HISD offering $85K salaries to teachers hired at ‘priority schools’
The Houston Independent School District is promoting incentives including competitive salaries of $85,000, pre-constructed lesson plans and administrative-provided discipline of students to teachers applying to schools under their New Education System.
Katy ISD calls on voters to approve same tax rate to provide salary increase for teachers; Sen. Bettencourt fires back
Voters living in the area of Katy Independent School District will soon vote on a tax rate election (TRE.) It would keep the rate the same and the school district says the extra money they gain would help some staffing shortages.
Hundreds of Harmony Public Schools teachers across Houston to receive up to an additional $22K in salary
Harmony Public Schools is proud to announce that 227 teachers in the Greater Houston area are recipients of the Teacher Incentive Allotment, a special fund created to reward the state’s highest-performing teachers.
Spring Branch ISD approves pay increase, raises starting pay to $62K, district says
The Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 3% pay increase for all employees in the district as part of the $357.5 million budget for the 2023 fiscal year. Trustees also approved starting teacher pay for 2022-2023 of $62,000, the district said in a news release Tuesday.
Katy ISD approves pay increase for teachers, raise starting pay to $60,700, district says
Katy Independent School District board of trustees approved mid-point pay grade increases of 5% for all district classroom teachers and hourly employees and a 3% raise for all other employees for the 2022-2023 school year.
Texas bill to ban the teaching of "critical race theory" spiked at the last minute on a technicality
Texas educators worried the bill would have a chilling effect on tough conversations about race and racism. GOP lawmakers said they wanted to ensure teachers' personal biases stay out of their lessons
Spring Branch ISD teacher on administrative leave after lesson containing racist word
A post circulating on social media in the Spring Branch community has caused concern. Students at Stratford High School in Spring Branch ISD voiced concern over feeling uncomfortable with a class activity by a teacher who officials said is now on administrative leave.
COVID-19 vaccines to be administered inside Galveston Ball HS this week
GALVESTON, Texas – One of the latest shipments of COVID-19 vaccines will soon be administered inside Galveston’s Ball High School. The non-profit Teen Health Center operates a clinic at the school and plans to start vaccinating school workers and certain students on Tuesday. “The Teen Health Center is uniquely qualified to give these vaccines to the staff because we are right in the schools,” said executive director Angie Brown. The center received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine last week, but schools were closed for spring break. “Teachers don’t have to take time off of work to go to find a place to make an appointment,” said Brown.
Phase 1C eligible for vaccine beginning Monday
I’m happy that at least we have this chance to get this vaccine,” said teacher Farha Ahmed. This marks the first time those in the education field were included among the priority groups eligible for the vaccine. About 5,200 people were vaccinated Sunday, according to health officials with Memorial Hermann. The state will expand vaccine eligibility starting Monday for Texans 50 years and older under the 1C phase. People are being more encouraged to get vaccinated,” said Denise Salazar, who said she’s been trying to get vaccinated since January.
HISD recruiting bilingual, math, science and special education teachers
HOUSTON – Houston Independent School District will begin hiring teachers this weekend for the next school year. “We are focusing on the south Texas region along with the rest of the state,” said Diana Lum, senior manager of recruitment and selection. “Particularly, we mention the south Texas region because of the need for bilingual teachers. “We’re not only just looking for bilingual teachers, but we’re also looking for teachers in secondary math and science, and special education, and all other areas,” Lum said. The school district usually hires around 1,800 teachers a year and there’s an extra incentive for certain positions.
Free mental health counseling services offered as teachers face mounting pandemic stress
HOUSTON – The University of St. Thomas is expanding its “Healing Our Heroes” initiative by offering free mental health counseling services to teachers. Long term impact of pandemic stress believed to be significantMental health experts believe the long term impact of pandemic stress and fatigue on teachers could be significant. Free sessions available for K-12 teachersThe sessions begin Jan. 11 and are offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during UST’s spring academic semester, which ends in early May 2021. Mental health counseling benefits for teachersDr. Sasse said teachers are so busy helping others, their own needs go unmet. UST’s mental health counseling will give them the support they need.
Missouri City brothers give back to teachers with a sweet project
HOUSTON – With two books and a baking business under their belts and, Nigel and Shane Mushambi are thriving entrepreneurs. The Missouri City brothers explained to Houston Life how they’re spreading kindness and gratitude to teachers with a sweet new project called “Sweet Compassion”. #SweetCompassion #2brositk#teamwork #thorntonmiddleschool #teacherareheroestoo #JBDondolo Posted by 2brositk on Wednesday, December 9, 2020“We created this project to encourage teachers during this time. We just thought a lot of teachers during this time are sacrificing their health and bodies to teach the next generation. Even though they are still young, the Mushambi brothers are used to doing charity work.
Texas educators pushing for COVID-19 vaccine priority
HOUSTON – Educators are essential workers and they are looking to get vaccinated. HISD is working with the City of Houston Health Department on vaccine availability for priority groups. The Texas AFT says all educators and support staff should get the vaccine regardless of the different categories. Capo says educators and support staff should be next to get the COVID-19. States have the power to decide who gets the vaccine, and in Texas, teachers are not listed in the 1B category.
State officials exclude teachers from next vaccination phase, despite CDC suggestion
HOUSTON – The Centers for Disease Control suggested teachers, first responders and other essential workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine next. However, Texas health officials seemed to disagree. Officials announced Monday that the second phase of vaccinations, Phase 1B, will focus on people 65 and older and those with certain chronic medical conditions. Capo said he hopes state officials will make teachers a priority. KPRC2 reached out to the Texas Department of State Health Services and had not received a response.
Two Houston teachers win $5K for classrooms from #ThankATeacher contest
Two Houston teachers have been recognized and rewarded for their above-and-beyond efforts. Edwin M. Wells Middle School’s Monica Ciofalo and Clemente Martinez Elementary’s Leticia Gonzalez were selected as winners of Staples’ #ThankATeacher contest. “We heard so many inspirational stories of teachers who have found ways to continue to connect with their students despite the roadblocks they’ve faced. Ciofalo and Gonzalez were both recognized for their contributions to their students. Gonzalez was also awarded for her kind gestures, including gifting her students welcome kits and goodbye gifts.
HISD teacher who overcame fight from rare cancer named ‘Teacher of the Month’
HOUSTON – Molly Lashway had to put her teaching career on hold while fighting a rare form of cancer. After months of chemotherapy and surgeries, she finally returned to the classroom, taking a job at Houston Independent School District. On Friday, she was recognized as the district’s “Teacher of the Month.”Drive-By ParadeNot even a pandemic could stop HISD educators from celebrating the district’s Teacher of the Month. Instead of an assembly, they’re surprised Lashway, a 5th-grade teacher at Walnut Bend Elementary, with a drive-by parade outside the school. While they were living in D.C., Lashway was diagnosed with and battled a rare form of cancer that sidelined her teaching career for a year.
Katy ISD to open rapid COVID-19 testing site for employees to help mitigate spread of virus
KATY, Texas The Katy Independent School District announced this week that will open a COVID-19 rapid testing site for its employees to help slow the spread of the virus as students plan to return to class. The testing site will open to district staff only and hours of operation will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Heres who can qualify to get tested at this free site:Katy ISD employees potentially exposed to a positive case at work, or outside of workKaty ISD employees qualifying dependents under the Katy ISD Health PlanKaty ISD employees who are uninsured with Katy ISD (no family or spouses)Testing will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis. The testing site will be located at the Agriculture Sciences Center, 5825 Katy Hockley Cut-Off Road. For more information on Katy ISD Staff Resources, click here.
Cy-Fair ISD community town hall aims to give parents, educators pediatricians a place to voice concerns
CYPRESS, Texas – A virtual town hall organized by community members of the Cy-Fair Independent School District Monday night aims to get parents, educators and mental health experts and doctors all on the same page. Classes for students Cy-Fair ISD will begin Sept. 8 but before that, the community-organized town hall is a way to discuss concerns across the board. They’re just not,” said Tana Lam, a parent with kids in Cy-Fair ISD. She will be part of the community-organized town hall panel along with educators, a state lawmaker, a pediatrician and a psychologist. The hosts of the town hall say they extended invitations to representatives of Cy-Fair ISD, including board trustees and the superintendent but hadn’t heard back.
Texas Supreme Court rules against Cy-Fair teachers union, ruling teachers must return to work
HOUSTON – The Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in a fierce battle between the district and the teachers union over returning to campus for training ahead of the start of the school year. On Friday, a Harris County District Judge granted the Cy-Fair American Federation of Teachers (Cy-Fair AFT) a temporary restraining order, which prevented teachers from being forced to physically be in a school building before Sept. 7. However, per the Supreme Court’s ruling Sunday, teachers must report to work. We will consider our options in the coming days.”Cowart said the teachers union is still concerned and worries about how schools will enforce a mask policy. “Friday was supposed to mark the return to campus for Cy-Fair teachers and staff who were preparing to start the new school year and welcome back kids, until a trial court unlawfully ordered the campus shut down at the request of a teachers’ union.
Cy-Fair ISD teacher’s union sues district as teachers were required to attend training in person Friday
CYPRESS, Texas – A Harris County District Court judge granted Cy-Fair American Federation of Teachers a temporary restraining order that states teachers do not have to enter Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District’s school buildings, as the district had required, before Sept. 7. “This is a win for safety, health and common sense. Nearly 7,800 educators in Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District returned to the district’s 91 different campuses Friday for professional development training and new teacher orientation, in spite of a plea from the teacher’s union to delay it. The lawsuitThe teacher’s union filed a lawsuit Friday seeking an injunction to halt the school district’s requirement that all school employees show up to their schools Friday. KPRC 2 reached out to Cy-Fair ISD for comment but district officials said they don’t comment on lawsuits that are pending litigation.
Fort Bend ISD announces ‘significant staffing issues’ after teachers opt-out of in-person instruction
FORT BEND COUNTY – A letter from the Fort Bend ISD superintendent was the equivalent of a bombshell for perhaps thousands of parents in the district. On Friday, Dr. Charles Dupre wrote that the district faced “significant staffing issues” and “may not be able to offer” special education programs at campuses. "I think it says that teachers are afraid to come back," said Glenda Guzman Macal, president of the Fort Bend American Federation of Teachers. “To ask teachers, administrative staff, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, admin staff to put their lives at stake,” she said. "It would be great if some of those jobs can work with those parents to help with the process of keeping and teaching them at home," said Leverne Moore, a grandmother who lives in Fort Bend County.
Teacher’s sanitizing device becomes popular as educators prepare to head back to class
Take the new foot pump sanitizing station built by teacher Ashley Martin’s husband. Cody made me a foot pump hand sanitizing station for my classroom! It’s self-standing,” Martin said. “So, the kids aren’t touching on something while they’re waiting to get hand sanitizer. It’s a self-standing system.”The sanitizing station is just one example of how educators are finding ways to adapt in the face of the current pandemic.
One Good Thing: Teachers colorful and creative sidewalk chalk brings joy to neighbors
QUEENS, New York A teacher in Queens, New York is using chalk to uplift the spirits of students at home. Jennifer Marino-Bonventre is drawing sidewalk art. She has recreated characters from several Disney films like Cars, Toy Story and Up. Jennifer is an English teacher -- not an art teacher -- so she was surprised when her art started getting attention. People have dropped off chalk, flowers and even signs to show their gratitude to her talent and for the hope it brings.
Get to know the Cy-Fair ISD engineering teacher who was named Teacher of the Year for 2020
CYPRESS, Texas – Kathryn Haynes knew that the classroom was her calling as she was given one of the most prestigious awards in Texas education. Haynes, an engineering teacher at Cypress Park High School, was nominated by the Texas Teachers of Tomorrow, a state-accredited program that helps individuals with a bachelor’s degree become certified teachers, according to Cy-Fair ISD in a press release. She was nomitated by Cypress Park High’s principal and Texas Teachers’ adviser, Chris Heckler. It really means so much to me.”According to Texas Teachers of Tomorrow’s website, more than 6,500 teachers completed the certification process and six Texas teachers became finalists. Prior to teaching, Haynes worked as a cosmetologist while completing her biomedical engineering degree and tutored business students on the side.
JOB ALERT: Katy ISD is hosting a virtual job fair to fill 230 teaching positions
Anyone interested can register for the district’s Virtual Teacher Job Fair on May 4 and 5 and virtual interviews will be held from May 6 through 8. At this time, the Katy ISD Virtual Job Fair is only for teaching positions. Complete a current Katy ISD application online by visiting the Job Postings webpage. Probationary certificates for which the applicant has applied and paid, and the university/program has recommended will be accepted for the registration to Katy ISD Virtual Job Fair. If you have questions, you can contact the Katy ISD Human Resources Department at HRInquiries@KatyISD.org.
Kingwood teacher embraces TikTok videos to engage with students
KINGWOOD – TikTok videos are the latest Intenet craze. A sixth-grade teacher, Tricia Zinnecker, is using the social media platform to connect with her students at Creekwood Middle School in Kingwood. "In my mind, I kept hearing stay in your lane, stay in your lane, but then I made my first TikTok. She said the TikTok videos provide a chance to do more than send assignments and conduct lectures on Zoom. Here are some of Zinnecker’s popular TikTok videos: