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Techman1

Magnet Schools or Private schools in the area

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Hello! We are moving to the Heights from the Cypress area and were wondering if HISD Magnet Schools are near? I've Googled Hogg and Hamilton Middle Schools. Does anyone here have any reviews or opinions on these two schools? Or recommendations nearby? Thanks for your time :)

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I forgot to mention that we are looking for our Middle School aged child. She's made excellent grades and test scores at CFISD schools.

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Make sure you read all of the information on the HISD Vanguard/Magnet site. There are deadlines for applications that are pretty strictly enforced. If you move mid-year, your kids will have to go to their zoned schools, as there are no mid-year magnet transfers. From the descriptions offered by my wife's nephew, stay away from Gregory-Lincoln.

I hear more about Lanier than any of the others as a good Middle School

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Definitely attempt magnet/vanguard over Hogg/Hamilton. As an alternative my three went to St Anne Catholic School with the caboose still there, highly recommended but there's a waiting list if they don't start in K/PK.

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Get into Heights Kids Group (https://www.bigtent.com/groups/heightskids). They have an online forum with tons of parents who have been through the vanguard/magnet system as well as private school who are very happy to share their experiences. You have to stop by a play group and meet some moms to get into the group. But it is easy to do. You might have to pester the admins a bit if you do not get admitted timely. It is volunteer run.

Hogg and Hamilton are not quite ready for primetime. Hogg is improving, but Hamilton has a long way to go. Hogg is a STEM magnet. Lanier and TH Rogers are popular Vanguard schools for people in the Heights (lots go to Lanier). Vanguard requires testing. Pin Oak is a popular magnet.

There are lots of options for private schools, but not much in the immediate Heights area. Post Oak School, St. Anne/St. John and other inner loop schools are hard to enter in middle school (they have wait lists for pre-k). But there are plenty of other options (Awty, School of the Woods, and plenty of other parochial schools etc.). If your kid is very smart and nails the testing, they may be able to get a spot in some of the hard to enter schools (there is turnover as everyone is in the energy business and relocations are common). Private schools are crazy expensive. Some are better than others with financial aid if you qualify. But, 16-18k is common for tuition at most schools. Some parochail schools are less because of support from their respective archdioses.

Again, best resource is Heights Kids Group. People are very generous with their time to help out fellow Heights moms. Be sure to read everyting on the HISD website to make sure you hit all the application deadlines. http://www.houstonisd.org/portal/site/MagnetEnglish/

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If your child is artistically inclined, please check out Pershing MS. It's a fine arts magnet and is right off Holcomb before it becomes Bellaire. It is an excellent school and when mine attended, it was a Pre-IB campus but I don't know if it still is.

Whatever your child is interested in may not be what they'll be interested in as a career. I have one that went to HSHP (Health Professions) for four years and made excellent grades only to decide that medicine was not in his/her future. But that turned out to be a good thing, and not so expensive as a delayed decision in mid medical school!

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It is disappointing that you are moving to the Heights and folks start right out telling you to look at anything but our neighborhood schools. You should call Hogg Middle School and ask Dr. Schnitta (the principal) to give you a tour of the campus and tell you what Hogg has to offer.

Edited by HouHts
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It is disappointing that you are moving to the Heights and folks start right out telling you to look at anything but our neighborhood schools. You should call Hogg Middle School and ask Dr. Schnitta (the principal) to give you a tour of the campus and tell you what Hogg has to offer.

HouHts has a point. My commentary (and likely all) about Hogg/Hamilton is based on hearsay since I do not have kids there. I based my opinion on conversations with various Hogg/Hamilton parents over the last 11 years at Heights Norhill Little League Baseball. Definitely do your due diligence and talk to the principals because schools in the neighborhood are certainly on the swing up. Reagan High School is a fine example of what a good principal and involved parents/alumni can do for a school. One of my sons took a summer course there and we thought the facilities and teaching staff for the science course surpassed that of the private school he attends full time.

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I believe Hogg is working hard to improve their school. I don't think it is quite where I would want it yet, but in 4-5 years maybe it will be. I saw from that spreadsheet that 90% of students come from economically disadvantaged families... that kinda blows my mind knowing where Hogg is located.

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Thanks for posting the links to the statistics. They certainly should be a factor in the decision-making process, but you seem to suggest they should be the only factor. Your reference to "cold, hard statistics" sure reads like "cold, hard facts." Does that mean that anyone who goes to any middle school other than T.H. Rogers is second-best, at best? Why are so many of us trying so hard to chase statistics? Unfortunately, I think many of us think those statistics will drive the success of our children. How far do you take that in life?

People chose schools for many reasons - location, safety, leadership, cost, specific programs, religion, etc. Why not include whether you think your child - and you - will be happy? You might call that a "lovely opinion," but I think it is important. If your child is going to be successful in school, it is going to happen whether they go to Rogers or Hogg or Hamilton or nearly any other middle school in Houston. Why not make it an enjoyable experience instead of a "cold, hard" experience?

Techman1 - At least check out Hogg and Hamilton. Like many of us commenting on here, you've chosen to live in the Heights for some reason. Why not see how much it has to offer?

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Thanks for posting the links to the statistics. They certainly should be a factor in the decision-making process, but you seem to suggest they should be the only factor. Your reference to "cold, hard statistics" sure reads like "cold, hard facts."

Thanks for your reply. The whole business of ranking schools is completely ridiculous. (See link)

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_gladwell

If your kid is consistently is in the top 10% of everything they do, what good does it do you to look at an average schools performance. Instead you should look at what advanced curriculum they have.. You will probably find that the public schools offer as much or more than private ones.

I like to use the below link, to gauge where the top students go to (which would be the most relevant stat for a smart kid).

http://www.houstonisd.org/HISDConnectDS/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=8392bf903c077310VgnVCM10000028147fa6RCRD&vgnextchannel=051bdfb83de94310VgnVCM10000028147fa6RCRD

Debakey = undecided Stanford, Datmouth, and Williams.

Lamar = Chem E at Princeton.

Bellaire = Williams

Lee \ Sharpstown = U of H

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Parochial schools tend to be less expensive than other private school options. I would suggest doing tours of your private school options. Like someone said, spots open up in even hard-to-get-into schools.

Good luck, and welcome to the neighborhood!

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My suggestion on parochial schools is get their name/s on the list ASAP. Donations also work well. ;-)

The cash intake bar graph at most parochial schools always shows a bump around registration time.

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I didn't read all the posts to see if someone stood up for Hamilton but of the two Heights MSs, it's by far the better one. I don't have a child there but know several people whose kids did/do attend. Hamilton is either a magnet or Vanguard, can't remember which one, and these days is rumored to be very hard to get in to due to the demand. It's definitely better than Hogg, although Hogg is making some wonderful changes for the better.

Another option to look at is Frank Black, which was awarded a $multi-million grant of some sort and is supposed to be really gaining traction. Here is a note that came from the school some time last year

LOTS of Heights families have kids at Wilson (in Montrose) but that is Montessori, which may not be your bag. Still, another school worth checking out.

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