Exterior of school with signage

Open House Q&A

What are the criteria for Acceptance?

The following criteria may be considered for admission:

  • Satisfactory attendance
  • Satisfactory conduct (citizenship marks on report cards and office referrals to the Vice Principal’s Office are considered)
  • Satisfactory standardized test scores
  • At least a “C” average in core subjects (ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies).

*Please note that copies of middle school discipline records will be reviewed, and all students accepted in NISD Magnet Programs are subject to additional reviews of criteria, and admission may be revoked if qualifications are no longer met.


Once a lottery pool has been established from the applications that meet the initial criteria, a random lottery will be conducted. Students included in the lottery pool, but not selected in the initial lottery, will remain in the pool used to fill additional spots as openings occur.

My daughter is interested in cyber security.  Where does she sign up?

The application can be found on our website as well as on the NISD Magnet School page

What kinds of sports are available at this school?

All athletics at Holmes HS are available to NSITE students.  These include football, volleyball, soccer, track, cross country, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, swimming, diving, and more.

What kind of extracurriculars are available?

Our students enjoy unique clubs such as Business Professionals of America, Girls Who Code, CyberPatriot, NAWBO, and Academy Officers.  Additionally, all clubs and organizations at Holmes are available to NSITE students including National Honors Society, Student Council, Spanish National Honors Society, English Honors Society, and many other clubs you would expect to find on a comprehensive high school campus.

Are cosmetology classes available?

Cosmetology classes are available, but are not part of the three NSITE strands.

What is the application acceptance rate?

The "rate" would be dependent on the number of applicants.  We are looking to bring in 180 freshmen this year, so be sure that you apply and put NSITE as your first choice for your best chance at acceptance.

What electives does this school offer?  My child is in choir and would like to know if your school has the program.

All electives at Holmes HS are available to NSITE students.  This includes choir, band, theater, orchestra, cheer, dance, pep squad, and any other elective courses on the campus that a child can fit into their schedule.

What courses would I take for software engineering?

Sounds like you may enjoy our Programming and Software Development Academy, featuring courses like AP Computer Science Principles and Mobile App development.

What is the Academy of Entrepreneurship?

In this Academy, students will study Virtual Business, Social Media Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. Students learn the fundamentals of marketing, finance, and develop business plans.  This is a great foundation for any business related studies in college.  Just ask this guy!

My child would normally attend Harlan HS.  How does transportation work?

Transportation is provided for ALL magnet school students.  Each summer routes are built and often your pick up and drop off location ends up being a nearby NISD elementary or middle school, or an intersection in your neighborhood.

What is the diversity level in your staff?

We have teachers with real world experience in their fields, teachers who have been here for over 2 decades, and teachers who are fairly new to the campus.  Our teachers represent a broad spectrum of experience and background.

Does your location zone affect your chances of getting into NSITE or just grades?

The lottery is random and based on the criteria stated above - which does not include where you live.  Your best chance of getting into NSITE is listing NSITE as your first choice on the application.

Can we get a copy of this powerpoint?

The information from tonight will be posted on our website.

If my child decides to pursue a different career once she gets into college, how would taking these classes help her?

I love this question!  We know that asking a 13 year old to have their entire future planned out is a bit of a stretch.  So step back and take a look at the skills they learn and ask if those are transferable.  It is our strong belief that understanding the basics of computing, coding, cybersecurity, marketing, accounting, and business operations are skills that will help students succeed in anything they choose to do in the future.  In fact, this student was studying on the Business side of the house but is now working at Microsoft.  Skills transfer!

Can I apply for more than one Academy?

When you come to NSITE, all freshmen will take Principles of Information Technology and Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance.  These two foundational courses will give students an overview of what our programs entail and allow them to make an education decision in selecting their academy.  So you don't need to pick your Academy right now, you only need to fill out the application.  

What is your average class size?

This can vary from department to department, but for your NSITE courses it is typically around 20-25.  Core classes can look more like your standard 26-29.

Will I be able to learn game design or development?

These skills are covered in the Academy of Programming and Software Development.

Do you have animation classes that I can take as electives?

Yes!  We do have Digital Media and Animation classes available as electives.

Can you compare and contrast the Academy Programming and Software Development at NSITE with the Computer Science strand at Jay SEA?

Both are excellent programs.  While both strands share the AP Computer Science Principles course, the strand at Jay continues on the Computer Science 2 and 3.  Our Academy follows that course with Mobile App Development and the senior capstone course Virtual Enterprises where students run a virtual business throughout the year.

Do students attend traditional classes with the students at Holmes or are all classes with only NSITE students?

All of your NSITE courses are with NSITE students along with your English 1, English 2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry courses.  Other courses are blended so that Holmes and NSITE students can work and learn together.

When is the deadline to apply?


We've submitted an application, how can I revise it?

Contact me at nsite@nisd.net and let me know what you want changed.  I can make the requested changes for you.

If we are accepted into NSITE, or any other magnet school, can we do a different strand than what we chose on the application.

I cannot speak for the other schools, but for NSITE - YES!  You will have your entire freshman year to learn foundational skills in all 3 areas and then select based on that information.

I've heard that NSITE provides certifications for my children.  How are they taught?  Do the teachers have certifications themselves?

YES, you can earn many certifications at NSITE and they are all FREE!  They are taught in a variety of ways, either embedded in the curriculum or through a curriculum directly tied to that certification.  Earning a certification requires a lot of practice and hard work, but it is worth it!  Teachers hold certifications themselves, either in the content area and/or as a certified tester for that particular entity.

Are all programs available to take or do I have to choose one field?

Completing multiple Academies would be VERY difficult, but while completing the courses for your Academy, you CAN take a course or two from another Academy as an elective if you wish.  Your counselor can help you plan this out.

Where are the bus stops?

Bus transportation is available to all NSITE students, but bus routes are rebuilt each year since our student population changes each time we graduate our seniors and bring in new freshmen.  Often, bus stops are either at a nearby corner in your neighborhood or at the nearest NISD elementary or middle school bus loop.  You will get bus information on Prep Day in August.


Several folks asked for more specifics about particular courses.  There is SO MUCH information right here in our virtual tour document.  In fact, I wouldn't recommend trying to do it all in one sitting.  Save the link and come back to it any time.  In the virtual tour document, staff members go over each strand in detail.  Be sure to click and check it out more than once!

Additionally, you can find lots of videos about our school on our YouTube page. I've hyper linked here, but you can also find a link in my signature at the bottom of this email.

Thank you all for attending our virtual open house!  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our staff.

Vice Principal - Christie.Szabo@nisd.net

Programs Coordinator - Teri.Pulido@nisd.net

Counselors - Jennifer-1.DeLaRosa@nisd.net , Carmen-e.Diaz@nisd.net


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