The Houston Independent School District provides parents with a wide variety of choice in public education through its Magnet programs. In Magnet schools, students develop their special talents while enhancing their learning. Unlike private schools, Magnet schools do not require tuition and are instead based on a lottery system or testing for admission. Vanguard Magnets are schools with curricula designed to serve gifted and talented students pulled from throughout the district. Vanguard Neighborhood programs serve gifted children in the schools to which they're zoned.
If you are a parent or guardian interested in enrolling your child in a Magnet program, it is best to start the process in fall of the prior enrollment year. During this time you can attend informational meetings and tour the schools. Application deadlines are usually in early January and notification of admission is sent in spring.
Any student may apply. Residents within the Houston Independent School District attendance boundaries are considered first; out of district students are considered beginning the first Monday in June, if space is still available. You may apply to as many Magnet programs as you like and up to three Vanguard programs. To learn more about attendance boundaries, visit www.tea.state.tx.us.
Below is a description of the type of HISD elementary Magnet programs and the schools which are associated with them. Visit www.houstonisd.org for more information about all HISD schools and programs.
The goal of the Academy is to enhance the development of the whole child from kindergarten through fifth grade, through science, communications, art, computer laboratory, and life sports, all of which are offered at the same campus.
Horn Academy (K-5)
Bellaire, TX 77401
Students are provided opportunities to explore broadcast journalism, journalism, desktop publishing, movie making while developing communication, scriptwriting, illustrating and dramatization skills.
Students participating in these dual-language programs receive instruction in English and Spanish with the goal of fluency in both languages.
Helms Community Learning Center (PreK-5, Special Ed.)
503 West 21st
Houston, TX 77008
900 West Gray
Houston, TX 77019
Students receive specialized instruction in a variety of areas, including strings, band, piano, art, dance, creative writing, and gymnastics. Young artists work together to prepare performances and create exhibitions that display their appreciation of the arts, develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and enhance self-esteem. Excellence in the arts is a natural, integrated extension of the academic program. The offerings at each individual school may vary.
Bell Elementary (PreK-5, Special Ed.)
Houston, TX 77031
Bruce Elementary (PreK-5)
Houston, TX 77020
Burrus Elementary (K-6)
701 East 33rd Street
Houston, TX 77022
Take advantage of opportunities to demonstrate responsibility while learning character traits that are exhibited by ethical leaders. Practice leadership roles through technology, science, math and fine arts activities that emphasize problem-solving and critical thinking.
Math and Science
Students have the opportunity for in-depth, process-oriented study of math and science in conjunction with a strong academic program. Studies develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and lab work emphasizes "hands-on" activities.
Cornelius Academy (PreK-5)
Houston, TX 77087
Harvard Elementary (PreK-5)
Houston, TX 77007
Law Elementary (PreK-5)
12401 South Coast
Houston, TX 77047
West University Elementary (PreK-5)
Houston, TX 77005
Students engage in classroom and field studies that utilize natural resources and initiate a Prairie Restoration Project. Students will become aware of the interdependence of the ecosystem, human population dynamics, global changes and their consequences, and choices for the future.
Berry Elementary (PreK-5, Special Ed.)
2310 Berry Road
Houston, TX 77093
Provide all students with a motivating curriculum which facilitates student awareness of medical and allied health professions, and starts the preparation and training for endless opportunities in the future. Students learn how the body functions as a complex series of systems, and in turn encourages them to adopt healthy habits which will benefit them into adulthood.
Students pace themselves through individualized curriculum in multi-age concept classrooms. Teaching materials and theory follow classic Montessori guidelines with activities designed to stimulate academic, social, and motor development. Current Montessori experience is required for all applicants in grades 3-8 and preference will be given to those with current Montessori experience in all grades. Students age three and four may participate; however, for three- and four-year-olds, parents must pay a monthly tuition fee unless they meet the state eligibility requirements for pre-kindergarten.
Dodson Elementary (PreK-5)
Houston, TX 77003
Houston, TX 77006
Students develop an appreciation for the importance of remaining physically fit and have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of physical activities and lifetime sports. Activities include gymnastics, soccer, track and field, basketball, tennis, swimming, and golf.
In this unique Magnet program, students become computer literate and explore the uses of technology in a multicultural environment.
Rice Elementary School (K-8)
Houston, TX 77025
HISD's Vanguard programs serve students who have been identified as potentially gifted or talented in intellectual ability, creativity, or leadership. Vanguard offers a differentiated curriculum that is both accelerated and enriched. Students typically study interdisciplinary units that emphasize higher-level thinking skills, problem-solving, and creativity. The Vanguard program requires testing, and parents should use the Vanguard application.