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Posts published in May 2021

Aldine ISD votes Pandemic bonuses for Employees

Aldine ISD Trustees Connie Esparza, left, and Rose Avalos, right, hold up novelty checks after the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution to give all district employees a one-time bonus for going above and beyond during the 2020-21 school year.

One-time Check amounts will be $1000 to $1200

ALDINE – During the May 18 Board meeting, Aldine ISD Trustees approved a resolution to give all district employees a one-time incentive and retention payment. The Board of Trustees approved a resolution to give all employees a one-time incentive and retention payment of $1,500 to exempt staff (teachers and administrators) and $1,000 to non-exempt staff (hourly employees) for going above and beyond their duties and responsibilities during an unprecedented school year.

The Aldine ISD Board of Trustees has always been intentional when allocating financial resources, and has made it a priority to invest in recruiting, retaining, and developing the best team for Aldine ISD students and families. They believe without a doubt, that there is no better investment to make than in our incredible educators and staff.

At the meeting Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney expressed that dedication shown by district staff has not gone unnoticed.

“Please accept this check on behalf of the Aldine ISD board of trustees as a tangible expression of appreciation for the dedication you bring to work each day. Thank you for teaching and working in extraordinary ways this school year.”

Robbery, shooting at Wells Fargo ATM

FBI and HPD investigators examine the ATM machine at right, and the Armored Truck left, in the Drive-thru.
Police Crime Scene tape surrounds the Wells Fargo building on Tidwell, after an Armored Truck robbery and shooting of the guard.

HOUSTON – A guard was shot in the face during a robbery at the ATM machine at the Wells Fargo bank on Tidwell near the Eastex Freeway. The crime took place Friday at about 12:20 pm, in the drive-thru of the bank.

HPD Asst. Chief Yasar Bashir reported that two guards were inside the truck when it arrived, and one left to service the ATM machine. Shortly thereafter, the guard was accosted by a robber who shot him and took the money he was carrying.

The second guard exited the truck, and fired at the robber, who was escaping in a waiting vehicle. According to Bashir, there was an exchange of gunfire between the two men.

GLO, Feds deny flood funds to Harris County

Harris County and Houston officials learned Friday that the state GLO (General Land Office) and the federal HUD (Housing and Urban Development) had determined that these two governments would not receive any Flood Mitigation funding of the approximately $1 billion that was available, in the first round of allocations by the state.

The allocations are based on a formula to determine which communities are the neediest, according to GLO. Within Harris County, approximately $90 million was allocated to Baytown, Pasadena, Galena Park, and Jacinto City for flood mitigation projects that they had applied for.

Harris County had submitted an application asking for $900 million, according to Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Commissioner Garcia, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued statements expressing their displeasure and disbelief in news of the allocations not including local jurisdictions.

Commissioner Garcia said that he was upset, and “incredibly frustrated.” Judge Hidalgo said, “It is unconscionable that the very community hit with the most flooded structures by far during Hurricane Harvey received nothing as part of this Harvey Mitigation allocation.”

Mayor Turner said, “For the State GLO not to give one dime in the initial distribution to the City and a very small portion to Harris County shows a callous disregard to the people of Houston and Harris County.”

Judge Hidalgo said that she plans to ask HUD for a review of the criteria used, and assurance that the County will receive future fund allocations. She said the formulas that are used disadvantage large urban areas that are hardest hit.

Harris County Judge Moves COVID-19 Threat Level to Level 2: Orange

Key COVID-19 Trends Continue Downward Trajectory; Hidalgo Commends Community for Driving Indicators Down By Getting Vaccinated, Urges Continued Vigilance and Action to Reach Non-Vaccinated Population

Harris County, Texas – May 18, 2021, Judge Lina Hidalgo today announced that she is moving the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level Indicator from Level 1: Red to Level 2: Orange, the system’s second highest threat level. The move comes as a variety of indicators demonstrate significant progress in reducing the threat of COVID-19 and the availability, administration, and efficacy of vaccines for eligible age groups.

Over the past several weeks a convergence of factors has led to the lowering of the threat level. Among them, a variety of key indicators used to inform the county’s threat level system made significant improvements. These include hospital population trends, hospital usage trends, case trends, and positivity rate. Additionally, the on-demand availability of vaccines, their efficacy against variance, an increasing number of individuals getting vaccinated, and updated CDC guidance regarding mask usage and testing. These indicators have been used by the county in conjunction with health experts to make decisions about policy changes and community guidance.

“Thanks to the hard work of our residents, we have made substantial progress in turning a corner against this virus,” said Judge Hidalgo. “This is not a mission accomplished moment, but we should feel encouraged that these vaccines have helped us finally trend in the right direction. Let’s continue to pull together and help persuade friends, family members, and others those who haven’t been vaccinated to do their part.”

Scarborough Elementary holds virtual grand opening of new campus

AERIAL VIEW OF THE NEW SCARBOROUGH ELEMENTARY, AT THE CORNER OF EAST LITTLE YORK AND BENTLEY ROAD.

ALDINE – Scarborough Elementary School hosted a virtual grand opening on Friday April 23 to celebrate its new campus. The virtual celebration was live online at HoustonISD.org/LiveTV.

Scarborough was among four HISD elementary schools that had to be rebuilt after receiving significant damage and flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Students and staff were forced to temporarily relocate while the schools were razed and rebuilt.

Though the new school opened to students in the fall of 2020, Scarborough Principal Miriam Medina said having a virtual grand opening marked their official homecoming.

“It’s symbolic to us that we survived, and that Scarborough is strong,” Medina said. “The Huskies will keep on going.”

Legislature prepares to end 87th session with many bills still pending

EDITOR’S NOTE: By law the Texas Legislature must finish the regular 87th session by May 31, although the Governor may call them back for addition unfinished business. The following Report is a summary submitted by the Republican Caucus, to indicate the progress of the most active legislation in the House.

Deadline Night is over and the fate of House Bills is sealed … or is it?

When the clock struck midnight on Thursday, May 13th, the fate of every House Bill that failed to get a 2nd reading on the House Floor was sealed. While these bills are no longer up for consideration as independent vehicles, the policy ideas contained within still have a chance through Senate bills and the amendment process.

Friday May 14 marks the cleanup period and third reading, where bills may still be amended and face a final record vote before being sent to the Senate. In the past few weeks alone, Texas House Republicans have scored major victories on Pro-Life, 2nd Amendment, Public Safety, and more. To help you catch up with the bills that have passed out of the House, we’ve put together brief summaries on each issue with a link to a full recap of bills passed so far.

If you want to research any of the bills in these recaps, go to https://capitol.texas.gov/Search/BillSearch.aspx

To watch the Deadline Night video, go to https://house.texas.gov/video-audio/chamber/87/

Lone Star College, Texas State University team up to address elementary teacher shortage

Houston (April 22) – Lone Star College and Texas State University have signed an agreement establishing a program-to-program partnership for elementary teacher education. This collaboration will help address the shortage of elementary teachers in the greater Houston area.

“This new initiative streamlines the process for future elementary teachers who begin their education at Lone Star College to complete their degree at Texas State University,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “The partnership ensures the coursework Lone Star College students take in their teacher preparation track will seamlessly transfer to Texas State University.”

Aldine ISD teacher accused of inappropriate relationship

HOUSTON – An Aldine Independent School District teacher was arrested and charged after being accused of an improper relationship with a student in the Houston area.

Helen Page, a business teacher at the Aldine Ninth Grade School, is accused of having a relationship with a former student. Investigators said 49-year-old Page began communicating with the 15-year-old last summer. Investigators with the District Attorney’s Office found nude pictures during a forensic investigation of Page’s cellphone, which led to the felony charge of “improper relationship with a student” levied against her by prosecutors.

Aldine ISD will open new Special Purpose “La Promesa” high school in the fall

Applications are open for the 2021-2022 school year. La Promesa, a Choice School, will only serve ninth graders during its first year and add a grade level each year until becoming a 9th-12th grade campus. The district will add two CTE pathways in the 2022-2023 school year.

High school students newly arrived in the U.S. from non-English speaking countries or with limited English proficiency — will receive intensive English language learning instruction, core academics, and support services at the new, innovative program set to launch in fall 2021.

Aldine ISD continues to develop programs that give all students access to high-quality schools and learning experiences that prepare them for the future. All means all, including those new to America, also known as newcomers. The latest choice school, La Promesa, aligns with the district’s strategic goal that ensures all Aldine ISD students learn in an environment that is safe, welcoming, and supportive.

Newcomers come to the school district with special needs, like learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, and adjusting to a new school system. The school is the latest initiative from Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney. She believes this environment will support them so that they can succeed.

East Aldine District’s new building complete; Opening set for June

The East Aldine District’s new office building was completed this month, and furniture was moved into the building, in anticipation of full occupancy and use to take place in June. A ribbon-cutting and formal opening of the building is now planned for Thursday, June 24. The building will house the offices of the district, the Sheriff’s storefront operation, and other government and organization functions.

The building is located at 2909 East Aldine Amphitheatre Drive, a circular street looping into Town Center from Aldine Mail Route. A public park, kids playground, public amphitheater, and walking trails are part of the development.