Galveston Independent School District

Galveston Independent School District is a school district based in Galveston, Texas (USA).

Catchment area

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

Each Galveston ISD house or residential area is 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 attend Ball High School.

Galveston College serves the catchment area of Galveston ISD.


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.

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 Galvston: Reinventing America'a 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.

Public schools in Galveston were operated by the city until 1949, when Galveston ISD was established by the Texas legislature .

In the 2000s skyrocketing home prices created by the completion of many high-rise projects 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 . 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 The district lost 12% of its students during the same years when Hurricane Katrina evacuees and out-of-district students are excluded .

Galveston ISD lost students to mainland school districts such as Clear Creek ISD and Dickinson ISD . 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 , 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.

On January 2, 2007, the Galveston County Daily News published a report about parents frustrated over plans to close Scott Elementary School . 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. Pat Guseman, an official with Pasa Demographics, predicted that GISD would lose about 1,468 students in the five years after 2007. Guseman, 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.

School configuration change plans

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.

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.

GISD Police

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 codes

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.

Students in Galveston Academy, the alternative school, are required to wear uniforms.


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 schools

Secondary schools

High schools

Middle schools


  • 7-8: Central Middle School (Galveston, constructed 1954 )
  • 5-6: Weis Middle School (Galveston, constructed 1965 )


K-8 schools

Primary schools

All of the following schools are in Galveston.

Former schools

Former secondary schools

Former high schools

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

Former middle schools

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

Former elementary schools

  • Alamo Elementary School (closed 2007) The building is currently used as storage and for the district alternative education program for students with discipline problems.
  • Davy Crockett Elementary School
  • San Jacinto Elementary School (closed 2006) (Students attending San Jacinto were reassigned to various schools - the San Jacinto attendance boundary now belongs to Rosenberg ES)
  • William B. Travis Elementary School - Sold and converted to apartments

See also

External links


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