Originally delivered on 9/24/2023 1:15 pm

SUBJECT: DeBakey PTO Newsletter - September 24, 2023

DeBakey PTO

DeBakey PTO Newsletter

September 24, 2023

In This Issue
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Sign up to continue to receive newsletter
  • School News
    • Principal Herrera Announcements
    • First Pep Rally
    • Soccer Practice
    • US News & World Report Rankings
    • Spirit Night
    • Back to School Dance, Help Needed & Ticket Info
    • Athletic Interest Form
    • College Night, Help Needed & Registration Info
    • Senior Class Photos (Class of 2024)
    • Classes of 2024 & 2025, Dues Reminder
    • Senior Signing Day Wish List
    • PTO Uniform Store Updates & Help Needed
    • DeBakey Blankets to Support Volleyball
    • Fall Festival Wish List
    • Community Support for DeBakey Needed
    • Interact Club Committee Info
    • HOSA dues 
    • PTO meeting calendar
    • Birthday & Celebratory Greetings - Fundraising
    • Donate Coffee/Tea to Support Teachers
    • Travel Abroad Opportunities Info
    • New WhatsApp chat for Class of 2025 Parents
    • Save the Date - Nov 2 Poetry Cafe
    • New HISD 2023-2024 Calendar
  • Odds and Ends
    • VIPS application
    • Class of 2024 - SchooLinks FAQ 
    • Reminder: Student Volunteer Requirements
    • Bayou City Art Festival Volunteer Opportunity
    • InGenius Prep Webinars

  • Sept 25 - No School - Fall Holiday
  • Sept 27 - Last day to purchase Back to School Dance tickets
  • Sept 28 - Dance Guest forms due
  • Sept 29 - last day of Cycle 1 - make sure all assignments have been submitted
  • Sept 29 - Last day to purchase scrubs/lab coats
  • Sept 29 - First Pep Rally
  • Sept 29, 7-11 pm - Back to School Dance
  • Oct 2, online DeBakey blanket sales end
  • Oct 5, 5:30-7 pm  - College Night
  • Oct 10, 6:30-8 pm -  PTO meeting (virtual)
  • Oct 13 - No School for Students; Professional Development Day for Staff
  • Oct 17 - No after school activities
  • Oct 17-18 - School Pictures
  • Oct 24 - Spirit Night @ Mendocino Farms
  • Oct 27 - Fall Festival
  • Nov 2 - Poetry Cafe
  • Nov 10 - No School

Don't forget - Monday, September 25th is a school holiday!
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

Announcements from Principal Herrera

Socioeconomic Forms - Parents, we need your help. Please complete the socioeconomic form and turn it in. It is important that all families, regardless of economic status, submit the form.

The form determines our Title 1 status. We want to continue to be considered a Title 1 school because the designation provides federal dollars that help us pay for tutorials, cover the cost of college applications for eligible students, and much more. So far, only 40 forms have been returned.

A copy of the form has been sent to your email. Please fill it out today and ask your child to drop it in the main office tomorrow as they enter the building. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Attendance – The state of Texas Compulsory Attendance rules state students who are at least six years of age, or who have been previously enrolled in first grade, and who have not yet reached their 19th birthday shall attend school for the entire period the program is offered, unless exempted.

If the student is absent ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, the student’s parent is subject to prosecution under Education Code 25.093, and the student is subject to referral to a truancy court for truant conduct under Family Code 65.003(a).

At DeBakey HSHP, our goal is to make sure our students attend school on-time every day. We are preparing them to pursue college degrees that lead to careers in Health Science. When students are absent, the workload is compounded, causing stress and anxiety.

Students should be seated in their classrooms by 7:55 am daily. Please make sure students attend school each day.

If an absence due to illness is unavoidable, please email Mrs. Perez, pperez6@houstonisd.org so that she can accurately track your child’s attendance.

HISD Connect Access Code - The students received a parent letter that included the parent’s access code and password to set up an HISD Connect account. Your HISD Account will allow you to follow your child’s progress throughout the school year. Please ask your child for the form and sign up for your account today.

First Pep Rally - September 29th!

Find your class spirit! Students are encouraged to wear their class color! Beads, leis, etc in your class colors are awesome for the pep rally to get in the spirit! 

The below is not a "wish list" per se but for inspiration so parents can help their students with some spirit wear ahead of the big day.

inspiration for pep rally gear

Class Colors - Freshman TBD; Sophomore - Green; Junior - Purple; Senior - Red
Freshman Class of 2027 Color is Yellow!
Soccer Practice @ Rice coming soon
DeBakey ranks again in US News & World Report Best High Schools 2023-2024!
Back to School Dance - Donate Snacks, Decor or Your Time to make our dance a success!

DeBakey Family,

School is now in session and It's time for the Back to School Dance!!

This years theme is: HOLLYWOOD!

The dance will be held on Friday, Sept 29th from 7pm-11pm in the DeBakey Cafeteria.

Parents are needed to prep for the dance, set up decor and clean up for this dance event. We need snack donations which are listed in the Sign Up Genius link below. We also need decor donations which are found in the below Amazon Wish List.

Please label all donated snack items "dance donation" and drop them off in the school office By Fri, Sep 29th.

Please use the Sign Up Genius link below to review the available slots and snacks below and sign up. 

Thank you, in advance, for your time and donation!

DeBakey PTO and Dance Committee

Sign Up Genius to Volunteer Time or Snacks

Amazon Wish List for Dance Decor

Dance tickets on sale now - use School Pay link below
Click here to Buy Dance Tickets on SchoolPay
Dance Ticket Sales will close Sept 27th!

Don't miss out - last call for tickets! Tickets to the dance will NOT be sold after September 27th.

*Guest forms are due September 28th.

See below for rules re: outside guests for Back to School Dance
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!

Volunteers Needed for Oct 5th College Night!

We will need student and parent volunteers for College Night - please sign up using the link below.

Sign Up Genius for College Night

College Night Info
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 >>

Class of 2025 Senior Dues

Hey Class of 2025! 

Now is your chance to get ahead and start paying your senior class dues for next year. By paying ahead of time, you will help the parent volunteers who plan our senior events. The more money they have collected early on, the easier it is to figure out the budget and plan some cool events!

Class of 2025 Dues can be paid via Schoolpay.com 

Senior Signing Day Wish List

Please use this Amazon wish list to support our Senior Signing Day!

Amazon wish list linked here

Uniform Store updates
Click here to visit the PTO Uniform Store!
Last Chance to Buy Scrubs/Lab Coats is Sept 29
Help Needed - PTO Uniform Store

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

  • First Thursday of each month (Oct 5, Nov 2, Dec 7) - 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

Support DeBakey Volleyball & Buy a Cozy Blanket

Last day for online DeBakey blanket sales is October 2nd. Buy a blanket to stay warm this winter! A portion of the proceeds will support our four DeBakey volleyball teams.

Buy a DeBakey blanket here!

Support the DeBakey Fall Festival

It might be 100+ degrees out, but we are ready for our FALL Festival and Haunted House!

Please support the DeBakey Fall Festival by purchasing from the below wish list ~ the list includes candy and prizes for our students, along with art supplies for pumpkin painting activities. Any and all support is welcome.

Fall Festival Amazon Wish List


Are you a business owner or do you know a community member who'd like to help our school? 

The DeBakey High School PTO works to raise funds through the generous contribution of parents and local businesses. These funds are used in the school to make a significant impact in the lives of students, families and staff by providing enrichment activities that bring learning to life and improving relationships through community events. 

We are currently looking for community members who would like to join our PTO as a corporate sponsor for the 2023-24 school year. By becoming a sponsor, you will directly impact more than 900 students as well as staff and families in your community. As a PTO, our funds enhance the following resources and programs: 

Enrichment Programs 🐾 Art Department 🐾 Music Department 🐾 Theater🐾 Educator Classroom Support 🐾 Staff Appreciation 🐾 Technology 🐾 Sports 🐾 Student Events 🐾 Student Supplies 🐾 Clubs 🐾 and more 

We offer multiple tiers of sponsorship opportunities to fit your needs and budget. All sponsorship levels include visible recognition to our students, staff, and families. If you are interested in supporting our PTO, but cannot commit to a sponsorship we are grateful to accept any level of donations. 

Sponsor Directory Listing -  $200                       https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/40459998

  • DeBakey Sponsors are featured in the DeBakey PTO website under “Sponsor Directory” page.


Annual Newsletter or Website Sponsor - $1000https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/40460160

Website Sponsor

  • DeBakey PTO Website Presented by (your company/business name or logo)” on top of PTO website.
  • Website sponsorship is to last the entire school year. Starts as soon as sign up and ends on the last day of school.
  • Announcement of your company/business sponsorship throughout the school year on DeBakey PTO Facebook.
  • Acknowledgment at our monthly PTO Meeting
  • Included in sponsor directory

Newsletter Sponsor

  • “DeBakey PTO Newsletter Presented by (your company/business name or logo)” on top of PTO Newsletter.
  • Newsletter sponsorship is to last the entire school year. Starts as soon as sign up and ends on the last issue for the school year.
  • Newsletter goes out once a week to 200+ families.
  • Announcement of your company/business sponsorship throughout the school year on DeBakey PTO Facebook.
  • Acknowledgement at our monthly PTO meeting.
  • Included in sponsor directory


Benefactor Wall Plaque - $500                                              https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/40460309

The Benefactor Wall prominently displays the donors’ names in the shape of a DNA helix in the central area of the student atrium/cafeteria. The DNA structure reflects the school’s STEM focus.

General Donation of Any Amount                     https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/40459919       

Any support you can provide would be meaningful as a community partner supporting excellence in education for DeBakey students.

Support DeBakey while you shop!

Enroll in the Randalls and/or Kroger loyalty programs and select DeBakey as your organization to receive contributions based on your shopping. 

Log in to your loyalty account and select "community rewards" - search for the DeBakey PTO or enter our code VX994. 

An easy way to support our school while you buy your groceries! 

Encourage your student to check out an Interact Committee - listed below

HOSA dues can be paid via schoolpay.com 

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.

  • 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.

birthday message on screen
Purchase Birthday & Celebratory Greetings to Support our School

Parents, the DeBakey PTO is offering Birthday & Celebratory Greetings.   These are messages that will be displayed on the monitors around the school. You can send your child a birthday message or tell your child congratulations for a major accomplishment.  The Birthday & Celebratory Greetings are only $20.

  • The messages are posted the week of the event only, they are sent in the Friday before the event date.
  • The messages MUST be received by the PTO two weeks prior to the event via the following link on the PTO website in the Fundraising section https://www.debakeypto.org/packet/38437847
  • You may select a background for the message on the google form.
  • Belated birthdays & ½ birthdays are acceptable.
  • All messages must meet the approval of the administration.
  • The message will be removed if the student asks the administration to remove the message.

Email fundraising@debakeypto.org with any questions.

Show our DeBakey Teachers some Love!

Drop off at reception or ship donations of coffee, tea, hot cocoa or Keurig pods to the school for the PTO to distribute in our teacher lounges. 

Back to school season is always stressful - let's make sure our teachers feel our appreciation every single day!

Travel Abroad with DeBakey - lots of interesting opportunities below for 2024 & 2025
Link to Paris & the Chateaux Spring 2024 Trip Info
Link to Switzerland, Italy, France & Spain in 2024 Info
Link to Japan 2025 Trip Info
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

Class of 2025 Parents Want to Stay in Touch?

There's a new way for the Class of 2025 Parents to communicate with each other and find out what is going on with all things DeBakey! Join the Class of 2025 Parent WhatsApp chat group using the below link.

WhatsApp Class of 2025 Chat

November 2 - Poetry Cafe

Save the date for the Poetry Cafe! More information coming soon.

Click Here to view new 2023-2024 HISD calendar
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 - SchooLinks is replacing Naviance
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
Free InGenius Prep Webinars

First up, on Sept 26th at 8pm EST, join former Brown University Admissions Officer, David Merson, as he guides you through various aspects of the application, provide actionable tips, and answer all your queries in "College Application Success: An Early Planning Guide for 11th Graders". 

Next up we'll learn what those top STEM schools are looking for and dive deeper into “What Top Colleges Are Looking For in STEM Applicants: A Comprehensive Guide for Success" on Sept 28 at 8pm EST.

Click the links above to register. 

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