News



6th Annual Bowling Bash Fundraiser Set for February 2nd!

SWS Bowling Bash header 2018

Our 6th Annual Bowling Bash Fundraiser is set for February 2nd, 2018.

100% of the proceeds go toward scholarships for college and summer camps for Southwest Schools students.

Click here to learn more and to register a team or sponsor this fantastic event.

 




Campuses CLOSED Friday, November 3rd

Southwest Schools’ campuses and administrative office will be CLOSED tomorrow, Friday, November 3rd to allow our families and staff to enjoy the parade to celebrate our Would Series Champions #HoustonAstros!

“Our district is in agreeance with HISD: We are very proud to celebrate our champions with the rest of the city. We are also basing this decision on the congestions and heavy traffic that the parade can potentially cause around Houston.” – Janelle James, CEO/Superintendent of Schools.

Celebrate and be safe!
We will resume back to our regular schedule on Monday, November 6th.

Southwest Schools Closed Nov 3




CHANGE TO FRIDAY HALF-DAY SCHEDULE

STORY HIGHLIGHTS:  FULL DAY FRIDAYS | 1ST FRIDAY EVERY MONTH 1/2 DAY  |  NEW SCHEDULE TO BEGIN IN OCTOBER

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please allow me to take this opportunity to thank you for a great school start. Despite the
devastating events of the past few weeks and the issues that families might have endured
during Harvey, students were present and excited about starting the new school year. We are
so glad to have your family in our Southwest Schools’ community. Together we will make this a
great year for our students!

As you may know, we lost nine school days as a result of the recent storm. Although the Texas
Educational Agency (TEA) is not requiring us to make up any of that lost instructional time, we
feel that it is in the best interest of our students to add instructional time back into the school
calendar. We are adding back the instructional time to provide the educational benefits our
students deserve.

To that end, we will transition to full day Fridays with one early release Friday each month. The
early release Friday will be the first Friday of each month. The change will begin in October.
I strongly feel that this is the right decision for our students. I believe that this will benefit
Southwest Schools’ students this year and in years to come. Recognizing that this represents a
significant change from past years of practice, we are asking for your support—both with the
school and with your children—with these changes.

You will receive additional correspondence regarding the changes and schedule for early release
days from your child’s campus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact
your child’s campus principal.

Thank you for your continued support of Southwest Schools and for allowing us to be your
child’s school of choice.

All the best,

Janelle James,

Superintendent / CEO of Schools




Hurricane Harvey Donations & Relief: A Message from the Superintendent

Southwest Cares

The Southwest Schools family pledges to support one another in the aftermath of the devastating floods caused by Hurricane Harvey. Join with us to help the student families and staff members  impacted by this terrible disaster. 


Dear Southwest Schools Community,

As we transition from the impact of such an historic event as Hurricane Harvey to creating a new normalcy in our district for our staff, students, and parents, my thoughts continue to be with you for peace, safety and strength. The recovery from such a devastating weather event is never easy, yet I am comforted by the compassion and humanity of people like our Southwest community.

The next few weeks and the ongoing recovery of our region will be long and difficult. As is our culture, the Southwest Schools family will support one another and we’ll get through this together.

We invite you to donate to the relief effort that will directly aid our student families and staff members who have been impacted by this terrible disaster.

Please continue to check the districts website at http://www.swschools.org, Facebook, and Twitter to obtain important updates regarding the start of school and information and resources to support you and your family during this unexpected transitional time. If you have any questions or need to leave a message for your campus you can respond by email to info@swschools.org.

These recent bright skies give us a renewed sense of hope and are a reminder that our community is full of light and love; let’s continue to lean on each other!

All the best,

Janelle James, Superintendent/CEO of Schools

and

Dr. Spyros Catechis, Founder/CEO


Donate Now

FINANCIAL DONATIONS

http://www.swschools.org/harveyrelief

All donations will go directly to Southwest Schools Hurricane victims.

Donate Online: Select “Other” and enter “Hurricane Relief” in the text box

Donate by Check: Make checks payable to Southwest Schools and include Hurricane Relief in the memo line

 

FOOD, SUPPLIES & CLOTHING

September 5th – 8th

Any Southwest Schools Campus

8:00AM – 3:30PM

  • School Supplies
  • First Aid Items
  • Non-Perishable Food
  • Baby Diapers, Baby Formula
  • Clothing (all sizes)
  • Cleaning Supplies




WEATHER UPDATE: Southwest Schools Closed Until September 11th

Southwest Schools campuses will reopen for students on Monday September 11th due to widespread damage from Hurricane Harvey.

Administrative and non-instructional staff are set to return to work on Tuesday, September 5th and teachers are scheduled to return to work on Wednesday, September 6th.

 The safety of our staff, our students and their families is our top priority. The storms and heavy rains that affected parts of the city make conditions too dangerous for school to begin any sooner.




Jim Knight Instructional Coaching Event Postponed

Southwest Schools is please to partner with Jim Knight to present a 5-part series on Instructional Coaching.

Jim Knight’s Instructional Coaching Group has worked with 30,000 instructional coaches over the last 10 years, throughout 50 states and six continents.

This 5-part series is focused on improving teaching to improve learning, and is comprised of simple step-by-step processes that coaches and educators can master.

DUE TO HURRICANE HARVEY, ALL DATES HAVE BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2018.

  • 1: The Complexity of Helping and The Impact Cycle
  • 2: Better Conversations for Better Coaching
  • 3: Video and Data in Instructional Coaching
  • 4: High Impact Instruction for Great Teaching:  Instructional Coaching to Increase Student Engagement (Building and Instructional Coaching Playbook
  • 5:  Instructional Coaches as Effective Leaders

Visit http://www.swschools.org/jimknight for additional details and to register.




Empowerment High School participated in College & Career Institute

Sparks were flying at Texas State Technical College as the 11 high school students enrolled in a nine-day College and Career Institute got some hands-on experience welding.

The institute is the first of its kind for TSTC and is a partnership between the college, Project Grad Houston, Café College Houston and the Texas Workforce Solution (TWC).

“It has been a pleasure hosting these students on campus,” said TSTC Recruitment Coordinator Marigold Sagrado. “They are attentive, well-mannered and I know they will be successful.”

The students participating in this institute were from Houston-based Southwest Charter School, Sharpstown High School and the Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees and have shown an interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields.

“It’s always great when we can bring quality program options and a college experience opportunity to high school students who may not get this chance anywhere else,” said Anne Sung, Project Grad Houston vice president and chief strategy officer.

The institute focused on five career areas offered by TSTC: Cyber Security Technology, Welding Technology, Precision Machining Technology, HVAC Technology and Diesel Equipment Technology.

Instructors from each program engaged the students with hands-on career exploration activities and spoke with them regarding education pathways, the college application and financial aid process and careers they can pursue if they obtain a certificate or associate degree from TSTC.

During the institute students also received lessons on job interviewing and resume writing. Students learned how to represent themselves professionally by practicing greetings, handshakes, eye contact and self-introductions.  A portion of their time was also dedicated to interviews skills and resume development.

“We want these students to leave this institute open to the idea that college is a possibility and that they can be successful,” said Adriana Estrada, College Institute coordinator. “It’s about college and career readiness.”

To experience a real-work environment, the students also visited TSTC Board of Regent Joe Gurecky at his local business Gurecky Manufacturing, Inc. They had the opportunity to tour the facility and speak to professionals in the industry.

“All of the students have expressed interest in pursuing TSTC after high school,” said Sagrado. “I consider this 100 percent success.”

Sung said their data shows that students who attend at least two institutes are more likely to enroll in college after high school.

“The impact of these institutes helping students get inspired to go to college is very powerful,” said Sung. “And we’re very grateful to our partners at the TWC and TSTC for making this program possible for our students.”

Sotelo, Amanda. “TSTC Hosts Summer College and Career Institute” Downtown Houston BubbleLife, 5 July 2017. Web. 20 July 2017

View complete article. 




Southwest Schools Awarded T-Stem Academy Designation

We are pleased to announce that Southwest Schools has been approved for the designation of a T-STEM Academy by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

The Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Initiative provides a foundational approach to empower teachers, inspire students, and advance the studies in these four fields.  

T-STEM ACADEMY

A T-STEM Academy is rigorous secondary school focusing on improving instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects and increasing the number of students who study and enter STEM careers.

Southwest Schools joins the select group of only 22 schools to join the 121 Academies who have received the designation.  Going forward, Southwest Schools will serve as a demonstration school and learning lab to showcase innovative instruction methods which integrate technology and engineering into science and mathematics instruction.

Southwest Schools successfully completed the rigorous designation process by demonstrating the key elements of the T-STEM blueprint, including:

  • Mission-driven leadership
  • T-STEM Culture
  • Student Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention
  • Teacher Selection, Development, and Retention
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Academy Advancement and Sustainability

In an open letter to our District, Mike Morath, TEA Commissioner of Education writes, “Thank you for Southwest Schools’ hard work and dedication in providing STEM opportunities for students so they may accelerate their learning and graduate from high school prepared for the post-secondary path of their choosing.”

For more information on Southwest Schools and T-STEM, contact Dr. Brenda Arteaga, Southwest Schools Superintendent.




Southwest Schools Graduation 2017

The Southwest Schools graduating seniors will be recognized on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 6pm at Houston Baptist University located at 7502 Fondren Rd, Houston, TX 77074.

Ceremony photos will be available to view and purchase through Rhonda Floyd Photography.

  • Visit http://www.rhondafloyd.com
  • Click “Find your Photos”
  • Click “Sports and Portraits taken after Feb 14 2017
  • Click “Events”
  • Click  Gallery Name – May26
  • Enter  your email
  • Enter password swhs17



New Career and Technology Center

Southwest Schools is pleased to announce the expansion of Southwest Middle School and Southwest High School with the addition of the new Career and Technology Center to serve the District’s secondary students.

The STEAM facility, located within the Middle School and High School complex, will introduce more than 17,500 square feet of space for math, science, fine arts, and technology courses. Features will include flexible and collaborative spaces, state-of-the-art computer systems, industrial learning equipment, a performance hall, and more.

Known for its safe, innovative and intimate campuses, Southwest Schools will be able to accommodate an additional 60 high school and 110 middle school students from across the Houston area. “We planned this expansion as part of Southwest Schools strategic plan to provide more space for innovative teaching and learning, with a focus on enhancing 21st Century career and college readiness”, says Dr. Brenda Arteaga, Superintendent.

The Center that was designed by local Houston architect, Kay Macias, is being constructed by Longevity Realty Partners (LRP) and is scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year.

For enrollment information, to learn more about Southwest Schools or to become a community partner, please visit www.swschools.org.

 




Board Member Ed Vesely Copilots B-17 Plane at Airshow

Ed Vesely Copilots B-17 Aircraft
Ed Vesely Copilots B-17 Aircraft

On April 21st, Southwest Schools Board Member Ed Vesely, served as copilot on a B-17 aircraft at the Gulf Coast Salute Airshow at Tyndall AFB in Panama City, Florida.

Mr. Vesely, Senior Sales Director at Welsch Aviation, is a seasoned pilot with 40 year’s flying experience.  He is also a respected member of the Board of Directors at Southwest Schools and continuously provides valuable insight and guidance to our district.

Mr. Vesely is one of the few people that are lucky enough to fly the aircraft known as “The Flying Fortress”.  Primarily used as a military plane in WWII and then as a civilian aircraft for several years after, there are currently only 15 of the 12,731 originally produced, flying today.

B-17 Aircraft Photo
B-17 Flying Fortress Aircraft

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Now Enrolling for the 2017-2018 School Year

Welcome New Students!

 Enrollment applications are now being accepted at all Southwest Schools campuses for the 2017-2018 school year. Click here to apply.

 About Southwest Schools

Southwest Schools is a premier school district open to students in the Greater Houston Area.  Small, safe campuses provide the perfect setting to help kids Pre-K through 12th grade learn, grow and prepare for their futures!

 




Mangum Elementary Welcomes New Principal

Welcome Maryury Fernandez M.Ed.,  Mangum Elementary Principal

Southwest Mangum Elementary is pleased to welcome Maryury Fernandez as our new Principal and wish Dr. Olivares good luck in her new role as Chief Operations, Accountability, & Compliance Officer at Southwest Schools district headquarters.

About Ms. Fernandez:

Maryury Fernandez began her career in education in 1988.  Ms. Fernandez has served as a bilingual teacher, Bilingual/ESL Instructional Supervisor, Assistant Principal, and Multilingual & Assessment Director, mostly in Houston Independent School District and Southwest Schools. She has held positions in both the elementary and secondary settings and is deeply committed to improving academic achievement and lifelong learning skills for all students.  Maryury came to Southwest Schools in 2012, and proudly served as the Multilingual & Assessment Director for four years.  Maryury Fernandez is an advocate for all students, and she appreciates the challenges that students from low income families face.  Ms. Fernandez believes that all children can succeed when provided the right support.

She sets high expectations and supports a rigorous academic program at Mangum Elementary School.  Her number one goal is that students receive the foundation to be college and career ready and achieve lifelong success.




Delayed Start (10:00 AM) – Wednesday, January 18

Due to weather conditions in the Houston area, all Southwest Schools will have a delayed start of 10:00 AM, today, Wednesday January 18, 2017.  Schools will close at normally scheduled times.




Southwest Receives “Superior” Rating for 15-16 Fiscal Year

Southwest Schools has received a Rating of “Superior” from the Texas Education Agency for its 2015-2016 fiscal year School FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) for its excellence in fiscal management according to state guidelines. The School First Report is based on 20 indicators which gives a district a numerical value. The purpose of the financial accountability rating system, known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), is to ensure that open-enrollment charter schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public and charter schools to better manage their financial resources in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. Southwest Schools’ Business Department continues to strive for excellence and transparency. This state award is evident that employees are committed to financial responsibility and to meeting state guidelines.




Latin Women’s Initiative Awards Grant to Southwest Schools

The Latin Women’s Initiative awarded a generous grant in the amount of $15,000 to Southwest Schools to support the district’s Summer Reading Program.

The program aims to help children and teens retain and enhance their reading skills over the summer. Research has shown that kids who participate in these programs are 52 Lexile points ahead of their peers who do not. Summer reading programs are also an antidote for learning loss. So instead of losing knowledge and skills during the summer months, kids who attend reading programs actually show gains.

Latin Women's InitiativeThe mission of the nonprofit Latin Women’s Initiative is to support such programs and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Latin women and their families by providing both financial and volunteer support to several local nonprofit organizations in our community.




SHAC/Local Wellness Meeting Notice

School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)/Local Wellness Meeting Notice:

November 2, 2016

9:00 AM

Southwest Schools’ Central Office

3333 Bering Drive, Houston Texas

 

January 10, 2017

9:00 AM

Southwest Schools’ Central Office

3333 Bering Drive, Houston Texas



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