New Homework Help and Credit Recovery Lab to Open at Church
Grand opening celebration will be held Saturday and will feature free immunizations and food
HISD on Saturday will open a new Homework Help and Credit Recovery Lab at North Shore Community Fellowship of Faith Church. The lab is designed to help HISD students who live in the neighborhood near the church and who don’t have access to a computer and the internet.
They will be able to visit the lab and work to recover course credits by using one of approximately 20 computers equipped with HISD’s Apex Learning Digital Curriculum. Teachers from Furr High School will also be at the lab twice a week to tutor students and help them with their homework.
A grand opening for the lab will be held at North Shore Community Fellowship of Faith Church (444 Maxey Road) on Saturday, August 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students are expected to attend the celebration to learn more about the lab, and families will be able to get free immunizations and free food from the Houston Food Bank’s Family Food Pantry.
After the celebration this weekend, the lab will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m., beginning the week of August 29. It was created as a partnership between HISD, Furr High School, North Shore Community Fellowship of Faith Church, and the faith-based organization Partners & Power, Inc.
HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said: “I am excited about strengthening and expanding our collaborations with our community partners, and that includes our faith-based partners, because they can reach children when, sometimes, other groups can’t. Some of these students might not come to school, but many of them will still have an attachment to their church.”
Furr High School Principal Bertie Simmons and her staff have already begun talking to students who live in the area and could benefit from the lab. “With students who are struggling, we need to be as imaginative as possible about ways to help them. I have been working with the community and was thrilled when we identified this location as a place where students can get help,” Simmons said.
When she took over as principal, Simmons says, Furr was known as a “drop-out factory.” The school’s graduation rate was 39 percent when she arrived in 2000. Since then, she has implemented strategies to help students earn their diplomas, and the graduation rate increased to 87 percent in 2010—the most recent year for which data is available.
Furr, like all of HISD’s high schools, has a Grad Lab where students can work online at their own pace to recover course credits and earn their diplomas. The Grad Labs, launched as part of Dr. Grier’s dropout recovery strategy, are equipped with the same Apex Learning Digital Curriculum that will be used at the Homework Help and Credit Recovery Lab. In 2010–2011, HISD students used the Apex system to recover 7,000 course credits.
The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 298 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 30,000 employees.
For more information, visit the HISD Web site at www.houstonisd.org.