Robert Michaels-Johnson has been named principal of Hamilton Middle School. He began his career in public education as a theater and American History teacher at Eli Whitney Middle School in the Tulsa Public Schools district. Following a brief tenure at a small classical school teaching theater and history, he moved to Houston and began teaching social studies at what is now HISD’s Heights High School. After serving in several teacher leader roles, he became an instructional coordinator and then was named the dean of instruction. He served as dean until being named principal at Hamilton. Michaels-Johnson is pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University.
Their subjects ranged from starry nights and galaxies to water lilies and sunflowers, but the one thing all the orbs had in common was their inspiration: a desire to show how HISD is putting a “global” spin on education for all of its 215,000 students.
Children from 28 different campuses decorated Styrofoam balls this year to serve as the table centerpieces at the State of the Schools luncheon, and participating students were eager to share their artistic visions with guests.
The desks in seventh-grade teacher Zachary Cummings’ AVID classroom at Hamilton Middle School are arranged so that students can work in groups. Collaboration is one of the five hallmarks of AVID, along with reading, writing, inquiry, and organization.
Cummings’ students recently quizzed each other on Cornell notes they took on a PowerPoint presentation about the history of Apple Inc. Cornell notes are just one example of college-level study techniques students learn in AVID, a global nonprofit organization directed at students who are capable of completing a college-preparatory path if they receive the proper support. The focus is on low-income students whose families don’t traditionally attend college.
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.
Students from 15 schools competed: Attucks, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan, Black, Burbank, Clifton, Cullen, Fondren, Hamilton, Johnston, Pershing, Pin Oak, Revere and Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men.
Pin Oak Middle School was declared the sweepstakes champion, with Mickey Leland College Prep winning second place and Black MS taking home third.
Here are the individual results: Continue reading
This is the fifth in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.
Two HISD middle schools and two high schools will be sporting new mascots when fall sports launch, in a historic move that saw outdated and culturally offensive symbols replaced in an orderly months-long process.
The Board of Education approved a policy change earlier this year after Superintendent Terry Grier sought new guidelines that would “respect cultural differences, values, and attitudes” by placing a ban on mascots or nicknames using race or ethnicity.
Incoming sixth-grader Taylor, 10, believes it’s important to protect the bee population, and she thinks she knows ways to do so. “Planting flowers will help attract bees so they can make more honey,” she said as she put marigold seeds into a small decorated pot.
This was only one of the many lessons she and several other soon-to-be sixth-graders learned during their two weeks in the Summer Bridge program, made possible by the federally-funded Race to the Top grant the district received, at Holland Middle School.
Students planted flowers as one way to help improve the bee population, discussing the reasons bees were threatened, and ways they could help save them. It was all part of a day’s work that integrated the mini-ecology lesson into other areas such as mathematics, reading, improving critical thinking skills, leading discussions, and other subjects. Continue reading
A dozen Houston ISD schools took part on the All-Earth EcoBot Challenge at Reliant Center last weekend, which allowed students in grades 5-8 to show off their engineering skills.
Teams of four students designed, built, and programmed autonomous robots. The teams then used their robots to complete a series of missions that connect to the commercial and industrial future of energy exploration, transportation, technological innovation, medical research, and environmental sustainability.
School communities at four HISD campuses with controversial mascots have selected new names, which were announced Tuesday, April 15, at a news conference at Hamilton Middle School by their principals and Superintendent Terry Grier.
In January, the HISD Board of Education approved a new policy that prohibited the use of any race or ethnic group as a mascot or nickname.
Four schools were identified as not aligning to the policy, and Tuesday, they received their new names:
Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday took the first step in approving a measure that would prohibit offensive or culturally insensitive mascots.
The proposed policy affects four HISD schools — Lamar High School Redskins, Westbury High School Rebels, Hamilton Middle School Indians and Welch Middle School Warriors. It would go into effect at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.