Galveston Independent School District serves more than 7,000 students on the Island and Bolivar Peninsula, with two high school programs, five middle school programs, and six elementary schools. The boundary of those schools stretches from Oppe Elementary in the West End of Galveston Island to Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School in Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula.
Instead of following the rigid boundaries of school zones, Galveston ISD follows a unique "Schools of Choice" model, which allows all students to apply to any program in the district that has space. There are magnet programs, neighborhood style schools, and charter-based schools.
Galveston public schools offer a tremendous amount of instructional opportunities at its campuses with magnet programs dotting the district and numerous certification programs that allow students to secure living wage jobs before or after graduation. Middle schools offer a variety of Pre-Advanced Placement credits, and Ball High has access to free or discounted dual credit hours from Galveston College as well as Advanced Placement classes. GISD offers a full slate of fine arts and athletic teams and programs.
The new San Jacinto campus is home to two early childhood programs: The Moody Early Childhood Center, serving children from birth to age 2; and the San Jacinto Early Childhood Center serving 3-year olds.
The student body is ethnically and culturally diverse. Of families with children attending GISD schools, 74% of the students enrolled are economically disadvantaged. Galveston schools house diverse student populations as reflected by district's demographics - 45% Hispanic, 25% African American, 30% white and other.
About 375 students travel daily from out-of-district to avail themselves of the many opportunities at all GISD campuses.
GISD continues to expand its offerings by excelling in academics, athhletics, fine arts, and extracurricular activities. Through one of the district's magnet and small learning community programs, students can pursue their interest in Bio-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fileds from elementary through high school. Another program focusing on Media Arts and Digital Technology is available for grades five through high school.
Ball High School also has implemented successful courses which lead to numerous certifications and real time work experiences, including the "IncubaTOR" business entrepreneurship class which teaches students to think creatively and orginally, solve complex problems, and be resilient in the face of failure.
Ambassadors Preparatory Academy
Ambassadors Preparatory Academy (APA) is an open enrollment public charter school with a mission of providing a safe, hands-on. learner-centered environment that cultivates excellence, offers challenges, and embraces lifelong learning for all students.
Teachers receive a substantial degree of curicular and insructional freedom in exchange for high expectations regarding effective classroom practice and student performance. Teaching and learning are focused on real-life situations, so students understand the relevance of information to their everyday lives.
Project Based Learning and Field Studies are used extensively to accomplish this objective. Lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of each student, and a variety of activities are chosen to reinforce concepts and 21st century skills (communication, innovation, collaboration and presentation.). In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, APA offers courses in visual and performing arts.
Odyssey Academy is a multi-campus, open enrollment public charter school with locations in Galveston, League City, and El Lago. Odyssey Academy exists to provide the best learning environment throughout the Gulf Coast area, serving students from prekindergarten through high school.
The school uses four effective approaches that in combination set Odyssey apart from other public school programs:
- Odyssey Academy offers a full-day prekindergarten program for qualifying 3 and 4-year old children. There is strong evidence showing that children who participate in high quality pre-K programs enter school more ready to learn, and Odyssey believes parents should have the opportunity to give their children this advantage.
- Odyssey Academy focuses on leadership skills from prekindergarten through high school using Franklin Covey's Leader in Me and The 7 Habit, which teach 21st century leadership and life skills and help to create a culture of student empowerment.
- Odyssey Academy is a STEAM school (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics). Teachers focus on these subjects to help students develop the critical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Odyssey Academy offers dual credit and early college programs. Dual credit allows students to earn college credits while still attending high school. Early College is an innovative program that helps students earn an associate degree while simulaneously earning their high school diploma.