Learning From Kindergarten to College
Dickinson ISD (Galveston County)
In the past eight years, Dickinson ISD’s enrollment has increased by more than 3,000, with an additional 200–500 added each year. The current student population of 9,300 is served by 1,300 employees at 10 schools and various learning centers. To meet this growth, about $40 million in expansion and renovation is happening at Dickinson High School.

Devers (Liberty County)
Devers is located on Highway 90, about 10 miles east of Liberty, Texas, and about 28 miles west of Beaumont. A low student-to-teacher ratio in all grade levels and a safe and secure small-school atmosphere has helped bring this district to a recognized status.

Hardin ISD (Liberty County)
Servicing more than 1,200 students at five schools, this small rural district offers an intimate 13:1 student-to-teacher ratio to provide the best in one-on-one instruction. Hardin ISD provides its students with “School Weblockers,” an online portal system for student to house documents and projects and access them from anywhere.

Conroe ISD (Montgomery)
Covering 348 square miles, Conroe ISD is located approximately 35 miles north of the Houston metropolitan area. The district serves the communities of The Woodlands, Oak Ridge North, Conroe and Grangerland as well as several other smaller towns, communities and unincorporated areas. Of the 1,033 districts in the state, CISD is the 21st largest district and one of the fastest growing districts in Texas.

Magnolia ISD (Montgomery County)
With a diverse student population of 11,855, Magnolia ISD is located just outside Houston and covers 147 square miles of the countryside surrounding Magnolia. The district’s ALPHA Academy program provides an alternative route to graduation for students who have not been successful in a traditional setting.

New Caney ISD (Montgomery County)
Located approximately 30 miles northeast of Houston, serving the residents in the Porter, New Caney and Kingwood communities. The district houses more than 10,000 students on 14 campuses.

Waller ISD (Waller County)
Waller ISD is the second largest school district in total square miles in the Houston area. It is located 40 miles northwest of downtown Houston in a semi-rural and -agricultural region that currently is undergoing rapid residential and commercial development. The eight Waller ISD campuses serve more than 5,400 students.

One district in the Houston area has gone above and beyond expectations, therefore garnering the rating of Exemplary as it provides superb public education to its students.

Friendswood ISD (Galveston County): Exemplary
Friendswood, Texas, is primarily a residential area located in the northwestern corner of Galveston County, approximately 25 miles south from downtown Houston. The Friendswood community has its origins as a settlement of Quakers who valued education. The community has a long history of supporting its schools and continues to do so today.

Spring Branch ISD
By embracing technological advancements geared toward teaching and learning, Spring Branch ISD installed more than 1,100 interactive whiteboards in all core curriculum classrooms (mathematics, language arts, science and social studies) for Grades 1–12. Extensive training complements the new instructional technology.

Aldine ISD
As the education environment evolves so must our schools, which is why delivering education in innovative ways is important to retaining and better serving students. Aldine ISD’s Virtual School is an online learning opportunity that provides students with the flexibility and connectivity to meet their individual needs. Students consist of those who want to enhance their high school experience, want to graduate at an accelerated pace, are experiencing scheduling difficulties on their home campus, need to recover credits for graduation or are home-schooled. The most outstanding feature of Aldine’s Virtual School is its highly qualified, certified teachers. Virtual School teachers instruct, monitor and motivate students as they work through the course curriculum.

— Checklist in Selecting a School
While touring schools in your area, have your checklist handy to make remarks and pose questions.
  1. Is the school close to home? Or will it be necessary to drive or take the bus?
  2. How does the school look? Is it clean and well maintained? Do you see litter or graffiti around buildings?
  3. Is the local PTA active and involved? What is the website or contact person’s phone number?
  4. Is the school academically successful? What percentage of the students in college-bound programs are admitted to competitive colleges?
  5. Are the textbooks and equipment up-to-date and printed within the last three years? Are there computers available?
  6. How rigorous is homework?
  7. Is counseling available for students at elementary and secondary schools? Can parents also meet with counse-lors?

Upon arrival to the Houston area, one main priority can be determining child care, especially for children under the age of 6. Many couples are both professional, dual-income earners and may not have close or extended family nearby to help. Luckily, the region can offer many options and resources.

Daycare: It’s important to find the right facility that makes your child feel emotionally secure while also providing stimulating activities. The future success of your child depends on the quality of early care. Visit Collaborative for Children (www.collabforchildren.org) for ideas on where to begin. It’s a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of early care and education in the Houston area. Partnering with families and community-based organizations, it focuses on young children, from birth to age 6, and offers programs and services. The collaborative also provides information on the availability of early care and educational programs, which are provided at no cost to the community.

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