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Best Schools in Houston USA

A snapshot: schools in Houston considered (but not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expats.

Schools with a full GSGI review are noted with  next to their names. 

 (pending) means that the school is on our list to review.

By full GSGI review, we mean school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final reviews take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details and descend on the school for an exhaustive visit. We are aware of the other schools on this page and we continually add or remove schools, as deemed appropriate.


Schools

Awty International School

American curriculum/ IB Diploma/ French curriculum/ French Bac; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,550 students

Bilingual classes English/French or English/Spanish in pre-school and kindergarten. Emphasis on languages throughout, with the option of the American High School Diploma, IB Diploma or French Baccalaureate. Located in western Houston. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).

Barbara Bush Elementary School

American curriculum; ages 3-11; co-ed; day; state; 900 students

Part of Houston ISD, opened in 1992. Very highly rated elementary school, scoring impressively in all academic tests. Wide range of student nationalities and Bush offers an English Language Learning (ELL) teacher at each grade level.

Bellaire High School

American High School Diploma/ AP/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 3,500 students

Unusual in offering AP courses and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, often in a combined format. Graduates are regularly awarded college scholarships and attend a very wide range of universities.

Branch School (The)

American curriculum; ages 3-14; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 130 students

Established in 1977, originally for children who attended Christian Science Sunday Schools but since 1993 has accepted pupils from all religious backgrounds. Has an award winning outdoor classroom and recently (2018) acquired additional land for expansion.

British International School of Houston (formerly The British School of Houston)

IPC/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 1,120 students

Opened in 2000 by the British Schools of America for the children of British oil executives but, subsequently, bought by the global Nord Anglia Education group. Moved to a much larger campus in Greater Katy, northwest Houston in 2016. Also offering a Dutch curriculum for temporary residents from the Netherlands.

Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart

American curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ AP; ages 3-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 700 students

Part of the 150 strong global Network of Sacred Heart Schools. An all-through girls’ school, founded in 1960 and located on a campus in the Memorial area of eastern Houston. Graduates achieve places at universities across the US, although the majority stay in the south or head west.

Gateway Academy

A very small Special Needs School serving 6th to 12th graders with learning and social difficulties.

Grace School

American curriculum; ages under 2-14; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 500 students

A Presbyterian school, founded in 1975 and grown from 15 students to its present size. Emphasis on STEM (first certified lower school programme in Texas). Graduates tend to achieve places at Houston’s leading high schools.

Heights High School

MYP/ IB Diploma/ IB Careers/ AP; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 2,350 students

Houston’s Magnet School of Computer Technology and also running Health & Science, Business, Engineering & Design and Transportation Academies.

John Paul II Catholic School

American curriculum; ages 4-14; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 675 students

Catholic school, established in 1988 in western Houston. Ten years ago, they were one of only fifty private schools to be named a National Blue Ribbon Exemplary School by the US Department of Education. Graduates regularly win scholarships to leading local high schools.

Kinkaid School (The)

American curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ AP; ages 4-18; co-ed; independent; private non-profit; 1,450 students

Founded in 1906, the oldest independent co-educational school in Houston. The Upper School features an ‘Interim Term’ with teacher-designed and student-selected curricula. Graduates move on to top universities nation-wide, including Ivies.

Klein Oak High School

American High School Diploma/ AP/ IB Diploma; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 4,000 students

Huge public school with a well-regarded special education division. Established in 1982 as the third high school in the Klein Oak district. Offering Dual Credit as well as AP programmes.

Lamar High School

American High School Diploma/ AP/ MYP/ IB Diploma/ IB Careers; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; state; 3,400 students

A state of the art, brand new campus, specifically designed for the size of the student body, is now underway. An International Baccalaureate World School, offering the IB Diploma since 1982 and now joined by the Middle Years and Careers Related Programmes. Consistently graduates the largest number of IB Diploma students in Texas.

Rainard School - For Gifted Students

Individual curricula/ Advanced High School Program; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 70 students

Specialist school for academically gifted children located in Spring Branch, western Houston offering an Advanced High School Program for Distinguished Achievement. Accredited Cognia (previously, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SASC).

School of the Woods

Montessori; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 360 students

Full member of the American Montessori Society and accredited by Cognia (previously,AdvancED). Opened in 1962 with a pre-school class and now an all-through school on the original location in the Spring Branch neighbourhood of Houston.

Second Baptist School

American curriculum/ American High School Diploma; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,120 students

Strongly Christian school, located on a campus in the Memorial area of Houston with access to 56 acres of the Second Baptist Church of Houston’s educational and recreational facilities. Opened as an elementary school in 1947 and grown by 1982 into offering an all-through education. Accredited by Cognia (previously the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SACS).

Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy, Dairy Ashford

Montessori; ages 18 months-12; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit;

An elementary school following the Montessori programme. There is also a toddlers and primary school called ‘Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy, Grisby’. Enthusiastic parental comments.

St. Agnes Academy

American High School Diploma/ AP; ages 14-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 930 students

Dominican girls’ high school in the Sharpstown area of Houston and adjacent to the Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School. The schools hold some joint classes, including choir and band. Founded by a Dominican Sister in 1905 and still a strongly religious school. Accredited by Cognia (previously, AdvancED).

St. Francis Episcopal Day School

American curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ AP; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 850 students

Founded in 1952, as a mission, by St Francis Episcopal Church and now on two sites in the Piney Point Village and Memorial areas. A new high school department opened in 2018, with an inaugural freshman class on the developing south campus.

St. John's School Houston

American curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ AP; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,420 students

Possibly, the most prestigious private school in Houston. Founded in 1946, academically rigorous and notoriously selective. Located on a 40 acre campus in the heart of the River Oaks neighbourhood. Almost all the leading American universities on their matriculation list for the last four years. Accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).

Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School

American High School Diploma/ AP; ages 14-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,000 students

Largest Catholic high school in Houston founded in 1960 and located in the Chinatown area and in the Greater Sharpstown district. Founded by the Jesuit, Father Michael Kenelley S.J. in 1960 and officially designated a museum of art due to the quality of its interiors and contents. Accredited by Cognia (previously, AdvancED).

Trafton Academy

American curriculum; ages 4-14; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 315 students

Founded in 1973, adding a lower school (pre-K to grade 3) in 2014. On two campuses and known by its students as the ‘Home of the Tigers’. Located in Willow Meadows in the south-western part of Houston.

Village School (The)

American curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; privately owned; 1,750 students

Founded in 1966 as a private pre-school and bought by the Meritas group in 2006 and then by the global Nord Anglia Education group in 2015. Offering boarding from grade 7, a rare option in Houston and now one of two large schools in the city run by the international group, Nord Anglia Education. Located in West Houston.

Westchester Academy for International Studies

MYP/ IB Diploma/ IB Careers/ AP; ages 11-18; co-ed; day; state; 1,020 students

Resurrected from the original Westchester High School by the Spring Branch ISD in 2001. One of the few schools in Houston to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma and also recently licensed to teach the IB Careers Related Programme.

Yorkshire Academy

Adapted curriculum; ages 18 months-11; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 270 students

The curriculum covers the goals of British Key Stages 1 and 2 and the school specialises in transitioning pupils back into the educational systems of their home countries. High proportion of international students from over 40 countries. Founded in 1984 and located in West Houston.

For more information on the schools above, please go to  each school’s individual entry on The Good Schools Guide International search.

 

 

 

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