Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan was opened in 2013 on the site of the former Ryan Middle School. In partnership with the Baylor College of Medicine, BCMAR offers a magnet program in the medical and biomedical sciences. Students have the opportunity to learn about neuroscience, health science, and the principles of scientific research, and they can explore medicine outside the classroom through the school’s partnerships with the Baylor College of Medicine and the Methodist DeBakey Heart Institute.
BCMAR’s mission is to provide students with early exposure to potential medical careers and to prepare them for success in high school, college, and life.
As a magnet school within HISD, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan has no religious affiliation. Students’ religious convictions do not factor into admissions, and the curriculum does not include theological material. While there is no institutionalized prayer in the school, there is a daily minute of silence during which students may choose to pray. Additionally, absences due to religious holidays do not count against a student’s record, though the student is still responsible for make-up work.
Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan is located at the site of the former Ryan Middle School, south of downtown near Rice University and Texas Southern University.
In addition to the main middle school building, which was renovated in the summer of 2014, the school campus includes a park-like area with an open field and a tree-shaded running track.
BCMAR Magnet is open to all students residing in HISD. Students can apply to a total of five (5) Magnet Programs; applications may be submitted online or on paper, and additional materials can be sent to the school by mail.
The additional materials required by BCMAR consist of:
- Proof of residency
- Immunization records
- STAAR scores
- Stanford scores
- The final report card from the previous year
- The report card from the first grading period of the current year.
Current HISD students may not need to submit additional documentation.
HISD residents should apply during the Phase 1 application window, which lasts from late September until early December for the subsequent school year, and admitted students are notified by late March. Admission is based on the lottery system, and all students have an equal chance of admission. In its inaugural year, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan had an acceptance rate of 40%.
No entrance exam is required for admission. While neither interviews nor school visits are required for the admissions process, visits are available on select dates in November and December, and there is an open house in November.
BCMAR has no attendance zone; students can only attend the school by gaining admission to the magnet program.
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All students at BCMAR follow the health sciences and biomedical sciences magnet curriculum. The key distinguishing feature of this curriculum is its emphasis on medical disciplines in science classes. The sixth grade science focus is neuroscience. The seventh grade science focus is scientific decision making, and seventh grade instruction includes the “Scientific Decision-Making” and “Think Like an Astronaut” curricula developed by the Baylor College of Medicine. The eighth grade science focus is health science, and eighth grade instruction includes the “Think Like an Engineer,” “Science of Microbes,” and “Health Science Technologies” curricula developed by the Baylor College of Medicine. Eighth grade students also have the opportunity to earn high school credit in the sciences.
In addition to its medical focus, the curriculum at BCMAR is distinguished by its early introduction of Pre-AP classes and its early introduction to the study of foreign language. From the sixth grade onward, students follow a Pre-AP track in science, math, English, and social studies, and students can study Latin as early as the sixth grade.
Accommodations are available for students with special needs who meet the requirements for admission.
If the parents already have documentation about the student’s special needs, the school will need a copy of that documentation. After receiving the documentation, the school will set up an annual ARD meeting that the parents, the student, an administrator, a core subject teacher, a special education teacher or 504 representative, and an HISD advocate will attend to discuss the specific modifications necessary for the student and to create an individualized education plan (IEP) for the student. Every teacher will receive a copy of the modifications for the student after they are set in the ARD meeting.
If the parents want to request modifications for their child, then the special education teacher will give the student’s teachers paperwork to document the student’s behavior and any modifications the teacher uses for the student. After 6 weeks of documentation, the teachers will turn in the paperwork, and the special education teacher or 504 representative will call a meeting similar to an ARD meeting. If the meeting determines that the student needs accommodation, then the school will have documentation of the student’s special needs and will follow the same procedures as above.
BCMAR offers Latin from the sixth grade onwards, and students are required to take Latin each year.
BCMAR offers Theatre as an elective enrichment class. Students in the Theatre program perform in a show at the end of the year. Students may also choose to take dance as an extracurricular.
Technology is integrated into education at the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan in several ways. BCMAR provides PC laptops for students to use on campus, as well as desktop PCs in the school’s computer lab. Additionally, every classroom has a SmartBoard.
As for cell phones and other personal electronic devices, they are to be turned off while students are on campus. If a student is caught with a cell phone, the phone will be confiscated and returned only to a guardian.
Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan offers several clubs, namely the Junior Classical League, the Chess Club, the Dance Team, Math Counts, Yearbook, and a UIL Academic Team. Students also have the opportunity to participate in National History Day and to compete in the Name That Book competition, the Science Fair, and the Spelling Bee.
While there are no clubs that feature community service, students are required to volunteer for a certain number of hours per year. This volunteering may occur at on-campus events or off campus.
BCMAR has no interscholastic athletic teams, but students may take Gymnastics as an elective enrichment class. The Gymnastics team sometimes competes, but it is not formally considered a varsity sports team. Students may also choose to participate in the Dance Team as an extracurricular.
Parents who wish to become involved with their children’s education at BCMAR may join the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization, which meets approximately every two weeks. This organization facilitates parent volunteering as well as facilitating and fundraising for school events and functions. Parents who wish to volunteer through the PTO must also register through HISD’s Volunteers in Public Schools program.
The school also has a Shared Decision Making Committee, through which interested parents can join with teachers and community members to advise the principal on important administrative matters.