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Carnegie Vanguard High School

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Type  Public Magnet School
Superintendent  Richard Carranza
CEEB code  443541
Phone  +1 713-732-3690
Opened  2002
Area trustee  Diana Dávila
Principal  Ramon Moss
Founded  2002
Carnegie Vanguard High School
Address  1501 Taft St, Houston, TX 77019, USA
District  Houston Independent School District
Similar  Lamar High School, The High School For The Perfo, St John's School, Memorial High School

Ideapaint at carnegie vanguard high school

Andrew Carnegie Vanguard High School, named after Andrew Carnegie, is located in the Fourth Ward of Houston, Texas near downtown and was formerly located in Sunnyside. The school serves grades 9-12 and is part of the Houston Independent School District. It is the only High School Vanguard Program in HISD meaning that all students are labelled as gifted and talented by testing and the school has students take all Advanced Placement core classes as part of its curriculum.


Carnegie Vanguard’s rigorous academics have been widely recognized in the country. For the past several years, Carnegie Vanguard has been consistently ranked as a top 30 public high school in the country by several major magazines and journals including Newsweek, Washington Post, and US News and World Report.

International festival 2014 carnegie vanguard high school

Jones High School

The HISD Vanguard program was designed to serve the needs of gifted and talented students. From fall 1977 to spring 2002, the HISD High School Vanguard Program was a separate program located at Jesse Jones High School. It is one of the many Magnet schools in HISD designed to attract a diverse ethnicity of students by former HISD Superintendent Billy Regan.

Move to Sunnyside Campus

The reinstatement of Lawrence Allen, the Jones HS principal, who was put in charge of the comprehensive program at Jones, prompted the HISD Vanguard program separation.

Carnegie Vanguard High School opened in August 2002 in the former Carnegie Elementary School building on Scott Street and Airport Boulevard near the Sunnyside neighborhood. Carnegie began its first year as a separate school (2002–2003) with 173 students. The elementary school students who attended Carnegie Elementary were moved to Woodson Middle School, which became the Woodson K-8 School.

In November 2008, HISD proposed to rebuild Carnegie and Worthing and have the two schools share the same cafeteria. Parents at Worthing accepted the proposal while parents at Carnegie asked for the proposal to be discontinued due to high violence levels at Worthing. On December 4, 2008, Abelardo Saavedra, the HISD superintendent at the time, shelve plans of Carnegie and Worthing sharing cafeterias since the proposal had insufficient support from the board of trustees.

Fourth Ward Campus Proposal

In 2009, HISD administration proposed relocating Carnegie to the Fourth Ward. District administrators favored the move because students come from across the school district, and the central location would make transportation easier. During that year the school board approved of the plan. The former Sunnyside Campus has been used for millitary tactical training by multiple agencies, including the United States Army.

Current Forth Ward Campus

The current campus is located in the Fourth Ward, Houston. It is in proximity to Downtown, and to Midtown. HISD provides school bus transportation to students who live more than two miles away from the school. The new campus is located on a 6-acre (2.4 ha) plot at the northeast corner of West Gray Street and Taft Street. The new building can house up to 750 students. Parents, staff members, and students provided input for the design of the new CVHS campus. The building committee lobbied for a central courtyard, which is a part of the school's culture. The new building shares its site with the Gregory Lincoln Education Center. The district had initially intended for a new campus of the High School for Performing and Visual Arts to be built at the site that is occupied by the new Carnegie. Rey de la Reza Architects, Inc. developed the current Carnegie campus. The theater building is a former Orange Crush bottling plant and is one of the few remaining Art Deco buildings in Houston.

Previous Sunnyside Campus

The previous Carnegie campus was located in the former Carnegie Elementary School building off of Scott Street and Airport Boulevard near the Sunnyside neighborhood. The former Carnegie Elementary building has about 42,500 square feet (3,950 m2) of space, including the exterior corridors. The old campus was located adjacent to a horse pasture. Lisa Gray of the Houston Chronicle said that the "shabby" campus was "far not only from most of its students' homes, but also from most Houstonians' consciousness." Gray also said that "By accident, the old elementary school's layout promoted the kind of effortless mixing that the latest designs for offices and research facilities strive to encourage."


Carnegie Vanguard offers only Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies as well as Honors elective courses in core subject areas. The curriculum for every course is written to go above and beyond state and district standards. Carnegie Vanguard courses move at a quicker pace, cover more material, and are project based. They rely heavily on discussion and seminar style delivery of course information and the use, interpretation, and delivery of research.

Each Carnegie Vanguard student is required to take at least 10 AP courses before graduation: AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature, AP Capstone {Seminar and Research}, AP Physics 1, AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP US History, AP Economics, and AP US Government and Politics. Students can potentially take up to 18 Advanced Placement classes if they desired.


For the past several years, Carnegie Vanguard has been consistently ranked as a top 30 public high school in the country by several major magazines and journals including Newsweek, Washington Post, and the US News and World Report.

Carnegie is also ranked #2 high school in the Houston Area and #5 in the state of Texas by Children at Risk.

Standardized Testing

Carnegie scores the highest scores on the SAT and PSAT on the Critical Reading Section and Mathematics Section in HISD, just beating Debakey High School.


The school capacity is 750 students. About 185 spots are available for incoming 9th grade students and a small number of spots are available for incoming 10th graders. CVHS is not a zoned school so students in the immediate neighborhood are not automatically accepted. There are no admission spots for 11th and 12th graders. Carnegie has an admission rate of about 20% and receives over 1500 applications for less than 200 seats every year.

The Carnegie application process segregates students by whether or not they are Gifted and Talented (G/T) in HISD. Students not already identified as G/T in HISD or attending a private school must submit take a test to see if they are G/T and provide other academic information while qualified HISD G/T don't need to provide anything more.

Qualified applications are placed into a lottery to see if they will be accepted. Students that are poorer and/or minority do receive more preference in the lottery. The school automatically accepts qualified students who have siblings that currently are in the 9th through 11th grade at Carnegie, given there is enough space.

Carnegie has no formal feeder patterns as it is a magnet school and serves students from all over the HISD area. Carnegie attracts many students who are enrolled in private schools for middle school.


The school capacity is 750 students. The 4 year retention rate of students is 65% as many students withdraw from the school due to the rigorous nature of classes.

Approximate Demographics:

40% White

30% Hispanic

20% Asian

10% Black

College and University Matriculation

100% of students that graduate from Carnegie attend a 2 or 4 year college or university. Most students matriculate at the University of Houston or the University of Texas at Austin. Carnegie students have also been accepted to many prestigious colleges including Rice University, Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Current Sports

Carngegie competes in UIL Region 3, District 18, Conference 6A with schools twice to five times larger. This conference includes Bellaire HS, Chavez HS, Lamar HS, Heights HS (formerly named Reagan HS), Westside HS, and Westbury HS which have students populations of 2000 students or more. Carnegie, which has a student population of less than 800 students, is included in this conference because of its special school status. Because it is a magnet school, Carnegie Vanguard is able to admit students from all over the HISD giving them an unfair advantage, according to UIL, so they are put in the same conference as large schools. But, Carnegie Vanguard makes the argument that no one would go to Carnegie for sports due to the overwhelming work load compared to other schools.

Special School Status

In 2015, Carnegie Vanguard was the only magnet-only school to have UIL Sports. When other magnet-only schools complained that they were not accepted by HISD UIL Department for UIL sports, the school board took action. The HISD School Board originally thought it was fair take away Carnegie UIL Sports and take away the ability for other magnet-only to get UIL Sports to be consistent and because they falsely though Title IV was not met at Carnegie Vanguard. But, in November 2015, over 1000 individuals signed an online petition asking the HISD athletics director, Marmion Dambrino, to have Carnegie remain in UIL. The HISD School Board voted that Carnegie will continue to participate in the UIL as well as letting other special school status schools get UIL sports.

Notable Teachers

  • Gail Bromiley-McGee, who taught at CVHS from fall 2003 to spring 2006, received the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching in Spring 2003.
  • Dr. Paula Brown, who taught at CVHS until the spring 2006, was honored as Secondary Teacher of the Year for HISD in 2006. She served as the TPSP Instructor until the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
  • Andrew Dewey, as of 2014, teaches at Carnegie and is the vice president of the Houston Federation of Teachers. He taught AP U.S. History, 1968, and World Wars.
  • Notable Alumni

  • Anthony Obi (Fat Tony) - Rapper - Class of 2006
  • References

    Carnegie Vanguard High School Wikipedia

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