Now Enrolling for the 2017-2018 School Year

Welcome New Students!

 Enrollment applications are now being accepted at all Southwest Schools campuses for the 2017-2018 school year. Click here to apply.

 About Southwest Schools

Southwest Schools is a premier school district open to students in the Greater Houston Area.  Small, safe campuses provide the perfect setting to help kids Pre-K through 12th grade learn, grow and prepare for their futures!


Mangum Elementary Welcomes New Principal

Welcome Maryury Fernandez M.Ed.,  Mangum Elementary Principal

Southwest Mangum Elementary is pleased to welcome Maryury Fernandez as our new Principal and wish Dr. Olivares good luck in her new role as Chief Operations, Accountability, & Compliance Officer at Southwest Schools district headquarters.

About Ms. Fernandez:

Maryury Fernandez began her career in education in 1988.  Ms. Fernandez has served as a bilingual teacher, Bilingual/ESL Instructional Supervisor, Assistant Principal, and Multilingual & Assessment Director, mostly in Houston Independent School District and Southwest Schools. She has held positions in both the elementary and secondary settings and is deeply committed to improving academic achievement and lifelong learning skills for all students.  Maryury came to Southwest Schools in 2012, and proudly served as the Multilingual & Assessment Director for four years.  Maryury Fernandez is an advocate for all students, and she appreciates the challenges that students from low income families face.  Ms. Fernandez believes that all children can succeed when provided the right support.

She sets high expectations and supports a rigorous academic program at Mangum Elementary School.  Her number one goal is that students receive the foundation to be college and career ready and achieve lifelong success.

Delayed Start (10:00 AM) – Wednesday, January 18

Due to weather conditions in the Houston area, all Southwest Schools will have a delayed start of 10:00 AM, today, Wednesday January 18, 2017.  Schools will close at normally scheduled times.

Southwest Receives “Superior” Rating for 15-16 Fiscal Year

Southwest Schools has received a Rating of “Superior” from the Texas Education Agency for its 2015-2016 fiscal year School FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) for its excellence in fiscal management according to state guidelines. The School First Report is based on 20 indicators which gives a district a numerical value. The purpose of the financial accountability rating system, known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), is to ensure that open-enrollment charter schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public and charter schools to better manage their financial resources in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. Southwest Schools’ Business Department continues to strive for excellence and transparency. This state award is evident that employees are committed to financial responsibility and to meeting state guidelines.

Latin Women’s Initiative Awards Grant to Southwest Schools

The Latin Women’s Initiative awarded a generous grant in the amount of $15,000 to Southwest Schools to support the district’s Summer Reading Program.

The program aims to help children and teens retain and enhance their reading skills over the summer. Research has shown that kids who participate in these programs are 52 Lexile points ahead of their peers who do not. Summer reading programs are also an antidote for learning loss. So instead of losing knowledge and skills during the summer months, kids who attend reading programs actually show gains.

Latin Women's InitiativeThe mission of the nonprofit Latin Women’s Initiative is to support such programs and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Latin women and their families by providing both financial and volunteer support to several local nonprofit organizations in our community.

SHAC/Local Wellness Meeting Notice

School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)/Local Wellness Meeting Notice:

November 2, 2016

9:00 AM

Southwest Schools’ Central Office

3333 Bering Drive, Houston Texas


January 10, 2017

9:00 AM

Southwest Schools’ Central Office

3333 Bering Drive, Houston Texas

High School Students Participate in Mock Election

Last week, a mock Presidential election was held at SWHS as part of the Mexican American Bar Association’s (MABAH) Mentor Leadership Program.

sws-mock-election1  sws-mock-election2

Ninth graders Melissa Roman and John Valdaverde posed as our candidates and the student body was amazing with their input and knowledge of the candidates.

sws-mock-election-melissa-roman    sws-mock-election-john-valdaverde

Southwest thank MABAH members and other volunteers, including: Attorney Carolina Diaz-Orturza; Judge Joe Villarreal; Attorney Lupita Matcschiner; Mr. Jesus A. Salinas (Law Student); Manuel Solis (Law Student); Ms. Dominique Patterson; and Mrs. Ernestine Pierce.

Generous Grant from Chevron for Project Lead the Way

Chevron LogoWe are pleased to announce that Southwest Schools has been awarded a grant from Chevron to expand the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program across our District.   The grant will focus on the implementation of three programs: LAUNCH for elementary; GATEWAY for middle school; and ENGINEERING for high school.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S.  Among other significant findings, independent research studies reveal that PLTW students outperform their peers in school, are better prepared for post-secondary studies, and are more likely to consider careers as scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians, healthcare providers, and researchers compared to their non-PLTW peers.

STEM education is key to keeping the U.S. competitive. Project Lead The Way offers students and educators world-class curricula and teacher training to help kids obtain the in-demand, transferable skills they need to excel. Chevron is proud to partner with Project Lead The Way to help provide access to engineering curriculum to 100,000 students across the U.S.

Visit  to learn more.

Welcome New Middle School and High School Principals

It is with great pride and excitement that we introduce Mr. Ralph Butler and Mr. Albert Fernandez as the newly appointed principals of Southwest High School and Southwest Middle School.

Both principals are experienced leaders and dedicated to ensuring that our students and staff have the best learning environment possible.

To learn more about Mr. Butler and Mr. Fernandez, visit

Ralph Bulter
Mr. Bulter, Principal Southwest High School
Albert Fernandez
Mr. Fernandez, Principal Southwest Middle School

Southwest High School to Receive Project GRAD Grant

We are excited to be included as a part of Project GRAD Houston’s grant announcement – wonderful news for all of our students!

The Mission of Project GRAD

Project GRAD improves lives in low-income communities by helping students develop and achieve their educational aspirations.

The Mission of Project GRAD

  • More than 6,750 have enrolled in college with Project GRAD’s support.
  • More than 1,900 GRAD Scholars have graduated college.
  • More than 2,000 GRAD Scholars are currently enrolled in college and pursuing their degrees.
  • GRAD Scholars are on track to achieve a 60% college completion rate – nearly 2.5 times the rate of their peers throughout Texas.

About the Grant

AT&T’s Aspire Initiative is a national initiative focused on increasing high school success for at-risk populations.  Project GRAD and AT&T have been partners for the last 7 years in working together to improve high school success for Houstonians.  AT&T is awarding Project GRAD Houston with a two-year $1,000,000 grant to expand GRAD support to students enrolled in Southwest High School (among others).  GRAD will work collaboratively with school and district faculties and staff, community organizations, and area colleges and universities to reach an additional 1,735 Latino high school students considered “at-risk,” resulting in increased college readiness and high school graduation rates.

Pictured below (front row 2nd from left and 4th from left) Dr. Brenda Arteaga, Superintendent of Schools and Janelle James, CEO of Schools.

Presenation of ATT Check to SWS - Project Grad

College Signing Recognition Day

College Signing Recognition Day, students are recognized for their commitments to the colleges and universities that they were accepted to and plan to attend in the fall semester. This initiative is recognized to “inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.” Recruiters, counselors, and teachers have worked diligently with seniors and all are invited to attend the event in which students signed letters of commitment. Student’s that received scholarships from various that college’s or university’s are also recognized. The following colleges/universities and their representatives plan to attend this great event:

Houston Baptist University: Kelli Fyke
Houston Community College: Athena Walker
Lamar University: Elizabeth Richard (alumni)
Prairie View A&M University: Ramiro Bautista
Sam Houston State University: Kendrick Donahue (alumni)
Texas State University: Herbert Harry
University of Houston – Downtown: Wesley Wells

Phoenix School Teacher Spotlighted on “Donors Choose”

Ms. Millanee Reed, K-5th grade teacher at the Phoenix School (Southwest Schools) was recognized by as one of eight inspiring projects.                                                                                                                                                               (Get the full story here…

The project, funded in full by individual donors, will provide a home and accessories for the class pet – a bearded dragon named Spike.

would like to start off with a GIANT Thanks! It is extremely difficult to share how much of an impact your donation made to my classroom and in turn to my students. This year we have had an addition to our classroom, a bearded dragon named Spike. My students and I are crazy about our class pet. 

We would like you to know that Spike loves the additional accessories we were able to get due to your direct funding. He loves his heated rock, while he is not able to tell us this, we can see because he is hardly ever off of it. This rock has become an integral part of his continued development. He has grown so much in the last month or so.

As for the other supplies, my students have really taken to being creative with STEAM-Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. As you can see in the photos submitted, they are budding artists and scientists.

The impact of your gifts has had an overall tremendous effect on how we approach our Science activities and their abilities to change their thinking from this is hard to I think I can try this another way!

With gratitude,
Ms. Reed

A response by staff sums up the efforts made by Ms. Reed, “Your wonderful request showcases the amazing things happening in classrooms across the country, and will certainly help fellow teachers create their own projects.”


For periodic updates, photos and videos, follow Reed the Bearded Dragon on Instagram


Congratulations to Southwest Teachers of the Year

Congratulations to all of our campus Teachers of the Year and our District Teacher of the Year, John Tano.  Their respective nominations are a result of their support of their students, teamwork with their peers and overall commitment to education.

Pictured right to left: John Tano (High School),  Shawn Ceppi (Phoenix School), Katrina Wilson (Mangum Elementary); Dr. Brenda Arteaga (Superintendent); Prathea Walker (Middle School); Claudia Celis(Young Learners); and Jose DeLeon (Bissonnet Elementary.


2016 Teachers of the Year

Congratulations Shawn Ceppi 2016 Phoenix School Teacher of the Year

Please join me in congratulating Shawn Ceppi, 2016 Phoenix School Teacher of the Year. From here Ms. Ceppi will represent the Phoenix campus in competing for District Teacher of the Year. Congratulations!

Ms. Ceppi - 2016 Teacher of the Year (left) Brett Schriewer - Principal (right)
Ms. Ceppi – 2016 Teacher of the Year (left)
Brett Schriewer – Principal (right)
Phoenix School Faculty & Staff
Phoenix School Faculty & Staff

2016 Graduation Plans

2016 Graduation Plans Announced

Southwest Schools graduating seniors will be recognized on Friday, May 27, 2016 at 8pm in HBU’s Dunham Theater.