HISD’s Office of College & Career Readiness Joins Thousands of Other Personnel in Hurricane Harvey Volunteer Relief Efforts throughout Houston

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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.

HISD’s Office of College & Career Readiness joined thousands of other personnel in volunteer recovery efforts throughout Houston, knowing that students need our support, guidance, patience, and of course, our flexibility, now more than ever. Joy Maguire, College Success Advisor, had this to say:

I was at the Southwest Multiservice Center, and the thing that struck me most was the sheer amount of need. So many families absolutely needed school clothes, waiting in line for hours with small children in tow. Many of our HISD families already struggle to make ends-meet; Hurricane Harvey magnified this to an even greater extent. I am proud that our team wasted no time helping meet students’ needs.

HISD implemented rolling school start dates for its 215,000-student population, with many schools beginning the week of Monday, September 11, and others beginning on Monday, September 18 and Monday, September 25. In this difficult time, the district is offering emotional support services at schools for students and families struggling to both process the events that transpired, and rebuild in the aftermath of the storm. In addition, students will receive all meals free of charge for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year, regardless of lunch status. Recovery efforts are ongoing, and HISD’s Office of College & Career Readiness is committed to ensuring that Hurricane Harvey does not limit students’ college and career options.

I am proud to be part of a district that actively supports its community. I meet new members of different HISD teams in the most amazing ways, volunteering in an effort to help our community relieve the intense needs of our students’ families. My volunteer group distributed food in Northeast Houston; driving through affected neighborhoods and apartment complexes was disheartening. So many families lost everything during the flood. The food we provided was a small comfort, and we are prepared to support these families even more throughout the year. – Oswaldo “Danny” Ronquillo, College Readiness Manager

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



Top-Tier College Experience, learn about the selective college admissions process from representatives across the nation

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Join us on Wednesday, October 11 for HISD’s Top-Tier College Experience, where students and families can learn about the selective admissions process directly from top-tier admissions representatives at institutions across the nation. Students and families will also learn about the many opportunities and resources available at these institutions.

If you answer “yes” to any of the below questions, consider attending HISD’s Top-Tier College Night:

  • Are you currently in 11th or 12th grade or interested in getting a head start on the college process?
  • Do you want to learn more about selective college admissions?
  • Do you want to learn tips to help increase your admissions opportunities?
  • Do you want to attend engaging workshops hosted by College Readiness Staff Members?
  • Do you want to discover exciting scholarship and financial aid opportunities?
  • Do you want to work on your college applications with support from college access professionals?

Chavez High School
8501 Howard Dr, Houston, TX 77017

4:00pm – 7:30pm

Bus transportation will be provided from your campus or you can choose to use your own transportation. If you plan to ride the bus, you must have a signed permission slip. Please visit your school’s college center/advisor to obtain a permission slip, and turn it in as soon as possible. If you are not riding the bus, you do not need a permission slip; you only need to submit this RSVP form.

All students must RSVP in order to attend. If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact the Top-Tier Committee at hisd.ttce@gmail.com.

AVID Schools Across the Country Vow to Help HISD AVID Campuses Rebuild

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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.

In the midst of the storm and in the days since, we have seen the best of humanity through the kindness of family, friends, and neighbors far and near. The AVID family saw our need and answered the call. After witnessing the devastation of Harvey throughout the Gulf Coast, many AVID sites across the nation began reaching out to the AVID Center, asking how they could assist students and educators in affected areas.

‘AVID School to AVID School’ allows an AVID site to “adopt” campuses in affected areas, assisting with various needs such as: binders, flash drives, AVID posters, gift cards, and more. For every AVID school along the path of Harvey (276 in total), 1-2 unaffected campuses are asked to step up and assist. Of these AVID schools, 42 are in the Houston Independent School District. Although every campus might not need assistance, many will. Most HISD AVID sites have already been adopted by at least one campus. And with the school year underway, HISD AVID site coordinators are still assessing needs.

We are extremely grateful to AVID for thinking of us in our time of need,” said Lisa Waddell, AVID District Director.  “AVID is more than a college readiness system; AVID is a family, and family helps family.

DiscoverU to host 4th Annual Alumni Summit, student leaders learn how to leverage their recent extended learning experiences; volunteers wanted

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Through strategic partnerships with youth-serving organizations, DiscoverU has sent over 1,500 students to extended learning programs around the world, equipping them with the grit and skills necessary to be effective self-advocates. The organization calls these extended learning programs “Fantastic Learning Opportunities” (FLO™), and works with students throughout each step of the FLO process, including: the application, scholarship searching and fundraising, fielding parent questions and concerns, arranging travel, and following up after the program is complete.

On Friday, September 29, DiscoverU will host its 4th Annual FLO Alumni Summit, a skills development conference for DiscoverU student participants designed to empower them to leverage their recent experiential learning opportunities into future success. This event is the culmination of year-long student efforts to access high-quality, rigorous college and career preparatory programs, and a celebration of their accomplishments.

Volunteers are needed in a variety of capacities, including: set-up, speed networking, career panel participation, session facilitation, and clean-up.

For more information about the event, visit http://discoverus.org/volunteeralumnisummit. You can also contact Judith Cruz at judith@discoverus.org to volunteer and for additional details on DiscoverU.

Fly-In Programs Opening Soon, show top-tier colleges and universities that you are a competitive applicant

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Are you interested in attending a top-tier college or university? If so, consider participating in a fly-in program! Fly-ins involve a school flying potential students to campus for tours and events. They aim to recruit a diverse student body, and oftentimes, schools will pay for the plane flight, meals, and overnight expenses. Participating in a fly-in is an excellent way to not only demonstrate interest, but also experience all that a campus has to offer.

Fly-in programs are competitive— students must apply, and prove that they are academically-qualified to attend. The application process is almost like its own “mini college application.” Admissions representatives use this opportunity to meet students in-person, observing how they work and participate in a high academic profile group setting; it is an extended interview, and can be used as a deciding factor for admissions.

Fly-ins are an exciting opportunity for students to explore and experience new surroundings; students gain perspective on what being away from family for an extended period of time is like, as well as what being around like-minded, similar high academic profile students from around the world entails. In addition, it can be a reassuring experience for families, who may be hesitant to let their children attend college outside of Texas.

For additional details on fly-in programs, visit College Greenlight: College Fly-In and Diversity Programs. You can also contact the EMERGE-HISD team at EMERGE@HoustonISD.org.

HISD Linked Learning To Present in Washington D.C. sharing best practices on  work-based learning, educator professional development, and student career exploration

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On Thursday, September 7th, HISD Linked Learning team members Lisa Harris (Assistant Superintendent) and Dana Carmouche (Manager) will present at the 2017 Personalized Learning Summit in Washington D.C. They will share best practices on work-based learning, educator professional development, and student career exploration. HISD is at the forefront of personalized CTE instruction. The district has integrated rigorous academics with career academics, emphasizing the application of content knowledge to build real-world technical skills. HISD’s Office of College & Career Readiness is leveraging its industry partnerships to provide students with quality work experiences, as related to their individual career clusters, to ensure a viable future workforce for the greater Houston area.

After their presentation, Linked Learning team member Lisa Sullivan (Grant Manager) will participate in a gallery walk, showcasing campus accomplishments and work-based learning projects from the district’s personalized CTE learning approach.

The 2017 Personalized Learning Summit, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s District Reform Support Network, is a collaborative gathering of stakeholders in both the private and public sectors. Participants and presenters will have the opportunity to learn effective practices, trends, and systems to inform decision-making.

Five Graduated HISD Seniors Awarded a $5,000 Carlos Beltran Scholarship

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In an effort to support aspiring Hispanic youth advance in their college studies, Carlos Beltran, outfielder for the Houston Astros, created the Carlos Beltran Scholarship. On Sunday, August 20th, 5 graduated HISD seniors were honored at his foundation’s fundraising gala, each awarded $5,000 for college! Below, you can see where the students will be going to school in the fall:

Lorena Gantiva (Westside HS) UT-Austin
Ever Menendez (Jane Long Academy) UT-Austin
Caitelyn Sanchez (Lamar HS) UT-San Antonio
David Saracho (Bellaire HS) University of May Hardin—Baylor
Daniel Valenzuela (Barbara Jordan HS) University of Houston (Main Campus)

Carlos Beltran’s “A Night in Old San Juan” fundraising gala is a Latin-themed event aimed at benefitting the Carlos Beltran Foundation. The evening was a complete culinary experience, featuring authentic Puerto Rican music. David Saracho, scholarship recipient, had this to say:

Today was amazing! Due to my finances, I planned on attending community college. But now, because of this opportunity, I am now able to attend a four-year school!

Congratulations to our HISD students on this marked success, and good luck on your first day!