Twain, which was named after Mark Twain, serves several subdivisions in the Houston neighborhood of Braeswood Place north of the Brays Bayou. In addition, the school serves the portion of the city of Southside Place south of Bellaire Boulevard.
Twain was one of the first three elementary schools in Texas to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme ; the other two were fellow HISD schools River Oaks and Roberts.
Mark Twain opened on March 11, 1950 as the post-World War II baby boom lead to new suburbs throughout the United States. The school opened with 850 students. In the 1980s, the local neighborhoods lost many of their kids; Houston ISD considered closing Mark Twain due to the lack of children at the school. By the 1990s, the student body rebounded as new families moved into the Braeswood Place community.
In fall 2004, the old Mark Twain building fell to bulldozers, and the school officials relocated the children to temporary buildings established on the school grounds as the new Mark Twain Elementary School began construction By Summer 2006, construction had ended in the already-opened building. Gilbane Building Company managed the construction, while Curtney Harper + Partners served as the lead architect. The building's budget was $14,000,000 United States dollars.
Students may wear solid-colored red, white, or blue tops. In addition, any Mark Twain logo shirt is permitted. Students may wear navy, khaki, or blue denim bottoms. Students are not permitted to wear tank tops or bicycle shorts. During the last Friday of every month, students are allowed to wear free dress.