PSJA ISD Learning Tours
PSJA ISD's Learning Tour offers valuable tools through high energy sessions with a combination of presentations, practical exercises, dialogue and interaction between administrators, teachers and students. In addition, time is allotted to observe classrooms to view powerful teaching and learning through the implementation of the Common Instructional Framework. Participants will leave with information and tools they can put to use in their institutions immediately, in addition to an everlasting partnership.
Learning Tour includes: Transportation from the hotel to learning site, light breakfast, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack.
We invite you to visit our schools!
PSJA ISD’s leadership understands it is imperative for students to start experiencing post-secondary education early in their high school careers so they can be accustomed to the rigor at the college level, be more likely to receive a college degree and be successful. In August 2010, PSJA ISD launched College3: an ambitious systemic transformation intended to lead all high school graduates to be College Ready, College Connected and College Complete™. This initiative is grounded in four successful smaller scale innovations:
PSJA’s Dropout Recovery Model – The district’s dropout recovery model stems from the opening of PSJA College, Career & Technology Academy in 2007. PSJA ISD partnered with South Texas College to open this college-connected dropout recovery school to help former dropouts and non-completers finish their high school requirements and take a head start to post-secondary education at the same time. This approach helps young people experience themselves as college students rather than high school dropouts.
PSJA College, Career & Technology Academy – 1100 E. Hwy 83, Pharr, TX 78577
Opened in the fall of 2007, CCTA serves students close to graduation, lacking five or less high school credits or exit exams. The school provides high quality educational opportunities that will prepare them to succeed in a post-secondary institution or high skilled career. PSJA ISD partnered with South Texas College to open this college-connected dropout recovery school to help former dropouts and non-completers finish their high school requirements for graduation. The uniqueness of CCTA is that this instructional setting also allows students to take college coursework at the same time as they complete their high school requirements for graduation. This approach helps young people experience themselves as college students rather than high school dropouts.
PSJA’s Early College Model – PSJA ISD has systemically scaled the Early College Model districtwide beginning with the first TEA designated Early College High School specializing in the STEM fields, PSJA Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College HS. This Stand-Alone ECHS, opened in 2008, is a school of choice that served as the incubator for the Early College expansion at PSJA ISD. As of 2015, seven additional PSJA high schools have been designated Early College by TEA. Through this model, PSJA students are able to earn up to two years or 60 college credit hours, or an Associate Degree from South Texas College prior to their high school graduation.
PSJA North Early College High School – 500 E. Nolana Loop, Pharr, TX 78577
Designated as an Early College High School by the Texas Education Agency in 2010, this school within a school model welcomed its first class in the fall of that year as the district’s second early college high school. With its mission of creating a rigorous and stimulating learning environment, PSJA North ECHS has served as the first comprehensive school within a school model at PSJA ISD. PSJA North ECHS success has led to the scaling and replication of two more similar ECHS models within the district. Through its higher education partner, South Texas College, (www.southtexascollege.edu) and with support of Educate Texas (www.edtx.org), students at PSJA North ECHS have the opportunity to engage in college preparatory work and are afforded the ability to earn an Associate Degree or up to 60 college hours toward a baccalaureate degree before receiving their high school diploma.
PSJA Thomas Jefferson T-STEM Early College HS – 714 E. Bus. Hwy 83, Pharr, TX 78577
This revolutionary PSJA ISD high school was the first district TEA designated Early College High School specializing in the STEM fields. This Stand-Alone ECHS is a school of choice, with students selected by lottery and all applicants residing in the tri-city community or otherwise eligible to attend PSJA schools. PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS opened in August 2008 with its first freshmen class, adding a grade level each year, until it became a full four-year high school. This innovative high school was started as a partnership with South Texas College and was facilitated by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Another key partner in the development of this school has been Educate Texas, a public-private partnership that is a subsidiary of the Greater Texas Foundation.
Liberty Middle School – 1212 S. Fir St., Pharr, TX 78577
Dual Language and International Baccalaureate campus that services 6th through 8th graders. The effectiveness of the Dual and IB programs is due not only to the depth of the individual courses, but also to the comprehensive nature of the programs. Liberty Middle School students are involved in a rigorous course of study and extra-curricular activities that enhance their middle school experiences and prepare them for high school and beyond.
PSJA’s Dual Language Enrichment Program - In 1995, the district piloted the implementation of Dual Language instruction in three elementary schools. In 2008, PSJA expanded the Dual Language Enrichment Program districtwide to include all PSJA Schools. The program is an academic experience designed for students to develop stronger cognitive and academic skills through the development of on-level bilingualism and biliteracy. Through a rigorous curriculum, students who participate in the program are academically instructed in English and Spanish, from Pre-Kinder to 12th grade. As a result, students have the opportunity to master both languages and enhance their education by developing the ability to fluently speak, read, write, and think critically in English and Spanish, which allows them to compete successfully in a global economy.
Graciela Garcia is a Pk - 5th grade International Baccalaureate(IB) campus located in Pharr, Texas within 6 miles of the Mexico Border. Since the doors opened in fall of 2001, Garcia Elementary has been implementing a 50/50 Dual language Enrichment Model. In this 50/50 model, students learn each language (Spanish/English) 50 percent of the time throughout the program. After 14 years of implementing this program, we have seen how the ability to use ones' home language in the early years and having this skill nurtured and welcomed by teachers has helped children develop confidence, self-esteem, and a positive cultural identity.
PSJA Southwest Early College High School -300 E. Rancho Blanco Rd., Pharr, TX 78577
PSJA Southwest Early College High School is a TEA designated early college high school implementing the comprehensive school wide model. It is one of a few selected in the state to offer wall-to-wall early college program. Over 1,700 students attending PSJA Southwest ECHS have the opportunity to attain up to 60 college hours or an Associate Degree from higher education partner (South Texas College) before graduating from high school. PSJA Southwest ECHS is also considered the flagship high school for the PSJA ISD Dual Language Enrichment Program because it has the largest number of Dual Language high school students served, not only in the district, but also within the state.
PSJA’s Parental Engagement Program - PSJA’s Parental Engagement Program model has been developed to significantly increase the number of parents engaged in their child’s education. Through an established partnership between the District, its families, and the entire community (32 community agencies), PSJA’s parents are actively engaged in educating themselves on the core requirements and legislative mandates necessary for their children to acquire not only a high school diploma, but a college degree at the least. In the process and with the help of higher education institutions, PSJA parents have the opportunity to continue their own education through structured courses that can gain them a certification or credential in various fields, employability skills, and entrepreneurship programs for an improved quality of life for the entire family.