The district converted the old Sam Houston High School into two new schools, a move it says will increase performance of students there.
It's an innovative program and it's also an experiment for the 3,000 students that will come to these two new schools, but it's been a plan that has been in the works for the last two years now.
The two new schools are Sam Houston Math and Science Technology Center and the Ninth Grade College Prep Academy. Tenth through 12th graders will focus mainly on higher level learning classes while the 9th graders at the Academy will focus on college preparations, which includes a new uniform with a college or university shirt of their choosing.
The change came after the old Sam Houston High School was forced to close following six years of poor academic performance. As part of the change, each school gets a new principal and a brand new teaching staff. Administrators hope that the new format will better serve the student body, which happens to be 92 percent minority.
The new school year will have plenty of changes for HISD students. The district recently hired 1,000 new teachers and 26 principals and teachers are also returning to work with a three percent pay raise.
The district is spending more money this year for school programs in the fine arts and a new intensive literacy program.
There's also a new online service where parents can monitor their kids' nutrition. But the cost of school lunches is going up this year at HISD. Every lunch will cost families 10 cents more per student. The average lunch will now cost a $1.70 at secondary schools and a $1.60 at elementary schools. Students from families who qualify for free lunches will not be affected. The district says the increase is simply based on the skyrocketing price of food and the ingredients to make lunches.
Parents also need to be aware of some updated bus routes for the new school year. HISD changed several routes, meaning the bus may reach your location at a different time this year.
HISD has a hotline set up for parents who have questions about those routes. You can also ask about school zones and enrollment, that number is 713-556-8900. The hotline will be open 9am to 4pm today through Wednesday.
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