HISD School Choice Open House to showcase 100-plus district offerings

The Houston Independent School District is hosting a School Choice Open House Saturday, Nov. 1 at Northwest Mall (9500 Hempstead Hwy., 77092) to highlight educational options for the 2015-2016 school year. The annual event will take place from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and representatives from many of the district’s campuses will be on hand to answer questions and offer information about their programs.

Magnet applications for the 2015-2016 school year open online on Saturday, Nov. 1. Parents must submit those applications before Friday, Dec. 19, for guaranteed first-round consideration.    

In 2013, the district rolled out a new online application process and computer-generated lottery that resulted in more than 60,000 magnet applications, a significant increase from previous years that relied only on paper applications.

“The online application process gives HISD parents the ability to conveniently apply for up to 10 magnet programs in just a few clicks of a keyboard,” said Assistant Superintendent of School Choice Mark Shenker. “We have spent the last few years refining our application process to ensure HISD parents continue to have fair access to our programs and greater convenience in applying and reviewing the status of their applications.”

During the fair, representatives from HISD’s magnet programs will be on site to review the online system and answer questions about the application process.

New magnet programs available for families

Information will also be provided on HISD’s specialty programs including the district’s two middle college high schools, early college high schools, multilingual programs, Futures Academies, and the new Barbara Jordan career center.

Starting with the 2015-2016 school year, Barbara Jordan High School for Careers will begin transitioning into a regional career and technical education center – enabling students to take core courses at their home campus while spending a portion of their day at Barbara Jordan for specialized programming in high-demand fields.

The Barbara Jordan career center will work in harmony with a student’s home school, giving priority admission to students zoned to surrounding high schools: Davis, Furr, Kashmere, North Forest, Reagan, Sam Houston, Washington, and Wheatley. Students accepted into the magnet program, will receive free transportation from their home campus and will graduate with a diploma from their home campus with additional distinctions from two industry pathways: Industrial/Commercial Construction and Health Professions from the Barbara Jordan career center.

Current Barbara Jordan freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors will be allowed to remain on campus until graduation. However, the school will not accept any additional students into its comprehensive four-year high school program.

This is the first of multiple similarly designed career centers the district plans to open in other parts of the city. This transition into a career center is made possible by the voter-approved plan to rebuild Barbara Jordan into a modern career and technical education facility. At the same time, HISD is rebuilding neighborhood high schools across the district.

Parent information sessions planned across district

HISD also continues to host parent information nights across the district to help familiarize families with their neighborhood options as well as the district’s magnet and specialty school options. Each parent night begins at 6 p.m. A complete list of dates and locations is detailed below.

Incoming Middle School Parent Information Nights

  • Oct. 30 – Whidby Elementary, 7625 Springhill, 77021
  • Nov. 18 – Crespo Elementary, 7500 Office City, 77012
  • Dec. 3 – Shadydale Elementary, 5905 Tidwell, 77016

Incoming High School Parent Information Nights

For more information, contact the Office of School Choice at 713-556-6947 or visit www.HoustonISD.org/SchoolChoice.