Matthew Schwer has been selected as the new principal at Eliot Elementary School. Schwer currently serves as the Assistant Principal at Eliot Elementary. During his tenure at Eliot, he has advised and supported students and parents across the Leader in Me Program, APPTT Parent Engagement Initiative, and DAEP Program. He began his educational career in middle school as a classroom teacher in Special Education, sixth- and seventh-grade math, team lead, cultural development lead, and assistant principal. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree at Sam Houston State University.
This year, in nearly 200 classrooms at nine HISD elementary schools, parents are experiencing a new kind of parent-teacher conference that gives them the tools both to expand their children’s learning and to monitor their progress.
Schools in their second or third years of implementing the Academy Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) program are continuing to perfect and expand the new model of meetings to empower parents to help their children learn outside of school.
Eliot, Gallegos, Kennedy, Mitchell, Piney Point, Shadowbriar, and Tijerina elementary schools, as well as Fonwood Early Childhood Center and the Wharton Dual Language Academy, all recently completed their first round of fall APTT meetings.
The model replaces traditional parent-teacher conferences with three 75-minute group meetings involving all parents in the class, and one 30-minute individual session with the student, teacher, and parents. During group meetings, teachers share student performance data and expectations for the class, review skills, and model hands-on activities parents can do at home to help their children master skills. Parents practice the activities at home with their kids over a 60-day period until their next meeting, when they can again review the data and see how their child has progressed. 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.
Elementary students got to build the bicycles they earned through improved literacy goals last Friday, May 15, at the Houston Zoo. Second- and third-graders worked hard all semester to achieve goals set by their teachers to improve their literacy skills. The “Getting Young Minds in Gear” event was led by Elves & More, a program that uses bicycles as an incentive to encourage literacy in elementary school students.
Breathing exercises and yoga poses are just a few of the things HISD students learn in the Sonima Health and Wellness program. Fourteen additional HISD schools now offer the curriculum, which is offered by the Sonima Foundation and teaches students multiple skills for a healthier lifestyle.
Thousands of adults have benefited from Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People since that book was first published more than 20 years ago, and now, HISD students are starting to benefit from it, too.
Over the years, that self-help classic has been refined and reimagined to help young people cultivate a sense of personal responsibility and leadership skills, and the result is “The Leader in Me (LIM),” which is currently in place at Longfellow Elementary School and two other HISD campuses, Shearn ES and Garden Oaks Montessori.
“’The Leader in Me’ provides the most solid foundation I have ever seen to help kids lead a principled, centered life,” said Longfellow ES Principal Norma Perez-Gwynn. “It has made an incredible difference with our children.”