As parents prepare for the upcoming school year, Nutrition Services has taken one key responsibility off their plates — providing students with breakfast, lunch, and dinner free of charge for the second year in a row.
All HISD schools are once again qualified to operate under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision, which provides students with access to three healthy meals each day — at no cost to them and without having to fill out a free and reduced-price meal application.
The Houston Independent School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to students for the 2019-2020 school year, but parents will need to fill out a new form to ensure Title I funding for HISD schools.
All HISD schools are qualified to operate under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision, which allows HISD to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at no charge to all students, eliminating the need for free and reduced-price meal applications.
While parents will not need to complete and return a free and reduced-price meal application, they will need to complete a socioeconomic form (see below), known as the blue form.
Parents of students riding HISD buses now have two new tools designed to ensure better bus service for students and better customer service for parents with transportation-related questions and concerns.
Beginning this school year, Transportation Services is launching the bus tracking app SafeStop and Let’s Talk!, an easy-to-use, online program that aims to streamline communication between Transportation Services and parents and school staff.
“We want to provide an easy-to-use service that will help parents who utilize our service,” Transportation Services General Manager John Wilcots IV said. “Increased effectiveness in our operations and our customer service continues to be our main goal for Transportation Services this year.”
The Houston Independent School District is partnering once again with Healthy Schools to offer free flu vaccines to students during the 2019-2020 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 available at their child’s campus. 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.
HISD leadership geared up the for the new school year, gathering at Delmar Stadium for the district’s annual Welcome Back meeting.
More than 1,500 principals, deans, assistant principals, and district leaders packed the general session to hear the breakdown of Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan’s strategic priorities, attend area breakout sessions centered on their campus goals for the upcoming school year and celebrate successes from the previous year.
“Last school year, we made great strides in closing the achievement gaps for students and turnaround efforts for our Achieve 180 program remain on an upward trend,” Lathan said.
Deshonta Everett has been selected as the new principal of Anderson Elementary School. With 12 years of experience in education, Everett previously served as an assistant principal at Welch Middle School for two years. Before joining HISD, he started his career as a middle school English teacher in Dallas ISD and served as an instructional coach, secondary ESL specialist and academic principal in the Crowley and Irving Independent School Districts. Everett holds a bachelor’s in English from Jackson State University, a master’s in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University, another master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas.
Cicely Williams has been selected as the new principal of Community Services K-12. She has been an educator with HISD for 14 years and most recently served as assistant principal at Scarborough High School, where she supported the Special Education and Career and Technical Education Departments. A product of HISD, she attended Brookline and Lovett elementary schools, Tanglewood Middle School and Madison High School. Her experience ranges from being a special education teacher, SPED and ESL department chairperson, and teacher/instructional specialist on the elementary, middle and high school levels. Williams has also held positions at Patrick Henry Middle School, Neff Elementary School, and Austin and Madison high schools. She holds a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Special Education from Prairie View A&M University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston-Downtown.
Queinnise Miller has been selected as the new principal of Marshall Middle School. Miller has served as an elementary and high school teacher, department chair, and educational trainer. She has also served as a middle school assistant principal. She also has a background in English as a second language, bilingual education, and foreign language instruction. She joined HISD six years ago and served as a senior manager for Leadership Development and a director in the Office of School Leadership. Most recently, Miller served three years as principal Smith Elementary School. While serving at Smith, she was responsible for the campus embracing a new and exciting culture, which included the expansion of its fine arts program and becoming a dual language campus. She holds a bachelor’s Spanish from University of Houston, a master’s in Educational Administration and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Prairie View A&M University.
Tanya Edwards has been selected as the new principal of Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan. She has been a part of Team HISD for 21 years and previously served as the principal of Thompson Elementary School. She has been instrumental in helping to turn around schools in HISD, including at Thompson, where she helped the campus reach academic improvements and earn TEA distinctions for four consecutive years. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Prairie View A&M University, where she holds a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies and a master’s in Educational Administration. Edwards is currently in the Doctoral Program for Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
As the summer break comes to a close, preparations for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year are in full swing across the district and in the HISD Police Department.
The department is hosting a slate of professional development training courses in the weeks leading up to the first day of school.
“Training is always important because it allows for us to prepare for the upcoming school year,” HISD Police Sgt. Quinten Flannel said. “It helps us to keep up with the challenges and demands of the district. We want our officers to be trained and to know how to handle it.”