La Joya Independent School District

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La Joya Independent School District is a school district headquartered in La Joya, Texas, United States.

The La Joya Independent School District, located in the western portion of Hidalgo County, Texas consist of more than 226 square miles (590 km2) stretching west of Mission (small portions of Mission are in LJISD) to Sullivan City, including the smaller communities of La Joya, Palmview, and Penitas. Boundaries extend from the United States border formed by the Rio Grande to the 13-mile (21 km) line near McCook.[citation needed]

Incorporated places served by LJISD include La Joya, Palmview, Penitas, Sullivan City, and sections of Alton and Mission. La Joya ISD also serves other unincorporated communities including Abram, Citrus City, Cuevitas, Doffing, Havana, La Homa, Los Ebanos, Palmview South, and Perezville, as well as portions of West Sharyland.[1]

In 2009, the school district was rated "academically acceptable" by the Texas Education Agency.[2]

The Texas Education Agency's college readiness performance data shows that only 2.4% (31 out of 1288 students) of the graduates of the class of 2010 of the La Joya school district met TEA's average performance criterion on SAT or ACT college admission tests.[3]

Jimmy Carter Early College High School is a 2018 recipient of the U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award.[4]

District growth[edit]

Picture taken from one of La Joya's lakes, with the red, grey, and black Alejandro "Alex" H. Saenz Performing Arts Center in the background, along with the white steeple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

With a peak enrollment of 23,444 students for the 2004-2005 academic school year, of which Hispanic students account for over 99 percent of enrollment, La Joya ISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas with an estimated increase of 1,400 students per year. Overall, La Joya ISD boasts over 30 campuses; twenty-three elementary schools, eight middle schools, four Alternative Education Centers, three "Early College" high schools, and three comprehensive high schools. La Joya ISD employs over 4,260 individuals from all across the Rio Grande Valley and some from overseas.


Nellie Schunior Memorial High School Being Built.

The first schools were established during the 19th century to provide educational opportunities for the people living in western Hidalgo County who did not have access to existing educational institutions. One of the first of these schoolhouses was built in Havana in 1849 when citizens from the towns and villages of Abram-Perezville (Ojo de Agua), Penitas, Tabasco (now La Joya), Havana, Los Ebanos and Cuevitas established a place of learning. Although far from the little red schoolhouse one might envision, the structure of rock and adobe sheltered the students of this area and gave them a solid education. This building would later become known as the La Joya Independent School District.[citation needed]

In 1993 the district was majority Hispanic, and as of that year, annually 1,000 new students enrolled in the district. Over 3,000 students were enrolled at La Joya High School. In 1992, one elementary had a growth rate of 17% and another had a growth rate of 18%. James E. Garcia of the Austin American-Statesman stated that, according to experts, birthrates in La Joya ISD were among the highest in the United States and "rival those of some undeveloped countries like Bangladesh".[5] Garcia said that many of the new students are born in the district or more there with their parents, while some are Mexican immigrants who are legally and illegally in the United States.[5]

In December 1993, there was a proposal for a new policy stating that all students were required to live with their parents or legal guardians so that the increasing enrollment trends would be reduced. Garcia stated that the school board was "expected" to approve the measure on Tuesday December 14, 1993, and that few of the district residents expressed opposition.[5] Garcia wrote "While hundreds of students could be denied admission under the policy change, the proposal appears to be drawing more interest from educators and others statewide than within the school district's boundaries."[5] Officials from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) believed that the district was violating state law by doing this. Groups favoring more rights for immigrants argued that the district was trying to prevent Mexican migrants from enrolling. Garcia stated that other school districts along the Texas-Mexico border were trying to determine if such a policy was workable.[5]

As of 2018 it had about 30,000 students.[6]


In 2018 it was building a school district-owned water park with financing from the district's general fund,[6] making it the first water park in the state owned by a school district. The 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m2) water park is open to the public for six days of the week. In addition LJISD built a 21,993-square-foot (2,043.2 m2) natatorium, a 27-hole golf course, and four tennis courts; the district previously used City of La Joya swimming pool facilities. These developments are in the LJISD Sports and Learning Complex,[7] in unincorporated Hidalgo County.[8]


High Schools (Grades 9–12)[edit]

School Address Principal
La Joya High School 604 N. Coyote Blvd., La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 580-5100 Antonio Cano
Palmview High School 3901 N. La Homa Rd, Mission, TX 78572 (956) 519-5779 Yvonne Ayala
Juarez-Lincoln High School 7801 W. Mile 7 Rd., Mission, TX 78574 (956) 519-4150 Eduardo Alaniz
Jimmy Carter Early College High School 603 N. Coyote Dr., La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 584-4842 Claudia Gomez-Perez
Thelma Salinas STEM Early College High School 801 N. Coyote Dr., La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 580-5908 Dalee Garcia
La Joya Early College High School 604 N. Coyote Blvd., La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 580-5100 Domingo Villarreal III
College & Career Center 200 W. Expressway 83, La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 519-4031 Ronny Cabrera
HOPE Academy 221-A N. Stadium Dr., La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 580-5962 Lindolfo Zamora
East Academy 2916 Mile 3 Rd., Mission, TX 78574 (956) 519-5746
West Academy 801 N. Coyote Dr., La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 580-5900 Norma Garcia
North Academy La Joya, TX 78560 (956) Mr. Estrada

Middle Schools (Grades 6-8)[edit]

School Address Phone Principal
César E. Chávez Middle School 78 Showers Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-6182 Daniel Villarreal
Lorenzo De Zavala Middle School 603 N. Tabasco St., La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 580-5472
Irene M. García Middle School 933 Paula Dr., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 584-0800 Santana Galvan
Memorial Middle School 2610 N. Moorefield Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-6087 Rolando Rios
Ann Richards Middle School 7005 Ann Richards Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 519-5710 Thomas Ocanas
Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School 39200 Mile 7 Road, Peñitas, TX 78576 (956) 519-4007 Servando Ramirez
Juan De Dios Salinas Middle School 6101 N. Bentsen Palm Dr., Mission, TX 78574 (956) 584-6355 Leticia Mendiola
Domingo Trevino Middle School 301 S. Inspiration Rd., Alton, TX 78573 (956) 581-3050 Jose Garcia

Elementary Schools (Grades PK-5)[edit]

School Address Phone Principal
Rosendo Benavides Elementary School 1882 El Pinto Rd., Sullivan City, TX 78595 (956) 580-6175 Donna Martinez
Lloyd M. Bentsen Elementary School 2916 Mile 3, Mission, TX 78574 (956) 519-5746 Magda S. Palacios
Enrique Camarena Elementary School 2612 N. Moorefield Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 584-0827 Mary Lily Garza
Narciso G. Cavázos Elementary School 4563 Minnesota Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-8850 Marisa Garza
Elodia R. Chapa Elementary School 5670 Daffing Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-6150 Laura Lopez
William J. Clinton Elementary School 39202 Mile 7 Road, Peñitas, TX 78576 (956) 580-8500 Martin Munoz
Kika De la Garza Elementary School 5441 La Homa Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-6000 Irene Fernandez
Díaz-Villareal Elementary School 5543 La Homa Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-6170
José De Escandón Elementary School 700 N. Shuerbach Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-6132
Guillermo Flores Elementary School 1913 Roque Salinas, Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-6100 Maria Rosanelia Flores
Sam Fordyce Elementary School 801 FM 886, Sullivan City, TX 78595 (956) 580-8894
Evangelina Garza Elementary School 8731 N Doffing Rd, Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-5050 Maria Flores-Guerra
Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary School 3912 N. Goodwin Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-8870 Yolanda Salazar-Meave
John F. Kennedy "JFK" Elementary School 1801 Diamond Ave., Peñitas, TX 78576 (956) 584-4800
Leo J. Leo Elementary School 1625 Roque Salinas, Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-6030 Maria E. Jazinski
Dr. Palmira Mendiola Elementary School 6401 N. Abram Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-8310 Alicia Gutierrez
Dr. Americo Paredes Elementary School 5301 N. Bentsen Palm Dr., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 584-0871
Corina Peña Elementary School 4800 Liberty Blvd, Peñitas, TX 78576 (956) 519-5770 Yesenia Gonzalez
Patricio Pérez Elementary School 4431 Minnosota Rd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-8830 Myra Trigo Ramos
E.B. Reyna Elementary School 900 E. Veterans Blvd., Mission, TX 78572 (956) 580-5975 Melissa Arteaga
Juan N. Seguin Elementary School 8500 N. Western Rd., Mission, TX 78574 (956) 580-8511 Jaqueline Escobedo
Tabasco Elementary School 223 S. Leo Ave., La Joya, TX 78560 (956) 580-8810 Velma Ochoa
Emiliano Zapata Elementary School 9100 N. La Homa, Mission, TX 78574 (956) 519-5760 Bertha Perez

UIL District Alignment[edit]

2014-2016 District 30-6A[edit]

The new UIL realignment changed the classifications of high schools in the State of Texas. High schools, based on enrollment numbers, are divided into classifications and districts, with 6A schools being the larger schools (enrollment of 2100+). La Joya ISD will have all three comprehensive high schools in the new 6A classification, and will once again join the three McAllen ISD schools, along with long-time rival Mission CISD's Mission High School.

  • La Joya ISD
    • La Joya High School Coyotes
    • Palmview High School Lobos
    • Juarez-Lincoln High School Huskies
  • McAllen ISD
    • McAllen High School Bulldogs
    • McAllen Memorial High School Mustangs
    • James "Nikki" Rowe High School Warriors
  • Mission CISD
    • Mission High School Eagles


  1. ^ "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Hidalgo County, TX." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25.
  3. ^ "College admission testing class of 2010:District and campus supplement". Texas Education Agency.
  4. ^ "National Blue Ribbon Schools Program: 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools" (PDF). United States Department of Education. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Garcia, James E. "Policy may force students out of district on border." Austin American-Statesman. Monday December 13, 1993. Final Edition, News p. A1. Retrieved on August 24, 2013. Available from NewsBank, Record Number AAS268701. "Officials say about 1,000 new students enroll in the district each year. Many are new students who move there with their parents or are born in the district. Birth rates in the district are among the highest in the country and rival those of some undeveloped countries like Bangladesh, experts say. "
  6. ^ a b Oberg, Ted; Keaton Fox (2018-09-06). "A Texas school district opened a water park - and you paid for it". KTRK-TV. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  7. ^ Hernandez, Sydney. "La Joya ISD opens first school-owned water park in state of Texas". Valley Central CBS Channel 4. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  8. ^ "Sports & Learning Complex." La Joya Independent School District. Retrieved on September 17, 2018. "1801 Western Rd. Mission, Tx. 78572"

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°15′09″N 98°28′38″W / 26.2525°N 98.4772°W / 26.2525; -98.4772