The Houston school board announced with great fanfare two months ago the opening of separate schools for girls and boys; supporters were confident the idea would be popular.
Maybe it eventually will be, but the district has not exactly been overwhelmed with applicants. It's been forced to extend the deadline for taking them.
Forty girls and 23 boys have applied for the schools, which have slots for 200 girls and 250 boys, HISD spokesman Jason Spencer tells Hair Balls. ("Several" incomplete applications have also been received.)
"We heard from many Houston parents that they didn't get word about these two innovative new schools until too late in the process, so we're extending the application deadline to give more students an opportunity to attend," he said.
Hmmm. Isn't the fact the deadline had to be extended indicative that the district believed it would almost immediately get enough applications?
"I'd say it probably wasn't realistic in the first place to think we'd fill those two schools so quickly," he says.
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The district will renew informational efforts, including reaching out to parents of kids in charters and private schools.
Applying doesn't mean automatic acceptance. According to the deadline-extension announcement:
In order to apply, students must have a 75 percent or better average in all classes, have a desire and commitment to attend a four-year college or university, have good attendance and behavior, and meet state requirements for the advancement to the next grade level.
Those students who are deemed eligible will be selected by a lottery process after review of their application, teacher recommendations, and a student essay. If selected for admission, the student must attend an in person interview and orientation session with their parents or guardian
Parents of incoming sixth- and ninth-grade students now have until February 25 to apply.