Elementary students got to build the bicycles they earned through improved literacy goals last Friday, May 15, at the Houston Zoo. Second- and third-graders worked hard all semester to achieve goals set by their teachers to improve their literacy skills. The “Getting Young Minds in Gear” event was led by Elves & More, a program that uses bicycles as an incentive to encourage literacy in elementary school students.
Last year, HISD’s Nutrition Services department launched a pilot program at a handful of campuses to increase the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables available to students in the cafeteria at lunch.
That program was so successful that the district has expanded it this year, and a total of 26 HISD schools now regularly offer a fresh fruit and vegetable bar. Continue reading →
Twelve Houston ISD schools have a new program designed to improve students’ health and reduce their stress.
The program, which is sponsored by the Sonima Foundation, will teach students skills for a healthier lifestyle. Through group discussion, character education, breathing exercises and yoga, students will learn to focus their attention, calm their minds, reduce stress and think before reacting. Nutrition curriculum will be introduced later in the school year. Continue reading →
More and more, educators are realizing that attendance is critical to a child’s academic success. In fact, attendance is directly tied to performance – in general, the lower a child’s attendance rate, the lower their grades. Chronic absenteeism (missing 10 percent or more days a year) leads to a greater chance of that child dropping out of school.
HISD’s Family and Community Engagement Dept. (FACE) has been using a new initiative to increase attendance at Franklin and Whittier elementary schools, with positive results. FACE provided professional development for teachers and attendance clerks, a workshop for parents on the importance of attending school, and programs to promote attendance. The attendance plan had three major components: a data-tracking system, a rewards program, and chronic-absenteeism intervention.
A new team approach – blending classroom learning with home support — is revolutionizing teacher-parent conferences in an HISD pilot program.
Centered on “Academic Parent-Teacher Teams,” the approach being tried at eight schools brings in groups of parents to meet with their child’s teacher three times a year. Instead of merely walking out with a report card, these parents know where their youngster stands in relation to the rest of the class – and take with them important tools to help support in the home what’s being taught in the classroom.