Houston ISD now accepting pre-K, school choice applications for 2020-21

Phase 1 of Houston ISD's school choice application process opened Sept. 27.

Phase 1 of Houston ISD's school choice application process opened Sept. 27.

Houston ISD The district’s school choice program began accepting applications from parents Sept. 27 for the 2020-21 school year. This includes applications for pre-kindergarten programs.

The district allows parents to apply for enrollment at its 112 schools with magnet programs, and parents can also apply for transfers to any school in the district, when space allows. There are also transfer options for special cases, such as “Home Field Advantage,” which may allow a student to stay at a school he or she has been attending even if his or her parents move to another zoned area.

"We always tell parents to listen to their children first," said Justin Fuentes, HISD's assistant superintendent of the office of School choice. "Don’t put them in a place where they are not interested in what’s going on. They might not do as well as they should."

Magnet programs include college and career readiness; fine arts; International Baccalaureate; language immersion; Montessori; single-gender college preparatory; and Vanguard, the district’s gifted and talented program, among others. Program transfer options include Boundary Option, Career/Technology Education, Dual Language and International Baccalaureate.

Parents may select up to 10 schools in their application, but no more than five magnet schools may be selected. This year, the ranking of schools is key, as lottery-based selections will follow rank-order, Fuentes said.

"Now it’s really important they rank according to what they desire most," he said.

The Phase 1 application window ends Dec. 6 and decisions will be announced by Jan. 30. Pre-K selections are not announced until May 1.

Phase 2 opens Dec. 7, allowing parents to apply for a different set of schools if their Phase 1 choices did not work out. If parents apply during Phase 2, they forfeit any offers they may have received in Phase 1.

Phase 3 begins March 1, 2020, which is open to out-of-district students.

School choice in Houston ISD

A full list of programs and an online application is available at www.houstonisd.org/schoolchoice. Parents are also encouraged to attend one of the district's school choice fairs, listed below.

  • Oct. 12: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Kashmere High School, 6900 Wileyvale Road, Houston

  • Nov. 2: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Sharpstown High School, 7504 Bissonnet St., Houston

  • Nov. 16: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Milby High School, 1601 Broadway St., Houston

  • Feb. 15: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Northside High School, 1101 Quitman St., Houston


At a Sept. 11 practice, Houston Girls Hockey Association teams took the ice to prepare for their first games the weekend of Sept. 17. (Courtesy Houston Girls Hockey Association)
New Houston-area all-girls hockey league set to play first games this weekend, Sept. 17-19

The league was created to give school-aged girls a chance to continue playing hockey through college, since young girls can often feel discouraged playing on co-ed teams, Director of Membership Valory Zeck said.

DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

The Texas Department of Transportation will close the northbound and southbound main lanes of I-69 Southwest Freeway at West Loop 610 at separate times Sept. 18-19. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
I-69 at Loop 610 to be closed in Houston Sept. 18-19

Motorists should expect delays and may want to consider an alternate route than that stretch of I-69.

Texas-wide public charter school system Harmony Public Schools will offer a full virtual learning option for eligible students. (Courtesy Harmony Public Schools)
Harmony Public Schools will offer virtual learning for K-12 students in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress

Schools under the Harmony Public Schools umbrella may offer up to 10% of its student body a full virtual learning option.

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to install medians along 5.8 miles of FM 1092 from Hwy. 59 to Hwy. 6 in Missouri City. (Courtesy Fotolia)
As FM 1092 median project goes out to bid, some Missouri City Council Members still object

Construction on the project to install medians on FM 1092—also known as Murphy Road—is expected to begin in the winter and last for seven months, according to officials with TxDOT.

At the Sept. 14 Harris County Commissioners Court meeting, County Administrator David Berry, top left, presents proposed tax rates to commissioners Jack Cagle and Tom Ramsey, Judge Lina Hidalgo, and commissioners Adrian Garcia and Rodney Ellis. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County commissioners propose lower tax rates with split vote

While the proposed tax rate is lower than the current rate, tax payers may actually end up paying more since the values of homes statewide increased this year, according to County Administrator David Berry.

About 62% of Harris County residents ages 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County commissioners terminate $11 million Elevate Strategies vaccine outreach contract

“There’s absolutely nothing done here that was in any way deviating from the most adequate protocols, and what is sad … [is] that the COVID response is being politicized." -Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

The city of Houston has begun to clean up debris left by Hurricane Nicholas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘It could have been a lot worse': Houston begins cleanup after Hurricane Nicholas

Over 150,000 residents were still without power as of the mayor’s morning update.

Shelters around Houston opened to help those affected by Hurricane Nicholas on Sept. 14. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Shelters open to aid those affected by Hurricane Nicholas

Shelters have been opened by the American Red Cross to help those in need following the storm.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said there are currently no reported injuries or fatalities from Tropical Storm Nicholas. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook)
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo encourages residents to stay off roads, reports no fatalities due to Tropical Storm Nicholas

Hidalgo also said she expects all Harris County COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites to be open Sept. 15.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on Sept. 14 resumed limited services. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
METRO operating on limited service in aftermath of Hurricane Nicholas

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on Sept. 14 resumed limited services.

Hundreds of thousands are without power after Tropical Storm Nicholas made landfall. (Courtesy CenterPoint Energy)
UPDATED: Some CenterPoint customers may be without power for days following Hurricane Nicholas damage

As of 6:37 p.m. Sept. 14, more than 120,000 remaiined without power across the Greater Houston area.