chief school officers - Houston Independent School District


chief school officers - Houston Independent School District
Houston Independent School District
What your child must
pass to graduate 6
Pullout Calendar
Find important dates,
holidays, and phone
numbers 11
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
welcome // ¡Bienvenido! // Marhaban // chào mù’ ng
A Message from Superintendent Terry B. Grier
As a child matures, we measure their success in steps. Each milestone marks a move forward
down the road to adulthood. As each new school year approaches, it’s a time to reflect on the many
steps our students have taken on the road to a quality education.
Last year we saw both small steps and, more importantly, giant leaps toward our educational goals.
Students took the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests for the
first time, and most met the tougher educational challenge. Our graduating seniors
totaled more than $186 million in scholarships. HISD was nominated for the Broad
Prize, the most coveted honor a public school system can win. Families in Houston
choose HISD because they know we are doing some of the most innovative, ambitious
work in the country to ensure all of our students receive a high-quality education.
In the coming months, I anticipate even greater strides as we continue to guide,
motivate and facilitate student achievement and educator excellence.
As we welcome both new and returning families to the district in 2013-2014, I hope all
members of Team HISD are as excited about our upcoming journey as I am. With each
step we move closer to our goal of becoming great all over.
Terry B. Grier, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Board of education
BOARD SERVICES: 713-556-6121
Anna Eastman
District I, President
Juliet K. Stipeche
District VIII, First Vice President
Manuel Rodriguez, Jr.
District III, Second Vice President
Rhonda Skillern-Jones
District II, Secretary
Michael L. Lunceford
District V, Assistant Secretary
Paula M. Harris
District IV
Lawrence Marshall
District IX
Greg Meyers
District VI
Harvin C. Moore
District VII
he Board of Education is the official policymaking body of the Houston Independent
School District. The nine trustees, elected from separate districts, serve four-year
terms. They represent the residents of their individual districts, but also serve the
larger community as a whole.
The board holds regular meetings on the
second Thursday of each month. Agendas
are available online (
Agendas) and from the Board Services
Department (4400 West 18th Street). Anyone
wishing to speak to an agenda item
may register with Board Services by 11 a.m.
on the day of the board meeting. There is
also a Hearing of Citizens (public forum) at
each regular meeting where individuals
can voice concerns or present information.
Register with Board Services by 4:30
p.m. the day before the board meeting.
Board policy is available online at
HISD anti-Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of the Houston Independent School District not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, handicap or disability, ancestry, national origin, marital status, race, religion,
sex, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression in its educational or employment programs and activities.
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
news blog
Find us on the web at
HISD-TV can be viewed on cable within
Houston city limits 24 hours a day on
Comcast (Time-Warner) cable channel
18 and AT&T Uverse cable channel 99.
HISD’s weekly e-newsletter is available
in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. It
includes information about districtwide
programs and initiatives, staff and
student accomplishments, and school
and campus-based news. To subscribe to
eNews, go to
Find us on Facebook
Watch HISD
Tune in to HISD’s own 24-hour cable
access channel every day to stay up to
date on the latest news and information
involving the district and its nearly 300
Follow us on Twitter and and
chief school officers
ISD has five chief school
officers who oversee
elementary, middle, high,
alternative and external charter
schools. The district also has 25
school improvement officers,
and one external charter school
compliance officer. These individuals
provide leadership to principals,
align resources and support for
teachers, and ensure that the district
is providing equitable and quality
educational opportunities to its
Elementary School Office
Main 713-556-7100
Parent Community Assistance 713-556-7121
Middle School Office
Main 713-556-7102
Karla Loria
Michael A. Cardona
Chief School Officer
Elementary School Office I
Angela McConico
Elementary School Office I
Sidney “Chip” Zullinger
Parent Community Assistance 713-556-7121
Chief Middle School Officer
Tony D’ Angelo, Director
Middle School Office
High School Office
Main 713-556-7143
Chief School Officer
Elementary School Office II
Parent Community Assistance 713-556-7121
James Metoyer
Chief High School Officer
Elementary School Office II
Samuel Sarabia
Chief School Officer
Elementary School Office III
Orlando P. Riddick
Mark Shenker
High School Office
Melanie Heasley
Elementary School Office III
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
school choice
where and when to enroll
Enrollment + immunizations
documentation requirements
enrollment eligibility
out-of-district transfers
attendance zones
school supplies + Uniforms
special education services
student conduct
Attendance Requirements
school hours
HISD Information Center
Federal and State Compliance
Office of School Choice
Office of Special Education
Student Transfers
Student Conduct
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
School Choice
HISD is a district of choice with dozens of
educational options for students. The district
offers a variety of school options, including
strong neighborhood, magnet, and specialty
schools. Families may choose from a range of
programs including Montessori, early college,
fine arts, gifted and talented, career and
technical education, early childhood, virtual instruction, and many others. For more information about these and other programs, as well
as the application and school choice process,
log on to, or call 713-556-6734.
Students who do not reside within HISD’s
attendance zone may transfer where space
is available. No out-of-district transfers shall
be accepted into separate and unique school
(SUS) Magnet programs or specialty schools
on campuses that do not have an attendance
zone. See Board Policy FDA (LOCAL) at Policy
Online (
for details.
Where and when to enroll
Each school in HISD handles its own registration and enrollment. To find out the enrollment
schedule for a specific school, call the school.
Enrollment process
and immunizations
To register and enroll your child in the school
that he or she is zoned to attend, bring to the
school the child’s birth certificate or other
proof of age and identity, proof of your identity
and residential address (driver’s license and
utility bill), and a record of your child’s current
immunizations signed by a doctor. Your child
may be eligible to enroll provisionally if the
required immunization process has begun.
(For details about necessary inoculations and
clinic locations, visit
HealthServices or call 713-556-7280.) Texas
law requires that a child must be enrolled
by the child’s parent or guardian or another
person with legal control of the child under
a court order. It also requires the district to
record the name, address, and date of birth of
the person enrolling the student.
Documentation requirements
Every school district requires, as a condition of
enrollment, identification of each student that
must be under a student’s legal name as shown
on that student’s birth certificate or another
legal document. The parent or legal guardian
must furnish documentation of the student’s
identity, age, and residence and a copy of the
student’s records within 30 days of enrollment
(or 90 days if the student was born outside
the U.S.). If the student does not have a Social
Security number, HISD will assign a Public
Education Information Management System
(PEIMS) number. No student may be denied
enrollment solely because of failure to meet
the documentation requirements. Enrollment
is provisional, however, pending receipt of the
required documentation and verification of
A parent or legal guardian who resides
with relatives or friends within HISD and who
wishes to send a child to an HISD school must
submit a statement of residence.
The parent or guardian must complete the
statement at the zoned school and must supply (1) photo identification; (2) a letter from
the official resident of the address at which the
applicant is living, stating how long the applicant has lived at that address; (3) the name of
the school the student attended most recently;
(4) a copy of the official resident’s most recent
bill for electricity, gas, or water; and (5), if the
residence is an apartment, a valid lease giving
the name of the official resident.
HISD Board Policy FD(LOCAL) at Policy OnLine (
allows the district to require verification of
address information, including inspecting the
residence to determine whether it is actually
where the student lives. (For assistance, call
School Choice at 713-556-6734.)
If your child is entering HISD from another
school district, you will also need a record of
current immunizations and his or her most
recent report card. The school will also request
an academic transcript from your child’s
previous school.
that each school serves. HISD assigns each
student to a “feeder pattern” composed of a
specific elementary, middle, and high school
on the basis of his or her home address.
To determine which schools serve your
residence, use the online “School Zone Search
Tool” (, or
call Student Transfers at 713-556-6734 or the
HISD Information Center at 713-556-6005.
Students are not zoned to specific schools for
prekindergarten and may attend any school
or pre-K center with available space.
Enrollment Eligibility
Children may attend HISD schools if they live
within the boundaries of HISD, are between
the ages of 4 and 21, and have not graduated from high school. To be eligible for first
grade, a child must be 6 years old by September 1 of a given school year. Although
state law does not require students to attend
kindergarten, it is excellent preparation for
first grade. To enter kindergarten, a child
must be 5 years old no later than September
1 of a given school year.
Special Education Services
If your child is experiencing difficulties with
learning in school, please contact your school
to learn more about what type of assistance
is available. The first point of contact at the
school should always be your child’s teacher.
When working with your child’s teacher, if you
suspect your child has a disability, ask that
your child be referred to the campus intervention assistance team (IAT). Your child’s
teacher will then work with the IAT to find the
appropriate supports to match your child’s
needs. If you request a Section 504 or Special
Education evaluation because of a suspected
disability the school should respond within
five to 10 days. The IAT will either formally
refer your child for an evaluation or formally inform you of a decision not to evaluate
and why. You are a part of this process and
any decision about a Section 504 or Special
Education evaluation will be made with your
participation. An evaluation cannot take place
without your written consent. If your child
is identified as a child with a disability, an
Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) or
Section 504 committee will convene to review
the evaluation results and discuss possible
Out-of-District Transfers
Students who do not reside within HISD’s
attendance zone may transfer where space
is available. No out-of-district transfers shall
be accepted into secondary separate and
unique school (SUS) Magnet programs or
specialty schools on campuses that do not
have an attendance zone. See Board Policy
FDA (LOCAL) at Policy On-Line
for details.
Attendance Zones
Most schools have specifically defined attendance zones that include residential areas
School Supplies and Uniforms
Supplies Although many schools have
similar requirements for what children should
bring to class at the start of the school year,
parents should contact their child’s school
directly to obtain a list of required supplies
before making their purchases. Supply lists
for grades 7 through 12 may vary from school
to school, as the course of study in secondary
classes is more specialized. Teachers will
distribute school supply lists for specific
secondary level classes as needed.
Uniforms Dress codes and school uniform
requirements are determined at the school
level. A uniform list is available online at
Contact your child’s school for details.
Student Conduct
All students and parents receive copies
of the Code of Student Conduct, which
describes disciplinary offenses and how
the school district handles them. Parents
are responsible for ensuring that their
children adhere to the rules and conventions
of proper behavior while at school. HISD
has a policy of “zero tolerance” for student
behavior that could disrupt instruction or
pose safety hazards on HISD property and
at school-related events. Such behavior
includes the possession of weapons, drugs,
or alcohol. The Code is also available online
Attendance Requirements
It is each parent’s duty to require his or her
school-age children to attend school, monitor each child’s attendance, and request a
conference with school officials to discuss
any attendance concerns. In HISD schools, a
student must attend at least 90 percent of the
days the course meets during the school year
in order to receive credit for a course. Students
with excessive absences will need to submit a
timely appeal to the principal or Attendance
Committee of the school to determine whether
credit may be awarded. Students and parents
must use the established school process for
appealing credit lost due to excessive absences. State law provides that if a student is
absent from school without parental consent
for any portion of the school day for three days
in a four-week period or for 10 or more days
in a six-month period, the student and the
student’s parent or legal guardian are subject
to prosecution by the Harris County Justice of
the Peace Courts or Municipal Courts. The student may also be referred to a juvenile court.
Principals may excuse absences for personal
illness, death in the family, or other legitimate
reasons. Teachers will give students an
opportunity to make up work for all excused
School Hours, Early Dismissal
All HISD schools are in session Monday
through Friday, and every school is required to
have a seven-hour, 15-minute instructional day.
However, specific schedules vary at different
campuses, so contact your child’s school
to find out its starting and ending times.
Throughout the year there are several days on
which schools dismiss students early to allow
time for instructional planning, professional
development, and parental involvement
activities. HISD has assigned five Wednesdays
as early dismissal days.
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
enrollment and conduct continued
Early dismissal days are:
September 25
October 30
November 20
January 29
February 19
Please verify dates with your campus.
Releasing Students During
School Hours
A student may be released during school
hours only to the person who signed the
student’s enrollment form or who has legal
custody of the student, or to a person who
has the parent’s written permission to have
the student released. That person must first
present identification to the school office.
Visiting Schools
Parents and members of the community are
welcome to visit HISD schools. Every visitor,
however, must sign in at the school office
and observe campus procedures. Visits may
be limited by the school principal and cannot disrupt school activities.
testing and promotion standards
promotion standards
Student Assessment
Federal and
State Compliance
 Make note
Students entering ninth
grade are required to
pass STAAR end-of-course
exams to graduate from
high school
for more information
[email protected]
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
HISD uses a variety of national, state, and
local measures to monitor and improve
student learning. Information about testing,
including descriptions of each assessment,
is available through your child’s school.
Testing dates are available online at
Every year, students in Texas are required by
law to take statewide tests to measure whether
or not they have mastered the material in their
current grade or course. For years, students
have been taking the Texas Assessment of
Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). In 2011-2012,
TAKS was replaced in grades 3-9 with a new
statewide testing program, the State of Texas
Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR).
STAAR will be phased in gradually. This year,
the tests will be given to all students in grades
3-11. STAAR is more rigorous than TAKS and
is designed to measure students’ college and
career readiness. In general, questions on the
new exams will have multiple steps and will
require greater thinking.
STAAR assesses the same subjects and
grades that have been covered by TAKS in
grades 3 through 8. However, at the high
school level, course-specific assessments will
be replaced with 12 assessments. Students entering ninth grade are required to pass STAAR
end-of-course exams to graduate from high
school. New legislation signed into law in June
reduced the number of STAAR end-of-course
(EOC) tests that high school graduates must
pass in order to graduate to five in the subjects:
algebra I, English reading and writing I and
II, biology, and U.S. history. In future years,
students will need to pass STAAR exams to be
promoted to the next grade level.
For more information on STAAR, visit www. or see the STAAR Q&A
blog at
Promotion Standards
In order for HISD students to be promoted to
the next grade level, they must show that they
have learned what the State of Texas requires
of all public school children. HISD “Promotion Standards” generally include classroom
grades and a local or state test. Details about
the standards are available online and through
your child’s school.
Student Success Initiative (SSI)
The Student Success Initiative (SSI) was created by the Texas Legislature to ensure that all
students receive the instruction and support
they need to be academically successful in
reading and mathematics. Under the state SSI
grade advancement requirements, students
are required to pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) grade
5 reading and mathematics tests to be promoted to sixth grade. Additionally, students are
required to pass the STAAR grade 8 reading
and mathematics tests to be promoted to the
ninth grade.
HISD requirements differ in that all grade
levels students must pass the High Frequency
Word Evaluation in grades 1 and 2, STAAR
reading in grades 3–8, and STAAR math in
grades 4–8 to be promoted to the next grade
Students in elementary grades must also
have an overall yearly average of 70 or above in
all courses taken and a 70 or above in reading/
language arts, math, and science or social studies. Middle school students must also have an
overall average of at least 70 and 70 or above in
three of the following subjects: language arts,
math, science and social studies.
For more information on the Student Success
Initiative and the state requirements for accelerated instruction in reading or mathematics,
please contact your child’s school.
For more information on promotion standards for HISD students, please visit
bus routing and scheduling
breakfast, lunch and snacks
Medical care at school
Bus services
Health and Medical Services
Risk Management
HISD assists its parents in providing transportation to general education students
eligible for district-provided transportation.
To determine eligibility, a request is made
through the student’s campus transportation
coordinator to the Transportation Services
Department. If eligible, the student will be
assigned to a designated route and stop
location (often situated at an HISD campus).
These stop locations are usually within one
mile of the student’s residence but are no farther away than two miles. The parent or legal
guardian of a student who qualifies for bus
service is responsible for transportation to
the student’s assigned bus stop.
If a special-needs student’s Individualized
Education Program requires transportation
services, HISD provides bus service to the
closest available program that meets the
student’s needs. The parent or legal guardian of a student who does not qualify for bus
service is responsible for the student’s transportation, if needed, to the assigned campus.
With the METRO Q Fare Card (Q stands
for “quick”), all elementary-school (over the
age of 6) through high-school students
receive a 50 percent discount on fares
(which are automatically deducted from the
card each time it is used) and free transfers.
The card provides faster boarding, tracks
riders’ progress toward earning five free
trips for every 50 paid rides, and protects
balances if it is ever lost or stolen. For complete details, call METRO at 713-635-4000 or
For information about eligibility and bus
stops, contact your child’s school or visit
Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks
HISD provides nutritious, well-balanced
breakfasts, lunches, and snacks to help
students perform better in all areas of their
lives. Approximately 270,000 meals are served
each day providing necessary nutrients, whole
grains, low-fat proteins, and fresh fruit and
vegetables for our students. The HISD Food
Service Support Facility provides signature
wholesome foods from its bakeshop and hot
and cold foods kitchens.
Breakfast is free for all students, and the
student lunch is $2.25. Lunches are available
to qualifying students at no cost or at a
substantially reduced rate. Applications for
free or reduced price meals are available
online at
and at each school.
HISD’s First Class Breakfast program serves
all elementary and middle school students
a free nutritious, hot and tasty breakfast to
their classrooms every morning. High school
students are offered free breakfast daily in the
cafeteria before school. More information and
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
meals and transportation continued
menus is available online at
Medical Care at School
The school will contact parents or a
designated relative or a family friend if a
student becomes ill or suffers an injury.
Be sure to list all emergency telephone
numbers on your child’s enrollment card.
Prescription medication can be
administered at school only when advance
written parental and physician permission
is on file. Only personnel designated by
the principal may administer prescribed
medication to a student during the school
day. Medication must have the prescription
label affixed to the container. For additional
information, contact the school principal or
school nurse.
Student Insurance
By law, public schools are not liable for
injuries that students receive while on
campus. HISD does, however, make available
affordable voluntary accident insurance.
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
Parents can buy full-time coverage (24 hours
per day) or coverage only for those hours when
their child is at school. Enrollment information
is available from Texas Kids First; call 1-800388-5620 or visit
For information about health insurance
for uninsured children sponsored by the
State of Texas, call 1-800-647-6558
or visit
Family and Community
ps connect
parent rights+responsibilities
resolving issues
working together
Business anD community
get involved
Parent Community
Assistance Center
family and community
Engagement (FACE)
Strategic Partnerships
Volunteers in Public Schools
Family and Community
Engagement (FACE)
The former parent engagement department
was reorganized in May 2013 and renamed the
Family and Community Engagement (FACE)
department. The department’s focus is to
ensure that all of HISD’s efforts to engage families reach as many families as possible and
are long-lasting. To have the greatest reach
across all of HISD’s school communities, FACE
will offer support, assistance, and professional
development for school administrators and
staff who work directly with parents to ensure
that programs and activities for families are
research-based, linked to student learning,
and tailored to individual school community’s
FACE will offer the following services for
Home Instruction for Parents
of Preschool Youngsters
(HIPPY): HIPPY is a home visit program
for parents of children ages 3, 4, and 5 that
uses role play to teach parents developmental activities they can use with their
child. FACE will collaborate with the
School Support Office to identify which
campuses will participate in the HIPPY
Workshops: FACE will continue to find
ways to partner with social service agencies across the metro area and connect
them with schools to provide workshops
and classes for parents and community
Online tools: FACE offers tools for
schools, parents, and community members
to link their activities to learning.
Please visit our website at
For more information, please call the Family
and Community Engagement Department
at 713-556-7290.
PS Connect
HISD implemented the Parent Student
Connect website to give parents and
students an opportunity to monitor grades,
attendance reports, class schedules, upcoming
assignments, and report cards.
There are opportunities for parents and
teachers to communicate with one another,
and parents can request that they be notified if
their child’s grades fall below a certain level.
To sign up for Parent Student Connect, log
on to and follow the
step-by-step guide. Those who need additional
assistance can call the HISD Help Desk at
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
family and community engagement continued
Parent Rights and
To promote academic success for all HISD
students and to strengthen a mutually
respectful relationship between parents and
schools, HISD Parent Rights and Responsibilities was developed. This document is
available online
Resolving Issues
HISD is grateful for the support it receives
from the parents of our students, and all
HISD employees share with parents the
goal of achieving what is best for those
students. Nevertheless, sometimes parents
and school personnel may not agree on
a particular issue.
If you do not understand or do not agree
with an action or a policy that affects your
child, the first person to turn to is your
child’s teacher.
Make an appointment to meet with the
teacher and discuss the matter. If that does
not resolve the problem to your satisfaction
or if your concern is with something that involves the whole school, take the issue directly to the principal. In the unlikely event that
the principal cannot resolve the problem, the
next step is to contact the Parent Community
Assistance Center at (713) 556-7121.
Working Together: Business/
Community Partnerships
Schools are enriched through partnerships
that match their needs with resources. If you
are affiliated with a community organization,
business, nonprofit agency, civic group,
faith-based organization, etc., you can help
HISD by participating in its partnership
program. Partners are needed who can
provide mentors, tutors, supplies/services,
or financial contributions.
Get involved!
Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) is
HISD’s volunteer program. VIPS members
serve as tutors, mentors, teacher partners,
security patrols, chaperones, interpreters,
cafeteria monitors, as well as helpers in
libraries, media centers, clinics, and offices.
Visit or call
Strategic Partnerships at 713-556-7200
for more information.
constRuction projects
Bond Program
bond program
[email protected]
Welcome to HISD // 2013 - 2014
The Houston Independent School District
is undergoing a historic transformation to
rebuild its facilities so that students and
teachers will have schools equipped for 21st
century learning.
As the district moves forward with planning for the 2012 bond program to renovate,
build, or replace 40 schools, work is underway to finish all the projects in the 2007
bond program over the next two years.
To date, most of the approved work in the
2007 bond program is complete. Among
the milestones are 20 new schools that are
open and serving students. Three additional
schools are under construction, with two
slated to open for students this fall.
Overall, the $805 million in funding
approved by voters in 2007 included more
than 180 expansion and renovation projects
across the district.
Because so much of the 2007 bond
program focused on elementary schools,
HISD officials decided in 2012 to ask voters
to put bond dollars to work on the district’s
high schools.
The $1.89 billion program, approved by an
overwhelming majority of voters in November
2012, will rebuild or replace 40 schools across
the city, including 29 high schools, many of
which are more than 50 years old.
As of June, architect contracts have
been awarded for 29 projects (including 24
schools), middle school restroom renova-
tions and district athletic facility upgrades.
More contracts are expected in the coming
Both the 2012 and 2007 bond programs
share some common ground, including an
emphasis on providing environmentally
sustainable learning environments.
Overall, the district’s bond programs are:
Progressing on schedule
and within budget
Promoting environmental
Exceeding goals for M/WBE
Emphasizing community
Operating with transparency
and accountability
For more information on the bond program,
go to or email
[email protected]