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14 SISD schools are honored for TEA ‘A’ rating

Images of different campus staff holding up their A rating banner  

Fourteen schools earned the prestigious “A” rating in the Texas Education Agency A-F accountability system, leading the way to the Socorro Independent School District becoming the largest school district in the state of Texas and the only district in the region to earn both an “A” grade as well as the coveted postsecondary readiness distinction designation by the TEA.

To celebrate the SISD schools that earned the high achievement, SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., presented banners to the school principals during surprise visits where he also congratulated students, teachers, staff and administrators.

“We all should be proud,” Dr. Espinoza told students. “This was accomplished by our teachers who guided our students to excel, and you, our students, who knocked it out of the park.”

The 14 SISD schools with “A” ratings are Mission Early College High School, Options High School, Col. John O. Ensor Middle, John Drugan School, Elfida P. Chavez Elementary, H. D. Hilley Elementary School, Horizon Heights Elementary, James P. Butler Elementary, Loma Verde Elementary, Lujan-Chavez Elementary, O’Shea Keleher Elementary, Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary, Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary, and Vista del Sol Elementary.

Dr. Espinoza, along with the school principals, said the high ratings are the result of great teamwork and support for both teachers and, especially, the students.

The TEA rates school districts and campuses based on three domains, Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gaps. The postsecondary readiness distinction is based on graduation rates, ACT/SAT participation, career and technical education graduates, and meeting the college readiness level on STAAR.

 “Our students are the reason we earned an “A,” Dr. Espinoza said. “The hard part is keeping the “A” and we want to keep our “A,” so we will not give up.”

The SISD principals are extremely proud of their students and teachers for their excellent achievement. Here are their thoughts on the “A” rating:

“This has taken years of hard work since back in 2006 when the campus was established. For the faculty that has been here since then, all the administrators and all our leadership teams who’ve been building upon each other to get to this point, it is not a question of whether we are going to be successful. Success is already a tradition here.”
--Ben Ortega, Mission Early College High School

“It takes very special teachers. Our students are unique as are their needs, and our teachers make sure those needs are met so that they can be successful.”
--Magdalena Aguilar, Options High School

“We are really pushing forward to make sure our kids are ready to move onto the next level, so finding out that we got an “A,” there’s no better feeling in the world … I’m ecstatic.”
--Lisa Estrada-Batson, Col. John O. Ensor Middle School

 “An “A” is a testament to the hard work my whole team does. It’s not just one or two people, but a whole team of people from cafeteria workers, custodians, teachers, counselors, to administrators.”
--Adalberto Garcia, John Drugan School

“Every child that achieves is a child that is better prepared to do well in the next grade, in middle school, high school, in college and in life! Being part of the life-long learning and success of our students gives our work meaning every day.”
--Rosemary Yates, Elfida P. Chavez Elementary

“What an honor it has been for both our students and teachers and entire H.D. Hilley learning community to have received this prestigious “A” rating. Our Mustangs worked diligently, stayed focused and poured their heart into their studies.”
--Fernando Miranda, H.D. Hilley Elementary School

“Team Horizon Heights fulfilled our campus theme, “Teamwork makes the dream work!”  We are very proud of how our team collaborated and ensured that every child moved forward.  The pride we have in our “A” rating is only surpassed by the synergy and dedication of every Hornet at our school.”
--Jenifer Hansen, Horizon Heights Elementary

“James P. Butler is a child-centered school where all decisions are made for the student. Our scholars are very proud and will continue to work hard to attain these results again next year.”
--Rosa Chavez-Avedician, James P. Butler Elementary School

“Loma Verde has a culture built around student achievement and excellence. This rating validates the hard work and dedication of our outstanding staff, students and community.”
--Leslie Chavez, Loma Verde Elementary School

“I am beyond proud of the teachers and staff at Lujan-Chavez Elementary school for earning an “A” Rating. This rating is a testament to their tireless efforts, strong instructional practices and a deep commitment to education.”
--Jina Eksaengsri, Lujan-Chavez Elementary School

“Each teacher and every student at O’Shea put in countless hours of rigorous learning in order to achieve our goal. Having our “Closing the Gaps” distinction at 100 percent is also a testament to our staff for ensuring that no one is left behind.”
--Laura Garcia, O’Shea Keleher Elementary School

“Receiving an “A” rating our very first school year means we are an exemplary school in the state of Texas. We are supporting scholar progress, we are supporting college and career readiness, and we are being validated for our hard work.”
--Jesse Sepulveda, Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary

“Ituarte was very excited to earn the “A” rating! We pulled together, got in sync, and unified in our efforts to have every child achieve academic growth. Teachers focused on working as a team and taking shared accountability for our students.”
--Lynnette Vidales, Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary

“This “A” was earned by every individual at our school. Teachers from Pre-K to fifth grade play a huge part in student success. Our students hold themselves accountable and strive to reach goals set. This is evident in the results.”
--Cynthia Velasquez, Vista del Sol Elementary School

Published October 1, 2019

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