The Houston Independent School District has unveiled three new Verizon Innovative Learning Labs at Holland, Edison, and Patrick Henry Middle Schools, thanks to partnerships with Verizon, Heart of America, and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University.Continue reading
Keri Ward is the new principal for Holland Middle School. Ward served as a teacher, department chair, counselor, assistant principal in elementary and middle school, and for the last 3-years as principal of Raul Martinez Elementary.
Ward has over 13 years of educational experience in HISD. One of the many accolades she is proud of is the academic growth shown by her students during a pandemic year. This great accomplishment is due to a positive campus culture, high expectations for every student, implementation of a schoolwide intervention system, as well as the systems set in place to monitor data and accommodations. Ward promotes teamwork and collaboration amongst all stakeholders. Ward earned her bachelor’s degree in Education and a master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Houston – Clear Lake.
Gerardo Medina has been selected as the new principal of Paul Revere Middle School. He is a proud product of HISD, having graduated from Lamar High School.Continue reading
As schools across Houston Independent School District prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, several campuses are using billboards to spread the message about their unique programs.
With taglines like “helping students succeed beyond academics” and “Game Changers,” the billboards tout each school’s individual characteristics and encourage surrounding communities to enroll their students in the schools.Continue reading
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When Robinson Elementary School flooded, their neighborhood schools (Holland Middle and Pleasantville Elementary) stepped up to take in displaced students and their teachers. In order to support students, leaders from the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, American Federation of Teachers, Houston Federation of Teachers, and First Book visited Holland Middle School as part of a joint “Hurricane Harvey Relief: Essentials for Kids Fund” effort. The groups surprised students with more than 500 books on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.
HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza, AFT President Randi Weingarten, Barbara Bush Foundation Chairmen and Founders Neil and Maria Bush, First Book CEO and President Kyle Zimmer, and HFT president Zeph Capo observed two Holland MS classrooms filled with Robinson students learning.
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Students from six HISD middle schools—Cullen, Gregory-Lincoln, Hogg, Holland, Stevenson, and Williams—spent the morning exploring engineering, thanks to an ExxonMobil event for national “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.”
ExxonMobil provided engineers and supplies for a day of events, which included testing the girls’ problem-solving skills by challenging them to create marshmallow-launching catapults. While the marshmallows flew, other groups of girls got to speak with current University of Texas engineering students about their field, and with college admissions officers about getting into college.
LaShonda Bilbo-Ervin has been selected as the new principal of Holland Middle School. Bilbo-Ervin, who has 14 years of experience in education, began her career as an English and science teacher at Peck Elementary School. She also served as an instructional coordinator at that same campus, and as an assistant principal at Washington High School. She most recently served as the principal at Washington.
Bilbo-Ervin earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a master’s degree in school administration from Prairie View A&M University.
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.
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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.
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
Burbank and Elrod elementary schools to keep magnet status for 2014-2015 academic year
The Houston Independent School District is restoring the magnet designation at two elementary schools following a thorough review of the schools’ presentations and related documentation during the appeal process. Burbank and Elrod elementary schools will keep their magnet designation and funding for the 2014-2015 academic year.
“As we listened to the magnet program representatives who presented appeals, the committee was looking for clear evidence that these programs were on the path to meeting the magnet standards within one to two years,” HISD Assistant Superintendent of School Choice Dave Wheat said. “After a lot of deliberation, we’re pleased to announce that we are restoring the magnet designation at Elrod and Burbank elementary schools.”
During the appeal process, Burbank administrators presented to the committee nearly 40 additional applications they have received from non-zoned students. Those additional applications bring their percentage of non-zoned students to 16.52 percent, just under the minimum standard of 20 percent. In addition, Burbank will be adding three classrooms to increase capacity and accommodate additional non-zoned students.
As for Elrod, school administrators showed the committee their consistent enrollment growth over the past three years, going from 4 percent at the start of the magnet program to nearly 14 percent this year. Also, because Elrod changed its magnet theme in 2012 from math, science and technology to Emerging Medical Scholars, the committee felt more time was needed to assess the program’s viability.
However, Burbank and Elrod, like all magnet schools in HISD, will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year and every year thereafter to assess compliance with the enrollment goals and state accountability system ratings.
The Magnet Appeal Review Committee is still reviewing Law Elementary’s appeal, with a site visit planned for Wednesday morning.
“This is HISD’s first step in applying system standards across the district to ensure we maintain a high level of excellence at all schools,” Wheat said. “It is critically important that we ensure all magnet programs are meeting the enrollment and academic requirements set forth by HISD’s Board of Education.”
In May of 2013, the HISD Board of Trustees adopted a new policy that included the 20 percent non-zoned enrollment requirement for all magnet schools and the 100 non-zoned magnet students per grade level requirement for secondary magnet schools. The policy also stated that magnet schools would be held accountable for student academic outcomes aligned with the Board Monitoring System and/or current accountability standards.
As a result, HISD made the decision last month to remove the magnet designation from 20 magnet schools with the lowest percentages of non-zoned students enrolled. The schools were notified of this decision and were given the opportunity to appeal. Thirteen campuses filed an appeal but only Burbank and Elrod were approved to keep their magnet programs.
At the end of this academic year, the following 18 schools are slated to lose their magnet status and will only receive half of their funding during the 2014-2015 academic year: Law (under review), Pleasantville, Wesley, and West University elementary schools; Attucks, Deady, Dowling, Holland, Jackson, Key, and Patrick Henry middle schools; and Jones, Lee, Madison, Sharpstown, Westbury, Wheatley and Worthing high schools.