North Forest High School

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North Forest High School
North Forest High School, main campus
10725 Mesa Drive
Houston, Texas 77078
United States
Coordinates 29°52′10″N 95°15′53″W / 29.869473°N 95.264632°W / 29.869473; -95.264632Coordinates: 29°52′10″N 95°15′53″W / 29.869473°N 95.264632°W / 29.869473; -95.264632
Type Public high school
Established 2008
School district Houston Independent School District
Principal Richard Fernandez
Faculty 61
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1028 (2013-2014)
Team name Bulldogs
North Forest Ninth Grade Center

North Forest High School (NFHS) is a secondary school located in Houston, Texas, United States. The school is a part of the Houston Independent School District; it was a part of the North Forest Independent School District until the district closed on July 1, 2013.[1]


Founded in 2008 as a consolidation of Forest Brook High School at 7525 Tidwell Road and M. B. Smiley High School on Mesa Drive, the school was originally located on the campus of the former Forest Brook High School.[2]

The Smiley campus was built in 1953, the Oak Village campus was built in 1967, and the Forest Brook campus was built in 1972.[3] In September of that year Hurricane Ike hit Houston and Forest Brook was damaged. Therefore, the school was relocated to the former Smiley campus.[4]

In the 2010-2011 school year, NFISD opened the Ninth Grade Center at the former Oak Village Middle School campus.[5] It opened under the direction of the Texas Education Agency (TEA)-appointed manager George McShan.[6] The Ninth Grade Center housed newly arrived ninth graders. People repeating the ninth grade attended the main campus of North Forest High School.[5]

In January 2012 an 18-year-old male student shot a 16-year-old male student. The perpetrator evaded the school's usage of metal detectors for incoming students. After the shooting, the school began requiring all students to have transparent backpacks. NFISD planned to extend the school's metal detector hours to 10 AM.[7]

Jennifer Radcliffe of the Houston Chronicle wrote in 2014 that "The way students and administrators tell it, the campus had spiraled out of control during North Forest ISD's decline."[8] The NFHS Class of 2014 (12th graders) had, in their high school careers, a different principal for each grade. After Pam Farinas took over the position of the school principal in 2013, a university outside of Texas told her that it did not recruit students from North Forest High. This principal told Farinas that the school should have a new name.[8] Around 2014, organizations had decined requests from North Forest High for field trips.[9]

After assuming control of the campus in 2013, HISD replaced all of the faculty members and spent $1.6 million to improve the campus.[9] None of the pre-HISD teachers returned to North Forest High. Farinas, previously the principal of the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center in the Fourth Ward, became principal. The metal detectors were removed after the HISD takeover. In 2014 students reported that the school restrooms now had soap, paper towels, and toilet paper. They also stated that students did not illicitly leave class and loiter in the hallways like they previously did.[8] In addition they reported that there were no longer fires set in the restrooms.[9] The head of the school's Parent-Teacher-Student Association, Maceo Dillard Jr., argued that the loss of the previous teaching staff damaged the school. Some of the teachers newly assigned to NFHS by HISD left shortly after beginning their teaching assignments as they were unable to deal with the difficulties.[8]


North Forest High School consists of the main campus on Mesa Dr. that serves students grades 9-12.[10] The Jones Cowart Stadium is located directly behind the main campus and is operated by the Houston ISD Athletic Department.[11]

After the July 1, 2013 closure of NFISD, on the North Forest High School main campus, Houston Independent School District officials found a room with a cabinet with Lenox china, a grandfather clock, furnishings, a green carpet, and flowered wallpaper. Ericka Mellon of the Houston Chronicle said that the room "looked like it belonged in a house, not a public school."[12]

The library on the main campus, the Carole M. Anderson Library, has 33 magazine titles and over 13,000 books. It was named after Carole Mae Anderson, a Smiley High School English teacher who donated books to the school's previous library facility.[13]


In January 2012 the school had 1,285 students.[7] Even though HISD anticipated having 1,200 students circa 2013, by 2014 the enrollment varied by time between 960 and 1,060; since Kashmere High School had more extracurricular programs than North Forest, some students previously at NFHS moved to Kashmere. At the time all of the students were classified as economically disadvantaged.[8]

As of March 2014, of the school's students, 30 female students were mothers or were pregnant. Over 100 of the students were under correctional supervision, either probation or parole. As of 2014, Jennifer Radcliffe of the Houston Chronicle stated that "[a] significant number" have addiction to kush and other addictions to controlled substances.[9]

Academic performance[edit]

In a six-year period until 2011, North Forest High was consistently ranked "academically unacceptable" by the Texas Education Agency.[14]

The dropout rate of the Class of 2011 was slightly above 30 percent.[15]


Plez Atkins, who served as the coach of the NFHS American football team prior to the HISD takeover in 2013, had been arrested for having an improper relationship with a student. This led to the 2006 suspension of his teaching certificate. This certificate was restored in 2009, and he remained as the head coach until the demise of NFISD. NFHS had a regular season in which it was undefeated prior to the HISD takeover. After the takeover the school lost its coaching staff. Jennifer Radcliffe of the Houston Chronicle wrote that the loss of the coaches caused a decline in the American football team.[8]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

In 2013, after the HISD takeover, the administration started the support groups for anger management, substance abuse, and defiance.[9]

Dress code[edit]

Since 2011, North Forest High has had a school uniform standard dress policy.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barajas, Erik. "North Forest ISD officially closes today." KTRK-TV. July 1, 2013. Retrieved on July 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "North Forest picks name for merged school / Forest Brook, Smiley students now North Forest High Bulldogs" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Tuesday May 20, 2008. B2. Retrieved on August 16, 2009.
  3. ^ "Window on State Government--NFISD Texas School Performance Review, Chapter 5." Texas Education Agency. Retrieved on November 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Home page. North Forest High School. Retrieved on November 22, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "2010-2011 District Guide & Back-to-School Handbook" (Archive) North Forest Independent School District. p. 20 (21/24). Retrieved on November 22, 2011. "The Ninth Grade Center is located at 6202 Winfield at the former Oak Village campus. The North Forest ISD Ninth Grade Center is dedicated to first-time ninth graders. All ninth grade repeaters will attend North Forest High School."
  6. ^ Reeves, Kimberly. "Administrator Not Surprised to See North Forest ISD Shuttered by State." (Archive) Houston Press. Friday July 15, 2010. Retrieved on July 18, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Shauk, Zain. "Teen shot at North Forest High School." Houston Chronicle. January 10, 2012. Retrieved on July 3, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Radcliffe, Jennifer (Education Reporter). "North Forest High School measures improvement in baby steps." Houston Chronicle. March 30, 2014. Retrieved on May 10, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e Mellon, Ericka. "North Forest High no longer ‘like a party’." Houston Chronicle. March 31, 2014. Retrieved on April 29, 2014.
  10. ^ "Grades Served: 09-12" From Houston Independent District and School Profiles 2014-2015. [1]
  11. ^ Houston Independent School District. Athletics. August 2016. Webpage. 15 October 2016. <>.
  12. ^ "Roaches, graffiti — and china — found in North Forest schools." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday July 3, 2013. Retrieved on July 6, 2013.
  13. ^ "Carole M. Anderson Library." (Archive) North Forest High School. Retrieved on July 15, 2013.
  14. ^ "North Forest ISD to shut down." KTRK-TV. Friday November 11, 2011. Retrieved on November 13, 2011.
  15. ^ Radcliffe, Jennifer. "State orders closure of North Forest ISD." Houston Chronicle. February 8, 2013. Retrieved on July 3, 2013. "North Forest High School, where the Class of 2011's dropout rate was slightly more than 30 percent, has been deemed 'academically[...]"

External links[edit]