Tag Archives: Grier

Student laptop distribution underway as part of PowerUp initiative

More than 18,000 students to receive computers this month to use at school and at home

More than 18,000 students are receiving laptops this month as part of HISD’s one-to-one initiative that will eventually give every high school student a computer. The initiative, called PowerUp, not only will offer students 24-hour access to a laptop and a variety of software, but to digital-age instruction that will transform teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom.

“PowerUp is not about the device,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “This is about creating anytime-anywhere learning for our students so they can have the world at their fingertips. We want to make sure they learn the skills that complement technology so they aren’t replaced by technology.”

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HISD Honors Exceptional Volunteers for 2011-2012 School Year

The Houston Independent School District held its Volunteers in Public Schools breakfast and awards ceremony at the Kingdom Builders’ Center on May 30. The annual event honors exceptional volunteer contributions by individuals and organizations and was sponsored by the HISD Foundation and Randalls.

The Jean Davis Myers award, which is the highest honor, was presented to Urban Harvest and Pilar Hernandez, an Urban Harvest parent volunteer at Kolter Elementary.  The organization was recognized for its volunteer work in improving the quality of education in greater Houston. The organization’s district-wide outdoor learning environment initiative helps teachers create curriculum for outdoor classrooms.  The program also provides students hands-on learning in science, math, history, and other subjects.

A Special Lifetime Achievement award was presented to George W. Black for his service to HISD’s Volunteers in Public Schools for more than 25 years. Mr. Black, a retired Marine, oversees the student safety patrol and is a member of the Safety and Security Committee at Barrick Elementary.

Here is a list of the other honorees.

Parent Partner of the Year

Samuel Pratt Jr.: Thompson Elementary School

 – Martha Jenkinson: Bellaire High School

– Wharton PTO: Wharton Language Academy

–  Parents on Patrol: Sam Houston, Math, Science, and Tech Center

Community Partnership of the Year

– Neighbors in Action: Port Houston Elementary School

– St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church: Black Middle School

– BBVA Compass Bank: Milby High School

– Westbury Baptist Church:  McNamara Elementary School

– Grace Presbyterian Church: Paul Revere Middle School

– NASA Hunch Program: Barbara Jordan High School for Careers

Community Volunteer of the Year

– Janet McMasters: Poe Elementary School

– Joe Guzman: McReynolds Middle School

-Victor Marte: Sam Houston Math, Science, and Tech Center

– Dimitri Ferrier, Jr.:  Hope Academy Charter

Youth Volunteer of the Year

 –Bellaire MENS Club: Gabriela Mistral Early Childhood Center

Steven Lara:  Pilgrim Academy

– Girl Scout Troop: Grady Middle school

Aaliyah Mason: Barbara Jordan High School for Careers

Charles Harding VIPS Senior of the Year

-Wilbert Brown: Foerster Elementary School

– Magaret Cobb: Revere Middle School

Diana Vasquez: Sam Houston Math, Science, and Tech. Center

-Monroe Meinen, Jr.: Oates Elementary School

School Volunteer Coordinator of the Year

-Magine Fernandez: Southmayd Elementary School

-Brenda Oliveria: T.H. Rogers Middle School

-Hermelinda Carzares: Sam Houston Math, Science, and Tech Center

-Katherine Arbiter:  Poe Elementary School

Board Trustee Anna Eastman and Superintendent Terry Grier presented the awards. Dr. Grier said he would challenge anyone to find a more dedicated group of individuals than the honorees and thanked them for their service to the children and schools.  “You represent the best of the best: those who contribute their time and energy to Houston’s children every day, without any thought of recompense,” said Grier.

Members of HISD’s VIPS program serve as tutors, mentors, teacher partners, speakers, security patrols, chaperones, interpreters, and cafeteria monitors and help in libraries, media centers, clinics, and offices. For more information about how you can become a volunteer, contact Tina Thompson at 713-556-7206 or visit www.houstonisd.org

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier Thanks Teachers for their Contributions in the Classroom

Houston Independent School District Superintendent Terry Grier personally called some of HISD’s most effective educators on Friday to thank them for their hard work this school year.  

The teachers were all identified as highly effective educators under HISD’s new teacher appraisal and development system.  HISD recently launched the Effective Teacher Initiative to transform the way the district recruits, trains, evaluates, and recognizes teachers.  Through the program, educators are now receiving valuable feedback that will help them improve their instruction in the classroom.   

Dr. Grier says the new system is helping identify the strongest teachers and puts HISD closer to achieving its goal of having an effective teacher in each classroom. “These teachers are the backbone of HISD,” said Dr. Grier. “They believe in their students, hold them to high expectations, and are relentless in their drive to make sure each student is learning.  Teaching is extremely tough work and we appreciate the dedication that these teachers show on a regular basis.”

Last May, the Board of Education approved the new appraisal and development system, which appraises teachers on several measures in three performance areas: instructional practice, professional expectations, and student performance. 

Dr. Grier has asked the Board of Education to consider approving pay raises ranging from 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent for all staff and teachers next school year.

HISD and Houston’s Chinese Consulate General Partner to Expand Educational Opportunities for Students

In an effort to provide increased learning opportunities and success for all students, the Houston Independent School District and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Houston have committed to work together in good faith to explore ways in which the two organizations can bring a variety of resources, expertise and learning opportunities to HISD students.  An official signing ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 9 a.m. at the Chinese Consulate, 3417 Montrose Blvd.

“Now, more than ever, children need to learn another language so that they can compete in the global marketplace and become more informed citizens in our diverse society.  We are committed to expanding our global partnerships and the opportunities we are affording our students in HISD,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier.  “This partnership with the Chinese Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Houston is a key step towards achieving this goal and providing a quality education to every child in the district.”

By signing this agreement, HISD and The Consulate General express commitment to working together in a peaceful and productive manner with a focus on the collective goal of improving the quality of education for all students.

“We are pleased about our agreement with HISD.  This is a very good program for our young people as they are our hope and future,” said Consul General Erwen Xu.  “We should help them be fully prepared to meet the challenges of this new era, live healthy, work productively, and make contributions to cooperative partnership between China and U.S.”

Through this educational commitment, the Chinese Consulate General and the district agree to work together to explore ways in which the two organizations can bring a variety of resources, expertise and learning opportunities to HISD students.

These opportunities include Hanban-provided educational and cultural resources, financial support through grants and donations, and stronger collaborations between HISD students and teachers with students and teachers in China through exchanges and partnerships.

Education leaders tour Apollo 20 campuses to see how HISD is incorporating technology

Some of America’s most innovative education leaders gathered at the Houston Independent School District’s headquarters on March 19 for the second meeting of the League of Innovative Schools.

Fondren Middle School Principal Charles Foust (far left) explains to members of the League of Innovative Schools how his campus is using technology to drive instruction.

Designed to give educators a chance to dramatically increase student achievement through the wise use of technology, the league was launched by President Barack Obama in 2011 in tandem with Digital Promise, a new national education center created by the Congress and the U.S. Department of Education.

Superintendents from across the country attended the Houston meeting, where they—along with dozens of respected researchers and entrepreneurs—adopted the league’s membership charter, took part in break-out sessions on various topics, and toured one of five Apollo 20 campuses to see how HISD is using technology to drive instruction.

“Mr. McNairy, one of our history teachers, can get instant assessments and download data to his grade book immediately using the Classroom Performance System,” explained Fondren Middle School Principal Charles Foust, “while Ms. Perry can be anywhere in the classroom and her writing will appear on the SMART Board up front.”

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Follow the 2012 State of the Schools speech

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier will highlight the outstanding work of the district’s principals, teachers, and community partners in his annual HISD State of the Schools address, and you can follow the event at http://houstonisd.org/stateoftheschools/.  Check in for live photo coverage, Twitter updates, a link to live streaming video via KTRK Channel 13, plus highlights from the annual report.