HISD offering school tours, open houses to help families select schools for next year

The Houston Independent School District Office of School Choice will host four open houses and offer weekly campus tours throughout the fall semester to help families make more informed school selections for the next year.

Families will be able to explore their neighborhood schools, as well as the district’s 100-plus magnet programs, specializing in areas such as fine arts, language studies, college and career readiness and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math).

The weekly tours will be held at all HISD campuses every Thursday from Oct. 8 through Dec. 3. Elementary and K-8 school tours are scheduled for 9 a.m. Middle and high school tours begin at 1 p.m.

Open houses featuring both magnet programs and neighborhood schools will be held at various locations throughout October, November and December. Help will be available for families who would like to complete their magnet applications on the spot.

School Choice Open Houses

  • Oct. 3, 9 a.m. to noon — Barbara Jordan High School for Careers, 5800 Eastex Freeway, 77026
  • Oct. 24,  9 a.m. to noon — Sharpstown High School, 7504 Bissonnet, 77074
  • Nov. 14, 9 a.m. to noon — Jack Yates High School, 3703 Sampson, 77004
  • Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Northwest Mall, 555 NW Mall, 77092

Both the tours and open houses are free and designed to help ensure families are well informed about the schools — both neighborhood and magnet campuses — they want their children to attend. HISD has traditionally celebrated School Choice Week in November. However, administrators decided to expand the focus this year to help parents prioritize schools on magnet applications.

Under the new magnet application system, parents are required to rank the schools to which they are applying. If students qualify for multiple schools, they are only accepted to the one that is ranked highest on their application. Students, however, will remain on waitlists for any higher-ranked schools without immediate available space.

The changes are designed to prevent students from receiving multiple acceptances, which slows down the overall process and ties up potentially available seats, preventing some students from knowing where they will attend school until well into the summer.

The 2016-2017 HISD magnet application is available online beginning today. First-round applications are due Dec. 18.

For more information about HISD school choice tours and open houses, visit HoustonISD.org/SchoolChoice or call (713) 556-6947.