The Brownsville Independent School District (BISD), encompassing 95 square miles, is the largest employer in the Rio Grande Valley. Approximately 7,500 employees have accepted the challenge of serving a population of almost 50,000 students. BISD recognizes and addresses the unique cultural lifestyle of South Texas with a broad selection of activities and programs for all students. These programs range from the GALAXY program for gifted and talented students to support programs for students with special needs. Special Services offers a multitude of educational programs to ensure that all students have an opportunity to succeed. Limited English speaking students are served through the Bilingual or English as a Second Language program.
Brownsville ISD high schools have aligned eight magnet programs to 21st century career forecasts and student interests. The magnet programs all feature a “school within a school” concept that allows students the opportunity to specialize while experiencing a fully rounded high school experience.
There is pride in the progress BISD has made in recent years with regard to state-mandated testing. The district has shown a steady rate of improvement in the mastery percentage of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Better scores have translated into more seniors fulfilling degree requirements and completing their basic education with a high school diploma. In fact, 43 BISD schools, 80% of all campuses, were rated Exemplary or Recognized in 2011.
Academically, both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Texas Education Agency have accredited Brownsville public schools.
Brownsville ISD is committed not only to working with students, but also with the community as well. The district supports Campus Care Centers to serve the unmet medical needs of school age children and adolescents. Because no student deserves to go through the school day hungry, BISD features Universal Feeding, Provision Two. This plan provides breakfast and lunch, free of charge, to all students, regardless of income or ability to pay.
The Brownsville Independent School District uses these elements, and many more, to achieve its mission. Quality education cannot be just a vague statement. It must be the challenge that encourages students and educators to be the best that they can be.
•A total of 43 BISD Schools, 80% of all campuses, earned Exemplary/Recognized ratings in the state's 2011 accountability system.
•Brownsville ISD is the winner of the 2008 Broad Prize for Urban Education, an annual $1 million award that honors one U.S. school district each year making the greatest progress in raising student achievement.
•The BISD Board of Trustees earned the 2008 Award for Urban School Board Excellence from the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE).
•BISD’s award-winning chess program has been featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," and in stories in the New York Times and other state and national publications.
•Brownsville ISD high schools feature eight magnet programs designed to meet 21st century career forecasts and student interests.
•The new Science and Technology, Architecture, and Medical Professions (STAMP) College Prep Program at Veterans Memorial High School offers a first-rate, pre-college model.
•BISD is one of three districts in the U.S. eligible to receive the coveted Alliance/Merck Ciencia Scholarships awarded to distinguished high school graduates who are pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers.
•Five BISD secondary campuses are each receiving $2 million per year in competitive Texas Title I Priority Schools (TTIPS) grants to improve student achievement.
•The district has been awarded almost $20 million in 21st Century Community Center Learning grants to create and expand out-of-school-time programs.
•Two BISD elementary schools, Ortiz and Paredes, earned spots on the 2011 Texas Business and Education Coalition (TBEC) Honor Roll of outstanding schools.
•BISD has 21 elementary campuses designated as 2012 PreK Centers of Excellence by the Texas Education Agency.
•All BISD middle schools feature a Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Infinity Magnet Program.
•Hanna and Rivera High Schools earned 2012 College Readiness Awards from the Texas ACT Council.
•BISD was named one of five regional finalists in the 2012 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards Program for Early Childhood Education. The district was also one of five regional finalists for the 2011 H-E-B Large District Award.
•Ortiz Elementary School was one of 12 statewide recipients of a 2012 H-E-B “Healthy Campus” grant for $15,000. Ortiz also earned a $10,000 H-E-B “Fit Campus” award in 2011.
•The National Center for Educational Achievement
(NCEA), a department of ACT, Inc., recognized 16
BISD campuses on its list of 2011 Higher Performing
Schools in Texas.
•Morningside Elementary was one of four public
schools recognized nationally in 2010 by The
Education Trust for proven success in student learning.
•BISD high school soccer programs have an established reputation of tournament success which includes two state championship titles in the last decade.
•BISD boasts a recognized elementary transitional bilingual program, one of five in Texas.
•The Brownsville Early College High School graduated its first four-year class in 2012.
•In 2009, Southmost Elementary was named a U.S. Blue Ribbon School.
•BISD’s secondary fine arts program enjoys a well-deserved state and national reputation in the areas of band, choir, dance, estudiantina, theatre and visual arts.
•The Margret M. Clark Aquatic Center is a state-of-the-art swimming venue which hosts district and regional UIL competition as well as serving the needs of the local community.
•Over 150 Brownsville area businesses and organizations participate annually in the district’s adopt-a-school program.
•Since 1997, local voters have shown their support by approving $235 million in school construction bonds.
•Almost 1,900 BISD parent meetings are held each school year at all 58 campuses.