family Living in Fort Bend

Elementary Schools - 2014-2015 School Year

Riverstone | Best Schools in Fort Bend County


Austin Parkway
Settlers Way


Austin Parkway

Along with a high level of parental involvement, Austin Parkway Elementary boasts an excellent academic program designed to meet the needs of every student. One of its premier offerings is Reading Recovery, an international program that identifies first-grade students with reading difficulties and then provides them with 20 weeks of intensive, one-on-one instruction. Students also enjoy dedicated art and music instruction, with fourth- and fifth-grade choirs open to young songbirds. 

Students from this top-performing school, located at Crosslakes Boulevard and Austin Parkway, routinely score high on challenging state-mandated tests.


  • Completely networked, Austin Parkway Elementary offers computers and Internet access in every classroom.
  • Parents logged 6,808 volunteer hours during the 2012-2013 school year.
  • In 2013, the school launched Watch D.O.G.S., an initiative to encourage fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other father figures to volunteer at the school, visit during recess and lunch, monitor school entrances and hallways, assist with morning drop-off traffic flow and mentor students.
  • An extended-day program is offered before and after school.
  • The entire school has been renovated, with the PTA raising funds for new landscaping, a sprinkler system and a $25,000 playground and pavilion. 

 Austin Parkway Elementary 

4400 Austin Parkway
Sugar Land, TX 77479

TEA Rating: Met Standard
Distinctions earned: Reading and Math
School mascot: Sailors
School colors: Red, white and blue
Principal: Donna Whisonant
Assistant Principal: Courtney Dickey

Commonwealth Elementary School

With students at the heart of every decision, Commonwealth Elementary’s formula of high expectations coupled with a nurturing environment has yielded impressive results for the Fort Bend school.

An advanced curriculum enhanced by state-of-the-art technology helps students succeed. In addition to a gifted and talented program, other initiatives include multi-sensory grammar, fifth-grade/kindergarten book buddies, electronic bookshelf, art à-la-carte, character education, writer’s workshop, math solutions, mountain math, math problem of the day and more. The school has earned a rating of Met Standard from the Texas Education Agency, with distinctions in all available categories.

Additional highlights:

  • In 2013, Commonwealth Elementary was ranked third among Houston-area elementaries by Children at Risk.
  • Students in all classrooms keep current through a daily news show produced by fifth-graders who utilize video, music, transitions and chroma key background technology.
  • Striving always to improve, Commonweath launched a Professional Learning Communities (PLC) program in recent years. Through this effort, collaborative team members work interdependently to achieve common goals linked under the umbrella of learning. Initial training for the PLC program was available through a donation by Commonwealth’s Parent-Teacher Association, an active organization that raises thousands of dollars each year to benefit students.
  • The National Center for Education Achievement (NCEA) named Commonwealth Elementary to its 2011 NCEA Higher Performing School List for math and writing.

Commonwealth Elementary

4909 Commonwealth Boulevard
Sugar Land, TX 77479
(281) 634-5120

TEA Rating: Met Standard
Distinctions Earned: Reading, Math and Student Progress
School Mascot: Cougar
School Colors: Burgundy, green and beige
Principal: Joanna Hagler
Assistants Principal: Cindy Snyder and Charles Kennerson

Settlers Way Elementary School

As one of Fort Bend’s oldest elementary schools, Settlers Way has a long history of doing it right. Principal Kristi Durham credits the school’s success with strong teacher instruction and the ability to meet the needs of a diverse student population.

“Our guiding philosophy is that every student can learn,” she said. “We work to provide a motivating, challenging learning environment that meets the needs of all students, regardless of learning style.” 

Settlers Way teachers are experts at differentiated instruction, which presents information in a variety of ways for a variety of students – hands-on, auditory and visual learners. Many Settlers Way teachers have made a career-long commitment to the school, which enjoys minimal employee turnover. Many teachers have been there for nearly 20 years.

Embracing its mission of concentrating on the many facets of a child’s development, Settlers Way offers an array of extracurricular activities, including choir for fourth- and fifth-graders, a chess club and a Bluebonnet after-school reading program for all students. 

Settlers Way Elementary

3015 Settlers Way Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77479
(281) 634-4360

TEA Rating: Met Standard
School Mascot: Hot air balloon
School Colors: Red, white and blue
Principal: Kristi Durham
Assistant Principal: Brenda Perkins