Heights - River Oaks - Montrose Edition | Sept. 2020

Public Education Edition 2020

Technology: Access to devices and connectivity

Facilities: Campus-based resources and transportation

Human capital: Teacher/principal eectiveness

Academic & extracurriculars: All district-sponsored programs and activities

COVID-19: Preparedness for and eects from disruption

This campus turnaround program was implemented in 2017 to lift performance at campuses rated Improvement Required. The program includes social and emotional support, teacher incentives and training, targeted curriculum and school leadership. In its rst year, it received national recognition. $17.7 MILLION 53 Schools receiving support Annual investment SCHOOL TURNAROUNDS 1


HISD consistently enrolls about 15,000 to 16,000 prekindergarten students every year. In 2019, it began oering free full-day pre-K. PREKINDERGARTEN 3


This college-readiness program founded in 2010 targets high- achieving students from low- income families with the goal of gaining acceptance into top-tier, out-of-state schools. It takes them on campus tours and oers mentoring, test prep and help with college applications.

Responding to the widespread digital access gaps in the transition to virtual learning, the district is providing devices and internet hot spots.

Without pre-K:

Total devices (laptops, iPads) distributed by September


22% of students were school ready.

One year of pre-K:

Total hot spots distributed by September


39% of students were school ready.

of participants graduate college in 4 years. 83%


Students participating annually

Two years of pre-K:

$31.19 MILLION in federal funds

45% of students were school ready.

student outcomes should look like and rallying parents—and voters—to that cause, said Elliott Whitney, chief program ocer for Good Reason Hous- ton, a nonprot that consults with area districts on improv- ing schools. “One of the dicult things is creating a case for urgency,” he said. “The number of kids

at risk will grow, not shrink, without bold action with equity at the center.” Cruz said the district is open to a wide range of partner- ships to implement changes. “There are lots of people out there and organizations that have the desire to help us. We ask them to please give us a call because we are serious

about this,” he said. Without a wider commu- nity eort and informed advo- cacy, success for students such as Batiste becomes a “luck of the draw,” she said. “I’m fortunate to have had my mother advocate for me. But most kids don’t have a parent who knows how to advocate. The jumps we had

to go through just to get access to another public school—not even a private school—were unfair,” Batiste said. Batiste’s mother took steps to make sure she had access to a good school, but she won- dered: Why were there not good schools in her neighbor- hood to begin with? “It’s in everyone’s best

interest that there are no quote-unquote bad schools,” she said. “It’s better for the city. It will only make the city as a whole thrive. It’ll only go up. Who wouldn’t want that?”

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