3 Ysleta ISD schools named Blue Ribbon nominees

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced Thursday that three campuses in the Ysleta Independent School District – Vista Hills, Ramona, and South Loop elementary schools – were among 26 schools in the state to be nominated for the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools award.

“Today’s nominations are an affirmation of the hard work, focus, and perseverance that teachers, administrators, and staff at these three schools have devoted toward improving student achievement,” said YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre.

“The hard work performed at these campuses is representative of our commitment as a district to provide a superior education for students and families in our community,” Dr. De La Torre added. “We are proud of our district’s National Blue Ribbon School nominees, and we wholeheartedly congratulate them on their accomplishments.”

Both Ramona and Vista Hills elementary schools have won numerous accolades in recent years – they were named to the 2019-2020 Texas Honor Roll last month, and were ranked among the top five West Texas Consistent Gold Ribbon Elementary Schools by TexasSchoolGuide.org last fall.

South Loop Elementary School was consolidated with Capistrano Elementary School last August as part of the district’s strategic plan to right-size its facilities.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels and/or highlights where exemplary progress has been made in closing achievement gaps among student subpopulations.

This year, Texas public schools were considered for the Blue Ribbon Schools nomination based on student performance on the first administration of the previous year’s STAAR assessments. Each nominated school has an economically disadvantaged population of 25 percent or more.

Since the founding of the U.S. Department of Educations’ National Blue Ribbon Schools program, about 9,000 schools across the nation have received this prestigious designation, TEA officials said.

“These 26 schools exemplify academic excellence, and I thank the teachers, staff, administrators, students, and parents for their outstanding work,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “We have a responsibility to ensure that every Texas student graduates with the knowledge to succeed in college or a career, which is why last session we passed transformative legislation to invest more money
into our classrooms and give our teachers a pay raise.”

Ysleta ISD was among the top two districts in the state to receive the most Blue Ribbon nominations this year, according to TEA. All nominated schools must now complete a rigorous application process through the U.S. Department of Education, and winners will be announced in September 2021.

To date, 12 schools in Ysleta ISD have won the National Blue Ribbon Schools award over the years – most recently, those winners included Desertaire Elementary School (2020) and Valle Verde Early College High School (2017).