A summer afternoon at Bastian Elementary School revealed a wonderful exhibition of paintings and other works of art, as well as a musical performance of songs by Pre-K and Kindergarten students who were wrapping up a four-week summer fine arts camp. The camp, which was based around the four themes of community, transportation, healthy eating, and friendship/fairness, was in response to an initiative from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan to include the fine arts in summer school.
A study by Rice University released Wednesday has found that the Houston Independent School District’s pre-K program significantly increases preparedness for kindergarten after as little as one year compared to students who do not attend pre-K.
The study, conducted by a postdoctoral fellow at the university, cites English and Spanish assessment scores from kindergarten students after one and two years of pre-K.
The study found that English-assessment test takers who attended one year of HISD pre-K had 2.8 times greater odds of being ready for kindergarten than a student who attended zero years of HISD pre-K. Students who attended two years of HISD pre-K had 3.8 times greater odds of being school-ready than those who attended zero years of HISD pre-K, and 1.4 greater odds of being school-ready than those who attend one year of HISD pre-K.
The Texas Education Agency on Tuesday awarded the Houston Independent School District a $9.2 million grant to enhance its early childhood education program.
HISD is among 578 school systems across Texas to be awarded a grant as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s high-quality prekindergarten initiative. The $116 million grant program allows districts and charters to receive funding for qualifying pre-K students in addition to the half-day Foundation School Program funding that is already received for each eligible pre-K student. To receive the grant funding, a district or charter must meet certain enhanced quality standards related to curriculum, teacher qualifications, academic performance, and family engagement.
Families with preschoolers in the northeast area of Houston will have a new option for the upcoming school year, as HISD is set to add to its portfolio of Pre-K options with a new Early Childhood Center in the North Forest neighborhood, located on Mesa Drive just north of Tidwell.
The new Pre-K facility was specifically designed to enhance the educational experience of the district’s youngest learners, an effort that HISD has been building on over the years.
Give your child a head start by enrolling them in prekindergarten now.
Pre-K is just as necessary for academic success as kindergarten or first grade, according to numerous research studies. Not only will your child be more successful in school, but later on, they are more likely to graduate high school and attend college, which leads, in turn, to a well-paying job and increased earning potential.
The Texas Legislature convened from January to June of 2015. More than 100 bills passed related to public education.
According to Government Relations Director Ashlea Graves, one of the biggest victories for HISD was the passage of Senate Bill 1004, which gives all school districts in Harris County the ability to work with the four community college systems operating inside its boundaries: Houston Community College, Lone Star, San Jacinto, and Lee.
Days after making early childhood education his top priority upon taking office, Gov. Greg Abbott visited an HISD elementary pre-K program and renewed his call for state support in providing a solid foundation for the state’s youngsters.