HISD Partners with Houston Community College to Open Two Middle College High Schools

Schools designed to serve students who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out

The Houston Independent School District is partnering with Houston Community College to open two Middle College High Schools focused on serving students who are in danger of dropping out of school or who have already dropped out.

The HISD Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday to open the campuses on January 2014 at the Felix Fraga Academic HCC campus and the Gulfton HCC campus.  Each campus would serve 150 students each in grades 9 to 12.  HISD will begin recruiting students immediately who have already dropped out or have been identified as being at-risk of dropping out.

“This partnership will provide our most at-risk students more opportunities to continue their studies and prepare them to contribute to Houston’s strong economy,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said.  “In this setting, they will be studying side-by-side with college students on a college campus and begin to see themselves as college material for the first time.”

The Middle College High Schools are part of HISD’s broad dropout prevention plan that also includes Grad Labs on every high school campus, where students can take credit recovery courses online to get back on track for graduation, and High School Ahead Academy (HSAA), an innovative program for over-aged middle school students. The ultimate goal of HSAA is to enable students to graduate from high school within a timeframe that is in line with peers of their same age group.

The Board also voted Thursday to seek a third-party academic review of HISD’s Apollo 20 school turnaround program.  This will include a review of the methodology, conclusions and recommendations presented to the Board.

In addition, the Board approved building a new North Forest High School and an early childhood center using funds that the state is sending HISD as a result of the annexation.  The new North Forest High School will serve up to 1,500 students and the early childhood center up to 600 students.