Points of Pride
College For All Students at PSJA ISD
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District has rapidly become a state and national leader in creating more academic opportunities for all students. As a tri-city public school district offering a pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade curriculum, PSJA caters to a 32,000-student body and is focused on graduating all students College Ready, College Connected and College Complete.
PSJA has a very successful Early College program, with approximately 3,500 High School students enrolled in College courses each semester through dual and concurrent enrollment programs. This ambitious effort and its renowned dropout prevention strategies are working to connect all students to college. Some of the district’s most successful programs such as the Dual Language Enrichment Program, the Early College Initiative and Dropout Recovery Program have been highlighted at both the state and national level for dramatically enhancing post-secondary completion rates for Hispanic students.
At PSJA ISD all students can:
- Earn up to 2 years of College FREE
- Can Master 2 Languages, Graduating Bilingual & Biliterate
- Be Part of Athletic Excellence and Renowned Fine Arts Programs
PSJA students also participate in a variety of academic and technical competition teams including: Robotics, Coding, Chess & UIL Academic
Start College Now! Complete Early! Go Far!
- PSJA is leading the way in Early College Education with about 3,500 high school students enrolled in college courses each semester. All PSJA ISD high schools are designated as Early College High Schools.
- Out of 2,258 graduates of the Class of 2019, more than 500 graduated with college hours and approximately 400 of them received their Associate Degree from South Texas College two weeks prior to their high school graduation, and many others graduated with certificates in various fields.
- PSJA ISD has decreased its dropout rate dramatically, increasing the district’s four-year graduation rate and high school completion rate. The district has a dropout rate that is well below the state and regional average and an on-time graduation rate above the state average.
- All-day Pre-K for all students, serving close to 4,000 3 & 4-year-olds in district and through partnerships:
- Head Start partnership with ½ day PSJA certified teacher
- Daycare partnership with ½ day PSJA certified teacher
- Full Day Care Option at Partner Day Cares for 3-year-olds
- Half-Day Pre-Kinder 3 Option at PSJA Elementary Schools
PSJA’s Early Start Program received the 2013 H-E-B Early Childhood Excellence in Education Award.
- PSJA Early Head Start Campus services in partnership with UTRGV and Licensed Daycares provide service to 0 to 3-year-olds in district facilities and daycares.
Finances & Growth
- PSJA ISD is the recipient of a Platinum Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller’s Office. This award was given for successfully implementing financial transparency.
- One of only few districts in Texas to implement a successful teacher performance pay program.
- Has a successful PSJA Education Foundation. Each year, the Foundation awards competitive Teacher Mini Grants and scholarships. Since its creation in 2013, the Foundation has awarded over $1 million in student scholarships and teacher grants.
- Innovative first in the country Associate Degree in Nursing for high school students in partnership with:
- South Texas College
- Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance
- PSJA has been identified as a national model for putting dropouts “Back on Track to College” and connecting them to and through College.
Accolades & Accomplishments
- The district’s comprehensive, innovative approach and proven results have garnered the attention of:
- New York Times
- Boston Globe
- PBS NewsHour
- US. Department of Education
- Texas Education Agency, as well as local, state, and national elected officials
- In 2011, the Texas legislature enacted SB 975, authored by Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and supported by Representative Sergio Munoz, Jr, to encourage replication of PSJA’s dropout recovery program throughout the state. In 2013, SB 960 by Senator Eddie Lucio, allows similar partnerships with technical colleges.
- The Board embarked on an aggressive building program to remodel and/or renovate the entire district. The district has been rebuilt with more than $500 million in improvements over the past 12 years.
- Over 20 projects which include: school construction, remodeling, additions and demolitions have been completed since 2008.
- Another dozen in the planning or construction phase: a new Agricultural Science Facility, continued phases of the PSJA College & University Center (home of the PSJA Collegiate High School Program and the PSJA Academies – a cohort based approach for Early College Programs), and three swimming facilities.
- Additional projects are in the pipeline as the district moves to a process of planned cyclical upgrades and replacements.
The PSJA Academies, provide additional hands-on learning in various specific fields of study supporting students as they work to obtain a Certificate or an Associate Degree from South Texas College. Through a cohort approach, students build positive relationships, receive rigorous instruction; as well as receive academic, emotional and social support to successfully complete the coursework.
Students enrolled in the PSJA Academies continue to attend their home high school. They travel to the Academies' site only for designated hours for academy coursework. For students in grades 11th & 12th.
PSJA ISD students from 10th to 12th grade are eligible to apply to one of several PSJA Institutes available offering in-depth knowledge and hands-on experiences in fields such as: Law, Social Services, Engineering, IT, Sports Medicine, Entrepreneurship, Law Enforcement and Education.
As part of the institutes, students:
- Receive one-to-one mentorship from professionals in the field
- Learn what it takes to receive the degrees needed to excel in the profession
- Are part of special workshops, job shadowing and internship opportunities
Parent Engagement Program
Number of parents enrolled in classes: over 6,000 per semester.
Number of Parent Centers: 8
- Computer Technology
- Welding Certification
- Auto Mechanics Certification
- Security Guard Certification
- Entrepreneurship Programs:
Nutrition Arts & Crafts, Sewing, Cake Decorating, Jewelry Making, Knitting, Cosmetology, Floral Arrangements, Manicure.
Partnerships - more than 30 community partnerships including South Texas College and Region One. PSJA ISD’s partnership with Region One helps offer Adult Education services, which include English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education and GED preparation courses. PSJA parents can continue their education through structured courses in partnership with South Texas College that can gain them a certification or credential in various fields. With the assistance of additional local non-profit groups, interfaith groups, workforce development and economic development corporations, parents fulfill their educational needs, as well as, acquire more knowledge in careers and employability skills, entrepreneurship and computer literacy. All services provided to PSJA parents through these centers are free of charge.