Galveston's Education Education Institutions

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Galvestonians place a high regard on education. The city boasts a strong public and private school system that gives parents and students several options. Some graduates continue their education on Galveston Island at one of three institutions of higher learning: Galveston College, the University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Learn more about higher education here.


Galveston's Education Public Schools


The Galveston Independent School District serves more than 7,000 students on Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, with two high school programs, five middle school programs, and six elementary schools. The boundary of those schools stretches from Oppe Elementary in the West End of Galveston Island to Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School in Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula.

Instead of following the rigid boundaries of school zones, Galveston ISD follows a unique “Schools of Choice” model, which allows all students to apply to any program in the district that has space. There are magnet programs, neighborhood-style schools, and charter-based schools.

GISD offers a tremendous amount of instructional opportunities at its campuses with magnet programs dotting the district and numerous certification programs that allow students to secure living wage jobs before or after graduation. Middle schools offer pre-advanced placement credits, and Ball High has access to free or discounted dual credit hours from Galveston College as well as advanced placement classes. GISD also offers a full slate of fine arts and athletic teams and programs.

The San Jacinto campus is home to two early childhood programs: The Moody Early Childhood Center, serving children from birth to age 2; and the San Jacinto Early Childhood Center serving 3-year-olds.

The student body is ethnically and culturally diverse. Of families with children attending GISD schools, 74 percent of the students enrolled are economically disadvantaged. Galveston schools house diverse student populations as reflected by the district’s demographics — 45 percent Hispanic, 25 percent African American, 30 percent white and other. About 375 students travel daily from out-of-district to avail themselves of the many opportunities at all GISD campuses.

GISD continues to expand its offerings by excelling in academics, athletics, fine arts and extracurricular activities. Through one of the district’s magnet and small learning community programs, students can pursue their interests in Bio-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields from elementary through high school. Another program focusing on Media Arts and Digital Technology is available for grades five through high school.

Ball High School also has implemented successful courses which lead to numerous certifications and real time work experiences, including the “IncubaTOR” business entrepreneurship class which teaches students to think creatively and originally, solve complex problems and be resilient in the face of failure.

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Ambassadors Preparatory Academy (APA) is an open enrollment public charter school with a mission of providing a safe, hands-on, learner-centered environment that cultivates excellence, offers challenges and embraces lifelong learning for all students.

Teachers receive a substantial degree of curricular and instructional freedom in exchange for high expectations for effective classroom practice and student performance. Teaching and learning are focused on real-life situations, so students understand the relevance of information to their everyday lives.

Project-based learning and field studies are used extensively to accomplish this objective. Lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of each student, and a variety of activities are chosen to reinforce concepts and twenty first-century skills (communication, innovation, collaboration, and presentation). In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, APA offers courses in visual and performing arts.


Odyssey Academy is an open enrollment public charter school with locations in Galveston and El Lago. Odyssey Academy exists to provide the best learning environment throughout the Gulf Coast area, serving students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

The school uses four effective approaches that, in combination, set Odyssey apart from other public-school programs:

  1. Odyssey Academy offers a full-day pre-kindergarten program for qualifying 3 and 4-year-old children. There is strong evidence showing that children who participate in high-quality pre-K programs enter school more ready to learn, and Odyssey believes parents should have the opportunity to give their children this advantage.
  2. Odyssey Academy focuses on leadership skills from prekindergarten through high school using Franklin Covey’s The Leader in Me and the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders, which teach 21st century leadership and life skills and help to create a culture of student empowerment.
  3. Odyssey Academy is a STEAM school (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics). Teachers focus on these subjects to help students develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  4. Odyssey Academy offers dual credit and early college programs. Dual credit allows students to earn college credits while still attending high school. Early college is an innovative program that helps students earn an associate degree while simultaneously earning their high school diploma.


For over 42 years, Satori School has been serving students in Pre-K- 6th grade as an open-enrollment, independent day school. Satori provides a unique educational experience in a small, community-like setting. Satori was designed around the principle of authentic, meaningful learning experiences for children. That is, taking the learning outside of the four walls of a school building and into our community.

Our multi-age classrooms create a supportive learning environment for all students. Students build genuine bonds with their peers and teachers as they explore big ideas through projects and play. The nurturing school environment is fostered by daily direct experience in learning communication skills and practicing problem-solving through a hands-on, integrated curriculum.

Satori offers the traditional state curriculum in a non-traditional setting. With a student to teacher ratio of about 7:1, students receive a personalized educational experience through authentic, hands-on instruction in core subject areas as well as in phonics; art; music, movement, and theatre; P.E. health, and wellness; Spanish; and outdoor learning.

Our highly trained and qualified faculty provide a strong academic foundation that fosters creative and critical thinking; students are encouraged to reach new heights by thinking outside the box and taking risks, resulting in high quality discussions and confident learners! Our mission is to provide a strong academic foundation through a faculty who are creative, flexible, and imaginative in guiding each child to succeed at Satori, but more importantly, in their next school setting.

While understanding the critical nature of academic focus, Satori focuses as strongly on character development. Through daily class meetings and volunteering at other non-profit organizations, students are taught the value of serving each other, the community of Satori, and the larger community beyond the schoolhouse. Additionally, through the community outreach enabled by strong financial aid availability, Satori students experience a world where all children are entitled to have the best education, regardless of their race, religion, or socio-economic background.

Satori believes that parental involvement is the cornerstone of a child’s education. Maintaining a small student population creates a family-like atmosphere where the students and families are well-acquainted and regularly engage in school and community-wide events and activities. Satori was voted “Best Private School in Galveston County” in 2021 by the Daily News readers and runner-up in 2022! Satori Flyers soar to new heights each and every day!

Galveston's Education Private Schools


O’Connell College Preparatory School’s excellence stems from its roots as the oldest continuous Catholic high school in Texas.

O’Connell’s existence is the legacy of the consolidation of Ursuline Academy (founded in 1847 for girls), Dominican School (founded in 1882 for girls), and Kirwin High School (founded in 1927 for boys).

 Consolidated since 1968, O’Connell has been educating the hearts, minds, and spirits of young Catholic people and other faiths in Galveston, Brazoria and Southern Harris counties.

Today, O’Connell continues its tradition of offering each student a rigorous academic program. O’Connell offers college prep courses, including college essay writing, researching and applying for grants/scholarships, résumé building, and SAT/ACT prep courses. Students earn college hours through advanced placement courses and dual credit classes with Galveston College.

O’Connell seniors participate in internships with businesses throughout Galveston. Juniors and seniors job-shadow successful professionals specifically selected for each student’s area of interest. Upperclassmen apply to top universities and colleges throughout the United States.


For more than 60 years, Trinity Episcopal School has nurtured children in an environment that emphasizes scholastic excellence and emotional growth. The school combines rigorous academics and spiritual enrichment with competitive athletics, fine arts, technological instruction, and a service program to create a comprehensive education.

Trinity is an independent school serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school has an established history for providing students with a solid academic foundation that sets a path for lifelong learning.

Housed on the grounds of the historic Trinity Episcopal Church, the school welcomes all religious traditions. Students are free to discuss any religion and spiritual topics. Trinity does maintain a commitment to developing the spiritual life of each student through weekly chapel service and a sense of community.

Trinity programs are guided by three principles: truth, faith, and knowledge. Children are encouraged to develop moral integrity and character, unique intellectual and physical capacities, appreciation for an ability to engage in creative expression, and a respect for all people.


Upward Hope Academy is a fully accredited, tuition-free private high school. Its mission is to create a supportive classroom environment for students who are determined to complete the requirements for a high school diploma. A blended program of classroom and online support provide a strong STEM-oriented curriculum.

More than 450 students have been guided through this personalized program to bring students back to finish high school in order to move forward to greater opportunities in the future.