The Socorro Independent School District will begin the 2018-2019 school year on July 30 and continue its commitment to provide endless opportunities for students to succeed now and in the future.
More than 47,000 students are enrolled to begin classes at 48 campuses in Team SISD greeted by more than 3,500 educators.
Via a news release, SISD officials said, “[We] will continue working to ensure every student succeeds by providing a high-quality, well-rounded education with opportunities such as free Pre-K, free college classes, outstanding athletics and fine arts, advanced academic academies, top-notch career and technical education, the latest technology for digital learning, and state-of-the art facilities.”
Officials added that SISD continues to have the overall No. 1 student performance based on the latest assessment scores from the state, which shows the district outperforming the state and region overall in STAAR/EOC exams; while the district also has achieved its highest graduation rate ever at 91.5 percent.
The district also continues to provide a strong educational foundation to the youngest students in the community, as SISD provides free universal Pre-K to all 4-year-olds who live in the district.
A free half-day program is offered to all residents regardless if they meet state qualification requirements. A free full-day also is offered on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify based on state requirements, and a tuition-based half-day program is offered to those who do not qualify for free Pre-K to combine the free half-day with a tuition-based half-day for a full-day option.
In conjunction with the early childhood education, district officials said that Socorro ISD has “significantly increased” its free college classes at all high schools in the district giving students the opportunity to get ahead and save money in future college expenses.
Last year alone, Socorro ISD students collectively enrolled in college courses to earn some 26,000 college credit hours valued at some $9 million in college cost savings.
SISD also offers the most early college high school programs in the region – Mission Early College High School, Socorro Early College, Rams Early College and Trailblazers Early College. The early college high schools give students the opportunity to graduate with 60+ free college credit hours and an associate’s degree before they leave high school.
In addition, the Texas Education Agency has approved SISD to pursue an early college program in El Dorado High School, Pebble Hills High School, and Eastlake High School. This will establish an early college program in every comprehensive high school in SISD giving more students opportunities to earn free college credit hours to get ahead and save money.
To ensure a well-rounded education, SISD provides award-winning and competitive fine arts and athletics programs. The SISD fine arts program earned a second consecutive Best Communities for Music Education award by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for its superb commitment to comprehensive music education for all students.
Last year, SISD’s athletics teams earned 34 team trophies – 12 district, 15 bi-district, 6 area and 1 quarterfinal title. Eighteen individual athletes qualified and competed at state and one wrestler won the state championship. In addition, 85 athletes earned scholarships to continue competing at the collegiate level.
Additional highlights for the 2018-2019 school year include a new advanced academic academy, a new school, afterschool and summer enrichment programs, and more technology.
The new Aztec Architectural Academy at El Dorado High School is the first advanced academics academy of its kind in the region. The unique program will allow students to gain a foundation in the fields of interior design, construction, civil engineering, and architecture. Students also will have the opportunity to take dual credit and career and technical education courses to be on an advanced pathway to earn a degree in architecture.
SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School has received candidate status as an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) for this school year. The innovative middle school program will give students a global experience with international studies and civic mindedness.
At the completion of the program, the Hernando IB students will be prepared for a smooth transition to the El Dorado International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The students in the El Dorado IB program commit to achieving academic success and serving their community in pursuit of obtaining a higher education and becoming active participants in a global society.
Currently, the El Dorado International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is accepting applications from out-of-district transfer students.
The district’s newest school, Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary, is opening for the 2018-2019 school year in the Pebble Hills area. It is the 48th school in the district and welcomes some 750 students in Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade. The school was built with savings from Bond 2011.
Just eight short months after voters overwhelmingly approved Bond 2017, SISD already has all major projects under contract and is ahead of schedule to break ground on major improvements.
The district remains committed to maintain “Promises Made, Promises Kept” in delivering Bond 2017 projects, which will improve existing facilities and address continuing growth in the district. The projects include: the reconstruction of Socorro High School, construction of two elementary schools and one middle school, improvements for three high schools, athletic facilities and support services, and the construction of multipurpose rooms at 16 elementary schools.
SISD has been awarded a $1.4 million 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the Texas Education Agency. Team SISD is one of 51 entities in the state to earn the grant and the only school district in the region to be eligible for four years of grant funding.
The grant will allow the district to enhance its afterschool and summer academic enrichment programs providing students an additional safe learning opportunity while school is not in session. The grant will be used to implement Texas Afterschool Centers on Education (Texas ACE) program at Campestre, H.D. Hilley, Hueco, Escontrias and Rojas elementary schools; Escontrias Early Childhood Center; Desert Wind and Ernesto Serna K-8 schools; and Salvador H. Sanchez and Socorro middle schools.
The Digitally Nurturing Academics 1:1 program (one student to one laptop) continues to grow in Team SISD providing more students with personal technology devices for 24/7 digital learning.
This year, all students at Socorro, Pebble Hills and Mission Early College high schools, and seventh and eighth grade students at SPC. Rafael Hernando III, and Salvador H. Sanchez middle schools will receive a laptop.
In addition, eighth grade students at John Drugan, Socorro Middle, Sun Ridge and Ernesto Serna School will receive laptops for the 2018-2019 school year.