On the second day of school at Stevenson Middle School in south Houston, as students filed in from parent drop-off with their backpacks slung over their shoulders and arms full of books, one phrase could be heard repeatedly in the main hallway: “It’s Dragon Time!”
It’s a phrase that Principal Christyn McCloskey said is an important part of the 2021-2022 school year.
“One of the initiatives that we put in place this year is Dragon Time; we are the Stevenson Dragons,” McCloskey said. “It’s where students are getting those intensive small-group interventions. Every single teacher on campus has a Dragon Time group, and they’re all working on figuring out where are the students, what are they working on.”
The new addition is a part of the school’s efforts to address learning loss this school year. Dragon Time is a series of small group learning activities that help students to make up for any learning loss that might have taken place over the summer—or even over the course of the pandemic.Continue reading
As students begin to think about the future, Nutrition Services Culinary Educator Brittany Jones is working to ensure they’re equipped with a key ingredient for success — the basics of cooking.
Chef Jones is one of two educators who teach “Get Growing Houston” classes at Attucks Middle School and Worthing Early College High School. The 10-week classes were piloted at the schools to help students learn the importance of good nutrition and the fundamentals of cooking.Continue reading
Shani Wyllie has been selected as the new principal of Attucks Middle school. Wyllie joined HISD in 2010, where she has served students at Navarro, Jackson, and Deady middle schools. Wyllie currently is the assistant principal at Edison Middle School, where she oversees both the math and science departments. Wyllie received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland.
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Four HISD schools earned a big victory from the Houston Texans and the Texas Children’s Hospital by winning an NFL PLAY 60 grant that will fund new equipment for P.E., sports, and after-school programs to help get kids moving.
Mitchell Elementary School, Attucks Middle School, and Westbury High School each won a $10,000 grant while Blackshear Elementary School received a $5,000 grant. Representatives from the schools were recognized during the halftime presentation of the Houston Texans game Oct. 2 at NRG Stadium.
More than 500 middle school students spent their Saturday at Hamilton Middle School on Oct. 25, competing in the first University Interscholastic League (UIL) Middle School tournament of the 2014–2015 season.
Students from 15 schools competed: Attucks, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan, Black, Burbank, Clifton, Cullen, Fondren, Hamilton, Johnston, Pershing, Pin Oak, Revere and Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men.
Pin Oak Middle School was declared the sweepstakes champion, with Mickey Leland College Prep winning second place and Black MS taking home third.
Here are the individual results: Continue reading
Burbank and Elrod elementary schools to keep magnet status for 2014-2015 academic year
The Houston Independent School District is restoring the magnet designation at two elementary schools following a thorough review of the schools’ presentations and related documentation during the appeal process. Burbank and Elrod elementary schools will keep their magnet designation and funding for the 2014-2015 academic year.
“As we listened to the magnet program representatives who presented appeals, the committee was looking for clear evidence that these programs were on the path to meeting the magnet standards within one to two years,” HISD Assistant Superintendent of School Choice Dave Wheat said. “After a lot of deliberation, we’re pleased to announce that we are restoring the magnet designation at Elrod and Burbank elementary schools.”
During the appeal process, Burbank administrators presented to the committee nearly 40 additional applications they have received from non-zoned students. Those additional applications bring their percentage of non-zoned students to 16.52 percent, just under the minimum standard of 20 percent. In addition, Burbank will be adding three classrooms to increase capacity and accommodate additional non-zoned students.
As for Elrod, school administrators showed the committee their consistent enrollment growth over the past three years, going from 4 percent at the start of the magnet program to nearly 14 percent this year. Also, because Elrod changed its magnet theme in 2012 from math, science and technology to Emerging Medical Scholars, the committee felt more time was needed to assess the program’s viability.
However, Burbank and Elrod, like all magnet schools in HISD, will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year and every year thereafter to assess compliance with the enrollment goals and state accountability system ratings.
The Magnet Appeal Review Committee is still reviewing Law Elementary’s appeal, with a site visit planned for Wednesday morning.
“This is HISD’s first step in applying system standards across the district to ensure we maintain a high level of excellence at all schools,” Wheat said. “It is critically important that we ensure all magnet programs are meeting the enrollment and academic requirements set forth by HISD’s Board of Education.”
In May of 2013, the HISD Board of Trustees adopted a new policy that included the 20 percent non-zoned enrollment requirement for all magnet schools and the 100 non-zoned magnet students per grade level requirement for secondary magnet schools. The policy also stated that magnet schools would be held accountable for student academic outcomes aligned with the Board Monitoring System and/or current accountability standards.
As a result, HISD made the decision last month to remove the magnet designation from 20 magnet schools with the lowest percentages of non-zoned students enrolled. The schools were notified of this decision and were given the opportunity to appeal. Thirteen campuses filed an appeal but only Burbank and Elrod were approved to keep their magnet programs.
At the end of this academic year, the following 18 schools are slated to lose their magnet status and will only receive half of their funding during the 2014-2015 academic year: Law (under review), Pleasantville, Wesley, and West University elementary schools; Attucks, Deady, Dowling, Holland, Jackson, Key, and Patrick Henry middle schools; and Jones, Lee, Madison, Sharpstown, Westbury, Wheatley and Worthing high schools.