The original Thompson Elementary opened as Southland Elementary School in 1915 as a school for white students. In 1967, Southland, as well as other HISD schools, became integrated. The ethnicity of the school increasingly changed and Southland became a minority school consisting of African-Americans and a small percentage of Hispanics.
The school was renamed Ruby L. Thompson Elementary in 1980, after a well-respected HISD administrator and educator. Thompson taught at Blanche Bruce Elementary School, served as principal of George Turner and Twenty Third Avenue Elementary Schools, and became the district's first black female supervisor. The daughter of Lucian Lockhart, for whom another HISD school is named, Thompson retired after 46 years of service to the district.The new $15-million replacement school was built through HISD's bond program. The new school uses the "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design," (L.E.E.D.) which applies various environmentally friendly strategies for construction. Such strategies include improving indoor air quality by using low and non contaminating construction material and incorporating recycled materials into the building."Our school has been a landmark in the community for decades and will continue to be for years to come, " said Mrs. Billie J. Johnson, who was principal of Thompson Elementary from 1975 - 2007.
Thompson is "Green"
Green schools on average save $100,000 per year in energy, maintenance, and operation costs according to the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council).
The Thompson campus is more environmentally friendly because it has alternative transportation and parking designation for carpool programs, open space with playing fields and vegetation, a storm-water management plan, native plants and zero landscaping techniques to reduce irrigation requirements, low-water-use plumbing fixtures, optimal-energy-performance mechanical and electrical systems, recycled materials and resources in the building, and low- and non-contaminating adhesives, paints, and other construction materials.