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Galvestonians place high regard on education as the means of improving their city and its residents.
The city has a strong public school system and eight private schools. Each year, high school graduates of Ball High School and O’Connell High School, a private Catholic school are accepted by the top colleges and universities in the state. Some graduates continue their education on Galveston Island at one of three institutions of higher learning – Galveston College, The University of Texas Medical Branch or Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Galvestonians place high regard on education as the means of improving their city and its residents. The city has a strong public school system and six private schools. Each year, high school graduates of Ball High School and O’Connell High School (a private Catholic school) are accepted by the top colleges and universities in the state. Some graduates continue their education on Galveston Island at one of three institutions of higher learning – Galveston College, The University of Texas Medical Branch or Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Galveston Independent School District serves approximately 6,400 students on the Island and Bolivar Peninsula. During the 2010-2011 school year, it will operate two high schools, four middle schools, and five elementary schools. Those schools include KIPP: Coastal Village and its newest school, Early Childhood University.
The district also offers an Early College High School public charter starting at Grade 6, alternative education programs and accelerated instruction programs for elementary, middle and high school students. The Accelerated Instructional Model (AIM) program allows students to catch up to their grade level, and allows high school students to obtain credits at their own pace to graduate at any time during the year.
The GISD student body is ethnically and culturally diverse. Approximately 47 percent is Hispanic, 25 percent is African American, and 28 percent is Caucasian or of other races. The district employs more than 1,000 people, and the annual operating budget for the 2009-2010 school year was $76,260,420.
GISD student enrollment is open to non-Galveston residents who work within the boundaries of the school district. The district is also collaborating with HeadStart and the YMCA to serve its pre-kindergarten program at various elementary schools.
GISD offers a variety of programs for students. Services include a nationally recognized Advanced Placement program that led Newsweek magazine to name Ball High one of the Top 1000 high schools in the nation in 2009. The Career and Technical Education department at Ball High, with 11 different career pathways is an initiative helped in part Galveston College. Dual credit courses are also given in conjunction with Galveston College.
Bilingual and English as a Second Language curriculum is offered and a Two-Way Immersion program at L.A. Morgan Elementary school aids students in learning both English and Spanish. Special education is available at every school. A preschool program is geared towards children with disabilities.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) rated Austin Middle School, Parker Elementary and Oppe Elementary as “Exemplary” campuses for the 2008-2009 school year through its Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). L.A. Morgan, Rosenberg and Burnet (now closed due to damage sustained during Hurricane Ike) Elementary Schools were “Recognized” campuses in 2008-2009. Ball High, Weis Middle School and Central Middle School were “Acceptable” in 2008-2009.
One of the most acclaimed Advanced Placement (AP) programs in the state and nation, Ball High School had 851 students enrolled in the AP program. 352 students took at least one AP exam and 832 Advanced Placement exams were taken for college credit. 242 of those students passed the AP exams with a score of 3 or higher.
During the 2005-2006 school year, Ball High School implemented Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) to prepare freshman students for college. AVID targets students in the academic middle, B, C and even D students who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. College students from the University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas A&M University at Galveston assist as tutors and role models. The Galveston Independent School District is the first district in Galveston County to implement this program that has now been expanded to serve middle school students.
The Ball High School Class of 2009 included 446 graduates, with 43 of those graduating with honors and 20 with highest honors. Students went on to attend universities such as University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M at College Station, Rice University, Emory University, Trinity University, Sam Houston State University and more.
In an effort to support teachers, the Galveston ISD Educational Foundation was founded in 2001. To date, the foundation has awarded over than $1 million in grants to teachers, to the AP Strategies program, the Good Start program, and school-site grants to GISD schools. The Foundation collaborates with the district to support a variety of district-wide programs and has reached close to 20,000 students.
A dedicated grant writing team has been awarded over $25 million in grants over the last three years, one of the highest figures for any Texas school district. These grants go towards funding the Virtual Online School utilized by over 60 students, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers after-school programs, and the Optional Flexible School Day Program.
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Private education also is available to students in grades K-12. Most of the private schools on the Island provide an education for students at the elementary level. Holy Family Catholic School encompasses pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and has enrollment of around 100. O’Connell College Preparatory High School serves students in grades 9-12. Catholic education has been a pillar of the community since the Ursuline Nuns came to the Island in 1847 and established the first Catholic school in Texas.
Moody Methodist Day School is under the direction of Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church. The school is an extension of the educational ministry. The school has an enrollment of around 275 children, ages 3 months through 8th grade. These children are in programs consisting of full-day care, preschool and/or after-school care. Moody Day School provides opportunities for the total development of each child – social, emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual.
Trinity Episcopal School, founded in 1952, is a coeducational day school serving about 230 students, two years old through grade eight. The school offers a rigorous academic program in a God-centered atmosphere where small classes are led by caring teachers. Situated on the grounds of historic Trinity Episcopal Church, the school welcomes and enrolls students of all religious traditions. The challenging and varied curriculum is enhanced by numerous excursions to local cultural and recreational resources. The program is accredited by the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools and by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest.
Satori Elementary School was founded in 1980 with a mission to provide a nurturing environment where children discover fundamentals within the context of an integrated, real-world curriculum. The school serves children in kindergarten through fifth grade in small, multi-age classes. Each class has a two-grade span with a maximum of 12 students assigned to one credentialed teacher. The school has a full-time teaching staff of four and a part-time staff of six teachers.
Odyssey Academy is a public charter school focusing on math, science & technology serving pre-kindergarten three year olds through 8th grade with a mission to provide the best learning experience in Galveston County.
KIPP: Coastal Village, a public charter school, serving Prek4-2nd grade AND 5th grade for 2010-11, growing to Prek4-8th grade by 2013. The program mission is to prepare students with the academic and intellectual skills, knowledge, habits, and character traits necessary to succeed at all levels of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, college, and the competitive world beyond.
In 1967 Galveston College opened its doors after widespread community support had formed the Galveston Community College District. For 43 years, Galveston College has been flourishing as a source of high-quality, affordable instruction in college transfer, career education and adult/continuing education.
Galveston College’s campus, located just six bocks from the Galveston Seawall at 4015 Avenue Q, is an exceptional environment for learning. Approximately 2,300 credit students enroll in each semester of fall, spring and summer. Nearly 4,000 people take non-credit leisure learning or special interest classes annually.
Galveston College has amenities such as a computer-based learning resource center, modern science labs, ceramics, art and music, microcomputer centers, fitness and gym facilities, and intramural/collegiate sports.
Galveston College has worked diligently to build strong partnerships with organizations and institutions in our community. The College has developed programs with the University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas A&M Galveston. Other partnerships help Galveston College to be a central educational link to the Galveston Independent School District, other local private schools, and the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
In March 2010 Galveston College purchased a location for its new Vocational-Technical Center. The project was endorsed by the Galveston Recovery Committee and the City of Galveston.
New programs that are being introduced include associate degrees and certificates in Welding, HVAC and Industrial Systems.
One of the most exciting programs at Galveston College was introduced through the Galveston College Foundation. Through the Universal Access program, Galveston College is rebuilding the Galveston community by investing in its most precious resource, its people. The Galveston College Foundation has raised an endowment of over $3 million that will help every graduate from a Galveston high school, GED program or home school to be guaranteed paid tuition and fees for two years of higher education and training. In fall 2001 through spring 2010, the Galveston College Universal Access program has funded the higher education of over 3,200 Galveston residents for some 4.2 million dollars.
Galveston College also awards over $100,000 in scholarships each year and allows Galveston senior citizens 65 years of age or older to take credit classes without paying tuition. For more information, visit http://www.gc.edu/.
Texas A&M University at Galveston is Texas’ only special-purpose institution dedicated to education, research and service in the science, engineering, business and humanities involving our oceans and coastal environments. There is no similar institution in Texas or the rest of the nation. This branch campus of Texas A&M University is home to the Texas Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies in the United States and the only mariner-licensing program on the Gulf Coast.
Texas A&M University at Galveston offers Galveston residents an opportunity to stay in Galveston while earning a bachelor’s degree. Galvestonians who are looking for a degree in business might choose Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Maritime Administration degree. This degree offers a solid business foundation coupled with specializations in international transportation, port operations, brokering and law. Graduates have enjoyed high placement rates with good pay.
Texas A&M University at Galveston participates in intercollegiate water sports such as sailing and rowing, both regionally and nationally.
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) is committed to educating a diverse health workforce for the future through its schools of Medicine, Nursing, Allied Health Sciences, and Graduate Biomedical Sciences. The focus is on training students to work as part of an interdisciplinary team in a problem-based learning environment. Health professions students gain early experience in clinical settings, while those pursuing degrees in biomedical research see how laboratory discoveries translate into improvements in care for patients.
UTMB currently enrolls more than 2,900 students, residents and fellows, and has conferred more than 33,000 degrees throughout its history. It has educated more Texas physicians than any other medical school, and its medical and nursing students lead the state in their performance on national board exams. Award-winning distance-education programs help address critical shortages in the health care workforce, and a wide variety of continuing education courses help practicing professionals keep their skills up to date.
In March 2010, UTMB became a member of the Texas Medical Center (TMC), thus formalizing numerous educational collaborations taking place between the university and other TMC member institutions throughout the Galveston/Houston region.