The choices that are available in the Houston Independent School District are so varied. You can send your kid to the neighborhood school, a vanguard school, a challenge school, a school that specializes in medicine, an IB school, a magnet school, and the list goes on. How do you decide? You do a ton of research, make lists, ask around, visit the schools, go to the HISD school fair and try to seek out every piece of information possible. It can be overwhelming, and we are going to break it down for you by sharing some pretty amazing options that HISD has to offer, starting with Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy.
Did we mention there a ton of choices within HISD? Take a look at the basic chart we put together and that gives you an idea. Remember, we said it’s basic? We didn’t get into the fact that of the Magnet schools, there are:
- Elementary Schools
- 14 Fine Arts and/or Visual and Performing Arts
- 1 IB
- 5 Languages
- 3 Montessori Schools
- 1 STEAM
- Middle Schools
- 5 Fine Arts and/or Visual and Performing Arts
- 1 International
- 3 Languages
- 2 Montessori
- 5 IB
- High Schools
- 5 Early College
- 8 FUTURES Academy
- 3 IB
- 1 World Languages
- 2 College Preparatory
Confused yet? You can always visit the HISD website, which might answer your questions, but your best bet is to call HISD with any and all questions or the school you are interested in.
Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy
Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy is an all girls school that is for middle school and high school. This means it has grades 6 – 12 there. We were introduced to this school when the We Are Girls Conference was held there, and we fell in love with the school, the mission, and the Principal. It’s important to note, that Young Women’s College Preparatory just had their first graduating class in May of 2015. There were 44 graduates and of those 44 young women, there was 100% matriculation into college.
Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy is part of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, which is a non-profit organization that partners with public school districts to create and support all-girl schools. These schools have a foundation of the STEM curriculum with a focus on leadership, college readiness and health and wellness. There are seven campuses within the network, and Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy in Houston is the sixth school to open. The model that they have employed for their students is remarkable, because of the 4,207 students that these campuses have served, all have graduated from High School and been accepted to four-year colleges or universities, and many of them have received merit scholarships and grants.
The admission process isn’t an easy one for Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy and demand for enrollment is high. Because this is not a zoned school, so you must submit an application. When you are a part of this campus, you not only have a demanding academic schedule, you also have to complete 100 community service hours before graduating. The school starts the college recruiting process for their students as early as 6th grade, and many of these students will be first generation college students.
Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy produces young women who are leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math. They possess confidence and strength of character that is gained from rigorous advanced placement curriculum. The students are challenged to achieve at their highest level, and they leave this school with the necessary knowledge and skills to become leaders in the world.
Principal O-Dell Thomas
The Principal of Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy is extremely proud of her school, and well she should be. She is the founding Principal and her role within HISD as a leader has been to go to schools and whip them into shape and to open schools in the district and get them started off on the right track. Principal Thomas has a love and passion for serving people and growing up, her favorite game? Playing school where she was the teacher!
Principal Thomas was always motivated, and she graduated from High School early and attended college and began teaching in New Orleans while getting her Masters Degree in Principalship at the same time. She likes to stay in the schools that she rescues for a long time, and her teachers are devoted to her and often will follow her to her next destination.
When Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy was set to open within HISD in 2011, and she was approached, she thought an all girls school within the public education system was a joke at first, but she realized that HISD was very serious about this school. She has made herself at home and rules with an iron fist and a warm hug for all. She is involved and available to the girls and her staff, and they all adore her.
Her proudest moment was the first graduating class, and she knows that she will see many more in the future because of her tenacity, drive and love there is no doubt that Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy will be everything she envisions it to be, which is the best school in the district.