The LISD Board of Trustees have approved measures to develop new in-campus elementary magnet schools, as well as transform an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school from traditional programs to magnet programs.

Full ‘STEAM’ ahead!

Tue May 1, 2018

LISD touts new academic offerings for diverse students

Just as different students have varied interests or abilities, Longview Independent School District is working to provide a variety of educational options for parents to consider for their children.

During their regular meeting April 16th, the LISD Board of Trustees approved measures to develop new in-campus elementary magnet schools, as well as transform an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school from traditional programs to magnet programs.

Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said, thanks to support from the U.S. Department of Education's Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP), the district is developing schools "that create critical, independent thinkers who will succeed academically and become productive members of society."

"We are expanding Montessori and International Baccalaureate programming that infuses science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education," he said. "Our goal is to build students’ skills so they are able to meet the workforce needs of local, regional, and global markets."

In addition to the new East Texas Montessori Prep Academy (for Pre-K and Kindergarten students) that opened its doors in 2017, Ware Montessori Academy will start in the 2018-19 school year for 1st Grade students. Eventually, the Ware campus will house a Montessori program all the way through 5th Grade.

Bramlette Elementary and Judson Middle will both become engineering-focused STEAM charter schools, with Ned E. Williams Elementary being designated as a STEAM magnet school with an emphasis on Fine Arts, and Forest Park Middle will be designated an International Baccalaureate magnet school with STEAM integration.

Of course, Longview ISD already has current magnet campuses like J.L. Everhart Elementary (International Baccalaureate), Hudson PEP Elementary (Gifted & Talented/Project-Based Learning), and Longview High also has IB and Early College charter programs within their campus. In addition to these, Foster Middle already offers a Pre-AP and Gifted & Talented program.

Dr. Wilcox said an important priority for this initiative is to reduce minority group isolation and increase socioeconomic integration "by promoting systemic reform, developing innovative educational practices that promote diversity, and providing equitable access to high-quality educational programs."

"We have charter schools with a STEAM focus, magnet schools with a focus on International Baccalaureate, Gifted & Talented, Project-Based Learning, or STEAM, and traditional Pre-K and Kindergarten programs," he added.

So what does all this mean for parents and their students?

"More access, opportunity, and options for parents to consider as possible," said Dr. Wilcox. "Our students have different intellectual abilities and career aspirations, so we want to meet them where they are in order to better help them get where they want to be."

Are you interested in more information about how your child can enjoy the benefits of these progressive educational opportunities?

Please call at (903) 381-2200 for more information.