Despite the soaring temperatures, an enthusiastic crowd gathered outside HISD’s Blackshear Elementary School on Wednesday for the unveiling of a new campus mural that celebrates the school’s recent academic achievements and improvement in literacy.
“We now have the best mural in the city of Houston – the most beautiful mural in the city of Houston,” Blackshear Principal Alicia Gobert Lewis said. “At Blackshear, we want to make sure that everywhere children look they see something beautiful.”
The mural, which as the brainchild of Lewis, was designed and painted by Houston-based artist Reginald Adams. His art installations can be seen in historic and underserved communities across the U.S. The theme of the mural is Break EveryChain, and it is brimming with literary elements, colorful books, and powerful images of children reading.
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.
The Houston Independent School District announced Thursday a partnership with the Houston NCAA Final Four Local Organizing Committee, Houston Public Library and the University of Houston on a bracket-themed reading challenge that encourages students to read at least 30 minutes a day.
Nearly 6,800 third-graders will participate in the reading challenge known as the NCAA Team Works Read to the Final Four Literacy Program leading up to the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four that will be held in Houston April 2-4 at NRG Stadium. Continue reading →
More than five dozen HISD science, technology, engineering, and math teachers took part in a summer institute recently that was designed to help boost students’ math and science scores by incorporating more fun into their lessons.
The educators came from 23 HISD elementary and middle schools that received part of a TIF4 STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant also provides resources such as equipment and technology, and participating teachers will receive additional training opportunities throughout the school year and share what they have learned with other faculty members at their campuses.
Montessori is a child-centered educational approach that emphasizes independent, purposeful work and collaborative exploration. At Blackshear Elementary School, classrooms are equipped with tools to encourage “discovery” of concepts by using materials rather than by instruction from a teacher. The teacher guides the learning and encourages independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about Montessori is that it’s not structured, and that the kids are ‘free’ to do what they want,” says Blackshear’s magnet coordinator Madelyn Traylor. “It has a rich environment for children to explore, but concepts are taught in a sequenced manner, allowing each child to move through this sequence, and fulfill their academic needs, at their own rates and levels.” Continue reading →
Houston Mayor Annise Parker stopped by Blackshear Elementary on Monday to encourage students to keep reading over the summer.
“I happen to think the No. 1 reason to like to read is because it’s fun,” Parker said. “You can read about different places. You can read about things that are completely imaginary.”
Parker said teachers can tell which students read over the summer and which ones didn’t because reading skills tend to fall back when children don’t read.
Officials from Houston ISD and the Houston Public Library told students, many sporting Cat in the Hat hats, about their summer reading programs. Students can participate in both programs without having to read separate books — and can gain separate sets of incentives.
The HISD Board of Education on Thursday voted to table indefinitely an agenda item to cancel the consolidation of Dodson Elementary with Blackshear, the Rusk School and Lantrip elementary schools. The 5-3 vote comes after much debate on the topic and a move by board members who brought the item back to the agenda late last week. Trustee Paula Harris was absent from the meeting.
“Despite being unpopular and difficult, school consolidations represent opportunities to strengthen schools,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “Tonight’s vote will allow us to continue the work we are doing to ensure that Blackshear is a Montessori-friendly facility that is ready for students in the fall.”
Last month the board voted to repurpose Jones High School into a specialized Futures Academy. Trustees also voted 5 to 4 to close Dodson Elementary. The Board of Education did not vote on the administration’s proposal to increase funding per-student level by $35 for the upcoming school year. It will appear on next month’s agenda following additional board workshops on the subject.