Sept. 26 2023 BoardBits

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This e-newsletter highlights important news from the Sept. 26 regular meeting of the STISD Board of Directors, as well as other recent and upcoming district and campus happenings.

Congratulations! | STISD Board of Directors + Administration recognize outstanding achievements

Medical Professions principal, STISD Board President and Superintendent with cook-off team from Medical Professions

The STISD Board of Directors and administration recognized the STISD Medical Professions 'Grillin' Angels' Cook-off team, who competed in and won first place overall in the high school division in the Los Fresnos Rodeo Cowboy Cook-off.

The team includes Medical Professions students Emma Escalon, Anyssa Gomez, Anahi Hinojosa, Mia Juarez, Destiny Migoya, Frida Monroy, and Lilliann Olvera, and is led by Medical Professions Culinary Arts instructor Maria Garza.

Click here to read the full story

STISD Superintendent and Board President present certificate to Preparatory Academy principal

Pictured, from left to right: STISD Superintendent Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr.; Preparatory Academy principal Marco Zamora; and President of the STISD Board of Directors, Henry LeVrier

The STISD Board of Directors and administration recognized the Preparatory Academy Athletics Program for earning the title of 2022-2023 Texas Charter School Academic & Athletic League - or TCSAAL - Texas Cup Winner for the middle school premier schools division based upon its performance last season.

Click here to read the full story

STISD Board President and Superintendent present certificates to high school principals

Pictured, from left to right: Henry LeVrier, President of the STISD Board of Directors; Eric Gutierrez, Science Academy Principal; Dr. Cynthia Chairez, World Scholars Principal; Dr. Michele Guajardo, Health Professions Principal; Jose Lucio, Medical Professions Principal; and Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools.

All four STISD high schools were recognized for their campuses ranking among the best in the state and nation in the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools Rankings.

Click here for more information on the rankings

STISD Superintendent and Board President present certificate and plaque to Assistant Superintendent for Finance/Operations

Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., STISD Superintendent of Schools; Marla Knaub, STISD Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations; and Henry LeVrier, STISD Board President.

The STISD Business Office was recognized during the board meeting for earning an A Rating on the 2022-2023 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) Report.


 

South Texas ISD Virtual Academy designated an Apple Distinguished School - Recognized for commitment to continuous innovation using technology

STISD Virtual Academy is pleased to announce it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for the 2023–2026 program term. The campus was selected for this distinction based on its commitment to continuous innovation in education and using Apple products to create exemplary learning practices.

Apple Distinguished Schools are recognized as some of the most innovative in the world. They’re centers of leadership and educational excellence, with a clear vision for how technology-rich environments support learning goals. In Apple Distinguished Schools, forward-thinking leaders and their communities work to inspire, imagine, and impact teaching and learning, and they have documented results of academic accomplishments.

Click here to read full story Click here to learn more about this recognition


 

Decorative image: STISD - A decade among the best in Niche Best Schools rankings

STISD and campuses celebrate a decade among the best in Niche Best Schools Rankings

Niche recently released its 2024 Best Schools K-12 School & District Rankings, solidifying a decade of South Texas Independent School District (STISD) and its campuses ranking among the best in the state and nation in this poll. 

With an A+ overall grade, STISD ranked 2nd in Texas (out of 1,052 school districts ranked) and 7th in the nation (out of 10,932 districts ranked) in the Best School Districts rankings. STISD earned the top spot in the Districts with the Best Teachers in Texas category, and brought home the second spot for Best Places to Teach in Texas. STISD also ranked 4th out of 11,466 districts ranked in the Districts with the Best Teachers in America.  

All six STISD campuses eligible for the ranking were ranked among the best in the state and nation in the 2024 Niche K-12 Schools lists, which grade and rank schools and districts based upon criteria ranging from academics to culture and teachers.

Click here to read the complete story


 

STISD and two high schools recognized for growth and achievements of emergent bilingual students

Teacher seen giving classroom discussion

Two South Texas Independent School District (STISD) high schools – STISD Medical Professions in Olmito and STISD Science Academy in Mercedes – and the district itself will be recognized at the upcoming Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE) Conference for the growth and achievements of their Emergent Bilingual (EB) students.

The campuses and district were recently notified of their selection as 2022-2023 School and District of the Year finalists, signifying recognition as top English as a Second Language, or ESL, campuses and district in Texas in terms of guiding students in achieving substantial growth on their TELPAS in 2023.

Online instructional and language development program Summit K12 will recognize finalists for their work during the conference to be held in McAllen in October. 

Click here to read full story


 

Board approves agreement with Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station for High School Aerospace Scholars Pilot Program

During the Sept. 26 meeting, the STISD Board of Directors approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) through its Spark! Office for a new partnership with STISD Science Academy in Mercedes that ties in with the school's Aerospace Engineering program of study.

Vanessa Rivera, STISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director, presented to the board on the proposal for Science Academy to implement the High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) Pilot Program designed by TEES. According to the proposal, the program will support today's students to become the engineers, scientists, researchers and innovators of tomorrow. HAS Pilot Program can offer a one-of-a-kind experience for Texas high school students to explore the possibilities of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related academic major and/or career. The adventure starts in the fall semester, with an online course, and culminates - for students who earn the opportunity - with an onsite or virtual summer experience with NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). For STISD, additional field trips and events will be planned to expose aerospace opportunities in STEM at TEES Regional Division partner locations.

Texas A&M will provide funding - $20,000 over two years, or $10,000 each year - to have up to three teachers (math, science, or engineering) encourage Science Academy juniors in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years to participate in the NASA High School Aerospace Scholars program and then mentor these students throughout their participation. Additional information is forthcoming.


 

STISD Health + Wellness

Mental Health Matters: Suicide Prevention Month

STISD SEL + Mental Health Resources - September 2023 - Suicide Prevention Month

October is Fentanyl Awareness Month

Fentanyl poisoning awareness month one-pager

 

Other Board Actions

  • The STISD Board of Directors approved the appointment of members to the Education Improvement Council (EIC) and School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) for the 2023-2024 school year.
  • The Board of Directors approved the district's Emergency Operations Plan.
  • The Board approved the Health Professions Window Replacement project as substantially complete.
  • The Board approved the request for a new Chief of Security professional position for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year and an announcement of vacancy, as requested by board member Jaime Solis.

 

Inside STISD Video Highlights

Preparatory Academy Named 2022-23 TCSAAL Middle School Cup Winner

Medical Professions 'Grillin' Angels' Win First Place at Los Fresnos Rodeo Cowboy Cook-Off


 

Tell your friends and family: STISD is hiring!

Decorative image: collage of employees in various roles at STISD - Work with STISD!

Work with the best school district in the RGV!

Positions available across the Valley, including: 

  • Chief of Security and Police Services
  • Assistant Principal 
  • Payroll/Insurance Clerk 
  • Accounts Payable Clerk 
  • Bus Drivers/Custodians
  • Mechanic
  • Teachers - Math + Science 
  • Library Aide 
  • Licensed Specialist in School Psychology 
  • Special Education Classroom Aide
  • Plumber

 

Visit the Employment page to see available vacancies and apply


 

Upcoming Events

STISD students don't have school on Friday, Oct. 6, and Monday, Oct. 9. Classes resume on Tuesday, Oct. 10.