Originally delivered on 8/27/2023 3:31 pm

SUBJECT: DeBakey PTO Newsletter - August 27, 2023

DeBakey PTO

DeBakey PTO Newsletter

August 27, 2023

Back to School Issue

In This Issue
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Sign up to continue to receive newsletter
  • School News
    • First Day of School - "A" Day
    • Senior Sunrise
    • Drop Off/Pick Up Procedures
    • PE Uniform Do's
    • Coffee with the Principal
    • HISD cell phone & open door policies
    • Soccer Practice
    • Summer Assignments
    • Athletic Interest Form
    • HISD Transportation Update
    • Senior Class Photos (Class of 2024)
    • Volunteer Thank You
    • PTO Uniform Store Updates & Help Needed
    • DeBakey Digest - Viper Camp edition - freshmen survival guide
    • Interact Club Committee Info
    • PTO meeting calendar
    • Teacher Welcome Breakfast Photos
    • New HISD 2023-2024 Calendar
  • Odds and Ends
    • VIPS application
    • Class of 2024 Checklist for College Admissions Process
    • Reminder: Student Volunteer Requirements
    • Bayou City Art Festival Volunteer Opportunity
    • Fall AI program
    • Art of Building Activities List - Free Webinar

  • Aug 28 - Senior Sunrise & first day of school
  • Sept 4 - Labor Day, school holiday
  • Sept 12 - first (virtual) PTO meeting of year
  • Sept 18, 6 pm - Parent Coffee with the Principal

Sign up for this Newsletter (again!)

This newsletter is distributed through "Membership Toolkit" which requires all members to update their information each summer. 

Please take 2 minutes to update your information so you will continue to receive this newsletter throughout the school year. 

Update your membership info here

Monday, August 28th is an "A" day

Welcome to all our new and returning students!

Attention Seniors!

Senior Sunrise - tomorrow morning, August 28th at 6:30-7:30 am

Hermann Park Hill

Brush up on Drop Off-Pick Up Procedures!

If you are new to DeBakey - and even if you are returning - please watch this video to reacquaint yourself with our DeBakey carpool procedures to keep everything running smoothly this school year.

*No parking on Pressler!

*Enter on Pressler (heading southbound); you may not approach northbound and take a left into the school parking lot

*Follow traffic pattern once in the DeBakey parking lot

*Pull into a drop off/pick up spot to let your student exit the vehicle and allow traffic to continue 

*Exit on Montclair side

*Please watch for pedestrians!

DeBakey Drop Off & Pick Up Procedure Video Link

Acceptable PE Attire - black leggings with DeBakey PE Shirt
PE Do's

Proper PE attire includes black leggings with a DeBakey PE shirt.

*Please note this is a DeBakey PE shirt, NOT just a grey t-shirt.

Proper PE attire
PE Do's

Proper PE Attire also includes black or navy athletic shorts with a DeBakey PE shirt. 

PE shirts can be purchased online through the PTO uniform store and picked up the first 3 Thursdays of the school year. 

Coffee with the Principal

Save the date - Parents, come enjoy coffee and conversation with our awesome Principal, Mr. Herrera on September 18th, 6 pm!

Important HISD Policies

Student use of mobile phones during the school day


As is current policy, student cell-phone use will not be allowed in HISD schools during the academic day.  Student use of phones during the academic day disrupts learning and instruction, fuels disputes between students, and undermines the culture we are working to create in all HISD campuses. 


Students must leave their cell phones at home or in their backpacks. Should a teacher or administrator see a cell phone on a student’s person (even if it is in a pocket, but visible) or being used by a student, the teacher or administrator will:

  1. Ask the student to hand over the mobile phone.   
  2. Put the student’s name on the phone (as with a sticky note), and 
  3. Take it to the office or give it to a learning coach or teacher apprentice to take to the office.  


The first time a student has a mobile phone taken to the office, that student may pick up the cell phone from the front office after school.  If a student violates this rule a second time, the cell phone will be returned to a parent or guardian who must come to the school to retrieve it.  

Open Classroom Door Policy 


HISD will ensure schools, students, and staff are safe. Our schools will be nurturing, collaborative environments for teachers and students. We can and will safeguard every student and teacher at the same time we facilitate exceptional instruction, collaboration, and real time observation and coaching for students and staff. 


To the greatest extent possible, classroom doors will be open when teachers teach.  Doors will be locked but open so that they can be shut and automatically locked in case of an emergency.  In addition to the instructional benefits of the open-door policy, safety and discipline within the classroom will be better when the classroom doors are open and behavior can be monitored by administrators or other adults.


Of course, principals may make an exception in specific cases such as classroom doors that open to the outside, doors to classrooms with students with special needs who may be difficult to keep in the classroom if the door is open, and to classrooms that are significantly impacted by noise from the cafeteria, gymnasium, or choir, etc.


The open-door policy will be supported by our work to enhance safety measures in place at every campus. We will take additional steps and maintain an internal environment that is joyful and that supports our main educational mission – providing high-quality instruction.


For those of you who are unaware here is just a few of the steps we have taken to enhance security district-wide.  We have already begun to increase the size and effectiveness of the HISD police force and plan to do much more this year.  We are conducting a facility security audit and will prioritize campuses with the highest need to maximize limited resources this year.  


Soccer Practice will begin mid-September

Stay tuned for details!

Summer Assignments

Summer assignments have been posted to the DeBakey HSHP website. The material is subject to change, so please be sure to check back on the website to make sure you have the latest information.

View the Summer Assignments
Interested in Athletics?

Sign up using the below link to indicate interest in one of the following sports:

  • Basketball
  • Gymnastics
  • Running Club
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Athletic Interest Form here!

HISD Transportation Update

HISD is working hard to ensure we have enough bus drivers to cover the necessary routes. Over the next 3 weeks there will be adjustments to the bus routes as HISD monitors ridership and routes. 

Important:  Please be sure to monitor your HISD communications during the month of September for updates regarding your student's bus route.

Senior Photos (Class of 2024)

Prestige Portraits will be the sole photographer for senior pictures for our next yearbook. Prestige was on the DeBakey HSHP campus on August 11 and 14.

If you were not able to attend either of those days, you may schedule at the Prestige Portrait office in Sugar Land. A flyer with details is listed below. When you schedule at the Prestige studio, you will have a wider selection of backdrops and poses.

The yearbook photo deadline is October 14th.

<< View their flyer for more information >>

Thank you to all of our student & parent volunteers last week!

Thank you to all the students and parents who generously donated their time to help run our PTO uniform store and distribute laptops. We can't do all of this without YOU!

Uniform Store updates
Click here to visit the PTO Uniform Store!
Help Needed - PTO Uniform Store!

The PTO Uniform store needs adult helpers to work in the Uniform Store for 2 hour shifts as follows:

  • August 31 - 6 volunteers
  • September 7 - 6 volunteers
  • September 14 - 2 volunteers
  • First Thursday of each month - 2 volunteers

Please consider giving your time to help run our Uniform Store - link to sign up is below.

*Don't forget you must be VIPS approved to volunteer inside the school. VIPS link is further down in this newsletter.

Uniform Store Volunteer Sign Up Here

DeBakey Digest - Special Viper Camp Edition! Use QR code below to access 10 page freshmen survival guide!
QR Code to link to 10 page DeBakey Digest - Viper Camp Edition
Interact Club Committee Info Below!

Encourage your students to get involved with one of these committees!

PTO MEETINGS 2023-2024

Join us to learn more about what the PTO is doing to help our school and get involved! All meetings will be 6:30 pm - 8 pm.

  • Sept 12 virtual
  • Oct 10 virtual
  • Nov 14 in person
  • Dec 12 virtual, Home for the Holidays edition
  • Jan 9 virtual
  • Feb 13 in person
  • March 19 virtual
  • April 9 virtual
  • May 14 in person, vote on new PTO board

More information will be shared as we get closer to each date.

Back to School Breakfast for our Teachers

A big thank you to our Teacher Appreciation chairs, Amonee Haley and Cris Stennett, who helped welcome our teachers back to campus with a breakfast spread last week. We love our DeBakey teachers! 

Some awesome DeBakey smiles pictured below

New 2023-2024 HISD Calendar

Don't miss checking the new (as of last week) 2023-2024 HISD Academic Calendar - there are several changes to note which effect days the students have school/do not have school this year. Changes in summary:

  • Friday, October 13 is now a professional development day (no school for students)
  • The professional development day previously scheduled for Nov 7 is now rescheduled to Friday, November 10th.
  • HISD winter break will now start on Friday, December 22nd and end on Monday, January 8th rather than prior calendar which ended the break on Tuesday, January 9th.
  • We will have school on Tuesday, February 20th (previously this was a professional development day for teachers).

Calendar is linked below.

2023-2024 HISD Calendar

Click Here to view new 2023-2024 HISD calendar
Laptop Fees Waived 2023-2024

HISD has waived the $25 Laptop fee this school year.

Time to Renew Your VIPS application!

Parents and Guardians, it's that time of year! Even if you have been VIPS approved in the past, you must renew your application and be approved each year. You must be VIPS approved to volunteer in any capacity at any HISD school. Please apply now so you are ready when the volunteer opportunity arises!

Register for VIPS approval here!

Information below for our Class of 2024 seniors - timeline for navigating the college admissions process
Information for Seniors Class of 2024
Reminder: Student Volunteer Requirements

REMINDER:  Every DeBakey student must have at least 100 community service to graduate with a DeBakey diploma.

Remember, colleges look at the community service and how you give back to your community when choosing a candidate to accept into their school. The summer time is a great chance to get caught up and to give back to the community.

Guidelines for Community Service Hours >>

Volunteer Opportunities in Houston >>

Volunteer at the Bayou City Art Festival, Oct 14-15
Fall Artificial Intelligence Enrichment Program led by Stanford and MIT Graduates

Inspirit AI is a 25-hour enrichment program that introduces middle and high school students to fundamental artificial intelligence concepts to build socially impactful projects such as fake news detection, pandemic spread prediction, art-generation, self-driving car simulation, and more! Developed and taught by our team of graduate students from Stanford, MIT, and other leading universities, students receive a personalized, interdisciplinary learning experience in small-group classrooms. No programming experience is required, and advanced cohorts are available! Applications for fall courses are due September 15th. Please find the high school program application here and brochure here. Contact program director Jared (jared.greene@post.harvard.edu) with any questions!

The Art of Building a Winning Activities List: Step by Step Guide

InGenius Prep is offering our students a free webinar hosted by Ken Johnson, former admissions officer from Emory University.

In this presentation we'll dive into effective strategies, share tips for a compelling list, and reveal secrets to make your activities shine. To help students make the most of this crucial aspect of the application, we will cover topics like:

  • What Goes into Creating a Compelling activities List
  • Tips on How to Craft Your List
  • Case Studies of Real Student’s Activities List and Where They Ended Up

Thursday, August 31st 2023 |  7pm Central

Registration Here

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