Sharpstown International School community hears about plans to update campus

A community meeting was held at Sharpstown International School (SIS) this week to brief stakeholders on district plans to renovate the unique school.

SIS was developed in 2007 as a partnership of HISD and the Asia Society International Schools Network, and was known as the International High School at Sharpstown. In the 2011-2012 school year, International High School and Sharpstown Middle School were consolidated to become the first 6-12 grade magnet program in the district. With an international studies focus, it was named Sharpstown International School.

The renovation project is part of HISD’s current bond program and is comprised of three portions: updating and securing the main entrance, renovating the large breezeways to provide more flexible learning spaces, and building additional learning centers or flex lab spaces.

“These updates will provide more security for students and staff, but also make the front entrance more appealing and welcoming,” said Trustee Greg Meyers. “I think the plans are great and really incorporate the 21st century elements of flexibility and collaborative learning.”

Ida White, a parent of three SIS students, attended the meeting and said she liked the new entrance and extra security features that will be added to the school, as well as the new flexible spaces that will be created.

“We have so much space in this school now that we can’t use because it’s hot,” White said. “Now they’re going to renovate it and air condition it, we’ll be able to use it for many activities.”

The main entrance will be retrofitted with a security vestibule which will provide controlled access and also give the building an updated modern feel. A pod of flexible learning spaces will be constructed in the heart of the campus, which is currently an internal courtyard. The main existing corridors, which are covered and partially open to the elements, will be updated, enclosed and air conditioned making the space much more inviting and usable for a variety of student and community activities.

“I’m impressed with the plans,” said Joseph Permetti, a long-time neighbor of the school. “It will be transformative for our neighborhood, a source of pride for us and the students.”

SIS was recognized this year by the Washington Post as one of the most Challenging High Schools in America, and by U.S. News & World Report on the Best High Schools in Texas top 100 list.

“Not too many years ago this school was a dream. It became a reality because of the community coming together,” Meyers said. “They’re doing great academically, and for the first time, there is now a wait list to get in. I could not be more proud of the things that are going on at Sharpstown International.”

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