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Dear Team HISD:

We have officially reached the end of the summer break and the start of the 2019-2020 school year! I cannot express how excited I am about what’s to come for our students as we work to build equity across the district for Houston’s children.

Last school year, all of us came together and worked tirelessly to find better solutions that supported our children in every capacity outside of the classroom and yield better results inside the classroom. I’m happy to announce that we can finally bear witness to the fruits of our labor.

I want all of us to remain focused on expanding educational opportunities, transforming academic outcomes, increasing organizational efficiency, cultivating Team HISD talent and ensuring student health, safety and well-being.

Following these strategic priorities as our north star, we will expand and redefine how we serve our students and families and achieve the district’s goals. Some of the ways we will execute these strategic priorities include:

  • Offering free breakfast, lunch, and dinner for ALL students in HISD, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
  • Expanding fine arts education throughout the district by adding 37 fine arts teachers at the elementary level, as well as fine arts integrations into English and language arts curriculum.
  • Continuing Parent University, a monthly program at four HISD locations that will give parents the tools to help their children do better in school.
  • Providing rigorous college and career preparation by increasing the number of CTE programs available across the district, including nine new high school programs.
  • Implementing the “Youth Mental Health First Aid” program, which is designed to teach adults how to help a student who is experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Offering academic and community-based supports to students of color who are struggling socially and academically through the ROSES and Miles Ahead program.
  • Empowering employees to serve as storytellers and share with the community at large about our programs, initiatives and successes at each campus. Make sure to use our marketing hashtag #HISDEmpowers.

As we work to give our absolute best to our students, please be sure to take care of yourselves throughout the year and take advantage of HISD’s Employee Assistance Program for tools and resources to stay healthy and manage stress. The username is HISD, and the password is EAP.

Lastly, I want all of you to remember HISD remains committed to educating every student – regardless of their immigration status. No HISD principals, teachers, or any school personnel should ask about a student’s immigration status nor will report a student’s immigration status to authorities. A list of available resources can be found at

Here’s to another year of excellence and success, both professionally and personally.


Grenita F. Lathan, Ph.D.
HISD Interim Superintendent