On the second day of school at Stevenson Middle School in south Houston, as students filed in from parent drop-off with their backpacks slung over their shoulders and arms full of books, one phrase could be heard repeatedly in the main hallway: “It’s Dragon Time!”
It’s a phrase that Principal Christyn McCloskey said is an important part of the 2021-2022 school year.
“One of the initiatives that we put in place this year is Dragon Time; we are the Stevenson Dragons,” McCloskey said. “It’s where students are getting those intensive small-group interventions. Every single teacher on campus has a Dragon Time group, and they’re all working on figuring out where are the students, what are they working on.”
The new addition is a part of the school’s efforts to address learning loss this school year. Dragon Time is a series of small group learning activities that help students to make up for any learning loss that might have taken place over the summer—or even over the course of the pandemic.Continue reading
Christyn McCloskey has been selected as the new principal of Stevenson Middle School. McCloskey began her career in HISD at Ortiz Middle School, where she taught sixth grade math for 5 years. Throughout her time at Ortiz, she developed her leadership skills as a team lead, department chair, and teacher specialist before joining the leadership team at Stevenson. McCloskey served in various roles at Stevenson over the past three years, including magnet coordinator and dean of instruction. McCloskey earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oregon in Political Science and her Master of Business Administration from Rice University with an emphasis in the Entrepreneurship Program (REEP). Most recently, she earned a Certificate in Education Finance (CEF) from Georgetown University.
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Students from six HISD middle schools—Cullen, Gregory-Lincoln, Hogg, Holland, Stevenson, and Williams—spent the morning exploring engineering, thanks to an ExxonMobil event for national “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.”
ExxonMobil provided engineers and supplies for a day of events, which included testing the girls’ problem-solving skills by challenging them to create marshmallow-launching catapults. While the marshmallows flew, other groups of girls got to speak with current University of Texas engineering students about their field, and with college admissions officers about getting into college.
Thursday, Feb. 25
- 4 p.m. Ortiz MS (6767 Telephone Rd. 77061)
- 6 p.m. Hartman MS (7111 Westover, 77087)
Saturday, Feb. 27
- 10 a.m. HMWESC (4400 W. 18th St, 77092)
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education is searching for a new superintendent and trustees want input from community members about the qualities and traits they would like to see in their next district leader.
HISD Board of Education President Manuel Rodríguez Jr. and Trustee Diana Dávila have scheduled seven meetings this week to gather feedback from the community that will be used to develop a superintendent candidate profile. The dates and times for additional meetings hosted by other trustees will be announced soon.
As Luby’s ACT winner for the third six weeks of the current academic year, Stevenson Middle School student Jasmine Zamora received a check for $1,000, an Apple iPod Shuffle, and a $25 Luby’s gift card. She is the first Luby’s ACT winner to be nominated by two teachers – Mike Van Tilburg and Heather Campbell – and neither one knew the other had done so.
Parent and community members are invited for presentations, workshops, and resources to help students succeed
This spring, the HISD Family Learning Academy will be offering five free events to connect families to resources to help students succeed in school, get into college, and find a rewarding career. Family Learning Academy partners with HISD Departments and community organizations to tailor every event to community needs.
The desks in seventh-grade teacher Zachary Cummings’ AVID classroom at Hamilton Middle School are arranged so that students can work in groups. Collaboration is one of the five hallmarks of AVID, along with reading, writing, inquiry, and organization.
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Cummings’ students recently quizzed each other on Cornell notes they took on a PowerPoint presentation about the history of Apple Inc. Cornell notes are just one example of college-level study techniques students learn in AVID, a global nonprofit organization directed at students who are capable of completing a college-preparatory path if they receive the proper support. The focus is on low-income students whose families don’t traditionally attend college.
Middle school parents learned about more than 40 high school programs their children can choose from at a Parent Information Night organized by the district’s Office of School Choice on Thursday at Burbank Middle School.
“It’s good to see that our students have so many opportunities at HISD,” said Rubin and Laura Precella, who attended the program with their daughter and nephew, both eighth-graders at The Rice School. “We just want to learn more about the different programs so that we can choose one that will help our children make their mark on the world.” 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