TOMBALL, Texas – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced this month that Tomball Star Academy is now an official Early College High School, giving local students an opportunity to earn an associate degree while earning their high school diploma.
“To have received notification from TEA that the Tomball Star Academy is officially recognized as an early college high school is very exciting,” said LSC-Tomball President Dr. Lee Ann Nutt. “We are confident that students in this setting will form healthy beliefs about their capacity to succeed and develop knowledge and skills that will serve them well for a lifetime.”
Tomball Independent School District (TISD), in partnership with LSC-Tomball, is offering the program, allowing incoming freshman students the opportunity to start earning up to 60 hours of college credit, and graduate high school with an associate's of arts degree.
Early College High Schools are designated by the TEA and target students seeking a guided, determined path to college credit. The college courses are free for students who are accepted into an early high school program.
Tomball’s Star Academy, which was approved at a district board meeting on Nov. 15, 2016, to be established by the 2017-18 school year, has hired Kim McKinney, as its principal. McKinney, who has served in a variety of teaching and educational leadership roles over the past 15 years in Tomball ISD, in a letter to parents and families of Tomball Star Academy, said she is very passionate about education and is looking forward to partnering with parents to provide students a rigorous, engaging, and high-quality high school experience.
“As the parent of two boys age 6 and 9, I recognize the importance of a strong home-school connection,” McKinney wrote. “Parents are every child’s first teacher and I believe that by working together, we can make sure that your child’s social, emotional, and academic needs are met.”
LSC-Tomball’s Vice President of Instruction Dr. Quentin Wright said he believes strongly in the potential of early college high schools.
“There are very few initiatives that exemplify the values of access, collaboration, and student success more than these high school models,” Wright stressed, before adding, “They are great examples of what can happen when the school districts and colleges work together to focus upon the success of students.”
The Early College High School program has been successfully used in other Houston area school districts, like Aldine ISD and Humble ISD in partnership with other Lone Star College campuses. Tomball Star Academy is expected to enroll between 100 to 125 students. Students who are
admitted into the program must meet academic standards, must have met acceptable standards on the STAAR test, and must continually maintain acceptable behavior standards.
Lone Star College-Tomball is located at 35000 Tomball Parkway, at the intersection of SH 249 and Zion Road. For more information about the college, call 281.351.3300 or visit LoneStar.edu/Tomball.