Update: Jan. 5, 2021
Welcome back to the spring semester of the 2020-2021 School Year! Today, we start our 4th six weeks.
"It feels like yesterday that we started this unprecedented school year, and we are half-way through it," said PSJA ISD Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. "I want to thank our students, parents, teachers and staff for ensuring we continue to provide great learning opportunities for our PSJA students with their health and safety in mind."
Continuing to ensure PSJA ISD is always at the forefront, last month all district facilities started offering RAPID Response COVID-19 Testing (nasal swab) to staff members reporting to work, and this semester, students can receive this 15-min. test with parent consent if they are doing in-person instruction.
"Although this is not a requirement it is highly encouraged by our health care professionals as early detection can save lives," said PSJA Health Services Director Sulema Solis. "Testing for COVID-19, can help prevent the spread."
According to health officials, a positive test early in the course of the illness:
–enables individuals to isolate themselves
–reducing the chances that they will infect others and
–allowing them to seek treatment earlier,
–likely reducing disease severity and the risk of long-term disability, or death.
PSJA ISD School Board President Jorge Zambrano applauds the work of the school district to ensure preparedness and prevention.
"We commend the work of our Health Services Department and our entire nursing, custodial and administrative team for ensuring we diminish the possibility of positive cases in our community," said Board President Zambrano. "Having this resource available for our PSJA Family is instrumental as we continue to work and learn through this pandemic."
According to the Health Services Director, it is strongly recommended that all employees reporting to their work location be tested for COVID-19 using the RAPID Tests provided by the state. These tests can be done on a weekly basis as an additional health and safety measure at all of our facilities, and now students, with parental consent can also have these tests administered.
For parents of children who are attending in-person instruction who wish they receive the RAPID test, as well as staff members reporting to their work facility, they can start the process by clicking HERE.
For more information about current health and safety measures, please visit www.psjaisd.us/reopening.
December 2020 - End of 1st Semester Report
PSJA ISD continues to provide a high quality and rigorous academic experience for all students. We commend the work of our students, families, faculty and staff this school year as they have had to adjust to virtual learning and a slow and safe transition to in-person instruction.
This year, Kelly-Pharr Elementary was the only school in the Rio Grande Valley to be designated a National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education, making it the 6th PSJA ISD school to receive this honor.
Two schools, Cesar Chavez Elementary and Graciela Garcia Elementary were recognized as National Association of ESEA Distinguished Schools for exceptional student achievement in 2020. The only two selected by the Texas Education Agency to be recognized at the National level.
As part of our commitment to continue to be a National leader in Dual Language Education for all students, our School Board unanimously passed a Dual Language Program Policy to ensure the program receives the support needed to continue to make a difference by providing students the opportunity to learn academic English and Spanish, while pursuing a third language such as Chinese Mandarin or Arabic.
Despite the pandemic and virtual environment, 86 PSJA students graduated from South Texas College this fall. Eighty-three of them receiving an Associate Degree and three of them College Certificates, all free of cost to them and their families, giving them a head start to complete their post-secondary education.
PSJA ISD was also awarded with a Superior “A” Rating by the Texas Education Agency as part of its Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) for the 2019-2020 fiscal year for demonstrating high quality financial management.
Our Athletics and Fine Arts programs had a late start to their Fall season, but were able to prove the talent we have at PSJA schools by having two schools, PSJA North Early College High School and PSJA Southwest Early College High School advance to the football playoffs, with the latter doing it for the first time in school history.
Numerous Fine Arts students in Orchestra, Choir and Band reached the State level, placing in various categories, and we had two students advance to the UIL State Congress Debate Tournament.
All of these accomplishments would not be possible without the dedication and support of our entire PSJA Family!
During this uncertain 2020, PSJA ISD has also:
+Invested more than $1.3 million for personal protective equipment and facility upgrades to protect students and staff against COVID-19 and ensure their continued health and safety.
+Equipped all facilities with desk partitions, teacher partitions, plexiglass, social distancing markings and signage, as well as installed over 600 air purifiers districtwide, and more than 2,500 hand sanitizer units throughout our facilities and school buses.
+Created a COVID-19 Dashboard to keep focus on transparency efforts about the number of cases reported within our school district, and a PSJA COVID-19 Hotline & PSJA Safety Compliance Taskforce, providing additional support systems to ensure proper health and safety protocols are followed at all times.
+We also invested in Social and Emotional Wellness and have hired licensed counselors and wraparound specialists to increase the level of support provided to students and staff.
Learn more about this work by visiting our website at www.psjaisd.us and following us @PSJAISD on all social channels.