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HISD News Blog is Moving (and Improving)

February 14, 2013 @ 9:05 am

The HISD News Blog is just over a year old and it’s time for us to upgrade. This morning, we will be moving the blog to You will notice a much cleaner, ad-free look that is consistent with the recent redesign of, as well as more photos in blog posts to better illustrate the stories about the district.

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Plenty of Time To Join Project Advisory Teams for 2012 Bond Program

February 14, 2013 @ 8:49 am

PAT_coverWant to help guide the 2012 bond project at your school?  There’s no better way than getting involved with your school’s Project Advisory Team, which will help lead the planning and design of new facilities across the district.

Sharpstown High School Principal Rob Gasparello wasted no time recruiting members for his PAT, which is typically made up of parents, teachers, community members and students. His school is among the first group of 17 schools to be built as part of the 2012 bond program.

“We want the final product to be the sum of its parts,” Gasparello said. “We want to gather as much input of what a 21st century school really needs to look like — we don’t want just one point of view.”

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Harris County Behavioral Health Task Force Offers New Recommendations Prioritizing Emotional and Behavioral Health in Schools

February 13, 2013 @ 4:26 pm


Mental Health America of Greater Houston and members of the Harris County School Behavioral Health Initiative will announce on Thursday new attainable and needed recommendations that prioritize emotional and behavioral health in Harris County area schools.  Due to recent national tragedies, renewed attention has been given to the importance of meeting the behavioral health needs of children and youths.  The recommendations will establish both the urgent need for, and the advantages of, a paradigm shift on the part of the education and behavioral health systems.

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Community Meeting at Booker T. Washington Draws Big Crowd

February 13, 2013 @ 12:40 pm
Booker T. Washington High School

Booker T. Washington High School

More than 150 people turned out Tuesday evening at Booker T. Washington High School where they learned more about the district’s plan to build a new school at the site under the $1.89 billion bond program approved in November.

District officials held the meeting to review site needs, as well as the planning and design process for the new school.  “We’re going to be working very closely with the community planning the facility,” said Dan Bankhead, HISD general manager for facility design.

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BBVA and NBA Cares Partner to Bring Books, NBA Legends, Fitness and More to Two HISD Schools

February 12, 2013 @ 2:50 pm


BBVA Compass and NBA Cares are teaming up for two Team Works in Schools events on Thursday, February 14 at Franklin and Eliot elementary schools.

  • NBA legends and BBVA Compass volunteers will catalog and shelve more than 500 new books in the library and read with students at Franklin Elementary.
  • NBA legends will guide students at Eliot Elementary through fitness and basketball activities
  • Each school will each be receiving 30 tablet computers and a laptop.
  • Pre-Kindergarten – 2nd grade students at both schools will select a book of their choice to take home as part of the initiative.
  • A basketball court will be refurbished and new outdoor gym equipment will be installed at both schools.
  • New furniture will be provided and set up in the Parent’s Alliance section of Eliot Elementary.
  • BBVA Compass volunteers will join fifth-grade students in the computer lab as they interact with a new web-based financial education program developed by EverFi, Inc.

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Board of Education to Consider Contract Recommendations on 2012 Bond Projects

February 12, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

HISD Administrators recommend eight firms for selected projects; more recommendations to come

Administrators are recommending that the Board of Education authorize the district to negotiate contracts with eight firms on selected 2012 bond projects, including four schools and middle school restroom renovations.

HISD officials spent several weeks reviewing qualifications submitted by 85 architectural and engineering firms seeking to do work with the district under the 2012 bond program, which will build or renovate 40 schools across the district. The $1.89 billion bond program, approved by voters in November, will also fund middle school restroom renovations, technology upgrades, and safety and security upgrades.

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HISD Launches Free English as a Second Language Classes Online and on HISD-TV

February 11, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

In an effort to empower parents to learn English and be more involved in their children’s education, the Houston Independent School District has partnered with AVANCE in Houston to offer free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes online through the district’s website and public access TV channel.

“Parents play a critical role in ensuring the academic success of each child,” HISD’s Parent Engagement Senior Manager Kelly Cline said.  “It is our responsibility to help parents be more involved in their child’s academic life and that includes helping parents understand the language.”

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