In wake of scandals, La Joya school board approves corrective action measures
A number of corrective actions were approved Wednesday by La Joya school district trustees that are meant to tighten policies around purchasing and board member conduct in the wake of misconduct scandals at the district.myrgv.com
How local school districts measured in testing after dramatic drop in STAAR test scores
The number of students failing to meet grade-level went up statewide across all grade levels and nearly all subject areas according to results of the Spring 2021 STAAR test released Monday by the Texas Education Agency.
STAAR Testing Suspended Because of Technical Issues Today
Public school districts throughout Texas were notified today that students taking the online version of the 2021 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness online tests who were having problems connecting to the test should put down their (virtual) pencils.houstonpress.com
Magnolia ISD will lift mask mandate on April 1
HOUSTON – Three Houston area school boards – in Friendswood, Magnolia and Tarkington – planned to vote Monday night on whether or not to remove their mask mandates. New state guidelines require all students, teachers, staff and visitors to wear masks on school property, unless school boards vote otherwise. In Magnolia, the board of trustees voted to remove the mask mandate, effective April 1. AdIn Tarkington ISD, a decision has not been made as of Monday evening. We will update this story as the school boards cast their votes.
Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan Announces She's Leaving HISD
^ Keep Houston Press Free Support Us LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free. Saying it was "a bittersweet moment," Lathan said she intends to remain at the helm of HISD until the end of the 2020-21 school year. Members of the HISD school board who supported Lathan made several runs at having her named the superintendent of the district, but were repeatedly unsuccessful in getting her status moved up from Interim. HISD was not doing timely initial special ed evaluations and the TEA alleged "falsified data in order to hide these failures." Patricia Allen, president of the HISD school board, who had supported Lathan for the HISD superintendency, issued this statement:“As president of the HISD Board of Education, I would like to thank Dr. Lathan for her many years of service to the students of the Houston Independent School District – especially for her leadership as interim superintendent since March 2018.houstonpress.com
Harris County, Houston health officials issue COVID-19 safety guidance for schools
HOUSTON – Health officials in both Houston and Harris County issued a list of coronavirus safety guidelines as the ending of the state’s mask mandate and capacity limits approaches. In a joint letter published Friday, officials at Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department laid out nine points of guidance. New guidance for schools from Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Dept. Greg Abbott is no longer limiting capacity in private businesses and is lifting the state’s mask mandate. Abbott addressed schools in his order by requiring them to follow COVID-19 guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency.
Texas Education Agency says school boards can determine their own mask policies
HOUSTON – When it comes to masks and children in school, the Texas Education Agency said the mask policy will be left up to each district’s school board. We ask that other school districts do the same. “It isn’t what we wanted (for) the Texas Education Agency to come out with. Molina is the president of the Texas State Teachers Association. After a year of online learning, the state has ordered all vaccine providers to immediately include teachers and school employees.
Remote students are not required to take STAAR tests, TEA commissioner says
HOUSTON – Texas students in remote learning won’t be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exam, according to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. This option will be available for parents who are concerned about sending their children to school. “The kid won’t take the test and they won’t have access to that information,” said Morath, during a virtual conversation with The Texas Tribune on Thursday. Morath said that the state decided not to cancel the STAAR test because schools need the data from the tests to measure the student’s learning. He added that the state did not have the “logistical ability to do the STAAR remotely.”Students must attend school in-person to take the standardized test.
HISD Trustees Retain Their Seats For Now After Appeals Court Ruling
^ Keep Houston Press Free Support Us LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free. Support UsHouston ISD trustees won a round in court Wednesday when in a 2-1 vote, the Third District Court of Appeals upheld a temporary injunction barring Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath from ousting the HISD board and replacing it with one of his own choosing. The whole matter will probably move to the Texas Supreme Court next, but at least for now, there will be no new faces at the HISD board table anytime soon. However, in March 2019,TEA restated her duties as being district wide and Delaney told the HISD board and administration to shut down its superintendent search. The final HISD argument upheld by the court was that either Morath that the informal review of HISD should have been done by himself or a designated hearing examiner.houstonpress.com
TEA still blocked from taking over HISD, appeals court rules
Texas is still temporarily barred from taking over Houston ISD, its largest school district. (Credit: Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune)AUSTIN, Texas – Texas is still temporarily barred from taking over Houston Independent School District, a state appellate court ruled Wednesday, upholding a lower court’s order. The appeals court ruling sends the case back to the lower court that in January blocked the state’s takeover effort. It also ordered the state to “pay all costs related to this appeal.”The TEA plans to appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court. In March, Texas successfully appointed a board of managers to replace Shepherd ISD, a four-school East Texas school district.
Texas Education Agency announces districts can provide remote instruction while receiving funding
HOUSTON The Texas Education Agency announces it will provide funding waivers to school systems that offer remote instruction in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To qualify, districts must provide daily on-campus instruction for families that want to come to campus. Here is a statement from TEA Commissioner Mike Morath:Yesterday, the Texas Attorney General issued guidance that indicated that blanket school building closures ordered by local public health authorities for preventative purposes are not lawful. School systems planning on starting the year with 100 percent remote instruction will still be fully funded in accordance with TEAs previously announced 8-week back to school transition funding waiver. Lawful building closures orders will continue to enable a school system to be funded when providing remote-only instruction.
Texas will allow schools to keep classrooms closed longer than previously ordered
Local school boards in areas with a lot of community spread can also delay the start of the school year. That's on top of a previous promise to reimburse all school districts for up to 75% of their pandemic-related expenses, using money from a federal grant awarded to Abbott's office. It was unclear last week whether Texas would let those local mandates stand or overrule them. And many Texas school superintendents in areas with rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have already made the decision to keep classrooms closed, without a local health order, and continue with online learning this fall. This past spring, Texas school districts struggled to get set up for remote learning, with many lacking enough computers and WiFi hotspots to send out to students.
Texas lets schools stick to online learning well into fall
AUSTIN, Texas Texas gave public schools Friday permission to keep campuses closed for more than 5 million students well into the fall as the state scrambles to contain one of the largest resurgences of the coronavirus in the country. Under the new guidelines, Texas schools could hold online-only instruction for up to the first eight weeks of the school year, potentially pushing a return to campus in some cities until November. The health & safety of students, teachers & parents is the top priority, Republican Gov. Texas' largest teachers organization dismissed Friday's announcement as based on an artificial deadline. Right now, with the pandemic still raging across Texas, we dont know when that will be, Texas State Teachers Association President Ovidia Molina said in a statement.
Presidents of Texas’ 10 largest school boards send letter to Gov. Abbott about reopening schools
The presidents of the 10 largest school boards in Texas have come together to write a letter to Gov. “School districts require stability to open without fear of financial losses, and we need flexibility to open school in a manner we determine best for each community,” the letter reads. Secondly, the presidents requested that Abbott allow school districts the flexibility to design instructional systems that meet the needs of families and staff given local health conditions. The board called on Abbott to respond with his decisions by July 17 so that they can better inform their local school districts on the mentioned issues. The presidents of both the Aldine and Houston school boards were among those who signed the letter.
Katy Independent School District: What you need to know about the district’s 2020-2021 school plans.
Katy ISD announced on July 23 that it will begin the school year with three weeks of online learning. Parents and students who are interested in Katy ISD’s online learning, Katy Virtual Academy, can make their choice by August 5. “On September 8, the goal is to resume plans to reopen campuses for both in-person instruction and virtual instruction. District staff and faculty will be required to wear facial coverings. Measures not in place:PartitioningClass size limitsExtracurricular activities:Students who participate in Katy Virtual Academy can partictpate in UIL-cocurricular and extracurricular activities.
Officials, parents react to TEA guidelines, STARR testing requirement for upcoming school year
Parents raised many concerns, including STARR testing being put back on the calendar for the upcoming school year. Katy Independent School District officials are working on a safety plan that will give parents the option of both online or in-person instruction. The district plans to finalize its plans within the next few weeks. STARR testing to resumeWhile school officials attempt to get students and teachers back safely, parents are not happy with the STARR testings back on the schedule. KPRC 2 reached out to the TEA Commissioner to see if districts would be given any more time or if state officials will consider moving STARR testing.
Fort Bend ISD calls this week’s guidance from TEA for 2020-2021 school year ‘disappointing'
As Fort Bend ISD continues to plan for the upcoming school year, the Texas Education Agency’s recent announcement has created concern for the district. “Today’s (Tuesday’s) announcement from the TEA is disappointing because the guidance, as written, does not provide local school districts with the flexibility to make decisions based on local data or community and staff values and expectations,” a spokesperson for Fort Bend ISD said. “Fort Bend ISD is considering many safeguards and precautions to mitigate the spread of illness within our schools,” Superintendent Charles Dupre said. “Our teachers and campus staff are at the heart of everything we do, and we will not ask them to bear the risk and weight of any re-opening plan,” Dupre said. Additionally, pre-registration will reveal the number of students desiring either face-to-face or virtual instruction and better allow the district to decide how classrooms will be used at each school.
School districts discuss moving forward after TEA announces new guidelines to get students back on campus
HOUSTON – Many school districts were discussing Wednesday how to move forward with the start of school under the new state guidelines. “The best learning is still going to take place in the traditional classroom,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole of Barbers Hill ISD. Dr. Poole is the superintendent of the Barbers Hill Independent School District. Districts are required to follow the state mask order, which applies to students ages 10 and up. Dr. Poole said children will unavoidably be next to each other, but complete online learning could be detrimental to a student’s development.
Students in Texas can get unlimited access to thousands of digital books to read over the summer
Through this partnership, students have access to digital books in English and Spanish on the myON by Renaissance platform. We couldnt be more excited to work with educators across the great state of Texas, said Chris Bauleke, CEO of Renaissance. In addition to digital books, students are able to read news articles that are reviewed by a child psychologist for age-appropriate content. To help readers, myON also provides optional reading supports like naturally-recorded audio, text-highlighting, and an embedded dictionary. Through this no-cost version of myON, available exclusively through TEA, every child in Texas is granted access to:
Draft documents show Texas planning few mandatory safety measures when public schools reopen in fall
Consistently implementing recommendations to the extent feasible is the best way to reduce the potential negative impact of infection on students educational experiences, the draft document reads. Abbott told state lawmakers last week that schools would open for in-person instruction in the fall, but gave few details. Many of the public health guidelines in the TEA's draft document are suggestions and not mandates for how school districts can keep communities safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The draft document said Texas would continue to fund school districts serving students remotely. Texas required districts to sign a form saying they were providing remote instruction in order to continue receiving funding much less stringent than the plan in the draft guidance.
INTERACTIVE: This is how much PPE your local school district will receive from the state
Millions of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be distributed to schools across Texas for the 2020-2021 academic year. School districts are being provided disposable and reusable masks, face shields, gloves, no-contact thermometers, and hand sanitizer. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) calculated PPE allotment by using 2019-2020 student and on-campus staff counts. While total numbers of equipment vary, 70% of every school districts masks supply will be adults size and the remaining 30% will be student/child size and face shields are available in adult size only. To view how much PPE was allotted in your school zone, select your district in the drop-down bar.
High-performing Houston-area schools: Kerr High School embraces self-paced study
Alief Kerr High SchoolGrades: 9-12 | Address: 8150 Howell Sugar Land Rd, Houston, TX 77083 | Phone: (281) 983-8484 | Mascot: Alief Kerr TigerAlief Kerr High School is a Title I public school of choice in west Houston. 86 percent of Kerr High School students attend a post-secondary institution immediately after graduating high school. The school’s honorsU.S. News & World Report ranks Kerr High School the 40th best high school in Texas and the tenth best in the Houston area. In 2019, nonprofit Children at Risk ranked Kerr High School the second best high school in the Houston area and the eighth best in Texas. Kerr High School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2010 and 2016.
These Houston-area school districts pay their elementary teachers the least, according to TEA
These Houston-area school districts pay their elementary teachers the least, according to TEA>>>Check out the lowest-paid elementary school teachers, by district, in the Houston area. >>>Check out the lowest-paid elementary school teachers, by district, in the Houston area. According to records from the Texas Education Agency, Chron.com has organized the average elementary school teacher salaries for 39 Houston-area districts. According to records, Stafford Municipal School District paid elementary school teachers the lowest average salary. Due to the nature of the available data, one grade overlapped with the numbers related to the average middle school teacher salaries and the average elementary school teacher salaries (sixth grade).chron.com
21 HISD schools receive "F" in annual Texas Education Agency report
21 HISD schools get a F rating from TEA including Wheatley HS https://t.co/H6oJRG6zwr pic.twitter.com/s3UWIqFzdr Jeff Ehling (@JeffEhlingABC13) August 15, 201921 HISD schools get an F from TEA pic.twitter.com/M4vmqbbOVf Jeff Ehling (@JeffEhlingABC13) August 15, 2019HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Texas Education Agency released its 2019 accountability ratings for schools and school districts, including for HISD, which received a "B" rating overall.However, 21 of the district's schools received an "F" grade.1. Deady Middle School3. Edison Middle School4. Thomas Middle School5. Under this category, performance on the standardized STAAR test; college, career and military readiness; and graduation rate were all factors.-School progress: how students perform over time and how that growth compares to similar schools.abc13.com
HISD gets 'B' grade in annual TEA report; 21 schools get 'F' grade
HOUSTON - The Houston Independent School District has received a B grade on the Texas Education Agencys annual accountability report. A total of 57 of 279 HISD schools on the report received an overall "A" grade in the report, while 21 schools received an overall grade of "F."The entire report can be found at TXschools.gov. Last year, HISD received an 84 out of 100. HISD schools that got an "F"Here is a list of HISD schools that received an overall "F" rating, according to the TEA report. Whidby Elementary School.