High Expectations Paying Off at Apollo 20 High Schools

Ninety-three percent of graduating seniors accepted by colleges

April 11, 2011
Eight months into the Apollo 20 program to turn around struggling HISD schools, 93 percent of the Apollo seniors at Jones, Kashmere, Lee, and Sharpstown high schools have been accepted by a two- or four-year college. That’s a total of 759 students, 308 of whom were accepted by four-year institutions.

When the Apollo program was launched last August, it was founded on five tenets. One of the tenets is high expectations, which includes all students graduating and going on to college.

Last year, only 35 percent—or 256 students—who graduated from the same four high schools enrolled in college the following fall. Apollo school personnel are working with the current seniors to help them transition successfully from high school graduation this summer to college enrollment this fall. Here’s the school-by-school breakdown for the Apollo Class of 2011.
Apollo Seniors Accepted to College (2–year or 4–year) as of April 1, 2011
Jones94%121 students accepted
Kashmere89%99 students accepted
Lee97%330 students accepted
Sharpstown94%209 students accepted
Total93%759 students accepted
There are also encouraging signs that next year’s class of Apollo seniors will be ready to tackle higher education. So far, 94.5 percent of Apollo eleventh-graders have registered to take the SAT college entrance examination to be administered on April 13.

This year for the first time, HISD is offering the SAT free of charge on each campus during the school day. In the past, students signed up to take the exam at an off-campus facility and took the exam over the weekend at a cost of $47 dollars. So far, 90 percent of HISD juniors district wide have signed up for the exam.