Sharpstown High School
Sharpstown High School is a secondary school located at 7504 Bissonnet Street in Greater Sharpstown, Houston, Texas, United States with a zip code of 77074. It serves grades 9 through 12 and is a part of the Houston Independent School District. Robert Gasparello is the principal.
The school serves a portion of the community of Sharpstown, which was Houston's first-ever master-planned community. In addition, Sharpstown High School also serves the neighborhoods of Robindell, Braeburn Glen, Braeburn Terrace, Braeburn Valley, Braeburn Valley West, and portions of Fondren Southwest.
Sharpstown Junior-Senior High School opened in 1968 in the campus now occupied by Sharpstown International School. In 1969, the junior and senior high schools separated, with the senior high going into a new campus.
In 2011 Sharpstown International School took attendance boundaries from Lee High School and Sharpstown High School. As of 2012, Sharpstown International School has no boundary, with Sharpstown High School controlling its former high school boundary.
During the final day of school around 11 a.m. June 2, 1988, three African-American teenagers attacked a White football player in an Algebra class. The fight grew to 100 participants with around 400 students watching the race riot. Sixteen police cars and one helicopter traveled to the school, and police closed Bissonnet Street for 45 minutes. Two students were hospitalized at Southwest Memorial Hospital. Police identified the main perpetrator as a 17-year-old former student who was expelled in 1987. Police said that he, along with two students, armed themselves with a nail-studded stick and a chain and looked for a target in revenge for an incident two months earlier, when a White football player beat two Black students. The Algebra teacher pressed a panic button, but it did not work as they were turned off. The teacher sent a student to report the incident.
A 1988 Houston Chronicle article written one day after the brawl stated that Sharpstown had a history of racial tension. Deborah Tedford and Burke Watson of the Houston Chronicle wrote that "The Sharpstown campus has been plagued with outbursts of violence during school year — with parents taking to the halls as volunteer security monitors in November to quell disturbances." Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, criticized the school. Fallon said that the school should have taken more precautionary measures to ensure a racially motivated fight did not happen. Larry Yawn, an HISD spokesperson, and principal Don Carlisle said the officials were not aware of rumors about an upcoming fight.
In spring 1991, as a result of the 1988 scuffle, Carlisle prohibited students from wearing Confederate States of America-related clothing at the May 17 prom. Five White students faced ejection when they were found with the clothing; some White students criticized the school, saying that it had a double standard as it allowed African-American students to wear Malcolm X-related clothing. The same students said that racial tensions had decreased from 1988 levels.
Classroom fire, parking fees, magnet program, and Katrina refugees
In January 1991 a fire destroyed two portable classrooms; police believed that the fire, extinguished in 20 minutes, was arson. The damages were estimated to be from $50,000 to $75,000.
In September 1991 when Sharpstown increased its student parking fee from $40 to $50, some students threatened to walk out of school.
The school administration wanted a magnet program to encourage area students to attend the school. By 1995 the school received a community service program.
According to the Houston Independent School District October 2006 "For Your Information" newsletter, Sharpstown was one of four high schools that took the most Hurricane Katrina refugees.
Performance and dropout rates
A 2003 state audit of HISD's performance caused controversy. One of the district's most publicized accomplishments during the Rod Paige era was a dramatic reduction in dropout rates. When 16 secondary schools, including Sharpstown High School, were audited, it was found that most of the students who left those schools in 2000-2001 should have been counted as dropouts but were not. It was found that the administrators at Sharpstown deliberately changed the dropout rate. The Sharpstown controversy resulted in a recommendation to label the entire HISD as "unacceptable." Former Sharpstown assistant principal Robert Kimball asserts that HISD coerced administrators at many schools to lie on dropout rates. HISD asserts that the fraud is only contained to Sharpstown and that the false statistics at other schools were caused by confusion related to the state's system of tracking students who leave school.
In 2007, a Johns Hopkins University study cited Sharpstown as a "dropout factory" where at least 40% of the entering freshman class does not make it to their senior year. During that year 41% of high-school-age children zoned to Sharpstown chose to attend a different Houston ISD school.
By 2010, Sharpstown High School had improved to a 587th U.S. national ranking.
Sharpstown was the focus of a PBS Frontline episode called "Dropout Nation," about a program implemented at Sharpstown to prevent dropouts. The episode followed four Sharpstown students at risk of dropping out.
Youth criminal gangs
Charles Rotramel, the owner of the nonprofit program Youth Advocates, stated in a 2006 Houston Chronicle article that Lee High School, Westbury High School, and Sharpstown High School have suffered from the actions of youth criminal gangs. By January 2006, on one internet bulletin board, gangs stated that they "run" Sharpstown High School; Terry Abbott, the Houston ISD spokesperson, denied all such statements.
In 2013 principal Rob Gasparello was charged by Harris County prosecutors with three counts of failing to report child abuse, and therefore he stayed off campus all year. In October of that year prosecutors dropped the charges, telling him that if he does not get into further legal trouble they would not charge him. In February 2015 HISD reassigned Gasparello after he was accused of hitting several students.
As of 2003 the school had 1,650 students, most of them Hispanic and Latino. Many students regularly go to and from Mexico.
As of 2009-2010, the Apollo football program is headed up by Coach Devin Heasley, and Coordinators Isaiah Johnson (Defense) and Jeff Whitehall (Offense). They rank number 2 in their district. The 2011-2012 Apollo football program won their first district championship in school history (6-0) record with Dallas Blacklock as their head coach
In 1996 and 1998, the Armed Drill Team "The Phantom Silent Drill Team" won 1st place in a state competition at the Bluebonnet Drill Meet. In 2001, the team also won 2nd and 3rd overall in a National Drill Meet competition, which included 60 schools nationwide. Making this the first time in HISD history, a JROTC school has placed at a national level.
Elementary schools that feed into Sharpstown High School include:
- Herod (partial)
- Milne (partial)
- Sutton (partial)
- Valley West (partial)
Middle schools that feed into Sharpstown High School include:
- Joseph Addai - American football player formerly of the Indianapolis Colts
- Eric Anthony - Retired professional baseball player for the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Yakult Swallows.
- Robert Earl Keen - A singer and songwriter
- David McCarty - Professional baseball player for the Minnesota Twins
- Adrian Hernandez - Professional opera singer for the Houston Grand Opera.
- Luke Prestridge - Retired professional American football player for the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots
- Margaret Spellings - was the United States Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush during his second term in office (Class of 1975).
- Forest "Greg" Swindell - Retired professional baseball player for the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, and Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Barret Robbins - former American football center who played nine seasons for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL) 1995-2003. Pro Bowl (2002), All-Pro (2002),Class of 1991
- Aaron Laing - former American football TE who played for the San Diego Charges and St. Louis Rams of the National Football League (NFL)1994-1998, Class of 1989,
- Nathan Kampf - Sound designer / artist
- Ricky Williams - former American Football player LSFL Amarillo Venom 2012 Class of 2003
- "Sharpstown News". Sharpstown Civic Association. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
- "Sharpstown High School Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
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- "Welcome to International High School at Sharpstown". Houston ISD. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
- "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 11, 2009.
- "Board of Education Meeting April 14, 2011." Houston Independent School District. Item D10 and Attachment D10. Retrieved on August 28, 2012.
- "Sharpstown High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
- "Sugar Grove Middle Attendance Boundary." Houston Independent School District.
- Warren, Susan, Clay Ward, and Burke Watson. "Racial melee erupts at Sharpstown High on final school day" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Friday June 3, 1988. Section 1, Page 1.
- Tedford, Deborah and Burke Watson. "Teacher cites lack of precautions before racial melee" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Saturday June 4, 1988. Section 1, Page 19.
- Asin, Stefanie. "Sharpstown High prom ejections resurrect racial tension issue" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. May 25, 1991. A38.
- Staff. "Fire destroys 2 classrooms at Sharpstown" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Sunday January 13, 1991. A23. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.
- Urban, Jerry. "Sharpstown students threaten walkout/Parking fee hike to `pay guard' triggers discord" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Monday September 9, 1991. A11. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.
- Markley, Melanie. "MAGNET FOR QUALITY/HISD program has `done a lot' for education." Houston Chronicle. November 5, 1995. A1. Retrieved on February 15, 2011.
- "Sharpstown had 'breakdown', Houston Chronicle, August 29, 2003
- "The 'Texas Miracle'," CBS News, August 25, 2004
- Scharrer, Gary. "Report points to 'dropout factories'." Houston Chronicle. October 31, 2007
- 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" (Archive). A Houston Chronicle. Sunday October 14, 2007. B1 MetFront.
- Gavett, Gretchen. "Who Isn’t Graduating From High School?" Frontline. June 4, 2012. Retrieved on September 25, 2012.
- "America's Best High Schools". Newsweek, Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
- Groogan, Greg (2010-08-24). "Rick Perry Called 'Coward' in Political Ad". Fox Television Stations, Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- "Dropout Nation." Frontline. Retrieved on September 25, 2012.
- Ruiz, Rosanna. "Troublesome spike in teen violent crime." Houston Chronicle. Sunday December 10, 2006. B1 MetFront. Retrieved on August 12, 2009.
- Crowe, Robert. "Violence Hits Home" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Sunday January 15, 2006. A16. Retrieved on August 12, 2009.
- Mellon, Ericka. "Sharpstown High principal reassigned after abuse allegations" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Wednesday February 18, 2015. Retrieved on December 17, 2015.
- Winerip, Michael. "The 'Zero Dropout' Miracle: Alas! Alack! A Texas Tall Tale" (Archive). The New York Times. August 13, 2003. Retrieved on November 2, 2015.
- "Bonham Elementary Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "McNamara Elementary Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "Herod Elementary Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "Milne Elementary Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "Sutton Elementary Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "Valley West Elementary Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "Sugar Grove Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
- "Fondren Middle Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "Long Middle Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "Welch Middle Attendance Zone," Houston Independent School District
- "Pin Oak Middle School." The Southwest District. Houston Independent School District.
- "Assistant Principal Puts The "High" In Sharpstown High." Houston Press. October 3, 2008.
- "Distinguished HISD Alumni." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 13, 2009.
- "Education Trading Cards: Margaret Spellings." Los Angeles Times.
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