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Encouraging students to return to class

2012 September 11
by HISD Communications

I was honored on Saturday to be among the 600 members of Team HISD and local volunteers who personally knocked on the doors of students who hadn’t found their way back to school yet this year. I want to thank all of the volunteers who visited the students at their homes and encouraged them to return.

I understand there are various reasons why a student may decide to drop out and that is why events such as last weekend’s Grads Within Reach walk are so important. It’s one of the many ways HISD is committed to helping these students learn about other ways they can complete their coursework and earn the diplomas that are so crucial to success in life.

One of the students I had the privilege of meeting was 19-year-old Moises from Austin High School, who has taken and passed all of the state-required TAKS tests and needs only a few credits to graduate. Moises was one of several students who expressed an interest in pursuing career and technical education programs.

I along with HISD Board of Education Trustee Juliet Stipeche and Austin High School Principal Jorge Arredondo told Moises about our new Houston Innovative Learning Zones at six area schools, where students receive career training from professors at Houston Community College while earning career certifications and a college associate’s degree. After Saturday’s discussion, Moises has now re-enrolled at Austin High School.

I am also pleased to announce that because of all of our volunteers’ hard work this weekend, 45 students began the re-enrollment process. Although HISD currently boasts its lowest graduation dropout rate ever of 11.8 percent for the 2011-2012 academic year, we will not be satisfied until every student who wants to graduate has every opportunity to do so.

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