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Best Schools in Houston USA

A snapshot overview of schools in Houston that are considered (although not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expat parents.

If there is no ribbon, pending or otherwise, it means we are aware of the school but have elected not to review it at this time. This could be for a number of reasons, but we continually update information and add or remove reviews as deemed appropriate.

Schools selected for full GSGI review are noted with  next to their names. "Pending" means that we are planning to review that school.

By full GSGI review, we mean the school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final write-ups 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 descend on the school for an exhaustive visit.

Awty International

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

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

Barbara Bush Elementary

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

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; 3,300 pupils

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.

Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart

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

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.

Grace School

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

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 pupils

Houston’s Magnet School of Computer Technology and also offering Health and 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 pupils

Catholic school established in 1988 in western Houston. Ten years ago, one of only fifty private schools 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

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

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 pupils

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 pupils

A state-of-the-art brand new campus, specifically designed for the size of the student body, is now underway. An IB World School, offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma since 1982, 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 pupils

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

Second Baptist School

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

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 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

School of the Woods

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

Full member of the American Montessori Society and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). 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.

Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy, Dairy Ashford

Montessori; ages 18 months-12 years; 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 pupils

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 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

St. Francis Episcopal Day School

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

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

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

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

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

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 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

The Branch School

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

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.

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

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

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.

The Village School

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

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 Nord Anglia run schools in the city. Located in West Houston.

Westchester Academy for International Studies

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

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

Yorkshire Academy

School developed curriculum; ages 18 months-11; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 270 pupils

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.



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