HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza took to the streets of the Sunnyside community on Saturday, Aug. 19, for the first ever “Southside Takeover,” a back-to-school bash to kick-off the start of the 2017-2018 school year and the start of Achieve180.
“Achieve 180 is more than a plan or initiative,” said Carranza. “It’s a movement to better serve our historically underserved and academically challenged schools.”
The “Southside Takeover” featured Carranza at the helm of a parade with students, staff, and parents from Worthing High School, along with various other campuses in the south area, and a resource fair for families with free immunizations, school supplies, backpacks, uniforms, food, and entertainment.
“This is pillar six of our Achieve 180 plan in action, empowering parents and the community that surround our struggling schools,” said Carranza who donned a 10-gallon hat and cowboy boots as he walked the parade route around Worthing High School, “It’s more than just engagement. We must empower our parents and reconnect with them. We must help our communities understand that these are their schools, and they are welcome here.”
In addition to family and community empowerment, the Achieve 180 framework includes five other pillars: leadership excellence, teaching excellence, instructional excellence, school design, and social and emotional learning support.
As part of Achieve 180, each school will have a nurse, counselor, and librarian, and teachers will have two hours of additional professional development every Wednesday to improve their instructional practices. HISD has established cross-functional support teams across various departments to support Achieve 180 and has set up professional learning communities that are working together to customize support, assess practices, share expertise, and monitor results.
Achieve 180 includes 32 schools within and throughout various feeder patterns, including Worthing, Kashmere, Madison, Milby, North Forest, Washington, Wheatley, and Yates. Various other Achieve 180 campuses have been hosting back-to-school events over the past few weeks to strengthen family and community involvement at their school.