Phase I: Lottery– Parents rank options and apply. HISD runs a lottery to determine which students get a seat. Students who do not receive a seat are waitlisted at all schools they ranked higher than the seat they were offered.
Phase II: Space Available - Parents may add themselves to existing waitlists established during Phase I or enroll directly in campuses with space available. Current HISD students can no longer apply once this phase closes. Note: students that are not enrolled in HISD may always apply, even after this phase has closed.
Phase III: Maintain Waitlist – Students may still be offered a seat at a campus if space opens up. At the end of this phase, waitlists are retired.
Phase I Key Dates:
1/18: K-12 Applications open. Parents rank up to 10 choices in the application.
2/23: K-12 Applications close (all rankings and required documents must be submitted)
2/26: K-12 document deadline (all documents must be uploaded for eligibility consideration)
3/26: Parent Notification Day. Families offered no more than one seat based on lottery results.
4/9: Deadline for families to accept seat offered in Phase I
Parents should rank in order of preference. You have the same chance to get into a school whether you rank it first or last in your rank link.
Parents should apply in phase one for the best chance of getting a seat at one of their top ten schools.
Parents do NOT increase their chances of getting into a particular school by applying to fewer schools. Using all 10 options does not hurt your chances.
Parents do NOT lose their student’s current seat when they apply to school choice. Parents only give up their student’s current seat at the point of time when they choose to accept a different seat. Parents will have this opportunity after they are notified about the results of the lottery.
High schools with magnet, IB or CTE programming may include an entry requirement based on academic achievement from an accredited institution. A student’s matrix score is calculated based on their grades and test scores. Parents Note: Matrix scores are also included for single gender college preparatory programs at the middle school Level.
Secondary Fine Arts Programs require students to audition or showcase their area of art.
Gifted and Talented Testing
Gifted and talented (GT) students demonstrate advanced performance compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment. Students may be advanced in an intellectual, creative or artistic area, possess unusual capacity for leadership and/or excel in a specific academic field. A student must qualify as GT based on the results of a Gifted and Talented test, student grades, teacher recommendation and other qualifiers. All Vanguard programs require students to be qualified as GT in math and reading.
Depending on the type of Dual Language program, both Emergent Bilingual (EB) and native English students may be eligible to attend through a placement test.
Students entering 3-8 grade are required to have Montessori experience to be considered eligible.
Separate and Unique Schools – These schools do not have any students zoned to the campus. This means all students must apply to attend.
School-wide Programs – All non-zoned students must apply to these schools. Zoned students do not need to apply given the full school participates in the programming.
School Within a School– Some campuses have specialty programming within the campus. Zoned and non-zoned students must apply to access this specialty programming. Zoned students do not need to apply to their zoned school to access the general education program.
Who should apply?
Any student that wants to enter a school that is not their zoned school for the first time. Additionally, students must apply to their zoned school if it has a “school within a school” magnet program they want to access. Any students interested in participating in the new Cullen Military Academy, must apply.
Who does not need to apply?
Students who want to stay in their zoned school do not need to apply. (Exception: students applying to a Magnet “school within a school”). Additionally, K - 11th grade students who obtained a spot at a campus in previous years do not need to reapply as they will be automatically moved to the next grade.
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