Pershing Middle School (Houston)
|Pershing Middle School|
3838 Bluebonnet Boulevard
|School district||Houston Independent School District|
|Color(s)||Red, black, and gray |
|Website||Pershing Middle School|
The school, that serves around 1,650 students in grades 6 through 8, is managed by the Houston Independent School District. Pershing has a neighborhood program and a Pre-AP Gifted and Talented program, and is a fine arts magnet school.
West University Place Pershing Junior High School, which was named after John J. Pershing, was established in 1928. Pershing originally was connected to West University Elementary School (which was located in the city of West University Place after the city incorporated in 1938); the school moved to its own campus at 7000 Braes Boulevard in Houston in 1949. The campus was worth $2 million. This relieved West University Elementary. It was funded by a 1944 bond, and the Braes Heights Realty Company had donated the land. University of Texas academics had suggested a different plan of action, but the decision to separate West University Elementary and Pershing into separate campuses was made by HISD superintendent W. E. Moreland, along with the business manager, H. L. Mills.
An arson incident occurred in August 1958.
In September 1991 Pershing was one of 32 HISD schools that had capped enrollments; in other words the school was filled to capacity and excess students had to attend other schools. In 1992 there was a proposal to convert Gordon Elementary in Bellaire into a middle school to serve Bellaire residents. This proposal was favored by those zoned to Jane Long Middle School but it was opposed by those zoned to Pershing as they did not want to lose access to the school. The Gordon proposal ultimately did not happen.
Pershing had, in March 2002, a waiting list of 1,000 students for 120 places.
Originally, Houston ISD planned to remodel Pershing's 1949 campus. When HISD found that building a new campus from scratch would be more cost-effective, HISD decided to pursue that goal. Construction started on Pershing's brand new two-story 216,000-square-foot (20,100 m2) campus at 3838 Bluebonnet (on the same site as the old campus) during the summer of 2005. Construction was expected to end in Summer 2007, and the new campus was originally expected to open in Fall 2007 . The lead architect for the campus was PGAL, with Gilbane as the lead project manager. The original budget was $16,900,000 United States dollars. The construction costs totaled $24.4 million, and the final costs, including books, computers, and architect engineers, totaled $31 million.
The previous campus had a capacity of 1,500 students; because enrollment was 1,700 as of fall 2004 Pershing had to cap enrollment of the 6th and 7th grades. The school district had to adjust its plans for Pershing's campus due to the unexpected surge in enrollment. The new building was built on the previous athletic fields, and the previous building was to close after the opening of the new one. After demolition of the previous building, the new athletic fields would go on its former site.
The new building opened on Thursday, January 18, 2007; originally the building was slated to open the previous day, but weather conditions lead to the temporary closing of all HISD schools for January 17.
In April 2014 two librarians at the school were informed that budget cuts would eliminate their positions. Michelle Leigh Smith of the Village News and Southwest News stated that "parents believe many of HISD Superintendent Terry Grier's policies are tearing the district apart" and that because principal Kim Heckman "is considered one of Grier's rising stars" therefore "[s]ome believe Heckman is carrying out his agenda" at Pershing.
Neighborhoods served by Pershing
Pershing, which is located in the Braeswood Place neighborhood, serves several areas of Houston that are in and out of the 610 Loop, including Braeswood Place, Linkwood, Knollwood Village, Woodshire, Woodside, Westridge, Southgate, Old Braeswood, Morningside Place, Westwood, Link Valley, a portion of Meyerland, a portion of Maplewood, and Sunset Terrace/Montclair. In addition to portions of Houston, Pershing also serves the cities of Bellaire, Southside Place, and West University Place.
As of 2010[update] about 600 students, one third of the students at Pershing, do not live in the school's attendance zone, and about 600 students that year who were zoned to West University Elementary School, one of Pershing's feeder schools, were enrolled in Pin Oak Middle School or Lanier Middle School. In 2010 two parents, Adrienne Vanderbloemen and Christi Young, started a blog that supported the idea of sending one's child to Pershing Middle School.
It is a fine arts magnet school, which specializes in music. The school clusters students into groups of 150. Each grade level has a number of clusters of students. One team of teachers is assigned to each cluster and this group of teachers is asked to know the students and their families. The racial demographics of each cluster are engineered to match that of the entire school. William G. Ouchi, author of Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need, wrote that this "achieves an intimate scale" for the students.
In 2008, 93% of students passed state tests, with 84% of black students passing and 79% of Hispanic students passing. Seven years earlier, 67% of students passed state tests, with 47% of black students passing and 37% of Hispanic students passing.
As of 2010, teacher Charles Coursey requires students to do gardening before their instructional time and during afternoons. During class he allows students to eat portions of the vegetables that were harvested in the garden. On Saturdays the organizers sell the rest of the produce at the Rice University farmers' market. The proceeds go to purchasing supplies for the gardening program.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2013)
Teams are known as the 'Pandas'. Sports teams include football, baseball, basketball, track and field, swimming, soccer, cross country, and lacrosse for boys and volleyball, cross country, swimming, basketball, track and field, lacrosse and softball for girls.
- 40% were African American
- 35% were Hispanic American
- 16% were White American
- 7% were Asian American
- 1% were two or more races
- Less than 1% were Native American
- Approximately 26% of the students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch.
In 2008 William G. Ouchi, author of Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need, described Pershing as a racially and socioeconomically diverse school. That year, Pershing had a large number of immigrant students. As of 2008, of the 1,903 students at the school, 405 were in the fine arts program. There were 1,610 students that attended the school five years earlier. In 2008, there were 150 slots for new entrants into the magnet program and there were 1,100 applicants.
Elementary schools that feed into Pershing include:
The following elementary schools partially feed into Pershing:
High schools which have attendance zones coinciding with Pershing include Bellaire, Lamar, Madison, Westbury, and Margaret Long Wisdom (formerly Robert E. Lee High School). All pupils zoned to Margaret Long Wisdom may also choose to go to Lamar or Westside high schools.
- Dennis Quaid, actor
- Randy Quaid, actor
- Farrah Fawcett, actress
- Phylicia Rashad, actor
- Debbie Allen, American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
- A. J. Foyt, Jr. (also attended Hamilton Middle School and Lamar and San Jacinto high schools)
- Marvin Zindler, KTRK-TV ABC-13 news reporter who ended the Chicken Ranch in La Grange, Texas. He appeared at the school's 75th anniversary in 2003.
- Josh Gordon, Pro Bowl NFL Wide Receiver, attended the school for his 8th grade year.
- McAdams, Donald R. Fighting to Save Our Urban Schools-- and Winning!: Lessons from Houston. Teachers College Press, 2000. ISBN 0807770353, 9780807770351.
- Ouchi, William G. Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need. Simon & Schuster, June 24, 2008. ISBN 1439108102, 9781439108109.
- Smith, Michelle Leigh. "Pershing MS Faces New Round of Staff Reductions" (Archive). Village News and Southwest News. April 8, 2014. p. 1, 13. Retrieved on April 13, 2014.
- "Pershing Middle School". USA Today. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Ouchi, p. 149.
- Viren, Sarah. "It won't be strictly `old school' at Pershing now / Emotions mixed as students leave vintage campus for all-new digs." Houston Chronicle. Sunday January 14, 2007. B1 MetFront. Retrieved on November 14, 2011.
- Gonzales, J.R. "John J. Pershing Middle School." Houston Chronicle. March 4, 2010. Retrieved on November 14, 2011.
- Southwestern Times (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 2, No. 18, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 24, 1946. Pages: 1 (Page view) and 4 (Page view) of 16. Posted at the Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas. Retrieved on March 2, 2017.
- Markley, Melanie. "32 schools hit enrollment cap." Houston Chronicle. Thursday September 26, 1991. A17. Retrieved on April 24, 2009.
- McAdams, p. 58. "Bellaire residents who lived east of the 610 loop were zoned to Pershing Middle School"
- Toppo, Greg (2 March 2002). "Parents line up to get children into choice schools". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Stauss, Marilyn McCorkle (The Examiner) (2005-02-22). "Pershing principal forges ahead, prepares for new school". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
- "Flight of the chimney swifts." West University Examiner, July 17, 2007
- "Pershing Middle Attendance Zone Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District
- "Map of Meyerland Sections." Meyerland. Retrieved on December 15, 2009.
- "Block Book Map Search Archived 2008-12-17 at the Wayback Machine.." Harris County Tax Office. Retrieved on February 27, 2009.
- "Bellaire City Archived 2009-05-31 at the Wayback Machine.." United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 27, 2009.
- "Southside Place City Archived 2009-05-31 at the Wayback Machine.." United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 27, 2009.
- "City Map Archived 2006-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.." City of West University Place. Retrieved on February 27, 2009.
- "Property Comparison Archived 2011-09-08 at the Wayback Machine.." Rice University Graduate Housing. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Morningside Square Apartments Updated Oct 26, 2010 2401 & 2409 Shakespeare St Houston, TX 77030" and " Rice Village Apartments Updated Oct 26, 2010 2410 Shakespeare St Houston, TX 77030"
- McAdams, p. 57.
- Foster, Robin (2010-10-07). "Parents start blog supporting option to attend Pershing MS". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
- Foster, Robin (7 October 2010). "Parents start blog supporting option to attend Pershing MS". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Ouchi, p. 151.
- Ouchi, p. 150.
- Johnson, Ruthie. "Local Spotlight: Pershing Middle School." Houston Press. Wednesday September 1, 2010, Retrieved on December 7, 2011.
- "Pershing Middle". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
- Garza, Cynthia Leonor. "School a haven for new arrivals / Leader helps his immigrant HISD students feel at home at charter campus." Houston Chronicle. Saturday October 1, 2008. B1 MetFront. Retrieved on December 13, 2008.
- "Condit Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2007-06-30 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Twain Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "West University Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-06-17 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Horn Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Longfellow Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Lovett Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-04-17 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Red Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2005-02-28 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Roberts Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2012-02-08 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Shearn Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2008-02-16 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Bellaire High School Attendance Zone Archived 2008-02-28 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Lamar High School Attendance Zone Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Madison High School Attendance Zone Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Westbury High School Attendance Zone Archived 2008-02-16 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- "Lee High School Attendance Zone Archived 2007-02-03 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District.
- Home Page as of May 9, 2005. Lee High School.
- "Pin Oak Middle School." The Southwest District. Houston Independent School District. February 14, 2002. Retrieved on December 26, 2018.
- "Distinguished HISD Alumni Archived 2012-05-15 at the Wayback Machine.," Houston Independent School District
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pershing Middle School (Houston).|
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| Houston Independent School District
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