Two HISD Schools Recognized as National Magnet Schools of Merit

Two Houston ISD schools have received the National Magnet School of Merit’s Magnet Schools of Distinction award from the Magnet Schools of America.

Berry Elementary and Garden Oaks Montessori received the MSA’s Magnet School of Distinction award for 2013. The two HISD schools were among seven Texas schools to receive recognition.

“The incredible work of the teachers, parents, community and staff are reflected in this tremendous honor,” said Lindsey Pollock, principal of Garden Oaks Elementary.

Both Berry and Garden Oaks were recognized for environmental science programs, which have been used to not only increase energy efficiency on the campus, but as part of the curriculum.

Pollock said her school received a $2.6 million grant in 2010 that assisted the school’s transition to a Montessori campus with a focus on environmental science. According to the district’s Office of School Choice, Garden Oaks has received almost 600 applications for the 2013-14 school year.

“Magnet schools throughout the country are being awarded for their excellence in demonstrating student achievement, innovative and engaging instruction and curriculum, community engagement, professional development, and a commitment to diversity,” said Scott Thomas, the executive director of Magnet Schools of America. “This is a competitive process that awards only a small fraction of the magnet schools nationally. Schools that win our Merit Awards represent the best in education, innovation, equity and opportunity for all students in our nation.”

Berry Elementary is a new campus built with funds from the 2007 bond program. Garden Oaks Elementary will have a new addition and other renovations built on campus in the fourth round of projects as part of the 2012 bond program.

Both schools will receive their awards during a ceremony at the 31st National Conference on Magnet Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 5-8, 2013.