Amid a growing national teacher shortage and declining educator preparation program enrollment, Houston Independent School District is creating pathways for aspiring educators to become teachers for free and get paid to do so. Through a new Grow Your Own grant program, participants will be able to earn their bachelor’s degree and Texas teaching license while being paid as a full-time teaching assistant in HISD.Continue reading
The Houston Independent School District’s softball and baseball fields are safer and less likely to flood thanks to a $70,000 Sports Matter grant from The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation.Continue reading
The Houston Independent School District was named Tuesday as one of 31 finalists for $120 million in federal Race to the Top funds, from a field of more than 200 applicants.
Up to 10 winners are expected to be named by the end of 2013. Each winner could receive awards of $4 million to $30 million from the U.S. Department of Education. Because of its size and number of students it serves, HISD was eligible to apply for the maximum award. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded HISD $7.7 million to attract, reward, and retain strong math and science teachers.
The Houston Independent School District is among just 35 school systems nationally that received the grants, which were announced Thursday. HISD’s grant is specifically for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers. More than 120 school districts applied for the grants.
“Nothing we can do has more impact on our goal of providing every child with an academically rigorous education than placing effective teachers in every classroom,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “These teachers deserve much more than we are able to pay them, and this grant will help us compete to keep the best talent in Houston ISD classrooms.”
All applicants submitted proposals that provide opportunities for teacher leadership and advancement, put in place district-wide evaluations based on multiple measures that include student growth, and improve decision-making through better evaluations, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
“Whether urban or rural, traditional or charter, successful schools are not possible without great teaching and leadership,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Our best teachers and principals are invaluable leaders in changing life outcomes for students. They are desperately needed in our struggling schools, and they deserve to be recognized, rewarded, and given the opportunity to have a greater influence on their colleagues, students, and in their communities.”
In addition to offering teachers financial incentives, HISD will also use the grant to give teachers the instructional materials they need to conduct authentic problem-based learning STEM projects, develop and deliver specialized training for teachers through partners such as Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine, and to hire additional math and science coaches to support teachers at participating schools.
The grant will benefit 25 HISD schools, mostly elementary schools, with large populations of students from low-income families. The schools were also chosen because their students have struggled to meet state minimum academic standards in science and math.
Just in time for the new academic year, three elementary schools in the Houston Independent School District have won $25,000 grants from Target to help provide educational resources in the classroom.
“This grant could not have come at a more perfect time for these schools,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “Amid the recent state budget cuts, teachers and administrators are faced with doing more with less as they continue to provide their students a rigorous education. There is no doubt that this grant will be put to great use at these schools.”
Highland Heights, Atherton and Briscoe elementary schools were among the 100 schools nationwide selected to receive this grant. The grant will be used at these campuses to enrich current programs and incorporate technology in the classrooms.
This includes increasing the educational resources available to the students and purchasing new technology such as iPads to further engage students and promote learning. The grant will also be used to help fund after-school programs that help supplement classroom learning and engage kids safely.
Give With Target is a two-part giving campaign aimed at helping schools across the country by providing $2.5 million in grants to 100 in-need schools, as well as up to $2.5 million in Target GiftCards to local schools that receive votes on Target’s Facebook page.
The Moody Foundation has awarded HISD’s Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy a $31,000 grant to purchase school uniforms for the 2012-2013 school year. Nearly 80 percent of YMCPA students are from low-income families, and many students and parents cannot afford the uniforms which consist of blazers, slacks, and ties. Since state and federal guidelines prevent the academy from paying for uniforms, the school relies primarily on partner organizations for financial support.
The HISD Board of Education is expected to accept the grant during the board’s regular meeting on Thursday, June 14.
Principal Dameion J. Crook says the school uniform project has helped inspire student confidence and has helped nurture both the intellectual and social development necessary for his students to graduate college and become successful leaders.