Education | KERA News

Education

Liberty High School in Frisco has grown rapidly and become more diverse since opening in 2006.
Credit Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Every week, KERA reporters go inside the classroom, meeting students, teachers and administrators, to explore the latest in education in North Texas. 

Explore in-depth education multimedia projects: Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools, a look at the changing demographics at four North Texas high schools; What’s Next For The Class Of 17?, stories about North Texas students from eighth grade to graduation; Homeless in High School, how schools and kids deal with homelessness; and Generation One, meet first-generation Texans who are reshaping schools.

Support for KERA’s education coverage is made possible in part by:

The statue of Lawrence Sullivan "Sully" Ross has been standing at Texas A&M University for 102 years.
Travel_with_me / Shutterstock

Protesters continue to push for the removal of Confederate monuments across Texas. But it's not just statues that are stamped with that chapter of history. Texas counties — and even a state university — bear Confederate names.

LM Otero / The Associated Press

Michael Nelson Miller graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler in 1961, a few years after the school opened and before it was desegregated.

During his college years, he realized his alma mater was drenched in nostalgia for the Confederacy.

Students at Lyons Elementary school pass by logos for major universities on their way to lunch in this archive photo.
Courtesy of Houston ISD

For 40 years, Robin Stauffer has taught high school English in seven different school districts in three different states. Most recently, Advanced Placement English in Katy, where she says working with kids has kept her young and lighthearted.

Fort Worth ISD staff conducting a town hall meeting on Zoom.
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Because of COVID-19, the entire world of teaching moved from the classroom to the computer, usually at home — and that hasn’t always worked out so well.

Fort Worth ISD discussed solutions to the challenges of virtual learning at a Zoom town hall meeting recently.

LM Otero / Associated Press

High schools across the country are trying to figure out how and when students might return to classrooms this fall. Many are also making sure their star quarterbacks and other athletes will be in shape when they do.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Fort Worth Independent School District will start classes this fall as scheduled on Aug. 17. But in this era of COVID-19, families will have two choices: learn in class or from home.  

Tony Guttierez / Associated Press

The El Paso Independent School District’s board of trustees voted 5-1 Tuesday to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

Carrington Tatum / Shutterstock.com

As calls for defunding of police departments ring across the country, social-justice advocates say it should happen in schools, too. But in Dallas, the superintendent and some trustees say they don't want it to happen.

Bryan Jackson and Evelyn Costolo, with Incarnation House, load the truck with bags of food destined for students using the facility before and after school, when classes are in session. After COVID-19, Incarnation House never really closed for the summer.
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The closure of schools to COVID-19 hit homeless kids especially hard, even as districts continued food distribution in various ways. With school out for the summer, their brains are hungry too. KERA’s Bill Zeeble checked in with some homeless students, and an organization that's trying to help.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Leaders of the state’s two largest school districts worry their students are falling behind during the COVID-19 shutdown. Dallas and Houston superintendents shared their efforts Thursday to ensure their kids keep learning.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A small group of Conrad High School seniors in Dallas recently celebrated one of the first in-person graduations in the country. It almost didn’t happen because of COVID-19. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Texas public school districts may offer summer school in their classrooms as early as June 1, but they cannot require any students to attend in person.

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

Colleges in Greater Houston, including Lone Star College, Rice University and the University of Houston, are planning a return to campus in the fall, after the the pandemic quickly shuttered campus at higher education institutions this spring and sent students home to learn remotely.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Hardly any of the nearly 9,000 Dallas school district students graduating this month will celebrate as they expected. The planned pomp and circumstance has been sacrificed to COVID-19, which is forcing graduation to go online. 

Mountain View College, part of the Dallas County Community College District, in southwest Dallas.
Cedar Valley College via Facebook

The Dallas County Community College District will run classes almost completely online this fall. The seven-school system extended virtual education because of COVID-19.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said this year’s graduation will be online. He called it his toughest decision of the year — but now he’s taking on an even larger issue.

 

Garden teacher Catherine Southwick surveys the garden she's built with student at Kramer Elementary School. Southwick has been tending to the garden during the COVID19 outbreak.
Hady Mawajdeh/KERA News

COVID-19 may have forced Texas schools to cancel in-person classes for the rest of the semester, but that doesn't mean campuses are completely abandoned. Districts still have to mow lawns, blow leaves — and at some schools, tend gardens.

Shutterstock

The Dallas Independent School District will hold its first-ever virtual job fair this Thursday, April 30. Those interested must register first. They can also apply online.

Mark Harrington on a computer screen during his Zoom class
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

By now, most North Texas students have been learning from home for a month — some even longer. Nearly two dozen 11th graders log-in to Mark Harrington’s AP history class each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They mostly have the routine down — mostly.  

Shutterstock

A new research study out today on pre-K education says Texas could be doing better than enrolling just half of its 4-year-olds.

mom working on core strength on exercise ball with daughter
David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Across Texas, some school districts are now offering teletherapy services to students with disabilities. It's the first large-scale launch of its kind, so teachers and therapists are having to get creative to meet the needs of these students. 

Ricardo ISD

Ricardo in South Texas is a tiny blip on the map. There's no grocery store and no traffic light.

Brett Seidl / Associated Press

As kids shift to virtual learning while spending so much time with family indoors, new challenges arise, from blow ups with siblings to difficulties managing fear and anxiety.

Shutterstock

Kim Jermany is a full-time doctoral student and works as a part-time teaching assistant. She also has two kids, a five and 11-year-old. Now that all of them are under one roof 24-7, it’s been a juggling act.

How Texas Schools Are Responding To The Coronavirus Outbreak

Mar 19, 2020
LM Otero / Associated Press

Districts across Texas are scrambling to keep students learning during school closures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Here’s a look at preparations in some key areas.

Flocabulary

Getting on stage and sharing your inner-thoughts can be nerve-wracking for anyone — let alone fifth graders —but that's what over a hundred of them did recently at the Dallas school district's second annual Student Poetry Slam in North Oak Cliff. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Schools have closed across North Texas, but that doesn’t mean kids who depend on school meals are going hungry. Some closed campuses are still providing meals, delivering them to students or having families pick them up.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / For The Texas Tribune

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told school superintendents and lawmakers Sunday to be prepared for long-term school district closures, potentially through the end of the school year, especially in areas where the new coronavirus has spread.

A student in a classroom at Cactus Elementary School
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

In an unprecedented move, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he would waive testing requirements for this year’s STAAR exam, as many schools expect to be closed at least through the April testing window, due to the new coronavirus.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

These days, people responding to the coronavirus outbreak are talking not just about cleaning, but deep cleaning. 

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