Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series on how six HISD students are adjusting to the shift to virtual instruction throughout the district amid COVID-19 precautions. Read Part 2 here.
Earlier this week, the district launched HISD @ H.O.M.E. (Home-based Online Mobile Education), a distance learning plan, and students at all levels of education are transitioning from physical to virtual classrooms.
We checked in with three students to see how their first week of distance learning went, the steps they’ve taken to succeed and the things they miss the most about school.
It’s been several years since students at Yates High School had a swim team. But with the completion of the school’s new natatorium set for April, students are one step closer to making that team a reality once again.
Construction on the school’s natatorium and four-lane practice pool is 55 percent complete. The building’s exterior walls – which feature large garage-style overhead coiling doors that allow fresh air inside and have fencing at each opening to maintain a secure perimeter — were built first to ensure interior pool construction would not be affected by wet weather.
The pool’s concrete foundation was laid in January, and pool walls are now being constructed. The project is expected to wrap up later this semester.
Yates High School, an Achieve 180 campus, has raised the bar even higher for the district’s turnaround program, becoming the district’s newest International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.
“Becoming an IB campus is a huge accomplishment for an Achieve 180 campus,” Achieve 180 Director Brandi Gosnay said. “Yates has shown us that an underperforming and underserved campus has the potential to shift and provide opportunities for students that they deserve.”
As the district’s fifth high school campus to receive official authorization to offer the Diploma Programme, Yates will now offer courses in a broad base of disciplines such as languages, mathematics, sciences, humanities, arts, physical education, and technology.
Independent School District leaders on Thursday announced Yates High School’s
new status as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, becoming the
district’s fifth high school campus to receive official authorization to offer
the Diploma Programme.
will begin offering the IB Diploma Programme to juniors and seniors at the
start of the 2020-2021 school year. The IB Diploma Programme is for students
ages 16 to 19 and is currently offered at Bellaire, Chávez, Heights, and Lamar
is one of nine HISD schools supported by the district as part of Interim
Superintendent Grenita Lathan’s initiative to expand the number of IB campuses
in geographically diverse areas across the city.
Families from the Yates High School feeder pattern community gathered together on Saturday for a fun-filled back-to-school bash to help get students ready for the new school year.
Over 400 people from Cullen Middle School, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan Middle School, and Blackshear, Foster, Hartsfield, Lockhart, Peck, Thompson, and Whidby elementary schools all received free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts, uniforms, shoes, and food vouchers at the celebration.
“It was exciting to see the community come together in preparation for the school year,” Leesa Giles, Special Education Resource Teacher and Title I Coordinator at Foster Elementary, said. “Many families have less to worry about regarding supplies and other school-related items thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Yates Feeder Pattern Schools.
Festive music and cheers filled the air of the new Yates High School as students danced their way into the new facility to kick off the 2018-2019 school year.
More than 20 alumni — donning crimson and gold — gathered at the school’s main entrance chanting the school song as the band and color guard performed for students and staff in celebration of the new facility.
“The building brings life to Yates and the community,” said Yates alumnus Marcus Brooks, who is also the father to a current Yates senior. “It’s something new and fresh for the kids.”
Large science labs, the gymnasium, and views of the Houston skyline were just some of the highlights seen by Project Advisory Team members as they were led on a tour of the new Yates High School on Thursday.
As attendees made their way through the facility making stops in the auditorium, dining commons, and JROTC spaces, the group huddled up near the large windows of a second-floor extended learning area to take in a full view of the University of Houston’s TDECU Stadium.
Currently the construction project is 85 percent complete with interior finishes — flooring, painting and ceiling tile installation — underway. All sidewalks and driveways have been poured and science lab equipment has been installed. Furniture selections will be finalized in the coming weeks.
Construction of the new Yates High School is more than halfway complete, with crews already in the process of installing floors, painting walls, laying pavers, pouring sidewalks, and erecting permanent fencing.
A CenterPoint transformer and meter also has been set, meaning power soon will be connected to the building, allowing crews to begin testing mechanical systems inside the building.
The main entry facing north is nearly complete, with the main entry facing south and building signage soon to follow. The elevator also will soon be installed, and project officials plan to begin ordering new furniture in January.
When construction of the new Yates High School is complete next year, it will offer unparalleled views of the city with Downtown Houston to the north, Texas Medical Center to the south, and the Galleria to the west.
The 360-degree view — which includes University of Houston to the east and Texas Southern University to the west — is already visible from top floors of the building, the construction of which is almost a quarter of the way completed.
“It’s starting to move very quickly,” said Yates Principal Ken Davis, who got his first glimpse at the new school during a recent Project Advisory Team meeting and site visit. “I’m excited about that. It’s an exciting feeling to know it is happening. After years of planning, it’s actually happening.”
The Lion’s Den at Jack Yates High School roared with excitement as the graduating Class of 2017 scribbled their signatures on the final steel beam to be erected in the construction of their new school.
Once all seniors had signed, they joined with school staff to watch as the beam was hoisted into the air and placed in its new home — the auditorium. The beam will be installed and left exposed, showcasing the signatures from the class of 2017.
“The kids were concerned that they weren’t going to have any history with the new school since they’ll be graduating in May,” said Yates Principal Ken Davis, who worked with the construction staff to surprise the students with the informal ceremony. “We told them that we were going to sign the beam — a little bit of history about you will go into the new building.”