Middle school students from more than 20 HISD schools gathered at Welch Middle School on Saturday, Oct. 28, for a day devoted entirely their collective passion: dance.
Student dancers were invited to participate in hour-long master workshop classes in hip hop, jazz, contemporary dance, and more, as well as learn how to audition for high school dance companies. The master workshops were led by professional dance choreographers from the Institute of Contemporary Dance. After a day of rigorous learning and practice, 19 dance ensembles had the opportunity to show off their hard work in a performance showcase.
Nearly a month into the new school year, teachers and staff hit the ground running with both instruction and student outreach. The weekend of Sept. 9 saw educators and wraparound specialists visiting student residences on a mission: regain absentee students, and make sure their families know that HISD cares about them.
The HISD 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 the next district leader.
The board has hired Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to assist in the superintendent search process. The Illinois-based firm is conducting a survey (which you can find here) and helping trustees host a series of community meetings in March to gather input from various district stakeholders. Feedback obtained from those meetings will be used by trustees to finalize their superintendent profile and begin searching for candidates.
This is the fifth in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.
Two HISD middle schools and two high schools will be sporting new mascots when fall sports launch, in a historic move that saw outdated and culturally offensive symbols replaced in an orderly months-long process.
The Board of Education approved a policy change earlier this year after Superintendent Terry Grier sought new guidelines that would “respect cultural differences, values, and attitudes” by placing a ban on mascots or nicknames using race or ethnicity.
Madison High School’s Vladimir Gonzalez Lopez (right) was named the 2014 KBR Science Teacher of the Year. With him is last year’s second place winner, Samuel Saenz.
Vladimir G. Lopez, a physics teacher at Madison High School, isn’t interested in spoon-feeding his students their lessons.
“Science is a process,” he said, “And you can’t expect anybody to give you the answers. Students have to do the experiments and try new things, because that’s what they’re going to need when they’re doing real science.”
It’s precisely that commitment to cultivating students’ own investigative skills that has made Lopez the first-place winner in KBR’s fifth annual science awards program. The contest was created in 2009 to recognize new and effective models of instruction that emphasize the scientific method and critical thinking skills.
School communities at four HISD campuses with controversial mascots have selected new names, which were announced Tuesday, April 15, at a news conference at Hamilton Middle School by their principals and Superintendent Terry Grier.
In January, the HISD Board of Education approved a new policy that prohibited the use of any race or ethnic group as a mascot or nickname.
Four schools were identified as not aligning to the policy, and Tuesday, they received their new names:
Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday took the first step in approving a measure that would prohibit offensive or culturally insensitive mascots.
The proposed policy affects four HISD schools — Lamar High School Redskins, Westbury High School Rebels, Hamilton Middle School Indians and Welch Middle School Warriors. It would go into effect at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.