The Friendswood area has prioritized education since its inception – in fact, the community’s first public building included a school. The region is fortunate to have a variety of excellent public and private schools for grades K-12 as well as outstanding higher education institutions, which is beneficial for residents and businesses alike.
Friendswood Independent School District
Since 1939, the Friendswood Independent School District has provided a superior education to students in grades K-12, recently earning recognition as the No. 1 school district with college-bound students in the Houston area by the Houston Chronicle.
The district, which now has more than 6,000 students, started with 118 students in three school buildings more than 80 years ago. At the time, the community’s population was less than 300. It wasn’t officially known as the FISD until 10 years later.
Today, the district includes Friendswood High School, Friendswood Junior High, Bales and Windsong Intermediate Schools, and Cline and Westwood Elementary Schools. It is the largest employer in Friendswood, with almost 800 employees.
The district is known for its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) emphasis, incorporated throughout the K-12 program.
Other accolades for the district include:
• Named the safest school district and the district with the top-rated teachers in the Houston area by Niche.
• Earned a Superior Achievement ranking – the state’s highest – under Texas’ School FIRST (Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas).
• Texas Academic Decathlon District Champions for more than 20 years.
• Friendswood High School was named one of the top 5% in the nation, with a 98% graduation rate.
• Received the highest rating from the Texas Education Association (“Met Standard”).
Clear Creek Independent School District
The Clear Creek Independent School District is one of the 30 largest in the state, serving 42,000 students in two counties and 13 municipalities in the Houston metropolitan area.
Examples of how the district helps students excel at every level:
• Elementary: Students can enjoy a variety of academic programs and activities in CCISD’s 27 elementary schools, including art, music, physical education, plus Gifted and Talented and Special Needs programs. Students in grades 4 and 5 receive computers, and there are space-available special opportunities with foreign languages and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In addition, CCISD Early Education provides tuition-based prekindergarten programs as well as select early childhood opportunities.
• Intermediate: Students in grades 6-8 can participate in athletics, foreign language classes, and fine arts activities, among many electives, at the 10 intermediate schools. There are two magnet programs as well – WAVE, which is open to students identified as gifted and talented, and two science magnet schools.
• High school: CCISD offers much more than a traditional high school experience. In addition to five comprehensive high schools and two alternative high schools, the district offers a nationally-recognized Early College High School that allows students to earn a high school diploma and college degree in four years. In addition, students can earn credits online or at evening classes through a local higher education institution.
College of the Mainland
College of the Mainland enrolled its first students 53 years ago and is still growing. The school’s Texas City campus has several recently completed or ongoing building renovations, including the Student Center – which is on the banks of Lake Eckhert – STEAM/Allied Health, Industrial Careers, and a Student Success Center.
The STEAM building will allow for the necessary expansion of the college’s popular nursing program and house new programs in surgical tech, imaging tech, dental hygienist, physical therapy assistant, and communications. The college also plans to add programs in four engineering disciplines – civil, chemical, electrical, and mechanical. The Student Success Center will replace the existing administration and enrollment center.
Friendswood-area students will benefit from an expansion at the college’s League City location. A satellite campus will be opened at the former League City United Methodist Church, providing a 27,570-square-foot location for classes and other activities.
Students have more opportunities to extend their academic career beyond the community college level thanks to a newly announced partnership College of the Mainland has with Sam Houston State University. Students can now have joint admission at both institutions and earn credits at both schools simultaneously.
San Jacinto College South Campus
San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation, as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College’s South Campus provides many opportunities for students looking to further their career, offering nearly 200 degree programs and more than 45 certificate options in technical programs.
From health care to diesel mechanics and every program in between, San Jac puts students on a successful path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. The college partners with universities across the state to allow for easy transfer of credits once students achieve their associate degree. Additionally, San Jac partners with business, health care, and government entities to provide real-world experience through hands-on job training and student internship programs. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, supporting 13,044 jobs.
University of Houston-Clear Lake
With new buildings, record enrollment, and more degree programs, the University of Houston-Clear Lake plans for continued growth as a top four-year higher educational institution.
As one of four universities in the University of Houston System, the Clear Lake campus serves approximately 9,000 students, offering more than 90 degree programs. Its four colleges are Business, Education, Human Sciences and Humanities and Science and Engineering.
Students can attend undergraduate and graduate classes in-person at UHCL, UHCL Pearland, and UHCL Texas Medical Center. Online and web-enhanced classes are also available. While on the 524-acre campus, students can participate in 100 student organizations and a multitude of events.
Record enrollment was reached in fall 2018, the same school year in which the university opened three new buildings, including a 294-bed residence hall called Hunter Hall.
Lutheran South Academy
Lutheran South Academy is a college prep school at I-45 and Dixie Farm Road that serves more than 760 students from pre-K through 12th grade. Lutheran South Academy’s mission is to secure their students’ immediate future by preparing them academically for their college years, to secure their extended future by preparing them to be Christian leaders as adults, and to secure their eternal future by developing their relationship with their Lord and Savior.
Students attend the LSA from the Friendswood, Galveston, Clear Lake, Baytown, League City, Pasadena, and the Pearland areas. LSA started as a Lutheran High School of Houston 70 years ago (1949), and the school expanded and relocated to add middle school and elementary school in the 1990s. More than 52% of the faculty have advanced degrees, and 99% of 2018 graduates attended college.
Galloway Christian Academy
The Galloway School is a Friendswood-based Christian school with a 25-year success rate serving students from early preschool and toddlers through eighth grade. It has been named the “Best Private School in the Bay Area” because of its accelerated academic program emphasizing STEM education.
In 2017 the school was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Despite this setback, the school is beautifully rebuilt and also recorded its highest academic scores ever during that year of recovery, started its International Baccalaureate World School journey, and promoted all forms of the arts hosted by experts in their field. School leaders and staff also successfully conquered distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering daily live lessons personalized for every student.
The school’s focus is to grow lifelong, international-minded learners who are inquiring thinkers, caring and reflective. They offer many unique learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom through the arts, athletics, stem education, Spanish, robotics, academic competitions, and other offerings. The school has many community partners that support the school in real-world learning applications. The school is open year-round, offering a well-rounded summer program.