Lewis ES lead teacher named Teacher of the Month

Fourth-grade math and science teacher Christine Velasquez didn’t stop her lesson on double-digit multiplication when Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan made a classroom visit to surprise her as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for November.   

“Mrs. Velasquez has been crucial in the turnaround at Lewis,” Principal Jorge Rodriguez said. “Her work ethic can be described as an undeniable dedication in providing the best educational experiences and opportunities for all students at the campus.” 

What was thought to be a classroom observation on Tuesday quickly evolved into a celebration as district and campus administrators, followed by the campus’ very own mariachi band filled the space to honor the lead teacher with the district’s monthly award. 

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Two HISD campuses make Newsweek list of best STEM high schools in the nation

The Houston Independent School District’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions and Carnegie Vanguard High School have been named to Newsweek magazine’s list of best science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) high schools in the nation.  

DeBakey ranked 23rd on the list of the top 500 schools, and Carnegie Vanguard ranked 308th. Newsweek’s list was compiled in partnership with STEM.org, a national education research and credentialing organization. 

“I am extremely proud of these two exemplary HISD campuses, which have an impressive history of high achievements,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “The students, staff, and parents at DeBakey and Carnegie continually make us proud, and I congratulate them for once again receiving well-deserved accolades on a national level.” 

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HISD Direct Digital Control team keeps HVAC systems going

When the air conditioning at Atherton Elementary School was running after hours, Direct Digital Control Field Technician Dustin Agnew headed to the campus to find out why.   

Agnew first checked the master control panel and the variable-frequency drives, making sure everything was set to “auto.” He then went outside to inspect the chillers and quickly found the problem — both were running, but only one was supposed to be on.  

“I enjoy figuring out what’s wrong, because it could be so many different elements,” he said. 

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HISD unveils student winners of 2019 holiday greeting card competition

The Houston Independent School District announced the winners of the district’s 2019 holiday greeting card competition on Friday, featuring creative student artwork highlighting family holiday traditions, seasonal decorations, and classic holiday songs.

“I want to thank all the students who participated for sharing and opening up your world to us,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said during the annual unveiling ceremony. “I hope you’ve enjoyed this experience, and I hope we will be able to provide you additional experiences throughout your school career.”

The winners – fifth-grader Edward Lopez of Neff Elementary School, eighth-grader Josiah Rajesh of Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan, and senior Mariangela Rodriguez of Lamar High School – were among 17 finalists from elementary, middle, and high schools. All finalists received a boxed set of their holiday cards. Their holiday cards also will be available for purchase and on display at the HISD administration building.

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HISD students participate in National School Lunch Week jingle contest

Elementary and middle school students have been busy creating lively videos for Nutrition Services’ National School Lunch Week jingle contest. 

Students were asked to compose a short jingle or rap about the importance of making healthy food choices. The contest was developed in honor of National School Lunch Week, which was held Oct. 14-18.  

This year, the theme — What’s on Your Playlist? — highlighted the variety of flavors and dishes offered in today’s school lunch.  

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TEA to host meetings on Board of Managers process

The Texas Education Agency will host a series of community meetings to provide information regarding the board of managers process. Community members are invited to come and learn more and ask questions about the process.

Additionally, for an application to serve on the Board of Managers, click here.

The scheduled meetings are as follows:

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Applications for EMERGE open on Nov. 12

Sophomore students who want to explore in-state and out-of-state college options and would like to work with a mentor to create a competitive college application, should apply to be an EMERGE fellow. 

Applications open Tuesday, Nov. 12 and are due on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. 

The application is available at HoustonISD.org/EMERGE

EMERGE empowers and prepares high-performing students from underserved communities to attend and graduate from top colleges and universities across the nation. These institutions offer substantial financial-aid packages to students. 

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Ascending to Men Project to host roundtable discussion with students, community leaders

The Houston Independent School District’s Ascending to Men (ATM) Project will host simultaneous roundtable discussions next week with students and community leaders to foster dialogue centered around issues impacting today’s male students. 

The discussions will take place from 6 – 8 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at both Furr and Sharpstown high schools. Participants will discuss challenges for male students in the district, while sharing sustainable solutions to those challenges.  

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Sterling HS students take flight in aviation program

Moving carefully around his assigned aircraft, high school senior Christian Colon of Sterling Aviation High School diligently checked the fuel tank valve, cabin and wing flaps as part of the required pre-flight checklist prior to takeoff. 

After two reschedules, a day filled with clear and sunny skies finally arrived for Colon to complete his first solo flight at the Pearland Regional Airport as the first among six students moving a step closer to receiving a pilot license. 

Colon along with his peers are a part of Sterling’s long-standing aviation program, which allows students to graduate with an associate’s degree from Houston Community College, as well as a Level 1 pilot’s certification.  

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Transportation Services conducting ridership review

Transportation Services is conducting a comprehensive review of bus ridership at schools with high transportation eligibility to identify opportunities for route consolidation and increased efficiency.  

The review is focused on 15 schools with low ridership, despite having a high volume of students who are eligible for transportation and have been assigned routes.  

Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV explained that requests for transportation are often at their highest at the start of the school year. Once a request is made and the student is found to be eligible, the department is required to assign that student to a route and stop — even if they end up choosing not to ride the bus.   

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