Lanier Middle School

Lanier Junior High School was founded in 1926 as one of the first junior high schools in HISD and was named after southern poet Sidney Lanier.  Lanier occupies its original building, although it has undergone many renovations to upgrade its existing facilities. Lanier’s mission is to “provide a relevant rigorous academic curriculum in order to encourage students to become self-directed lifelong learners who are innovative problem solvers, effective communicators, open minded thinkers, and caring participants in their local and global communities.”

Lanier Middle School

2600 Woodhead Street, Houston, TX 77098                                                         Ms. Linda Smith, Principal

713-942-1900                                                                                    Ms. Aurora Terry, IB/Magnet Coordinator

Religious Affiliation

As a public school, Lanier 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

Lanier’s campus, at Westheimer and Woodhead in Montrose, includes a three story main building, a separate building for band and drama, and two temporary buildings for leadership, debate, and health.  An auditorium is located in the center of the campus.  Athletic facilities consist of an indoor pool in the basement and an all-purpose sports field behind the main building.  The main building and the campus have undergone many renovations since the school’s opening in 1926, most recently in 2008/2009.


Lanier’s Vanguard Magnet/GT Program requires 1) completed application 2) final report card averages 3) Teacher recommendation form 4) Naglieri (NNAT) test results 5) Stanford test results.  For students coming from a private school or a school outside of HISD, an appointment must be made for GT testing.  All applicants who have met the requirements are placed into a lottery from which approximately 275 students are selected to be a part of the program.  The remainder of applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

Lanier features three curriculums: On-Track, Vanguard Magnet/GT, and IB Middle Years Program (IBMYP).  Lanier is the only middle school in HISD that hosts an authorized IBMYP.  The five-year IB program is designed to prepare students for the IB program at Lamar High School, with three years at Lanier (sixth through eighth grade) and two years at Lamar (eleventh and twelfth grade).  Students in the IBMYP are required to take English, math, science, fine art, technology, physical education, and a second language.  Lanier’s Vanguard Magnet/GT program is designed to complete the regular sixth through eighth grade track in two years.  Students’ eighth grade year will focus on high school credit courses.

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

Lanier offers Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin Chinese.  As part of the IB program, students must take a course in a second language.


Lanier hosts five fine arts programs: band, choir, dance, drama, and orchestra.  These arts programs compete in a variety of competitions throughout the state and have won numerous awards.


Students are prohibited from bringing electronic devices onto campus, with the exception of cell phones, which must be kept in lockers during school hours.  Computers are available during supervised class time.

Extracurricular Activities

Lanier offers a number of extracurricular clubs and activities, including: Speech and Debate, Drama, Art/Media Kids, Robotics, Chess Club, Model United Nations, Photography, Fiction Club, Geography Club, National Junior Honors Society, Band, Cheerleading, Drill Team, Name that Book, Ladies of Lanier, Breakdancing, Student Council, Orchestra, Yearbook, Continental Math League, MathCOUNTS, and Visual/Media Arts.  More than 50 clubs meet on Friday mornings for a 40-minute club time.


Students are not required to participate in Lanier’s afterschool sports program.  The school offers both University Interscholastic League and club sports, including baseball, boys and girls basketball, cross country, football, boys and girls soccer, swimming, track and field, volleyball, and softball.

Parent Involvement

Lanier offers a PTO for parents to form committees and volunteer. For parents to stay abreast with students and teachers, Lanier uses an HISD online portal called Parent Student Connect.

Lanier Middle School Fast Facts

School Type Public, IB, Magnet
Religious Affiliation N/A
Uniforms Yes
Date Founded 1926
Grades Served 6 – 8
Enrollment 1,336
     Grade 6 422
     Grade 7 463
     Grade 8 451
Student to Teacher Ratio 18:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees 29/38%
Minorities in Student Body 58%
Academic Tracks Offered On-Track, Vanguard Magnet/GT, IB
Languages Offered Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 11
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 66%
Free & Reduced Lunch 33%
AYP (2006-2011) Met AYP
TEA Accountability (2006-2013) Recognized


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

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