Adelina Alcala has been named the new principal of R. P. Harris Elementary School. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Special Education from the University of Texas in San Antonio, Alcala started her career in education in the Alief Independent School District. Over the course of six years, Alcala was an early childhood bilingual teacher serving students with disabilities, a Special Education resource teacher, and a department chair.
After completing her master’s degree in education at the University of Houston in Clear Lake and establishing herself as an instructional leader, Alcala was promoted to the role of assistant principal in Alief ISD.
Living up to a promise made by Superintendent Terry Grier during February’s State of the Schools address, HISD is enacting “Home Field Advantage,” a program to create educational stability among highly mobile student populations.
Students at 13 elementary schools where families are most transient are being offered transportation to continue to allow them to make that school their home, even if their families move. General mobility rates in the selected schools is about 30 percent annually, according to Susan Kaler, Student Services officer. Continue reading →
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.
Marques Foster was delighted to hear about the new program. “I really want to learn Spanish,” she said. “I know it’s important to have more than one language.” Continue reading →
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 →
Incoming sixth-grader Taylor, 10, believes it’s important to protect the bee population, and she thinks she knows ways to do so. “Planting flowers will help attract bees so they can make more honey,” she said as she put marigold seeds into a small decorated pot.
This was only one of the many lessons she and several other soon-to-be sixth-graders learned during their two weeks in the Summer Bridge program, made possible by the federally-funded Race to the Top grant the district received, at Holland Middle School.
Students planted flowers as one way to help improve the bee population, discussing the reasons bees were threatened, and ways they could help save them. It was all part of a day’s work that integrated the mini-ecology lesson into other areas such as mathematics, reading, improving critical thinking skills, leading discussions, and other subjects. Continue reading →