Heights High School

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Coordinates: 29°47′42″N 95°23′36″W / 29.794949°N 95.393282°W / 29.794949; -95.393282

Heights High School
John H. Reagan High School - 06 - Entranceway.jpg
Houston, Texas, United States
Type Public school (U.S.)
Founded 1927
Principal Administrator Connie Berger
Enrollment (approx) 2,830 students (2015–16 school year)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Maroon, White          
Mascot Bulldog

Heights High School, formerly John H. Reagan High School, is a senior high school located in the Houston Heights in Houston, Texas. It serves students in grades nine through twelve and is a part of the Houston Independent School District. Heights High School is HISD's Magnet School of Computer Technology and offers the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) Middle Years Program (till 10th grade) and twenty Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Students belong either to the Computer Magnet Academy, or to the Health Science Academy, Business Academy, Engineering and Design Academy and Transportation Academy. They receive specialized hands-on training to prepare them for a career in those fields.


Houston Heights High School was first established for Heights residents in 1904,[1] at the site of the present Milroy Park, at the corner of Yale and 12th. However, as was common in those days, that school also housed an elementary and middle school. When the Heights joined the City of Houston in 1918, the building at the end of Heights Boulevard and 20th known today as Hamilton Middle School became the Senior High School, and the old location became a Junior High School. When the original building on Yale and 12th burned in 1924, a new location for the high school was picked in the block between Oxford and Arlington, 13th and 14th. The new school was named John H. Reagan High School and opened in 1926 with the student body and teachers marching down Heights Blvd from the old school building to the new high school on 13th Street.[citation needed]

The campus was designed by John Staub and William Ward Watkin, who were designers of the original campus of Rice University. Reagan was first established as an all-white high school.

Overcrowding at Reagan was relieved by Waltrip High School when Waltrip opened in 1959.[2] Reagan was desegregated by 1970 and its student body started to become increasingly Hispanic; by 1988 Reagan was mostly Hispanic.[citation needed] In 1997 a portion of the Reagan boundary was rezoned to Waltrip.[3]

In 2006 Reagan began a renovation project. Set to end in the summer of 2007, the renovations to Reagan included the building of a new cafeteria, a new gymnasium complex, an additional academic building, a new vocational building, and a library.[4]

In 2009 Connie Berger, principal of Reagan High School, expected around 100 former private school students to enroll because the economic conditions persuaded families to send their children to public school instead of private school.[5]

Around 2012, each year a total of 400 students transfer from Booker T. Washington High School to Reagan and Waltrip High School.[6]

The HISD board voted to rename the school to Heights High School in 2016.[7] In June 2016 a group of eight Houston area residents, including alumni and parents, sued HISD to get an injunction to prevent the name changes; they did so after HISD did not accept their ultimatum to stop the name changes. Wayne Dolcefino serves as their spokesperson.[8]


In 2006 Reagan began a renovation project that included the building of a new cafeteria, a new gymnasium complex, an additional academic building, a new vocational building, and a library. The school now also has an auditorium, a teaching theater, dance rooms, technology rooms, a piano lab, a choir/band hall, and a library with computers where the students can do research. It also has a two-story parking garage, an auto shop, and large track and field.

In 2012 Richard Connelly of the Houston Press ranked Reagan as the sixth most architecturally beautiful high school campus in Greater Houston. Connelly said that a coworker told him that Reagan looked like Rydell High School in Grease.[9]

Academic programs[edit]

Health and Science Academy – Students progressively expand their understanding of health careers and medical terminology, they gain clinical experience by shadowing at various health care facilities and as seniors are allowed to work entry level health positions in partnership with Ben Taub Hospital. Business Academy – Coursework includes a range of classes including accounting, communications, marketing, business finance, business law and business ownership/entrepreneurship. Students work with the Genesis program to gain hands-on experience in cooperation with the school’s business partners, including Deloitte & Touche Consulting. Magnet Academy for Computer Technology – Students choose among 3 focus areas: audio/video production, computer programming, and digital media/web technology. The school’s A/V program is the only authorized Apple training center in the Houston area, giving students the opportunity to earn certification in Apple Final Cut Pro video editing software. Engineering and Design Academy – Students participate in VEX and FIRST Robotics, and have access to a NAO Humanoid Robot for programming, Markerbots 3D printers and an Arduino electronics lab. Transportation Academy – Students study in specialized labs designed for automotive mechanics and repair. The program is certified by NATEF and students compete in SkillsUSA competitions. International Baccalaureate – (IB) – In 2013, Reagan became an official IB World School offering the Middle Years Programme (from 6th to 10th grade) in partnership with Hogg Middle School. Students receive instruction centered on global mindedness, fostering a learning environment based on real world issues. The school is a candidate for the IB Diploma Programme – authorization expected for the 2016-17 school year.


2014 was Reagan’s first year in the 6A Conference. The football team won 6 of 11 games and made it to Bi-District round of the playoffs. The football team is cheered on by the marching band composed of about 100 students.

Clubs and organizations[edit]

UIL Academics – Competing for the first time in the 6A conference in Fall 2014, Reagan students placed in Accounting, Calculator Applications, Current Issues and Events, and Ready Writing.

Neighborhoods served by the school[edit]

Reagan takes students from most of the Houston Heights neighborhood,[10] a small portion of Downtown Houston, the Fourth Ward, East Norhill, Woodland Heights, Brooke Smith, Magnolia Grove,[11] Stude[12] the Old Sixth Ward, The Historic 1st Ward, and a small portion of Midtown. Other parts of Houston northwest of downtown within the 610 Loop are zoned to Heights as well. Originally, all of the Houston Heights was zoned to the school. In 1997, a small portion was rezoned to Waltrip.[3]

Feeder patterns[edit]

Middle schools feeding into Heights High School include Gregory-Lincoln Education Center,[13] Alexander Hamilton,[14] and Hogg,[15]

Elementary schools that feed indirectly into Heights[10] through the above middle schools include Browning[16] Field[17] Harvard[18] (partial) Crockett[19] Gregory-Lincoln Education Center[20] Helms[21] Jefferson[22] Ketelsen (partial)[23] Love[24] Memorial (partial),[25] and Travis (partial).[26]

Magnet students must follow the HISD Magnet application process and may apply from all HISD areas.[citation needed]



Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ The History of Houston Heights From Its Foundation in 1891 To Its Annexation in 1918. 3 (Archive). Retrieved on February 27, 2015.
  2. ^ "A Brief History of: S. P. Waltrip High School" (). Waltrip High School. Accessed October 22, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "1996-1997 HISD ATTENDANCE BOUNDARIES" (). Houston Independent School District. June 30, 1997. Retrieved on December 13, 2010. "Redirect students residing in a geographic "arm" west of Shepherd from Reagan to Waltrip"
  4. ^ "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names Archived 2011-05-22 at WebCite." Houston Independent School District. Accessed September 24, 2008.
  5. ^ Radcliffe, Jennifer. "An education re-evaluation." Houston Chronicle. August 13, 2009. Retrieved on August 13, 2009.
  6. ^ Radcliffe, Jennifer. "Effort to save historic Booker T. High gains steam." Houston Chronicle. Thursday February 2, 2012. Retrieved on February 2, 2012.
  7. ^ Clemons, Tracy. "HISD approves name changes for seven schools" (Archive). KTRK-TV. Thursday May 12, 2016. Retrieved on May 21, 2016.
  8. ^ Flynn, Meagan. "Parents, Alumni Sue HISD Over Renaming Schools Honoring Confederacy." Houston Press. Thursday June 23, 2016. Retrieved on August 2, 2016.
  9. ^ Connelly, Richard. "The 7 Best-Looking High Schools in Houston." Houston Press. Tuesday May 22, 2012. 1. Retrieved on May 27, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Reagan High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  11. ^ "September 2007 Newsletter." Magnolia Grove. Accessed October 10, 2008.
  12. ^ http://www.proctorplaza.com/about/history.php
  13. ^ "Gregory-Lincoln Middle Attendance Zone Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
  14. ^ "Hamilton Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  15. ^ "Hogg Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  16. ^ "Browning Elementary Attendance Zone" Houston Independent School District,
  17. ^ "Field Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  18. ^ "Harvard Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  19. ^ "Crockett Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  20. ^ "Gregory-Lincoln Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-02-25 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
  21. ^ "Helms Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  22. ^ "Jefferson Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  23. ^ "Ketelsen Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-02-25 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
  24. ^ "Love Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  25. ^ "Memorial Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  26. ^ "Travis Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Distinguished HISD Alumni Archived 2012-05-15 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
  28. ^ "Belcher, former standout lineman for UH, dies at 57" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. September 15, 2010. Retrieved on February 27, 2015.

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