Aug. 22, 2023 BoardBits

Decorative image: E-newsletter cover image

This e-newsletter highlights important news from the Aug. 22 regular meeting of the STISD Board of Directors, as well as other recent and upcoming district and campus happenings.


Welcome back, STISD! The district kicks off the 2023-2024 School Year: Video + Photo Recaps

Students in classroom on first day of classes
Teacher monitoring and supporting while students complete classwork
Students pose for a photo in front of school


Parents - make sure you're connected! Download the Skyward app today

Student on laptop and photo of Skyward log-on page
Student on laptop and photo of Skyward log-on page on mobile device
Fingers typing on keyboard and listing of things that can be accessed through Skyward

STISD is now using a new student information system called Skyward. All parents/guardians should have received an email from Skyward Qmlativ earlier this school year sharing their Family Access Account user name and the link to log in.

Didn't receive it? Follow up with your child's campus to have it re-sent.

Received it but have not yet logged on? To log in for the first time, the parent/guardian will need to enter his/her username as included in the e-mail and follow the prompts to reset his/her password.

Click here to visit the STISD Skyward page to log in

Click here to download an account initial access quick start guide, which will walk you through this process step-by-step

Skyward also has a mobile app! Download it for easy on-the-go access to your account. Just search for "Skyward" in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.



Former STISD Science Coordinator takes on role of assistant principal at Medical Professions

Medical Professions assistant principal Lacy Holocker

Congratulations to Lacy Holocker, former STISD Science Coordinator in the Curriculum & Instruction Department, who started her new role as one of two assistant principals at STISD Medical Professions in Olmito.

Preparatory Academy athletics program named the 2022-2023 Texas Cup Champion through Texas Charter School Academic & Athletic League

STISD Preparatory Academy athletics photos and athletic coordinator accepting trophy on their behalf

Congratulations to our South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy athletic program for being named the 2022-2023 Texas Cup Champion through the Texas Charter School Academic & Athletic League (TCSAAL), and to South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy for coming in second. Kudos to the entire coaching staff and to the players for putting in the work and having earned this title.

In center photo: STISD athletic coordinator Priscilla Calderon seen receiving the state trophy on behalf of Preparatory Academy at the TCSAAL Conference.

All four STISD schools claim top spots in state and nation
STISD high schools claim spots among the best in the state and nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2023-2024 Best High Schools Rankings

This week U.S. News & World Report published its 2023-2024 Best High Schools Rankings, which included all four STISD high schools among the top-ranked schools in the state and nation. 

In the state rankings, Science Academy in Mercedes ranked 31st, Health Professions in Mercedes ranked 70th, Medical Professions in Olmito ranked 90th, and World Scholars in Edinburg ranked 140th.  Out of nearly 18,000 public high schools ranked across the nation, Science Academy ranked 228th, Health Professions ranked 510th, Medical Professions ranked 676th, and World Scholars ranked 1,209th.

Click here to read the complete story


Parents: Come learn about our Expanded Collegiate Partnership with UTRGV! Choose a session in September

UTRGV Collegiate Partnership Parent Information Session Invitation- English
UTRGV Collegiate Partnership Parent Information Session Invitation- Spanish


Virtual Academy upgrades teaching environment for new school year - unique classrooms for a unique school

Teachers from STISD Virtual Academy, the district's only all-virtual campus, have moved into their new "Whisper Room" classrooms, located inside the Biblioteca Las Americas in Mercedes.

These unique classrooms were tailor made for Virtual Academy, and they provide teachers with their own designated spaces to instruct. The pods dramatically improve the teaching and learning environment, as they offer soundproof rooms where educators can engage with their students without any background noise.

Check out the photos to see how the Virtual Academy teachers have customized these pods to fit their classes!

Row of classroom pods for STISD Virtual Academy classes
STISD Virtual Academy teacher instructing students virtually in new classroom pod
STISD Virtual Academy teacher instructing students virtually in new classroom pod
STISD Virtual Academy teacher instructing students virtually in new classroom pod


Board receives report on Science Academy P-TECH Program

Vanessa Rivera, STISD Career & Technical Education (CTE) Director, provided a report to the STISD Board of Directors on the district's unique Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Program at STISD Science Academy.

P-TECH is an innovative school model that allows students to receive curriculum focused on workforce needs and develop partnerships while obtaining credentials, certificates and earning college credit hours. The district applied for this designation two years ago, and last year was its planning year, during which the district completed planning of the program and recruited the first 9th grade cohort.


See what's new and continuing: 2023-2024 Course Offerings + Career & Technical Education (CTE) at STISD

Cover image for 2023-2024 STISD Career and Technical Education Programs of Study Guide


Board receives report on 2023 STAAR 6-8 Scores

During the Aug. 22 board meeting, Dr. Nereyda Trevino, STISD Chief Academic Officer, provided the board with a report on the 2023 STAAR 6-8 Scores.

Similar to the results shared in June for EOC testing, the reports from the STAAR 6-8 testing provided a comparison between STISD, the state and Region One. STISD outperformed both the state and region in the majority of all areas.

Overall, in the Approaches level, STISD outperformed the other groups by close to 15 percent. In Meets and Masters, STISD outperformed the others by about 20 percent.

The goal for the next school year is to continue supporting our students and grow the percentage of students performing at the Masters level.

Click here to see the 2023 STAAR 6-8 Score Reports


Mental Health Matters: Back to School SEL + Mental Health Resources


Other Board Actions

  • The STISD Board of Directors voted to adopt the General Fund, Child Nutrition, and Debt Service Budgets for the 2023-2024 school year.
  • The Board voted to hire Gomez, Mendez, Saenz, Inc. for architectural services for the 2023-2024 school year projects.
  • The Board voted to adopt the tax rate for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. Administration is proposing to keep the tax rate at $.0492 per $100 valuation.
    • As required by state statute, the Board made the motion and passed the resolution containing specific words to imply we are increasing our tax rate; however there is actually no increase in the tax rate. The resolution reads, "... the property tax rate be increased by the adoption of a tax rate of .0492, which is effectively a 2.46 percent increase in the tax rate."
  • The STISD Board of Directors voted to designate the district's 10 nonbusiness days for the purposes of Public Information Act Request responses for 2023 and two out of the 10 days for 2024. The board will vote on the remaining nonbusiness days for 2024 once the 2024-2025 Academic Calendar is approved.
  • The Board voted to approve the following capital improvement projects for the 2023-2024 school year: Roofing project at World Scholars, Preparatory Academy, Medical Professions, and the Science Academy.
  • The Board voted to appoint the following two members to represent the district school board in the Delegate Assembly at this year's TASA/TASB Convention to be held Sept. 29- Oct. 1, 2023: Natividad Sosa - Delegate and Israel Quintanilla - Alternate.


Tell your friends and family: STISD is hiring!

South Texas ISD is hiring bus drivers and custodians. Apply at

STISD is hiring for various positions and at various locations across the district, including:

  • Assistant Principal (Health Professions in Mercedes)
  • Science Coordinator
  • Teaching Positions:
    • Science Composite Teacher (Preparatory Academy in Edinburg)
    • Mathematics Teacher (Preparatory Academy in Edinburg)
    • Physical Education Teacher (Rising Scholars Academy in San Benito)
  • Bus Drivers/Custodians
  • Custodian
  • Plumber
  • Special Education Classroom Aides
  • Child Nutrition Worker
  • Library Aide
  • Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
  • Literacy Instructional Coach (ESL) - grant-funded
  • Shipping & Receiving Clerk
  • Special Programs Secretary
  • Technology Support Specialist
  • and more

Visit the Employment page to see available vacancies and apply


STISD Alumni: Share your success!

STISD Alumni: What does your success look like after STISD?
We want to hear about it, and we want to tell it! If you're up for it, we'd love to add your story to our STISD alumni collection.
STISD Alumnus - Government Relations
STISD Alumnus - Government Affairs
STISD Alumnus - Entrepreneur
STISD Alumnus - Firefighter
STISD Alumnus - Teacher


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