“I hate it when there are red marks,” he said, jesting about his intermediate English writing skills.Nieto says she is honored to teach the researchers from Methodist. “I have enjoyed our time together getting to know about them and the great research they are doing at Methodist that will benefit our community,” she said. Kennedy stresses the benefits of the collaborative between HCDE and Methodist. Other departments in Houston Methodist are considering using the ESL professional classes.
“We’ve had a great relationship with HCDE,” Kennedy said. “We’ve put in a good amount of hours with our partnership, we’re glad we have even able to initiate this and look forward to expanding it.”(HCDE Adult Education provides classes in GED preparation, English as a second language and other workforce development programs in construction and medical fields throughout Harris County. Programs are supported through the Texas Workforce Commission. To inquire about future classes in the medical assistant certification program, go to http://www.hcde-texas.org/adulteducation.) Source: HCDE
As the illiteracy rate continues to grow in Houston, local experts believe that learning disabilities like dyslexia are a factor. The virtual biannual Dyslexia Summit 2021 scheduled for Jan. 16 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. is helping to provide strategies to support Houston-area dyslexic students.
“This is an underserved area that people are just at the tip of the iceberg understanding,” Harris County Department of Education Curriculum Director of Special Populations Brenda Arteaga said. “The Mayor’s Office released a report showing that Houston’s illiterate population has increased from a quarter of the population to a third of the population in the past four years.”
Three keynote speakers from the Neuhaus Education Center serve as keynote speakers. The nonprofit educational foundation is dedicated to promoting reading success. The summit’s focus is “Innovation in Dyslexia Services: A Virtual Event.” The purpose is to bring innovative strategies to students identified with dyslexia and to provide support to parents.
Traditionally, teachers, administrators, parents and community members attend the event.
Presenter Allison Peck leads a session called “Real Talk about Dyslexia.: The Top 10 Things I have Learned as a Parent and Educator.” Peck gives a personal journey into understanding and embracing dyslexia.
“By sharing real talk about dyslexia, I believe all families can survive and thrive,” she said. Her child’s journey with dyslexia led her to become a special education teacher to help others with reading disabilities. Peck is currently the vice president of professional learning at Neuhaus.
Rebecca Tolson, vice president of literacy initiatives for Neuhaus, is a second presenter. Tolson specializes in using structured literacy techniques as intervention for dyslexia and dysgraphia. She has a doctorate in elementary education from University of Akron and is a certified language therapist and a certified dyslexia therapist.
Neuhaus’s Barbara Conway provides a third session focusing on struggles with reading at older grade levels. The session explores what it takes to be a proficient reader at any age and examines ways to help older readers get basic skills they need for reading and meaning by using longer, more sophisticated words.
Cost for the Dyslexia Summit is $99. Attendees get a book or online subscription from Neuhaus with registration. Register: https://tinyurl.com/DyslexiaSummit21 .Source: HCDE
Layne Thomas-Faust lives by the phrase waste not, want not. When the HCDE Facilities Division employee was tasked with decorating a lobby holiday tree at Irvington office, he decided to use a box of mini-sanitizers encased in red-rubber holders.
When asked how he came up with the idea, he said he found the box of errant sanitizers in the storeroom and decided they might make good tree-trimmers. He and co-worker Eric Schoellman got busy.
“Only in 2020,” Thomas-Faust said.
View the video: https://youtu.be/49FkBLM1ZjkSource: HCDE
As the new face on the cover of Harris County Department of Education’s programs and services pamphlet, he is beaming with confidence and poise.
Thousands of the brochures were mailed to Harris County residents this past month. Joshua’s mother Taylor received numerous calls from family and friends announcing his new superstar status.
“People keep calling and saying, ‘there is a pamphlet in my mail with Joshua’s photo on the front,’” Mom Taylor Wright said. “He is so proud of himself, and he loves the attention.”
Joshua attended school at HCDE’s Fifth Ward Head Start Center. As a single mom, Taylor saw her son’s newfound confidence as the 4-year old learned sight words, starred in plays and gained the social skills he would need in elementary school. She also accepted support from the family service provider as the family was assisted with counseling and other resources during hard times.
“He is definitely ahead of the curve in his school,” she said. “Head Start gave us a great, close-knit community.”
Joshua’s two brothers, close in age, also attended Head Start and have gained the advantage with social skills and academics before entering school. As “the Wright brothers,” the band of three stick together like peanut butter and jelly.
“They are a little jealous,” Joshua concedes, pointing to his photo on the pamphlet.
Armed with a dozen brochures, Joshua plans on sharing them with friends and family.
“I have lots of friends at school, and we like playing cops and robbers and hide-and-seek,” he said.
In front of the video camera, he points out that “learning is important.”
“I’m learning Spanish,” he said, counting from one to 10 in his new second language.
Shrugging his shoulders, Joshua’s ready to go because he doesn’t know what else to say.
Except yes. He will do autographs.
(For more information about Head Start services at HCDE, access http://www.hcde-texas.org/head-start .)Source: HCDE
Awarded through the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), the honor is given to organizations demonstrating a budget process aligned with GFOA’s best practice recommendations.
HCDE was also awarded the “Recognition for Implementing Best Practices in School Budgeting” for fiscal year ending in Aug. 31, 2019.
The GFOA, founded in 1906, represents public finance officials throughout the United States and Canada. The association’s more than 20,000 members are federal, state/provincial and local finance officials involved in planning, financing and implementing thousands of governmental operations.Source: HCDE
“When people need their documents protected, these are the things we do,” said Fisher, an 11-year HCDE employee who exudes energy and optimism.As part of his daily duties, Fisher scans documents belonging to the hundreds of customers the division serves. He is on-the-go each day scanning, shredding, retrieving and delivering boxes from warehouse shelves. Nothing differentiates one document from another, he says, as each is equally important. Its purpose could range from being a tax document to a piece of critical evidence in a crime scene. Most Harris County and area school districts use Records’ services. The business was born in 1991 after enactment of the 1989 records act which requires certified storage of government documents. City and county municipalities are also accommodated through interlocal agreements. Over 600,000 paper, microfiche and scanned/digitized documents are stored at the massive storage space at 6005 Westview. “Brandon is a really good asset for this division,” Records Management Director Curtis Davis said. “He can talk to anyone. Being the employee of the month is a wonderful thing for Brandon and this division.” Before HCDE, Fisher worked as a deliveryman in Wharton, a small town southwest of Houston where he was raised. After the recession, he looked for jobs in Houston and was hired at HCDE. While he knew the delivery business, he admitted he didn’t know how to put customers first. At Records Management, the young man grew his customer relations skills. “Paying attention to what the customer is saying is very important,” he said. “It helps because I’m a people person. I love to talk, and I love to listen so I can understand.” Records Management is a like family, and each person is dependent on the other to get the job done, he explained.
“We are all on the same playing field here, and we must do what needs to be done to get the job done,” he said.An early riser, Fisher claims breakfast as his favorite meal and admits a fondness for staples like French toast, bacon and eggs, especially on the weekends. The morning charge of energy fuels his fervor for cars. His passion for beautiful automobiles led to the creation of a side business in auto detailing. Caring for his customers has made him no. 1 on several social media platforms. “What I learned about customer care at HCDE took my private business to a whole new level,” he said. Fisher services all types of cars but specializes in exotic like Porches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Many of his customers are billionaires, the not-so-famous wealthy who live under the radar. His personal favorite is the Bentley, a car known for both beauty and speed, he said. The most expensive car he serviced was a $6 million, Puchadi Hydra. He also detailed a 1965 Ford Mustang which was the third one off the factory line, making it a collector car. Many of the cars Fisher services are not driven but shuttled by plane to showcase all over the world. Grounded in his HCDE family, he says he loves the time spent at his job and is thankful for the people and the benefits his job offers. “My philosophy is that you have to be a forever learner,” he said. “Records Management has taught me a lot about how to interact with customers, and I really don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for HCDE. Source: HCDE
Our Academic and Behavior School West opened this year during the pandemic. Because we couldn’t have a ribbon-cutting ceremony or open house, we’re sharing this virtual tour with our community.Source: HCDE
Area educators gained valuable training for active shooter scenarios with Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jeff McGowen on Nov. 12. The two-hour, online training was hosted through the Center for Safe and Secure Schools. “Civilian Response to Active Shooters Events (CRASE)” was free and allowed teachers and administrators to “think through” various school crime scenarios.
Some takeaways from CRASE:
When you find yourself in an open area with active shooter:
- Seek immediate protection. Find a safe area and secure it the best you can.
- Put something between you and the shooter.
- Think it through: Is escape the option? Do you know where shooter is? Is escape immediately available.
- Know your building’s floor plans.
When reporting the shooting to authorities:
- State your specific location: building name, office and classroom number.
- Report number of people at your specific location.
- Let authorities know number of people injured and type of injuries.
When law enforcement officer enters room:
- Do not present a threat to officers.
- Do not point at officers or the shooter.
- Do not make quick movements.
- Do not run towards them or attempt to hug them.
- Do not scream or yell.