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IDEA El Paso Is Opening Schools in Your Neighborhood

This August, IDEA Public Schools will begin serving more than 1,000 Pre-K-1st and 6th grade students in the El Paso community.  Read on to learn more about us! 

“Over the last year, we have met with hundreds of families in El Paso who are ready to learn more about us, and we are honored to provide a new high-quality school option for them and others in this wonderful community,” said Ernie Cantu, executi...

IDEA Public Schools Celebrates Mexican Independence Day

September 16 is Mexican Independence Day, and campuses across the IDEA Team & Family celebrated this important day on Friday, September 15.

At IDEA Riverview Academy and College Preparatory, students and staff dressed up in traditional Mexican attire, and after school, the campus will host a loteria night in the cafeteria for students, family, and staff.

The Riverview Roadrunners aren’t the only IDEA campus celebrating this important day.  Throughout the Rio Gr...

​IDEA Academy and College Preparatory Rio Grande City Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Welcome to the family, IDEA Rio Grande City, our first campus in Starr County!

Yesterday, September 14, IDEA Rio Grande City held a celebratory Ribbon Cutting Event to commemorate the campus opening last month to serve students in the community. 

IDEA Rio Grande City is led by Fernando Salinas, Campus Principal and Rio Grande City native, and a talented and passionate team of educators dedicated to the success of their scholars.  I...

IDEA Public Schools Enters Fourth Year of Healthy Kids Here Initiative

Four years ago, we developed the Healthy Kids Here initiative to provide a healthy and active lifestyle for our students, increase student access to healthy and nutritious foods, and educate the IDEA Team & Family on health, wellness and nutrition.

We know healthy bodies lead to healthy minds.  Join our family.  Apply today!

So far, we’ve made great strides in accomplishing this mission.  We’ve implemented Fitness Gram Health reportin...

IDEA Southern Louisiana Is Opening Schools In Your Neighborhood

In August of 2018, IDEA Public Schools will begin serving more than 1,000 K-2nd and 6th grade students in the Baton Rouge community.  Read on to learn more about us!

IDEA is a family of tuition-free public charter schools committed to seeing each child to and through college. We achieve our record of 100% college acceptance through a focus on core subjects, critical thinking and college preparedness. IDEA’s expert teachers partner with students and ...

Standing with our Dreamers and our DACA Team & Family

A message from Phillip Garza, Chief College and Diversity Officer at IDEA Public Schools:    

On September 5, during a press conference Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), ending the program in six months.  The change jeopardizes the future of nearly 800,000 young people already approved under the program, as well as the 65,000 undocumented students who are set to graduate from high school this year.  Though the new policy will...

IDEA Public Schools Breaks Ground on First Campus in El Paso, Texas

Today, IDEA Public Schools joined local El Paso community leaders and supporters in celebrating the groundbreaking of IDEA Rio Vista. The campus will serve more than 525 students in August 2018.

You can apply now for the 2018 school year!

IDEA CEO Tom Torkelson, IDEA El Paso Executive Director Ernesto Cantu, Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREED) chairperson Richard Castro, and IDEA El Paso regional board members Juan Alderete and...

IDEA Public Schools Breaks Ground on First Campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, IDEA Public Schools joined local Baton Rouge community leaders and supporters in celebrating the groundbreaking of IDEA Cortana, the first IDEA school in Southern Louisiana.  The campus will serve more than 525 students when it opens in August of 2018.  IDEA Cortana began accepting applications on Sept. 1, and will serve grades K through 2nd and 6th graders in its inaugural year.

Apply today!

“We are thrilled to begin our exp...

IDEA Public Schools’ Student Application Window Opens

Attention parents!  Our student application for the 2018-19 school year is now live! 

IDEA is a family of tuition-free public charter schools committed to seeing each child to and through college. We achieve our record of 100% college acceptance through a focus on personalized learning, core subjects, critical thinking and college preparedness. IDEA’s expert teachers partner with students and families every step of the way to ensure students are prepared for success in ...

IDEA Public Schools Announces School Locations in El Paso Region

Great news!

We recently announced the locations of our schools in El Paso, TX. In the first year, these schools will collectively serve more than 1,000 students in El Paso in grades Pre-K through 1st and 6th. The campuses will add a grade level until they serve Pre-K through 12th grade in 2024. IDEA Edgemere Academy and College Prep will be located on Edgemere Boulevard, and IDEA Rio Vista Academy and College Prep will ...

Alert: Hurricane Harvey Updates

Sunday, August 27 8:00 pm 

Team & Family, as of this this evening at 8:00 pm, all IDEA Austin classes, activities and operations including bus routes will be delayed two hours. 

All IDEA schools in the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio will be open on Monday, August 28, 2017. 

We will continue to monitor the weather and receive updates from the National Weather Service. 

Please continue to check the IDEA web...

IDEA Public Schools Breaks Ground on First Campus in Elsa, Texas

On Thursday, August 24, IDEA Public Schools joined local Elsa community leaders and supporters in celebrating the groundbreaking of IDEA Elsa. The campus will serve more than 525 students when it opens in August 2018.

IDEA is so excited to welcome IDEA Elsa students next fall into our Team & Family. 

IDEA Elsa will begin accepting applications on Sept. 1, and will open in August 2018, serving Pre-K through 1st and 6th grade in its in...

IDEA Public Schools Announces School Location in its Southern Louisiana Region

Great news!  Today, we announced locations for one of the two new schools we will open in Baton Rouge in the fall of 2018—IDEA Cortana Academy and College Prep!  IDEA Cortana will serve students in Baton Rouge in Kinder through 2nd & 6th grade in its first year. The school will add a grade level until it serves Pre-K to 12th grade in 2024.

“We are excited to open IDEA schools in Baton Rouge,...

The Solar Eclipse: Enjoying the Phenomenon Safely

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will have a solar eclipse. The Moon will cover at least part of the Sun for 2 to 3 hours. Halfway through, anyone within a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse. The Moon will completely block the Sun’s bright face for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Day will turn into night, and (weather permitting) one of nature’s most awesome sights wil...

​TEA Releases 2017 Accountability Ratings: 11 Campuses Earned All Eligible Distinctions

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released the annual campus distinction and 2017 state accountability ratings.

These ratings revealed that 11 IDEA schools received all eligible distinctions. These 11 campuses include:

·         IDEA Academy Edinburg

·         IDEA Academy Weslaco

·         IDEA Academy McAllen

·         IDEA Quest College Prep

·         IDEA College Prep Edinburg

·         IDEA College Prep McAllen

·         IDEA College Prep Weslaco Pike

·         IDEA South Flores College Prep

·         IDEA Monterrey Park College P...

​The First Week of School at IDEA Public Schools

What a week it has been at IDEA Public Schools!  We kicked off our 17th school year on August 14 as more than 4,000 employees welcomed more than 36,000 students to 61 schools across Texas.  From the Rio Grande Valley, to San Antonio, and all the way to Austin, our Team & Family committed to whatever it takes as we embarked on another record-setting year for our scholars. 

Be sure to check out all the First Week ...

IDEA Welcomes College-Bound Scholars on First Day of School

IDEA Public Schools kicked off its 17th school year on August 14 as more than 4,000 employees welcomed nearly 36,000 students to 61 schools across Texas.  From Pre-K students taking their first step on the road to and through college, to seniors preparing for the transition to the university of their choice in 2018, the entire IDEA Team & Family is ready for another record-setting year.  This year's graduating class will mark the 12th consecutive year that IDEA Public Scho...

IDEA Celebrates at Back to School Bash Events

This year’s Back to School Bash was the best ever!

During our time together with the entire Team & Family, we celebrated our very own IDEA Idols and rock stars. We heard from our executive directors, Lisa Garza and Jill Dominguez in the Rio Grande Valley, and Rolando Posada and Tricia Noyola in San Antonio and Austin.  Each director had fabulous things to say about the work of our employees in ea...

IDEA to Open Four New Schools in Elsa and Pharr in 2018

We at IDEA Public Schools are so excited to announce plans to open four new schools in Elsa and Pharr in August 2018. The two new locations, IDEA Academy and College Prep Elsa and IDEA Owassa Academy and College Prep, will collectively serve nearly 1,300 students in the Rio Grande Valley in their first year.

Parents, you can visit www.ideapublicschools.org/apply to submit an application for the 2018-19 school year starting on ...

IDEA South Flores Academy Wins Wesley Becker Excellent School Award

Great news has just rolled in regarding one of our amazing campus leaders!

Congratulations to IDEA South Flores Academy Principal Haley McCarthy on winning the Wesley Becker Excellent School Award from the National Institute of Direct Instruction. 

The National Institute of Direct Instruction had this to say about the prestigious award:

"This award is named after Wesley Becker, co-creator of Direct Instruction and longtime Professor of Educational Psychology ...

Preparing for the First Day of School on August 14

It’s that time of year again.  In just a few weeks, IDEA students will step foot on campus for their first day of school as we kick of the 2017-18 school year at IDEA!  Returning students, we hope you are excited to continue along the road to and through college, and for our new students, welcome to our Team & Family!  We are so glad you’re here.

This year, IDEA Public...

IDEA to Open Four New Schools in Pflugerville and Kyle in 2018

We are very excited to announce plans to open four new schools in Pflugerville and Kyle in August 2018. The two new locations, IDEA Academy and College Prep Pflugerville and IDEA Academy and College Prep Kyle, will collectively serve nearly 1,000 students in the Austin area in their first year.

Attention parents!  You can visit www.ideapublicschools.org/appl... to submit an application for the 2018-19 school year starting on September 1. Additionally, IDEA will ...

IDEA to Open Ingram Hills Campus in the Fall of 2018

Have you heard the news?  IDEA San Antonio will welcome a new campus to the Alamo City in the fall of 2018—IDEA Ingram Hills Academy and College Preparatory! 

“We are thrilled to continue to expand in San Antonio to serve more students and their families in Ingram Hills in 2018,” said Rolando Posada, executive director at IDEA Public Schools San Antonio. “With over 1,400 students on a waiting list at a nearby IDEA school, we will b...

Pre-K Students Thrive at IDEA Public Schools

At IDEA Public Schools, we believe the road to college starts at a young age. You can still join IDEA’s Team & Family for the 2017-18 school year. Enrollment is open through July 31 for limited spots at IDEA Rio Grande City and IDEA San Juan in the Rio Grande Valley, and IDEA South Flores, IDEA Harvey E. Najim, and IDEA Ewing-Halsell in San Antonio. Enroll today, or fill out an interest form to learn more!

IDEA Public Schools to Offer Free Breakfast and Lunch to All Students at Select Campuses this Fall

Starting with the 2017-2018 school year, the Child Nutrition Program (CNP) at IDEA Public Schools will adopt the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The CEP provides free breakfast and lunch to all children, at selected schools, and eliminates the collection of meal applications. This adoption allows CNP to extend free lunch to all children at selected schools. This is in addition to the free breakfast already offered to all students.  

IDEA’s philosophy?  Healthy bodi...

NBA Champion Kevin Durant Surprises IDEA Students at Summer Basketball Camp

Students can learn life’s biggest lessons on the basketball court.  This phrase was a theme of the morning on July 20 at IDEA Rundberg Academy and College Preparatory. 

Last year, BBVA Compass and the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation funded a $100,000 outdoor basketball court at the IDEA Rundberg campus.  In September of 2016, Kevin Durant surprised IDEA Rundberg students by stopping by to check in on the construction of the court.  While he was there...

Two New IDEA Campuses to Join the IDEA Rio Grande Valley Team & Family this Fall

IDEA Public Schools will grow from 31 to 35 schools this fall in its flagship region of the Rio Grande Valley.  Read on to learn more about these new campuses, and their excitement to educate more students on the road to and though college. Join us for the 2017-2018 school year!  

IDEA Academy and College Preparatory Rio Grande City

Rio Grande City, Texas    

Meet Fernando Salinas.  Fernando is a long...

IDEA Campuses Host Culture Camp for New Students

Each year, prior to the first day of school, we invite all Pre-K and new-to-IDEA students of all grade levels to their prospective campus for Culture Camp so they can meet their peers and get acclimated to their new school environment in a stress-free, fun setting.  It’s one of our favorite traditions, and we can’t wait for you to participate this year. 

At Culture Camp, you’ll meet new students, teachers, an...

The IDEA Collegiate Summer Away Program 

The IDEA Collegiate Summer Away Program  

In 11th grade, IDEA students take part in a special program-- the IDEA Collegiate Summer Away Program (CSAP).  CSAP helps IDEA junior attend summer programs at colleges and universities across the country before they start their senior year. Through this program, students get to “try-on” the college experience and help them get acclimated to transitioning to a college campus near or far from home. Through the Collegiate Summer...

IDEA Students Receive 80 extra days of Math Instruction and 74 Extra Days of Reading Instruction, Stanford University Finds

Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), recently released a comprehensive report that identifies IDEA Public Schools as one of the highest performing public school networks in the country, delivering the equivalent of 80 extra days in math and 74 days in reading instruction per year.

CREDO’s nationwide analysis used data from the 2011-12 to 2014-15 school years and assessed hundreds of charter schools across 24 states, New York City and Was...

IDEA pilots new summer school program: Summer Odyssey

Jaime Martinez, a current student at Boston College and a Summer Odyssey teacher, gives firm expectations for the families of Summer Odyssey at Parent/Family Night.

Have you heard of a term called: Summer Slide? It’s where a student’s learning comes to a halt while they are not at school.  Summer after summer of little academic engagement for students contribute largely to the Achievement Gap, as much as 67%, acco...

Innovating Recess at IDEA Bluff Springs

What is Jad Abu Khudair’s favorite activity at recess?  “Driving the cars!”  He says filled with laughter.  “You get to pretend you’re on the real road.”  Jad is referring to the blue steering wheels fastened adjacent to the slide on the IDEA Bluff Springs playground.  On a typical early afternoon, you’ll find many IDEA Bluff Springs students taking turns pretending to drive, making “zoom!” noises, and dodging imaginary obstacles on the road. 

Other h...

Summer Learning at IDEA

As you enjoy a well-deserved summer vacation, we encourage all of our students and families to keep your academic skills sharp to avoid what’s called the “Summer Slide.”  Here are some tips to make sure your child continues to learn, grow, and progress during the summer months.

Choose the right books.

Utilize the “Goldilocks Effect” – not too easy, not too hard. Series books are especially good for struggling readers.

IDEA San Antonio Middle Schooler has College in her Sights

“Building a strong work ethic will get me to a better college, and get me a better job,” says Lincy Leonard, sixth-grader at IDEA Carver College Preparatory. Although she is just in 6th grade, Lincy already has some ideas about what her future holds. She’d like to be a veterinarian or an engineer, and both UT San Antonio and Boston University are in her sights.

At IDEA Public Schools, Lincy and her fe...

IDEA Quest graduate to give TED-Ed talk

As seen in Valley Town Crier

EDINBURG - Recent high school graduate Michael Mireles will be in New York on Saturday, June 17, to give a TED-Ed talk about his experience growing up in the Valley. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a media organization that posts lectures, or “talks,” about various subjects from expert speakers, with their TED-Ed division featuring students. As their tagline suggests, Mireles was picked for his...

IDEA Announces IDEA Austin Executive Director

An accomplished and longtime member of the IDEA Team & Family, Patricia (Tricia) Noyola, has been promoted to IDEA Public Schools Austin Executive Director.   

About Tricia 

Tricia transitioned into the role of Senior Vice President of Schools in Austin in October of last year. In this role she managed the principals at IDEA Rundberg and IDEA Bluff Springs, along with her successor at IDEA San Benito Academy, Principal Cristina Villarreal.                                               

In ...

Central Texas Youth Eligible for Free, Nutritious Meals Through Summer Program

By Stef Manisero

As seen in Spectrum News 

AUSTIN, Texas — We always hear doctors talking about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet, but as costs in Central Texas continue to rise, families are forced to make sacrifices.

According to the Central Texas Food Bank, two thirds of its population says it's had to choose between paying for food and housing; 80 percent says between food and medicine.

...

Five IDEA Schools Designated as T-STEM by the TEA

Congratulations are in order for five IDEA schools that were recently designated as T-STEM (Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) schools by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

IDEA College Prep Alamo, IDEA College Prep San Benito, IDEA College Prep Mission, IDEA College Prep San Juan, and IDEA College Prep Edinburg received this designation for the 2017-18 school year. 

The TEA, awards the T-STEM designation to rigorous secondary schools that focus ...

IDEA Public Schools Holds Graduation Ceremonies for the Class of 2017

The IDEA Donna Class of 2017 celebrates their accomplishments in front of families, friends, and staff. 

Congratulations to IDEA’s Class of 2017! This past weekend, seniors from across the Rio Grande Valley attended graduation to commemorate their academic career with friends, family, IDEA staff, and members of the community.  There was much to celebrate, as the 674 seniors making up the IDEA class of 2017 accomplished many incredible feats.  Here is a snapshot of their acco...

Wishing You a Wonderful, Safe, & Healthy Summer!

Today, June 2, marks the last day of the 2016-2017 school year at IDEA Public Schools.

Congratulations on helping make this year IDEA’s best year yet.  Here are some happenings we proudly look back on:

·         For the eleventh year in a row, one hundred percent of our graduating senior class was accepted to college.  Students, staff, families and friends celebrated this feat at our annual College Signing Day ceremonies.  The class of 2017...

IDEA Toros Graduates Score Big

All eleven of founding class graduates earn academic scholarships

By Chris Ardis

As seen in The Edinburg Review 

In August of 2016, 11 incoming high school seniors left the schools they were attending to enroll at IDEA Toros College Prep in Edinburg. According to the IDEA Toros website, “IDEA Toros partners with the Toros Futbol Club, a professional soccer team based in the Rio Grande Valley, to pair an excellent ed...

IDEA-U- An Online, Flexible, Affordable College Option, Set to Open in August

IDEA Public Schools is thrilled to announce the launch of IDEA-U, an online, flexible, supportive, and affordable college option designed to support IDEA alumni whose full lives, changing work schedules and family obligations have not allowed them to finish college. This program is part of IDEA’s newest strategy to reinvest and recommit IDEA alumni on the road to and through college and help them attain their degree.

IDEA-U is expanding the c...

More than a year from opening, new charter school coming to Baton Rouge is already hiring teachers

By Charles Lussier 

As seen in The Advocate 

A nationally prominent charter school organization setting up shop in Louisiana is already well-staffed considering its first two Baton Rouge schools won’t open for 15 more months.

IDEA Public Schools has hired six administrators but also, in a less common move, 12 teachers for its planned schools in north and south Baton Rouge. Starting in mid-June, they will all head to Tex...

IDEA Public Schools in El Paso: Cantu

As seen in El Paso Times

At IDEA Public Schools, the motto “college for all” drives everything we do. Over the years, we have updated our curriculum, added additional student support, and expanded to some of Texas’ most diverse communities, but that founding idea that all of our students belong in college has never changed.

You see, once you set that expectation, students, parents, teachers and administrators alike will rise to the...

IDEA Public Schools Participates in Summer Feeding Program

IDEA Public Schools will be participating in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. As participants, IDEA will provide free, nutritious meals for all children 18 years and younger during the summer at select campuses.

The Seamless Summer Option (SSO) was created to ensure that children in low-income areas could continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations, when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast. N...

Teacher Spotlight – Kaila Velez

Kaila Velez is a kindergarten teacher at IDEA Rundberg Academy and an Austin, Texas native.  We sat down to chat about her time at IDEA Public Schools and why it is important to teach in the same neighborhood where she grew up. 

Join Kaila, and thousands of other IDEA educators, on the mission of College For All today!      

How long have you worked at IDEA Public Schools? 

I have be...

Author Cressida Cowell surprises students at IDEA Royal Reader Celebration

By Nathaly Cruz

As seen in La Prensa

On May 16, IDEA San Antonio hosted the Royal Reader Celebration at Shrine Auditorium, where nearly 700 students were recognized as IDEA Royal Readers for having read over a million words. Students received Royal Reader medals and were treated to an open party at the end of the ceremony.

The requirements for students to qualify included reading a minimum of one million ...

IDEA Scholars Become Junior Master Gardeners

Food literacy is growing at IDEA Public Schools.  Just ask our Junior Master Gardeners. 

“Being a Junior Master Gardener keeps you active,” said David Jones, 7th grader at IDEA Eastside College Preparatory, one of more than 150 Junior Master Gardeners across the IDEA Public Schools network.  “I’ve learned so much this year about the amazing insects that help plants grow.  I’ve learned about why it’s so important to eat the right foods.” ...

Reading Royalty at IDEA Public Schools

3 regions.  2,926 Royal Readers.

This week, IDEA Public Schools hosted Royal Reader celebrations across the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Austin to commemorate our scholars and their amazing reading achievement.  Becoming a Royal Reader is no small feat.  To achieve Royal Reader status, students must read more than one million words throughout the year—that’s nearly the entire Harry Potter series combined!  This word count is kept track in IDEA’s Accelerat...

Careers at IDEA: Make Your Application Stand Out!

At IDEA Public Schools, we receive about 10 applications for every teacher vacancy. For some positions, we receive as many as 100 applications for a single opening! That makes our application process very competitive, and we want to help YOU put your best foot forward in our process!

How? Check out a few tips and suggestions below!

Sweat the Small Stuff

Details matter! Why? Paying close attention to details and...

IDEA’s Founding Teacher Fellowship

As IDEA continues to expand to new regions across the country, we want to ensure we are replicating the student success, academic rigor, and the high-quality teachers that fuel amazing results for our campus at all of our schools.

We want to ensure that IDEA’s new regions are prepared to achieve high results the first year new schools open.  We also strive to retain high-quality teachers who can help have a tr...

Rio Grande Valley student named a presidential scholar, one of just eight in Texas

By Patrick Chalvire

As seen in ValleyCentral

A senior at IDEA Quest high school recently earned a rare distinction: He's now a presidential scholar.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selected Michael Mireles of Alton — a senior at IDEA Quest in Edinburg — for the prestigious award.

Just 5,100 of the 3.5 million high school seniors nationwide qualified for the award. The commission selected 161, including eight in Texas.

<...

The promise of the East Side

As seen in The Express News

By Harvey E. Najim

Photo: Billy Calzada /San Antonio Express-News

Corey Robinson and his father, former Spurs player David Robinson, converse with students at IDEA Carver school on Jan. 16. IDEA San Antonio students are preparing every day for success in and after college.

Neighborhoods on the East Side of San Antonio have historically struggled from years of neglect, but in...

IDEA Quest Student Valery Tobias Wins State Championship in Track and Field

IDEA Public Schools is so proud of our new state gold medal recipient in the Class 3A girls 800 meter run – Valery Tobias, a junior at IDEA Quest College Preparatory! 

Valery competed this past Saturday in Austin, Texas, at the UIL Track and Field State meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium and took first place in the event.

Nate Kotisso, writer for The Monitor, was on site during the event and ha...

Construction of New IDEA San Antonio Schools Nears Completion

Three brand-new IDEA campuses will be opening in San Antonio, Texas this fall to serve more students in the Alamo city—IDEA Ewing Hallsell, IDEA Harvey E. Najim, and IDEA Brackenridge. 

As you may have heard in recent news, high schools within the IDEA network were ranked among the most challenging schools in the nation by The Washington Post and best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.  While our...

IDEA public school in Edinburg doubles as soccer academy

By Eddie Flores

As seen in ValleyCentral

The RGV FC Toros partnered with IDEA Public Schools to create a one-of-a-kind educational soccer academy.

It’s no secret that the Rio Grande Valley has some of the best high school soccer athletes in the state, but now it’s said that the best are trained in Edinburg to become an IDEA Toro.

The typical student-athlete’s day begin...

​Michael Mireles, IDEA Quest Senior, Named U.S. Presidential Scholar

This fall, IDEA Quest College Preparatory senior Michael Mireles is headed to Brown University to study in the prestigious, ivy league university’s medical program.  Earlier this year, Michael also developed the South Texas Ideas Festival, an event that brought together students and leaders in the community to discuss ideas around Rio Grande Valley civic involvement and youth education.  Additionally, Michael won a national title in debate in Washington, D.C., where he partnered wit...

To Our IDEA Educators During Teacher Appreciation Week

We are excited to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week at IDEA Public Schools.  At IDEA, we champion this time as a time for special recognition and celebration of our educators across our Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Austin regions.  While every week is a time to be grateful for IDEA teachers, we want to say, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all that you do to ensure every IDEA student is r...

IDEA High Schools Ranked Top 25 Most Challenging in the Nation by The Washington Post

Today, 6 high schools within the IDEA Public Schools network in the Rio Grande Valley were ranked among the most challenging high schools in America by The Washington Post, 5 of which were ranked top 25 in the nation.  This is the second consecutive year IDEA has been represented in the annual list of rankings, reflecting the rigor and success of IDEA’s college-going culture.

In the latest rankings of America’s Most Challenging High Schools...

​PRE-K AT IDEA: Parent Q&A

In 2014, IDEA launched a Pre-K pilot program at IDEA Academy Pharr.  The goal?  To provide the foundational tools students need to succeed in every year of school.  The results were encouraging.  Our youngest learners were building a strong foundation in reading, language, and mathematics. 

Beyond fundamental instruction in reading, language, and math, our Pre-K curriculum also includes science lessons, field trips, and activities that promote the development of problem-solving and social skills.  It’s ...

IDEA Public Schools’ Class of 2017 Celebrates 100 percent College Acceptance at College Signing Day

674 graduating seniors revealed for the first-time the college or university they will attend in the fall

IDEA Public Schools’ 674 seniors revealed their college choices to a packed arena on April 26, 27, and 28. This year marks the 11th consecutive year IDEA will send 100 percent of their graduating seniors to college. This accomplishment is all the more impressive– nearly 70 percent of our seniors are the first in their family to go to college of the gra...

Event Details: Reach Higher Summit

IDEA Public Schools will be among the 30 largest school districts in America by 2022—our goal is to also be among the best. What does it take for a thriving public school network to continue to improve student outcomes as it grows quickly in response to national demand? How can civic, education, and philanthropic leaders support high-quality school options for all families in their region?

Join us as we learn what’s working bot...

Event Details: College Signing Day 2017!

College Signing Day Event Schedule

This week, IDEA seniors—674 to be exact—will celebrate their commitment to college at our annual College Signing Day events.  Nearly 18,000 spectators will fill the State Farm Arena throughout the week as each student, one by one, reveals where they will attend college this fall.

·       On April 26, students from IDEA Mission, IDEA Quest, and IDEA Toros will celebrate their acceptances to the colleges and universities of their ch...

Event Details: School Operations Conference for Knowledge Sharing (SOCKS!)

This week, operations leaders will gather in the sunny Rio Grande Valley for two days of learning, connecting, and celebrating. IDEA Public Schools and the Charter School Growth Fund are thrilled to host this event for the 2nd year in a row. 

In collaboration with the Charter School Growth Fund and the thoughtful insight of CMO partners like: Achievement First, Mastery Charter Schools, YES College Prep, Rocketship Education, KIPP New Jersey and ...

IDEA Public Schools’ High Schools Ranked Among Best in the Nation by U.S. News and World Report

Great news has just rolled in at IDEA Public Schools!

Today, several of IDEA’s college preparatory schools were ranked among the best performing high schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. This is the ninth consecutive year IDEA has been represented in the annual list of rankings, reflecting the rigor and success of our college-going culture.

In U.S. News and World Report’s annual ran...

Teacher Spotlight: Dean Nguyen

With Teacher Appreciation Week right around the corner, IDEA Public Schools sat down with an amazing IDEA educator, Dean Nguyen, an ELA Teacher at IDEA Academy San Benito and Rio Grande Valley native.  Dean chats about giving back to the community he grew up in and IDEA’s ambitious College For All philosophy.   

What drew you to apply to work at IDEA?

Upon graduating I knew I wanted to start my t...

Five IDEA Schools Named to Texas Honor Roll

Have you heard the great news?

IDEA Academy Alamo, IDEA College Preparatory Brownsville, IDEA Academy McAllen, IDEA College Preparatory McAllen, and IDEA Weslaco Pike College Preparatory have been named Honor Roll schools for the 2016 Texas Honor Roll, presented by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE).

The 2016 Honor Roll recognizes public elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate consistently high levels of student academic achievement,...

Nine IDEA Public Schools seniors from across RGV receive Dell scholarship

Nine IDEA Public Schools seniors from across the Rio Grande Valley broke records for their school district Wednesday as they were named recipients of the Dell scholarship.

For senior Leo Tamez, going to college was something he says his family thought would never be possible.

"They didn’t want to support me with my decision, because they thought that I was kinda being like a coward for leaving the cycle o...

Meet the IDEA Toros

EDINBURG - A new school in Edinburg, small in the number of students, is combining soccer with the classroom to build an interesting educational and athletic environment.  CHANNEL 5's Ruben Juarez has the story of the IDEA Toros here.  

IDEA Royal Readers

IDEA is reimagining its top reading program and with that comes a new name. It’s called: Royal Readers.

The Royal Readers Program is a district-wide reading incentive program for students in grade levels 1-8. 

The goal of Royal Readers is to foster further reading development, growth, and a life-long love for reading at IDEA Public Schools.  IDEA knows great readers make great learners, so we emphasize reading not only dur...

Three New IDEA San Antonio Campuses Open This Fall

Three new IDEA Public Schools campuses in San Antonio—IDEA Harvey E. Najim, IDEA Brackenridge, and IDEA Ewing Halsell—are set to open this Fall.  Limited spots are still available for the 2017-18 school year.

Named after local philanthropists and supporters of IDEA, these newly-constructed schools will serve grades Pre-K-1st and 6th this fall and expand to a full-scale, Pre-K-12 campus by 2024.    

Region-wide, IDEA San Antonio will expand from 14 schools...

Charro Days: Unity and Shared Heritage

By Jill Dominguez

Jill Dominguez is the Lower Valley Executive Director at IDEA Public Schools.

On the border between the United States and Mexico, relations are not as you may think or are hearing on the news.  In fact, last month marked the celebration of the 80th “Charro Days” in Brownsville, Texas.  This two-day fiesta celebrates the unity and shared heritage and traditions between the U.S. and Mexico. When much o...

Nine IDEA Seniors Named Dell Scholar Finalists

Phenomenal news has just rolled in at IDEA Public Schools.   

Nine IDEA seniors have just been named Dell Scholar finalists. These nine individuals will receive the nationally renowned Dell Scholarship, which provides students with financial assistance, resources, and mentoring to ensure they have the support they need to obtain a bachelor’s degree. 

The heartiest of congratulations are in order for these nine stellar seniors and now, Dell Scholar recipients:

...

Academics come first at soccer academy

IDEA’s first cohort of sports hopefuls navigate self-learning method.  

By Danya Perez-Hernandez 

As seen in The Monitor

EDINBURG — The day begins before sunrise for 16-year-old Victor Medellin and more than 300 miles away from his home and family. But the sacrifice is worth it, he said, so long as he gets to attend a school that blends his academic goals with his passion for soccer.

“My parents...

Outstanding Alumni at IDEA Public Schools

From left to right: Jessica Gonzalez, Evelyn Saldivar, Arianna Izaguirre, Nidia Cavazos, Carlos Grosso, Magdalena Banda, Veronica Trevino, Leah Cabrera Marquez, Laura Lisa Salinas.

At IDEA, we do Whatever It Takes to ensure our students are prepared for the road to and through college. Once our students graduate from IDEA and matriculate to college, the support doesn’t stop. Our Alumni team connects with IDEA graduates after life at IDEA to provide s...

Cleto at IDEA South Flores for National Nutrition Month

By John King 

As seen in Fox San Antonio

You really set yourself up for success just by making good choices one step at a time with a good breakfast. Cleto Rodriguez, via Fox San Antonio, is at IDEA South Flores in the cafeteria for National Nutrition Month!  

Rodriguez chats with cafeteria staff and students at IDEA South Flores about healthy eating practices.  IDEA meals are nutritious and deliciou...

IDEA Celebrates Health and Wellness with 5K Events in The Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio

Spring is 5K time at IDEA Public Schools!

IDEA hosted its annual 5K run, walk and healthy living exposition in the Rio Grande Valley on March 25th and San Antonio on April 1st.  Students, staff, families, and members of the community came out in both regions to show their support for IDEA and help build awareness of the importance of health and wellness.

The Rio Grande Valley 5K was held a...

IDEA Names Ana Martinez Executive Director, IDEA Public Schools Tarrant County

Ana Martinez, a nationally respected leader in education, has been named Executive Director of IDEA Public Schools’ newest region in Tarrant County, Texas.  Ana is poised to lead IDEA in the Tarrant County community as the organization lays groundwork for establishing schools in the fall of 2019. 

About Ana Martinez

Ana has a wealth of experience as an educational leader and educator for 15 years.  She most recently served as Executive Director of Mi...

IDEA and More Than 20 Charter Organizations Share Why We Need Federal Support for All Schools, All Kids

In the “Skinny Budget” that the White House released this month, President Donald Trump offered $168 million in new funds for charter schools. As public charter school operators, we appreciate the proposed investment in new schools like ours. 

But we cannot support the President’s budget as currently proposed and we are determined to do everything in our power to work with Congress and the Administration to protect the programs that are essential to the...

STAAR Testing at IDEA

STAAR testing kicks off this week for IDEA scholars. Take a look at the testing schedule, along with a list of helpful testing tips for your IDEA scholar. Best of luck to all of our scholars and teachers this week!

March 2017 STAAR Testing schedule

Tuesday, March 28:

·       4th grade Writing

·       5th grade Math

·       7th grade Writing

·       8th grade Math

·       9th grade English I

Wednesday, March ...

​Teacher Spotlight Q&A: Christopher Casella

Christopher Casella, a military veteran and Humanities Pre-AP teacher at IDEA College Preparatory South Flores in San Antonio, Texas, sat down to chat about his first year teaching at IDEA Public Schools, and how his time in the military shaped his teaching philosophy. 

Do you want to teach at IDEA?  Learn more or apply today!

What drew you to IDEA Public Schools?

The number one asset that really d...

West Side IDEA school leads charter district’s dramatic health turnaround for students

By Alia Malik, Staff Writer

Physical education teacher David Alfaro demonstrates broad jump technique during physical education class at IDEA Monterrey Park on Friday, March 3, 2017. The "Healthy Kids Here" initiative aims to encourage ... more

Rebekah Rosas, a fourth-grader, joined the intramural basketball team a few weeks ago at the IDEA Monterrey Park charter school on the West Side. Her older sister, an eighth-grader, joined the school’s soccer team.

IDEA Celebrates National Nutrition Month

The month of March is always a special month here at IDEA Public Schools.  Scholars and teachers are busy preparing for their first round of STAAR testing, more college acceptances are rolling in for our seniors, it’s IDEA’s birthday month, and…it’s National Nutrition Month! 

IDEA is proud to celebrate National Nutrition Month, a time to spotlight nutrition education and healthy student diets across our campuses.  The national campaign focuses att...

With Acclaimed Author to Join IDEA’s Reader Celebration This May, IDEA Students Gear Up to Utilize Blended Learning Over Spring Break

This May, at IDEA’s reader celebration, Cressida Cowell, author of the acclaimed How to Train your Dragon series, will be our featured guest!  She will be speaking and presenting to students who’ve met their reading goals for the year.  This exciting news is sure to come as extra motivation for readers across the IDEA network as they head into the Spring Break holiday next week, March 13 through March 17. 

Over the break,...

IDEA San Juan students lose six percent BMI

By Pedro Perez IV

As seen in Valley Town Crier

SAN JUAN – At 2 p.m. at IDEA San Juan a little over 100 students lined up to enter the standard-size middle school gymnasium.

Eagerly they awaited to be let in to participate in Workout Wednesdays, part of the Healthy Kids Here initiative that began in 2015 to combat the 40 percent of IDEA students being overweight or obese.

Coaches L...

Experts evaluate IDEA’s approach at personalized learning

By Danya Perez-Hernandez 

As seen in The Monitor 

EDINBURG — A group of about a dozen blended, or personalized, learning experts paid their fourth and final visit to IDEA Public Schools last week to evaluate and provide feedback on an initiative to allow students to learn on their own.

IDEA implemented blended learning about four years ago with the help from a $29 million Race to the Top grant, said Pab...

​IDEA Students Host Inaugural South Texas Ideas Festival Focused on Community and Culture

Valley leaders engage youth in dialogue about the future of the Rio Grande Valley

Enroll your child in a school system that fosters future leaders who care about their community. 

A group of 15 groundbreaking thinkers and leaders from the Rio Grande Valley gathered on March 4, 2017 at the first annual South Texas Ideas Festival at the Mission Center for Education and Economic Development in Mission, Texas.  At the event, speakers discussed t...

Happy Birthday, IDEA Public Schools!

The original IDEA sign in Donna, Texas.  

Today, March 3, marks IDEA Public Schools’ 17th birthday!

Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama made their way to the Rio Grande Valley as Teach For America corps members in 1998. Little did they know, this would be the first step towards starting a tuition-free, Pre-K-12, high-achieving public charter school system for nearly 30,000 students across 51 schools in 3 Texas regions, all on the road to a college de...

IDEA Breaks District Record for Number of Prestigious Dell Scholarship Semifinalists

IDEA seniors are excited to celebrate their student body's accomplishments this College Signing Day in April.   

You may have heard that IDEA Public Schools recently achieved 100% college acceptance for its 2017 graduating class of nearly 600 seniors, including acceptances to Columbia, Brown, and The University of Texas at Austin.  

The great news just keeps coming. 

Over 30 IDEA seniors recently qualified as semifinalists for the nationally renowned Dell Scholarship, which provides stu...

Role Models of all Colors

-In honor of Black History Month, Deanna Bruce, Principal at IDEA Bluff Springs College Preparatory, told us her story and why she chose to change lives through education with IDEA Public Schools.  You can join Deanna on the mission to close the achievement gap.    

Kids internalize what they see.  I want to ensure my son, Malik, a kindergartner at IDEA Bluff Springs Academy, sees people of all colors in positions of leadership in ...

Welcome to IDEA Events to be Held in February and March

Attention all new-to-IDEA families!  You are invited to Welcome to IDEA, a celebratory and informative event for those just accepted to IDEA Public Schools.  

At this welcome event, we will celebrate your acceptance to IDEA and orient you to the IDEA Team & Family. Welcome to IDEA is a time for students and families to get to know principals, teachers and staff, as well as learn the fundamentals of IDEA’s culture of h...

What is the Teacher Career Pathway?

At IDEA Public Schools, we know student success starts, first and foremost, with an expert educator in the classroom. That’s why we’ve created the Teacher Career Pathway. 

Join IDEA’s Team & Family today!     

The Teacher Career Pathway is a differentiated reward, recognition, and retention program for teachers at IDEA Public Schools. The Teacher Career Pathway (TCP) program synthesizes multiple components of a teacher’s performance in order to place him...

IDEA Public Schools Achieves 100 Percent College Acceptance for Eleven Consecutive Years

PRESS RELEASE

IDEA Public Schools Achieves 100 Percent College Acceptance for Eleven Consecutive Years

Several Students Accepted to Prestigious and Highly-Selective Universities 

RIO GRANDE VALLEY (February 22, 2017) – IDEA Public Schools is proud to announce that 100 percent of the Class of 2017 have been accepted to college. IDEA continues its legacy of college matriculation and reached this milestone with its largest senior class ever. In total, more than 670 seniors at IDEA have ap...

Special Olympians score big time at Sharyland High School

Students from IDEA Mission Academy and College Preparatory and IDEA San Juan College Preparatory competed in the Special Olympics Basketball Competition this past weekend.  Read more about the event in the article from The Monitor below.

By Mark Moreno 

MISSION - The motto for the Special Olympics of Texas is “Let me win but if I cannot win let me brave in the attempt.” That motto was in full swing Saturd...

Register Now for Summer Camp at IDEA Public Schools’ Camp RIO

Where Education and Adventure Go Hand-in-Hand

There’s so much to learn from nature and the world around us--that’s the philosophy at IDEA Camp RIO at Historic Lula Sams.  Educators at Camp RIO have a passion for the outdoors, delivering an active, world-class, and exciting outdoor education camp to students in the Rio Grande Valley, and their summer camp registration is now open! 

About Camp RIO

Camp RIO at ...

My Calling

-By Gerald Boyd, a native of Houston, Texas and Principal at IDEA Mays College Preparatory in San Antonio, Texas.  Gerald was a Teach For America Corps member, teacher and curriculum leader for KIPP Houston Schools and Dean of Instruction for KIPP Boston Schools before transitioning to IDEA Public Schools as a Principal-in-Residence.  This is his first year as Founding Principal at IDEA Mays College Preparatory.   

My senior year of high school, nine class...

Black History Month Events and Lessons: IDEA Monterrey Park

IDEA campuses across the district are honoring Black History Month in many ways.  Our teachers are educating our scholars on the importance of black history in America, and students and staff, alike, are celebrating this important month by holding presentations and assemblies about the contributions and impact of African-Americans throughout history, and currently.

At IDEA Monterrey Park College Preparatory, Principal Curtis Lawrence and staff provided the opportunity for every IDEA Monterrey Park ...

IDEA Teacher Spotlight: Adrian Castro, Math Teacher, IDEA Academy San Juan

My name is Adrian Castro, and I am a 2nd grade math teacher at IDEA Academy San Juan.  At IDEA, there is never a dull moment nor a time when we, teachers and students, aren't challenged to perform at our highest level, which is what genuinely makes me proud to work for such a determined network. Our slogan "no excuses" goes a long way with both staff and scholars. IDEA has high expectations, and ...

IDEA Public Schools Formally Partners with Premier Universities Nationwide

Seniors reveal their university of choice at IDEA's annual College Signing Day.  

IDEA Public Schools is proud of the legacy it has built for its scholars—100% college acceptance for ten years and counting.  Alongside passionate, dedicated educators and bright, hard-working students, our Team & Family is leading by example as we empower children in low-income communities nationwide to strive for a college degree—the most important factor to combat inequality in America. 

...

IDEA Public Schools Honors Black History Month

IDEA Public Schools is proud to honor Black History Month, a time when we further highlight the profound impact of African Americans in our country’s history.  Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in the story of the United States of America. 

As an organization whose philosophy is a gre...

IDEA El Paso Is Opening Schools in Your Neighborhood

IDEA El Paso Is Opening Schools in Your Neighborhood

This August, IDEA Public Schools will begin serving more than 1,000 Pre-K-1st and 6th grade students in the El Paso community.  Read on to learn m...

IDEA Public Schools Celebrates Mexican Independence Day

IDEA Public Schools Celebrates Mexican Independence Day

September 16 is Mexican Independence Day, and campuses across the IDEA Team & Family celebrated this important day on Friday, September 15. At IDEA Riverview Academy and...

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