Texas Education

Blog on Texas Education

Posts Tagged ‘Houston ISD’

HISD to find new super

Posted by Texas Education on February 6, 2009

No, I didn’t miss the boat on this one, just trying to get my ducks in a row here. This came as quite a shocker to me. I don’t envy any school district to have to look for another superintendent, especially the largest in the state. I’m not much up on HISD, at least not much before now. I’m still learning, and feel I (as I teach) always will be.

Based on what’s been reported in the past, I was taken aback. Things are difficult with Texas Education (and that’s putting it mildly) right now, but I do have hope things will improve, at least from what is buzzing around now. (See yesterday’s post and the federal aid that I hope will see it’s way to our Texas schools. And having to find a new superintendent, well…we wish them all the best.

Advertisements

Posted in bizzare, In-the-news, texas education, Texas schools | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The latest from the ISD’s in Texas on school openings

Posted by Texas Education on September 18, 2008

The following is from chron.com on the listings and explanations of the schools and when they will be opening.

The latest from Katy ISD

Katy ISD plans to re-open on Monday, but high school football returns tonight.

See a story from Chronicle high school sports reporter Sam Khan Jr.

For a complete schedule of Katy ISD football and volleyball games this weekend, see the Katy ISD Web site.

The latest from Spring ISD

Regina Curry, Spring ISD’s assistant superintendent for communication and community relations, said only seven of the district’s 32 school campuses had power on Wednesday. Also, several of the district’s support buildings were without electrical power.

The district has reported that school is closed through Friday, Feb. 19 and that employees need not report to work unless notified by a supervisor.

“It is hard for us to do a good, solid damage assessment until power is restored to a building,” Curry said. “We have water in some buildings and there is debris everywhere.”

“We are in bad shape,” she said. “We have widespread damage.”

Once power is restored to a school, Curry said, the district’s damage assessment teams get to work evaluating the damage and repairs that need to be made. District personnel will make the repairs they able to make but some will have to be contracted to outside repair companies.

“It will take a while to get our buildings clean and make sure they are safe,” she said. “Once the schools are ready, we will call our staff back first and get them ready to receive students.”

At the same time, Curry said district officials must ensure that there is clean water and food for students at those schools, and safe transportation routes.

Curry said in addition to making sure school are safe for students’ and staff members’ return, district officials are very concerned about the status of those students, their families and staff members.

“We have a lot of families who need access to community resources and we are trying to help them get that,” Curry said.

Curry said the district would continue contacting students’ families and staff members through the automated telephone messaging system, and would post updates to the web site – www.springisd.info/.

—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson

Posted by HowardD at 09:41 AM in

The latest from Cy-Fair ISD

Cy-Fair ISD spokesperson Kelli Durham said schools and 18 support facilities will be closed until the conditions are safe for students and staff members.

“We have to have power before we can begin making progress by leaps and bounds,” Durham said.

Durham said that district personnel immediately mobilized after Hurricane Ike passed through the area Saturday, and assessment teams started inspecting schools to determine the general condition of each property.

Some repair work started immediately – manually clearing out water that had seeped into school buildings – but it was not until electrical power was restored that that the teams were able to determine if there was damage to mechanical equipment and the building’s infrastructure.

She said at an emergency board meeting Sunday, the Cy-Fair ISD board gave district personnel the green-light to begin repair work immediately. They are able to issue purchase orders and hire contractors, when needed, to get the work done as soon as possible.

“Over 600 staff members and contractors have been working around the clock,” Durham said. “Damage is being remediated as soon as we find it.”

District officials are also communicating with local water districts to determine the status of water service and quality, and are evaluating road conditions and intersections to make sure they are safe for buses transporting students.

“We have over 719 bus routes,” Durham said. “A traffic signal that has become a 4-way stop due to a power outage is just too dangerous for our buses to maneuver.”

“One of the biggest challenges facing us is the damage to infrastructures surrounding our schools,” she said.

She said the district has been contacting parents and staff members through an automated phone message system and would continue to do so. They are also posting updates to the district’s web site – www.cfisd.net – sending out thousands of e-mail updates and working with the media get important information out to the community.

—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson

FROM A CFISD press release:

Due to lack of power at many schools and support facilities, wind and water damage and other hurricane-related issues, CFISD will remain closed for the entire week, through Friday, September 19.

When it became imminent that Houston would be hit by Hurricane Ike, the district’s emergency and restoration teams began making preparations. Hours after Ike hit, assessment teams were dispersed to make initial damage reports. Emergency, assessment and restoration teams have been working continually.

Because the impact of Hurricane Ike was so widespread, one of many challenges has been the availability of staff. For example, about 60 percent of the operations staff has been unable to report due to personal circumstances resulting from the hurricane.

Immediate challenges for the district include those similar to what parents and property owners are experiencing: lack of power and a variety of mechanical and structural issues.

The district has 78 schools and 18 support facilities to be ready for the return of more than 100,000 students and 13,000 employees.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ike brings the onset of concerns about water quality. Several Municipal Utility Districts have contacted CFISD to announce the need to boil water. More than 40 MUDs are represented within the 186-mile radius of the district. The emergency team is initiating contact with each of the MUDs that have not shared the status of water quality within their jurisdiction.

Other obstacles include the delivery of supplies and food products to the district, as well as nonfunctional traffic lights that would interfere with the safe and timely delivery of students traveling to and from school.

The district will remain closed until schools and facilities are safe for students and staff members.

Parents and key communicators have received regular updates regarding school closings through an automated calling system as well as updates that are posted on the district website. If parents emergency phone numbers change throughout the year, it is their responsibility to contact the schools with this information.

Click here for the latest on Houston-area school closings.

Posted by HowardD at 09:40 AM in

The latest from Tomball ISD

As of Thursday morning, Tomball students and staff members are being asked to report to school on Monday, Sept. 22, but district officials are keeping a close eye on the status of school repairs and power outages and could reevaluate that decision at the end of the week, said Staci Stanfield Tomball ISD’s director of communications.

“It is going to depend on electricity,” Stanfield said. “We anticipate we will have power restored to all of our buildings by Monday.”

As of Tuesday, all but five schools had electricity, she said.
Based on damage assessments there were minor leaks in some buildings, and all roofs were intact, she said.

“We have been very lucky – all of our buildings are intact,” Stanfield said.

The district would continue to utilize the telephone messaging system to deliver information to students and staff members.

A core group of personnel would continue to meet each day to discuss the status of building repairs, power outages and any other matters related to what to do in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

Stanfield said Tomball ISD Superintendent John Neubauer would make the final decision about the re-opening of the district’s schools and facilities.
The districts web address is www.tomballisd.net

—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson

Posted by HowardD at 09:39 AM in

The latest from Pearland ISD

Chronicle reporter Robert Stanton talked with Pearland ISD Superintendent Bonnie Cain:

Hurricane Ike dealt Pearland schools a severe blow, knocking out power throughout the district, damaging roofs and flooding classrooms. Superintendent Bonny Cain estimates total losses of $2 million.

Here’s what she told Robert on Wednesday:

We didn’t have any loss of life. Our information shows that all of our students are safe and all of our staff is safe. While our facilities did sustain damage, it was not the staggering damage that other school districts have received. So, we hope to be able to return to school sometime next week.

For a list of school damage and more Pearland ISD, click here.

Posted by HowardD at 09:33 AM in

September 17, 2008

The latest from Conroe ISD

Conroe Independent School District will evaluate their campuses Friday before issuing a list of schools expected to hold classes Monday, Sept. 22.

The district will post the school openings after 5 p.m. Friday, as well as distribute them to local radio stations, television and print media, said Kathy Clark, director of communications for Conroe ISD.

Each campus marquee will also announce whether students should report to school Monday. Clark said the district’s buildings suffered minimal damage beyond some fallen trees and roofing problems, but electricity is still the major issue. All schools with power as of 2 p.m. Friday will open Monday.

“No power, no school,” Clark said. “The whole issue is created in large part because we’re such a big school district geographically. That’s the reason behind the staggered openings.”

Conroe ISD covers 348 square miles in Montgomery County with schools in Conroe and The Woodlands.

Clark said all district employees are directed to call their supervisors for an update on whether or not school will be held at their campus next week.

“We want the community to get back to normalcy as soon as possible,” she said.

For more information, residents can call the district’s main number at 936-709-7752 or visit their Web site at www.conroeisd.net.

-KIMBERLY STAUFFER

Click here for the latest on Houston-area school closings.

Posted by Samira Rizvi at 06:58 PM in

The latest from Humble ISD

Humble Independent School District Executive Director of Public Relations Karen Collier said that the tentative plan for the school district is to have employees report for work on Monday, Sept. 22 and for students to report back to school Tuesday, Sept. 23.

“But let me stress, those plans are subject to change,” said Collier. “Right now we have three schools (out of 36 campuses) that have power. Once we establish power, we then need to replenish our food supply and then we need to get the computer systems working. Once all that is done, we should be ready for the kids.”

Light damage to school campuses

Humble Independent School District leaders say overall damage to school campuses has been light, though several areas have been hit hard by Hurricane Ike.

Superintendent Guy Sconzo said in an e-mail that many buildings were spared from more than superficial damages, while others sustained heavier losses.

“There is no major damage, but we have serious damage to over a dozen portable classrooms,” he said.

Like many other school districts, Humble ISD has called off classes through Friday and set for students to return to campuses on Monday.

Sconzo said the district is working hard at making that timeline, though no concrete estimates can be made until later this week.

“So long as power returns, we could be ready for Monday, but we don’t know for sure” he said. “Only four campuses have power at this time.”

He said the district is also working on rescheduling many of the events that had been cancelled after the storm hit, including an open house at Humble High School. The annual Humble ISD Education Foundation golf tournament has also been cancelled.

“We will try to reschedule as many activities and events that have been cancelled as possible,” he said.

Updates are being posted to the district’s Web site at www.humble.k12.tx.us.

Click here for the latest on Houston-area school closings.

Posted by HowardD at 06:55 PM in

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in In-the-news, Texas schools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Today’s News – Tomorrows Sorrows

Posted by Texas Education on June 18, 2008

HISD in the news today (Houson ISD that is.) Up in the air about closures. Saavedra is putting off any closures, he says he needs more time to decide whether to go forward with the plan, they also say the issue of consolidation is NOT being taken off the table, they just want more dialogue, more input. They’ve already spent $190,000 on input. This all sounds too familiar, in many ways. The tests, the text books all go to “companies” that tend to contribute to certain campaigns. We are all just rats in a maze, I feel sometimes.

And why I keep hollering to the Ledge, “look, look what’s happening,” they aren’t listening. This is what they want. Put more “unfunded” mandates, expect higher scores, change the rules/programs, ie: TAAS — TAKS,) keep 20 year old formulas for schools to operate by, use formulas that make absolutely no sense (WADA,) and continue to not address the public schools. I really wish they would look beyond their selfish ways. Private schools are nice, but they’re not for everyone. Oh, ok, I get it, the states should not provide monies for schools. Well, why not??? I say. Isn’t that how it’s done, let’s say…pretty much everywhere?? How many of us have been educated by public schools? Pretty much the lot of us, I would image. I must say, we were so poor, I thank Uncle Sam for my college degree. I’m not proud that we were that poor, but, I would probably be working at Mickey D’s or some restaurant for tips my entire life, if it weren’t for the fact that I had the ability to get grants, loans and the such to further my education. I’m part of the few that think we should extend public education through 16 grades instead of the 12 we have now. It’s different now then way back when, when a college degree got you somewhere. Now, it takes a Masters degree to be able to even support yourself and a family.

Posted in In-the-news, Texas schools | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Today’s News – Tomorrows Sorrows

In-the-News

Posted by Texas Education on June 13, 2008

Well, a few things in the news right now. HISD may open its borders to boost declining enrollment was in the Chronicle recently. (I meant to blog on that sooner.) This, to me, seems like a worthwhile effort to increase enrollment for faltering ISD’s. Especially since enrollment has fallen and they expect it to continue on that path. Board member Manuel Rodriguez says: “This will be a good move to help grow some of the student population.” They have stipulations though, which I also agree is worthwhile, must have good behavior and attendance would be mandatory. I’m not real sure if Humble would be at any advantage on this, as any new students, we create a deficit, as pointed out in Dr. Sconzo’s budget powerpoint. We lose roughly $2,000 for each new student to the district. I’m pretty sure that is the same scenario for most of the districts that are struggling. I found this information on a great website TexasISD.com. Another great place for what’s happening in-the-news. On the legislative page, State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, says, “property taxes and school funding in Texas are worse now than when lawmakers began tinkering with the problems again four years ago.” [ View Article ] Wow, slap me in the face why don’t ya?

Dr. Diane Trautman recently said to me that, “We had the chance two years ago to stop this by voting against Crabb and putting in a pro-education candidate, but no one seemed to understand the urgency two years ago and now here we are at this cross roads. Indeed we must contact our legislators and inform them that their time in office is short unless they put public school funding at the top of the agenda this January! And then vote them out if they don’t!”

So, to all those who are in office, or are running for office, you are on notice, not like I have to tell any of them at this point, Though, it still seems as though Perry, Craddick, Crabb, just to mention a few, still aren’t hearing us, apparently. You can also check out TexasISD.com’s school finance section. Whew, that’s an eye full.

  • Arlington school district faces shortfall of $20 million
  • Corpus Christi: CCISD May Need Extra $200,000 For Gas In 2008-09 School Year
  • Cost of replacing football field adds to Wimberley school money woes
  • Cy-Fair ISD cuts staff, spending – and boy do they have some woes
  • Edcouch-Elsa schools to ask for $4.5 million loan to keep afloat
  • School board cuts become clearer for Humble ISD
  • Ennis: EISD pool will stay closed

Wow! And Rep. Beverly Woolley of House District 136 in the Memorial area said she had been assured by Rep. Rob Eissler of The Woodlands, chairman of the House public schools committee, that school funding would be reviewed when the Legislature convenes in 2009.

“I don’t think there’s even a slight possibility that we would let the school districts become insolvent,” she said.

She said that “as a Republican,” she likes Patrick’s call more funding education from sales tax revenues rather than property tax, but also suggested that school districts need to watch their spending. (this was from the Memorial Examiner on April 18, 2008.)

So, are you trying to tell me ALL of these school districts are not “watching their spending??” When, our school district is working off budgets (the state gave us) from the 1980’s??? I’m just glad I’m not working off a budget from what I was making in the ’80’s.

Posted in In-the-news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Superintendent of Northside ISD says it best!

Posted by Texas Education on June 11, 2008

I noticed in the Tribune today, where Jennifer Bernard says we should all write our legislative officials and demand change. Well, I would think they know by now our problems, wouldn’t you? No, the answer is not telling them what THEY need to do, it’s what WE need to do. We need to elect a legislature that understands our need to have proper funding for our children, for our teachers, for our schools. Ask them, talk to them. Last year I attended a forum for “Children at Risk” where the superintendent of Houston ISD – Abelardo Saavedra, Scott Hochberg, our own Dr. Sconzo and numerous others were guest speakers. I asked Mr. Hochberg why the state is not funding our schools better, and this was way before I know what we all know now, and his reply was, that he was told by those above him that they didn’t feel that it was the states job. What??? So, herein lies the problem, in my books (again, no pun.) We HAVE to elect those who really care about our schools, and care about giving them the proper funding, tools and support they so sorely need. Get educated as to who has our childrens’ best interest at heart. We can no longer go on this way. The Observer and the Tribune all have people crying about their sports, electives, etc. getting cut and we just can’t have that. Well, the board has no other alternative. In some of our own households people are making the decision to buy milk or by gas, and fellas, I believe, we have not seen the worst yet. Yes, we need to get fired up, but WE need to do something about it. If they have not been able to fix our crisis by now, they never will. Please educate yourselves, find out what our elected officials have voted for, or against, when it comes to schools, school financing, budgets, etc. As responsible adults, parents, communities, we can all do something. Let’s just hope it’s not too late. We still have the next year to tighten our belts, and even then, there are no guarantees.

John M. Folks Jr. is superintendent of the Northside Independent School District explains our crisis very well. As I’ve heard our very own Dr. Sconzo tout it often. This, of course, was taken from the Humble ISD’s website.

Posted in In-the-news | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »