For more than 80 years, the red-bricked Austin High School
has been a mainstay in the Eastwood community. With construction nearing
completion, the new school now strikes a balance of the past and present.
The $80.9 million project features modern classrooms,
flexible learning spaces, and sound and lighting upgrades to the existing
auditorium. The Art Deco-influenced façade also has been preserved and
refurbished as a part of the project.
“This school has been here for more than 80 years. It was
important to keep a part of this building that has been present in this
community for so long,” Austin Principal Steve Guerrero said. “The entire
building is just phenomenal. It feels very grand with lots of natural light.
Every single part of the building is exciting.”
The new Austin High School is now scheduled to open in
January 2021 — a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The school was originally scheduled to open in August 2020.
HISD Construction Services Officer Derrick Sanders said the new timeline was
due to a three-month delay in the school’s furniture shipment and manpower
shortages caused by mandated social distancing requirements resulting from the
Austin will remain at its current temporary learning center
located across South Lockwood Drive until the new facility opens.
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan sat at a long white table in the Burnet Elementary School cafeteria on Monday, nibbling on a chicken biscuit and chatting with the students seated alongside her.
Gathered for breakfast on the first day of school, the conversation quickly turned into an impromptu Spanish lesson as students from the dual language school translated the menu — chicken biscuits, raisins, apple juice, and milk — into Spanish.
“Leche?” Lathan repeated carefully after hearing the Spanish word for milk. A wide smile then spread across her face. “You know what I like? Tres leches. And lot of it,” she said, laughing.
The Houston Independent School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to students for the 2019-2020 school year, but parents will need to fill out a new form to ensure Title I funding for HISD schools.
All HISD schools are qualified to operate under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision, which allows HISD to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at no charge to all students, eliminating the need for free and reduced-price meal applications.
While parents will not need to complete and return a free and reduced-price meal application, they will need to complete a socioeconomic form (see below), known as the blue form.
The Houston Independent School District Police Department and a team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies hosted a public meeting this week as part of the department’s re-accreditation process.
The meeting provided community members the opportunity to voice comments about the department’s compliance with applicable standards or other significant issues. It was attended by about 15 people, most of whom were HISD Police employees. Only two attendees spoke, and both noted how hard the department had worked to become reaccredited. Continue reading →
In this week’s “I Am HISD,” which features district students, graduates, employees, volunteers, and other team members, probation officer Juan Sortotalks aboutwhat prompted him to become a member of HISD’s Volunteers in Public Schools,why he is so passionate about working with students in the North Forest area, and who inspired him to reach for greatness as a child.
You approached HISD several years ago with a very specific request: to volunteer in schools that used to be part of North Forest ISD. Why was serving students in that part of town so important to you?
I moved to the North Forest area in 2001, and I still live there today. It has a lot of students who are in the same situation I was as a kid. They are growing up in the same condition—poverty. I was raised by a single mother who didn’t know any English and barely finished the second grade, and I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school and go to college. When I finally reached a level where I was stable in life and had a disposable income, I wanted to get more involved with kids who were struggling themselves but maybe didn’t know how to succeed.