Twelve Houston Independent School District middle schools are among the latest campuses to be selected for participation in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program, which addresses barriers to digital inclusion.
In addition to free mobile devices and data plans, participating schools will be assigned a full-time coach to train teachers in effectively integrating technology into their lessons.
The outdoor hallways of Kelso Elementary School may be covered, but that did not stop Associate Teacher Joyce Asberry from hesitating when the principal called her to the main building. As the cloudy skies of the morning gave way to a downpour, Asberry tentatively stepped out on her walk towards the front.
But as she stepped into the school cafeteria, her worries about the dreary weather washed away immediately. Waiting for her there was her family—daughter, granddaughter, and 91-year-old mother—as well as students, teachers, the principal and the HISD HR Prize Patrol.
She was surprised as the February Associate Teacher of the Month for HISD.
Keoshya Dunn has been selected as the new principal of Audrey H. Lawson Middle School. Dunn began her career 13 years ago as an eighth-grade mathematics teacher in Alief ISD. She joined HISD in 2017 as a teacher specialist at Lawson Middle School, where she currently serves as the Dean of Instruction. Her experience ranges from a math teacher leader, department chair, math specialist, and dean of instruction. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Concordia University.
Festive music by the Lawson Middle School band greeted guests Wednesday as they arrived to celebrate the grand opening of the school’s new $66 million building – one of 13 new or renovated HISD schools that opened in August.
The event paid tribute to the school’s namesake, Audrey H. Lawson, and was attended by parents, students, staff, alumni, and community members, along with members of the Lawson family.
“This building is absolutely beautiful. It represents our investment in this community and the future of our students in the Hiram Clarke neighborhood,” said Houston Independent School District Board of Education Trustee Wanda Adams, who served as emcee for the event. “The new Lawson Middle School will have a huge impact on this community for generations to come.” Continue reading →
Clad in super hero capes and masks, enthusiastic teachers and staff gathered in the foyer of the new Lawson Middle School to welcome students for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.
Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said the costumes were a reminder to students and parents of their power to move the campus forward and conquer obstacles that stand before them.
“It’s a new era of academic achievement” Bailey said. “Lawson’s academic status is now ‘Growth Distinction.’ We are no longer ‘Improvement Required.’ That alone has given us the additional boost of excitement preparing us for this new academic achievement.”
Music echoed throughout the Lawson Middle School gym as community members gathered with former students and staff to catch up with old friends, flip through old yearbooks, and dance the afternoon away.
Led by current students and staff, the stroll down memory lane was part of a “Walk to Remember” — an event held to let stakeholders bid their final farewells to the building before it is demolished later this summer.
“It’s important to preserve the memories,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said. “There’s a lot of history with this school, but we’re very excited to move into the new building.”
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The colorful banners hanging on the fence between the HISD baseball field and the Hattie Mae White Education Support Centers are eye-catching works of art by district middle-school children. They were put on display recently after being displayed at the City of Houston’s Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center in December to honor World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
Construction on the new Lawson Middle School is now in the final stages, with the project almost 90 percent complete and on track to open this summer.
The main and auxiliary gymnasiums, locker rooms, dining commons, kitchen, and administrative offices are nearly complete, and flooring is being installed throughout the building. In addition, driveways at the east and west sides of the campus are almost finished.
“The end is in sight,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said, noting that furniture selections have been confirmed, and delivery will occur mid-May. “We are extremely excited and can’t wait to move in.”
Construction on the new Lawson Middle School is making steady progress, with work now more than 70 percent complete and on track to be finished in the second quarter of 2018.
Walls and ceiling have been installed, and, in the coming weeks, crews will begin painting the gymnasium, locker rooms, and a section of the academic pods. Installation of the theater stage and elevator also are underway, and driveways are being poured on both the east and west sides of the building.
“It’s exciting,” Lawson Principal Kasey Bailey said, noting that she and her staff would be doing a walk-through next week. “Last time they toured the building, it was just a shell. This time they’ll have a more vivid picture of what the spaces will look like since windows, walls, and doors are installed.”