Originally delivered on 11/5/2023 11:13 am

SUBJECT: DeBakey PTO Newsletter - November 5, 2023

DeBakey PTO

DeBakey PTO Newsletter

November 4, 2023

In This Issue
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Sign up to continue to receive newsletter
  • School News
    • Principal Herrera's Update
    • Reminder to Vote
    • HISD Trustee Candidate information
    • Pick Up & Drop Off Reminders
    • Vipers Place 1st in VEX Robotics Texan Standoff
    • Soccer Practice, Mondays & Wednesdays @ Roberts Elem
    • Girls Soccer Practice, Tuesdays & Thursdays
    • PEA + Running Club Information
    • Athletic Interest Form
    • Classes of 2024, 2025 & 2026 Dues Reminder
    • Senior Signing Day Wish List
    • Beta Club Art Supply Drive
    • Class of 2025 and Class of 2026 shirt information
    • PTO Uniform Store Updates
    • NHS Save the Dates
    • Counselor's Corner
    • Need Field Day Chair & Committee
    • October issue of DeBakey Digest
    • Order Yearbooks
    • Community Support for DeBakey Needed
    • Interact Toy Drive
    • HOSA Book Drive
    • HOSA dues 
    • PTO meeting calendar
    • Birthday & Celebratory Greetings - Fundraising
    • Donate Coffee/Tea to Support Teachers
    • Poetry Cafe Pics
    • Ongoing Food Bank Volunteer Opportunity
    • Need for Scientific Symposium Speakers
    • 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

  • Nov 5 - Last Day to order Class of 2026 shirts
  • Nov 7 - Election Day - yes, there is school
  • Nov 9 - Last Day for Beta Club art supply drive
  • Nov 10 - Last Day to order Class of 2025 shirts
  • Nov 10 - No School, Cycle 2 ends
  • Nov 13 - Cycle 3 begins
  • Nov 14, 6:30-8 pm - PTO meeting (in person)
  • Nov 14-15 - Picture Days (new date!)
  • Nov 15 - HOSA Book Drive
  • Nov 15, after school - NHS induction rehearsal - juniors and seniors
  • Nov 16 - NHS induction ceremony
  • Dec 7, lunch - next opportunity to pick up uniforms
  • Dec 12, 6:30-8pm - PTO meeting, virtual
  • Feb 23 - save the date - Scientific Symposium

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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

Election Day: Election Day is this Tuesday, November 7th. School is in session that day and DeBakey is a polling location. This will cause additional traffic at our school in the morning, please plan accordingly so your student arrives at school on time (7:45 am).

New Mascot: Welcome our new mascot! I was surprised to meet our new mascot at the basketball game Friday night! Students will soon vote to give our new Viper mascot a name. 

Thank you to our PTO: We appreciate the support you provide our campus every day. Last week's Poetry Cafe was a big success and provided a creative outlet for teachers and students alike.

Physics Teacher Update: We are pleased to welcome Ms. Josephine Guillory as our AP Physics I and AP Physics II teacher. Ms. Guillory taught physics at DeBakey from 2014-2020. She comes back to us with 20+ years of education experience. Please welcome her back to our campus!

Mr. Herrera with Viper Mascot
Election Day Nov 7

Don't forget to do your research into the local elections and cast your ballot during early voting or on Election Day. 

Reminder: As part of the TEA takeover of HISD, the elected Board of Trustees was replaced by a new Board of Managers. But, there are two HISD Board of Trustee position candidates on the ballot. The Board of Trustees currently serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Managers. After at least two years under the TEA and when HISD meets certain exit criteria, elected trustees will begin to roll onto the Board. 

It is important that we still do our research and vote!

More information here:


HISD notice of Board of Trustee Candidates
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!

Vipers Robotics Team pic!
Vipers Place 1st in VEX Robotics "Texan Standoff"

On Saturday, October 28th, DeBakey Robotics Vipers joined with Carnegie Vanguard DiscoBots C for a VEX Robotics Competition at Lamar HS. The "Texan Standoff" started at 8 am and lasted into the evening. The Vipers competed in eight qualifier rounds on their own and three elimination rounds with the DiscoBots C. Their hard work was worth it as the Vipers and DiscoBots C teams were ultimately declared Tournament Champions! VEX Texan Standoff competition scores and ranking can be found at 2023 VEX Texan Standoff Competition Results.

Soccer Practice @ Rice coming soon
Girls Soccer Practice 5:30-7:30pm
PEA + Running Club info
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

Beat Club Art Supply Drive thru Nov 9
Class of 2025 shirt image
Class of 2025 shirts available until Nov 10 ORDER NOW

Class of 2025 must order shirts by November 10th! These shirts will be worn on Fridays, Pep Rallies, our fun Field Day, and other school events!

Buy Class of 2025 shirts here

Class of 2026 shirt
Class of 2026 shirts - sale extended over this weekend - buy now!

Class of 2026 shirts are available via SchoolPay for just $10. Sale extended for this weekend so buy yours today!

These shirts will be worn on Fridays, at Pep Rallies, our fun Field Day and other school events.


Uniform Store next open Dec 7 @ lunch
Click here to visit the PTO Uniform Store!
National Honor Society Save the Dates

National Honor Society - Juniors and Seniors:

November 15, after school - rehearsal

November 16 - induction

More information to follow.

Counselor's Corner
Counselor information
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

October edition of the DeBakey Digest!

Make sure your student sees a copy of the latest edition of the student newsletter, the DeBakey Digest, link below.

DeBakey Digest, October edition

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.

Interact Toy Drive

Please share some holiday spirit by donating a toy to the Interact Toy Drive. 

Collection bin at reception at school.

HOSA book Drive Nov 15
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! 


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.

  • 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!

Poetry Cafe November 2nd

Many thanks to Ms. Leon and her volunteer student organizers that helped Poetry Cafe be such a success. Many DeBakey teachers are multi-talented musicians, singers and poets. 

Our PTO sponsored this event and provided food and beverages for attendees - please make a donation to support events such as these!

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
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!

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 >>

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