As HISD works to find an effective teacher for every classroom, one of the district’s renewed focuses in on strengthen partnerships with colleges and universities to recruit and better prepare new teachers.
To help achieve this, HISD hosted representatives from several universities Wednesday to begin a discussion on how the district and higher education institutions can improve the lines of communication when it comes to teacher training and support. Among those in attendance were the University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas State, Sam Houston State, Texas Southern, Prairie View A&M, and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Superintendent Richard Carranza wrapped up his Listen & Learn Tour on Monday night with two virtual sessions in both English and Spanish, which were streamed live on HISD-TV, the district’s website, and Facebook.
Topics included the issue of recapture and how the state’s current school funding structure is affecting the district, equity, dual language programs, fine arts access, serving the whole child, standardized testing, special education, and what the superintendent is looking for in future district leaders.
The following is a message for the community from HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza in which he shares his excitement about joining HISD and a few of his goals for the district.
At the start of every new school year, I would get “butterflies,” whether I was a parent sending my child off to a new grade, a teacher meeting my next crop of young scholars, or a principal in charge of an entire campus. It’s no different as superintendent, but I promise you these are good butterflies – they signal excitement and anticipation about the great possibilities of what’s ahead.
The 2016-17 school year has begun, and my first act as your new superintendent was visiting several HISD campuses across this vast and diverse district on the first day of classes.
New HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza embarked on a whirlwind tour today of six HISD campuses – which took more than six hours and spanned 60 miles – on the first day of classes in the district.
Carranza’s itinerary covered each geographical area of HISD, and he visited with students, school staff, and community members at each location.
His first stop was at Law Elementary School on the south side, where he had the opportunity to visit a dual language classroom. Next up was Stevenson Middle School to the southeast, where he observed the launch of the district’s Literacy in the Middle program, which aims to improve middle school reading skills. Carranza then traveled to the Third Ward to Yates High School to learn about the school’s communications and maritime magnet programs. The tour then took him to Carnegie Vanguard High School near downtown, which is one of the district’s nationally acclaimed magnet schools. Next up was Wisdom High School (formerly Lee) to the west, HISD’s most diverse comprehensive high school. Carranza wrapped up the tour at Fonwood Early Childhood Center, where he observed pre-K students on their first day in a brand-new building.
More than 18,000 students to receive computers this month to use at school and at home
More than 18,000 students are receiving laptops this month as part of HISD’s one-to-one initiative that will eventually give every high school student a computer. The initiative, called PowerUp, not only will offer students 24-hour access to a laptop and a variety of software, but to digital-age instruction that will transform teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom.
“PowerUp is not about the device,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “This is about creating anytime-anywhere learning for our students so they can have the world at their fingertips. We want to make sure they learn the skills that complement technology so they aren’t replaced by technology.”
Under Grier’s leadership, HISD was awarded the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education, an award that recognizes gains in student achievement and comes with $550,000 in college scholarships for high school seniors. Houston is the only district in the country to receive the award twice, winning the inaugural Broad Prize in 2002 and again in 2013. The district was one of four national finalists in 2012.
Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators president-elect Dr. Dawn Randle, left, and president Dr. Christopher Pichon, right, pose with Houston ISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier after he was awarded the President's Award from the HAABSE at the Westin Galleria, March 1, 2013. Grier was honored for his efforts in passing the 2012 Bond to improve high schools and other facilities across the district.
The Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators has awarded HISD Superintendent Terry Grier its highest honor. Dr. Grier recently received the Presidential Award at the organization’s 26th Annual Outstanding Teacher Awards and Recognition ceremony at the Westin Galleria Hotel. Continue reading →
Some of America’s most innovative education leaders gathered at the Houston Independent School District’s headquarters on March 19 for the second meeting of the League of Innovative Schools.
Fondren Middle School Principal Charles Foust (far left) explains to members of the League of Innovative Schools how his campus is using technology to drive instruction.
Designed to give educators a chance to dramatically increase student achievement through the wise use of technology, the league was launched by President Barack Obama in 2011 in tandem with Digital Promise, a new national education center created by the Congress and the U.S. Department of Education.
Superintendents from across the country attended the Houston meeting, where they—along with dozens of respected researchers and entrepreneurs—adopted the league’s membership charter, took part in break-out sessions on various topics, and toured one of five Apollo 20 campuses to see how HISD is using technology to drive instruction.
“Mr. McNairy, one of our history teachers, can get instant assessments and download data to his grade book immediately using the Classroom Performance System,” explained Fondren Middle School Principal Charles Foust, “while Ms. Perry can be anywhere in the classroom and her writing will appear on the SMART Board up front.”