Finding Your School

Grade levels

If you went to public school in Texas, you'll find that the organization of the school hasn't changed that much. Schools are still organized into "grades," and the grouping has altered only slightly. Parents may remember when elementary school included sixth grade, while grades 7 and 8 were called "junior high." Now, most districts are organized this way:

  • Elementary school: Pre-kindergarten (at some campuses), Kindergarten, and grades 1-5 or 6 (at some campuses)
  • Middle or intermediate school: Grades 6-8
  • High school: Grades 9-12

A few districts have stand-alone sixth grade centers or ninth grade schools to help students adjust to middle school and high school.

Attendance areas and school boundaries

Children who are 5 years old on or before September 1 of the current academic year are eligible to attend kindergarten in a Texas public school. Based on your child's age and grade level, you know whether your child should be enrolled in elementary, middle, or high school.  But how do you know exactly which school your child should attend?

Each school serves a specifically defined attendance zone. In most cases, your home address determines which school your child will attend. Magnet schools, which commonly enroll students from multiple campuses, exist in some larger districts. Some districts have open enrollment options or transfer policies that permit you to request enrollment in a school that is not in your attendance zone.

Each school district operates all public schools within a certain territory. If you know which district you're in, visit the district's Web site, which will usually have a tool or search function to help you find your child's assigned school.

An informal way to find out is to simply ask your neighbors with school-age children which school they attend. But be warned: sometimes, because of how boundary lines are drawn, two neighbors living right across the street from each other might be assigned different schools. Similarly, the school closest to you is not necessarily the one to which your child is assigned.

If you're unsure what your district is, visit the Texas Education Agency's school district locator. You also can verify school district boundary information at your county tax assessor-collectors' office and appraisal districts.

School attendance zones can change because of shifts in population; schools are built or close; or new housing units are developed—so be sure to double-check your attendance area prior to registration.