Author Barney Saltzberg with Visual Art Specialist Rebecca Stewart
Whether you’re five, 15, or 55 years old, it can still be a thrilling experience to meet someone who actually created a book you enjoyed. If it makes a big enough impression, the experience can even make you a reader for life.
Barney Saltzberg was the latest writer/illustrator to bring inspiration and encouragement to students. He came to Memorial Elementary School on Feb. 13.
“His visit was awesome,” said Visual Art Specialist Rebecca Stewart. “He spoke about not being a very good student. He said he was terrible at spelling. No one—not even his parents—was very optimistic that he would ever do anything significant, because he had such a hard time in school. But he loved to draw, so he drew all the time. When he went to art school, he still didn’t think he was very good, but a teacher looked at his drawing one day and said, ‘You need to write a book with that character.’ So he did. And the little boy who had such a hard time at spelling is now a best-selling author with more than a million books in print.” Continue reading →
The campus is one of only eight from across the state that will present some of its best practices at the event. Burbank was selected in part because of its success in closing the achievement gap. The school matched or beat both the district’s and the state’s averages on all students’ reading and math scores in every grade on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in 2013–2014. Continue reading →
This year, Family Literacy Night at Burbank Middle School was very special. Throughout September and October, students, staff, and community members all read Christopher Healy’s “The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom.” Then they got together on Family Literacy Night to discuss the book and had a rare opportunity to take the discussion directly to Healy, who was the night’s special guest.
“I feel really privileged to be a part of this event,” Healy said. “From the point of view of an author, it’s unbelievable. It’s amazing that all of these kids and teachers read my book. It’s not that they’ve all just read it, but that it’s become a point of discussion in the school. People have been telling me that students are talking about it in the hallways, and teachers are discussing the characters and plotlines outside of class. That’s an amazing feeling for me — the idea of a whole school rallying around one book and the way it supports literacy.” Continue reading →
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.
Middle school parents learned about more than 40 high school programs their children can choose from at a Parent Information Night organized by the district’s Office of School Choice on Thursday at Burbank Middle School.
“It’s good to see that our students have so many opportunities at HISD,” said Rubin and Laura Precella, who attended the program with their daughter and nephew, both eighth-graders at The Rice School. “We just want to learn more about the different programs so that we can choose one that will help our children make their mark on the world.” Continue reading →
Shearn Elementary School is one of 14 HISD schools launching the school year today as a dual-language campus, with instruction in both English and Spanish, and students had a special visitor this morning.
Dr. Terry Grier dropped in as the school day began to greet students and parents, and to pump up their enthusiasm for dual-language. “I sure wish we had this when I was in school,” Grier told a trio of fifth-grade school leaders who guided him on a tour of Shearn.
This is the sixth in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.
When the school bells sound Monday in HISD, 14 additional elementary campuses will be conducting classes in two languages, as the district expands its successful dual-language program to a total of 32 schools.
The structure offers foreign language immersion for English-speaking students and a bilingual program for Spanish speakers.
The expansion process started a year ago, when all HISD elementary schools were invited to apply for the successful program. Those chosen have spent months preparing. HISD has a six-year plan to turn at least half its elementary campuses into dual-language schools by 2020. Continue reading →
“It’s everything from being impatient in morning traffic, [to] talking back to your elders, and not knowing how to simply apologize,” she says in an essay she submitted to the Do the Write Thing Challenge essay contest.
But the eighth-grader understands the importance of resisting the urge to lash out physically. “Violence is…like poison, it dominates and destroys,” she writes. “We are the United States of America, [and] we need to live up to that name. Stereotypes keep us from flipping the page and seeing past the cover and into the content. We need to looking past stereotypes and really…understand each other.” Continue reading →
Clifton MS sixth-grader Victoria Lopez and her mom got to know HISD School Support Officer Lupita Hinojosa, left, at Saturday’s National School Choice Week kick-off event.
HISD students and staff were among the thousands who attended the National School Choice Week kick-off at Houston’s Union Station Saturday, Jan. 25. The celebration brought together Democrats and Republicans, home-schoolers, public school districts, charters, and even a few virtual learners around a common cause: school choice.
Latina entertainer, neuroscientist kick off new partnership at Burbank MS
English language learners at HISD’s Burbank Middle School got a lesson in the importance of aiming for the stars recently, when a neuroscientist and a popular entertainer came to that campus. Continue reading →