Tag Archives: Board

HISD Board of Education to Consider Continuing Advanced Placement Initiative

Houston ISD students are earning more college credits through tough Advanced Placement exams than ever before thanks to an initiative that the Board of Education is set to consider continuing during its regular meeting scheduled for today, April 12.

Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, HISD pledged to pay the AP and International Baccalaureate exam fees for all students enrolled in those college-level courses.  That policy, combined with expanded professional development opportunities that have given more teachers the tools they need to teach the more rigorous courses, has brought the total number of passing AP exam scores in HISD to 6,657, a 35 percent increase over a two-year period.  A score of 3 or higher on an AP exam is accepted by most colleges and universities.

This significant progress in AP exam achievement is among the many reasons why HISD was recently named among four national finalists for the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban EducationHISD’s senior class of 2013 is now guaranteed $150,000 in Broad scholarships. That figure would rise to $550,000 if HISD were to beat out the other three finalists.

“Efforts such as our AP initiative demonstrate the HISD Board of Education’s commitment to providing every student in every high school access to classes that will prepare them for success in college and in the workplace,” said Superintendent Terry Grier.  “This $1.6 million investment is saving our graduates and their parents millions more dollars in college tuition bills that they won’t have to pay.”

Providing every student at every school with an academically rigorous education is one of the five Core Initiatives outlined in HISD’s Strategic Direction.

In addition to voting on whether to continue paying students’ AP exam fees, the board is expected to vote today on a proposal to spend as much as $338,800 on summer programs that will train more teachers to prepare students for the tests.

The HISD Board of Education will also consider a resolution and policy brought forward by HISD parents that recommends elementary schools offer daily recess in addition to physical education classes. As written, the resolution and policy would not mandate that all schools follow this recommendation.  However, all HISD elementary schools are expected to comply with a state law that requires elementary students receive at least 135 minutes per week of physical activity, which may include recess and/or PE.

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2012 in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th St., 77092).

The board is scheduled to receive status updates on a number of projects and vote on several programs, contracts, and grants. For a full copy of the Board meeting agenda, click here.  The board meeting will be carried live on HISD’s website and on the HISD Channel, which can be found on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T Channel 99.

Board President Television Show Takes an “Up Close” look at Bellfort Early Childhood Center and Black Middle School

Who: The April 2012 edition of HISD Up Close hosted by HISD Board of Education President Michael Lunceford features an interview with fellow board Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones about community efforts in District II to revitalize Frank Black Middle School.  The show also gives viewers a tour of the Bellfort Early Childhood Center, a successful school renovation project completed as a result of the $805 million bond referendum approved by Houston voters in 2007, and a look at how state and federal budget cuts are affecting the development of HISD’s 2012-2013 school year budget.

What: Monthly HISD UP Close television show hosted by Board President Michael Lunceford.

When: Throughout the month of April at www.houstonisd.org and on HISD-TV (Comcast channel 18 and AT&T U-verse channel 99) on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8:30 p.m.

Why: HISD Board President Michael Lunceford is committed to showcasing some of the amazing things happening at HISD schools across the district, in addition to highlighting district initiatives and accomplishments. His monthly show will regularly feature a tour of a bond construction school, an interview with one of his colleagues on the HISD Board of Education, and a segment showcasing the academic accomplishments of HISD students and the dedication of HISD staff.

Public Hearings on HISD Budget Situation and Bell Schedule Proposal Begin Tonight

The first of 11 public meetings to gather input on a plan to add 19 minutes to the average school day with a uniform bell schedule for all Houston Independent School District campuses will be held tonight at three high schools.

  • Tuesday, April 3 – 6-7 p.m.
     Austin HS (1700 Dumble)
     Bellaire HS (5100 Maple Street)
     Chavez HS (8501 Howard)

Upcoming meetings:

  • April 4 (Wednesday) – 6-7 p.m.
    Lamar HS (3325 Westheimer) 
    Sharpstown HS (7504 Bissonnet)
    Waltrip HS – (1900 West 34th )
  • April 9 (Monday) – Noon-1 p.m. at the Hattie Mae Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th Street)
  • April 9 (Monday) – 6-7 p.m.
    Westside High School (14201 Briar Forest)
  • April 10 (Tuesday) – 6-7 p.m.
    Wheatley HS (4801 Providence)
    Worthing HS (9215 Scott)
    Yates HS (3703 Sampson)

HISD is looking for more ways to reduce spending as the district seeks to address a projected $34 million shortfall for the 2012-2013 school year. The shortfall is primarily a result of last year’s decision by the Texas Legislature to reduce public education funding by $5.3 billion.

Under the uniform bell schedule plan, every HISD school would have an instructional day that is 7 ½ hours long. This represents a 19-minute increase for the average HISD school, or a total of seven full days of extra instruction time over the course of the year. The 19 HISD schools that currently operate for more than 7 ½ hours per day would be allowed to continue offering the same amount of instructional time. The new schedule would save a projected $1.2 million.

Currently, HISD’s 279 schools have about 20 different start and end times. Under the proposal, schools would operate on the following bell schedule:

• Approximately half of all elementary schools would operate from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Approximately half of all elementary schools would operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• All middle schools would operate from 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
• All high schools would operate from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Click here to see proposed bell schedules for all HISD elementary schools.
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