In recognition of high school seniors who have exemplified great character and resilience, the Houston Independent School District is launching the HISD Superintendent and Board of Education Scholar Award – a scholarship of $5,000 or $2,000 awarded to one senior from every HISD high school.
This scholarship is designed for students who face hardships or challenges that may make higher education or career/vocational training difficult or even impossible to attain without assistance. The goal of the award – HISD’s first districtwide scholarship initiative for all high school students – is to remove as many obstacles as possible so that students can pursue higher education opportunities. Continue reading →
HISD will not submit any plans to the Texas Education Agency related to SB 1882
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Tuesday adjourned without approving a contract to partner with the governing board of Energized for STEM Academy as part of Senate Bill 1882. The district will no longer pursue this proposal, nor will the district submit plans for partnerships to the TEA.
The proposal was intended to give HISD a two–year pause on accountability from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and prevent sanctions from the state related to House Bill 1842.
HISD will continue to operate and manage the 10 campuses that have been in Improvement Required (IR) status with the state for four years or more. Those campuses are: Blackshear, Dogan, Highland Heights, Mading, and Wesley elementary schools, Henry Middle School, Woodson PK-8, and Kashmere, Wheatley, and Worthing high schools. The district’s goal is to help these 10 schools exit IR and continue to meet yearly standards.
“We are not bringing another partnership proposal to the Board, nor will there be another meeting to consider partnerships for the 10 schools,” said Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “Instead, we will continue to reinforce our commitment to helping students, staff, and families of our Achieve 180 schools continue the hard work they’ve done this year to transform their campuses and increase student achievement.”
HISD will make the necessary changes to the Achieve 180 framework to ensure the district provides them with the additional resources and supports they need to be successful. District administration will be holding meetings with staff and parents at these 10 schools to discuss Achieve 180 plans for their campuses in the 2018-2019 school year. Staff will remain in place at these 10 campuses unless a position is closed as part of the reduction in force HISD is experiencing across the district due to the $115 million budget shortfall.
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education during its regular April meeting voted to approve a resolution calling for federal action related to school shootings.
Trustees voted 8 to 0 to approve the resolution that acknowledges the Board of Education stands with the students of Broward County Public Schools, and students across the country including HISD in demanding effective and comprehensive action from the federal government to protect schoolchildren. The resolution includes a call for Congress to appropriate adequate new funds to allow the nation’s school districts to plan and coordinate school security efforts with law enforcement officials and make changes to buildings that may be necessary to protect students, teachers, and staff. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education unanimously voted to name Chief Academic Officer Grenita Lathan as interim superintendent of the state’s largest school district.
Lathan was tapped to serve as the interim leader of HISD while trustees search for a permanent replacement for outgoing Superintendent Richard Carranza, who is stepping down after nearly a year and a half with the district.
Lathan will assume the role of acting superintendent immediately, and she will become interim superintendent on April 1. Continue reading →
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) released a comprehensive new report that finds HISD has already taken specific action that will enable the district to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and implement the report’s recommendations more effectively.
The report, Special Education Program Review, was commissioned by the Houston Independent School District. The HISD Board of Education contracted AIR to assess the district’s strengths and areas in need of improvement with respect to its special education program. The results of the review were presented at the March HISD Board of Education meeting by experts from AIR. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a construction contract for the rebuilding of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Scarborough, Kolter, and Mitchell — severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Trustees authorized district officials to negotiate and execute a Construction Manager-At-Risk — more commonly known as CMAR — contract with Satterfield & Pontikes Construction. A CMAR contract requires the contractor to commit to completing a project within a guaranteed maximum price. Though that price has not yet been negotiated, the agenda item states that the total cost of the project is not to exceed the project budget. Continue reading →
HISD Board of Education President Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Trustee Jolanda Jones, and Trustee Wanda Adams are hosting a series of community meetings at schools currently in “improvement required” status, or IR, as designated by the Texas Education Agency.
Ten HISD campuses have struggled academically for four or more years and must meet all state standards this year. State law under House Bill 1842 says if any school currently in IR for the fourth year or more does not meet state standards this year, the state will close it or appoint a Board of Managers to run the school district. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved turnaround plans for the campuses designated Year Two Improvement Required by the Texas Education Agency.
Schools with this designation have not met state standards for two years. These four campuses – Bonham Elementary School, Gregory-Lincoln Education Center (prekindergarten through grade 8), Madison High School, and Washington High School – are required to develop and submit a two-year plan to improve student outcomes. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a revised turnaround plan for Kashmere High School during a special meeting on Thursday.
This is the eighth consecutive year for Kashmere High School to be deemed as “improvement required” — one of the designations used by the TEA to determine whether schools are meeting state standards. As a result, the district is required to submit to the state a plan detailing how it will improve student achievement at the school.
HISD submitted an initial turnaround plan on Oct. 19, but it was rejected last week by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, who asked the district to resubmit the plan with a more detailed description of the budget, staffing, and financial resources required to implement the turnaround. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a resolution to strengthen current services provided to HISD students with special needs to succeed in the general education classroom.
This resolution lays out a set of best practices for increasing the time that special education students spend in the general education classroom, while providing additional services and the support needed. The district recognizes the need to raise expectations for students with disabilities and educate them in the least restrictive environment.
“As the district focuses on equity in every classroom, we understand our special needs students deserve every resource we can offer to ensure they succeed,” Superintendent Richard Carranza said. “This resolution is a necessary next step to delivering the services they need.” Continue reading →