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Tuesday , November 20 2018
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Home | Opinion | Guest Column: Socorro ISD Superintendent Espinoza Congratulates TeamSISD Members
"These are exciting times in SISD with early college programs and advanced academic academies that provide our students with real world experiences unmatched elsewhere."

Guest Column: Socorro ISD Superintendent Espinoza Congratulates TeamSISD Members

Congratulations to the Socorro Independent School District (SISD) community for earning the Postsecondary Readiness Distinction Designation, the only distinction awarded at the district level, in the latest Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability ratings.

The distinction considers factors such as student performance in elementary, middle, and high school; graduation rates; participation in college readiness assessments such as ACT/SAT, advanced placement, and IB examinations; and graduates in Career and Technical Education as well as those identified as college, career, and military ready.

I’m very proud to report SISD is the largest school district in Texas and one of only three districts among the largest fifty school districts in the state to earn the coveted postsecondary readiness distinction.

With this distinction, TEA confirmed the commitment SISD has made to College and Career Readiness at all grade levels.

Our outstanding students, teachers, parents, board members, and entire staff have demonstrated exceptional teamwork, dedication, and relentless pursuit of academic excellence that led to this significant distinction along with our district’s overall grade of 88.

Make no mistake about it!

The data clearly shows SISD is one of the TOP school districts in Texas.

The news gets even better for SISD students.

In 2006, SISD only had one early college high school, which was Mission Early College High School. In the past three years, SISD opened early colleges at Socorro, Montwood, and Americas High Schools.

TEA recently informed our district that we are approved to begin the planning for an early college program at El Dorado, Eastlake, and Pebble Hills High Schools.

The addition of three more early college programs will make SISD the first district in Region 19, and one of only a few school districts in the state, to offer an early college at every comprehensive high school within the district.

Early College High Schools provide students the opportunity to graduate with 60+ free college credit hours and an associate’s degree before they leave high school.

Absolutely nothing says a student is ready for college better than a student actually attending college while enrolled in high school.
Parents may not be aware the rising costs of college tuition are turning many students’ dreams of going to college into a nightmare.

According to a Houston Chronicle article titled, College Tuition on the Rise in Texas; far exceeding household income growth, “Tuition and fees at the state’s public colleges has more than doubled since 2003, when the legislature gave universities the authority to set their own prices. On average, Texas college students paid $8,256 a year in tuition and fees in 2015, up from $3,361 in 2003.”

Team SISD has gone to great lengths, even taking a page out of charters’ marketing playbook in which they set up tents outside of our schools, to inform our community about the endless opportunities and great benefits available in our district.

We want parents to see with their own eyes the state data reports that show SISD has hundreds of students graduating with twelve plus college credits, whereas some charter schools have zero percent.

Specifically, SISD students collectively earned more than 27,000 college credits valued at over $9.5 million in college cost savings in the 2017-2018 school year alone.

These are exciting times in SISD with early college programs and advanced academic academies that provide our students with real world experiences unmatched elsewhere.

This year we opened the Aztec Architectural Academy, the only one of its kind in the region, at El Dorado High School to give students the opportunity for an advanced pathway to earn a degree in architecture.

Also new this year, SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School received candidate status as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme that will give our middle school students a global experience with international studies and civic mindedness as well as a smooth transition to El Dorado’s IB program.

With our increased enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year, it is evident many parents agree SISD is the right choice for endless opportunities that ensure our children’s academic success.

On behalf of Team SISD, thank you parents for your continued support of our school district.

With your valuable contributions, we will continue to set new milestones and achieve success as a team.

Dr. Jose Espinoza Ed.D., Socorro ISD Superintendent

***

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