Horn Academy, named after educator Paul W. Horn, is an elementary school in HISD with a magnet program and Vanguard Neighborhood program. Horn has a total magnet program which includes art, communications, computers, life sports, and science. The magnet program, which “emphasizes the academic and social development of the ‘whole child,’” was started in 1982. Horn has received exemplary ratings from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and HISD.
As a magnet school within HISD, Horn Academy has no religious affiliation. Students’ religious convictions do not factor into admissions, and the curriculum does not include theological material. While there is no institutionalized prayer in the school, there is a daily minute of silence during which students may choose to pray. Additionally, absences due to religious holidays do not count against a student's record, though the student is still responsible for make-up work.
Location and Facilities
Horn Academy is located in the affluent, independent municipality of Bellaire in southwest Houston. It is nestled in a residential neighborhood of single-family homes just north of Beechnut and east of the 610 West Loop. The school is located on a large lot that it shares with Horn Field. The school was completely rebuilt by HISD in 2010-2011. The playgrounds and fences were also upgraded through funds the PTO raised.
All students seeking to enter Horn Academy must apply through the standard HISD elementary magnet application. Applicants must submit proof of HISD residency, proof of age (kindergarteners only), the previous year’s final report card or PreK Progress Report (if applicable), the first grading period of the current year's report card, and the application itself. The application can be found online on the HISD application website.
To apply for the Neighborhood Vanguard Program, students must submit a separate Vanguard Neighborhood G/T application and be tested for Gifted and Talented status. At Horn, G/Tstudents are identified in the spring of Kindergarten.
Academic Tracks and Curriculum
In addition to a traditional elementary school curriculum, Horn’s magnet program emphasizes five components: art, communications, computer technology, life sports, and earth science. Students attend the following ancillary classes on a 6 day rotation: Music, Art, Creative Writing/Communications, Life Sports, Computer Lab, and Science (K-3)/library (4-5, Pre-K). Students in grades K-3 still visit the library; they come as a class once a week for a 30-minute period.
The Neighborhood Vanguard Program serves the needs of Horn’s gifted and talented students. Students within the program engage in “complex activities with emphasis on abstract reasoning, higher order thinking skills, and in-depth investigations.”
Accommodations are available for students with special needs who meet the requirements for admission. If the parents already have documentation about the student’s special needs, the school will need a copy of that documentation. After receiving the documentation, the school will set up an annual ARD meeting that the parents, the student, an administrator, a core subject teacher, a special education teacher or 504 representative, and an HISD advocate will attend to discuss the specific modifications necessary for the student and to create an individualized education plan (IEP) for the student. Every teacher will receive a copy of the modifications for the student after they are set in the ARD meeting.
If the parents want to request modifications for their child, then the special education teacher will give the student’s teachers paperwork to document the student’s behavior and any modifications the teacher uses for the student. After 6 weeks of documentation, the teachers will turn in the paperwork, and the special education teacher or 504 representative will call a meeting similar to an ARD meeting. If the meeting determines that the student needs accommodation, then the school will have documentation of the student’s special needs and will follow the same procedures as above.
Foreign language instruction is not offered during the school day, but students may take French, Spanish, or Mandarin Chinese classes after school.
Students attend a visual arts class as a part of their ancillary rotation. They take lessons in drawing, painting, pottery, design, and art history. As a magnet component, the art program is closely linked to the academic curriculum. In addition to the visual arts, students attend music classes weekly.
Horn’s computer literacy program, a component of the magnet program, teaches students computer terminology, word processing, spreadsheets, and keyboarding skills on Apple computers. A computer lab teacher works to help integrate core subjects with technology.
Students wishing to use email and the Internet must have signed approval from their parents.
There are a number of clubs students can join such as the No Place for Hate Club, the Horn Helping Hands, the Safety Patrol, or the Choir. Students can compete in HISD’s “Name That Book” competition, Odyssey of the Mind, or the UIL academic competition. Horn also hosts an after-school program called The Champions Program where students can engage in different activities relating to homework completion, the fine arts, sports, science, and healthy eating.
No information concerning Horn Academy's athletic programs is available at this time.
Parents can join the dues-paying PTO, tutor, maintain the lawns, help make the yearbook, or even volunteer their time at the Horn Spaghetti Supper with “Pasta Pals.” Fathers can join the Horn Dad’s Club, a group that hosts activities and supports the PTO. In order to volunteer on campus, even through the PTO or Dad's Club, parents must first undergo training through HISD's Volunteers in Public Schools program.
Additionally, the Shared Decision Making Committee (SDMC), made up of parents, faculty, and community members, holds monthly meetings to discuss issues and advise the principal.
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4530 Holly St. Bellaire, TX 77401
*Many of the HISD schools we profile are among the most selective, popular, and coveted magnet schools in the district. For schools which rank in the top 10 in their level, we have presented the ranking alongside the data.
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