Sometimes the “ugliest” clothes can be the most festive.
At Wednesday’s principals meeting at the Kingdom Builder’s Center, principals and district staff came together for the first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic. To celebrate the occasion, as well as the holiday season, an ugly holiday sweater contest was held, and the HISD principals came dressed to (not) impress.
Mario M. Sandoval has been selected as the new principal of
Northline Elementary School. With 10 years of experience, Sandoval has served
as an assistant principal, teacher specialist, and elementary math teacher. In
2013, he was named Bilingual Teacher of the Year for the East Area and most
recently served as principal of Elite STEM Primary Academy. Sandoval holds a
bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s
in Educational Administration at University of St. Thomas.
Diana De La Rosa has been selected as principal of Northline Elementary School. Ms. De La Rosa retired after 34 years of service with HISD and is returning after a two-year hiatus, during which she volunteered and taught in various schools. Before retiring, she served as principal of Benavidez Elementary, Jane Long Middle School, and Patrick Henry Middle School. Before that, she was a teacher, supervisor, and assistant principal. Ms. De La Rosa received her bachelor of science degree in Bilingual Education from University of Texas at Austin and her master’s degree in Educational Administration from University of Houston.
Volunteers needed to read with first-graders for 30 to 60 minutes per week
It’s National Volunteer Week, and HISD would like to recognize and encourage the many people who volunteer their time with the district. Volunteers are an integral part of the HISD family who share the common goal of wanting to help students succeed.
“I heard about the volunteer program on TV and thought, ‘I can get out of the house and do something worthwhile,’” said Loretha Fore, a retired teacher who is now an HISD volunteer at Southmayd Elementary School. “We have so much to give, especially retired people. We’re going out to lunch and getting together with friends, but this is something we can all do to help students and give back to our communities. You are giving, but also receiving.”
Annually, nearly 31,000 community members apply to volunteer in HISD schools through Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS). With the launch of even more opportunities, including the district’s Read Houston Read volunteer program, that number is expected to grow.
The Houston Independent School District is working to readjust attendance boundaries at almost two dozen schools in an effort to reduce classroom overcrowding.
The move is in response to a directive from the Texas Education Agency, which requires kindergarten through fourth-grade classes to have no more than 22 students per classroom. Classes that exceed that number must request a state waiver.
Shearn Elementary School is one of 14 HISD schools launching the school year today as a dual-language campus, with instruction in both English and Spanish, and students had a special visitor this morning.
Dr. Terry Grier dropped in as the school day began to greet students and parents, and to pump up their enthusiasm for dual-language. “I sure wish we had this when I was in school,” Grier told a trio of fifth-grade school leaders who guided him on a tour of Shearn.
This is the sixth in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.
When the school bells sound Monday in HISD, 14 additional elementary campuses will be conducting classes in two languages, as the district expands its successful dual-language program to a total of 32 schools.
The structure offers foreign language immersion for English-speaking students and a bilingual program for Spanish speakers.
The expansion process started a year ago, when all HISD elementary schools were invited to apply for the successful program. Those chosen have spent months preparing. HISD has a six-year plan to turn at least half its elementary campuses into dual-language schools by 2020. Continue reading →