Interested in the Magnet Program? Here’s a Quick Guide to Application Process

Applications are due by January 6, 2012; many schools still offering campus tours

November 18, 2011
Pin Oak Middle School Dean of Students Maryury Fernandez answers a student's question during an information night that concluded in the school's library.
It’s a busy time of year for parents interested in HISD’s magnet program. Schools across the district are hosting informational sessions, and parents are weighing the many options available to students through the program, which comprises more than 100 schools with unique focuses, such as fine arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), foreign language, and even aviation.

The magnet application process began on November 7, and all applications must be postmarked no later than January 6, 2012. For a complete list of dates and deadlines, click here.

Many parents attended a district wide open house and campus tours during Magnet Awareness Week, November 7–11. Parents can still contact individual campuses to schedule tours, and some campuses are continuing to hold information sessions throughout the application season.
At a recent information night at Pin Oak Middle School, a foreign language magnet that’s also classified as a neighborhood Vanguard school, parents toured the campus and asked questions about class offerings, admission requirements, and electives.

Pin Oak is just one of 113 magnet programs offered by HISD.

Here is a quick guide to the types of schools parents can choose from:
  • Magnet: Magnet schools offer a range of thematic educational choices for prekindergarten through grade 12. Each program’s enriched curriculum centers on a specialized theme that meets students’ diverse needs, while teachers receive training to deliver specialized content using best practices.
  • Vanguard Magnet school: Vanguard is a Magnet program that serves students who have been identified as potentially gifted or talented in intellectual ability, creativity, or leadership. A Magnet Vanguard offers a differentiated curriculum that is both accelerated and enriched. Admission to the Magnet Vanguard program requires testing and the use of the Vanguard application.
  • Vanguard Neighborhood school: Vanguard Neighborhood programs are designed to meet the needs of G/T students in grades K-12 at their neighborhood (zoned) schools. Both Vanguard Magnet and Vanguard Neighborhood programs provide a differentiated curriculum by modifying the depth, complexity, and pacing of the general school program.
  • Charter school: HISD operates five types of charter schools: whole-campus, program (school-within-a-school), cooperative, internal, community-based, and external-campus. Each charter school has an innovative focus that addresses a particular education concept and/or student population. All charter schools are accountable under the Texas Education Agency accountability system.
  • Neighborhood school: HISD’s neighborhood schools not only provide quality instruction and co-curricular activities, but their rich school history of traditions and community involvement enhance the very fabric of the diverse and unique Houston area. Students are zoned to their neighborhood campus based on their place of residence. 
For links to Vanguard applications and other forms, click here.
A brochure describing all programs available is here (.pdf)
Upcoming Magnet events: