Awards & Milestones
The Branch School, established in 1977, has received many awards and reached exciting milestones. The school, among the best private schools in Houston, has been recognized for outstanding teaching, our nature program, as well as having students place in various competitions.
- Teacher of the year awards
- Writing and Mathematics
- Outdoor Classroom - Environmental Education Awards and Grants
- Community Service
Each year kindergarten through third grade students enter the PBS Kids Writers Contest. Most years students place in the city-wide competition and along the way learn new writing skills and the joy of writing.
Elementary and Middle School students participate in the Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) competition and place in many academic categories including Ready Writing, Spelling, and Vocabulary as well as Mathematics and Number Sense.
Since 2010 Invitations to speak at Preschool Teachers Adventure conference and workshops
Since 2005 Annual invitations to speak at the Presbyterian Ministries Weekday Conference for environmental education
2005 Toyota Tapestry Grant for Science Teachers - Comparative Habitat Study Grant; Lucie Wray Todd Environmental Education Award - Houston Audubon Society
2004 Best of Texas Backyard Habitat site by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and National
2003 Substantial grant from the Susan Vaughan Foundation to develop a wildlife habitat
Hightower West Wing students plus staff go to Houston Food Bank to prepare 3,336 bags of rice that provides 13,344 meals
Hightower West Wing students volunteer at Memorial Park cleaning up over 2,000 pieces of trash two years in a row
Roots & Shoots, Heifer International, Pennies for Peace, CARE, homeless shelters, animal shelters, and other local charities
School acquired Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) accreditation
School had successful reaccreditation with AdvancEd
|2018||The school purchased an additional 2.5 acres of land, doubling the school's property.|
School hosts first Chinese exchange students for two weeks in Spring 2018.
The school inducts first group of Middle School students into new chapter of National Junior Honor Society.
|2017||Hightower West Wing elects its first Student Council.|
|2015||Launched Hour of Code event for K-8th grade students as part of international event to promote teaching Computer Science.|
|2014||Head of School, Emily Smith, presents at 2014 Women's Global Leadership Conference in Energy - She represents the field of education/academia as a participant in the Panel Discussion on STEM education: Bridging the Future Crew Changers.|
|2013||Dedication of the Hightower West Wing building for Middle School students|
|2011||Ribbon Cutting Event with Houston West Chamber of Commerce for the completion of the Middle School with the addition of eighth grade|
|2010||Construction of Middle School begins|
|2009||Expanded program to include the Sixth Grade; Junior Achievement began|
|2007-2008||Reaccredited by SACS/CASI (Council on Accreditation and School Improvement); received numerous commendations; Head of School chosen to be on 2008-2009 reaccreditation team; The Branch School Endowment established|
|2003||Received 19 commendations at reaccreditation; Head of School chosen to be on 2004 reaccreditation team|
|1998||Accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|1994||Building of 15,000 sq-foot building through the generosity of Lucile & LeRoy Melcher and a Capital Campaign|
|1988||Introduced Peacemaking (Character Education) into the curriculum; now includes critical thinking, problem-solving, ethics, manners|