Scott C. Disch has been selected as the new principal of West University Elementary School. Disch has served as a teacher and athletic coach at Grady Middle School. In his most recent role as Dean of Students at Westside High School, he supported the Westside Engineering and Geoscience Academy (WEGA), a prestigious magnet program that offers a unique chance for students to gain perspective and insight into the engineering field through a rigorous, hands-on, project-based math and technology curriculum. His recognitions include 2012 Grady Teacher of the Year and 2019 West Area Assistant Principal of the Year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Rice University and a Master’s in teaching. He currently attends the University of Houston to pursue a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy.
District is home to No. 1 schools at every level in statewide rankings
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Houston Independent School District campuses occupy half of the top 10 slots on the 2016 Children at Risk public school rankings of the region’s best public schools.
Additionally, HISD schools took the statewide No. 1 ranking in every category, with River Oaks No. 1 among elementary schools, T.H. Rogers No. 1 in the middle school category, and DeBakey High School for Health Professions No. 1 at the high school level.
The rankings were publicly released Monday at a ceremony conducted at HISD’s Pilgrim Academy, which received special distinction as a Gold Ribbon school, recognizing the region’s highest-performing, high-poverty campuses. Continue reading
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Five different HISD schools were recently named “Champions off the Field” by the Souper Bowl of Caring for their efforts to fight hunger.
This annual food drive and fundraiser, which ran from Jan. 20 – Feb. 7, generated more than $9.9 million in donations nationally this year, a portion of which came from the 33 HISD schools that participated.
Campuses receive every distinction designation available from the state.
Twenty-nine schools from across the Houston Independent School District earned the maximum number of distinction designations from the state for their top performance throughout the 2014-2015 school year.
The campuses – 17 elementary schools, six middle schools and six high schools – earned every distinction designation awarded by the Texas Education Agency. Schools are eligible for distinctions if they are rated as having “Met Standard” — the highest rating under the state accountability system — and meet various other performance standards.
Reagan HS, Pilgrim Academy, and 20 other campuses also rated ‘Gold Ribbon’ schools
Children at Risk released its annual list of the top schools in the greater Houston area on April 27, and for the sixth consecutive year, HISD’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions was listed as number one.
Four other HISD high schools were included in the top ten: Carnegie Vanguard High School (#2), the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (#4), Eastwood Academy (#7), and North Houston Early College High School (#10).
T.H. Rogers, which serves students in grades Pre-K through 8, has held steady in the number one position among the top middle schools in Houston since 2011, and ranked first at the elementary level since 2012. Other HISD schools in the top 20 were: Wharton K-8 (#5), Pin Oak (#7), Lanier (#8), and Briarmeadow Charter (#15) at the middle-school level; and West University (#2), River Oaks (#3), Horn Academy (#6), Bush (#13), Condit (#14), Oak Forest (#17), and Roberts (#19) at the elementary level.
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Usually, the benefits of reading include a bigger vocabulary, greater word comprehension, and better conversation skills, but dozens of HISD students received a different type of reward recently from two of the district’s community partners for focusing on literacy over the summer.
Most of the students were recognized for participating in the district’s Extended Primary Year program, which was offered at 29 elementary schools.
“The HISD Literacy Team joined forces with Strategic Partnerships and Elves & More to award bicycles to 100 children who met their literacy goals, had excellent attendance and conduct, and exemplified a can-do attitude,” explained Literacy Director Cindy Puryear. “The Literacy Team will partner with Elves & More again this holiday season to reward more that 7,000 scholars for their hard work and determination. One thousand of those will be rewarded for meeting or exceeding their literacy goals.” Continue reading
Seven Houston ISD Odyssey of the Mind teams advanced to the world finals after the state competition on Saturday.
Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to solve problems creatively as a group with up to seven members.
Six Houston ISD schools have Odyssey of the Mind teams that advanced to the world finals after the state competition on Saturday.
Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to solve problems creatively as a group with up to seven members.
Students at West University Elementary School collected more food for the Souper Bowl of caring than any other school in the United States, and a Houston Texans star visited the campus on Friday to congratulate them.
Offensive tackle Duane Brown, along with some of the Houston Texans cheerleaders, celebrated the 30,908-pound donation with a pep rally.
The Souper Bowl of Caring’s goal is to mobilize youth to fight hunger and poverty in their communities. Houston has the largest campaign in the nation, and West University ES has led the effort for four consecutive years.
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Burbank and Elrod elementary schools to keep magnet status for 2014-2015 academic year
The Houston Independent School District is restoring the magnet designation at two elementary schools following a thorough review of the schools’ presentations and related documentation during the appeal process. Burbank and Elrod elementary schools will keep their magnet designation and funding for the 2014-2015 academic year.
“As we listened to the magnet program representatives who presented appeals, the committee was looking for clear evidence that these programs were on the path to meeting the magnet standards within one to two years,” HISD Assistant Superintendent of School Choice Dave Wheat said. “After a lot of deliberation, we’re pleased to announce that we are restoring the magnet designation at Elrod and Burbank elementary schools.”
During the appeal process, Burbank administrators presented to the committee nearly 40 additional applications they have received from non-zoned students. Those additional applications bring their percentage of non-zoned students to 16.52 percent, just under the minimum standard of 20 percent. In addition, Burbank will be adding three classrooms to increase capacity and accommodate additional non-zoned students.
As for Elrod, school administrators showed the committee their consistent enrollment growth over the past three years, going from 4 percent at the start of the magnet program to nearly 14 percent this year. Also, because Elrod changed its magnet theme in 2012 from math, science and technology to Emerging Medical Scholars, the committee felt more time was needed to assess the program’s viability.
However, Burbank and Elrod, like all magnet schools in HISD, will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year and every year thereafter to assess compliance with the enrollment goals and state accountability system ratings.
The Magnet Appeal Review Committee is still reviewing Law Elementary’s appeal, with a site visit planned for Wednesday morning.
“This is HISD’s first step in applying system standards across the district to ensure we maintain a high level of excellence at all schools,” Wheat said. “It is critically important that we ensure all magnet programs are meeting the enrollment and academic requirements set forth by HISD’s Board of Education.”
In May of 2013, the HISD Board of Trustees adopted a new policy that included the 20 percent non-zoned enrollment requirement for all magnet schools and the 100 non-zoned magnet students per grade level requirement for secondary magnet schools. The policy also stated that magnet schools would be held accountable for student academic outcomes aligned with the Board Monitoring System and/or current accountability standards.
As a result, HISD made the decision last month to remove the magnet designation from 20 magnet schools with the lowest percentages of non-zoned students enrolled. The schools were notified of this decision and were given the opportunity to appeal. Thirteen campuses filed an appeal but only Burbank and Elrod were approved to keep their magnet programs.
At the end of this academic year, the following 18 schools are slated to lose their magnet status and will only receive half of their funding during the 2014-2015 academic year: Law (under review), Pleasantville, Wesley, and West University elementary schools; Attucks, Deady, Dowling, Holland, Jackson, Key, and Patrick Henry middle schools; and Jones, Lee, Madison, Sharpstown, Westbury, Wheatley and Worthing high schools.