Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District

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Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District is a public school district based in Pharr, Texas (USA) in the Rio Grande Valley.

The district serves Pharr, San Juan, and Alamo as well as a small portion of McAllen. PSJA ISD's total student enrollment for 2010 was 31,329 according to the Texas Education Agency's website. In 2009, the school district was rated "academically acceptable" by the Texas Education Agency.[1] PSJA ISD's current superintendent is Dr. Daniel King.

In 2018, Carman Elementary in San Juan and Chavez Elementary in Pharr were named National Education Association Blue Ribbon Schools.[2]


On March 15, 1919 Common School District No. 4 in Hidalgo County became Pharr-San Juan Independent School District. Forty years later in 1959, Alamo merged with the district, establishing what is now known as the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, a district that caters to over 31,000 students in the tri-city area.

Service area[edit]

The district serves portions of the cities of Pharr, San Juan, Alamo, and McAllen,[3][4] as well as the census-designated place (CDP) of North Alamo,[5] and a portion of the Lopezville CDP.[6]

Student Information[edit]

In 2010 the district had 32,000 students,[7] and in 2012 8,000 of them were attending senior high school.[8]

As of 2012 the student body at PSJA ISD was 99% Hispanic, and 41% of the students were classified as English as a second language students;[8] with Spanish being the language spoken at home.[citation needed]

TEA Academic Status[edit]

For the 2009-2010 school year the Texas Education Agency designated 11 PSJA campuses with an "Exemplary" status and 19 as "Recognized," and the district was also designated as a "Recognized" School District.[9]

PSJA ISD believes all children can learn and within that motto it is focused on performance by having highly qualified teaching staff, effective research-based curriculum, plus state-of-the art technology to meet all instructional needs.


By 2012 PSJA ISD began using an early college model to encourage university admission among first-time, low income, Hispanic and English as a second language students.[8] It is a model derived from that of the Hidalgo Independent School District; Superintendent Daniel P. King spearheaded this effort.[7] After the initiative started, PSJAISD had an increase in its university matriculation rates, and in a three year span, the four year graduation rate from the high schools increased to 87% as of 2012 from 62%. By 2012 about 2,000 students, making up 25% of all PSJAISD high school students, took university-level courses.[8]

Recent history[edit]

PBS NewsHour showcased PSJA ISD nationally in a two-part series featuring the district’s dropout recovery program success and early college high school work (July 2012).[10]

PSJA ISD has increased the number of yearly graduates by almost 100% from 966 in 2006-07 to over 1,900 in 2011-2012.[citation needed]

PSJA has been identified[who?] as a national model for putting dropouts “Back on Track to College” by Jobs for the Future (JFF) out of Boston, MA. JFF is working to expand key components of the model to other states across the country. They also released a report in March 2012 featuring PSJA’s College3 initiative and “College for All” strategy.[11]

On June 6, 2007, The Dallas Morning News reported that Arturo Guajardo, the superintendent of PSJA ISD, and board members Raul Navarro, Evangelina De Leon, and Rogelio Rodriguez, were indicted on corruption charges.[12]

On January 24, 2011, former PSJA superintendent Arturo Guajardo and board members Rogelio "Little Roy" Rodriguez, Rogelio "Big Roy" Navarro, and Evangelina "Vangie" De Leon pleaded guilty and were sentenced to probation, fines, and prison terms. Also, Arnulfo "Arnie" Olivarez (former insurance agent) and George Hernandez (former Donna ISD board president) pleaded guilty and were sentenced to probation, fines, and prison term for their role in the bribery and extortion scandal involving PSJA ISD's finances.[13]


High Schools (Grades 9-12)[edit]

Middle Schools (Grades 6-8)[edit]

  • Alamo Middle School (Alamo)
  • Austin Middle School (San Juan)
  • Audie Murphy Middle School (Alamo)
  • Jaime Escalante Middle School (Pharr)
  • Kennedy Middle School (Pharr)
  • LBJ Middle School (Pharr)
  • Liberty Middle School (Pharr)
  • R. Yzaguirre Middle School (San Juan)

Elementary Schools (Grades PK-5)[edit]

  • PSJA Early Start Pre-K School (Pharr)
  • Allen & William Arnold Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Bowie Elementary School (Alamo)
  • Buckner Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Carman Elementary School (San Juan)
  • Chavez Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Clover Elementary School (San Juan)
  • Doedyns Elementary School (San Juan)
  • Dr.William Long Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Farias Elementary School (Alamo)
  • Ford Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Marcia R. Garza Elementary School (Alamo)
  • Garcia Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Garza-Pena Elementary School (San Juan)
  • Guerra Elementary School (Alamo)
  • Kelly-Pharr Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Long Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Longoria Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Napper Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Santos Livas Elementary School (Alamo)
  • Arnoldo Cantu Sr. Elementary School (San Juan)
  • Palmer Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Ramirez Elementary School (Pharr)
  • Reed & Mock Elementary School (San Juan)
  • Sorensen Elementary School (San Juan)
  • South Pharr Elementary (Pharr)
  • Trevino Elementary School (San Juan)
  • Aida C. Escobar Elementary School (Pharr)


  1. ^ "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25.
  2. ^ "National Blue Ribbon Schools Program: 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools" (PDF). United States Department of Education. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  3. ^ "PSJA High School Zones." Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District. 2015. Retrieved on January 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Hidalgo County, TX." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  5. ^ North Alamo Census Bureau map. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Lopezville Census Bureau map. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Hamilton, Reeve (2010-12-24). "Students in Poor Counties Get Creative Opportunities". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  8. ^ a b c d Adams, Caralee J. (2012-06-07). "For Many Latino Students, College Seems Out of Reach". Education Week. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  9. ^[permanent dead link]
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2012-12-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "School officials accused of corruption". Associated Press at The Dallas Morning News. 2007-06-06. Archived from the original on 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2017-01-03.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Taylor, Jared (2011-01-25). "Former PSJA school district officials sentenced in votes-for-bribes case". The Monitor. Retrieved 2017-01-03.

External links[edit]