Pershing Middle School

Pershing Middle School was established as part of HISD in 1928.  Originally connected to West University Elementary School, Pershing moved to its own campus in 1948 on Braes Boulevard.  It has since been rebuilt at the same location but with a new address on Blue Bonnet Street.  Pershing’s mission statement is “to educate all students in a safe, enriched, learning environment, to become responsible, productive citizens in an ever-changing society.”

Pershing Middle School

3838 Blue Bonnet Blvd., Houston, TX 77025                                                  Ms. Kim Heckman, Principal

713-295-5240                                                                                           Ms. Rachel Burgan, Magnet Coordinator

www.PershingMS.org

Religious Affiliation

As a public school, Pershing Middle School 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

Pershing’s 18-acre campus is located at Blue Bonnet Boulevard and Stella Link Road.  Between 2005 and 2007 the entire school was rebuilt.  The facilities include a baseball field, an all-purpose sports field, one main 195,336 square foot, two-story building, and a smaller auxiliary building. The buildings include 84 classrooms, media center, cafeteria, administration suite, gymnasium, gymnastics facility, weight room, natatorium, and auditorium.  Braeswood Place, the neighborhood surrounding Pershing, is a largely residential area close to West University Place, Southside Place, and Bellaire.

Admissions

Pershing’s Fine Arts Magnet requires that applicants 1) complete and submit an application 2) submit the most recent report card and test records and last year’s report card 3) permanent record/transcript 4) immunization record 5) proof of HISD residency 6) guardian’s photo ID.  Prior to application, students must have maintained an overall grade point average of 78 or higher, good conduct, and good attendance.  Students must also have experience or demonstrate potential in fine arts.  If the applicant meets the requirements, the school will then send a letter with a specified audition time, and the auditions will be ranked.  Students may choose one of the following: band, orchestra, choir, art, dance, gymnastics, guitar, or theater arts.

Pershing’s Neighborhood Vanguard GT Program requires 1) completed application 2) previous year’s final report card 3) end of semester report card 4) teacher recommendation form 5) achievement test scores (Stanford/Aprenda) 6) current Naglieri non-verbal Ability Test-2 results 7) proof of HISD residency.  The applicant may be required to complete extra testing, but this will be scheduled by the GT coordinator.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

Pershing has four academic tracks: On-Track, Pre-AP, Vanguard/GT, and Accelerated Vanguard/GT.  The Vanguard/GT curriculum includes Language Arts, Mathematics, Language other than English, Science, Social Studies/History, and Speech.  Seventh and eighth grade students in the Vanguard/GT program will have the option of choosing Spanish, French, or Mandarin Chinese to fulfill their language requirement.  Eighth grade students in the program will take Algebra I and Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC).  In the Accelerated Vanguard/GT program, an advanced Pre-Algebra math class is offered for sixth graders, who will then take Algebra in seventh grade and Geometry in eighth grade.

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

Pershing offers French, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Eighth graders who successfully complete a foreign language class in seventh and eight grade will earn high school credit. Spanish speakers may qualify to take Spanish AP language classes during 8th grade and can earn up to four high school credits.

Arts

Students in Pershing’s Fine Arts Magnet program select one area of concentration: visual art, band, dance, theater arts, choir, orchestra, gymnastics, or guitar.  The intermediate and advanced electives require auditions or successful completion of the beginning level electives. Each program has a variety of performances and exhibitions, both mandatory and optional, throughout the year.  The school runs a blog dedicated to posting both art and performance schedules.

Technology

Students are not allowed to use laptops or their other unnecessary electronics during school.  Computer labs are available for schoolwork; the labs contain high-tech equipment and facilities to teach 3D rendering, digital sciences, wood shop, video, and audio production.

Extracurricular Activities

Numerous clubs are available both before and after classes: BETA club, Bluebonnet Street Journal, Booster, Chess, Cheerleading, Club de Espanola, Drama club, Math Counts, Name that Book, National Junior Honor Society, No Place For Hate, Odyssey of the Mind, Perfect Ten step team, Prep Bowl, Robotics, Spanish Book Club, and Student Council.  Pershing hosts these programs, but the neighboring YMCA also offers after-school programs with enrichment and athletic activities, which are available to students and encouraged.

Athletics

After-school sports are available throughout the year. Pershing fields more than 13 teams across 10 sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, softball, cheerleading, and volleyball.

Parent Involvement

Parents can join the Pershing PTO to host events, fundraise, and volunteer. For parents to stay abreast with students and teachers, HISD offers and online portal for Pershing called Parent Student Connect.

Pershing Middle School Fast Facts

Overview  
School Type Public, Magnet
Religious Affiliation N/A
Uniforms Yes
Date Founded 1928
Grades Served 6 – 8
Enrollment 1,748
     Grade 6 510
     Grade 7 641
     Grade 8 597
Student to Teacher Ratio 17:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) 29/28%
Minorities in Student Body 83%
   
Curriculum  
Academic Tracks Offered On-Track, Pre-AP, Vanguard/GT

Accelerated Vanguard/GT

Advanced Placement Courses Offered N/A
Languages Offered Spanish, French, Mandarin
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 10
 

Graduating Seniors

 
National Merit Semi-Finalists (#/%) N/A
Average SAT Scores (Class of 2012) N/A
     Mathematics N/A
     Critical Reading N/A
     Writing N/A
% Students Admitted to 4 Year University N/A
   
Public School Stats  
Gifted and Talented Students 26%
Free & Reduced Lunch 53%
AYP (2006-2011) Met AYP
TEA Accountability (2006-2009) Academically Acceptable
TEA Accountability (2009-2013) Recognized

 

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

 

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