in Houston, Texas
Students at some HISD schools to win prizes for attendance this year
Thursday, Aug 12, 2010, 02:32PM CST
By Lynn Walsh

Aug. 16 marks the first day of classes for some students attending Houston Independent School District schools, and just by showing up they could win tickets to sporting events and restaurant certificates.

The school year for HISD Apollo 20 schools starts a week earlier than the rest of the schools in the Houston district. The Apollo 20 program is an initiative to increase student achievement at some the lowest-performing schools in the district.

Due to the early start date, HISD wants to remind parents to register their children for classes. In an e-mail to the media, HISD media spokesman Norm Uhl said, "Every year we have parents registering late which leads to unnecessary lines and waiting. Parents can minimize the wait by acting now. They can register their children at the school they are to attend." 


To encourage attendance at schools across the Houston district, HISD said it is implementing a new program that will reward students who show up at school every day with tickets to sporting events, restaurant certificates and more. 

The program is first being implemented at the Apollo 20 schools. Each day a student shows up for classes their name is entered into a drawing for the prizes.


Uhl said that all of the prizes have been donated to the district, and none of the donations or tickets come from vendors in the E-Rate technology program. Gift-giving from that program has been banned, following alleged ethics violations on the part of former HISD employees who worked with E-Rate vendors.


On top of the early start date, students attending the Apollo 20 schools will see longer school days and additional tutoring services.


The Apollo 20 schools are Key, Ryan, Fondren, Attucks and Dowling middle schools and Jones, Kashmere, Lee and Sharpstown High Schools. Elementary schools are to be added to the Apollo program for the 2011-12 school year.

The rest of HISD’s schools open on Aug. 23.


Contact Lynn Walsh at 713-228-2850 or Follow news about the Houston Independent School District on Twitter by searching #HISD.

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