Students enrolled 1217
Hours 7:45 AM - 3:00 PM
School leader Mr John Threet
Transportation options Yes
District Houston Independent School District

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3756 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005

School website
(713) 295-5215
(713) 667-8514
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Map of West University Elementary School address.

4 stars
Based on 51 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

November 12, 2014
The school is incredibly misleading. Its just a name with false reputation. Kids don't learn, they get trained to do well on ranking tests to keep the school status. I had two kids that are incredibly smart (said by their own teachers) yet failing or barely making it. I was even told, your kids are too creative and too inspired. What kind of elementary program punishes creativity in such developmental stage? My older 9 years old was moved to private school and he excelled with regular/ normal effort. NO tutors, no extra work other than regular homework and projects. At West U we had to have our kids with private tutors 1/2 of the year. Of course the teachers from the same school would provide tutoring but for a rather expensive hourly fee. I was spending over $5000/ kid on private tutoring. I cannot comprehend how one of the richest schools in the state with the strongest PTO and largest fund raising programs cannot provide some sort of academic support for struggling students. I am very disappointed with the administration and the teachers poor ethical responsibility that they show.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2014
I've had children in this school for the past 8 years. My parents were both teachers - one at the elementary level and the other 30+ years at the middle school level. Vanguard level work was entirely appropriate and challenging. I've spoken to the principal one on one on many occasions. We did absolutely nothing to prepare our K level daughter for school and she flourished. My wife and I both work. My kids have always done their own projects and received A's. The comments below are confounding.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2014
Poster on Aug. 30th nailed it! Agreed 100%! The kids are treated like soldiers and the expectations of them are ridiculous -- in and out of the classroom! The work given in the vanguard classes are not even close to being grade or age level appropriate.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2014
I've never seen a note from the administration inviting us parents to talk to them. It's not easy to find someone to talk to at WUES. If you are brave enough to reach out to an administrator, don't expect a warm welcoming meeting. This school is great if you never have concerns or questions or if your child is in Vanguard but not for other kids. That is why you see the huge difference in reviews on this site. Also, this is not a school for working parents. A working parent cannot hope to get the preferential treatment that non-working parents who can volunter recieve.

- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2014
We spent one year in a GT Kindergarten class before moving our child to another school. It was a rough year for many reasons, some of which are reflected in the negative comments here including mounds of homework and special projects that are not age or developmentally appropriate, obvious ranking of children, and competiveness between parents. Your best bet is if your Kindergartener is an older age who can already read. They need to be talkative, and externally motivated. Introverted and shy children will be overwhelmed or may be overlooked. There are positives about the school including involved parents but overall the negatives made the school not a fit for our child. We were na ve enough to think living in this neighborhood ensured a great education, but it is just not that simple anymore. It took a lot of personal research, speaking with educators, and visiting other schools for me to come to understand that the problems with WUES are complex. I certainly now understand teaching to the test. Our new school has a wonderful art program, science labs, Spanish and music. And it is a nurturing environment for kids to explore.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2014
We moved to this neighborhood for "the schools". There is a lot more to a school than the stars posted on the wall outside (and they get those from focusing MONTHS on practicing the tests!). When the principal threatens to "walk out" if the parents get a vote, then yes, that's a problem. The school in General has no art, no music, punishes by eliminating recess some days. The lunch ladies blow whistles to quiet the kids, silent lunches are the norm (not just during testing) and kids are put on stage (humiliation) when misbehaving at lunch (talking too loud)....I have witnessed this numerous times. The overall attitude at the school is sadly militant. Kids wet their pants because they are denied a bathroom break. It was more than any family should tolerate. Why are there 1200+ kids here? Because we all hear how wonderful WUES is. You don't see it for what it is until your children are crying about going every morning - and you are the room mom and get a front row seat to what's going on up there. No inspiration. A bunch of worksheets, worthless homework, test training....sucking the love for learning out of our children. Think hard before putting your kids here.

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2014
West University Elementary is awful. The school is a big promoter of the parents doing the projects for the kids based on the Texas History Fair with the trifold the students had on display. It was obvious that the parents did the work last year not the students. I am a teacher and I can identify student work vs fourth or second grade work. The second grade Science fair was not any better. As far as the principal he has demonstrated inappropriate behavior discussing issues with parents with the local barber using the parents name. When my children report back and tell me what the barber heard from the principal there is a problem.

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2014
The negative comments about this school are counter intuitive. Why do over 1200 people continue to chose this school when comparable schools have approx 70. ? Why do people pay $100 a square ft. for mere dirt to be zoned to this school. True, the school's after school program is inferior to others. I'm sending my kid here next year because the Principal - whom I've never met - has the guts to create all GT classes and then rank them so that the brightest in are classes with the brightest, not those who passed the GT test with a real score of 60 (another issue). Other principals are worried about how this segregation of students may affect their overall test scores, performance of those who poorer performers in the classroom or the racial quotas that they deny. It seems this guy just wants each kid to reach full potential. Sadly, a lost priority in public secondary ed.

- submitted by a community member
September 26, 2013
It is a shame that a parent would "bash" a school when they are mad at someone. It is important to be factual. Here are the true facts: 1. WUES has 3 administrators and 1 Inst. Co. Three of them have their masters and have been with the district for 29 plus years. I would say they were more than qualified. 2. ELL policies are set by state and federal governments. Take your complaints to them. The school only follows policy. 3. The principal has no political aspirations- he is about to retire! The magnet coordinator has multiple jobs. She is the VIPS, Vanguard and Testing coordinator. She keeps the school calendar and sets up for all events. She is also the PTO liason and is an administrator over 3 grade levels. If she is aggressive ( which I have never seen in 6 years) it is because parents in WU don't like the word no! 4. Last,but not least - the ethnicity % is not set up by the school. It is their zoned area make-up. The school holds 1250 students and only 50 students come from outside of that zone. A parent should be a positve builder of their child's school. The school listens and updates its curr. on a yearly basis. The vanguard program is very impressive .

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2013
West U is a large (+\- 1200 students) elementary school in a GIGANTIC District (>210,000 students). The school is overwhelmingly WHITE (see data on HISD website) and most come from families with plenty of resources. West U offers ELL only for non Spanish speakers. Many families walk to school in the morning and socialize in the playground in the afternoon. That said, the school has been following a formula for the past -who knows how many- years that is overly outdated and inappropriate for learning in the 21st century. The principal is a figurehead who seems to view his position as more political than pedagogical. He hardly makes himself available to parents or students. The magnet coordinator (why the position exists, nobody can explain because the school is SUPER over subscribed -which supports the idea that Houston's magnet school system is primarily a way of selectively segregating schools.) is aggressive and under qualified for the leadership she assumes. The school runs like clockwork (part of the formula). Students must be silent in the halls, form lines, practice most of the year for exams. Many teachers are good, some are novices & a few are burned out. 0 Creativity Zone.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2013
Unfortunately the quality of this school has deteriorated over the years. Not all but many of the teaching staff use reprimanding methods that hinder children to thrive. Very disturbing.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2013
This is a wonderful school. As a dad of 3 kids that currently attend the school, I've noticed that the quality of the teachers, students and parents is top-notch. The large number of sharp, active, dedicated stay-at-home moms (ex-lawyers, doctors, professors etc) provides a big boost to the school programming, support, etc and makes the school one of the best out there. In addition the school consistently ranks at the very top on statewide measures, competitions (Odyssey of the Mind, spelling bee, etc).

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2011
After reading these reviews it is hard to ignore some of the complaints & criticisms by several parents. This is a very good school with many excellent teachers and a strong PTO, but agree with statements made by several about the emphasis on test scores, little administrative interaction and communication with parents, hiring of brand-new teachers with no experience and poor track record with kids (but a parent who works in HISD admin), and a lot of political maneuvering. Many teachers who have been complained about repeatedly remain in their jobs b/c the deliver good test scores each year. I do strongly disagree about the PTO criticisms and community service projects done throughout the year. The PTO is active, organized and raises a tremendous amount of money that goes directly back into the school. The community service projects are for excellent causes and at least show some of the kids who live in a bit of a bubble that there are many people in need outside the perimeter of our neighborhood. I do also agree with one reviewer that it is really sad that this school has no foreign language ancillary class and a pitiful art and music program. Overall, a good school.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2011
I find it interesting that the person reviewing West University Elementary School could say in such an anecdotal manner with no evidence to back such negative statements. The TAKS, Standford scores, and the number of placement into high ranking middle schools are quantitative evidence of the academic excellence of the school. The PTO is active. Almost 82% of all money earned goes back to the students in way of teaching material, curriculum enrichment, or materials for the classroom. The constant preparation by teachers to help students after hours to help tutor kids (NON-PAYING Tutorials) are evident all through the year. Again this quantitative evidence of that the cooperative effort of teachers, administration and parents are doing things right at West University Elementary School.

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2011
My son has been in West U for K & 1st grade and we have had a great experience at the school. We are glad that we have access to such good education through the public school system. Yes - it is not perfect but it is a good school academically and socially for my child.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2011
Excellent school, great teachers and strong PTO. My son excelled at West U in less than a year. He is almost finished with kindergarten. He started at reading level 6 and now is reading chapter books. His math is 1st grade level and tested well in all subjects in Stanford. His teacher is very responsive and caring. West U is named the 5th best schools (2nd in HISD after TH Rogers) by 2011 Houston Chronicle Best schools in the Houston and vicinity areas. Most grades tested at 99% in almost all subjects. This is one of the best public elementary schools by far. This is the largest elementary in the HISD and there is still a long waiting list every year.

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2011
This school is ALL HYPE. Education is poor; PTO is overzealous; The monthly fundraisers are ridiculous; the teachers are superficial and lack passion for teaching. All of the children (including mine... now) are tutored by one of the West U. teachers at the library across the street each day after school. It is incredible to think such an "outstanding school" requires such intense after-school preparation. Paperwork and email OVERLOAD. I am flooded day after day with either emails from the class mom's re: a fundraiser or paperwork in my child's folder re: anything other than her education. My child literally comes home with a folder FULL of paper each week; which, has nothing to do with her education. A huge portion of fundraising must go towards thousands and thousands of pieces of colored paper AND COPY MACHINES. Oh my... Frankly, the teachers are all very young and pretentious and there is a very high turn-over rate. Not to mention, the front office staff is incredibly rude. The school is beautiful but your child's education is not a priority.

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2010
I am not sure how anyone got the impression that there is no homework in K. My child has had plenty of homework in K. He has also had to complete projects and prepare for oral book reports to the class complete with tri-board. I've been very happy with the teachers. I have two children. The other child is in 2nd grade. The PTO is very active and the facilities are great.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating September 17, 2009
Good education while it's like one big family.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2009
My daughter went to kindergarten there after coming from Galena Park ISD. I thought I was sending her to a better school. Yes the actiities are good there, but was not happy with how her education developed. I feel she learned more from her PreK school at GPISD. Her teacher did not giver her homework. i strongle believe she could have been better challenged. The parents didn't mind of course I spoke to some and some preferred no homework so that they did not have spend time on that after work. Sigh! I think their Gifted tests are a joke. In one year she was required to take two. You don't need a test to check if your child is gifted. You know it by having an extremely smart child. Their gifted child tested just proves that some kids are a bit more mature than others. Glad I left.

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2008
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- submitted by a student
October 14, 2008
WUE is a very good public school with mostly devoted and outstanding teachers who are limited by the emphasis on test scores and standardized curricula. The library is outstanding. Instruction in the music and art 'ancillary periods' is poor. There are very limited enrichment activities during and after school. There is a small invitation only track team and a newsletter club. The PTO runs a math club and a 'Name that Book' club. Foreign Language, Robotics, and Science after-school programs are run by private companies and are costly. The school is safe and has high standards for discipline. There is a very active PTO and a high level of parent involvement. Teachers are very accessable - the administration is less accessable.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 17, 2008
Curriculum is strong, but no foreign language, music is poor. Third and fifth grades are less challenging, fourth grade is extreme. Too much time spent teaching to the standardized tests. Respectfulness is not always shown among teachers, students, parents, and staff. Male students place great emphasis on athletics with teasing at recess. Some grades have issues with girl bullying. Majority of parents voted for uniforms, but it has never happened. Books needed to complete homework and binders are heavy, but the school banned rolling backpacks. Teacher turnover is high and teachers report not feeling supported by administration who focus on test scores and seem unresponsive to parental concerns. Some classes have nearly 30 students. Electrical, heating, and A/C problems plague the school. Students often have silent lunch and some classes are punished by missing recess. Food is fair, milk sometimes runs out or is expired! Doors are often propped open.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2007
This is a great school as long as you aren't a single parent who needs assistance. With PTA meetings held at 8 and 9 AM it is obvious that they are not open to assisting the everyday working parent. The teachers are helpful but can be extremely judgmental and are quick to label a child. If you're an African American who isn't a stay at home parent or have an extremely flexible work schedule, I suggest you look on. They are not going to work with you. They pretend in words to care, but the actions toward working with a parent tell another story. Even feedback is a challenge.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2007
We ve had the exact same experience with our child as that described by the first February entry it s all about status quo. This is a generously endowed school with superb teachers. However its administration has a very narrow focus on test scores. At WestU the community involvement in the school is limited to overzealous parents in the PTO. If your child is either very creative or is somehow disabled this may not be the right school for you.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2007
I like this school very much. Our daughter has done well here. The academic standards are high and the discipline is firm but fair. The PTO is active and very influential. Parents are involved and the school encourages parent participation.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2007
This school does not live up to its reputation. While the academics are generally good, the administration is too status quo to improve the overall quality. I find the PTO is too influential with the administration and gets unfair priority in teacher selection. When I tried to offer to help in the PTO, I did not feel welcomed or encouraged to participate. The school is much too concerned with politics and not enough with the quality of the students' educational experience. The school itself is too big with almost 1000 students.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2007
We have been extremely disappointed in the weak academics and enrichment subjects at West U. The school is extremely heavy handed with the discipline. Parental concerns are ignored by a principal and staff who are more concerned with accountability ratings than teaching methods.

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2006
Most of the teachers are great. The music and art ancillary classes are very poor in quality. The principal's priority is test scores, and does not want to be bothered with parental concerns. Due to the poor conduct of some kids, there is too much yelling at all students. Students frequently have to be silent during lunch. Parent involvement is high.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 17, 2006
West University Elementary is a decent elementary school. The downside is the pure number of students of approximately 960 children. The majority of the children come from affluent families, hence, there is no economic diversity at the school. Very strong parent participation, which could be good and bad. Overall, this is a above average elementary school in HISD but if your child is super smart, it is not very challenging.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2006
I am impressed with the amount of parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2006
I found this school's principal to be far too involved in politics to concentrate on the educational needs of the students. From what I see your student will do well if you make large contributions to the school. There seems to be far more emphasis on fund raising than on education.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2006
excellent teacher and parent involvement. amazing community school. like a private school that is publicly funded. the best of all worlds. the teachers have a true interest in the students and the students know that.

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2006
West U is an incredible elementary. By far, one of the best in the city. The teachers are some of the best I've met, and the overall parent involvement makes this school the center of the community. Many children within school boundaries have the resources to attend private school, but choose West U because of the excellence of the curriculum, staff, and sense of community.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 01, 2005
Exceptional teachers - very strong gifted and talented program - excellent leadership at the administrative level - highest standards of performance and behavior expected from students and teachers.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2005
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- submitted by a teacher
July 20, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2005
This is a very large elementary school with excellent academics, extracurriculars, and parental support.

- submitted by a teacher
March 18, 2005
Great School, Terrific parent involvement. School is renovating and increasing number of classrooms. The only downside is the growing student population of this popular school.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2005
Both our children have attended this school. In general the teachers are excellent and the academic programs are excellent. The classes have become increasingly large over the last few years.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2004
Great school and great principal. Prior to his arriving in 1996 when one of my children was in 5th grade, the school had frequent turnover of principals and had its rating lowered to acceptable. Under his leadership, the school moved up to recognized and then exemplary three years ago. The HISD school district recognized him as one of their principals of the year in 2003. Many private school parents have come back to public school because of the positive changes here. Draw your own conclusions.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2004
Although this is a high performing school, I feel that sometimes it is in spite of the leadership. Classes are too crowded, more than the maximum 22 students per class. The principal tends to hire brand new teachers because they are less expensive to hire. Then the teachers have their hands full trying to manage a large class. The integration of gifted kids with other kids don't work well, because the teachers are busy helping those kids who have trouble reading or adding, or who just act up more. Given that many teachers are new, the classroom can be chaotic. However, I have to say that the teachers are dedicated and work very hard with the children. It is the leadership of the principal that is lacking.

- submitted by a parent
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West University Elementary School
3756 University Blvd, Houston, TX  77005
(713) 295-5215
Last modified West University Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
West University Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 53 reviews. Top