Two different school districts serve the families of Laredo Texas. Laredo Independent School District covers 13 square miles and has 33 schools. United Independent School District has been making headlines for its innovation for decades. Both districts seek to work with students, parents and staff to provide excellence in education.
All of our Laredo WestWind Homes communities are in United Independent School District. In this article, we’ll provide a brief overview of Laredo Independent School District with links for parents who want to know more. Then, we’ll provide extensive information on the UISD schools children from our neighborhoods attend.
Laredo Independent School District
LISD has been serving Texas children since 1882. It has 20 elementary schools, four middle schools, four high schools, an alternative education campus, a non-traditional high school and three magnet schools.
Every year, the school district has an enrollment of around 25,000 students. It employs 4,500 Laredo residents, all of whom seek to provide students with a safe and caring environment in which they can build skills for success. In 2018, the Texas Education Agency gave LISD the designation of Recognized School District.
Also, LISD is a District of Innovation. That means teachers and administrators have more local control when it comes to curriculum, instruction, governance, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budgeting and other ideas. All LISD schools are inside Laredo city limits.
United Independent School District
Laredo area residents created United Independent School District in 1961 when they merged three separate school districts in Webb County. Cactus school district was 28 miles north of town, Johnson was in south Laredo along the Zapata Highway and Nye was around Santa Maria Avenue. UISD combined the three and almost immediately began drawing national attention.
Architects built United High School with an underground design so it could double as a community shelter. The nation was in the middle of the Cold War, and the idea was in the event of an atomic threat, the school could serve as a community shelter. The design came with an added bonus. The school was much less expensive to heat and cool, saving taxpayers money.
Then in 1964, the district made headlines again. At the time, Texas law prohibited students from speaking Spanish at school, but UISD wanted to support language development. The district pioneered a bilingual program for first-grade students. English-speaking children learned Spanish and Spanish-speaking students learned English.
Now, UISD is the 24th largest school district in Texas. It serves more than 44,000 students at 42 campuses.
UISD Elementary Schools
UISD’s mission is to “inspire all students to become responsible world citizens by pursuing excellence through life-long learning.” That journey begins at any of the district’s 29 elementary school campuses the minute children walk through the doors.
WestWind Homes builds with families in mind. We plan our communities near some of the area’s top schools so parents can feel good about their children’s education. These elementary schools serve our families.
Dr. Henry Cueller Elementary School
Students living at AltaVista at Escondido benefit from the many outdoor activities available at Lake Casa Blanca and the nearby International State Park, but they also benefit from the educational opportunities they find at one of Laredo’s top elementary schools. Dr. Henry Cuellar Elementary follows the Seven Habits of Healthy Kids:
- Be proactive – Have a “can do” attitude and do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
- Begin with the end in mind – Set goals, plan ahead and be a good citizen.
- Put first things first – Prioritize things that are important and stay out of things that could stand in the way of goals.
- Think win-win – Do nice things for others to help them succeed.
- Seek first to understand, then be understood – Listen first. Seek to see things from other peoples’ viewpoints.
- Synergize – Value the strengths of others. Work together to be stronger.
- Sharpen the saw – Choose physical health by eating right, exercising and getting plenty of sleep.
The concept comes from The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey. The whole-school improvement process is based on the idea everyone can be a leader. Recently, Cuellar Elementary received the Lighthouse Accreditation for its involvement in the program.
Julia Bird Jones Muller Elementary
Emerald Riverview and Green Ranch students attend Muller Elementary on 4430 Muller Memorial Boulevard. The school’s mission is “Learners today, leaders tomorrow.” The school has a number of groups and clubs that help children learn skills for success.
Falcon Coaches is a group of volunteer parents that participate in students’ academic and athletic development. The National Elementary Honor Society meets regularly throughout the year to encourage academic achievement, serve the community and promote a tradition of excellence. Also, Muller’s Gifted and Talented Program identifies advanced learners and provides challenges that stimulate growth.
When school is out, Emerald Riverview and Green Ranch residents benefit from being right around the corner from Father McNaboe Park and Fasken Recreation Center. Both communities are master-planned for country-style living close to everything Laredo has to offer.
WestWind Homes’ Hilltop Townhomes community is located in North Laredo within walking distance of superb shopping and dining. Children living in the two and three-bedroom luxury townhomes attend Nye Elementary. Nye students are “committed to lifelong learning and evolve into independent responsible citizens.” Nye is a TEA “A” rated campus.
Currently, TEA rates campuses based on their performance in three areas.
- Student Achievement – This measures what students learn and can demonstrate at the end of the year.
- School Progress – TEA compares STAAR test results for the current year to ones from the previous year. High rated schools showed improvement relative to schools with similar percentages of economically disadvantaged students.
- Closing the Gaps – Schools should show similar performance across racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Nye students, teachers and administrators worked hard to achieve the top A rating, and are proud of their success.
At Nye Elementary, students have choices for extracurricular activities like cheer team, gifted and talented and choir.
Bonnie L Garcia Elementary School
Garcia Elementary has outstanding curriculum and exam results. Staff is committed to making sure students get the very best guidance and support so each can achieve their best. Like other UISD elementary schools, they keep families in the loop with online academic resources, an interactive academic calendar and a parent portal.
They help students succeed with a rigorous curriculum. They also provide extra opportunities for learning with their summer school program. Students who attend all summer receive a new bicycle and start the year ahead of the curve.
Lagos Del Valle is a master-planned community in East Laredo near Bob Bullock Loop and 359. Residents attend Garcia Elementary and are also right down the street from the UISD Student Activity Center.
Rodolfo C. Centeno Elementary
Lomas Heights is one of the fastest-growing areas of Laredo. Students there attend Centeno Elementary, where staff believes every child can and will achieve success. It’s a Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS)school, which makes it a nurturing environment for all learners.
The PBIS approach teaches kids about behavior just like teaching math and science. Schools are proactive and support good behavior through positive reinforcement, not punishment. PBIS has the following key principles:
- Every child can learn to behave appropriately in school.
- Early intervention keeps serious behavior problems from developing later.
- Each child is unique, and schools must work to find what works on an individual basis.
- Behavior support and intervention should be research and data-based.
- Tracking and evaluating behavior is important.
Schools that use PBIS have better student behavior, fewer detentions and suspensions and better grades. In many schools, PBIS also may lead to less bullying.
UISD Middle Schools
United Independent School District has 10 middle schools serving students in grades 6-8. WestWind Homes has communities zoned for four of them.
- Alta Vista and Lagos Del Valle – Antonio Gonzales Middle School
- Emerald Riverview and Green Ranch – George Washington Middle School
- Hilltop Townhomes – United Middle School
- Lomas Heights – Los Obispos Middle School
Antonio Gonzales has a family atmosphere and focuses on getting students college-ready. Students participate in extra-curricular activities like library, athletics, band and yearbook.
United Middle School, home of the Mighty Mavericks us a USTEM school. The academy focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) with the goal of helping students excel in those areas. Also, United offers athletics, dance and cheer, a library club, UIL and orchestra.
Los Obispos offers strong academics and many of the above extra-curricular activities. They also have an active art club, student council and dance team. George Washington Middle School seeks to provide a safe, nurturing environment by setting high expectations for student success.
United ISD High Schools
The tradition of excellence started in elementary school carries all the way through high school graduation at United Independent School District. Students attend one of four high schools. WestWind Communities AltaVista, Emerald Riverview, Green Ranch and Lagos Del Valle are all zoned for United High School. Hilltop Townhomes students attend J.B. Alexander High School and Lomas Heights residents attend Lyndon B. Johnson High School.
United ISD has completed or is nearing completion on stand-alone ninth grade schools for freshmen. Each high school has a separate standalone building with classrooms, science labs, business information magnet labs, art labs, a dance studio and more. Ninth grade is a transition time that can be difficult for many.
Students aren’t young children anymore, but they’re also still a ways from adulthood. Soon they’ll be driving, applying for their first job and looking toward college, but they have different concerns from their older peers. Ninth grade campuses give them a space to focus on academics while they make that transition.
UISD’s early college high school program allows students to earn up to 60 hours of college credit at the same time as they work toward their high school diploma. The school district provides tuition and textbooks.
Laredo Homes for Families
WestWind Homes builds vibrant communities with amenities that bring families together near schools that give students tools for success. Find your new home in Laredo when you get in touch today.
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