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Cool Schools Winner Royal ISD celebrates the many strengths of their district

See why this Houston-area school district is wearing the crown


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PATTISON, Texas – Last fall, Houston Life highlighted 12 Houston-area public school districts for their Cool Schools contest sponsored by Go Public Gulf Coast. After receiving nearly 7,000 votes, the winner was Royal ISD. Two principals from the winning district, Tony Runnels and Aronda Green joined Houston Life co-hosts Derrick Shore and Courtney Zavala to discuss the great things happening throughout their district.

Strong foundation, strong traditions and strong community

Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown.
Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown. (KPRC)

Royal ISD’s 4-year-old pre-K program builds a strong foundation for all students living within the district. The full day program helps introduce children to the formal school setting, so they’re ready to jump right in to their K-12 classes. The district is currently exploring options to expand their Early Childhood offerings.

Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown.
Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown. (KPRC)

A long standing tradition for the whole community is rallying to celebrate homecoming every year. All students gets involved, with all grades PK - 12 buying mums. Many members throughout the community make it a point to also attend the annual homecoming bonfire as well. And of course, homecoming traditions wouldn’t be complete without cheering on their team at the homecoming football game. Go Falcon Nation!

Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown.
Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown. (KPRC)

There’s also strong community support for Future Farmers of America students. Students begin showing an interest as early as elementary school. Royal ISD elementary students begin rearing and showing animals, as well as assisting with the creation of floats for the annual community FFA parade.

Career Technology Education & Early College Program

Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown.
Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown. (KPRC)

CTE focuses on career pathways for students in an ever changing global market. Royal ISD offers certifications in welding, machining, auto mechanics, vet/med tech, cosmetology and Microsoft Office just to name a few. These courses are open to all students. More than 94% of students are taking some form of CTE courses to prepare them for the real world.

Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown.
Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown. (KPRC)

The Early College Program allows students to obtain an Associate Degree from Lone Star College absolutely free of charge. This is a game changer for Royal ISD students, as it helps make college more affordable and gives students opportunities to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree with less debt following graduation. Students are exposed to a rigorous college curriculum that prepares them for a competitive job market. This program is open to all students under advisement of their counselors. The program is targeted at students leaving the 8th and 9th grade.

Elective Offerings

Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown.
Cool Schools contest winner Royal ISD shows off the district-wide strengths that helped earn them the crown. (KPRC)

Royal ISD has placed emphasis on their Fine Arts Program in an attempt to develop well-rounded students. They’ve added Strings (Orchestra) Class, Dance Class, Jazz Band and Ceramics just to name a few. Their Theater Arts Department has grown by leaps and bounds with major productions such as Hair Spray, High School Musical and Grease. However, their flagship program is The Royal Marching Sound Machine. The marching band has won numerous awards including the Inaugural Drum Major Award as the top Band in the Greater Houston Area. This prestigious award was presented by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. The marching band has also been invited to attend the MLK Parade, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade and the Mardi Gras Parade in Galveston. Lastly, the band advanced to UIL Area Marching Contest for the first time in over 25 years.

Royal ISD provides pathways for student success.
Royal ISD provides pathways for student success.

To learn more about Royal ISD you can go online to their website here. For more information on all of Houston’s Cool Schools and Go Public Gulf Coast, click here.