Interim Superintendent makes special stop during first-day districtwide tour to showcase pre-K expansion efforts

During her whirlwind first-day of school district tour, HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan stopped at Neff Early Learning Center, where she and other administration officials gathered to highlight to the media and community the expansion of pre-K education throughout the district. 

“High-quality, full-day pre-K will continue to be a top priority in HISD,” Lathan said. “We must provide all children with a solid foundation as they embark on their educational journeys. Funding these programs are an investment in our children and our families.” 

HISD’s full-day Pre-K program, which is offered to three- and four-year-olds, began in 2006. This school year, a total of 12 elementary campuses throughout the district will be expanding pre-K classrooms for a total of 38 pre-K rooms.  

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Northside HS students start new school year in renovated facility

Northside High School students steadily filed into the commons on Monday and lined up behind a bank of white tables, eager to pick up schedules, find friends, and get a first glimpse of the new campus. 

Standing just behind the tables was Assistant Principal Victor Okoli, armed with a floor plan and ready to help students navigate the new facility. 

Principal Cecilia Gonzales stood just a few feet away, watching over the process, welcoming students back to school, and guiding them through new, brightly colored hallways.  

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Lamar HS students enjoy first day of school in new building

Gathered outside Lamar High School’s new main entrance, cheerleaders, Rangerettes, and the color guard shook their pompoms to the beat of the music played by the band, welcoming students back to school. 

Inside, the hum of conversation filled the grand hall as hundreds of students peered around the two-story room, admiring the tall glass walls and massive, blue staircase, as they waited for the first bell to ring. 

“The kids walked in wide-eyed saying, ‘It’s beautiful,’” Lamar Principal Rita Graves said, recalling how eager students had been to see the school during last week’s Texan Prep Days. “They’re just really excited to be learning in such a cool place.” 

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HISD Interim Superintendent kicks off first day with breakfast with students

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan sat at a long white table in the Burnet Elementary School cafeteria on Monday, nibbling on a chicken biscuit and chatting with the students seated alongside her. 

Gathered for breakfast on the first day of school, the conversation quickly turned into an impromptu Spanish lesson as students from the dual language school translated the menu — chicken biscuits, raisins, apple juice, and milk — into Spanish. 

“Leche?” Lathan repeated carefully after hearing the Spanish word for milk. A wide smile then spread across her face. “You know what I like? Tres leches. And lot of it,” she said, laughing.  

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Special Education Advisory Committee accepting panelist applications

The Houston Independent School District’s Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) is inviting parents and members of the community to serve on the committee.

The purpose of the committee is to serve in an advisory role to the Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Services by providing feedback on such issues as parent advocacy and voice; instruction and support; compliance and monitoring; and professional development. The committee promotes active engagement with parents as partners of OSES regarding the services provided to students with disabilities.

The SEAC is scheduled to meet 4 times during the calendar year at different campuses located throughout the district. The committee is comprised of 18 parents, 4 principals and 4 community partners.  The selection process will be held annually and will consist of an application submission and lottery process.

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HISD launching mentorship initiative to empower female students

The Houston Independent School District is announcing its newest student mentorship program, Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success (ROSES), at a kick-off event on Thursday at Yates High School with elected officials, community partners, and educators.

ROSES is the sister program of the Ascending to Men Project (ATMP) and seeks to provide positive role models and advocates to underserved young women who need guidance and opportunities for educational, social, and professional growth. 

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DeChaumes ES fine arts teacher hopes to inspire student creativity, support the whole child

During a recent visit to Nicole Hevener’s classroom at DeChaumes Elementary School, it’s clear she embodies creativity head to toe – from her shock of multi-colored hair and teal cat-eye glasses to her cheeseburger tights and Bob’s Burger-themed shoes. 

It’s a look that she hopes inspires her fine arts students to embrace what makes them unique and to express their artistic side. 

“I tell people I’m Wednesday Adams and Louise Belcher on the inside and Lisa Frank on the outside,” Hevener said, laughing. “It’s to show my kids that you can work, be successful and still be very fun with your look. 

“A school nurse once told me that she had a student who had experienced some bullying, and the student said to her, ‘Ms. Hevener doesn’t care what people think. I’m going to be like Ms. Hevener.’ I hope I’m showing (my students) that you can have that confidence and dress the way you want to.” 

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HISD’s Back-to-School Extravaganza helps families prepare for new school year

A line of bustling people wove its way through the parking lot of Delmar Fieldhouse on Friday as they anxiously waited for the start of the district’s second annual Back-to-School Extravaganza. 

As the doors opened, district parents and students were greeted by hundreds of smiling volunteers, a welcome chant from Waltrip High School’s cheerleading squad, and a special message from Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan. 

“We are so excited to kick off the 2019-2020 school year,” Lathan said. “To everyone here, thank you for supporting HISD – one of the top school districts in the state of Texas!” 

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Interim Superintendent gets sneak peek of new Lamar and Northside

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan walked into the new academic building at Lamar High School on Thursday and stopped for a moment to take it all in. 

Standing in the grand hall, Lathan’s eyes widened as she scanned the two-story, glass-paned entry way and massive, bright blue staircase leading to upper floors. 

“This is wonderful,” Lathan said, smiling as she greeted Lamar Principal Rita Graves. 

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