Harvard Elementary School

Founded in 1898, Harvard Elementary began with 30 students in five grades, serving students in the Houston Heights and is still at its original location.  Before it was officially named after the street on which it is located, it was known as “Houston Heights School No. 2.”  The school’s mission is “to empower each student with global awareness, knowledge, skills and values necessary to make a better world.”  Harvard is an IB World School and also offers Magnet and GT programs.

Harvard Elementary School

810 Harvard Street, Houston, TX 77007                                                         Mr. Kevin Beringer, Principal

713-867-5210                                                                             Ms. Elise Sawyer, IB/GT/Magnet Coordinator



Religious Affiliation

As a public school, Harvard 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 reflect 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

Harvard Elementary is located inside the 610 Loop, just north of I-10, in the Houston Heights neighborhood at Harvard Street and 8th Street.  The current school, built in 1923 with expansions in 1979 and 1988, is surrounded mostly by homes.  The building is part one-story, part two-stories, and the grounds include trees, a playground, and a covered basketball court.


The admissions process for the Magnet program at Harvard Elementary requires: 1) completed and printed application found online 2) original birth certificate 3) proof of residence 4) previous year’s final report card and first grading period of current report card 5) immunization records.  Applications for round one admissions are accepted between November and January.  To apply to Harvard’s Vanguard Neighborhood Gifted and Talented (G/T) program, new students must complete the application for Kindergarten G/T testing by the beginning of January.  Parents and teachers of current students may recommend students for G/T testing.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

Harvard Elementary, an International Baccalaureate World School, offers a Magnet STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program and a Vanguard Neighborhood G/T program, along with an on track curriculum.  All students participate in a 7-day rotation of 55-minute classes in math lab, science lab, technology lab, art, library, music, and P.E.

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

Spanish is offered as part of the IB Primary Years Programme.  Students receive 30 minutes of instruction per week.


Students attend art class and music class every seven days for 55 minutes each.  In art class, students are exposed to painting, drawing, collages, printing, and sculpture.  They are also introduced to classic artists, culture, and art history.  Music classes focus on music theory and vocal technique.  Every grade level performs music selections at the Awards Day program at the end of the school year.  Harvard also offers a Multimedia Club, in which students use multimedia and animation software to combine photos, narration, animation, and videos to create movies in a QuickTime format.


Students at Harvard Elementary learn about a variety of technologies through the use of digital photography, desktop publishing, digital movies, graphics, productivity tools, and Internet research.  The technology applications curriculum has four strands: foundation, information acquisition, problem solving, and communication.  The campus is wired to a Local Area Network.  Students’ phones must remain off and in a backpack or locker while on campus.

Extracurricular Activities

Harvard offers the following clubs: Choir, Name That Book, Robotics, Honor Society, Student Council, and Multimedia.  The Choir performs at the Winter Holiday Program and annual Spring Concert.  The Multimedia Club hosts two camps each year in which the club members present and teach about their video productions.  School events include the Sock Hop, Kindergarten Career Day, Family Math Night, Field Day, and Science Fair. Students may participate in community service projects, such as raising money for a water well in Rwanda, collecting food for a school wide food drive, and donating shoes.


No information provided

Parent Involvement

Parents join the PTA, volunteer in the classroom, or chaperone field trips.  HISD offers an online portal for Harvard Elementary called Parent Student Connect for parents to stay abreast with students and teachers.

Harvard Elementary School Fast Facts

School Type Public, IB, Magnet
Religious Affiliation None
Uniforms Dress Code
Date Founded 1898
Endowment N/A
Grades Served PK – 5
Enrollment 689
     Grade 5 76
     Grade 4 106
     Grade 3 104
     Grade 2 108
     Grade 1 124
     KG 105
     PK 66
Student to Teacher Ratio 18:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) 14/24%
Minorities in Student Body 69%
Academic Tracks Offered On Track, Magnet, G/T
Advanced Placement Courses Offered N/A
Languages Offered N/A
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs N/A
Public School Stats (Public Schools)
Gifted and Talented Students 38%
Free and Reduced Lunch 30%
AYP (2012) Met AYP
TEA Accountability (2011) Recognized
TEA Accountability (2012) Met Standard (new accountability program)


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

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