Incarnate Word Academy

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament (CVI) founded the Incarnate Word Academy (IWA), a girl’s college preparatory school, in November of 1873.  Although the building has changed, the school remains at its original location at 609 Crawford Street.  IWA is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department, and is a member of the National Catholic Education Association.

Incarnate Word Academy

609 Crawford St., Houston, TX 77002                                                 Sister Lauren Beck, C.V.I., President

713-227-3637                                                                                       Ms. Sarah Torres, Director of Admissions

Religious Affiliation

The Venerable Jeanne de Matel of France founded the Order of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in 1625, and part of their mission is “…to serve others with humility, simplicity and charity.”  Central to the education and ministry of CVI is the Incarnate Word, which refers to Jesus Christ and the core values of His teachings.  To those in CVI, Jesus is the embodiment of the Word of God, thus the Incarnate Word.  CVI believes that education is one of the most important ways to evangelize the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the school incorporates the Catholic faith into all aspects of their curriculum.

Location and Facilities

Incarnate Word is located in Downtown Houston, primarily within one city block at the corner of Crawford and Capitol streets.  Sharing the block with Annunciation Catholic Church, the school is directly opposite Minute Maid Park and two blocks north of Discovery Green Park and the George R. Brown Convention Center.  The school has a gym on site but most other athletic facilities are shared with St. Thomas High School.


Students interested in applying to IWA must complete the school’s application form and submit all necessary information to the school by mail.  Available for download from the school’s website, the application form includes Principal/Counselor, English Teacher, and Math Teacher Recommendation Forms that must be filled out by the individuals currently occupying those roles for the applicant.  Students must also submit an official transcript, standardized test scores, recent report card, and HSPT scores.  IWA does accept ISEE scores in place of HSPT scores.  The student may also submit a recent photo, but this is optional.  Prospective students may arrange with the Director of Admissions to shadow for half a day and experience IWA’s classrooms and facilities.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

IWA features On Track, Honors, Advanced Placement, and Dual Credit curriculums for its students.  IWA has partnered with Houston Community College to give students the opportunity to earn college credit in Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Trigonometry, and Psychology.  IWA offers six AP courses, which are English Literature, English Language, Spanish Language, Government/Macroeconomics, US History, and Biology.  Students attending IWA are required to complete 100 hours of community service, 3 years of a foreign language, and 4 years of theology (which is included in the core curriculum).  IWA also requires 4 years of English, Mathematics, and Science in order for a student to graduate.

Special Needs

No information provided.

Foreign Languages

Students must take three years of the same language to graduate.  Incarnate Word Academy offers students three options of foreign language courses for study.  Students may choose French (up to AP French), Latin (up to AP Latin), and Spanish (up to AP Spanish).  The language learning software, Rosetta Stone, is integrated into the Spanish curriculum to provide students with additional practice and feedback. 


IWA includes the study of Fine Arts in its curriculum as well as making available Art and Drama Clubs.  Students participating in the Art Club will create a mural by the end of each year to be hung within IWA’s campus.  Students participating in the Drama Club will perform in a number of plays throughout the year, such as Annie and Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing.   In music, students may participate in Band in conjunction with St. Thomas High School’s band. 


IWA offers one computer science course in order to familiarize its students with basic computer techniques and one web design course.

Extracurricular Activities

Incarnate Word Academy hosts a number of clubs and organizations in which its students may participate.  Students may join clubs such as Chess, Computer, Science, and the Literary Club.  Students may also join organizations such as the National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta Honors Society, Teens for Unity, and Together Loving Christ.  Per IWA’s graduation requirements, students must complete 100 hours of community service.  In order to achieve this requirement, IWA provides students with a number of service options, such as programs through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  Acceptable forms of community service must be in direct support of those in need, such as the elderly or handicapped through established organizations or agencies.


More than 25% of IWA’s student body participates in the school’s interscholastic sports program.  Incarnate Word is a member of Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools in Division 5A and offers nine sports programs.  Students may participate in Volleyball, Golf, Cross Country, Basketball, Cheerleading, Soccer, Swimming, Track, and Softball.

Parent Involvement

The Parent Club encourages parents to volunteer, participate in planning, or support fundraisers. Volunteer opportunities include: Gala & Auction, Dads’ Club, Style Show & Luncheon, Legacy Luncheons, Spirit Shop Sales, Thanksgiving Luncheon, and Mass Receptions. Parents can also join the Booster Club to support athletics.

Incarnate Word Academy Fast Facts

School Type Religious, Girls
Religious Affiliation Catholic
Uniforms Yes
Date Founded 1873
Endowment N/A
Grades Served 9th – 12th
Enrollment 262
     Grade 12 55
     Grade 11 57
     Grade 10 72
     Grade 9 78
Student to Teacher Ratio 10:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) 16/69%
Minorities in Student Body 59%
Academic Tracks Offered On Track, Honors, AP, Dual Credit
Advanced Placement Courses Offered 6
Languages Offered French, Latin, Spanish
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 9
Graduating Seniors  
National Merit Semi-Finalists (#/%) 1
Average SAT Scores  (2012) N/A
     Mathematics N/A
     Critical Reading N/A
     Writing N/A
% Students Admitted to 4 Year University 96%
Prime Entry Points 9th grade
Tuition Grades 9-12 $10,300
Deposit $400
Application Fee $50
Students on Financial Aid 34%


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

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