Bellaire High School

Bellaire High School started in 1955 and was the first International Baccalaureate School in Texas.  With its IB program and its World Languages magnet program,.  Bellaire’s goal is to create “…active learners, well-rounded individuals, and engaged citizens, who gain the practical experience of being part of an international community.”  The city of Bellaire and parts of Houston, such as Meyerland and Braesmont, are zoned to Bellaire High School.

Bellaire High School

5100 Maple St., Bellaire, TX 77401                                               Mr. Tim Salem, Principal

713-667-2064                                                 Ms. Rosalon Moorhead, Magnet Coordinator

www.Bellaire.org

Religious Affiliation

As a public school, Bellaire 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 makeup work.

Location and Facilities

Bellaire High School sits on the corner of S. Rice Ave. and Maple St in Bellaire.  The original building from 1955 is three stories; In 1981, Bellaire added four smaller buildings and a three-story science wing with more classrooms and science labs.  The school’s approximately 7-acre lot further includes a traditional theatre and a library as well as a dance room, an orchestra room, a band room, and a choir room.   The 2012 HISD Bond Initiative will provide over $100 million to significantly rebuild and expand the school; no time table has been set for construction.

Admissions

Bellaire’s admissions process is split into two different types: zoned and magnet.

For students zoned for Bellaire, as long as they attended an HISD middle school that feeds into Bellaire, Bellaire will receive their information automatically from the middle school.  If the student did not attend an HISD middle school that feeds into Bellaire, then Bellaire needs the parent and student to register over the summer.  The parent must bring in the following information: 1) Student’s Birth Certificate or Passport, 2) Previous Year’s Final Report Card, 3) Copy of Transcript/Permanent Record, 4) Student’s Social Security card (if they have one), 5) Copy of Immunization Record, and 6) Proof of HISD Residency in Bellaire’s zone.

Note that students zoned to Bellaire who wish to participate in the magnet program are automatically accepted into the program.  The student does not need to fill out an application or take the test.

For the World Languages Magnet Program, all students must take the Modern Language Aptitude Test, fill out the application, and submit the following information: 1) Most Recent Report Card, 2) Previous Year’s Final Report Card, 3) Copy of Transcript/Permanent Record, 4) Two Years of Standardized Test Scores, 5) Copy of Immunization Record, and 6) Proof of HISD Residency.

Bellaire offers testing during the second or third week of January.  Every applicant has to take the test.  Bellaire asks that the students arrive 30 minutes before the test is scheduled and that they bring two #2 pencils and photo identification.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

Bellaire offers three tracks—On Track, IB, and AP.  Pre-AP classes lead to the 22 classes from the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum.    Bellaire’s AP courses include: AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP Art History, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science A/AB, AP U.S. History, AP Government U.S./Comparative, AP Human Geography, AP Economics Macro/Micro, AP European History, AP Art 2D, AP Art Drawing, AP Chinese Language, AP French Language, AP French Literature, AP German Language, and AP Italian Language.

In order to graduate with an IB Diploma, students are required to complete six subjects—three Higher Level and three Standard Level courses.  These subjects include: first language, second language, math, science, social science, and an IB elective.  Students must also complete 150 hours of CAS (community, action, and service), a 4,000 word research essay, and a capstone course titled Theory of Knowledge.

In order to graduate with a Recommended Diploma, students must complete 26 credits: English (4), Social Studies (4), Math (4), Science (4), Foreign Language (2), Athletics (1), Health (1/2), Speech (1/2), Fine Art (1), and Electives (5).  A Distinguished Diploma requires one more year of a foreign language and one less year of an elective.

Special Needs

If the student meets the admissions requirements for the HISD school, then the student with special needs will be accommodated.   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 the ARD meeting has determined them.

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 modifications, then the school will have documentation of the student’s special needs and will follow the same procedures as above.

Foreign Languages

With its World Languages Magnet Program, Bellaire offers courses in eleven languages: Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Mandarin.  Non-magnet students must complete at least two years of a foreign language to graduate—three years if the student wishes to earn a Distinguished Diploma.  Magnet students must take four years of one language and one year of a second language, or if they completed one year of their first language in middle school, they can take three years of the first language and two of the second language.

Arts

Bellaire students must complete at least one year of a fine art elective to graduate.  The options include band, dance team, dance classes, orchestra, choir, and theatre arts.  UIL sponsors all but the dance classes, so all other options participate in competitions against other schools through the University Interscholastic League.

Technology

In its multiple computer labs, Bellaire offers AP Computer Science A and AB, IB Computer Science, Web Technologies, and Digital and Interactive Media as a part of its career and technical education department.  However, a technology credit is no longer required to graduate.

Extracurricular Activities

Bellaire offers a number of different clubs and activities to its students.  Some examples include: Astronomy Club, Culinary Club, Jazz Club, Model United Nations, Mock Trial, National Honor Society, Quidditch Club, and Yoga Club.  UIL activities include: yearbook, theatre, cheerleading, debate, guitar, and newspaper.

Athletics

Bellaire has twelve UIL sports teams, including: football, baseball, softball, volleyball, and boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling, soccer, track, cross-country, tennis, golf, and swimming.  Also, Bellaire includes one non-UIL sport, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse. Athletic facilities include a gym, a baseball field and an outdoor track.

Parental Involvement

All parents are welcome to join the Bellaire PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). The PTO organizes a variety of events such as fun runs, teacher appreciation luncheons, and camps.

Bellaire High School Fast Facts

Overview  
School Type Public/Magnet
Religious Affiliation None
Uniforms Dress Code Only
Date Founded 1955
Grades Served 9-12
Enrollment 3466
     Grade 12 727
     Grade 11 906
     Grade 10 887
     Grade 9 952
Student to Teacher Ratio 18:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) 45/23 %
Minorities in Student Body 72 %
   
Curriculum  
Academic Tracks Offered On Track, IB, AP
Advanced Placement Courses Offered 22
Languages Offered Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Mandarin
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 12
   
Graduating Seniors  
National Merit Semi-Finalists (#/%) 33/ 5 %
Average SAT Scores (Class of 2012) 1682
     Mathematics 583
     Critical Reading 548
     Writing 551
% Students Admitted to 4 Year University N/A
   
Public School Stats  
Gifted and Talented Students 24%
Free & Reduced Lunch 40%
AYP (2006-2010) Met AYP
AYP (2010-2012) Missed AYP
TEA Accountability (2006-2008) Academically Acceptable
TEA Accountability (2008-2010) Recognized
TEA Accountability (2010-2011) Academically Acceptable

 

Excerpted from General Academic’s publication, “Houston Private & Select Public Schools: Survey, Analysis, and Research, 3rd Edition.”

One Comment

  1. Pingback: An Expat’s Guide to Houston’s International Schools

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*