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 →
Hundreds of middle and high school students learned about science, technology, engineering, and math careers at a symposium organized by the Gathering of Eagles and the Houston Military Affairs Committee.
A variety of speakers working in STEM-related careers, including a geologist at NASA, encouraged about 375 students in attendance at the Saturday event at Houston Community College Southeast. They came from schools including Austin, Bellaire, Davis, and Milby high schools and Deady, Hartman, Ortiz, and Stevenson middle schools and heard about exploring science and math courses and considering the engineering profession.
Cramming a towel under her bedroom door to hide the light, Elvira Salazar defied her father’s orders and studied late into the night to keep up with her high-school homework. Now a dedicated PowerUp instructional technology specialist with HISD, Salazar understands how giving every HISD high school student a laptop for both home and school use will help them to work more effectively and efficiently, not only in the classroom, but after school as well.
“This is going to transform how teachers teach and how students learn,” Salazar said. “I want to help integrate technology into their lesson plans to make sure that these laptops are an effective learning tool.” Salazar left teaching in another district and writing curriculum for Rice University to work with HISD teachers on the digital transformation currently underway.
HISD is launching a new program this year designed to increase student achievement “from the middle.” The Lead Principal Initiative pairs highly effective principals with other campus leaders at similar schools to spread the district’s best practices more effectively.
“‘Leading from the middle’ refers to influencing from among, rather than from above, below, or in front of one’s group,” explained HISD School Services Officer Lupita Hinojosa. “It implies positioning ourselves alongside of those we’ve empowered and working shoulder to shoulder with them.”
Las Americas Principal Marie Moreno and Stevenson MS teacher Patricia Cooksey recently spent 10 days on a study tour to Israel and the West Bank in hopes of learning more about the region and gaining a better understanding of the struggles refugee students face.
“One-hundred percent of my students come from war-torn countries or have suffered some type of trauma in their home country,” Moreno said. “In order for me to understand exactly what they’ve gone through, I wanted to physically see it for myself. My kids are truly the lucky ones who escaped such horrible conditions.”
HISD’s Millionaire Club is a literacy initiative designed to encourage students to read for pleasure during the summer months. Each week, we’ll catch up with one HISD librarian to find out what’s on his or her reading list. This week, we spoke with Pat Johnson, a librarian at Stevenson Middle School.
So, what are you reading right now?
I’m reading all the books from the “Name That Book” contest to get clues.