South Texas Independent School District (STISD) serves junior high and high school students who live along the southernmost tip of Texas, the region known as the Rio Grande Valley. The district stretches over three counties, Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy, and overlaps 28 other school districts, an area of 3,643 miles.
The district is comprised of six magnet schools:
- Rising Scholars Academy of South Texas (Rising Scholars Academy) - new middle school in San Benito;
- South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy (BETA) in Edinburg;
- South Texas Academy for Medical Professions (Medical Academy) in Olmito;
- South Texas High School for Health Professions (Med High) in Mercedes;
- The Science Academy of South Texas (Sci Tech) in Mercedes; and
- South Texas Preparatory Academy (STPA) in Edinburg.
The only all-magnet school district in the state, STISD offers Valley students with an educational alternative. STISD schools provide a personal environment, a strong scholastic program and hands-on training in various professional career fields.
Because it is a public school district, there is no cost for students to attend, and bus transportation is also free of charge. Best of all, STISD schools maintain an open enrollment policy, meaning any student with the desire to learn and work hard can attend so long as he or she resides within the tri-county area.
All schools are accredited by the Texas Education Agency and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Over 95 percent of STISD graduates continue their education at major universities or technical colleges.