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High-performing Houston schools: DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Students work on a specific heat experiment at the DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, April 12, 2017, in Houston.
Students work on a specific heat experiment at the DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, April 12, 2017, in Houston. (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.

Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions

The new $64.5 million DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, April 12, 2017, in Houston. The facility is scheduled to open in the Fall 2017.
The new $64.5 million DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, April 12, 2017, in Houston. The facility is scheduled to open in the Fall 2017. (HISD)

Mascot: Viper | Grades: 9-12 | Address: 2545 Pressler Street, Houston, TX 77030 | Phone: (713) 741-2410

Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions is a magnet school in the Houston Independent School District. Opened in 1972, the school began as a partnership between HISD and the Baylor College of Medicine. What started with 45 students attending classes in a building at the Baylor College of Medicine has developed into a nationally acclaimed high school with nearly 900 students and its own 5-story facility in the Texas Medical Center.

Named after famed surgeon Michael DeBakey, the high school was designed to increase opportunities for students to attain careers in medicine, science and the health professions.

The school’s honors

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks DeBakey HSHP the third best high school in Texas and the 17th best in the nation.
  • 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.
  • In 2019, nonprofit Children at Risk ranked DeBakey HSHP the sixth-best high school in the state and the best in the Houston area. This was the ninth time the nonprofit ranked the campus the best high school in the Houston area.
  • DeBakey HSHP was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in 1998, 2003, 2009 and in 2018. It’s important to note that schools may be nominated for the distinction only once within a five-year period.
  • DeBakey High School for Health Professions was recognized as a National Title I Distinguished School.
  • More than 98 percent of DeBakey HSHP graduates attain a post-secondary education.
  • DeBakey HSHP students consistently perform above district and statewide averages on the SAT and ACT examinations and on state-mandated tests.
  • AP exam passing scores consistently exceed the national average.
  • The school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate.

By the numbers

Students work on a specific heat experiment at the DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, April 12, 2017, in Houston.
Students work on a specific heat experiment at the DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, April 12, 2017, in Houston. (HISD)

Total enrollment: 891

Economically disadvantaged students: 44.3%

English learners: 0.6%

Students Receiving Special Education Services: 1.7%

Ethnic Distribution among students: African American (16.3%), Hispanic (35.9%), White (12.2%), American Indian (0.8%), Asian (33%), Pacific Islander (0.2%), Two or more races (1.6%)

Student-teacher ratio: 17.8 to 1

Number of teachers: 50

Number of counselors: 3 (2 full-time and 1 part-time)

Average teacher experience: 16.9 years

Average teacher salary: $59,109

TEA School Report Card

Students work on a blood pathogen test at the DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, April 12, 2017, in Houston.
Students work on a blood pathogen test at the DeBakey High School for Health Professionals, April 12, 2017, in Houston. (HISD)

With an overall score of 96, DeBakey High School for Health Professions 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 DeBakey High School for Health Professions fared in these three categories:

Student Achievement: 99

School Progress: 98

Closing the Gaps: 88

For more information about DeBakey HSHP, click here to view the performance report.


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