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.

Madison High School Marketing Students Will Soon Begin NASA-HUNCH Projects

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Madison High School students are hard at work completing their 2017-2018 softgoods Project, with the NASA-Hunch Program. HUNCH is an innovative school-based organization that partners NASA with high schools across the nation. The partnership involves students building real-world products for NASA, applying their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, while also learning how to work in teams and think creatively. Regina Hubbard, Fashion Marketing instructor at Madison High School, will have students create half-sized cargo transfer bags and US hygiene kits. Students will be recognized at the year-end ceremony on April 28, 2018, at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

In addition to building hardware, softgoods, prototypes, and experiments for NASA, students who participate in the HUNCH program also cultivate their interest as researchers. The idea of HUNCH started in the summer of 2003, when Stacy Hale from the Johnson Space Center partnered with high schools across the nation, empowering students to build cost-effective hardware that was needed to help train International Space Station astronauts.

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Amegy Bank Partners with Houston ISD’s Office of College & Career Readiness to Support Cullen MS

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Cullen MS

From August 26-28, an unprecedented 1 trillion gallons of rain fell over Harris County, devastating our city. Hurricane Harvey made its presence known across the Houston area and much of Texas. And though the skies have cleared, the effects of Harvey continue to be felt by our students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Amegy Bank’s Community Partnership Division wasted no time, knowing that students need support now more than ever. The company partnered with Houston ISD’s Office of College & Career Readiness, providing the seventh grade students of Cullen Middle School with uniforms, school supplies, backpacks, and more. In addition, 70 students and staff members were invited to attend the September 20th Houston Astros game against the Chicago White Sox.

Houston ISD has compiled an extensive webpage of Hurricane Harvey resources. Visit http://houstonisd.org/harveyfor more information, and know that collectively, we are #HISDStrong.

Top-Tier College Experience October 11, 2017 [Volunteers Needed]

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HISD’s annual Top-Tier College Experience (TTCE) is right around the corner! This year’s event will take place on Wednesday October 11, 2017. The event consists of a morning and afternoon/evening portion. Every year, we have depended on the support of volunteers across the district to make the event a success. If you are interested in volunteering, SIGN UP HERE.

In the morning, we invite you to connect with admissions officers from selective colleges and universities at the “HISD & Learn” professional development session. This session is meant for high school campus leaders, counselors, and any HISD staff who are interested in learning about the selective college admissions process. Admissions officers will be present to share tips and best practices for supporting students in the application process. This event will take place from 10 am to 12 pm at the Hattie Mae White Administration Building in the Board Auditorium located on the first floor. Light refreshments will be served. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP HERE.

In the afternoon, students and families will have the opportunity to engage with admissions officers from selective colleges and universities, learning more about the selective college admissions process. Students are asked to register at this link: bit.ly/TTCN2017RSVP.

Afternoon/Evening Schedule:

4:00 to 6:30 pm


*We need the most volunteers in the evening to support students with their college and financial aid applications

College Fair (See below for a list of colleges who have confirmed their attendance)


Special Programming:

12th grade students: College & Financial Aid Application Drive

9th, 10th, and 11th grade students: High-Leverage Summer Opportunities Workshop

6:30 to 7:30 pm Breakout Sessions on the Selective College Admissions Process

We look forward to seeing you at the Top-Tier College Experience! Please contact the Top-Tier Committee at hisd.ttce@gmail.com with any questions regarding this event.

Representatives from the following colleges have confirmed:

Allegheny College

Barnard College

Boston University

Brandeis University

Bucknell University

Carleton College

Carnegie Mellon University

Case Western Reserve University

Grinnell College

Harvard College

Johns Hopkins University

Kalamazoo College

Kenyon College

Lafayette College

Northeastern University

Oberlin College

Occidental College

Pitzer College

Pomona College

Reed College

Southwestern University

Trinity College

Trinity University

Tulane University

Union College

University of Chicago

University of Notre Dame

University of Rochester

US Naval Academy

Vanderbilt University

Washington and Lee University

Washington University in St. Louis

Wesleyan University

Williams College

Villanova University

Duke University

Swarthmore College

Connecticut College

Princeton University

Rice University

Soka University of America

Franklin & Marshall College

Princeton University

Whitman College

Johns Hopkins University

Lehigh University

Oberlin College

Brown University

Lehigh University