Laredo Independent School District
Laredo Independent School District is a public school district based in Laredo in Webb County, Texas (USA). The district serves the south central portion of Laredo. In 2009, LISD was rated "academically acceptable" by the Texas Education Agency.
In 2007, LISD administrators began removing some seven hundred children from special education after the Texas Education Agency declared that the district had too many in the program because only 8.5 percent of the pupils enrolled could receive such special services. According to Maricela Gonzalez, an elementary school speech therapist, "We basically just picked kids and weeded them out. We thought it was unfair, but we did it." Other Texas school districts also reduced their enrollments in special education. However, federal law requires public schools to provide special education to all eligible pupils with disabilities. LISD has been investigated to make certain that needy students can enroll in special education. In LISD, some 60 percent of pupils speak Spanish as their native language.
In September 2014, then LISD superintendent A. Marcus Nelson (born 1972), an African-American native of San Antonio and a 1994 graduate of Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, was named "Superintendent of the Year" by the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards at the annual convention of the two groups held in Dallas. Nelson, who took the Laredo position in August 2009, beat out four other contenders for the recognition. With a salary of $206,000 annually, Nelson's contract was set to expire in August 2020. He was the ninth highest paid superintendent in his Region 1 Education Service Center. In 2017, Nelson left LISD to accept the superintendency at the Waco Independent School District in Waco, Texas.
Twelve LISD schools in 2014 fell short of minimum state standards and werer placed on the Public Education Grant list. These institutions include Martin High School, J. W. Nixon High School, and Cigarroa High School, as well as several middle and elementary schools. Five schools in the United Independent School District, also located in Webb County, fell short in standards, including Lyndon B. Johnson High School.
In July 2013, LISD trustee Rick Garza proposed the return of corporal punishment into the code of student conduct. "I hear time and time again that the teachers are losing control of their classroom," Garza said. Garza said current disciplinary methods are too lenient, exhaust district resources, and fail to control rowdy students. Then Superintendent Nelson said that paddling could be re-instituted by the board but would require parental consent and could not be used until a third offense. Nelson said the district will poll teachers anonymously to see if they support the return of the paddle. "We live in a litigious society ... They [parents] are looking for reasons to file litigation ...," Nelson added.
On November 5, 2013, district voters in a low-turnout election handily approved a $47.17 million school bond issue to refinance previously issued revenue bonds. The tabulation was 1,944 (73.1%) in support to 716 (26.9%) in opposition.
From 1947 to 1970, Laredo Community College, then known as Laredo Junior College, was during the tenures of its first two presidents, W. J. Adkins and Ray A. Laird, under the jurisdiction of LISD prior to becoming a separate governing and taxing body.
Elementary Schools (Grades PK–5)
- Alma A. Pierce Elementary School
- Anita T. Dovalina Elementary School, named for the mother of former Laredo Community College President Ramon H. Dovalina
- Antonio M. Bruni Elementary School
- Christopher M. Mcdonnell Elementary School
- Clarence L. Milton Elementary School
- Demetrio D. Hachar Elementary School
- Don Jose Gallego Elementary School
- Francisco Farias Elementary School
- Heights Elementary School
- Henry B. Zachry Elementary School
- Honore Ligarde Elementary School
- Jesus A. Kawas Elementary School
- John Z. Leyendecker Elementary School
- Joseph C. Martin Elementary School
- Katherine F. Tarver Elementary School
- Leon Daiches Elementary School
- Michael S. Ryan Elementary School
- Santa Maria Elementary School
- Santo Niño Elementary School
- Tomas Sanches/Hermelinda Ochoa Elementary School
Middle Schools (Grades 6–8)
- Dr. Joaquin G. Cigarroa Middle School
- Louis J. Christen Middle School
- Memorial Middle School
- Mirabeau B. Lamar Middle School
High Schools (Grades 9–12)
- Dr. Leonides G. Cigarroa High School
- Joseph W. Nixon High School
- Laredo Early College High School at Texas A&M International University
- Raymond & Tirza Martin High School
- Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Health Science Magnet School
- Sabas Perez School for Engineering and Technology Education
- Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts, named for former Superintendent and State Representative Vidal M. Treviño
- Francisco S. Lara Academy
- Jose A. Valdez High School
- "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25.
- Brian Rosenthal, "Schools purged kids from special ed," San Antonio Express-News, October 23, 2016, pp. 1, A10, A11.
- Judith Rayo, "LISD chief honored at state education convention", Laredo Morning Times, September 27, 2014, p. 1.
- "ACU Alumnus Marcus Nelson". alumniassociation.acu.edu. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- Judith Rayo, "Nelson gets a raise: Superintendent's contract extended," Laredo Morning Times, January 14, 2015, p. 1.
- Abby Neese (April 27, 2017). "Waco ISD approves Dr. A. Marcus Nelson as Superintendent". KENS-TV (NBC in Waco). Retrieved July 19, 2017.
- Judith Rayo, "17 schools fall short", Laredo Morning Times, January 15, 2015, p. 1.
- JJ Velasquez, "Trustee wants paddle usage: Rick Garza eyes paddling as a discipline method", Laredo Morning Times, July 22, 2013, pp. 1, 12A.
- "LISD, UISD school bonds pass as final voting results are released". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved November 6, 2013.