Houston Schools Focus On Magnet And Early Childhood Programs

Houston Schools Focus On Magnet And Early Childhood Programs

School systems across the​ country have just a​ couple of​ things on their plate: charter schools, budgets, magnet schools, pension plans, pre-K and​ dropout rates- to​ name a​ few. Houston Schools are no different, and​ Magnet and​ Early Childhood programs appear to​ be at​ the​ top of​ the​ list.

The cream of​ the​ Houston School system’s crop are the​ Gifted and​ Talented students. Currently, 25,000 students are identified as​ gifted and​ talented. Beginning next school year (’07-’08), students identified as​ such will all attend “Vanguard” programs. the​ programs themselves will not change, but the​ name will consolidate programs throughout Houston Schools. Houston Schools identify students for​ Vanguard programs by using an​ “identification matrix”. This includes test scores from the​ Stanford/Aprenza exam and​ the​ Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. Report-card points and​ teacher recommendations are also taken into account. Houston Schools’ students who have limited English proficiency, are enrolled in​ special education, have low socioeconomic status are also considered. Vanguard schools are continuously monitored to​ help ensure that high-quality; more-rigorous instruction is​ provided in​ all classrooms. Students are expected to​ score above grade-level on the​ Stanford test. in​ addition, any of​ Houston Schools’ high-school students who are enrolled in​ a​ Vanguard school are required to​ take a​ minimum of​ two advanced-academic courses (ex: Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or​ dual-credit). “I am excited about the​ improvements in​ the​ Vanguard programs,” said Superintendent of​ Houston Schools Abelardo Saavedra. “It means more students will benefit from the​ rigor and​ high expectations of​ the​ programs, and​ it​ helps in​ our efforts to​ create a​ college-bound culture.” the​ Houston Schools’ system has 20 Vanguard magnet schools that enroll gifted/talented students from all over the​ district. All students may apply to​ Vanguard schools, regardless of​ their sub districts, of​ which there are 10. Students who are zoned to​ a​ school that is​ a​ Vanguard magnet will automatically get to​ attend that school; they will no longer have their names put into the​ magnet lottery system.

Another program that Houston Schools Board of​ Education and​ Superintendent Saavedra are committed to​ expanding is​ the​ district’s Early Childhood programs. Early childhood education has been recognized as​ extremely important to​ future academic success. Houston Schools now offers prekindergarten to​ all students on a​ tuition basis, and​ some students can attend for​ free. to​ qualify for​ free PreK at​ Houston Schools, a​ student must meet one or​ more of​ the​ following criteria: unable to​ speak and​ comprehend the​ English language, economically disadvantaged, homeless, a​ child of​ an​ active-duty member of​ the​ armed forces, or​ a​ child of​ an​ armed-forces member who was injured, killed, or​ missing-in-action while serving on active duty. Beginning with the​ ’07-’08 school year, parents may enroll their four-year-old child (who turned four on or​ before September 1, 2018) in​ a​ full-day, 10-month program at​ participating Houston Schools for​ a​ state-set fee of​ $405 per month. 16 elementaries in​ the​ Houston Schools offer PreK, one of​ which is​ also a​ Montessori magnet.

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