When HISD students head back to class, some will see some new changes at their schools.
Nearly 200,000 students will return to class for the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 27. Students from five middle schools and four high schools in the district's Apollo 20 school turnaround program will get a one-week head start on Monday, Aug. 20, when their school year starts.
Four new school buildings will open for the first day of school. They include Carnegie Vanguard High School, Billy Reagan K-8 Education Center, Lockhart Elementary School and Neff Elementary School.
The Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School at 6300 Avenue B in Bellaire will also be new this year. This is HISD's first Mandarin Chinese language immersion school. The school will initially serve students in kindergarten through second grade. Additional grades will be added later. Core subjects will be taught primarily in Mandarin Chinese with a certain amount of English language development instruction incorporated each day.
HISD is also offering students at six campuses the chance to earn associate's degrees and career training in high-demand technical fields. The Houston Innovative Learning Zone program (HILZ) was created in partnership with Houston Community College. The schools include Furr, Kashmere, Scarborough, Sterling, and Booker T. Washington high schools and Long Middle School. HILZ students will take courses taught by college professors. Any credits students earn will transfer to any public Texas university.
This school year HISD has a new and improved curriculum. It is aligned with state and national standards and will prepare students for the rigor of STAAR and other standardized tests. Other changes for teachers and principals include, a new literacy plan, a revamped K-5 English language arts curriculum, and continuing leadership training for principals.