School district leaders attend first Schools Division Update Luncheon

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April 25, 2022 by HCDE Communications

Representatives from 12 area school districts gathered at the Irvington conference center Thursday for the first-ever Schools Division Update to learn about HCDE’s schools, literacy programs, capital improvement projects, and future plans.

The luncheon served as a forum not only for HCDE to provide information to district leaders but also to obtain feedback regarding the efficacy of existing practices and programs. The event also served as the backdrop for networking opportunities between district leaders and HCDE principals.

Harris County Department of Education Superintendent James Colbert Jr. talks with representatives of area school districts during an annual update by the Schools division, April 21, 2022.

“This is the first one of these that we’ve done, and one that we’ve wanted to do for quite some time,” said County Superintendent James Colbert Jr.

Colbert shared a candid account of his upbringing and experiences as an educator to explain his connection to each of the Department’s special schools, including anecdotes about his home life and struggles as a special education student.

“When my colleagues asked, ‘why did you go to the Harris County Department of Ed,’ I tell them, ‘Because they’ve got some things that are very personal to me that I think we can make better,” said Colbert. “I’m here to tell you what we aspire to be. Our goal is to recraft and reshape the perception of alternative education.”

Assistant Superintendent for Academic Support Services Jonathan Parker provided administrators with information about the Department’s business model and explained how a sustainability ratio is used to calculate the cost of services offered at each HCDE campus.

Colbert also shed light on the Department’s plan to build a horse stable in Barrett Station, which would provide varied opportunities for students from all four schools. Plans to bring the county’s Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program under HCDE’s umbrella were also briefly mentioned.

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