The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh largest in the US. It encompasses 283 schools and nearly a quarter of a million students, of whom more than 60 percent are Hispanic.
The HISD Foundation, established in 1994, partners with the district to support “districtwide and school-based programs and initiatives aimed at increasing student academic achievement, eliminating the minority achievement gap, and developing and retaining effective educators in every classroom.” The foundation’s strategy consists of five pillars—equity, literacy, innovation, college access, and human capital—and its ultimate goal is to give students the tools to succeed in higher education and the workforce.
Some of HISD Foundation’s current partners include the Houston Endowment, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, all of whom work with the foundation to achieve the district’s goals.
In 2002 and 2013, HISD was awarded the Broad Prize for Urban Education, in recognition of the district’s efforts, which resulted in “consistently strong” academic success.
HSF and HISD began a partnership when the district opened its doors to an HSF College Camp in Houston in 2014, on the campus of Cesar Chavez High School. HSF College Camp is a free, bilingual, half-day, college preparation workshop held in various cities across the country, designed to help middle and high school students and their parents prepare, plan, and pay for college.
HISD also provides transportation for students throughout the district to attend local HSF programs, which have included the 2016 and 2017 HSF College Camps at Rice University.