HCC Automotive Technology Visit, 31 HISD students tour Houston Community College Automotive Center of Excellence

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On Tuesday, April 24, 31 HISD students from Waltrip, Wheatley, North Forest, Scarborough, and Heights visited the Houston Community College Automotive Center of Excellence.

Students were given a shop tour of all automotive programs, including:

  • Automotive Technology, which offers high-tech training using state-of-the-art instruction, the latest technology, and equipment that prepares technicians to troubleshoot complex issues and make repairs. Read more
  • Heavy Vehicle & Truck Repair, which provides a pipeline of skilled and knowledgeable entry-level employees to heavy equipment industries all over Texas. Read more

HCC’s automotive certificate program can be completed in one year, with an approximate program cost of $2,800. To complete an associate’s degree, one additional automotive course is required, as well as core academic classes. The approximate program cost for an associate’s degree is $4,000 (in-district).

Students learned that financial aid is available for these programs. In addition to tuition and fees, the cost of uniforms and textbooks can be covered.

HCC’s automotive programs are accredited through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). All students have access to Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) certification through Audi upon completion of this program.


HISD Announces Winners of Khanathlon Challenges #1 and #2

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Last year, CollegeBoard released a national survey empirically showing that students who use Khan Academy for just 20 hours see an average score increase of 115 points on their PSAT/NMSQT and SAT.

In preparation for the School Day SAT on April 24 and the PSAT on October 10, schools competed against each other in the Khanathlon! Students joined the competition by practicing daily on Official SAT Practice at Khan Academy, ensuring that their Khan Academy accounts were linked to their CollegeBoard accounts.

The Khanathlon encompassed three challenges: (1) linkage between Khan Academy and CollegeBoard, (2) 10-hour usage, and (3) 20-hour usage, and worked to promote the daily use of Official SAT® Practice at Khan Academy. Students built skills in reading, math, and writing to increase PSAT and SAT scores, thereby enhancing college options, scholarship dollars, and likelihood of testing college-ready in math and reading.

Schools are placed into three categories based on total student enrollment:

  • Category 1: Small ≤ 450
  • Category 2: Medium 451-1200
  • Category 3: Large ≥ 1201
Challenge 1


(1/15/2018 – 2/16/2018)

School with the highest percentage of linked Khan Academy and CollegeBoard accounts (Grades 9-11) Small Campus: Mickey Leland

Medium Campus: North Houston ECHS

Large Campus: Austin HS

Challenge 2

10-Hour Usage

(2/18/2018 – 3/23/2018)

School with the highest percentage of users over 10 hours (Grades 9-11) Small Campus: Middle College – HCC Gulfton

Medium Campus: North Houston ECHS

Large Campus: Northside HS

Challenge 3

20-Hour Usage

(1/15/2018 – 4/24/2018)

School with the highest percentage of users over 20 hours (Grades 9-11)

To Be Announced

Challenge #3– the ultimate Official SAT Practice champions– will be announced soon, and will receive the prestigious Khanathlon Cup!

44 HISD students awarded the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarship

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This year, 44 HISD students were awarded the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarship! The purpose of this award is to promote career and technical education opportunities for low-income students in HISD.

Local and national industry data show a need for highly-skilled employees in high-growth jobs with great earning potential. Thanks to the generosity of the Marvy Finger Family, awarded students will receive a full-scholarship to pursue a two-year college program in various career pathways.

Scholarship recipients attended a dinner held in their honor on Wednesday, April 25 at Milby High School.

Holding back tears, Mr. Marvy Finger and his wife recognized the students and their families receiving the scholarships, and expressed how moving it is for him to provide scholars with the opportunity to pursue vocational education.

Earlier in the evening, members of HISD’s Board of Education, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan and the Finger family joined students at the dinner.

HISD’s Office of College & Career Readiness highly encourages eligible rising seniors pursuing two-year technical programs to keep this scholarship in mind next year. If you have questions, or need any additional information, please contact Trina Wright at TWRIGH10@houstonisd.org or 713-967-5231.

200+ HISD AVID Students Participate in AVID Day at Rice University

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On Saturday, November 11th, over 200 eager, excited students from seven AVID campuses boarded buses headed for a day of fun and learning at Rice University.  AVID Day at Rice University, hosted by Rice Athletics, allowed students to participate in engaging breakout sessions, tour campus, and attend the football game against the University of Southern Mississippi!

Students proudly wore their Houston ISD College and Career Readiness shirts as they made their way across campus.  Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Schlumberger, students and staff from Hamilton MS, Hartman MS, Henry MS, Lawson MS, Revere MS and Stevenson MS were able to participate in this outstanding program.  In addition, AVID students from Sterling HS participated as well.

Breakout sessions on Creating a Self-Brand, Optics Demonstration, and Goal-Setting were presented by Rice professors and students and allowed the AVID students to experience a glimpse of college life.  The overall message for students was that they can achieve whatever they work hard for through self-knowledge and setting high goals.

The students thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the game, including the outstanding halftime show by the Rice University band– The Mob.

A great time was had by all, and many of the students now have aspirations to go to Rice.  We know that the sky is the limit for our Houston ISD AVID scholars!

For more information about the Houston ISD AVID program, contact Lisa Waddell at (713) 967-5231 / LWADDELL@HoustonISD.org.

Engineering Students at Eastwood Academy Develop Real-World, Competitive Skills at TX/RX Labs

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At Eastwood Academy, teachers work diligently to ensure that all students have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be globally-competitive postgraduates— and suffice it to say, juniors and seniors in the school’s engineering pathway have been busy! During the 2016-2017 school year, Celeste Conflitti (Engineering Instructor) began building a relationship with TX/RX Labs, an East End Hackerspace that offers classes, lab space, and project support in its 30,000 square feet facility, located just 2 miles from campus. TX/RX Labs is equipped with an electronics lab, a wood workshop, a mechanic shop, an art lab, and so much more.

During the 2016-2017 school year, 30 juniors at Eastwood Academy attended an intensive ten-week afterschool training, learning the elements of 3D design, as well as computer numeric control (CNC), which included laser-cutting, fabrication, and basic soldiering.

Together, Eastwood Academy and TX/RX Labs have expanded their work: 10 first-year students (now seniors) are involved in 3D design, laser cutting, and 3D printing, and have even initiated their own projects. Students who participated in the training from the 2016-2017 school year have been invited to participate in a new venture— Maker to Market. Here, skills gained in the previous Engineering trainings are challenged; students must design, create, and build a business plan to market their products. In addition, TX/RX Labs aims to have 30% of the students who participate in the program start a small business. Ms. Conflitti had this to say:

Whenever a teacher can extend a lesson outside the classroom, or provide an experience that brings industry into the classroom – student learning is enhanced tenfold. TX/RX Labs is a part of the East End Community; they have embraced area youth with open arms, and strongly desire to share time and talent through their facility. Their work has opened doors, inspired young minds, and cultivated dreams.

Seniors who participate in the Maker to Market venture receive business planning training, where they learn how to develop a value proposition and identify the core market needs being met by their products. The instructor emphasizes that a solid business value proposition, coupled with differentiation, is key to ensuring that a product—however well-engineered— is successful in the market. Zoe Curiel, Eastwood Academy junior, had this to say about the program:

Participating in this program has definitely differentiated me from other students; it brought out my creative side, and made me more comfortable with technology that I’d never even used before. I want to pursue a career in environmental engineering, and I feel so much more confident now!

By providing East End students with professional, industry training and resources, TX/RX labs strives to lower the number of talented students moving out of the area, who take with them their talents.

Eastwood Academy has two career pathways: Cybersecurity/Digital Forensics, and Engineering. Though the pathways are unique, there is much overlap. All students are challenged to become in-depth critical thinkers, visionary community members, and responsible digital citizens.

Barbara Jordan HS Masonry and Construction Students invited to watch Bricklayer 500 competition live

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Normally, a bricklayer sets between 500 and 700 bricks in one day. But at the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500, Houston area bricklayers were challenged to do so in just one hour! Masonry and construction students from Barbara Jordan High School were invited to watch this take place live last month, and it was an experience the students will never forget.

The winning bricklayer not only had to set the greatest number of bricks, but also had to meet technical and quality standards. Students had the opportunity to meet industry professionals, learning more about the masonry industry as well as postsecondary career opportunities.

The Texas Masonry Council has partnered with Barbara Jordan to provide training to students specific to the masonry industry, developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to enter the workforce after graduation.

Top-Tier College Experience: 1,100+ Students Learn About the Selective College Admissions Process

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On Wednesday, October 11, over 1,100 students attended HISD’s Top-Tier College Experience, sponsored by EMERGE-HISD. Participants had the opportunity to engage with admissions officers from over 40 selective colleges and universities across the nation.

EMERGE empowers and prepares high-performing students from underserved communities to attend and graduate from selective colleges and universities across the nation. While speaking to college representatives present, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza had this to say:

Give our students the opportunity to compete in a playing field they may not otherwise be privy to, and they will succeed.


In the morning, high school campus leaders, counselors, and other staff were invited to “HISD & Learn,” connecting directly with admissions officers, while also learning tips and best practices for supporting students throughout the selective college admissions process.

In the afternoon and evening, students and families then connected with admissions officers from selective colleges and universities, learning more about the selective college admissions process itself. This portion of the event consisted of a high-impact college fair, financial aid and college application drive, high-leverage workshops, and breakout sessions aimed at empowering traditionally-underserved students.