School Choice Options
Neighborhood schools are the foundation of HISD's portfolio of educational options. The schools offer a well-rounded curriculum and have a history of community involvement. Students are zoned to a neighborhood campus based on where they live. Each neighborhood has a feeder pattern, connecting an elementary school to a middle and high school. The continuity allows for aligned learning from grades K-12.
Magnet schools offer a theme-based curriculum that allows students to select schools based on their expressed interests, talents, skills, or career path.Teachers receive specialized training aligned to the school’s thematic focus, and strong community/business partnerships support the relevance of the theme with a real-world view. Magnet schools seek to recruit and draw an ethnically diverse student body from throughout the city.
Vanguard is a magnet program that serves students who have been identified as potentially gifted or talented in intellectual ability, creativity, or leadership. A Vanguard school offers a differentiated curriculum that is both accelerated and enriched. Admission to the Vanguard magnet program requires testing and the use of the Vanguard application.
Charter schools are focused on a particular education concept and/or student population. HISD operates five types of charter schools: whole-campus, program (school-within-a-school), cooperative, internal, community-based, and external-campus. All charter schools are accountable under the Texas Education Agency accountability system.Montessori is a system of education that is both a philosophy of child development and a methodology of guiding each child’s development to its full potential. In a Montessori school, children grow in an environment of mutual respect to become responsible world citizens. Every classroom is equipped with Montessori materials. Children experience a spiraling, connected curriculum founded on Montessori principles.
International Baccalaureate (IB) schools offer an advanced academic curriculum that focuses on problem-solving and independent critical-thinking skills, which better prepare students for college and a lifetime of learning.
Early College High Schools and College Prep Programs provide students with an opportunity to get a head start on their college degrees. Many teens are able to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree simultaneously, saving them thousands of dollars in college tuition and roughly two years of study.
Futures Academies allow students to earn an associate's degree and valuable career certifications to help them land lucrative jobs in some of the region's most in-demand professions, including medicine, shipping, energy, manufacturing, and computer technology.
College and Career Readiness Programs provide courses in many different career areas to prepare students for jobs in the workforce. Some programs prepare students for vocational certifications, while others offer dual credit courses to give them a head start in college.
S.T.E.M. is a program that offers science, technology, engineering, and math instruction through problem-solving and independent critical-thinking skills, while emphasizing laboratory exploration and hands-on activities.
Dual Language Programs offer students an opportunity to learn one or more languages in an instructional setting that integrates subject content presented in English and another language. Models vary depending on the language and school level. This program provides a continuum of learning experiences that lead to the development of advanced-level linguistic skills.
Fine Arts Programs provide specialized instruction in a variety of areas, including music, visual arts, theater, dance, creative writing, and more. Research has shown that students who apply themselves in the arts perform higher academically, and HISD’s fine arts magnet programs provide a strong core of knowledge.
NOTE: Under University Interscholastic League (UIL) eligibility rules, students who have an option to attend more than one high school within a school district are eligible for varsity athletic competition at the school they first select rather than being assigned to a school according to their attendance zone. If a student subsequently moves to another school within that school district, they are not eligible for varsity athletic competition until they have been in and regularly attended that school for the previous calendar year or longer.