News from Houston ISD
HIGHLIGHTS March 1 The district resumed in- person learning after shutting down Feb. 15-19 amid the winter storm. Virtual learning resumed Feb. 24, and teachers were asked to return to campus no later than Feb. 25. Feb. 11 The board approved a budget amendment including $41 million in new COVID-19 expenses, half of which is for student and teacher devices. The district is working to secure $27.6 million in federal relief and reimbursements. performance as a part of this year’s teacher evaluations, because of the disruption to standardized tests. Educator ratings will be calculated based on 70% instructional practice and 30% professional expectations. Feb. 11 Trustees approved a measure to remove student support to encourage participation and representation. “This item does not silence student voices; it actually elevates,” interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. Trustees were not convinced, however, that cutting ties was the right approach.
The Houston ISD board of education will next meet at 5 p.m. March 11. Meetings are streamed live on Facebook and at www.houstonisd.org MEETINGSWE COVER Spring break holiday in Houston ISD March 15-19 NUMBER TOKNOW The year Student by Zaakir Tameez, a Carnegie Vanguard High School student, and Amy Fan, a Bellaire High School student, and earned unanimous formal recognition by the Houston ISD board 2014 DATES TOKNOW Congress was founded “I find in our existing regulations ... the foundations to help our existing student groups succeed,” trustee Anne Sung said. “Given the passion and the leadership of the Student Congress members that came and spoke today, I’d really like to see us try to support them.”
Trustees postpone decision on replacing Student Congress
BY MATT DULIN
membership and posed problems for HISD administration. “Amy and Zaakir did amazing things at HISD,” said David Dzul, a Debakey High School student. “But the same organization they created doesn’t exist today.” Other student members told Community Impact Newspaper the district’s move was disappointing. “We’ve been really excited ... and wanted to recruit to get as many new students as we can. ... And then they just hit us with this,” said Yesenia Gaspar, 16, a junior at Carnegie Vanguard High School and member of the Student Congress’ leadership team. Under HISD’s proposal, Student Congress could continue to exist without formal recognition by the board and would create a student advisory council with district-super- vised elections, transportation and
THE MADNESS IS COMING... ARE YOU READY? disputes, prompting its founders, Amy Fan and Zaakir Tameez, to become more involved last year. Their involvement, however, also spurred further division among its HOUSTON ISD Trustees could revisit a proposal later this summer to cut ties with the Student Congress, a body it helped establish in 2014, asking the district to seek additional solutions to repair the strained organization and ensure adequate representation of student voices. In the 8-1 vote to postpone Feb. 11, trustees asked for the item to return for a vote no later than the August board meeting. Administrators said they have been unable to develop a working relationship with the Student Congress, which has experienced significant disruptions since last year amid the pandemic and internal
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