The four Harris County Department of Education schools attended two days of professional development workshops Aug. 13 and 14 hosted by the University of Houston Downtown’s College of Public Service (CPS). Workshops such as legal updates, unique learning, applied behavior analysis (ABA), behavior intervention plan de-escalation and many more were offered to staff members of Academic and Behavior School East and West, Highpoint and Fortis Academy. Community partners and CPS faculty provided the resources to effectively support students who deal with a variety of social, emotional, academic and behavior challenges. Prior to the training, first-year ABS West teacher Ivernoner Fultz reviewed the agenda so she would have a basic idea of what to expect. “I didn’t know the unique learning workshop would go into so much depth and there are so many benefits it provides to staff and students,” she said. “I was really excited to hear about it and have the support now in the classroom to help develop our students and the lessons that are more centered towards the individual student and that student’s particular need.” She also enjoyed the ABA training because they were given resources and information about social autopsy, which is reteaching a lesson if there was a misconception. “When it comes to social issues such as a student pushing someone, that’s considered an error too because they’re pushing and they don’t know not to do it, so we have to go back to reteach those social errors like we teach academic errors,” Fultz said. “I really enjoyed learning this because if you don’t know, then you have to reteach it.” When looking for a university to collaborate with to help grow HCDE staff professionally, senior director of schools Anthony Mays said UHD came forward last year. “We continue to collaborate and think about ways to support their students and our staff with professional development opportunities,” he said. HCDE hosts several CPS student interns at the schools to work with students. In return, UHD supports the opportunity for HCDE teaching assistants to earn their teaching degree and teachers to work on their master’s degree. Source: HCDE
Have an interest in working with infants to 5-year-olds? Harris County Department of Education is hosting a job interview fair to recruit teachers, teaching assistants, family service providers and cooks to join any of its 15 locations throughout northeast Harris County. The recruitment event will be held Thursday, June 20, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 6300 Irvington Blvd. “We are looking for highly energetic, passionate individuals who enjoy working with young children to join our team,” said HCDE Head Start Senior Director Venetia Peacock. “Our employees help transform lives of children and their families, along with making a difference each day.” Qualifications for Head Start teaching assistant, Early Head Start teacher and Head Start teacher include experience working with young children and an interest in early childhood education. Those who hold child development associate (CDA) degrees are strongly encouraged to apply. Interested candidates can apply online at http://www.hcde-texas.org or call 713-696-8287 for information. HCDE Head Start provides services to facilities in Barrett Station, Baytown, Channelview, Compton, Coolwood, Dogan, Fifth Ward, Fonwood, Humble, J.D. Walker, La Porte, Pugh, San Jacinto, Sheffield and Tidwell. Head Start ensures future success for students both academically and socially and provides comprehensive health, education, nutrition and financial services to families. Find more information on positions available and qualifications, visit: https://bit.ly/2HPXMPJ. Visit http://www.hcde-texas.org/head-start for general information about HCDE Head Start and locations. Source: HCDE
Harris County Department of Education is hosting a job interview fair to recruit teachers, teaching assistants, family service providers and cooks to join any of its 15 locations throughout northeast Harris County. The recruitment event will be held Thursday, June 20, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 6300 Irvington Blvd. Qualifications for Head Start teaching assistant, Early Head Start teacher and Head Start teacher include experience working with young children and an interest in early childhood education. Those who hold child development associate (CDA) degrees are strongly encouraged to apply. Interested candidates can apply online at http://www.hcde-texas.org or call 713-696-8287 for information. HCDE Head Start provides services to facilities in Barrett Station, Baytown, Channelview, Compton, Coolwood, Dogan, Fifth Ward, Fonwood, Humble, J.D. Walker, La Porte, Pugh, San Jacinto, Sheffield and Tidwell. Head Start ensures future success for students both academically and socially and provides comprehensive health, education, nutrition and financial services to families. Find more information on positions available and qualifications, visit: https://bit.ly/2HPXMPJ. Visit http://www.hcde-texas.org/HeadStart for general information about HCDE Head Start and locations. Source: HCDE
The time is finally here to officially open the new Baytown Early Head Start/Head Start Center on Thursday, May 23 with a ribbon cutting celebration from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The new 20,000-square-foot facility, located at 323 Massey Tompkins Rd. in Baytown, will house both centers under one roof. We welcome your attendance on May 23. More about Head Start: http://www.hcde-texas.org . Source: HCDE
Finalists for “Teacher of the Year” as well as “Educational Aide of the Year” have been named at Harris County Department of Education’s four Special Schools. The two honorees will be named on May 13 from 6-7 p.m. at HCDE, 6300 Irvington Blvd. The four HCDE schools provide three specialized education programs and feature individualized learning and small-group instruction in highly structured classes. Programs are for students with intellectual, developmental or behavioral disorders; troubled or adjudicated youth; and recovering youth.  
“We’re very proud of all our educators who work extremely hard with our special populations students,” HCDE Superintendent James Colbert said. “We celebrate all their successes, and this event gives us pause to think about all they accomplish on behalf of the children of greater Harris County.”
 Educator nominations: Kenneth Davis, nominee from Academic and Behavior School East Jeffrey Sam, nominee from Academic and Behavior School West Zachary Wikstrom, nominee from Fortis Academy Ashley Johnson, nominee from Highpoint School Educational aide nominations: Alejandra Garza, nominee from Academic and Behavior School West Byron Clay, nominee from Academic and Behavior School East Source: HCDE
The cybersecurity profession is growing as technology evolves and becomes a fabric of society, especially with the younger generation. Harris County Department of Education is hosting the 2019 Cybersecurity Career Connection Conference for local educators and students May 15. “When it comes to students and what’s available, we want to bring in colleges and professionals in the field so they can learn more specific skills to be successful,” Colina Poullard, HCDE Director of Digital Education and Innovation, said. She said this field is new to the career and technical education classes in schools. “This is a new pathway being offered in high school and teachers need additional ways to focus on in this new subject,” Poullard said. Students will get the chance to meet with industry professionals such as an FBI agent and IT professional, colleges and universities including Houston Baptist University and University of Houston. Teachers will learn how to sharpen their craft and give their students better insight and instruction on becoming a cybersecurity professional. Attendees will have the chance to ask questions to four industry professionals such as what is needed to get into the profession and what pathway they took in school. The conference will be at Harris County Department of Education, 6300 Irvington Blvd., Houston, TX 77022, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Cost to attend is $25 for teachers and $10 for students. Teachers who bring 25 students are free. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Make sure to register by Tuesday, May 14. Payments will be taken at the door on Wednesday, May 15. Register online at https://bit.ly/2KV499f. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Colina Poullard at cpoullard@hcde-texas.org. Source: HCDE

Alief Independent School District Kerr High School teen CASE Debates students Queen Eche and Hillary Nguyen made history as the first debate team from their school to place in the Urban Debate National Championship in Washington D.C.

Queen Eche and Hillary Nguyen

The pair competed in the national tournament and narrowly lost to a Chicago team but earned second place and a college assistance scholarship. Eche was also recognized as the second-best individual speaker in the tournament. Forty-two teams from across the nation with a total of 83 students competed in the policy debate competition for the national champion title. Also qualifying for the national championship but not placing was a team from Harmony School of Advancement, Riley Hardwick and Khalida Amla. This year the qualifying national teams gathered at Georgetown University to debate about immigration reform.
“We are extremely proud of our CASE Debates students who have only participated in CASE Debates for the two years the program has been in existence,” said Lisa Thompson-Caruthers, director for the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids, or CASE for Kids. “We are thankful for the support for high school debate from our HCDE Board and Superintendent James Colbert.”
CASE Debates pairs a successful, established debate model created by the Houston Urban Debate League with CASE for Kids, an afterschool intermediary. While HUDL provides debate opportunities for high school teens within HISD, CASE Debates expanded the program to provide opportunities to other districts in Harris County, including charter schools. In 2018-2019, CASE Debates served almost 300 students in six school districts and three charters. Students have earned numerous awards and scholarships through the CASE Debates program. Source: HCDE
Understanding your peers’ personalities provides a new frontier in education leadership and team communications. Classes offered through E-Colors in Education are available through a collaboration with Harris County Department of Education’s Teaching and Learning Center. E-Colors in Education CEO Rosalinda Mercado created the educational arm of the company after experiencing the power of human performance coaching through professional development in education six years ago. Three leadership-themed workshops are available this spring and summer: May 3 – E-Colors & Intentional Leadership: Diversity & Inclusion https://bit.ly/2UAZddn June 4 – E-Colors & Intentional Leadership: Accountability & Commitment https://bit.ly/2WVqMvs June 18 – Leadership Institute for Social & Emotional Learning (E-Colors & Personal Intervention) https://bit.ly/2YX6Rht (Discovering your E-Colors is as simple as going to the Equilibria website and completing the free inventory at http://www.equilibria.com/PDI-home .) View video through HCDEtx You Tube: https://youtu.be/RNIgtl2Dq8Q . Source: HCDE
The power of debate was the focus of the Houston Urban Debate League Annual Awards Luncheon in downtown Houston on April 4 at the J.W. Marriott. Harris County Department of Education joined HUDL as several CASE Debates students provided testimonials. Toni Candis, CASE for Kids project coordinator and CASE for Kids AmeriCorps VISTA member Aundrey Mosley represented CASE Debates at the event. “Two of our students talked about their life experiences, how debate has influenced their lives and how it will shape their futures,” said Candis. CASE Debates pairs a successful, established debate model created by HUDL with CASE for Kids, an afterschool intermediary. While HUDL provides debate opportunities for high school teens within HISD, CASE Debates expanded the program to provide opportunities to other districts in Harris County, including charter schools. “While many of our students spend a lot of time debating about policy and global issues, this event which addressed supporters of the program gave two of our students the chance to share their life stories in front of an audience,” said Mosley. Kennedy Scott, a junior from Spring Early College Academy in Spring ISD shared with the crowd of 115 how debate fueled her ambition to become a criminal defense attorney and community leader. Hamza Bouderdaben aspires to become a lawyer. He is a junior from Harmony School of Advancement. He was inquisitive about debate after thinking that a classroom of peers was engaged in a yelling match. The teacher explained the process of debate and welcomed him into her classroom. Since that day, he was hooked. Both students plan to be involved in CASE Debates during their senior year. In 2018-2019, CASE Debates served almost 300 students in six school districts and three charters. Students have earned numerous awards and scholarships through the CASE Debates program. Source: HCDE
Going above and beyond the call of duty is exactly what Galena Park Independent School District Autism Specialist Blair Overman did recently. One of her autistic students was involved in a tragic car accident that killed his brother and mother. Her story of service was shared with attendees at the Autism Summit at Harris County Department of Education on April 10. Blair spent countless hours at the hospital following the accident to help the student cope with his injuries and the loss of his family while relatives from out of state were traveling to Houston. Letters from hospital staff praised her commitment to her student. Overman received a standing ovation from Autism Summit attendees for helping this student in his recovery. #Autism View video: Source: HCDE