Attendance Boundaries and Transfers

Street Directory for School Attendance Boundaries


Overview of Attendance Boundaries
HISD supports the concept of neighborhood schools, using attendance boundaries as the geographic and administrative tool to assign students to the nearest campus. Ideally the size and configuration of the boundary helps to manage enrollment at the school site, specifically by matching the appropriate number of students with the classrooms and facilities at the campus.

However, overcrowding at HISD schools remains a serious problem because a bond election was defeated in May 1996 which would have provided for new school construction. Indeed, any of the previous policies that accepted overcrowded conditions were acceptable only on an interim basis, pending passage of the bond election and the eventual construction of new schools. These conditions of overcrowding, however, are NOT acceptable for the long term. Coupled with an expected enrollment increase of over 3700 students expected for the Fall 1996 and only a limited increase in classroom capacity, boundary changes remain the strongest and most viable management strategy to balance enrollment and improve facility utilization.

Capping has been the historical approach to overcrowding, but it has now been recognized as no longer the only workable choice because of its temporary nature. Students are capped only for the duration of that academic year. Because their attendance at a capped school is temporary, they have a lesser sense of belonging; they may be limited in their abilities to participate in extracurricular activities (which develop leadership qualities, especially at the middle and high school level); and there is no accountability for the students' preparation for testing. Repeatedly, the theme brought forth in Attendance Boundary Committee meetings held during July 1996 was the need to make permanent changes, so both the student and the school could be accountable for continuity of instruction and assessment through testing. Therefore, boundary changes afford the permanent change that capping does not.

Proof of Residence

Unless a student is granted a transfer, he/she must attend the school in the attendance zone where the parent or court-appointed legal guardian lives. When registering a student for school, the parent or legal guardian must present a valid lease agreement, a letter from the landlord, or a Houston Lighting and Power bill as proof of residence at the time and place of registration.

If the parent or guardian does not have any of those documents, he/she will need to come to the Attendance Boundaries and Transfer Office on Level 1 South at the HISD Administration Building, 3830 Richmond. Be sure to bring photo identification and a notarized letter from the HISD resident with whom you are living, stating how long you have lived at that address. In addition, bring one of the following; the resident's Houston Lighting and Power bill; the resident's valid lease agreement; a letter from the landlord; any mail you have received at that address. Attendance Boundaries and Transfer personnel will help you clarify your residential status and determine your child's proper school attendance zone.

BOUNDARY CHANGES for 1996-97 and 1997-98

Boundary changes for 1996-97 have been implemented in two phases. Some were anticipated early-on, in response to additional classroom space secured through new acquisitions. These changes include:
Other boundary recommendations were developed in July 1996, in response to the immediate need for relief prior to the opening of school. Historically, boundary changes have been implemented en masse, i.e. redirecting all students simultaneously; however, in an attempt to achieve an immediate improvement for 1996-97, it was believed that incremental phase-in of the advancing grade could begin the process immediately without delaying another year. This procedure would not have alienated students because they had not yet become attached to their school. These changes were initially recommended for immediate adoption and implementation, but after meetings with the local communities, it became imminently apparent that the timing two weeks before the opening of school was not realistic for implementation nor was it fair to the students and parents. Consequently, implementation of these boundary changes is being deferred until the 1997-98 school year, but approval was granted now, PLUS any other additional changes that will come forth over the course of the school year. These longer range changes include:


The Houston Independent School District promotes the concept of neighborhood schools and community involvement. Each school in the district serves the specific neighborhood within the school's attendance zone and every student enrolled in the regular academic program is assigned to a particular school where the parent or legal guardian resides. Under certain circumstances, however, HISD provides a choice and approves requests for students to attend schools other than the home zone.

HISD bus service will be provided to qualified students. Those qualifications include students accepted into transfer programs OR those students living more than two miles from the home school . Call Routing and Scheduling Department for further information at 676-9587.

Siblings and HISD Employees Who Reside Outside the District

Under previous district policy, brothers and sisters of children with transfers were allowed to receive transfers themselves to attend the same school. That policy for siblings transfers has been eliminated. Students with approved sibling transfers for the previous school year, however, are granted renewal transfers at their present school until they complete the exit grade level. Those students may continue at the school even when their siblings have entered the next instructional level (e.g. from the elementary to middle school). Children of HISD employees who live outside the district may be considered in-district students but must meet the same eligibility requirements when applying for any of the transfers offered.

For further information, call the Attendance Boundaries and Transfer Office at 892-6612.

1996 HISD Attendance Boundaries and Transfers