HOUSTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Everything you need to
know about the Division of
Strategy & Innovation
The Division of Strategy & Innovation leverages resources, families,
and communities to support innovative practices that increase equity in
educational outcomes. These practices ensure that all HISD students
exit high school as prepared Global Graduates.
Six departments are housed within College Career Equity & Innovation & School Counseling &
the Division of Strategy & Innovation, Readiness Readiness Outreach Postsecondary Choice Compliance
each supporting key district projects Programming
Vision for 2019-2020
Division of Strategy & Innovation August Hamilton
General Manager of
Dr. Rick Cruz
Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Strategy & Innovation
To increase not only equity in educational
outcomes, but also the competitiveness of
all HISD students as prepared
College Career Equity & Innovation & School Choice Counseling &
Readiness Readiness Outreach Postsecondary Compliance
David Johnston Mike Love Dr. Kenneth Davis Dr. Jharrett Bryantt Justin Fuentes Glenda Calloway
Assistant Assistant Assistant Assistant Assistant
Superintendent of Assistant
Superintendent of Career Readiness Superintendent of Superintendent Superintendent of Superintendent
College Readiness Equity & Outreach of Innovation & School Choice of Counseling &
Vision: Vision: Vision: Programming To make school Compliance
To empower To guide all HISD To empower options and Vision:
students to HISD students Vision:
pursue fulfilling students in the by investing in To ensure that all programs accessible To ensure that
careers by helping discovery of the whole child, to all students, all students have
them develop their passions, maximizing HISD students regardless of the the support and
personalized academic outcomes graduate as neighborhood resources necessary
higher educational empowering them by dedicating to graduate on-time,
pathways that not only to graduate resources to competitive and they live in or their
emphasize their non-academic informed college, socioeconomic entering the
strengths, interests, feeling prepared, career, or military status. college or career
and goals. but also to reach needs. pathway of their
their highest career applicants,
empowered with choice.
potential. the knowledge
and tools necessary
Break it down for me…
College Readiness Career Readiness Equity & Outreach Innovation &
l AVID l Barbara Jordan l Ascending to Men Programming
l College Tours Career Center (ATM) Program
l Launch IGNITE l Advanced
l Career Counseling l Family & Community Placement
(Grades 9-11 College l Career & Technical Engagement (FACE)
& Career Advising) l Confucius Institute
l Launch SENIOR Education (CTE) l Miles Ahead Scholars l Dual Credit
(Grade 12 College & l Houston Academy (MAS) Program l Dual Enrollment
Career Advising) l EMERGE-HISD
l Launch ACES of Computer Science l Parent & Community l International
(Alumni College & (HACS) Assistance Center
Career Advising) l JROTC Baccalaureate
l Naviance l “When I Grow Up” l Parent University l Khan Academy
l Scholarships & (WIGU) Career Expo l Resilient Outstanding l Project Explore
Financial Aid l PSAT/SAT
l Summer Bridge Success (ROSES)
l Special Projects &
l Student Assistance
l Wraparound Services
School Choice Counseling &
l Magnet School l Academic Counseling
l Federal & State
l Student Transfers Compliance
l Magnet School l Student Records
Additional Initiatives Supported: EMERGE-HISD
l Charter Schools Department
l Community Relations Harvard University
l Development Office
l Innovative Projects
l Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS)
College College Readiness is committed to providing college and workforce training options to all
Readiness HISD students, and works closely with campuses and district departments to create and
maintain a college-bound culture throughout the district. Starting in elementary school,
AVID students and parents are highly encouraged to:
Career Advising • Take charge of their learning.
• Connect with counselors, advisors, and industry professionals about
Naviance postsecondary education.
• Dive deeply into early college preparation.
Financial Aid What does College Readiness support?
Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) is a global nonprofit dedicated to closing
the achievement gap by preparing all students for college, career, and other postsecondary
Launch IGNITE empowers students grades 9-11 to take ownership of their futures proactively,
building a stronger foundation for college and career through: one-on-one advising, college
and industry visits, PSAT/SAT preparation, and life-changing summer learning opportunities.
Launch SENIOR is a comprehensive college advising program for HISD students in grade 12.
High school seniors receive support with their college applications, financial aid applications
(FAFSA/TASFA/Scholarships), internship applications, and more!
Launch ACES supports HISD alumni in the transition from high school to college. Students
receive the resources and guidance necessary to persist, graduating from college with a two-
year, four-year, or technical degree.
On-campus college tours expand students’ horizons in a way that cannot be overstated. By
walking on a college campus, sitting in real classes, eating in the school’s dining hall, and more,
students gain a sense of the college experience.
Naviance is a college and career tool available to all HISD parents and students grades 6-12.
With Naviance, students can find colleges and careers via the platform’s research tools, take
career and personality assessments, and even use College SuperMatch, the nation’s leading
online college research tool!
College and career scholarships and financial aid opportunities are widely available to HISD
students to aid in the pursuit of a postsecondary credential. In addition to supporting all
12th-grade students with the completion of their FAFSA/TASFA financial aid applications, HISD
college and career readiness advisors regularly advertise and assist students with outside, third-
party scholarship applications.
Summer Bridge is a “jump start” to the college application and financial aid processes.
Rising seniors are eased into the demands of these processes; in addition, they are introduced
to the academic expectations of college, the importance of balancing school, work, and
extracurriculars during senior year, and ultimately, not losing sight of college and career goals in
the “home stretch” of high school.
Career Career Readiness enhances career development knowledge for all middle and high school
Readiness students by integrating relevant, real-world experience into academics. The department
contributes to a student’s application of academic knowledge, as well as higher-order reasoning,
problem-solving skills, employability and work-related skills, and the occupation-specific skills
necessary not only to have financial independence, but also to be a contributing member
Barbara Jordan What does Career Readiness support?
Barbara Jordan Career Center provides opportunities for students at nine area
Career campuses to pursue an accelerated CTE pathway during half-days throughout the week
Counseling over a two-year period while remaining at their home campus to complete academic
Career & Technical graduation requirements during their last two years of high school.
Career Counseling helps HISD students discover their interests and passions, making a link to
Houston Academy of future careers. CTE advisors work one-on-one with students and in groups to explore different
Computer Science career options, unpacking the qualifications and education required to work in a variety of fields.
In addition, CTE advisors develop students’ soft skills, ensuring that when interviews take place,
students are competitive career applicants.
CTE offers programs of study in all sixteen career clusters comprised of pathways of coherent
sequences of rigorous CTE courses designed to foster and develop career interests and skills.
Students are able to earn their endorsement for graduation as well
as an industry-based certification or licensure.
• CTE Advisors provide support and guidance to students in exploring careers by:
developing career interests, providing tangible career-focused experiences, and
assisting students with career development essentials such as resume-writing and
honing interview skills.
• Career-Ready Wagon fosters career exploration for students from Pre-K to 5th grade.
Students are exposed to a variety of careers and fields through hands-on lessons and
• Dual Credit (Workforce) is a collaboration with local colleges allowing students to
graduate from high school with industry certifications and FREE college credit. This
collaboration prepares students to enter the workforce immediately after high school
with the valuable skills employers demand.
• CTE content-specific professional development opportunities are provided to CTE
teachers, focusing on differentiation in classroom instruction, project-based learning,
• Through our business partnerships, students are able to participate in internships and
work-based learning. Work-based learning opportunities allow CTE students to obtain
hands-on experience in relevant industries.
• Advisory Council is comprised of industry leaders who partner with our campuses
providing students with resources and exposure to workforce opportunities.
The Houston Academy of Computer Science (HACS) is a soon-to-be Houston ISD school
specifically focused on preparing students for a career in the Information Technology sector.
HACS will be the Houston region’s first-ever grade 6-12 school for computer science, and will
specialize in the areas of computational thinking as well as artificial intelligence. HACS expects
to enroll its first class in the Fall of 2020.
Student learns about firefighting at the
“When I Grow Up” Career Expo
JROTC What does Career Readiness support? (continued)
“When I Grow Up” JROTC works to instill the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal
Career Expo responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment in all HISD JROTC students. The study of
ethics, citizenship, communications, leadership, and the life skills designed to prepare
students to actively participate in society are at the core of the program. Student-centered
curriculum focusing on character-building and civic responsibility is administered in every
“When I Grow Up” (WIGU) is CTE’s signature hands-on, real-world extravaganza,
bringing together 5,000+ people within the city of Houston to experience what students
Equity & Equity and Outreach maximizes academic outcomes by connecting Houston ISD’s most
Outreach underserved student populations to critical non-academic support services.
What does Equity & Outreach support?
Ascending to Men The Ascending to Men (ATM) Project connects male students of color to positive role models
(ATM) Project and advocates. These adults offer mentorship and guidance as well as opportunities for
educational, social, and professional growth.
Family & Community
Engagement (FACE) Family & Community Engagement (FACE) works to build intentional partnerships to advance
student achievement. This is accomplished by: promoting a welcoming environment to families
Miles Ahead Scholars at every HISD campus, honoring families for choosing HISD,
(MAS) Program and linking high-impact activities to learning.
Parent & Community The Miles Ahead Scholars (MAS) Program empowers young men of color to ignite positive
Assistance Center change in their lives, schools, and communities by preparing them to attend
and graduate from our nation’s top universities. The program currently operates at three HISD
campuses: Kashmere HS, Wheatley HS, and Worthing HS.
The Parent & Community Assistance Center supports parents and community members
with addressing concerns, issues, and conflicts. Parent liaisons are available to help parents
and community members resolve these conflicts through proper district protocol, fostering a
stronger partnership between home and school.
Parent Parent University supports parents and families in the education of their
University children, providing an introduction to district programs, community resources,
ROSES The Resilient Outstanding Sisters Exemplifying Success (ROSES) Project connects female
students of color to positive role models and advocates. These adults offer mentorship and
Student guidance as well as opportunities for educational, social, and professional growth.
Assistance The Student Assistance Department incorporates the use of compliance analyst and outreach
workers to assist campuses in matters of attendance, dropout prevention, homeless assistance,
Wraparound and support to students who are in foster care or residential treatment. The department is
Services responsible for the planning and implementation of programs which address the needs of
students at risk for school failure due to non-academic indicators. The department works to
coordinate various supports and strategies in schools and communities to provide at-risk
students with the opportunity to graduate from high school.
Wraparound Services provides students with the non-academic supports necessary
to be successful in school, including: access to mental and physical health professionals,
food, housing, and more.
Innovation & Innovation & Postsecondary Programming is a new HISD Department, committed to
Postsecondary providing the highest-quality access and opportunity to all HISD students. Priorities include:
• Increasing the number of students graduating college-ready.
Postsecondary • Making all coursework options for earning college credit in high school more accessible.
Programming • Adopting new student-focused district projects.
EMERGE What does Innovation & Postsecondary
Project Explore Programming support?
The AP Program allows students to take college-level courses and the related AP exams, to
potentially earn college credit while still in high school.
For students aged 3-19, IB Programmes (Diploma and Career-related) allow students to take
college-level courses and the related IB exams to potentially earn college credit while still in
Dual Credit allows students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit by
successfully completing college coursework.
Dual Enrollment allows students to earn high school credit and potentially earn college credit
while still in high school.
The Confucius Institute (CI) at HISD works to promote Chinese language and culture through
partnerships, exchange programs, and effective classroom instruction.
EMERGE-HISD empowers and prepares high-performing students from underserved
communities to attend and graduate from selective colleges and universities across the nation.
Students in the EMERGE-HISD program benefit from extensive programming, individualized
support, and tailored resources from 10th to 12th grade.
Project Explore connects middle school students to high-impact college and career
opportunities through: school-day explorations, after-school expeditions, weekend excursions,
summer experiences, one-on-one advising, and more.
School The Office of School Choice opens endless opportunities for the students of HISD. With
Choice equity at the center of everything it does, School Choice strives to make HISD programs
accessible to all students, regardless of the neighborhood they live in or their socioeconomic
status. With over 15 specializations including aviation, careers, college preparatory, medical,
Montessori, fine arts, and STEM, students are prepared for successful college and career
experiences in a competitive and rapidly-evolving world.
What does School Choice support?
Magnet School Magnet School Programs offer students a unique opportunity to attend schools with
Programs specializations such as health and sciences, language-immersion, and many more. HISD has
a robust portfolio of 121 magnet programs at 112 schools—this means that almost 40% of all
Student Transfers HISD schools have an associated magnet program! Nearly 56,000 HISD students are enrolled
in magnet programs, over one quarter of the district’s entire student population. HISD
Magnet School Assistance exemplifies what it means to be a district of choice.
Program (MSAP) The Office of School Choice processes all student transfers for students of families wishing
to attend a non-zoned HISD school. Through the transfer process, students who meet
transfer eligibility criteria at schools with available space and principal approval can receive
a transfer. Currently, HISD offers 20+ different transfer types, each of which falls into one of
three buckets: choice programs, open enrollment transfers, and special transfers.
The U.S. Department of Education sponsors the Magnet Schools Assistance Program
(MSAP) to help bridge achievement gaps by increasing diversity in schools through funding
distinctive education programs. HISD has been awarded a nearly $15 million grant through
the Magnet School Assistance Program, more commonly referred to as MSAP. The grant will
establish or expand STEM programs at six schools.
Counseling & Counseling & Compliance works to ensure that all students have the support and resources
Compliance necessary to graduate on-time, entering the college or career pathway of their choice.
Academic What does Counseling & Compliance support?
Academic Counseling is committed to empowering campuses to be both innovative
and knowledgeable in the areas of counseling services, policies, and procedures. These
support services ensure that students become lifelong learners and advocates for their
• Character Education and Guidance Planning introduce scholars to the ideas and
concepts necessary to develop into productive and positive citizens.
• Student Scheduling and Master Scheduling ensure that campuses are offering students
the recommended on-level and/or advanced courses necessary to meet promotion
and graduation standards according to district and state guidelines.
• Personal Graduation Plan (PGP) reviews and certifies that each student has an
individualized plan to ensure that they are college and/or career ready upon
Federal & State Federal & State Compliance supports all oversight measures that ensure the accuracy and
Compliance completeness of student- and staff-level data, conforming to federal and state specifications.
These include data monitoring and problem identification as well as data quality. In
Student Records addition, Federal & State Compliance serves as the liaison between Houston ISD and the
Texas Education Agency for (1) funding inquiries related to student and staff reporting and
(2) reporting for the Texas Student Data System (TSDS), the Public Education Information
Management System (PEIMS), and the Unique Identification Database (UID).
Student Records develops and implements district policies, guidelines, and procedures
regarding student record-keeping and compliance for the district, conforming to TEA
specifications. In addition, Student Records supports all high school registrars and middle/
elementary school records clerks, evaluates transcripts and inspects campus records, creates
and publishes the district’s course catalogs, oversees inactive records for HISD alumni,
provides education verification for alumni and withdrawn students, provides education
verification to law enforcement agencies, and maintains compliance with all Federal
Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements.
Additional The Division of Strategy & Innovation supports additional initiatives in HISD. These initiatives
Initiatives are aligned with the division’s mission to leverage resources, families, and communities to
Supported support innovative practices that increase equity in educational outcomes, ensuring that all
HISD students exit high school as prepared Global Graduates.
Department Additional initiatives supported:
Community The Charter Schools Department oversees the contractual agreements between HISD and
Relations its Charter School partners, coordinating school and business operations as it relates to non-
instructional activities at these campuses.
Development Community Relations serves as the liaison between Houston ISD and external partners.
Office Community Relations identifies, develops and engages external partners, ensuring that their
available time, talent, and resources are effectively leveraged to support schools, students,
Innovative and their families.
Projects The Development Office works with local businesses, foundations, non-profits and individual
donors to raise external funds for projects that align to the district’s vision. This department
Volunteers in Public also provides district support to the efforts of the Houston ISD Foundation.
Schools (VIPS) Innovative Projects coordinates the implementation of new and special projects aimed at
enhancing student achievement, including but not limited to: the HISD Summer Student
Leadership Program, the Superintendent & Board of Education Scholarship,
Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) recruits thousands of parents and community partners
to donate their time, resources, and knowledge in support of the district’s primary goal to
increase student achievement. Volunteers contribute in areas such as mentoring, tutoring,
fundraising, career education, enrichment programs, extracurricular and community service
activities, and office and classroom assistance.
The Division of Strategy & Innovation
Dr. Rick Cruz
Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer
www.HoustonISD.org/Strategy-Innovation • [email protected] • 713-556-7510
College Readiness Career Readiness
David Johnston, Assistant Superintendent Mike Love, Assistant Superintendent
Angela Lundy-Jackson, Director www.HISDCareerReadiness.org
www.HoustonISD.org/CollegeReadiness [email protected] • 713-556-6981
[email protected] • 713-967-5231
Questions about… Contact Questions about… Contact
AVID Lisa Waddell
[email protected] Barbara Jordan Mike Love
College Tours Career Center [email protected]
Launch IGNITE [email protected] Career Counseling Melaney Herron
(Grades 9-11 College [email protected]
& Career Advising) Autumn Boyd
[email protected] Career & Technical Juliet Amara
Launch SENIOR Education (CTE) [email protected]
(Grade 12 College & Derick Hutchinson
Career Advising) [email protected] Houston Academy of Jyoti Malhan
Launch ACES Michael Koch Computer Science (HACS) [email protected]
(Alumni College & [email protected]
Career Advising) JROTC Cornell McGhee
Veronica Arredondo [email protected]
Naviance [email protected]
“When I Grow Up” Elnora Talbert
Scholarships & Veronica Arredondo (WIGU) Career Expo [email protected]
Financial Aid [email protected]
Equity & Outreach
Summer Bridge Michael Koch
[email protected] Dr. Kenneth Davis, Assistant Superintendent
[email protected] • 713-556-8902
FACE offers parent workshops Questions about… Contact
to help families support
Ascending to Men Wilson Rentería
students learning at home (ATM) Program [email protected]
Family & Community Candice Castillo
Engagement (FACE) [email protected]
Miles Ahead Scholars Haskel Harvey
(MAS) Program [email protected]
Parent & Community Rolando “Rudy” Treviño
Assistance Center [email protected]
Equity & Outreach (continued) School Choice
Questions about… Contact Justin Fuentes, Assistant Superintendent
Parent University Candice Castillo www.HoustonISD.org/SchoolChoice
Resilient Outstanding [email protected] • Phone: 713-556-6947
Sisters Exemplifying Jermani Justice
Success (ROSES) [email protected] Questions about… Contact
& Events Tanya Mackey Magnet School Damon Jasso
[email protected] Programs [email protected]
Student Assistance Tina Thompson
[email protected] Alyssa Banks
Wraparound Services [email protected]
[email protected] Student Transfers Margarita Aguilar
[email protected] Magnet School Lauren Price
Assistance Program [email protected]
Innovation & Postsecondary Programming Counseling & Compliance
Dr. Jharrett Bryantt, Assistant Superintendent Glenda Calloway, Assistant Superintendent
www.HoustonISD.org/IPsP www.HoustonISD.org/Counseling • 713-556-6744
[email protected] • 713-556-7240 Questions about… Contact
Academic Counseling Glenda Calloway
Questions about… Contact Federal & State Wanda Thomas
Compliance [email protected]
Advanced Jennifer Ertel
Placement, [email protected] Student Records Cynthia Nemons
CollegeBoard [email protected]
Resources, and Additional Initiatives Supported
August Hamilton, General Manager
Confucius Institute Emily Smith www.HoustonISD.org/Strategy-Innovation
[email protected] [email protected] • 713-556-7510
Dual Credit & Scott Godley Questions about… Contact
Dual Enrollment [email protected]
International Sevasti “Seby” Meloni Charter Schools Willie Spencer
Baccalaureate [email protected] Department [email protected]
Project Explore Courtney Smith Community Rose Adams
Programming [email protected] Relations [email protected]
Marcus Jackson Innovative William “Billy” Solomon
[email protected] Projects [email protected]
EMERGE Lisle Bull Volunteers in Monique Johnson-Garner
Programming [email protected] Public Schools [email protected]
The Division of Strategy & Innovation leverages resources,
families, and communities to support innovative practices that
increase equity in educational outcomes, ensuring that all
HISD students exit high school as prepared Global Graduates.