Superintendent Millard House II marked his first day of school in the Houston Independent School District by traveling from campus to campus, welcoming students back and peeking into their classrooms to watch them learn.
But his first stop — though not on his official schedule— held special meaning.
“As I dropped off my fourth grader at school this morning, he told me, ‘Dad, I have butterflies in my stomach,’” House said, referring to the range of emotions many students are feeling as they start a second school year amidst the pandemic. “That’s understandable.”
House told the story while speaking to a room of reporters and district officials who gathered at Parker Elementary School for HISD’s first-day-of-school press conference.
Chavis Mitchell has been selected as the new principal of Parker Elementary School. Mitchell has served as a teacher, teacher development specialists and assistant principal at Anderson Elementary School. As a highly effective teacher, he was selected to serve on HISD’s Teacher Advisory Council for Career Pathways and Compensation and under HISD’s Transformational School Initiative, he provided coaching, mentoring, and teacher development support for more than 40 campuses. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University A&M, and a master’s in public administration from Texas Southern University.
Parker Elementary School students, staff, parents, and
community members were visibly excited about their new colorful and modern
surroundings as they gathered for Building and Spark Park Dedication ceremony
Parker students provided musical entertainment throughout
the evening, including the Parker Elementary School Advanced Strings, a
surprise performance by the school band, and a reception with Parker Jazz Band.
“One of the things that I see is just how much more
seriously the kids take their performances in a fancy auditorium like this
one,” Parker Principal Lori Frodine said.
Roaring applause and cheers of joy echoed throughout the Parker Elementary School cafeteria on Monday as Principal Lori Frodine welcomed students to the first day of school in their new building.
To mark the first day, students gathered by grade level for assemblies in the cafeteria, where Frodine excitedly introduced the students to the new facility and its features and answered their questions.
“You guys have the coolest music rooms ever,” Frodine said to the eager students seated before her.
One new school building and three school additions will open to students when they return from spring break on March 19. The campuses are part of HISD’s voter-approved 2012 Bond Program to rebuild or replace 40 schools across the district. Continue reading →
Parker Elementary School will have a new look for 2018, as construction on the new building inches closer to its scheduled December completion.
Exterior brick and roof installations are nearly complete, and steel framing is underway, as is the installation of insulation and dry wall. In addition, building heating and cooling systems are being tested and crews are painting the cafeteria’s exterior.
“I’m extremely anxious, but very excited,” Parker Principal Lori Frodine said. “We’ve been planning for our new school for several years, so it’s wonderful to see it come together. We can’t wait to move in.”
Construction at Parker Elementary School is now more than halfway complete with exterior framing and roofing well underway on the east side of the building.
“I’ve been doing a monthly walk-through in the building, so I’m seeing the progress each time I go,” Parker Principal Lori Frodine said. “I feel good it’s moving along. I’m happy that they’re starting to accelerate the work.”
The construction crew is working diligently at the site to make up some time lost due to previous weather delays. Currently, they are installing the HVAC systems on the first floor along with the chilled water pipes. Installation of the sprinkler system is also in progress.
Construction on the new Parker Elementary School — Houston’s original music magnet — is almost 25 percent complete with the steel structure already in place and build-out of the interior walls underway.
“Things were very slow in the beginning due to rainy weather, but since the walls have gone up, things have been moving along quite quickly, said Parker Principal Lori Frodine. “We prefer a quality job rather than a rushed job, so we are very happy to see that.”
Architect Christian Sheridan had a simple strategy for making sure he remembered what’s important while designing the new $29.5 million Parker Elementary.
He kept a list of more than two dozen must-haves for the new campus, authored by Parker students two years ago during a special workshop hosted by his firm, Brave Architecture, to gather input on everything from paint colors to windows.
On Saturday, in front of nearly 400 people who turned out to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new school, Sheridan’s two young daughters presented the list, matted and framed, to Parker Principal Lori Frodine as a reminder that the new school reflects the needs of the people who will use it. Continue reading →
Two groundbreaking ceremonies, five community meetings and quarterly Bond Oversight Committee meeting scheduled through April
With construction making noticeable progress across HISD, many projects are reaching their next milestone – including including groundbreaking ceremonies at Parker Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School, and a host of community meetings scheduled for the spring.