River Oaks Elementary IB World School

River Oaks Elementary (ROE), an HISD Vanguard magnet and neighborhood school, first opened its doors in 1929 with support from Ima Hogg, Agnese Carter, and Pat Houston. Following a decline in enrollment after court ordered integration of HISD schools, ROE became a magnet-only school in 1986. The neighborhood program was reopened in 1996 due to pressure from local parents and the Vanguard magnet program’s success. In 2005, ROE became an authorized IB World School with a Primary Years Program. 

River Oaks Elementary IB World School

2008 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77019                          Ms. Keri Fovargue, Head of School

713-942-1460                                                       Ms. Andy Williams, Magnet Coordinator


Religious Affiliation

As a public school, River Oaks Elementary 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

ROE is located at the intersection of San Felipe and Kirby in River Oaks, one of Houston’s oldest neighborhoods. In the late 1920s, architect Harry D. Payne designed ROE giving it an exterior reminiscent of French colonial architecture. The school building is 7,570 sq. feet. A new addition was built in 2007 to replace temporary buildings. Alumni are currently raising $3.4 million for an expanded library and technology center. ROE boasts a 40,000 sq. foot Nature Center where kids “can observe indigenous wildlife and plants in an outdoor lab setting.” Outside, there are playgrounds, courts, and a large field.


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

Students zoned to ROE will be accepted once their parents have submitted the proper documentation: 1) Current Proof of Address 2) Parent’s Current Driver’s License Showing the Same Address, 3) Student’s Birth Certificate or Passport, 4) Immunization Records 5) Student’s Social Security card if applicable 6) Parental Proof of Custody and 7) Previous Year’s Final Report Card and Test Scores (if enrolling in 1st through 5th grade). Students enrolling in kindergarten must be 5 years old by September 1st.

Parents of students living outside Poe’s zone must apply through the HISD Vanguard magnet process. Students are selected through a lottery process after applications have closed. Zoned students must also apply if they wish to participate in the Vanguard magnet program.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

All students participate in the IB Primary Years Program. The Vanguard Magnet Program serves zoned and non-zoned students, who qualify as gifted and talented.

Students take classes in Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies daily. Ancillary classes include PE, music, art, science, and Spanish. Reading comprehension is reinforced through ROE’s Literacy Plan, which is based on the student’s current level and uses the Words Their Way spelling program to concentrate on word study rather than sight spelling. While teachers primarily use the EveryDay Math program, they supplement mathematics education with EveryDay Counts, Envision, First in Math, and websites. Students learn how to conduct research through the IIM (Independent Investigation Method).

Special Needs

Standard HISD policies.

Foreign Languages

Students attend Spanish as an ancillary class. Through ROE Connections, an afterschool program, children can take classes in Chinese conversation and Spanish.


Students attend art and music in their ancillary rotation. Through ROE Connections, an afterschool program, interested students can elect to take additional classes in multimedia, clay pottery, “Fun with Fabric,” origami, and sculpture.


No information provided.

Extracurricular Activities

ROE offers an afterschool program called ROE Connections with a variety of enrichment classes with Half Time (3:15-4:45) or Full Time (3:15-6:00) options. Classes, taught by ROE faculty, ROE parents, and professionals, are grouped by age or skill level and limited to a certain number of students. In the past, students have been able to choose from a large selection of art classes, Camp Einstein for science lovers, Chess, Chinese Conversation, Creative Chefs, Freshmen Robotics, Glee Club, Piano, Guitar, Improv & Creative Drama, Mad Science, Math Fun, Model Cars and Airplanes, Musical Theatre, Tennis, TGA Premier Junior Golf, Violin, and Voice Lessons.

Students might also enjoy Movie Night, field trips, holiday parties, or participating in Odyssey of the Mind.


While PE is offered during school hours to all students, children have the option to explore different types of exercise in the after school program. Past examples include Ballet/Tap, Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Fencing, Fitness for Kids!, Football fundamentals, Hip-Hop & Break Dance, Jazz/Funk, Karate, Lacross, Latin American Move & Groove, Outdoor Sports, Soccer Clinics/Footskills, Tumbling Gymnastics, Volleyball, Yoga for Children, and Zumba for Kids.

Parent Involvement

Parents can join the PTO to learn about volunteer opportunities, help create the yearbook, or chaperon fieldtrips. They organize book fairs, carnivals, Earth Day, fun runs, summer play dates, and more. Additionally, parents can become “Room Parents” or garden at the Nature Center.

River Oaks Elementary IB World School Fast Facts

School Type Public, Magnet
Religious Affiliation



Dress Code Only

Date Founded 1929
Endowment N/A
Grades Served KG-5
Enrollment 680
     Grade 5 130
     Grade 4 111
     Grade 3 114
     Grade 2

Grade 1





Student to Teacher Ratio 19:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) 7/18%
Minorities in Student Body


Academic Tracks Offered On Track, IB
Advanced Placement Courses Offered N/A
Languages Offered Spanish
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs N/A
Public School Stats (Public Schools)  
Gifted and Talented Students 77%
Free and Reduced Lunch 8%
AYP (2007-2012) Met AYP
TEA Accountability (2007-2011) Exemplary


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

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