Houston is Texas’ most populous city and the fourth largest in the nation, with a population of approximately 2.3 million. With such a large population, it's no surprise that Houston is home to a diverse and thriving educational landscape, with many excellent schools to choose from. The city has 768 public schools serving nearly 566,000 students.
But what makes a school truly good? Is it academic achievement, diversity, extracurricular opportunities, or something else entirely? The truth is, the answer is different for every family and every child. What works for one student may not work for another.
However, certain key factors often make a school stand out. These can include a robust academic program, experienced and dedicated teachers, a safe and supportive learning environment, and various extracurricular opportunities.
Based on these and other factors, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide on the ten top-rated schools in Houston today. Other metrics include greatschools.org test scores, parent reviews, Google reviews, and Nextdoor reviews. Let’s dive in.
Best Elementary Schools
KIPP Unity Primary School
8500 South Texas 6, Houston, TX 77083
KIPP Unity Primary School is a public charter school in Houston, Texas. Established in 2015, the school serves students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, with an enrollment of 868 students. KIPP Unity Primary School’s students have consistently scored above the state’s average on standardized tests. The school received a 10/10 overall rating from GreatSchools.org.
KIPP Unity Primary School has demonstrated strong performance in both math and reading, scoring significantly higher than the state average. In math, 79% of students attained proficiency, compared to the state average of 48%. 68% of students achieved proficiency in reading, compared to the state average of 44%.
KIPP Unity Primary School has a high student-teacher ratio of 24:1, higher than the state average of 15:1. However, 100% of teachers at the school have at least three years of experience. Further, 86% of full-time teachers are certified.
Parents of KIPP Unity Primary School students have praised the school for its high achievement and engaging enrichment programs. The positive reviews underscore KIPP Unity’s commitment to fostering character development and a positive learning environment, as stated on the school’s website. The school is an ideal pick for parents seeking quality education for their kids.
KIPP Shine Prep
10711 Kipp Way Street, Houston, TX 77099
KIPP Shine Prep is a public charter elementary school. It serves kids in pre-kindergarten to 4th grade and has an enrollment of 862 students. The school has an impressive track record of academic excellence and received a 10/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
The standardized test scores at KIPP Shine Prep are above average. 77% of students achieve proficiency in math, 65% in reading, and 48% in writing. Those numbers compare to the state average of 48%, 44%, and 33%, respectively.
The school indicates that it uses a digital curriculum that allows personalized learning paths for students. This enables them to progress at their own pace. In addition to core academics, students are exposed to science concepts by exploring rich, inquiry-based tasks, science-based texts, and hands-on projects.
One of the unique features of KIPP Shine Prep is its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. The student body comprises 47% Hispanic, 43% Black, and 7% Asian students, reflecting the school's mission to create a diverse and inclusive community.
The student-teacher ratio is 20:1, higher than the state average of 15:1. However, 95% of full-time teachers are certified, and 72% have at least three years of experience. That ensures students receive a high-quality education from qualified educators.
Parents are impressed with the academic rigor at KIPP Shine Prep and appreciate the hands-on learning opportunities offered to students. The school’s impressive standardized test scores make it a perfect choice for families in Houston.
Frostwood Elementary School
12214 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77024
Frostwood Elementary School is a public school located in Houston, Texas. Established more than 50 years ago, the school has a long history of providing quality education to its students.
With an enrollment of 713 students from Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade, Frostwood Elementary School has a student-teacher ratio of 17:1, which is slightly worse than the state average of 15:1.The school has a diverse student body, with White students making up 56%, Asians 27%, and Hispanics 12%.
Frostwood Elementary School is renowned for academic excellence, with its standardized test scores above the state average. The school has been particularly successful in math, where 86% of students attain proficiency compared to the state average of 48%. In reading, 80% of students achieve proficiency, while 66% gain proficiency in writing.
Frostwood Elementary School is also successfully closing the achievement gap for underserved students, with the students scoring higher on tests than others across the state. The school earns a deserved 10/10 from GreatSchools.org.
98% of teachers at Frostwood Elementary School have at least three years of experience, and 100% of full-time teachers are certified. The school also has a full-time nurse and law-enforcement officer.
Frostwood’s academic achievements, experienced faculty, and commitment to character development make it an excellent choice for families in the Houston area.
West University Elementary School
3756 University Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005
West University Elementary School is a public school within the Houston Independent School District. It has an enrollment of 1,283 students from Pre-K to 5th grade. The school receives a 10/10 overall rating from GreatSchools.org, a testament to its fantastic academic performance.
West University Elementary School boasts excellent test scores, with students performing better in math, reading, and writing than other students across the state. The percentage of students who attained proficiency in math was 88%, against the state average of 48%, while in reading, it was 87%, against the state average of 44%. In writing, 82% of students attained proficiency, compared to the state average of 33%.
The school's diversity and inclusivity are reflected in its student body, which comprises White, Asian, Hispanic, Black, and students of two or more races. The student-teacher ratio at West University Elementary School is 18:1, slightly higher than the state average.
Nonetheless, the school has highly qualified teachers, with 82% having at least three years of experience and 92% being full-time certified teachers. The school also has a full-time nurse on staff.
West University Elementary garners positive reviews from parents who are pleased with the quality of education their children receive. While the school is focused on academic excellence, it also values building a welcoming and inclusive environment that honors families and encourages community engagement.
Best Middle Schools
Project Chrysalis Middle School
4528 Leeland Street, Houston, TX 77023
Project Chrysalis Middle School is a public school in Houston, Texas, with an interesting history. The school was established in 1995 with 25 at-risk students who would have typically fallen through the cracks in a traditional middle school setting. Currently, Project Chrysalis school has an enrollment of 279 students and serves students in grades 6-9.
The standardized test scores at this school are far above the state average, indicating that students are performing exceptionally well. GreatSchools.org gives the school a 10/10 overall rating. 83% of students attain proficiency in math, 70% in reading, 80% in writing, and 83% in science. These scores are significantly higher than the state averages for each subject area.
The student-teacher ratio at Project Chrysalis Middle School is 16:1, slightly higher than the state average. However, the school has a high percentage of experienced full-time teachers, with 100% of full-time teachers being certified and 88% having at least three years of experience.
The school website highlights the faculty and staff's commitment to creating a safe environment that fosters high academic achievement for all students.
Spring Branch Academic Institute
8390 Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77055
Spring Branch Academic Institute is a public school in Houston, Texas, that serves students in grades K-9. With only 111 students enrolled, the school provides an intimate learning environment with a student-teacher ratio of 6:1, well below the state average of 15:1.
The school is designed to meet the needs of highly gifted students and offers individualized instruction at the appropriate pace, depth, and complexity. Spring Branch offers two advanced placement (AP) courses, providing gifted students with exciting yet challenging academic opportunities.
Test scores at Spring Branch Academic Institute are far above the state average, with 93% of students achieving proficiency in math, 95% in reading, 93% in writing, and 82% in science, according to GreatSchools.org. The school earns an impressive 10/10 overall rating.
All full-time teachers at Spring Branch are certified and have at least three years of experience, ensuring students receive a high-quality education. The school also has a full-time law enforcement officer on staff to ensure the safety of its students.
If your child is academically gifted, Spring Branch Academic Institute may be the right fit for your family.
Mandarin Immersion Magnet School
5445 West Alabama Street, Houston, TX 77056
Mandarin Immersion Magnet School is a public school that offers a unique and immersive learning experience for students in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. The school's enrollment is 748 students, with a student-teacher ratio of 17:1, which is slightly higher than the state average.
The school strongly focuses on developing biliteracy and bilingualism, with students spending half of the instructional day in a Mandarin class and the other half in an English class. The school's balanced approach employs rigorous academic standards in core subjects, including Pre-AP math and science courses in middle school. Grades 6-8 can take an Advanced Immersion track, which prepares 8th-grade students to take the AP Chinese exam for college credit.
Mandarin Immersion Magnet School has achieved impressive standardized test scores, with 87% of students attaining proficiency in math and 80% reaching proficiency in reading. The school has a GreatSchools.org rating of 10/10 and is highly regarded by parents for its immersive curriculum and excellent teachers.
The school has highly qualified teachers, with 84% having at least three years of experience and 89% being certified. Additionally, Mandarin Immersion has a part-time nurse and social worker. The school is an excellent choice for parents who wish to introduce mandarin to their children.
Best High Schools
T. H. Rodgers School
5840 San Felipe Street, Houston, TX 77057
T. H. Rodgers School is a public school that serves gifted and talented children as well as students with multiple impairments from preschool to twelfth grade. The school has an enrollment of 979 students and a student-teacher ratio of 14:1, which is slightly higher than the state average.
The school has an impressive track record in standardized test scores, with above-average math, reading, science, and writing scores. 89% attain proficiency in math, 88% in reading, 89% in writing, and 91% in science. T. H. Rodgers earns a 10/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
The teachers at T H Rogers School are experienced and dedicated, with 87% having at least three years of experience and 96% being certified. In addition, the school has a full-time nurse and law enforcement officer.
Parent reviews of the school are overwhelmingly positive, with many praising the dedication and hard work of the teachers and staff. Overall, T H Rogers School is an excellent choice for parents seeking an academically rigorous and inclusive school environment for their children.
DeBakey High School For Health Professions
2545 Pressler Street, Houston, TX 77030
DeBakey High School for Health Professions is a public high school that provides a comprehensive pre-college program for students interested in pursuing careers in medicine, healthcare, and health sciences. The school serves grades 9-12 and has a student population of 891.
The school is located on the Texas Medical Center campus, providing students access to research facilities and academic programs. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience and exposure to the medical field.
DeBakey High School For Health Professions has an excellent academic record and has consistently produced graduates who are well-prepared for college and the workforce. Standardized test scores are above average, and the school is far above the state average in key college and career readiness metrics. The school boasts a 100% SAT participation rate and an average score of 1368, significantly higher than the state average of 1019. The 4-year high school graduation rate is an impressive 96%.
The school offers a wide range of AP courses to challenge its students, with 24 courses available. The student-teacher ratio is 16:1. However, the school has a high percentage of teachers with at least three years of experience. 94% of full-time teachers meet this criterion. Additionally, 88% of full-time teachers are certified.
Parents praise the school's caring and supportive environment and teachers dedicated to providing the best education possible. Overall, DeBakey High School for Health Professions is an excellent choice for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.
Carnegie Vanguard High School
1501 Taft Street, Houston, TX 77019
Carnegie Vanguard High School is a public school in Houston, Texas, serving students in grades 9-12. The school is known for its rigorous academic programs and commitment to preparing students for college and life beyond. With an enrollment of 808 students, Carnegie Vanguard has a student-teacher ratio of 18.1.
The school has consistently achieved above-average scores in standardized tests and boasts a 100% SAT participation rate, which is well above the state average. The average SAT score is 1399, 280 points above the state average. Carnegie Vanguard boasts of an impressive 98% graduation rate.
All of its full-time teachers are certified, which speaks to the quality of education students receive at Carnegie Vanguard. The school also employs a full-time nurse and law enforcement officer.
Carnegie Vanguard’s commitment to excellence, coupled with its unique campus atmosphere, makes it a popular choice for families in the Houston area.
Finding the Perfect School for Your Child
Houston is home to several top-performing schools that provide students with the academic tools and resources necessary to succeed in college and beyond. The ten schools on this list have distinguished themselves by their high graduation rates, exceptional standardized test scores, and rigorous academic programs. They are an excellent starting point for parents searching for highly-rated schools in Houston.