High-performing Houston schools: How Project Chrysalis Middle School is closing the achievement gap in its classrooms

Project Chrysalis Middle School, February 1, 2017.
Project Chrysalis Middle School, February 1, 2017. (HISD)

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.

Project Chrysalis Middle School

Grades: 6-8 | Address: 4528 Leeland St, Houston, TX 77023 | Phone: (713) 924-1700

Located in Houston’s East End, Project Chrysalis is an HISD charter middle school housed on the Cage Elementary Campus. The Distinguished Title I school, which operates an extended year program emphasizing project-based and interdisciplinary learning, services nearly 300 students, the majority of whom are Hispanic and come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The charter school began in 1995 as a small class taught by a handful of teachers and has since grown into an established middle school considered among the highest-performing in the Houston area.

The school’s honors:

  • The TEA awarded the school with all seven possible distinction designations for outstanding performance during the 2018-2019 school year. Project Chrysalis Middle School received designations for the categories ELA/Reading, comparative academic growth, postsecondary readiness, science, social studies and comparative closing the gaps.
  • The school earned a score of 100, the highest possible score, for its work ensuring different groups of students performed above state goals.
  • In 2019, nonprofit Children at Risk ranked CVHS the fifth best Houston-area middle school.
  • In 2018, Project Chrysalis Middle School was recognized as a National Title I Distinguished School, an award that honors schools for their educational advances. The campus is one of two in the state of Texas and one of only 63 nationwide to receive the designation.
  • Project Chrysalis was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2012 and in 2019. It’s important to note that schools may be nominated for the distinction only once within a five-year period. The designation is awarded to schools that maintain high academic standards among its entire student body, while also closing the achievement gaps among various groups of students.
  • Texas Monthly magazine named Project Chrysalis one of the best public schools in Texas.

By the numbers

Total enrollment: 279

Economically disadvantaged students: 76.7%

English learners: 10.8%

Students Receiving Special Education Services: 0.4%

Ethnic Distribution among students: African American (0.7%), Hispanic (96.4%), White (1.1%), Asian (1.8%)

Student-teacher ratio: 18.6 to 1

Number of teachers: 15

Average teacher experience: 9.1 years

Average teacher salary: $55,991

TEA School Report Card

With an overall score of 97, Project Chrysalis Middle 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 Project Chrysalis Middle School fared in these three categories:

Student Achievement: 93

School Progress: 95

Closing the Gaps: 100

For more information about Project Chrysalis Middle School, click here to view the performance report.

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