Heights - River Oaks - Montrose | Nov. 2020

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Houston ISD

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN

The Houston ISD board of trustees meets for agenda review at 5 p.m. Nov. 5 and for a regular meeting 5 p.m. Nov. 12. Meetings are streamed at www.houstonisd.org/livetv MEETINGSWE COVER choice application window closes on Nov. 6, about a month earlier than previous years. Information on school choice options and application forms can be found at www.choosehisd.com. Nov. 6 SEPT. 28 The district launched a COVID-19 dashboard showing total case counts among students and staff on a campus-by-campus level. As of Oct. 28, there had been 114 cases among HISD staff and 49 cases among students. The dashboard can be viewed at houstonisd.org/covid19dashboard. SEPT. 24 Three schools were recognized with a National Blue Ribbon Schools award this year. Memorial Elementary, the High School for Law and Justice, and the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy are all HIGHLIGHTS OCT. 8 The board of trustees approved a $1.2 million construction High School. The facility will be located in southwest Houston on Riceville School Road. The bond-funded project is slated to be completed by mid- 2021. OCT. 1 The district began allowing in-person fan attendance at high school football and volleyball games. Each student contract for rebuilding the agricultural farm for Lamar athlete was limited to five tickets, the district said. first-time recipients. The honor recognizes academic achievement and closing achievement gaps. DATE TOKNOW The first phase of the school

Texas EducationAgency cites HISDover special ed faults

HOUSTON ISD A Texas Education Agency investigation has found “sig- nificant, systemic and widespread” shortcomings in Houston ISD’s handling of special education. In a Sept. 29 report, the agency recommended TEA Commissioner Mike Morath appoint a conservator to oversee improvements with authority to “effectuate necessary change” across district barriers. “Decentralization of power to individual campuses is listed in each report as a major issue in the District preventing central administrative

Texas Supreme Court hears takeover case HOUSTON ISD The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments Oct. 27 in a case which will determine whether the Texas Education Agency can move forward with replacing the Houston ISD board of trustees. HISD trustees sued the agency seeking to block the takeover, which they argued was being unfairly implemented. A Travis County court granted the injunction in January, freezing the TEA’s enforcement action. In April, a state appeals court ruled the lower court should not have granted the injunction but allowed it to remain in place until all appeals could be exhausted. If the Supreme Court upholds the appeals ruling, the TEA may proceed with appointing a board of managers. current information provided in the district’s response. Further, several of the years in question were years in which TEA itself illegally imposed an 8½ percent limit on the identification of special education students,” the statement reads. The board of trustees approved $17 million in special education funds Oct. 8, a move the district said was already planned. The funds will go toward new support staff for speech pathology, mental health specialists, occupational and physical therapists, and technology specialists.

staff frommaking corrective actions,” the report states. “Area superinten- dents do not hold principals account- able for special education services, and non-special education adminis- trators often view providing special education services as a burden.” In a statement, HISD officials refuted the findings. “We are disappointed with the out- come of the investigation and believe it is factually and legally incorrect. Much of the report is devoted to years-old information from old reports and does not address more

41%of parents opt for in-person classes

HOUSTON ISD The district welcomed back about 41% of students for in-per- son learning Oct. 19 and within days had to close campuses amid reports of COVID-19 cases. The district later revised its closing policy to only close campuses after multiple cases are reported. Overall enrollment sits at over 196,000, about 5% below HISD’s target enrollment of 207,000. Meanwhile, almost half of the 105,000 laptops, tablets and hot spots ordered by

In-person learning by school 10%-20% 20%-40% 40%-58%

610

45

of elementary school students 49% of middle school 41% of high school 26% Average in Heights-River Oaks-Montrose

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59

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SOURCE: HOUSTON ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

the district had been deployed, and every student who has

requested a device has received one, officials said.

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HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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