HISD Fills Out its Apollo-20 Schools

Eleven HISD elementary schools will be added to the Apollo-20 turnaround initiative. The program began last fall at nine middle and high schools. It involves several key strategies to help struggling schools improve. Rod Rice has more.

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The middle and high schools campuses in Apollo-20 have longer school days and a longer school year. HISD's Jason Spencer says that won't be the case for the elementary schools.

"We figured that elementary schools kids wouldn't really benefit so much spending more time in class, you're dealing with shorter attention spans."

Spencer says the younger students will be getting the intensive tutoring that's been part of the Apollo-20 approach and HISD will focus on what it calls the "human capital" at the schools.

"We're also going to focus on making sure that every classroom is staffed with a affective teacher and that the schools are run by principals who have a good track record for getting quality results out of their students."

Spencer says there was an almost 40% turnover in personnel at the nine middle and high schools when Apollo-20 was initiated.  HISD says the elementary school part of the program is being funded with about 1.6-million dollars it got after renegotiating a contract with the company that runs the district's disciplinary alternative education program.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...