Named after former Texas governor Oran Milo Roberts, Roberts Elementary originally opened in 1936. It currently serves about 750 Pre-K through 5th grade students living in the Southgate, Old Braeswood, and Morningside Place neighborhoods as well as HISD-area magnet students. Roberts is a Fine Arts Magnet school with a Vanguard Program. In 2005, Roberts became one of the first three elementary schools in Texas to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. With over 40 countries represented, Roberts “encourages responsible citizenship with an appreciation of cultural diversity.”
Oran M. Roberts Elementary
6000 Greenbriar Street, Houston, TX 77030 Ms. Rita Graves, Principal
713-295-5272 Ms. Marla Niksch, Magnet Clerk
As a public school, Roberts has no religious affiliation. According to Houston Independent School District’s policy, every school has a moment of silence each day during which students can pray silently to themselves if they so choose. Also, absences because of religious holidays do not count toward the student’s total number of absences. However, the student is still responsible for the make up work.
Location and Facilities
Roberts Elementary is located in an affluent, historic neighborhood just south of Rice University and west of the Texas Medical Center. The school sits on the eastside of Greenbriar between University and Holcombe. Outside, there are 6 basketball hoops, a playground, soccer goals, and a mini running trail.
Roberts’ admissions process is split into two different types: zoned and magnet. Parents of students living outside Roberts’s zone must apply through the HISD magnet process. Students are selected through a lottery process after applications have closed. During the 2012-2013 school year, Magnet transfer students comprised 23% of enrolled students.
To apply for the Vanguard Neighborhood Program, students (1st-5th) must submit a separate Vanguard Neighborhood GT application and be tested for gifted and talented status. At Roberts, students are universally evaluated for gifted and talented status during March of their kindergarten year with the NNAT and Stanford Achievement Test.
Academic Tracks and Curriculum
All students participate in the Fine Arts Magnet program, which offers enrichment in music and the visual arts, and the IB Primary Years Programme, which “aims to develop internationally minded people who in recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.” Students identified at gifted and talented can participate in the Vanguard Program (37% of students in 2012).
Students take daily courses in Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. They attend the following ancillary classes: art, Spanish, music, PE, and technology. Roberts uses three programs to go beyond the normal state-mandated curriculum: Everyday Mathematics, the Science Enrichment Lab, and daily Writer’s Workshops.
Standard HISD policies.
All students at Roberts study Spanish. Through the Rosetta Stone computer program, students develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Students from over 40 countries attend Roberts, and for 15% of students, English is a second language. Roberts’ language-learning program provides support for English language acquisition and mother tongue support.
The Fine Arts Magnet Program is school wide. Each week, students attend visual art classes where they learn about the art and artists of various cultures and times. Beginning in kindergarten, students learn the elements and principles of art through 2D and 3D projects. They have opportunities to enter their work into local and statewide competitions. Additionally, there are two after school art clubs that create stage decorations and other works for school programs.
Students study singing and listening in their weekly music class. They are encouraged to try to learn how to read rhythm and notes, improvise, and play different instruments. Each year, there are several children’s musical productions. Interested students may sign up for piano or violin lessons if they can commit to a full year of lessons and practice ($100 fee per semester).
Technology is integrated into various core subjects through the use of technology-based projects incorporating the IB curriculum. Roberts Technology mission statement primarily seeks to teach students across six core areas: increase knowledge base, access and gather information, organize and apply data, locate primary sources, understand global issues, and encourage creativity in a variety of formats. In kindergarten, students begin learning basic computer and illustration skills. By 5th grade, students are able to organize and present information visually using a variety of electronic media. The program stresses “digital citizenship.”
After school, students can attend the Extended Day Program, which offer academic enrichment, fine arts, sports, and special classes (extra fees). Past examples include Hip Hop Dance, Photography, Film Making, Robotics, Hamp’s Football Camp, Ballet and Tap, Art Club, and Name That Book – Book Club. Specialties vary by grade level and change each semester. In addition to Roberts’ afterschool option, five different after school care facilities send buses to Roberts to pick up children at 3:15.
Students in grades 2-5 can form an Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team with sponsorship from a parent. In 2011-2012, a Roberts OM team competed in the world finals. Students also give back to the community and school by engaging in special performances and fund raising projects.
During PE, teachers encourage teamwork strategies and the development of social skills. Students also receive lessons on how to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Although it varies from semester to semester, the Extended Day Program also offers opportunities for athleticism.
Parents can join the PTO or run for a spot in the SDMC (Shared Decision Making Committee).
Oran M. Roberts Elementary
|School Type||Public, Magnet|
Dress Code Only
| Grade 2
|Student to Teacher Ratio||18:1|
|Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%)||17/42%|
|Minorities in Student Body
|Academic Tracks Offered||IB, Gifted & Talented, Fine Arts Magnet|
|Advanced Placement Courses Offered||N/A|
|Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other)||Semester|
|Interscholastic Sports Programs
|Public School Stats (Public Schools)|
|Gifted and Talented Students||37%|
|Free and Reduced Lunch||10%|
|AYP (2007-2012)||Met AYP|
|TEA Accountability (2007)
TEA Accountability (2008-2011)
Excerpted from General Academic’s publication, “Houston Private & Select Public Schools: Survey, Analysis, and Research, 3rd Edition.”