As he walked through the first and second grade classrooms at Mading Elementary School, Superintendent Millard House was greeted with the smell of freshly made tamales.
Students attending summer school at Mading were taking a break for lunch just as the new superintendent of HISD stopped by for a visit. It was a well-earned break after a morning full of learning for the students.
“You guys continue working hard,” House said as he exited one of the classrooms. “We are proud of you. We are glad you are back.”
That school was just one of many as House toured several schools on his second official day on the job.
Before delivering a lesson to his students at Mading Elementary School, fifth-grade teacher Marques Guillory often first presents his lesson to a group of teachers on his campus. The practice, called “at bats,” gives Guillory a chance to have a few swings at instruction before presenting in front of his students.
“It’s kind of like a pre-game or pre-lesson, and you get feedback from your colleagues,” Guillory said.
Mading, which is part of the district’s Achieve 180 initiative, is using the at-bats strategy to ensure every teacher delivers effective and quality instruction to students the first time. Mading Principal Nicole Haskins explained the at-bats strategy and other instructional techniques her campus is using to HISD Board of Education members during a presentation on Dec. 5. Continue reading →
More than 30 professional volunteers took time out of their busy careers to speak to Mading Elementary School students, parents, and community members during the school’s second annual Career Day on Jan. 14.
Mading Principal Nicole Haskins said the event began last year as a community job fair in an effort to get more parents and community members involved. This year, after extending the event, the number of community involvement increased significantly.
“This is an opportunity not only for the students to see different careers, but the teachers, community members, and parents as well,” Haskins said. “It also affords our parents the opportunity to perhaps find a job just by coming to our Career Day.”
More than five dozen HISD science, technology, engineering, and math teachers took part in a summer institute recently that was designed to help boost students’ math and science scores by incorporating more fun into their lessons.
The educators came from 23 HISD elementary and middle schools that received part of a TIF4 STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant also provides resources such as equipment and technology, and participating teachers will receive additional training opportunities throughout the school year and share what they have learned with other faculty members at their campuses.
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It’s never too early to get students excited about college. Shadowbriar and Mading elementary schools took fourth-grade students on college visits recently. Close to 150 Shadowbriar students, teachers, and staff, as well as some alumni parents, traveled to Texas A&M University (TAMU), and 55 Mading students went to University of Texas at Austin (UT).
HISD is expanding its successful dual language program to 21 more campuses in 2015–2016, launching thousands of additional pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students on the road to learning a second language. Currently, 31 HISD schools offer a Spanish dual language program.
Starting in August, kindergarten students — and pre-kindergarten students, at some schools — will be learning in both English and Spanish. One grade will be added to the program each year until it reaches school-wide.
The emphasis of the STEM Summer Institute, which was hosted by Office of Innovative Curriculum and held at the Kingdom Builders Center, was on building capacity in engineering, coding, and robotics, as well as 3D printing. The goal is to implement components of the program in third- through eighth-grade classrooms throughout the district. Continue reading →
Almost two dozen new principals will take the driver’s seat for the first time this fall at various HISD campuses, and the district’s New & Emerging Leaders Institute is helping to prepare them for success.
The intensive four-week training program, which started July 7, provides new and aspiring campus leaders with information on both practical matters, such as balancing budgets and analyzing data subjects, and more ethereal subjects, such as managing change, building community, and providing leadership. Continue reading →