Laredo Independent School District

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Prior to 1963, the LISD board room was the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Laredo.

Laredo Independent School District is a public school district based in Laredo in Webb County, Texas, United States. The district serves the south central portion of Laredo. In 2009, LISD was rated "academically acceptable" by the Texas Education Agency.[1]

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.

In 2007, LISD administrators began removing some 700 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."[2] 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.[2]

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.[3] He said that 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 would poll teachers anonymously to see if they supported the return of the paddle. "We live in a litigious society... They [parents] are looking for reasons to file litigation..." Nelson added.[3]

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.[4]

In September 2014, then LISD superintendent A. Marcus Nelson 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.[5][6] With a salary of $206,000, his contract was set to expire in August 2020. He was the ninth highest paid superintendent in his Region 1 Education Service Center.[7] In 2017, Nelson left LISD to accept the superintendency at the Waco Independent School District in Waco, Texas.[8]

In 2014, twelve LISD schools fell short of minimum state standards and were placed on the Public Education Grant list. These included 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.[9]

In 2018, Jesus A. Kawas Elementary was named a Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Department of Education.


Elementary schools (grades PK–5)[edit]

  • 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)[edit]

  • Dr. Joaquin G. Cigarroa Middle School
  • Louis J. Christen Middle School
  • Memorial Middle School
  • Mirabeau B. Lamar Middle School

High schools (grades 9–12)[edit]

Magnet schools[edit]

Other campuses[edit]


  1. ^ "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25.
  2. ^ a b Brian Rosenthal, "Schools purged kids from special ed," San Antonio Express-News, October 23, 2016, pp. 1, A10, A11.
  3. ^ a b JJ Velasquez, "Trustee wants paddle usage: Rick Garza eyes paddling as a discipline method", Laredo Morning Times, July 22, 2013, pp. 1, 12A.
  4. ^ "LISD, UISD school bonds pass as final voting results are released". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  5. ^ Judith Rayo, "LISD chief honored at state education convention", Laredo Morning Times, September 27, 2014, p. 1.
  6. ^ "ACU Alumnus Marcus Nelson". Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  7. ^ Judith Rayo, "Nelson gets a raise: Superintendent's contract extended," Laredo Morning Times, January 14, 2015, p. 1.
  8. ^ Abby Neese (April 27, 2017). "Waco ISD approves Dr. A. Marcus Nelson as Superintendent". KENS-TV (NBC in Waco). Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  9. ^ Judith Rayo, "17 schools fall short", Laredo Morning Times, January 15, 2015, p. 1.

External links[edit]