2022 Best Public High Schools in Texas

September 2305:00 AM
 

The 2022 Best Public High Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and high school ratings. Read more on how this ranking was calculated.    (23) view article arw

Allen ISD’s bus route delays stemming from an ongoing transportation worker shortage were worsened Monday when a district-wide network outage affected its GPS routing software.  The outage caused three bus routes to experience a 20-25 minute delay, district officials confirmed.  “I think they’re still finalizing a few things, so we hope to have that up here pretty soon,” said Allen ISD director of communications David Hicks in a phone call Wednesday morning. view article arw

Plano ISD is encountering bus route delays amid a staffing shortage for district transportation workers, a spokesperson confirmed. “It is no coincidence that the “late bus” page also has a link to job postings,” said Plano ISD assistant director for communications Rosemary Gladden in an email. “As is stated on that same page … school districts state- and nationwide are experiencing a critical shortage of bus drivers.” view article arw

Commerce ISD Superintendent Charlie Alderman says the recent COVID-19 surge has caused a shortage of bus drivers. The Commerce ISD is asking parents to bring their children to school and pick them up in the afternoon until further notice. Buses will continue to transport anyone who needs transportation, but parents and students should expect service delays. view article arw

National Guard troops are used to being activated during times of natural disaster or civil unrest — but in Massachusetts, they're being called out to drive students to school. The office of Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that as many as 250 Guard members would be made available "to address staffing shortages in certain districts," according to a news release. It said that 90 would be training immediately for service in Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn. The Guard will take over driving duties on some 7D vehicles. Known as "school pupil transport vehicles," 7D vehicles are generally vans.    (17) view article arw

 Last week, President Joe Biden committed to spending nearly $2 billion on 300 million rapid COVID tests for public entities, including schools. The prospect could be appealing in the K-12 world, where regular screening is not widespread. According to 74 contributor Greg Toppo, one new testing method promises to be fast and cheap, and “could remake the fraught debate over virus outbreaks at school this fall.” Using saliva instead of invasive nasal swabs, the method is designed to test more people, quickly find and isolate positive cases, and return students to the classroom once they test negative. While one such test is in use by the NBA, another is being used by 45 percent of the K-12 schools in Illinois, in addition to schools in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The test’s quick results, said Kevin Suchinski, superintendent of tiny Hillside District 93, outside Chicago, “gave us an extra layer of comfort to say, ‘Is it spreading within our community? Is it spreading within our school?’ And we could then react.” Read the story and watch our explainer video. view article arw

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A shortage of school bus drivers across North Texas has students showing up late to class, spending hours commuting every day, or scrambling to find a ride home. It’s a nationwide problem local school districts are working to solve. At Princeton High School, Eric Lockman coaches basketball and teaches career prep, but increasingly this year he’s taken on a third role as a substitute bus driver. “I may get a call at 10:30 in the morning or lunch time, and somebody is asking me, ‘are you available to drive the bus today’,” said Lockman. He used to get a call to help out one to two times a year. view article arw

Spring ISD Transportation Routing Specialist Valerie Blaha was given the 2021 Operations Specialist of the Year award over the summer by the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation. “The Texas Association for Pupil Transportation is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the United States,” Spring ISD Director of Transportation Jack Mann said, explaining to Spring ISD board members she had been selected among 80 other nominees around the state. view article arw

A trial date has been set for an Athens ISD bus driver charged in connection with the death of one child and injuries to another in 2019. John Franklin Stevens, 81, of Mabank, who was driving a school bus when it was struck by a train in January 2019, is charged with criminally negligent homicide and injury to a child. He is out of jail on bond. Judge Scott McKee of the 392nd District Court on Thursday set Feb. 22, 2022, as the jury trial date, according to Henderson County judicial records. view article arw

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - A Killeen ISD school bus was involved in a wreck Thursday afternoon on Texas Highway 195 near the recycling center in Killeen. Dispatch communication indicated 18 students and the bus driver were okay in the immediate aftermath of the wreck. Killeen ISD later confirmed no students were hurt. Students from Allison High School and Smith Middle School were riding in the bus. A photo at the scene shows the damaged rear of what appears to be a Chevrolet Malibu directly in front of the school bus. view article arw

PORT ARTHUR — Keeping our schools accountable to parents, teachers, taxpayers and even the students themselves is our weekly assignment here at Fox 4 News. That's why every Thursday night, we shine the spotlight on schools. The Port Arthur ISD recently received 22 new buses -- with all the bells and whistles. But what some parents are worried about is whether the school district is following the basics of transportation safety. view article arw

VALLEY MILLS, Texas (KWTX) - The nationwide crisis over a lack of school bus drivers is becoming painfully present in Central Texas. The leader of a small local district is pulling out all the stops...by making all the stops. “We have two drivers out because of COVID-related issues,” said Chris Dowdy, Superintendent of the Valley Mills Independent School District. “I guess I was next on-deck.” In addition to having the two bus driver’s out, the district’s ‘sub’ driver is also out-of-town, which left Valley Mills ISD scrambling. view article arw

It is back to school this Tuesday after the holiday weekend for students in La Porte ISD. Many parents had to drop off their children because of district wide bus driver shortages. “We got the call last night, ‘Hey, there’s gonna be delays tomorrow due to COVID reasons,’ and it’s like could there be anything else that happens because of COVID?” said parent Stephanie Duarte. view article arw

Gadsden Independent School District's school bus routes will be different Tuesday due to flooding in La Union on Sunday. The rain has impacted La Union Elementary and pick-up locations for feeder high schools and middle school students. view article arw

At least three vehicles appeared to have been involved in a crash with a Cy-Fair ISD school bus Friday morning. Just before 7:30 a.m., SkyEye was over the scene at 43rd and Bingle, where a white SUV and the bus collided. view article arw

TOMBALL, Texas — Beloved Tomball ISD bus driver Tony Moreno is being remembered days after his death. “He always had a smile on his face," friend Ashley Gardner said. "He would always make you laugh.” Friends say the 54-year-old's personality made him popular with children along his route. view article arw

A Tomball ISD bus driver and a bus attendant have died of COVID-19, the district confirmed on Wednesday. According to a statement, both bus workers died of the virus, though it's unclear if either was vaccinated. Tomball ISD adds that the bus attendant never rode on a bus this school year. view article arw

Parents of Northside ISD students are frustrated and concerned about their children’s safety after the lack of bus drivers led to overcrowding on a Harlan High School bus in which students were seen sitting on each other. “Wow, I had heard that they were sitting on the floor, but that’s -- I would not have imagined that to be the case here in San Antonio,” said Joel Ziegler, a Northside ISD parent, after he was shown a picture of the overcrowded bus. view article arw

This story is part of a series exploring promising efforts and research that could help students. The reporting collaborative includes the Education Labs at The Dallas Morning News, AL.com, The Fresno Bee and The Seattle Times as well as The Christian Science Monitor, The Hechinger Report and the Solutions Journalism Network view article arw

A Spring ISD bus driver that doesn’t want to be identified said he had the ride of his life while trying to pick up students from Wells Middle School Friday morning. He said he encountered an enraged woman at Howell Tree Lane and Cypress station. “Her comment was, ‘Why did you hit my daughter?’ I said to her ‘I have not touched your daughter or any other student,’” he said. view article arw

A first-grader finished out his first week of the new school year alone and asleep on an Aldine ISD school bus last Friday. According to the district, the boy was picked up from Kujawa Elementary school at 3:38 p.m. and remained on the bus until the driver completed the route and pulled into the West Side Bus Barn at 9900 Antoine Drive around 4:50 p.m. The boy’s mother is an Aldine ISD bus driver, and the district provides a daycare center for employees at that location. But when the boy’s mother went to the onsite daycare, her son wasn’t there. view article arw

When buses rolled out Wednesday for the first day of class, it’s estimated 1800 Lake Travis ISD students missed the bus. They didn’t get a ride because their parents missed the deadline to sign them up for one. On Thursday, phone calls from angry parents continued to come into the District’s transportation office. Sara Anderson was among those getting grilled and cussed out. view article arw

Bus driver shortages are impacting parents across Central Texas. Lake Travis ISD says it is short 20 drivers and has increased pay to $20.20 an hour. To accommodate the shortages, all routes have been modified, and some bus stop locations will be consolidated to main thoroughfares and subdivision entrances/exits. view article arw

Longview ISD is working aggressively to remedy issues of scheduling and logistics that occurred with some of the district’s school buses on the first day of school. Dr. Wayne Guidry, LISD Assistant Superintendent of Business, Transportation, and Technology, said that while some complications are to be expected at the start of a new school year, “we do not accept anything less than 100 percent when it comes to the safe, timely departure and arrival of all our students.” view article arw

Longview ISD is working aggressively to remedy issues of scheduling and logistics that occurred with some of the district’s school buses on the first day of school. Wayne-Guidry-headshot-2021Dr. Wayne Guidry, LISD Assistant Superintendent of Business, Transportation, and Technology, said that while some complications are to be expected at the start of a new school year, "we do not accept anything less than 100 percent when it comes to the safe, timely departure and arrival of all our students." view article arw

Back to school time is among us, and with many schools opting for in-person classes, the bustle is back. However, many districts all over the country are now dealing with a staffing shortage - a lack of bus drivers and bus monitors due to the pandemic crisis that has been here longer than anyone would prefer. Dozens of parents reached out to Fort Bend ISD’s Executive Director of Transporation, Demetrius Martin, with concerns over the issue of late or no-show buses during the first two weeks of the school year. view article arw

Spring ISD is rolling out a new transportation system on their buses to track students. “I have a passion for children,” said Shameka Holmes. “Bus driving, it was the job for me.” Holmes has been a school bus driver for 14 years and calls the students on her route her “babies.” “You just build that trust, that rapport with them every day. They see you every day, you see them, so you become like a family,” said Holmes. view article arw

For many students, the return to the classroom is simply a return from the summer break. However, for others, it is a return after more than a year and a half off following remote learning. "They tend to forget some of the rules and different things that we have in place that are all safety oriented," said Kyle Pelichet, the director of transportation for Corpus Christi Independent School District. "That includes parents ensuring that their children get to those bus stops on time." view article arw

A drive by Abilene High School, or a few other strategic locales around the city, could put you face to face with a school bus. No, it's not back to school yet. This bus is placed to help advertise the district's glaring need for bus drivers.  Transportation Student Services Manager Kris Wilson said there are openings for 13 drivers, including 10 who already are certified to drive school buses. view article arw

More people are getting back to work, some may even be eager to start training for their new jobs, and if becoming a bus driver has ever been on your radar: now may be a great time to learn. Here in the Coastal Bend, one of the places now certified to offer that training is the Alice Independent School District. Just this week, they learned that they were approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to become an authorized training facility. view article arw

Longview ISD parents now will be able to track when their children board and get off district buses. Trustees on Monday unanimously agreed to purchase a student tracking application called Z-Pass at a cost of $37,827 from Zonar Systems of Austin. LISD is one of the first districts in East Texas to implement such a bus system, officials said. “We will put card scanners on every bus, and parents that have kids that ride the bus will have to download the Zonar Z Pass app so that they can get instant notifications of when their kid gets on the bus and gets off the bus,” said district spokesman Francisco Rojas. He explained that every student who rides a bus will receive a card, which they will scan as they board. When that happens, a parent will be notified immediately of the location of the bus and the time.  The system will be installed in all 60 LISD buses, and the transportation department is working to begin using the system in the upcoming school year. view article arw

Yvette Gonzalez was named Bus Driver of the Year for Alice Independent School District on Monday, July 19. Gonzalez has been a driver for AISD for nine years. The job is early mornings and lots of driving of course, but she said the satisfaction she receives from seeing students daily and safely transporting them to and from school makes the work worthwhile. view article arw

The Longview ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $37,827 contract with Zonar Systems of Austin for a student tracking application on LISD school buses, during their July 19th regular meeting.  LISD will be utilizing Zonar’s Z Pass application on a variety of platforms to help families keep track of their students once they are on the school bus.  “This allows parents to receive text notifications whenever their child taps the reader getting on or off of the bus,” said Dr. Wayne Guidry, Assistant Superintendent of Finance. "Text notifications will include the time and location of pickup or drop-off." view article arw

These three siblings all graduated high school and started college by 13. Two earned degrees and were in grad school by 16. view article arw

Alvin ISD Transportation Department employees participated in the “Body in Motion Stays in Motion” summer walking challenge geared to create healthier lifestyles and work environments for bus drivers. The key concept of this challenge is to keep it simple so it’s easy to continue on a consistent basis. “Body in Motion Stays in Motion” starts with 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous walking for the first week; 15 minutes the second week; 20 minutes the third week and by the fourth week participants walk 30 minutes a day. By the end, participants make walking a daily habit which they can easily sustain. “It’s important to keep our bus drivers active and healthy,” Alvin ISD Director of Risk Management Donnie Marek shares view article arw