High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

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Coordinates: 29°44′14″N 95°23′18″W / 29.7372°N 95.3883°W / 29.7372; -95.3883

This article is about the school in Houston, Texas. For similarly named schools, see School of Creative and Performing Arts (disambiguation).
Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Houston, Texas
United States
Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Kinder HSPVA or Kinder PVA) is a secondary school located at 4001 Stanford Street in the Montrose district of Houston, Texas. The school is a part of the Houston Independent School District. 

The school educates grades nine through twelve. The school is divided into six departments: instrumental music, vocal music, dance, theater (including technical theater), visual arts, and creative writing (new to the 2011-2012 school year). Visual Arts was formed by the merging of what were formerly separate art and media departments. Students are required to enroll in the school under only one art area. Applicants can audition for more than one department and may be accepted for multiple departments but when accepted must choose one. At the end of every semester students complete a re-audition or portfolio review which does not determine whether or not they return to the school; re-auditions serve as part of the final grade for each art area.[1]

Students who fail classes (Both academic and art area) are placed on art area probation which makes them ineligible to participate in art area activities. If a student repeatedly fails his or her art area or academics he will most likely be removed from the school.

HSPVA was placed as the top school in the Greater Houston Area by Children at Risk's 2009 annual ranking of high schools,[2] and it still remains on the top ten list in 2012. Since 2003, HSPVA has had eight students named US Presidential Scholars in the Arts (Presidential Scholars Program) by the US Department of Education as selected by the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts).[3] 

Kinder HSPVA does not automatically take in students from the surrounding neighborhood; the surrounding neighborhood is zoned to Lamar High School.[4]

Art areas[edit]

There are six art areas: vocal music, instrumental music, dance, theatre, visual art, and creative writing. There are subdivisions within some of these art areas. Instrumental Music breaks down into band, orchestra, jazz, mariachi, and piano. Theatre breaks down into musical theatre, acting, and technical theatre. A creative writing department was added in the 2011-2012 school year, raising questions about HSPVA's size and whether the current building will be able to house a new department.[citation needed]


The school was established in the former Temple Beth Israel

HSPVA was established in 1971.[5] The HISD Office of Board Services had, by January 1971, received letters written by art organizations in Houston. Those letters advocated for the creation of an arts magnet school.[6] The motion to establish this school was passed unanimously by the HISD school board during a period when it was divided ideologically. HSPVA was not the first magnet school in the U.S. but it was technically the first magnet school in Houston; this status was mistakenly attributed to River Oaks Elementary School.[7]

HISD chose Ruth Denney as the school's founding director.[6] The district asked Denney to choose between three potential sites: W. D. Cleveland Elementary School, Montrose Elementary School, and the former Temple Beth Israel building. After touring them, Denney selected the temple building and in May 1971 the final plans for HSPVA were presented to the school board.[8]

The school moved to 4001 Stanford Street, the site of the former Montrose Elementary School, in 1982[citation needed]

In the 1990s there was a proposal to move HSPVA to the Bob R. Casey Federal Building in Downtown Houston.[9]

Plans existed for a new HSPVA building to be located near the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center in Houston's Freedmen's Town Historical District in the Fourth Ward. The new building would have included a 2000+ seat state-of-the-art theater, updated facilities and possibly a recording studio. Construction was temporarily delayed due to the discovery of a possible American Civil War-era cemetery. In June 2007, the project page for the building displayed "CANCELLED".[10] The site that was to have the new HSPVA instead has the new Carnegie Vanguard High School.[11]

A block in Downtown Houston which currently holds a parking lot is a proposed new location for HSPVA. It formerly housed Sam Houston High School; at a later point the building housed the HISD headquarters.[12] The proposed building which would be five stories and 168,000 square feet (15,600 m2) in size,[13] has a cost of $ $80.2 million.[14] Ensler Architects designed the building, which is in the Houston Theater District.[15] Groundbreaking occurred on December 14, 2014.[16] On October 13, 2016 the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees sold the naming rights to the Kinder Foundation for a $7.5 million donation for capital improvements to the new facility. The school's official name is Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts or Kinder HSPVA. [17]


The demographics for the 2011 - 2012 school year are listed below.[18]

Race/Ethnicity 2011-2012
African American 21%
American Indian <1 %
Asian/Pac. Islander 6%
Hispanic 21%
White 49%
Two or More 3%

Admissions patterns[edit]

Kinder HSPVA has no actual feeder patterns. Since it is a magnet school it takes students from all over HISD and, until recently, from districts outside of HISD.[19]

Kinder HSPVA takes students from many HISD middle schools. In addition, some students who are enrolled in private schools in the 8th grade, such as St. Mark's Episcopal School, Presbyterian School, River Oaks Baptist School, John Paul II School,[20] and Annunciation Orthodox School,[21] choose to go to Kinder HSPVA for high school.[22][23][24][25]

Notable alumni[edit]

Presidential Scholars in the Arts[edit]

  • 2014 - Reagan Lukefahr attended HSPVA but was enrolled in the high school Drama program at University of North Carolina School of the Arts at the time the honor was awarded.[39]
  • 2009 - Devyn Tyler[40]
  • 2008 - Janye Grant[41]
  • 2006 - Tassity Johnson, Eloise Santa Maria, Rachel Goss[42]
  • 2004 - Blake C. Williams[43]
  • 2003 - Roderick R Georg[44]



  1. ^ "The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts / Homepage". 
  2. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "3 HISD schools sweep top spots." Houston Chronicle. April 12, 2009. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  3. ^ http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/awards.html
  4. ^ "Lamar High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on March 24, 2009.
  5. ^ "The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts / Homepage". 
  6. ^ a b Gore, p. 9.
  7. ^ Gore, p. 15.
  8. ^ Gore, p. 10.
  9. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy. "Officials ponder downtown move for HSPVA." Houston Chronicle. October 14, 2009. Retrieved on November 24, 2009.
  10. ^ HISD | Bond vgn-ext-hidden_DeptArticleCTD
  11. ^ Downing, Margaret. "Carnegie Vanguard May Finally (And Happily) Move To A New Home." Houston Press. Thursday December 10, 2009. Retrieved on September 8, 2011.
  12. ^ Gonzales, J.R. "Sam Houston High School (old)." Houston Chronicle. March 30, 2010. Retrieved on November 22, 2011.
  13. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "HSPVA to get $80 million makeover with roof terrace, outdoor dining." Houston Chronicle. October 15, 2014. Retrieved on October 17, 2014.
  14. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "Cost questions hover over schools in HISD bond plan." Houston Chronicle. July 2, 2012. Retrieved on October 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "HSPVA breaks ground for new school in downtown theater district." Houston Independent School District. December 15, 2014. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  16. ^ "HISD breaks ground on four new campuses, celebrates first project to ‘go vertical’." Houston Independent School District. December 18, 2014. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  17. ^ http://www.click2houston.com/news/hspva-to-be-renamed-after-hefty-donation-from-kinder-foundation
  18. ^ "Research & Accountability / District Profiles High Schools Search Results". 
  19. ^ "The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts / Homepage". 
  20. ^ "St. John Paul II Catholic School". 
  21. ^ http://www.aoshouston.org/admissions/graduatingfromaos.shtm
  22. ^ http://www.stmes.org/aboutus.html
  23. ^ http://www.pshouston.org/fw/main/Class_of_2004-183.html
  24. ^ http://www.robs.org/podium/default.aspx?t=1996
  25. ^ http://www.jp2.org/OurPrograms/middleschool-overview.htm
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts / Homepage". 
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Distinguished HISD Alumni." Houston Independent School District.
  28. ^ "Biography for Helen Childress". IMDB.com. Retrieved 2011-03-01. Graduate High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g "Outstanding Alumni." High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
  30. ^ Houston's Hippie Hannah dishes on America's Next Top Model, confidence & Tyra Banks
  31. ^ Soap star talks about struggles, surviving Ike KTRK.com special report
  32. ^ Matusow, Cathy. "The Blog Age." Houston Press. October 28, 2004. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
  33. ^ "Videos Featuring Distinguished Alumni". Houston Independent School District. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015.

    Quote: Matt Mullenweg - The founder of Wordpress is a Houston ISD graduate. In this video, HISD alumnus Matt Mullenweg describes his experiences at HISD schools, including Parker Elementary and HSPVA, and explains how he created Wordpress.

  34. ^ Sorenson, Edith (30 May 1996). "Press Picks". 
  35. ^ "Get Happy". 21 October 2008 – via IMDb. 
  36. ^ Cronin, Peter. "Donnie Scantz to the Rescue." SESAC Focus. Summer 2004, Volume VX, No. 2.
  37. ^ "Ronen Segev." Ten O'Clock Classics. Retrieved on May 18, 2009.
  38. ^ Berkowitz, Lana. "Ping Pong Playa busts stereotypes with comedic flair." Houston Chronicle. September 11, 2008. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  39. ^ http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/2014/scholars.html
  40. ^ http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/2009/awards.html
  41. ^ http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/2007/awards.html
  42. ^ http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/2006/awards.html
  43. ^ http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/2004/awards.html
  44. ^ http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/2003/awards.html

Further reading[edit]

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