Category Archives: Magnet/School Choice

3 town hall meetings planned on HISD magnet program 

The Houston Independent School District’s Office of School Choice is planning three meetings on proposed changes to the district’s magnet program.

Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about school choice in the district.

Meetings will be held at the following locations and dates. All meetings are from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 20
Milby High School
1601 Broadway, Houston 77012

Wednesday, March 21
Hattie Mae White
4400 W 18th St., Houston 77092

Thursday, March 22
Wisdom High School
6529 Beverly Hill, Houston 77057

Kolter school community bids farewell to Harvey-damaged campus

Sugary donuts and hot coffee lined blue tables at the front entrance of Kolter Elementary School as students, faculty, and parents covered their hands with bright-colored paint and marked the building’s exterior with vibrant handprints.

The festivities were part of a “Donuts before Demo” event designed to allow hundreds of community members the chance to say goodbye to their beloved building, which is being demolished and rebuilt due to damages sustained from Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s exciting,” Kolter Principal Julie Dickinson said, smiling. “Although initial circumstances weren’t ideal, we’re getting a new building. It’s worth the wait.”

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HISD Board joined by mayor, lawmakers with message of unity for Houston’s children 

HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said Tuesday that the departure of Superintendent Richard Carranza does not change the vision and mission of the district, which remains committed to delivering a quality education to all children “in a unified way.”

“We are one vision, and that is to ensure IR (Improvement Required) schools come off IR, that we don’t have any additional schools go into IR, and that we can use our use limited dollars in a way that does the least harm to impact our classrooms,” Skillern-Jones said.

Superintendent Carranza accepts new role in NYC

She delivered the message standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow trustees, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, state Rep. Alma Allen, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. All emphasized that the city, state, and federal government have a role to play in ensuring the success of the district, and that the district is more than one person.  Continue reading

HISD surveys students and parents on magnet programs

HISD is seeking parent and student input on the district’s magnet programs in an effort to better understand our families’ needs. The survey is open to students or parents of students who:

  • Attend a magnet program
  • Do not attend a magnet program
  • Live within HISD but do not currently attend an HISD school

The survey can be found at It will be open until March 30.

HISD pioneered the development of magnet programs in the 1970s and is known nationally for its innovative offerings at more than 100 schools.

“We remain committed to magnet programs and school choice,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “We want to be sure that our programs are in line with the district’s vision that every child, no matter where they live, has equitable opportunities and access to an effective, personalized education.”

The community will have opportunities to comment on the magnet program in public meetings that will be scheduled for the coming weeks.

Magnet school application deadline approaching for 2018-2019 school year 

Parents who want their child to attend one of the district’s magnet schools for the 2018-2019 school year must submit an application by Friday, Dec. 8, to be included in the first round of consideration.

Any applications received after the Dec. 8 Phase I deadline will be considered only for schools where space is still available.

Parents who still aren’t sure which school they want their child to attend next year are invited to the final School Choice Fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Key Middle School (4000 Kelley St., 77026). Representatives from HISD magnet schools will be there, and attendees can get help submitting their applications.  Continue reading

New Kinder HSPVA on track to welcome students in January 2019

Construction on the new Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in downtown Houston is making steady progress, with work about 65 percent complete as of this quarter.

The $88 million campus, which is part of the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program, is located between Caroline and Austin streets near the city’s renowned arts and theater district. It is scheduled to open in January 2019.

After raising the five-story building to its highest point in May, workers have since installed the roof and exterior waterproofing and plan to have the entire building enclosed in the coming weeks. Connection of permanent power will follow, which will enable the air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems to be up and running by late November. Continue reading

Washington HS construction on track for Spring 2018 opening

Construction of the new Washington High School campus is edging closer toward the three-quarter completion mark, with flooring, drywall, ceiling, and window installation all underway.

The $56.5 million project is a part of the voter-approved 2012 Bond Program, which calls for the renovation or rebuilding of 40 schools, including 29 high schools.

Site utility installation for the new school is currently in progress, project officials said. Exterior brick installation is nearly complete, as are the visitor and faculty parking areas. The school’s front bus loop also is more than halfway done.

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New High School for Law and Justice building to open for summer classes

Construction on the new High School for Law and Justice is making steady progress, with work this quarter expected to bring the project to about 80 percent completion.

The new $40 million campus, which is funded through a combination of bond funds and real estate proceeds, will feature a realistic courtroom, crime-scene investigations lab, emergency communications center, and law library. The building also will include spaces for ROTC, athletics, fine arts, and other traditional high school spaces.

In the last quarter, the roof and exterior walls were installed, serving to enclose the building. Crews also installed the interior climate system, along with permanent power, plumbing, and utilities.

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Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, Sterling Aviation HS recognized for design excellence


Two schools in the Houston Independent School District’s 2012 Bond Program received national recognition this month in Learning by Design magazine’s 2017 Awards of Excellence.

Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, which opened in August 2016, and Sterling Aviation High School, which opened in January 2017, were among just 17 schools and university facilities from across the country to receive the top designations from the magazine.

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New Parker ES on track to open in January

Parker Elementary School will have a new look for 2018, as construction on the new building inches closer to its scheduled December completion.

Exterior brick and roof installations are nearly complete, and steel framing is underway, as is the installation of insulation and dry wall. In addition, building heating and cooling systems are being tested and crews are painting the cafeteria’s exterior.

“I’m extremely anxious, but very excited,” Parker Principal Lori Frodine said. “We’ve been planning for our new school for several years, so it’s wonderful to see it come together. We can’t wait to move in.”

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