High-performing Houston-area schools: Kerr High School embraces self-paced study

Kerr High School
Kerr High School (Alief ISD)

At KPRC 2, we’re proud to showcase the schools and educators providing students with outstanding education in the area we serve. Here, we will profile some of the highest-performing schools in the Houston area to get a glimpse at what makes them so successful.

Alief Kerr High School

Grades: 9-12 | Address: 8150 Howell Sugar Land Rd, Houston, TX 77083 | Phone: (281) 983-8484 | Mascot: Alief Kerr Tiger

Alief Kerr High School is a Title I public school of choice in west Houston. The school, which belongs to the Alief Independent School District, uses learning guides which enables students to move through a course at their own pace. The method encourages group and individual study. Some subjects are taught in large academic centers with students from all grade levels. When not in a large group, students work individually or in small groups overseen by a teacher.

86 percent of Kerr High School students attend a post-secondary institution immediately after graduating high school. 96 percent enroll the following year, resulting in a retention rate 23 percent higher than the national average, according the school.

Kerr High School is one of four Alief ISD schools of choice. Prospective students must apply to enroll in the high school.

The school was named for Carey Jean Kerr, who began her career with Alief ISD at Chancellor Elementary in 1976. Kerr died in 1992 after an asthma attack.

The school’s honors

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Kerr High School the 40th best high school in Texas and the tenth best in the Houston area.
  • In 2019, nonprofit Children at Risk ranked Kerr High School the second best high school in the Houston area and the eighth best in Texas.
  • The school has a 100 percent graduation rate.
  • The TEA awarded the school with six of seven possible distinction designations for outstanding performance during the 2018-2019 school year. Eastwood Academy received designations for the categories postsecondary readiness, comparative closing the gaps and academic achievement in science, social studies, and math.
  • Kerr High School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2010 and 2016.
  • The school earned the CREST Award for Counseling Excellence in 2017.
  • Average SAT scores and ACT scores among Kerr students are consistently above the national average.

By the numbers

Total enrollment: 796

Economically disadvantaged students: 66.6%

English learners: 3.2%

Ethnic Distribution among students: African American (11.3%), Hispanic (20.2%), White (4.3%), American Indian (0.5%), Asian (63.1%), Two or more races (0.6%)

Class of 2019 average SAT score: 1152; Critical Reading (569), Math (582)

Student-teacher ratio: 20.7 to 1

Number of teachers: 38.4

Number of counselors: 3

Average teacher experience: 20.1 years

Average teacher salary: $66,144

TEA School Report Card

With an overall score of 99, Kerr High School earned an A for exemplary performance during the 2018-2019 school year.

The comprehensive score measures how well the school served its students, encouraged high academic achievement and growth and prepared students for success in college, a career or the military.

The TEA assesses the school’s performance in three different domains to determine its overall score: student achievement, school progress, and closing the gaps.

Student achievement gauges how much students learn and what they’re capable of by the end of the year. School progress determines how students at a given school perform over time and how that growth compares to similar schools. And the closing the gaps measures the percentage of different groups of students that performed above state goals.

Here’s how Kerr High School fared in these three categories:

Student Achievement: 98

School Progress: 97

Closing the Gaps: 100

For more information about Eastwood Academy, click here to view the performance report.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.