Originally delivered on 12/10/2023 8:54 am

SUBJECT: DeBakey PTO Newsletter - December 10, 2023

DeBakey PTO

DeBakey PTO Newsletter

December 10, 2023

In This Issue
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Sign up to continue to receive newsletter
  • School News
    • Principal Herrera's Update - spring schedules & finals schedule
    • Pick Up & Drop Off Reminders
    • Spirit Day @ MOD Pizza
    • Winter Wonderland - juniors & seniors & help needed
    • Orchestra concert & help needed
    • DeBakey End of Year Giving
    • Chem Club Updates
    • Bake Sale - baked goods needed
    • Soccer Team Victory
    • DeBakey at Region Orchestra
    • PEA + Running Club Information
    • November edition DeBakey Digest
    • Athletic Interest Form
    • Classes of 2024, 2025 & 2026 Dues Reminder
    • Senior Signing Day Wish List
    • PTO Uniform Store Updates
    • Need Field Day Chair & Committee
    • Order Yearbooks
    • Community Support for DeBakey Needed
    • PTO meeting calendar
    • Submit questions for DeBakey alums
    • Birthday & Celebratory Greetings - Fundraising
    • Donate Coffee/Tea to Support Teachers
    • Ongoing Food Bank Volunteer Opportunity
    • Need for Scientific Symposium Speakers
    • Travel Abroad Opportunities Info 
    • New WhatsApp chat for Class of 2025 Parents
    • New HISD 2023-2024 Calendar
  • Odds and Ends
    • VIPS application
    • Reminder: Student Volunteer Requirements

  • Dec 10, all day - Spirit "Day" at MOD Pizza
  • Dec 12, 6:30-8pm - PTO meeting, virtual - Home for the Holidays
  • Dec 14, 3:30 pm - Chem Club meeting & Yearbook Photos
  • Dec 14, 7 pm - Orchestra concert
  • Dec 15, 2 pm - Spring schedule change requests due, no exceptions
  • Dec 15, 4-7 pm - Winter Wonderland, juniors & seniors
  • Dec 16, 1-2 pm - Chemistry Tutoring
  • Dec 20-21, 3:30-4:30 Bake Sale
  • Dec 21 - last day of school before the break
  • Dec 22 - Jan 5 - Winter Break
  • Jan 11, lunch - Next Uniform Pick Up
  • Feb 23 - save the date - Scientific Symposium

Newsletter Sponsor AP Tutors
Thank you to our newsletter sponsor, AP Tutors!
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Note from the Editor

You'll want to make sure you click "download external images" for our newsletters or you will miss some of the "images" which are important flyers. Thanks!

Principal Herrera's Update


It is time for spring schedule change requests. The links below are only available to students, but parents should sit with their students to submit schedule changes. 

Keep in mind that your schedule will change/shift with any request made and approved. This means you may not have the same teachers and class periods as your original schedule. 

**Requests to move to another teacher or class period will not be honored. 

Students will be allowed to submit ONE request and will not be able to edit once the form is submitted. 

·         Students will receive a confirmation email within 15 minutes of submitting the Google form

·         If you do not see the confirmation in your inbox, check your junk mail or spam

·         Still don't see the confirmation email, try submitting again or contact your counselor ASAP

Requests MUST be submitted no later than DECEMBER 15, 2023, at 2:00 pm

The DEADLINE is to ensure the counselors have schedules ready for the first day of the new semester. 

This Google form will be closed at 2:00 pm, NO EXCEPTIONS!

Class of 2027

Class of 2026

Class of 2025

Class of 2024


***FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE is posted below. Note: please "download external images" for the newsletter so you can see the schedule.

Final Exam schedule
no parking sign pic
Friendly Pick Up & Drop Off Reminders

We all have some place we are trying to get to in the mornings - let's be patient and follow the signage and traffic pattern to ensure a safe and orderly drop off and pick up for our students. 


No parking along Pressler.

No letting students out of the vehicle on Pressler.

No left turns into the DeBakey parking lot when approaching northbound on Pressler.

Follow directions from our HISD Officer Colunga - he is here to keep us all safe!

Spirit Day @ MOD Pizza Sun, Dec 10
Dec 15 Winterwonderland 4-7 pm jrs & srs
Dec 15 Winter Wonderland - Help Needed

We are excited to help our juniors & seniors enjoy a fun evening at our "Winter Wonderland" - we need your help to make that happen. Please use the Sign Up Genius below to assist with cash and food donations and/or volunteer your time at the event.

The event is December 15th, 4 pm - 7 pm.

Sign Up for Winter Wonderland Help Here

Orchestra Concert 12/14 7 pm
Orchestra Winter Concert - Dec 14, 7 pm

The DeBakey HSHP Orchestra program has grown to over eighty members for the 2023-2024 school year! We are off and running with various pieces for beginners through our advanced and Honors members, and we have several members that have earned chairs in the various Region and All-State ensembles. Cynthia Kong (11th Viola) has earned an All-State Sinfonietta spot, Hwi-Eun Shim (12th Violin), Nathan Giang (12th Violin), Matthew Lu (10th Violin), Emma Trinh (10th Violin) and Daniel Bain (10th Clarinet) have earned top spots in the two Region Full Orchestras. We congratulate their achievements and their dedication to their art, and their commitment to further their development as well-rounded professionals ready to tackle loftier goals in their futures. Mr. Stewart is extremely proud of their accomplishments, their spirit and character, and is honored to work with them. 


Please join us on December 14th for our Winter All Ensembles Concert in the DeBakey HSHP Cafeteria at 7 pm. In lieu of a ticket price, please consider a donation to the PTO so that we may continue to grow and refine our Orchestra program.

Orchestra Concert - Dec 14th - Help Needed

Please use the below link to sign up to help with donations so we can feed our 85 orchestra students during their pre-concert rehearsals on December 14th. We also need a few parent volunteers to help with passing out food, etc.  Please consider donating funds, food or your time to help make this evening of rehearsals and concert a smooth and memorable one for our students.

Orchestra Help Sign Up

donor names on DeBakey wall
Remember DeBakey in Your End of Year Giving

Your donations are tax-deductible and will optimize the success of your child as well as the entire student body and teachers.

  • Purchase a Benefactor Wall Plaque -Honor your family, student, or business and become part of Debakey's legacy with a $500 donation. (Photo of wall plaques above)
  • Make a General Donation of $25 or more.
  • Double the impact through Company Matching.

Click here to donate now!

Dec 14 Chem Club meeting; Dec 16 tutoring
Bake Sale - Dec 20-21
soccer team victory pic
DeBakey Soccer Team Victory!

Debakey Senior Boys Soccer Club beat Eastwood Academy High School 9-6 on Saturday December 9th. at the Fireball Winter League. 

Next game: Saturday, Dec. 16th at 9am. 

Back (from left to right): Biinazar Kubanychbekov, Arshya Kamrani, Yosuf Mohammad, Jhovany García, Francesco Valle.

Front (from left to right): Fenus Kiflu, Evan Wright, Sebastian Foster, Ryan Butali.

The results of the boys tryouts will be announced in the next newsletter.

DeBakey represents at Region Orchestra

DeBakey students were honored to make Region 23 Orchestra! Depicted with our dedicated and wonderful orchestra director, Mr. Stewart. Congrats, all!

PEA + Running Club info
DeBakey student newsletter Nov edition
Check Out the November edition of the DeBakey Digest

Be sure to read the latest edition of the student newsletter, the DeBakey Digest and share with your student!

DeBakey Digest November edition

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!

Classes of 2025 and 2026 Senior Dues

Hey Classes of 2025 and 2026! 

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 and 2026 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 next pick up Jan 11
Click here to visit the PTO Uniform Store!
We need a Field Day Chair & Committee!

PTO is looking for a volunteer to lead this fun event and committee members to help support! The event takes place the day before Spring Break.

The DeBakey Field Day is wonderful highlight for the DeBakey Students in the spring.  Typically, the festival includes a carnival like atmosphere with lots of games, rides, food trucks, ice cream, and cupcakes.  You would be responsible to work with the administration to ensure all activities have been ordered, the food trucks have been requested, and that we have enough water, ice cream, and cupcakes/snacks for all the students.  This may require requesting donations.  This position does not require a lot of time throughout the year but is incredibly involved from approximately January until the event occurs just before Spring Break.

Interested? Contact- president@debakeypto.org

Order 2023-2024 Yearbooks Now!


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! 

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.

  • 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.

Dec 12 - Virtual PTO Meeting "Home for the Holidays"

Do you have questions for DeBakey alums? Please submit to president@debakeypto.org - DeBakey alums will attend this meeting and answer your questions about life on the other side of high school!

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!

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunity

Support our community by volunteering at Houston Food Bank events right on our campus. Multiple dates are available via the Sign Up Genius link below. Volunteers will be stationed outside in the DeBakey parking lot, so dress for the weather.

There is a particular need for bilingual volunteers.

Volunteer Sign Up Here

Recruiting Speakers for our Feb 23 Science Symposium

Parents, guardians, community, alumni- if you or someone you know might like to present about their interesting career to our students, please contact us for more information. This is an event for our students. We welcome engaging speakers preferably STEM, medical, finance, motivational and passionate persons willing to share. 

Travel Abroad with DeBakey - lots of interesting opportunities below for 2024 & 2025
2025 Greek trip interest meetnig
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

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!

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 >>

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