Kashmere High School

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Kashmere High School is a secondary school in Houston, Texas that serves grades 9 through 12; it is a part of the Houston Independent School District.

Kashmere contains the Conrad O. Johnson School of Fine Arts, a Houston ISD magnet school program.


Key Middle School - this was the original campus for Kashmere

Kashmere High School opened in 1957 at Hirsch Road at Kelly Street. In 1968 Kashmere moved to a new campus at 6900 Wileyvale Road and the North Kelley campus became Key Middle School.[1]

Kashmere, with Jack Yates High School and Sam Houston High School, are the three high schools in Houston ISD which were consistently low-performing in test scores from 2001 to 2004. Because of this problem, there were movements to have the state or another organization take over the schools for a period so the test scores will be at acceptable levels. While Yates got an acceptable rating in 2005, Sam Houston and Kashmere continued to get unacceptable ratings. In August 2006 the school learned that it again was getting an unacceptable rating from the Texas Education Agency.[1] When the Houston ISD administration threatened closure if another "unacceptable" rating came the following year, the local community protested. In summer 2007, Abelardo Saavedra, the superintendent of HISD, formally requested that all of the schools under consideration for closing due to academic performance should stay open.[2] Kashmere received an acceptable rating in 2007 because the Texas Education Agency has a provision allowing for a school to receive an acceptable rating even if the school fails in some of its criteria as long as the failures are within five points of the passing rate.[2]

In 2007 a Johns Hopkins University/Associated Press study referred to Kashmere as a "dropout factory," meaning that at least 40% of an entering freshman class does not make it to their senior year.[3] During that year 58% of children zoned to Kashmere chose to attend a different Houston ISD school.[4]


Kashmere High School was home of the Kashmere Stage Band, a nationally renowned band that released several jazz/funk albums in the 1960s and 1970s.

They are known for the vocal ensemble under the direction of Joan E. Hubert, a member of Houston Ebony Opera Guild.[5] These students' talent took them to Africa in 1997. In 2003 they performed for Senator Rodney Ellis and were the featured choir in Martin Luther King Memorial Concert along with the Scott Joplin Orchestra of Texas Southern University.

Kashmere had Jay-Z as "principal for a day"[6] in 2002.

Student body[edit]

Kashmere, during the 2006-2007 school year, had a total of 579 students.[7] Kashmere had the lowest enrollment of any HISD comprehensive high school.

No students enrolled that year were Asian American or Native American.

Approximately 84% of the students qualified for free or reduced lunch.

Neighborhoods served by Kashmere[edit]

Kashmere serves the Houston Gardens, Kashmere Gardens, and Trinity Gardens areas.[8] (""1957 To 1968 This Was Kashmere Gardens Jr/Sr High School Not Kashmere High School."" ""I Went There,1961 to 1967"".)

School uniforms[edit]

The high school requires school uniform shirts and navy or khaki bottoms. Students may wear blue jeans on Fridays.[9]

The Texas Education Agency specified that the parents and/or guardians of students zoned to a school with uniforms may apply for a waiver to opt out of the uniform policy so their children do not have to wear the uniform;[10] parents must specify "bona fide" reasons, such as religious reasons or philosophical objections.

Feeder patterns[edit]

Elementary schools that feed into Kashmere[11]


Two middle schools, Key Middle School[18] and Henry Middle School,[19] have some of their students move on to Kashmere.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names." Houston Independent School District. Accessed September 24, 2008.
  2. ^ "Exceptions rule used to Kashmere's benefit," Houston Chronicle, August 7, 2007
  3. ^ "Report points to 'dropout factories'," Houston Chronicle, October 31, 2007
  4. ^ 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." Houston Chronicle. Sunday October 14, 2007. B1 MetFront.
  5. ^ Houston Ebony Music Society
  6. ^ Rodrigues, Janette. "RAPPER TURNS PRINCIPAL / Artist encourages Kashmere students with stories of his own Hard Knock Life." Houston Chronicle. Saturday November 23, 2002. Section A Page 33 MetFront. Retrieved on September 18, 2010.
  7. ^ "Kashmere High School" Profile. Houston Independent School District.
  8. ^ "Kashmere High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  9. ^ "Student Handbook." Kashmere High School
  10. ^ "Uniforms," Texas Education Agency
  11. ^ "Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  12. ^ "Houston Gardens Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  13. ^ "Kashmere Gardens Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  14. ^ "Paige Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  15. ^ "Berry Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  16. ^ "Isaacs Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  17. ^ "Ross Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  18. ^ "Key Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  19. ^ "Henry Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°49′21″N 95°18′55″W / 29.8226°N 95.3153°W / 29.8226; -95.3153