Tag Archives: ESL

U.N. visit highlights HISD newcomer school Las Americas

United Nations Deputy High Commissioner Kelly Clements was in Houston recently to discuss the global refugee crisis and explore how refugees are resettled in Houston with the support of agencies across the city, carving time out of her schedule to visit HISD’s Las Americas Newcomer School in southwest Houston.

Clements observed a few classrooms, spoke with refugee students, and met HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. Clements works for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees and stateless people. Also attending was former HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche, now director of education for the city of Houston.  Continue reading

HISD Launches Free English as a Second Language Classes Online and on HISD-TV

In an effort to empower parents to learn English and be more involved in their children’s education, the Houston Independent School District has partnered with AVANCE in Houston to offer free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes online through the district’s website and public access TV channel.

“Parents play a critical role in ensuring the academic success of each child,” HISD’s Parent Engagement Senior Manager Kelly Cline said.  “It is our responsibility to help parents be more involved in their child’s academic life and that includes helping parents understand the language.”

Continue reading

Rice School Educator Named HAABE ESL Teacher of the Year

From left, Juanita Soliz, Teresa Barton and Carmen Parra pose with their awards.

Teresa Barton, an English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teacher at HISD’s The Rice School/La Escuela Rice, has been named the Elementary ESL Teacher of the Year by the Houston Area Association for Bilingual Education (HAABE).

Barton was selected from a field of 150 finalists from Houston, Fort Bend, North Forest, and Pearland ISDs, 27 of whom were from HISD. She advanced to the citywide competition after earning the same distinction—Elementary ESL Teacher of the Year for 2012—at the districtwide level in HISD. One of her colleagues at The Rice School, Juanita Soliz, was also named HISD’s Bilingual Teacher of the Year for 2012.

School Improvement Officer Debbie Crowe noted how unusual it was to have two districtwide honorees from a single campus. “But I attribute that to the culture of the school,” she said, “and the fabulous teaching and learning that takes place there under Principal Kim Hobbs. La Escuela Rice really caters to every child, and you can see the evidence of differentiated instruction everywhere.”

The other honoree at the district level was Burbank Middle School’s Carmen Parra, who was named HISD’s Secondary ESL Teacher of the Year for 2012.

Barton, Parra, Soliz, and dozens of other educators from the greater-Houston area were recognized on April 27 during HAABE’s thirtieth annual awards banquet.

The organization also awarded college scholarships to two local seniors: Liliana Balboa (Reagan HS) and Thu Anh Nguyen (Chávez HS).

To see a full list of honorees from HISD, please visit the HAABE website.