During their stints as Teach For America corps members, Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama founded the IDEA Academy as an after school program in Donna, TX in 1998. It was created as a way to help combat some of the major educational deficiencies they saw in their students, focusing the program on student achievement and college readiness.
Torkelson and Gama named the program IDEA, an acronym for “Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement,” and “No Excuses!” was their motto. IDEA enjoyed quick success, and the state of Texas granted a charter to IDEA in 2000. Beginning with only grades 4 to 8, the original flagship campus in Donna has expanded into a full-scale Pre-K—12 campus today.
IDEA Public Schools embarked upon an ambitious expansion plan in 2005, titled “The 2012 Plan,” with the goal of launching 22 IDEA schools across the Rio Grande Valley by the year 2012.
With the opening of 21 new campuses for the 2020-21 school year, IDEA served more than 63,000 students at 120 schools in 8 regions across Texas and Southern Louisiana.
By 2022, IDEA will educate more than 100,000 students across the country on their journey to and through college.
The flagship campus in Donna graduated its first class of seniors in 2007, sending 100% of its graduating students to college. To date, IDEA has kept its promise of sending all students to college. In the 2020-21 school year, IDEA graduated more than 1,407 seniors from 19 campuses, and for the 15th consecutive year, 100% of our seniors were accepted to college.
Hi! Click on the link below to access this month’s parent menu. Also, please consider completing a brief survey regarding our menu. Feedback on our menu can be submitted using the link to the right. Thank you!
¡Hola! Haga clic en el enlace para acceder al menú para padres de este mes. Por favor considere completar una encuesta breve sobre nuestro menú. Sus comentarios e impresiones sobre nuestro menú se pueden enviar mediante el enlace a derecha. Gracias!