Tag Archives: school choice

Here’s how to take a virtual tour of School Choice programs

Houston ISD offers a variety of learning options for every child. All prospective parents and caregivers grades PK-12 are invited to take virtual tours of magnet schools. In addition to learning more about the culture of each campus, parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to speak with representatives one on one from the schools, ensuring that the best fit is selected.

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Magnet school applications for 2017-18 are now available

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It’s time to apply to a magnet program for the 2017-18 school year. HISD has more than 119 magnet programs at 111 schools throughout the district in:

  • Fine Arts/Performing & Visual Arts
  • College & Career Readiness
  • International Baccalaureate
  • International Studies
  • Dual language
  • Literature
  • Montessori
  • STEM
  • Technology
  • Vanguard (Gifted and talented)

Ten new magnet programs have been added at Atherton ES, Crockett ES, Hartsfield ES, Kashmere Gardens ES, Stevens ES, Lawson MS, Key MS, Ortiz MS, The Rusk School, Kashmere HS and Westbury HS. Continue reading

Last school choice open house on Saturday and first magnet deadline approaching

One of the great things about HISD is that parents have a wide variety of choices regarding where to send their students to school, but time is running out to be in the first round of consideration. Parents who still aren’t sure which school they want their child to attend should go to the final school-choice open house this weekend from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Northwest Mall. Representatives from HISD magnet schools will be there, and attendees can even get help submitting their application.

The deadline to apply is Dec. 18 for guaranteed consideration in the first round. Any applications received after the Dec.18 deadline will be considered only for schools where there is still space available.

Completed applications can be submitted in the following three ways:

* Submit it online at hisdchoice.com (online applications provide more options for tracking and staying up-to-date)

* Hand-deliver or send by U.S. mail to the Office of School Choice at 4400 West 18th Street, Houston, TX 77092

* Scan the paper application and e-mail it to magnet@houstonisd.org, along with the required documents

The big day is March 24, 2016. That’s when parents will learn the status of their application – results will be available online and also sent by mail. If a child has been offered a seat in a program, the parents have two weeks to provide proof of residence and sign an entrance agreement.

If their student is placed on a waiting list, parents can monitor changes in application status throughout the summer, at which time they may be able to submit additional applications to programs with available seats.

For more information on the magnet application process, please contact HISD’s Office of School Choice at 713-556-6947.

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. Continue reading

Magnet Spotlight: Carrillo ES serving gifted and talented students on Houston’s east side

IMG_5051HISD has 10 elementary schools that serve gifted and talented students though the Vanguard magnet program, and one of those is Carrillo, located just east of downtown.

In addition to a rigorous Vanguard curriculum, Carrillo offers a host of enrichment class options, such as band, music, and art. After-school choir and orchestra programs also give students an exceptional opportunity to learn how to play the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, guitar, or percussion instruments.

For children whose first language is not English, Carrillo’s bilingual program provides intensive instruction and support in all subjects, with a special focus on developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills using English as a Second language methodology.

Students may also participate in Gifted and Talented Expos, the annual Name That Book competition, and Odyssey of the Mind activities.

“The Carrillo faculty is caring and dedicated to the success of every single student,” said Principal Mary Hallinan. “We are committed to ensuring that each child reaches his/her potential by setting high expectations and providing the best quality education to help students reach those standards.”

HISD will be holding its annual School Choice Fair on Saturday, April 25, for parents and students who have not yet decided on a school for the coming academic year. Carrillo is one of several schools that still has space available in its magnet program. For more information about Carrillo or other magnet campuses, please visit the School Choice website.

Don’t overlook your neighborhood campuses when shopping for a school

Crockett ES is not a magnet school for fine arts, but its program is top-notch due in part to art teachers like Geetha Thomas, pictured here with some of her students. Parents are encouraged to check out the offerings at their neighborhood schools first, before shopping for alternatives.

It’s fall in Houston, and that means many HISD parents are already thinking about which campuses to send their children to for the 2015–2016 school year.

But while the attraction of the district’s many magnet programs is undeniable, parents are encouraged to take a closer look at the “zoned” schools located in their neighborhoods, as sometimes a hidden gem can be right around the corner.
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Magnet school notification date coming up

The big day is almost here. HISD is in the final stages of processing nearly 50,000 applications in preparation for magnet notification day on Friday, March 28. The district has received 16,747 more applications this year than last, with the majority of those applications received through the new online application system.

All students who met the qualifications and December deadline will be offered spaces in the order assigned by a computer-generated lottery. The lottery randomly assigns spaces for applicants and their siblings.

Parents who are waiting anxiously to find out which magnet school their child will be attending next year will be notified on March 28 by mail or email, depending on how they filed their application. If they applied online, they will be notified by email on March 28 (after 5 p.m.). If they applied with a paper application, letters reporting the status of their child’s application will be mailed on March 28.

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Open House to Showcase HISD’s Portfolio of School Choices

Options include magnet programs, Montessori, early colleges and Futures academies

The Houston Independent School District provides families with a vast portfolio of educational programs, and parents and students will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from many of them this weekend.

Representatives from more than 100 schools will be on hand during the HISD School Choice Open House on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northwest Mall, 9500 Hempstead Highway.

“Our goal is to ensure parents can select the right school to adequately meet their child’s unique needs and talents,” said HISD Assistant Superintendent for School Choice Dave Wheat. “We are committed to providing all students a high-quality education that prepares them to be college-ready, regardless of which program they choose.”

Representatives from HISD’s Magnet programs, Vanguard Magnet programs, Montessori, early colleges, Futures academies and charter schools will be ready to assist parents in making the best school choice for their children. Parents will also have the opportunity to learn more about the online option to submit their applications. Applications for Magnet programs will be accepted from Nov. 4 to Dec. 20, 2013, for guaranteed consideration in the first round.

“At this event, parents will find all the resources and assistance they need to explore their options for the next school year,” Wheat said. “The representatives will be there to assist them with every step of the application.”

HISD’s school choice options are available to all children, including those who live outside HISD.

For more information about the HISD School Choice Open House, contact the Office of School Choice at 713-556-6947.

Learn Your Child’s Options at the School Choice Open House Nov. 2

It might seem a bit premature to be thinking about the 2014–2015 school year, but parents who want to learn about the vast array of options HISD has to meet the needs, talents, and/or interests of their children should begin the process now.

The district will begin accepting applications for Magnet programs for the coming school year on Mon., Nov. 4, and parents must submit those applications on or before Fri., Dec. 20, 2013, for guaranteed first-round consideration.

To assist families in choosing a school, HISD will be hosting its annual School Choice Open House on Sat., Nov. 2, at Northwest Mall (9500 Hempstead Hwy., 77092). The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., and representatives from many of HISD’s schools of choice will be on hand to answer questions and offer information about their programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

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