South Texas Independent School District attains top ratings in state, nation

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South Texas ISD school buses are seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy: South Texas ISD/Facebook)

The South Texas Independent School District ranks among the best in districts the state and nation, according to the Niche.com Best School Districts rankings for 2024.

STISD, a public magnet school system based in Mercedes received an A+ overall grade and ranked second in Texas out of 1,052 school districts ranked, and seventh in the nation out of 10,932 districts ranked in the Best School Districts in the Niche.com rankings, STISD reported in a news release

According to the release, STISD earned the top spot in the Districts with the Best Teachers in Texas category, and brought home the second spot for Best Places to Teach in Texas. STISD also ranked fourth out of 11,466 districts ranked in the Districts with the Best Teachers in America.

All six STISD campuses eligible for the ranking were ranked among the best in the state and nation in the 2024 Niche K-12 Schools lists, which grade and rank schools and districts based upon criteria ranging from academics to culture to teachers.

“For a decade now we have consistently ranked among the best in the state and nation in the Niche rankings,” STISD Superintendent Marco Antonio Lara, Jr. stated in the release.

“This type of success does not happen by chance, but is rather the result of careful planning, hard work, and dedicated people throughout our community working collaboratively toward a common goal. Lara credited all members of the STISD community in attaining the rankings.

All four STISD high schools again ranked among the top in the state and nation in the 2024 Best Public High Schools lists.

South Texas ISD Science Academy in Mercedes ranked fifth in the state out of 1,847 and 49th in the nation out of 20,446, and received an A+ overall grade. The campus garnered first place in the Best Public High Schools in Hidalgo County.

South Texas ISD Health Professions in Mercedes ranked 46th in the state and second in Hidalgo County, and received an A+.

South Texas ISD Medical Professions in Olmito ranked 149th in the state, second in Best Public High Schools in Cameron County, and received an A.

South Texas ISD World Scholars in Edinburg ranked 204th in the state, fifth in Hidalgo County, and received an A.

STISD’s two middle schools earned top spots in the Best Public Middle School Teachers in Texas and Best Public Middle Schools in Texas categories. South Texas ISD Preparatory Academy in Edinburg ranked fifth in the Best Public Middle Schools in Texas out of 2,259 schools ranked and second in Best Public Middle School Teachers in Texas out of 2,037.

South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy in San Benito earned first place in the Best Public Middle School Teachers in Texas category and 11th in the Best Public Middle Schools in Texas.

Both campuses received an A+ overall Niche grade. In the Best Public Middle School Teachers in America, Rising Scholars ranked 12th and Preparatory Academy ranked 23rd out of 22,738 schools ranked. In the Best Public Middle Schools in America category, Preparatory Academy ranked 60th and Rising Scholars ranked 90th out of 25,491 schools ranked.

In the Best Public Middle Schools in their counties — Hidalgo and Cameron — both campuses also claimed the number one spot.

According to the company website, Niche has the most comprehensive data on U.S. K-12 schools, colleges, and places (neighborhoods, cities, ZIP codes, etc.). They rigorously analyze dozens of public data sets and over 100 million reviews and survey responses to help site visitors understand what a place is really like. Additional information on the methodology used for the grading and ranking is available on the Niche website.

STISD is an open-enrollment, all-magnet public school district serving Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties and is comprised of seven secondary campuses including four high schools — STISD Health Professions in Mercedes, STISD Medical Professions in Olmito, STISD Science Academy in Mercedes, and STISD World Scholars in Edinburg; two middle schools STISD Preparatory Academy in Edinburg and STISD Rising Scholars Academy in San Benito; and one virtual campus, STISD Virtual Academy, now in its third year, through which students in grades 6-11 and eventually grades 6-12 can learn 100 percent from home.


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