete their routes.

Recruitment duties will include attending job fairs and other recruitment events and posting recruitment fliers in areas with high traffic, such as libraries, beauty shops, and restaurants.

“They’re the best people to go out there and tell others about their jobs and really sell Transportation Services,” Wilcots said. Continue reading