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Sharpstown High School

Sharpstown High School is a secondary school located at 7504 Bissonnet Street in Greater Sharpstown, Houston, Texas, United States with a zip code of 77074. It serves grades 9 through 12 and is a part of the Houston Independent School District.[1]

The school serves a portion of the community of Sharpstown, which was Houston's first-ever master-planned community. In addition, Sharpstown High School also serves the neighborhoods of Robindell, Braeburn Glen, Braeburn Terrace, Braeburn Valley, Braeburn Valley West, and portions of Fondren Southwest.[2]

International High School, an alternative secondary school, was located within the campus of Sharpstown High School from fall 2007[3] until fall 2010.[4]


The original campus for Sharpstown Junior-Senior High School. This facility is now Sharpstown International School.

Sharpstown Junior-Senior High School opened in 1968 in the campus now occupied by Sharpstown International School. In 1969, the junior and senior high schools separated, with the senior high going into a new campus.[5]

In 2011 Sharpstown International School took attendance boundaries from Lee High School and Sharpstown High School.[6] As of 2012, Sharpstown International School has no boundary, with Sharpstown High School controlling its former high school boundary.[7][8]

Race riotEdit

During the final day of school around 11 a.m. June 2, 1988, three African-American teenagers attacked a White football player in an Algebra class. The fight grew to 100 participants with around 400 students watching the race riot.[9] Sixteen police cars and one helicopter traveled to the school,[10] and police closed Bissonnet Street for 45 minutes. Two students were hospitalized at Southwest Memorial Hospital. Police identified the main perpetrator as a 17-year-old former student who was expelled in 1987. Police said that he, along with two students, armed themselves with a nail-studded stick and a chain and looked for a target in revenge for an incident two months earlier, when a White football player beat two Black students.[9] The Algebra teacher pressed a panic button, but it did not work as they were turned off.[10] The teacher sent a student to report the incident.[9]

A 1988 Houston Chronicle article written one day after the brawl stated that Sharpstown had a history of racial tension.[9] Deborah Tedford and Burke Watson of the Houston Chronicle wrote that "The Sharpstown campus has been plagued with outbursts of violence during school year — with parents taking to the halls as volunteer security monitors in November to quell disturbances."[10] Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, criticized the school. Fallon said that the school should have taken more precautionary measures to ensure a racially motivated fight did not happen.[10] Larry Yawn, an HISD spokesperson, and principal Don Carlisle said the officials were not aware of rumors about an upcoming fight.[10]

In spring 1991, as a result of the 1988 scuffle, Carlisle prohibited students from wearing Confederate States of America-related clothing at the May 17 prom. Five White students faced ejection when they were found with the clothing; some White students criticized the school, saying that it had a double standard as it allowed African-American students to wear Malcolm X-related clothing. The same students said that racial tensions had decreased from 1988 levels.[11]

Classroom fire, parking fees, magnet program, renovation, and Katrina refugeesEdit

In January 1991 a fire destroyed two portable classrooms; police believed that the fire, extinguished in 20 minutes, was arson. The damages were estimated to be from $50,000 to $75,000.[12]

In September 1991 when Sharpstown increased its student parking fee from $40 to $50, some students threatened to walk out of school.[13]

The school administration wanted a magnet program to encourage area students to attend the school. By 1995 the school received a community service program.[14]

In 2001 the campus received a $13 million renovation, with a new air conditioning system.[15]

According to the Houston Independent School District October 2006 "For Your Information" newsletter, Sharpstown was one of four high schools that took the most Hurricane Katrina refugees.[citation needed]

Performance and dropout ratesEdit

A 2003 state audit of HISD's performance caused controversy. One of the district's most publicized accomplishments during the Rod Paige era was a dramatic reduction in dropout rates. When 16 secondary schools, including Sharpstown High School, were audited, it was found that most of the students who left those schools in 2000-2001 should have been counted as dropouts but were not.[16][17] It was found that the administrators at Sharpstown deliberately changed the dropout rate. The Sharpstown controversy resulted in a recommendation to label the entire HISD as "unacceptable." Former Sharpstown assistant principal Robert Kimball asserts that HISD coerced administrators at many schools to lie on dropout rates. HISD asserts that the fraud is only contained to Sharpstown and that the false statistics at other schools were caused by confusion related to the state's system of tracking students who leave school.

In 2007, a Johns Hopkins University study cited Sharpstown as a "dropout factory" where at least 40% of the entering freshman class does not make it to their senior year.[18] During that year 41% of high-school-age children zoned to Sharpstown chose to attend a different Houston ISD school.[19]

From 2002 to 2009, the graduating rate increased from 73.5% to 75.4%. Gretchen Gavett of Frontline said that the gain was "small."[20]

By 2010, Sharpstown High School had improved to a 587th U.S. national ranking.[21]

Texas Governor Rick Perry held a press conference on August 24, 2010 at Sharpstown HS to discuss education initiatives.[22]

Sharpstown was the focus of a PBS Frontline episode called "Dropout Nation," about a program implemented at Sharpstown to prevent dropouts. The episode followed four Sharpstown students at risk of dropping out.[23]

Youth criminal gangsEdit

Charles Rotramel, the owner of the nonprofit program Youth Advocates, stated in a 2006 Houston Chronicle article that Lee High School, Westbury High School, and Sharpstown High School have suffered from the actions of youth criminal gangs.[24] By January 2006, on one internet bulletin board, gangs stated that they "run" Sharpstown High School; Terry Abbott, the Houston ISD spokesperson, denied all such statements.[25]


In 2012 the nonprofit Children at Risk ranked Sharpstown High as the second best "urban" (meaning a school with 50% or more of its student body being low income) comprehensive high school in the Houston area.[26]

In 2013 principal Rob Gasparello was charged by Harris County prosecutors with three counts of failing to report child abuse, and therefore he stayed off campus all year. In October of that year prosecutors dropped the charges, telling him that if he does not get into further legal trouble they would not charge him. In February 2015 HISD reassigned Gasparello after he was accused of hitting several students.[27]

A new Sharpstown High School facility opened in 2018.[28]


By 1996 there were thirty-nine temporary buildings due to overcrowding, housing over 50% of the students on campus at a time, and the library also held classes. At that stage some teachers did not have their own dedicated classrooms. The building features were wearing out during that period. A bond passed in 1989, Renewal A, meant that the toilets had already been renovated by that time.[29]


As of 2003 the school had 1,650 students, most of them Hispanic and Latino, and African American.[30]

As of 2012 92% of the students were classified as low income.[26]

Extracurricular activitiesEdit


As of 2009-2010, the Apollo football program is headed up by Coach Devin Heasley, and Coordinators Isaiah Johnson (Defense) and Jeff Whitehall (Offense). They rank number 2 in their district. The 2011-2012 Apollo football program won their first district championship in school history (6-0) record with Dallas Blacklock as their head coach


In 1996 and 1998, the Armed Drill Team "The Phantom Silent Drill Team" won 1st place in a state competition at the Bluebonnet Drill Meet. In 2001, the team also won 2nd and 3rd overall in a National Drill Meet competition, which included 60 schools nationwide. Making this the first time in HISD history, a JROTC school has placed at a national level.

Feeder patternsEdit

Elementary schools that feed into Sharpstown High School[2] include:

Middle schools that feed into Sharpstown High School include:

Since any student zoned to Long may attend Pin Oak Middle School, Pin Oak also feeds into Sharpstown High School.[41]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Sharpstown News". Sharpstown Civic Association. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  2. ^ a b "Sharpstown High School Attendance Zone[dead link]," Houston Independent School District
  3. ^ "District Dedicates New International High School at Sharpstown," Houston Independent School District
  4. ^ "Welcome to International High School at Sharpstown". Houston ISD. Archived from the original on 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-08-09. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names Archived 2011-07-10 at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 11, 2009.
  6. ^ "Board of Education Meeting April 14, 2011." Houston Independent School District. Item D10 and Attachment D10. Retrieved on August 28, 2012.
  7. ^ "Sharpstown High School Attendance Zone[dead link]." Houston Independent School District.
  8. ^ "Sugar Grove Middle Attendance Boundary Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District.
  9. ^ a b c d Warren, Susan, Clay Ward, and Burke Watson. "Racial melee erupts at Sharpstown High on final school day" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Friday June 3, 1988. Section 1, Page 1.
  10. ^ a b c d e Tedford, Deborah and Burke Watson. "Teacher cites lack of precautions before racial melee" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Saturday June 4, 1988. Section 1, Page 19.
  11. ^ Asin, Stefanie. "Sharpstown High prom ejections resurrect racial tension issue" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. May 25, 1991. A38.
  12. ^ Staff. "Fire destroys 2 classrooms at Sharpstown" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Sunday January 13, 1991. A23. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.
  13. ^ Urban, Jerry. "Sharpstown students threaten walkout/Parking fee hike to `pay guard' triggers discord" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Monday September 9, 1991. A11. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.
  14. ^ Markley, Melanie. "MAGNET FOR QUALITY/HISD program has `done a lot' for education." Houston Chronicle. November 5, 1995. A1. Retrieved on February 15, 2011.
  15. ^ De Mangin, Charles (2011-08-16). "Sharpstown to open a brighter campus". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  16. ^ "Sharpstown had 'breakdown', Houston Chronicle, August 29, 2003
  17. ^ "The 'Texas Miracle'," CBS News, August 25, 2004
  18. ^ Scharrer, Gary. "Report points to 'dropout factories'." Houston Chronicle. October 31, 2007
  19. ^ Radcliffe, Jennifer. "Critics: In HISD, too many don't go where zoned / Black leaders argue bond has no fix to get kids back to schools in their neighborhoods" (Archive). A Houston Chronicle. Sunday October 14, 2007. B1 MetFront.
  20. ^ Gavett, Gretchen. "Who Isn’t Graduating From High School?" Frontline. June 4, 2012. Retrieved on September 25, 2012.
  21. ^ "America's Best High Schools". Newsweek, Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  22. ^ Groogan, Greg (2010-08-24). "Rick Perry Called 'Coward' in Political Ad". Fox Television Stations, Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  23. ^ "Dropout Nation." Frontline. Retrieved on September 25, 2012.
  24. ^ Ruiz, Rosanna. "Troublesome spike in teen violent crime." Houston Chronicle. Sunday December 10, 2006. B1 MetFront. Retrieved on August 12, 2009.
  25. ^ Crowe, Robert. "Violence Hits Home" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Sunday January 15, 2006. A16. Retrieved on August 12, 2009.
  26. ^ a b Radcliffe, Jennifer (2012-04-21). "Changing demographics turn 2 Katy schools into 'urban' stars". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
  27. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "Sharpstown High principal reassigned after abuse allegations" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Wednesday February 18, 2015. Retrieved on December 17, 2015.
  28. ^ "Sharpstown HS celebrates grand opening of new school." Houston Independent School District. May 3, 2018. Retrieved on September 20, 2018.
  29. ^ Kliewer, Terry (1996-10-08). "Overcrowded, aging facilities a growing problem". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 1999-10-08. Retrieved 2019-04-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  30. ^ Winerip, Michael. "The 'Zero Dropout' Miracle: Alas! Alack! A Texas Tall Tale" (Archive). The New York Times. August 13, 2003. Retrieved on November 2, 2015.
  31. ^ "Bonham Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  32. ^ "McNamara Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-02-14 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  33. ^ "Herod Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-02-14 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  34. ^ "Milne Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2008-02-16 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  35. ^ "Sutton Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  36. ^ "Valley West Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2008-02-16 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  37. ^ "Sugar Grove Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  38. ^ "Fondren Middle Attendance Zone Archived 2008-02-16 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  39. ^ "Long Middle Attendance Zone Archived 2014-04-09 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  40. ^ "Welch Middle Attendance Zone Archived 2012-06-17 at the Wayback Machine," Houston Independent School District
  41. ^ "Pin Oak Middle School." The Southwest District. Houston Independent School District.
  42. ^ "Assistant Principal Puts The "High" In Sharpstown High." Houston Press. October 3, 2008.
  43. ^ a b c d "Distinguished HISD Alumni Archived 2012-05-15 at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 13, 2009.
  44. ^
  45. ^ "Education Trading Cards: Margaret Spellings." Los Angeles Times.
  46. ^
  47. ^ lofifreq

External linksEdit