Mission Consolidated Independent School District consists of about 15,000 students who are served by just over 2,000 staff members and supported by the communities of Mission, Alton and Palmhurst. In this way, we truly are "Many Faces" with "One Mission." That mission is summed up in our motto of "Success for Every Student."
Mission CISD is tucked along the Texas/Mexico border in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. We are a long slender district stretching across roughly 41 square miles. The district serves the community through two 4A high schools, three junior high schools, 13 elementary schools and an alternative campus for students considered to be at risk.
We have a proud tradition of excellence that continues today. Several campuses have been National Title One winners. Statewide media and education watch groups have honored several campuses each year, ranking them among the best in the state. Our educational leaders have also become sought-after resources by educators from across the nation. All of this, with a student population that traditionally struggles in many areas of the state. Ninety-seven percent of our student population is Hispanic.
Students have the opportunity to enroll in a challenging and rigorous curriculum through the Advanced Placement (AP) program. The district offers Pre-AP and AP courses in English, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Spanish in grades 7-12. Qualifying high school seniors can also begin earning college credit through concurrent enrollment courses with the University of Texas-Pan American and South Texas College. A Newcomers Academy for grades 3-6 offers students new to this country the specialized curriculum they need to help them succeed in junior high and high school.
Community support for Mission CISD schools is not only evident during football season (a Texas tradition), but also in our schools on a daily basis. Parental involvement and support plays a major role in student success. Local businesses go beyond donating money or student incentives; they are also an invaluable resource used in curriculum enhancement. Overwhelming voter support in a $38 million bond issue election in May 2000 has resulted in two new elementary schools, a new junior high school, central kitchen expansion, renovations to a junior high school and the expansion of a ninth grade campus into the district's second high school.
The Sharyland Independent School District is comprised of 26 square miles in Mission and McAllen. With a rapidly growing student population of over 5,000 students, Sharyland opened two new elementary campuses in 1996-97 and completed $8.5 million of classroom additions and renovations at the junior high school and high school which included two gyms. A fourth elementary campus and high school library will open soon. Over 80% of the students passed all tests on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. Over 80% of the 1999 seniors graduated as Texas Scholars this year for having completed the more rigorous course requirements of the state's Recommended High School Program. The district and high school are Recognized and all elementary schools are Exemplary. The 1998-99 school year produced district championships in 12 out of 19 varsity teams. Sharyland HS received the District 32-4A Literary UIL championship for the 39th time in the last 40 years. A wide array of other special programs for bilingual/ESL, gifted/talented, migrant, and disabled students is also available. Technology plays an important role in helping all students be successful. SISD welcomes parental and community involvement in all schools. Each campus has a parent organization. Special parenting, English, and citizenship classes are offered as well.
With an annual budget of $28 million, over 600 employees, and students graduating with the skills needed for the 21st century, Sharyland adds to the quality of life in Mission.
La Joya Independent School District's 226 square miles is made up not only of the city of La Joya, but surrounding communities including Palmview, Penitas, Sullivan City, Los Ebanos, Abram and Cuevitas. Due to the high migrant population, the student population in La Joya schools fluctuates throughout the year. Roughly 40% of the student population comes from migrant families. Student population figures are low at the beginning of the school year and peak during the month of January. To accommodate the growth, the district has a facilities plan. The district includes 18 school campuses; one elementary school, three middle schools, one high school, a ninth grade campus, and an alternative center. The district employs over two thousand employees and has an operating budget of approximately $100 million. LJISD's Framework for School Excellence guides administrators in organizing and implementing programs to best meet the needs of our students. From a Gifted & Talented Program that is inclusive in nature to a Bilingual Program which enhances both languages, with the latest technological advancements, students take advantage of instructional programs designed to improve learning and enhance knowledge of technology and its uses. An outstanding Fine Arts Program, which includes the La Joya High School Band, Orchestra, Choir famous Groupo Folkloric Tabasco and Mariachi Los Coyotes. U.I.L. teams across the district consistently rank among the highest ranks in UIL competition. La Joya ISD boasts an enrollment of over 15,500 students in grades Pre-K through 12 and is one of the fastest growing school districts (with a projected growth of 8% per year).
South Texas College, the Valley's newest higher education institution, will celebrate its seventh year anniversary during the 2000-2001 academic year. STC is a comprehensive community college offering associate degrees and certificates in over 50 different program options, and courses that are transferable to four-year colleges and universities. When the doors opened in 1993, the college only had 1,000 students, today enrollment has increased to 10,000 students. STC currently offers classes in McAllen, Weslaco, Rio Grande City and Roma. The college continues to add programs, facilities and course offerings to meet the needs of the region. All new programs at STC are designed, developed and implemented based on identified workforce needs established through labor market research.
The Partnership for Business and Industrial Training (956) 992-6197 at STC was formed to provide business and industrial customers with alternative solutions to their training needs. The STCC partnership program provides educational assistance to business partners by providing a full range of education and training services for their specific needs. The Partnership will also locate and complete applications for necessary funding sources. STC's Division of Continuing Education (956) 928-4442 offers a variety of courses with flexible scheduling in different locations throughout Hidalgo and Starr counties. Classes are also offered for parents and their children in grade 6-12.
The University of Texas-Pan American is a comprehensive regional institution serving the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. The University, which was started as a two-year collage 73 year ago, has been credited with helping transform the Rio Grand Valley landscape. Located in Edinburg, UT Pan American is the fifth largest component of the U.T System and 10th largest public university in Texas. Approximately 85 percent of the 12,400 students are Hispanic. According to The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, UTPA rank second in the 100 best US College for Hispanics - based on the number of bachelor's degrees awarded - and is fourth nationally in granting nursing degrees.
The Rio Grande Valley's premier university is divided into six colleges: Business Administration, Education, Health Science and Engineering, and Social Behavioral Sciences. UT Pan American offers bachelor's degrees and master's degrees in more than 50 fields of the sciences. The university also offers a doctorate in business administration with an emphasis in international business and, in cooperation with the university of Texas at Austin, doctorates in educational administration and pharmacy. The Texas Board of Education, Certification reports UTPA leads the state in the number of graduating teachers and is first in the nation in preparing bilingual teachers. A $23 million Engineering Building, and a $26 million Science Building, provide UT Pan American one of the best facilities for undergraduate science and engineering in the United States. The international Trade and Technology Building provides state-of-the art conference and meeting facilities.
Research efforts at UT Pan American include special centers focusing on international business, education, coastal studies and speech and hearing. Outreach center assist area businesses, manufacturers and local government districts. UTPA also is home to the University of Texas System Texas-Mexico Boarder Health Coordination Office, which coordinates the activities of the various UT Health Coordination Offices, which coordinates the activities of the UT System components to improve the health of Texas living along the border.