Welcome to IDEA Rio Grande Valley.

Proudly serving the parents, families and students of Rio Grande Valley.

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During their stints as Teach For America Corps Members in the Rio Grande Valley, Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama founded an after-school program in Donna, Texas, focused on student achievement and college readiness. In 2000, the state of Texas granted them a charter to operate IDEA Public Schools. IDEA has now expanded both in – and beyond – the Rio Grande Valley. 

We are a community of public schools committed to serving your neighborhood’s unique needs. IDEA graduates have become successful college students who give back to their communities and create the opportunities of tomorrow. IDEA’s expert teachers partner with students and families every step of the way to ensure students are prepared for success in college and life.


From the first day students set foot on an IDEA Public Schools campus, we begin preparing them for success in college and in life. IDEA helps children blossom into tomorrow’s leader, critical thinker, and change-maker by focusing on the whole child.

For the past 17 years, IDEA schools have offered an excellent free, public, personalized education to Texas students. We achieve our record of 100% college acceptance through a focus on personalized learning, and character and leadership development. 

We ensure your child succeeds: IDEA takes careful steps to ensure that each child develops the skills and tools they need to succeed in school, college and beyond. Personalized learning at IDEA means every student learns at the level and speed just right for them.

Expert teachers: Our expert teachers are critical to IDEA’s success. Our teachers will invest as much time and effort into your child’s success as you have, working day in and day out to make sure that each child is set on the path to success.

We are a team: Your support as a parent plays an important role in your child’s learning and development. Through community events, parent-teacher conferences, and staying up to date on your child’s progress online, we partner with our parents to make sure that each child has the encouragement and tools they need.

Join Our Team & Family

Apply Now for the 2018-19 School Year



IDEA Rio Grande Valley is home to 36 PK-12 schools.



IDEA's Rio Grande Valley Region has 23,600 students attending.



100% of our students are college-bound

*Grade levels and campuses for 2018-19 school year listed below.

1. IDEA Alamo All Grades: PK - 12

2. IDEA Brownsville All Grades: K - 12

3. IDEA Donna All Grades: PK - 12

4. IDEA Edinburg All Grades: PK - 12

5. IDEA Elsa (Opening in 2018-19) Limited Grades: PK - 1, 6

6. IDEA Frontier All Grades: PK - 12

7. IDEA McAllen All Grades: PK - 12

8. IDEA Mission All Grades: PK - 12

9. IDEA North Mission Limited Grades: PK - 4, 6 - 9

10. IDEA Owassa (Opening in 2018-19) Limited Grades: PK - 1, 6

11. IDEA Pharr All Grades: PK - 12

12. IDEA Quest All Grades: PK - 12

13. IDEA Rio Grande City Limited Grades: PK - 2, 6 - 7 

14. IDEA Riverview Limited Grades: PK - 4, 6 - 9

15. IDEA San Benito All Grades: PK - 12

16. IDEA San Juan All Grades: PK - 12

17. IDEA Toros Limited Grades: 6 - 12

18. IDEA Tres Lagos Limited Grades: PK - 2, 6 - 7

19. IDEA Weslaco All Grades: K - 12

20. IDEA Weslaco Pike  Limited Grades: PK - 10

Jill Dominguez

Executive Director of Schools, Lower Valley


Cassandra Flores

Senior Vice President of Schools


Lisa Garza

Executive Director of Schools, Upper Valley


Israel Ybarra

Senior Vice President of Schools


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