Galveston Independent School District

Galveston Independent School District is a school district headquartered in Galveston, Texas, United States.

Galveston Independent School District
GISD Lovenberg Admin Bldg, Galveston.jpg
Galveston ISD Administration Building
3904 Avenue T

United States
District information
Established1881 by the City of Galveston, 1949 as an Independent School District
PresidentMatthew Hay, Board of Trustees President
SuperintendentDr. Jerry Gibson
Enrollment6700 [1]
Other information

In 2013, the school district was rated as having "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency.

Catchment areaEdit

Galveston ISD takes students from the cities of Galveston and Jamaica Beach. Galveston ISD also serves unincorporated areas of Galveston County,[2] including the communities of Port Bolivar[3] and Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula.[4]

As of 2022 GISD uses a "freedom of choice" model in which a student may seek to attend any school in the district if the school has a seat for the given student. The district only provides school bus transportation on the Bolivar Peninsula for the Crenshaw K-8 School. For the campuses in Galveston the district will provide transportation to any part of GISD.[5] In previous eras Galveston ISD house or residential area was assigned to an elementary school and a middle school. In Port Bolivar, the houses and residential areas are zoned to a K-8 center. All high school students in Galveston ISD were zoned to attend Ball High School.[6]

Galveston College serves the catchment area of Galveston ISD.[7]


The current Central Middle School building, formerly Central High School.
Constructed in 1939, the Stephen F. Austin Junior High building now houses a middle-school level magnet school.

In 1881, the citizens of Galveston, authorized by the legislative act of 1879 which specified that all cities of a certain size could initiate and maintain their own school system, organized a public school district and elected a board of trustees. Some 20 teachers were employed to teach students in grades one through seven. Prior to this time, all education in Galveston was private or parochial.[citation needed]

In the summer of 1883, a local dry goods businessman, George Ball, offered to finance construction of new schools. Ball's offer was accepted, and the cornerstone for what would become Ball High School was laid on February 15, 1884. Ball died on March 11, 1884, without seeing his gift completed. Ball High School opened its doors to 200 pupils on October 1, 1884, with a building consisting of 12 classrooms, two offices and an auditorium. According to Gary Cartwright's "Galveston, A History of the Island", two alderman pressured the school board to open the new school to all races. At first, the school board agreed to do that, but changed its mind when Ball's heirs offered to give another $10,000, if the high school was only for white students. Susan Wiley Hardwick's Mythic Galveston: Reinventing America's Third Coast documents that Central High School was opened as a high school for black students in a storefront in 1885. Central High and Ball High merged into one high school in 1968.[citation needed]

Public schools in Galveston were operated by the city from 1884 until 1949, when Galveston ISD was established by the Texas Legislature.[8]

Enrollment declineEdit

The enrollment declined by 1,147 from 1995 to 1996.[9]

In the 2000s skyrocketing home prices created by the completion of many high-rise projects [10] have forced many middle class Galveston residents to move off of the island to many cities, including Texas City, League City, and La Marque. Galveston ISD's tax base grew by 13% in 2005.[11] Including all students, GISD lost 8% of its students (780) between the 2002-2003 school year and the 2006-2007 school year, with a 7% loss (610) in 2006.[12] The district lost 12% of its students during the same years when Hurricane Katrina evacuees and out-of-district students are excluded.[11]

Galveston ISD lost students to mainland school districts such as Clear Creek ISD and Dickinson ISD.[11] District enrollment fell by 101 students from 2004-2005 to 2005-2006. The district missed 772 students on October 30, 2006. Elementary school enrollment had dropped about 2.3 percent from the 1996-1997 school year to the 2006-2007 school year. If the trend continues for fall 2007, the district would lose 300 students to the newly opened Ambassadors Preparatory School, a charter school, in addition to 94 students,[13] translating to a loss of 10.6% of the district's total elementary school students. At the end of 2006, GISD's total enrollment was about 8,700.[14] From 2006 to 2007 enrollment fell by 642. In January 2007 the middle schools had 934 vacant slots while the elementary schools had 834 vacant slots.[9]

On January 2, 2007, the Galveston County Daily News published a report about parents frustrated over plans to close Scott Elementary School.[15] The District Education Council approved a GISD plan to close multiple schools.[16] On May 15, 2007, the Houston Chronicle reported that the League of United Latin American Citizens, in an attempt to prevent schools from closing, filed a complaint with the U.S. federal government asserting that GISD violated a desegregation order.[17] Pat Guseman, an official with Pasa Demographics, predicted that GISD would lose about 1,468 students in the five years after 2007.[14] Guseman said that many of the student losses would originate from the East End of the island.[18] The demographer, characterizing the change in Galveston demographics as "Hamptonization," stated that economically disadvantaged children and Hispanic children are increasing, while African-American children are decreasing, as of 2007. Guseman cited increasing private school enrollment, increasing costs of housing, and a dearth of local employment as reasons for the loss of students in Galveston.[14] During that year, Christine Hopkins, a spokesperson for the district, said that the housing costs and perceptions of GISD schools caused many families to move from the GISD area.[19]

Before Hurricane Ike hit Galveston in September 2008, GISD had 7,900 students.[20] After Ike hit Galveston, the district lost 25% of its total enrollment. Burnet and Scott elementary schools and Central Middle School received severe damage; the district said the schools would not open in fall 2009. In March 2009 GISD cut 163 positions, including 99 teaching positions; 40% of the total cut positions had already been vacant.[21]

In the fall of 2009 the district had 6,235 students, 1,665 fewer than the previous year. This was a 20% decrease from pre-Ike. The district had expected 6,000 students to be enrolled during the 2009-2010 school year; it had 235 more than expected.[20]

School configuration change plansEdit

In March 2007, Galveston ISD announced that it would introduce plans to change the configurations of its elementary and middle schools within the city of Galveston.[22]

Some parents expressed concern about consolidating the middle schools, because Weis and Central had different student demographics, with Weis having a wealthier student body.[23]

Ending in the 2007-2008 school year, Galveston ISD operates:

  • Six elementary schools including grades Pre-Kindergarten through 5
  • One schools including grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8
  • Three middle schools with grades 6 through 8
  • One high school with grades 9 through 12

After spring 2008, Alamo Elementary School would be converted into a multi-purpose center.

Starting in the 2008-2009 school year, Galveston ISD would operate four PreK-4 elementary school and two K-4 elementary schools.

Weis Middle School would become a 5-6 school. Central Middle School would become a 7-8 school. Austin Middle School would become a magnet school for grades 5-8.

Now GISD is configured in-

  • 4 Pre-K through 4th grade elementary schools.
  • 2 K through 4th grade elementary schools.
  • 1 5th grade through 6th grade middle school.
  • 1 7th grade through 8th grade middle school.
  • 1 5h grade through 8th grade magnet school.
  • 1 9th grade through 12th grade high school.

Post-Hurricane IkeEdit

Galveston schools reopened in October 2008.[24]

GISD PoliceEdit

Galveston ISD Police Department is a school district police department established under the provision of the Texas Education Code. The department was established during the 1967-68 school year to assist during the consolidation of Central High School (an African American school) into the all Caucasian Ball High School to bring an end to segregation of schools in Galveston ISD.

Dress codesEdit

All elementary and middle school students residing in Galveston Island are required to wear school uniforms. Crenshaw School students are not required to wear school uniforms.

Ball High School has a detailed dress code requiring solid-colored polo shirts, turtlenecks, solid-colored trousers, and blue denim jeans.[25]

Students in Ball Preparatory Academy wear same as greater Ball High School


Galveston ISD has its own TV channel available on Comcast Cable channel 17. The channel includes current information about the school district including recent news in short video clips; school board meetings are also shown.

List of schoolsEdit

Secondary schoolsEdit

High schoolsEdit


Open enrollment

  • Aim High School (Galveston) - Accelerated High School
  • Galveston Early College High School

Middle schoolsEdit

Stephen F. Austin Magnet Middle School.


  • 7-8: Central Middle School (Galveston, constructed 1954)
    • Before the consolidation and realignment of GISD middle schools, Central had a mostly African American student body.[26] In 2006, 80% of Central's students were socioeconomically disadvantaged, and 92% were racial and ethnic minorities.[27] In 2006 there were reports of a decline in student discipline.[28]
  • 5-6: Weis Middle School (Galveston, constructed 1965)
    • Before the consolidation and realignment of GISD middle schools, Weis had a more White and more affluent student body than other GISD middle schools. As of 2006, 46% of the students were socioeconomically disadvantaged and 37% were racial and ethnic minorities.[27]


  • 5-8 Stephen F. Austin Magnet Middle School (Galveston, constructed by the PWA in 1939)
    • Before Austin was changed from a zoned school to a magnet school, 80% of the students were socioeconomically disadvantaged, and 84% were racial and ethnic minorities.[27]

From the 2022-2023 school year Weis will begin to be a 5th grade only school, Austin will only have 6th graders, and Central will only have grades 7 and 8.[29]

K-8 schoolsEdit

Crenshaw School


  • Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School (Unincorporated area, Constructed 2005[30])
    • The current Crenshaw campus is at Texas State Highway 87 and Helen Drive in Crystal Beach, on land donated by a third party. The 56,000 square feet (5,200 m2) building, designed by Bay Architects,[31] was built off of the ground and as a hurricane shelter.[32] It includes a cafeteria that includes a stage and a gymnasium. Carter Thompson of the Galveston County Daily News wrote "A slight nautical theme shows up in a lobby that resembles a wheelhouse."[31] The previous Crenshaw facility was two separate campuses,[31] in Port Bolivar.[3]


  • KIPP Coastal Village Elementary and Middle School

Primary schoolsEdit

Greta Oppe Elementary School in west Galveston

All of the following schools are in Galveston. Zoned:

The 1894 Central High School building and attached former branch of the Rosenberg Library for African Americans.[34]


  • Burnet Early Childhood University Magnet School (magnet school)
  • Scott Collegiate Academy

Former schoolsEdit

Former secondary schoolsEdit

Former high schoolsEdit

  • Central High School (Galveston) (First African-American segregated high school in Texas, now holds Central Middle School [1])
  • Ball High North (Galveston) (Now Scott Academy), housed 9th and 10th grades and Ball High (called Ball South) housed 11th and 12th grades)

Former middle schoolsEdit

  • Sam Houston Junior High School (Galveston)
  • Lovenberg Junior High School (Galveston) demolished - 1980

Former elementary schoolsEdit

Alamo Elementary School
Former William B. Travis Elementary
  • Alamo Elementary School (closed 2007[35])
    • At the end of the school's life, 95% of the student body was Hispanic and African-American. Of the GISD school zones, Alamo had the second highest population of Hispanic students, after Burnet Elementary School. A demographer said that, between March and October 2007, the Alamo school zone was the only area in Galveston that gained children. As of March 2007, almost 500 students resided in the Alamo zone. This is a higher number than the numbers residing in the Rosenberg, Morgan, and San Jacinto zones. Some critics of the school district said that this proves that GISD closed the wrong school. Lynne Cleveland, the superintendent, argued that the correct school closed because Alamo had the fewest students of any school, showing that not every student living in the zone went to that school. Cleveland said that it was not feasible for GISD to continue staffing such a small school. Between 2001 and 2007 all GISD elementary schools had population decreases. Alamo's population fell by 90 students, making up 16% of the district population. Alamo lost fewer students than other schools.[36]
    • The building is currently used as storage and was used for the district alternative education program for students with discipline problems prior to mid-2008. Cleveland said that because Alamo was the district's oldest elementary school, and the costliest to maintain, it was the best choice for closure.[37]
  • Burnet Elementary School (PK-4)
    • After Hurricane Ike damaged the school, pre-kindergarten and bilingual students attended Oppe while all other students attended Parker.[38] In fall 2009 Burnet was temporary closed, due to Ike's damage. It is now a Magnet School.[20]
  • Davy Crockett Elementary School (closed by 1978[39])
  • Henry Rosenberg Elementary School (PK-4)
    • Between 2001 and 2007, Rosenberg Elementary lost 188 students, a 33% decrease in the population.[36]
    • In March 2009 GISD signed a contract with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), a charter school program, so KIPP could open a charter school in a GISD campus.[40] In the northern hemisphere fall of that year, KIPP Coastal Village School opened in the Rosenberg Elementary facility.[20] The two schools shared the same campus.[41]
  • San Jacinto Elementary School (closed 2006) (Students attending San Jacinto were reassigned to various schools ) The building is currently used for the district alternative education program for students with discipline problems.[37]
    • Between 2001 and 2007 San Jacinto lost 178 students, a 36% decrease.[36]
  • Charles B. Scott Elementary School (PK4-4)
    • Scott opened in the former Ball High School North facility in 1996 after renovations occurred.[42] Murals were installed after the school opened.[43] Between 2001 and 2007, Scott lost 160 students, a 22% decrease in the student body.[36] After Scott was damaged in Hurricane Ike in 2008, students with family names beginning in the letters A through L attended Rosenberg Elementary, while others were assigned to Morgan elementary.[38] In the fall of 2009 Scott remained closed due to Ike damage.[20]
  • William B. Travis Elementary School - Opened in 1948 and relieved Alamo and Crockett schools.[44] - Closed in the 1970s.[45][page needed] Sold and converted to apartments

Athletic facilitiesEdit

As of 2010 Kermit Courville Stadium is the district's stadium. The stadium was 62 years old as of January 22, 2010, Before 2010 GISD was deciding whether to renovate Courville stadium. If the district decided to renovate Courville stadium, it would have had to purchase 75 structures, including a church, to build enough parking spaces. Galveston law requires one parking space per 200-square-foot (19 m2) of building space, and Courville, which had 140 parking spaces, did not have the sufficient number specified by law; if GISD renovated it, it would have been required to create the legally specified number of parking spaces. When people attend events at Courville, many park on streets around the stadium and in a grassy lot north of the stadium.[46]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ District PEIMS reports]
  2. ^ "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Galveston County, TX." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 4, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "schools." Galveston Independent School District. April 22, 2001. Retrieved on January 5, 2015. "Bolivar School Madison Avenue Pt. Bolivar, TX "
  4. ^ Thompson, Carter (2003-12-27). "Board sets aside money for work on new school". The Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2003-04-02. Retrieved 2015-01-05. District staff also has settled on a site — a piece of land in Crystal Beach that the owner has offered to donate to the district.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) ()
  5. ^ "SCHOOLS OF CHOICE". Galveston Independent School District. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  6. ^ "attendance zones" (). Galveston Independent School District. January 5, 2015. "GISD students residing on the Bolivar Peninsula attend Bolivar School for grades K-8 and Ball High School for grades 9-12."
  7. ^ Texas Education Code, Section 130.179, "Galveston College District Service Area Archived February 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine".
  8. ^ "default.asp." Galveston Independent School District. August 21, 2010. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Stanton, Robert (2007-01-25). "Galveston parents express concerns over campus closings". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  10. ^ Novak, Shona. "Growth wave hits Galveston." Austin American Statesman. Saturday July 22, 2006. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Schladen, Marty (2006-07-23). "Forces drive people off island". Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2014-01-14.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) ()
  12. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon. "Demographer: Expect big enrollment drops" (Wayback Machine archive, Archive). Galveston County Daily News. May 18, 2007. Retrieved on January 14, 2014.
  13. ^ Galveston County Daily News Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ a b c Galveston County Daily News (Wayback Machine archive, Archived 2007-10-30 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Galveston County Daily News". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-04.
  16. ^ Stanton, Robert (2007-02-07). "Committee approves Galveston ISD plan to close schools". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  17. ^ "Filing disputes school closings in Galveston," (Archive) Houston Chronicle, May 15, 2007.
  18. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon. "Rosenberg may be on the block." The Galveston Daily News. June 24, 2007. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  19. ^ Rice, Harvey. "Workers in Galveston increasingly can't afford to live there / Strong demand for second homes and high-rises forces many to buy elsewhere" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Thursday February 22, 2007. A1. Retrieved on December 22, 2009.
  20. ^ a b c d e Meyers, Rhiannon. "GISD enrollment higher than expected." Galveston County Daily News. September 20, 2009. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  21. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon. "GISD cuts 99 teachers, 163 total." Galveston County Daily News. March 5, 2009. Retrieved on March 8, 2009.
  22. ^ Galveston ISD
  23. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon. "Central, Weis not as different as some think." The Galveston Daily News. August 5, 2007. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  24. ^ Rice, Harvey (2008-10-07). "Galveston kids back in class after long Ike hiatus". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  25. ^ Galveston ISD
  26. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon. "Parents, students defend Central." The Galveston County Daily News. April 20, 2007. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  27. ^ a b c d Schladen, Marty. "Galveston school board faces tough decisions." The Galveston County Daily News. March 12, 2006. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  28. ^ Moran, Kevin (2006-10-07). "Galveston grapples with youth violence". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  29. ^ "Middle School Realignment Information". Galveston Independent School District. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  30. ^ "Crenshaw School Profile[permanent dead link]." Galveston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
  31. ^ a b c Thompson, Carter. "Board sets aside money for work on new school" (Archive). The Galveston County Daily News. February 27, 2003. Retrieved on January 5, 2015.
  32. ^ "Crenshaw K-8 School Archived March 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Bay Architects. Retrieved on March 8, 2010.
  33. ^ "Greta Oppe Elementary named for noted teacher." The Beaumont Enterprise. April 26, 2004. A7. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  34. ^ Library, Rosenberg (1918). "Henry Rosenberg 1824-1893, to Commemorate the Gifts of Henry Rosenberg to Galveston". Rosenberg Library. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  35. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon (2007-12-09). "Some parents beg that Alamo be reopened". Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2009-01-08.
  36. ^ a b c d Meyers, Rhiannon (2007-10-25). "Was Alamo wrong school to close?". The Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  37. ^ a b Meyers, Rhiannon (2008-05-09). "District swaps one empty school for another". Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2009-03-16.
  38. ^ a b Meyers, Rhiannon (2008-10-01). "GISD students to attend different schools". The Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  39. ^ Stanton, Carey (2012-06-16). "After 42 years, school's out for teacher". Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2009-01-08.
  40. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon (2009-03-10). "School district inks contract with KIPP". The Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  41. ^ White, Ian (2010-08-05). "TAKS tweak trips KIPP". The Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  42. ^ "Registration begins Tuesday for Scott Elementary kindergarten". Galveston Daily News. Galveston, Texas. 1996-08-03. p. 9-A. - Clipping from
  43. ^ Mayo, Steve (1997-10-08). "Artistry brightens Scott elementary walls". Galveston Daily News. Galveston, Texas. pp. A-1, A-12. - Clipping of first and of second page at
  44. ^ Cherry, Bill (2004-11-29). "1949: Central High's facilities were poor". Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on 2009-01-08.
  45. ^ Galveston Daily News. Tuesday March 9, 1976.
  46. ^ Meyers, Rhiannon. "District OKs 83rd Street stadium site." Galveston County Daily News. January 22, 2010. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.

External linksEdit