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News & Events

Here’s what’s happening at IDEA El Paso

National School Lunch Week at IDEA Public Schools

October 15-19 is National School Lunch Week (NSLW), and IDEA is celebrating in a big way! This annual celebration raises awareness about the availability of the National School Lunch Program.  NSLW is a chance to increase lunch participation and give our community visibility of our healthy school lunch program.  Every day we are doing something to promote eating a healthy lunch in a creative way. 

IDEA's Southern Louisiana region will celebrate with the...

IDEA Hotline Launched

The IDEA Hotline is now available.

The safety and care of our Team & Family is of utmost importance, and the introduction of the IDEA Hotline will allow us to respond to urgent campus and headquarter issues in a timely manner. This phone number is designated for anonymous tips submissions regarding safety concerns, staff misconduct, or child abuse related to our campuses, headquarters and regional offices. This service is only accessibly by...

National Taco Day: Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

It's National Taco Day!  As a recent National Healthy Schools Award winner, and part of IDEA’s Healthy Kids Here initiative, we have created a nutritious taco recipe from our latest Healthy Kids Here Cookbook! Bon appétit!

Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


1 pound ground lean turkey8 ounces low sodium refried beans1 cup canned, no salt added yellow corn, drained1 medium onion, finely dices2 tablespoons taco seasoning4 medium sweet po...

​IDEA Mission Academy designated as National Blue Ribbon School

IDEA Mission Academy has been designated as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools National Blue Ribbon School for 2018 by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. 

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. The Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in clo...

Celebrating IDEA Elsa's Ribbon Cutting

Welcome to the Team & Family, IDEA Elsa!

On Tuesday, September 25, IDEA Public Schools gathered with community leaders, board members, IDEA students, and others to celebrate the official ribbon cutting of one of our newest campuses, IDEA Elsa.

The blossoming campus opened on August 13 for the 2018-2019 school year, welcoming approximately 733 students in grades Pre-K through 2nd and 6th-7th. Faculty and staff spent months preparing for the school’s offi...

IDEA Class of 2018 Achieves Nearly 100 Percent College Matriculation Rate

It’s official! 

IDEA Public Schools is proud to announce that, in addition to 100 percent of seniors in the Class of 2018 gaining admission to college, nearly 100 percent of these students matriculated to college. IDEA granted nine exceptions, supporting students who entered the armed forces, one religious exemption, and one health exemption. In total, 100 percent of graduates from the Class of 2018 gained admission to a 4-year college, with nearly 47 percent of students getting int...

Celebratory Ribbon Cuttings Ceremonies for IDEA Innovation and IDEA Kyle

Celebrations abounded last week for IDEA Public Schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Kyle, Texas! IDEA Innovation and IDEA Kyle celebrated their historic ribbon cutting ceremonies among community leaders, board members, IDEA students and other special guests.

On Wednesday, September 19, IDEA Innovation—one of the two new IDEA campuses in the Baton Rouge area—held their highly anticipated ceremony.

Located at 7800 Innovation Park Dr. in Baton Rouge, Innovation opened its doo...

IDEA Principal In Residence Program: Are you ready to lead with IDEA?

With the start of the academic year also begins the search for a cohort to join IDEA’s Principal in Residence (PIR) Program for the 2019-20 school year. Candidates that are accepted into the program spend 1-3 years learning and supporting students in campuses across the IDEA network.

We caught up with Luzdivina Lozano, Senior Director of Leader Development for the Rio Grande Valley and Denise De La Rosa, Senior Director of L...

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

IDEA Public Schools is proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), a time when we highlight the cultures and traditions of those who trace their routes to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking countries within Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.   

As an organization who believes a great education is the pathway to success in college and in life, we champion this month as an opportunity to educate our students about Hispani...

IDEA Celebrates Ribbon Cutting for IDEA Owassa Campus in Pharr

On Monday September 10, IDEA Public Schools gathered with community leaders, board members, IDEA students, and others to celebrate the official ribbon cutting of one of our newest campuses, IDEA Owassa.

Located at 1000 W Owassa Road in Pharr, Texas, IDEA Owassa opened on August 13 for the 2018-2019 school year, welcoming approximately 762 students in grades Pre-K through 2nd and 6th.

Faculty and staff spent months preparing for the school’s official opening and ...

Apply Today: The IDEA Public Schools 2019-2020 Student Applications Is Live!

The application window to apply to IDEA Public Schools for the 2019-2020 school year is now open!  

IDEA is a family of tuition-free public charter schools committed to seeing each child to and through college. We achieve our record of 100% college acceptance through a focus on personalized learning, core subjects, critical thinking and college preparedness. IDEA’s expert teachers partner with students and families every step of the way to ensure students are pre...

IDEA Ewing Halsell Academy Wins Wesley Becker Excellent School Award

Congratulations to IDEA Ewing Halsell Academy Principal, Pamela Ray, on winning the Wesley Becker Excellent School Award from the National Institute of Direct Instruction.

The national award was presented last month in Eugene, OR by the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). IDEA Ewing Halsell Academy was selected as a 2018 recipient from a selection of public and private schools across the country that use the Direct Instruction teaching method.

The N...

IDEA Public Schools Breaks Ground on New Brownsville Campus

IDEA Public Schools gathered with community leaders, students, and local supporters yesterday to celebrate the official groundbreaking of IDEA Robindale located at FM 802 and Robindale Road in Brownsville.

“We could not be more excited,” says Jill Dominguez, IDEA Lower Valley Executive Director. “With the addition of the Robindale campus, IDEA continues its commitment to offering families in the Brownsville area with greater educational opportunities, and a solid pathway on the road to and t...

IDEA Public Schools Breaks Ground in Fort Worth, Texas

Yesterday, IDEA Public Schools joined local Tarrant County community leaders and supporters to celebrate the groundbreaking of IDEA Rise. The campus will serve more than 468 students in August 2019.

IDEA Tarrant County Executive Director, Ana Martinez, Executive Director of the Sid Richarson Foundation, Pete Geren, and Brian Byrd City Councilman District 3, initiated construction on the newest IDEA Tarrant County campus.

“We are very excited to become a part of an incredibly s...

Simply Satisfying: Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Labor Day Celebration

Looking for the perfect Labor Day dish to enjoy while spending time with family and friends? Look no further! We have compiled a list of delicious and nutritious kid-friendly recipes to make your holiday that much sweeter. From healthy appetizers to savory dishes to delicious desserts, we’ve got you covered with these fantastic recipes and more featured in our 2018 Healthy Kids Here Cookbook.


Cook T...

IDEA Public Schools Announces Plan to Open Schools in New Orleans, Louisiana

IDEA Public Schools is pleased to announce it will open schools in New Orleans in the fall of 2019.

Based on the demand from parents for more high-performing public schools that prepare their children for college, IDEA has enjoyed steady growth within the state of Texas and recently celebrated the opening of two new out-of-state campuses in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the 2018-2019 school year.

“We are excited to open IDEA s...

IDEA Public Schools Kicks-Off 2018-19 School Year With New Schools in Texas and Louisiana

For the first time ever, IDEA Public Schools celebrated its first day of school in two states, as campus staff welcomed nearly 44,000 students across 5 regions in both Texas and Louisiana.

Students and families entered IDEA’s beautiful new campuses, and teachers waved hello as students laughed and hugged their parents before giving campus staff big high-fives and beginning the school day.

This year, IDEA also opened 9 new campuses including IDEA K...

Back to School: Meal Applications Now Available for Students at New IDEA Campuses

The 2018-2019 school year is nearly upon us and parents of students who are attending new IDEA campuses are urged to complete the free and reduced priced meals (FARM) application as soon as possible.

Students attending the following schools will need to fill out an application for free-and-reduced-lunch:

·         IDEA Bridge

·         IDEA Edgemere

·         IDEA Elsa

·         IDEA Ingram Hills

·         IDEA Innovation

·         IDEA Kyle

·         IDEA Owassa


IDEA Receives $1.5 Million grant to fund 21st Century Community Learning Centers

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has selected IDEA Public Schools as the recipient of a $1.5 million award for its 2018-2019 Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Programs like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers federal grant program have proven beneficial for offering students a range of after school activities that complement and align with academic programs and improve student performance. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, these programs offer schools...

Free Meals Offered to All Students at Select Campuses this Fall through Community Eligibility Provision

Last school year, the Child Nutrition Program (CNP) at IDEA Public Schools adopted the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) which provides free breakfast and lunch to all children at select schools.

Recently, the schools that qualify for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for the 2018-2019 school were announced.

“Through the Community Eligibility Provision, we can ensure that more students will receive nutritious meals every day without burdening o...

Great IDEA: Recipes for a Happy and Healthy 4th of July

The 4th of July is upon us and for many, celebrating our nation’s independence means food, family, and fun. From delicious family recipes to evening fireworks displays, what’s not to love? As a recent National Healthy Schools Award winner, and part of IDEA’s Healthy Kids Here initiative to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for our students and increase student access to healthy and nutritious foods, we have compiled some of our f...

IDEA Allan: New name. Same Excellence.

IDEA Allan, in Austin, Texas, will be renamed IDEA Montopolis, effective July 1, 2018.

Since its founding in 2012, IDEA Allan has created an incredible track record of leading every scholar on a path towards college and success. The school’s legacy and rich history is widespread in the communities in which it serves.

After it was recently brought to the attention of campus and senior leadership that the Allan campus was named a...

IDEA Staff Spotlight: Mara Wenzel

As a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) at IDEA Headquarters, Mara Wenzel says she is motivated by changing the lives of children in the region she grew up in. When Mara started her career as a teacher, she knew right away that she wanted to make an impact and minimize obstacles that would prevent students from meeting their potential.

“I feel like that’s what IDEA is all about,” Mara said. “We enco...

Nine IDEA Schools Ranked Among “America’s Healthiest Schools”

June 27, 2018

The dynamic wave of wellness and nutrition at IDEA Public Schools known as the Healthy Kids Here initiative is in its fifth year and is making another splash nationwide. Recently, nine IDEA schools made the Alliance for a Healthier Generations list of “America's Healthiest Schools” after winning the prestigious National Healthy Schools Award for their hard work in creating a healthier school environment.

Awarded schools met best practice criteria est...

IDEA CEO & Co-Founder Inducted into National Charter School Hall of Fame


What a historic week for IDEA Public Schools!

On June 19, The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools inducted Tom Torkelson, IDEA CEO and Founder, and JoAnn Gama, IDEA Co-Founder, President, and Superintendent, into the 2018 National Charter School Hall of Fame.

The momentous occasion occurred during the two-day National Charter School Conference in Austin, Texas. During the induction ceremony, the room was bursting with IDEA supporters, some of whom also served as conference speak...

IDEA Rescue Buses

Since 4:00 a.m. this morning, the IDEA Child Nutrition Program staff has been preparing 1,500 meals for families across the mid-Rio Grande Valley who have been displaced from their homes due to severe flooding.  IDEA Team & Family members have traveled around on buses, driven by IDEA bus drivers, to help families in need.  Members of the IDEA Transportation Team and Child Nutrition Program have been transporting and feeding more than 75 displaced families in the m...

Inclement Weather Update Regarding Summer School

Wednesday, June 20 2018

At IDEA, the safety of our students and staff is a top priority. We are continuing to closely monitor weather and flooding conditions across our regions this afternoon.

Due to inclement weather, IDEA summer school sessions in the Rio Grande Valley will be canceled on June 21, 2018, with the exception of schools in Brownsville and San Benito. Additionally, camp sessions at Camp Rio are canceled today, and IDEA San A...

Limited Spots Available at IDEA Campuses

Attention parents! There are limited spots available for the 2018-2019 school year at select IDEA campuses. Registration is now open for the upcoming school year, so the time to enroll is now.

If you'd like to enroll in one of our open grades, take 3 minutes to fill out this quick application. We'll enroll students in the order in which applications are received!

Atención padres! Hay espacios limitadas disponibles para ...

IDEA Staff Spotlight: Leslie Prado

Leslie Prado is currently a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) at IDEA Headquarters in the Rio Grande Valley but will be transitioning to her role as an SLP Manager. When Leslie started her professional journey, she didn’t know that she would grow her career for six years with the IDEA Team & Family. After she pursued her studies at the University of Texas Pan American it became clear her future would support children in t...

Top Picks For Summer Reading

The school year may be over, but the IDEA Team & Family knows that learning never ends. We encourage all IDEA scholars to remain scholastically sharp by engaging in summer reading. Not only is it fun, data shows that students who read during summer vacation are more likely to score higher on tests once school resumes.

To avoid the “Summer Slide”—the tendency for children to lose some of the academic gains they ...

IDEA Public Schools Recognized as a Texas Honor Roll District

Great news!  

IDEA Public Schools was recently recognized as a Texas Honor Roll school district.  Due to high achievement and student excellence in academics, IDEA was recognized as one of 7 districts who achieved this honor in the state of Texas. 

The program, sponsored by the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE), is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and districts that are improving student outcomes. IDEA Public Sch...

2018-19 Campus Registration Events at IDEA Public Schools

Registration at IDEA is an important step in the onboarding process for all new-to-IDEA families.  At registration events, students and families receive information about food services, after-school activities, special education services, and more.  

During the registration event at your campus, campus staff will ensure all student information is accurate and collect any further information needed.  Additionally, students and families will learn more information about the upcoming year.  Parents and children will also get t...

IDEA Teacher Spotlight: Margaret Summer

Margaret Summer is currently an English Language Arts Pre-Advanced Placement teacher at IDEA Rundberg College Preparatory. After spending the last four years teaching, she is well on her way to achieving her goal of leading her own school one day.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Margaret found her way to Austin after spending some time teaching with Teach For America. Her passion for education has been embedded in her for as long...

TAGS: Teacher Spotlight

IDEA Parents—You Can Access Your Child’s STAAR Results!

The 2017-2018 year at IDEA has been a great one, Team & Family!  We’ve opened new schools to serve more children, one hundred percent of our seniors have been accepted to college, and our academy and college preparatory scholars have prepared for and thrived on their STAAR exams!   

Our IDEA scholars have worked hard all year to be successful on end-of-year assessments, and now is the time to see how they did!...

New IDEA Families—It’s Time for Registration!

Attention new-to-IDEA families!  Thank you for committing to attend IDEA Public Schools this fall.  We hope your experience with us thus far has been enjoyable and that you’re excited for your scholar to start at IDEA in just a few short months.  We certainly are!   

It is now time to officially register your child for the 2018-2019 Academic Year.

At registration, you will receive information about food services, after-school activi...

Registration at IDEA Public Schools: Frequently Asked Questions

Registration at IDEA is an important step in the onboarding process for all new-to-IDEA families.  At registration events, students and families receive information about food services, after-school activities, special education services, and more.  Before the event, families are required to fill out necessary forms on Schoolmint.

Read below for Frequently-Asked-Questions about Registration at IDEA.

I already attend IDEA Public Schools.  Do I need to register? 

No, but you do ...

IDEA Families--Two Important Things to Know This Summer

As we prepare for summer, we want to ensure our families have a safe, fun, and educational break.  Here are two pieces of information we hope will help IDEA families as they prepare for time away from their IDEA campus.

1.  Keep your child’s math and reading skills sharp!  

While you enjoy time to relax with friends and family, be sure your child is keeping his or her math and readi...

IDEA Participates in Child Nutrition Program-Seamless Summer Option

As part of IDEA’s commitment to local communities in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Austin, the Child Nutrition Program (CNP) will be participating in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Seamless Summer Option (SSO).  The SSO was created to ensure that children, especially in low income areas, can continue to receive nutritious meals during summer.  With this program we are able to provide free breakfast and lunch to all children, 18 years...

IDEA 2018 College-Bound Graduates

Congratulations to IDEA’s Class of 2018! These next two weeks, seniors from across the Rio Grande Valley will attend graduation to commemorate their academic career with friends, family, IDEA staff, and members of the community.  There will be much to celebrate, as the 849 seniors making up the IDEA class of 2018 have accomplished many incredible feats.  Here is a snapshot of their accomplishments:

·         100% college acceptance for the twelfth straight year

·         More than $41 million in g...

IDEA Celebrates Reading Royalty

Happy #IDEARoyalReaders week! What a week it was at IDEA Public Schools. 

Nearly 4,000 IDEA Royal Readers celebrated their commitment to literacy and reading success across all of our regions via events packed with fun activities, dancing, author talks, and more! 

Becoming an IDEA Royal Reader is no small feat.  To become a Royal Reader, IDEA academy students must read a million words and ensure they maintain an 85% or higher testing accu...

Over 280 IDEA Students Become Junior Master Gardeners

This year, over 280 IDEA students became Junior Master Gardeners (JMG). 

Over the past two weeks, we held ceremonies in both the Rio Grande Valley and Central Texas to celebrate our students’ commitment to agriculture and sustainability.  These events celebrated the hard work, achievements and the completion of the 16-lesson Junior Master Gardener curriculum by these students.  The students who received the certification ranged from 3rd-9th grade and throughout the year, participated in ac...

Five IDEA Schools Named to 2017-2018 Texas Honor Roll

Great news, Team & Family!

Five IDEA schools have been named Honor Roll schools for the 2017-2018 Texas Honor Roll, presented by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE).

The 2017-2018 Honor Roll recognizes public elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. For high schools, Honor Roll recognition...

An Important Message for IDEA Parents/Guardians

Today, on May 18, Netflix released the second season of its popular but controversial series, ‘13 Reasons Why’. The show’s first season centered around Hannah Baker, a high school student who commits suicide. Hannah leaves behind cassette tapes for 13 people she feels contributed in some way to her decision to take her life. Episodes of the show recount the painful events referenced in the tapes as well as the aftermath of Hannah’s suicide.

Last ...

What are Current Employees Saying about IDEA Public Schools?

These days, employees have the luxury of providing feedback to us either anonymously or with their name by posting a review on sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, Facebook, Google, and more.

We take these reviews very seriously, and want to share a sampling of what our staff had to say about working at IDEA.  We hope this will help potential educators and staff who are considering applying to IDEA.


IDEA Quest Drumline Visits Six Flags Fiesta Texas to Perform at Mardi Gras Festival

Here at IDEA Public Schools, we ensure that students are not only successful in the classroom but also in the extracurricular activities and athletics they choose to participate in.  Our after school 21st Century Program allows our students to engage in different clubs that speak to their specific interests. Programs offered are hosted by teachers who allow students to not only gain a new connection with staff and students, but also practice a passion o...

Happy School Nutrition Employee Week!

Here at IDEA Public Schools, we ensure that during breakfast and lunch time, your child is getting the nutrients they need. Our Child Nutrition Program works hard to implement delicious and nutritious meals and promote a healthy lifestyle for students and staff.  We are so thankful for their hard work and commitment to serving all students at IDEA.

If you haven’t heard, this week is School Nutrition Employee Week (Ma...

IDEA High Schools Ranked Top 10% in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

One hundred percent of the IDEA class of 2018 signed their commitment to graduate from college this April. 

For the 10th consecutive year, IDEA’s college preparatory schools were ranked among the best performing high schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. This annual list of rankings reflects the rigor and success of our commitment to our scholars on the road to success in college and in life.  It is f...

IDEA, Inductee into 2018 National Charter Schools Hall of Fame, Celebrates National Charter Schools Week

Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama with 2018 IDEA seniors at College Signing Day 

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools announced today that Tom Torkelson, IDEA CEO and Founder, and JoAnn Gama, IDEA Co-Founder, President, and Superintendent, were inducted into the 2018 National Charter School Hall of Fame.  IDEA Public Schools joins the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance), families, schools, and communities across the country in celebrating National Charter Schools Week, M...

IDEA Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

This week we celebrate our amazing IDEA educators.  Whether they’re building the foundations of learning in Pre-K, fostering college readiness in an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate class, or teaching our scholars in any grade in between, our amazing teachers, co-teachers, and teacher fellows’ hard work is the reason our students achieve stellar success.      

At IDEA, we champion this week as a time for special recognitio...

Good luck to our scholars during May testing

IDEA students, teachers, and leaders have been working hard all year to prepare our scholars for testing season and beyond. May 7 – 18, our campuses will execute more than 12,000 AP and IB tests, and more than 39,000 STAAR tests. Please keep these helpful tips in mind for your scholar so that he/she has the best testing environment:  

Get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before examWake up a few minutes early to avoid feeling rus...

Big Dreams, Bright Futures: IDEA Readies for College Signing Day Celebrations

The stage is set, and the excitement is palpable as 849 IDEA high school seniors prepare to take their first step towards writing a brand-new chapter in their academic careers. We are proud to celebrate our students’ long-standing commitment to receiving a post-secondary education with a series of presentations in observance of College Signing Day 2018 this week.

The State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas will welcome approximately 18,000 guests as families, educators, distinguished guests, an...

Bright Louisiana Beginnings

Fall of 2018 marks an important transition here at IDEA. Why? It’s the first time we’ll open schools outside of the state of Texas. That’s right! IDEA Public Schools will be opening its doors in Southern Louisiana for 1,000 students in grades K-2 and 6 at IDEA Innovation and grades K-3 and 6 at IDEA Bridge, all of whom will begin their journey on the road to success in college and in life. In just a few ...

IDEA Teacher Spotlight: Megan Burnham

Megan Burnham is currently a Special Education teacher at IDEA Mays College Preparatory. Originally from New York, Megan found herself on a path to law school, but after spending time in Northern Ireland, found herself with a calling to assist students in underserved communities.“I’m just very happy to be working here at IDEA,” Megan said. “I’m very blessed especially that I ended up here at IDEA Mays – I love our staff and our team...

The Teacher Career Pathway: What You Can Gain from Joining IDEA Public Schools

The Teacher Career Pathway is a differentiated reward, recognition, and retention program for teachers at IDEA Public Schools.   

By offering many incentive options, the Teacher Career Pathway avoids being a one-size-fits-all reward program. In this way, each individual teacher can more effectively be recognized as they progress along the different levels of the TCP. The menu of incentives is built around four factors:

1.       Influence (Your voice in our Team & Family aro...

Six IDEA Seniors Become Dell Scholar Finalists

Have you heard the great news?  Six IDEA scholars, all of whom are part of IDEA’s 2018 graduating class, have just been named Dell Scholar Finalists.  This means that these 6 individuals will receive the nationally renowned Dell Scholarship, which provides students with financial assistance, resources, and mentoring to ensure they have the support they need to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

Congratulations to the following scholarship recipients!  The whole IDEA Team & Family...

Re-registration at IDEA Public Schools: Frequently Asked Questions 

We are very much looking forward to having you back next year. To guarantee your spot, you will need to re-register your child on SchoolMint by April 23, 2018.  Read below for some frequently asked questions about the re-registration process.     

Why do I need to re-register my child?  They already attend IDEA! 

Great question!  Re-registration is so important because it lets us know that your child is coming back to IDEA, and it...

It’s Time to Re-Register for the 2018-19 School Year!  

Hello IDEA Team & Family!   

We hope your child’s year has been going fantastic.  With only a few months left in the 2017-2018 school year, it’s time for our annual re-registration process.  We are very much looking forward to having you back next year. To guarantee your spot, you will need to re-register your child on SchoolMint by April 23, 2018.   

Re-registering online is quick and painless, and it will ensure your chi...

Limited Spots Available at IDEA

Attention parents! There are limited spots available for the 2018-2019 school year at select IDEA campuses. If you'd like to enroll in one of our open grades, take 3 minutes to fill out this quick application. We'll enroll students in the order in which applications are received! 

Atención padres! Hay espacios limitadas disponibles para el año escolar 2018-2019 en determinados campus de IDEA. Si desea inscribirse en una de nuestras calificaciones abiertas, ...

IDEA Operations Staff Spotlight: Carlos De La Pena

Carlos De La Pena is the Sr. Facilities Manager at IDEA Brownsville and is committed to great service as well as keeping every student on his campus safe. Beginning his journey with IDEA 10 years ago, Carlos started as a purchasing clerk and steadily climbed the leadership ladder.

Now, education is the new challenge Carlos would like to take on. Following his daily routine of campus safety, Carlos expands his education in the...

IDEA Operations Staff Spotlight: Virginia Lopez

Virginia with her family during the holidays!

Meet Virginia Lopez. She is the Assistant Principal of Operations at IDEA Pflugerville, and she is excited to have the opportunity to launch a brand new campus this fall. 

Ready to improve the education of IDEA students, she served as a co-teacher at IDEA Allan in 2013. Virginia admits her first love has always been operations management. Utilizing her 11 years of experience as a leade...

IDEA Teacher Spotlight: Debricca Webster

Debricca Webster is a Founding Teacher Fellow at IDEA Frontier College Preparatory.  IDEA’s Founding Teacher Fellowship is a program that hires dedicated and talented individuals to participate in a one-year fellowship as a teacher or co-teacher in some of IDEA’s award-winning Rio Grande Valley campuses.  Then, the following year, these Fellows return to their home region to launch an IDEA school.

We sat down with Debricca to see how her year ...

IDEA Celebrates World Water Day Through Healthy Competition

Healthy Kids Here is an IDEA initiative to provide a healthy and active lifestyle for our students, increase student access to healthy and nutritious foods, and educate the IDEA Team & Family on health, wellness and nutrition.

Did you know that World Water Day is March 22?  This day is very important to our Team & Family, as drinking water is essential to student health.  Just consider some of the following f...

IDEA El Paso is Ready to Partner with the Local Community

This fall, IDEA will join the El Paso community, as they launch 4 schools this fall.  We look forward to working together with public independent school districts in the area to continue the mission of offering quality school choice for children. 

IDEA collaborates with local school districts, staff and parents to develop programs that meet the needs of all students. When we work together, there is no limit to what our children can a...

IDEA Extends Online Learning Fun Over Spring Break

Attention parents! IDEA Public Schools will be closed for Spring Break from March 12 through March 16.  This week is a great opportunity for your scholar to soak up the sun and catch up on some reading.  Once your child finishes a book, remind him or her to test on it online via the Accelerated Reader software!

Just in case you need a little help figuring out what books your scholar should read, here a...

Family Partnership in IDEA El Paso

An IDEA senior and parent sign the pledge to graduate from college in 4 years together at College Signing Day.  

Each of IDEA’s students, teachers, staff and parents work together to reach their highest potential every day.  Our teachers help students identify their goals, track their progress and adjust instruction as needed to ensure each student masters every subject and realizes their goals.  At IDEA, we know parent involvement is critical to stude...

IDEA Operations Staff Spotlight

Meet Tanya Torres.  She is a Founding Staff Member and Assistant Principal of Operations at IDEA McAllen.  Every morning, she meets with fellow principals and her operations team while simultaneously making sure instructional staff and students have what they need for the day.

Tanya has coupled her nine years of experience from being a store manager at Walmart with her love of teaching. It is a position she holds near and dear t...

10 Things You Should Know About IDEA El Paso

IDEA Public Schools is so excited to open 4 public schools in El Paso this fall.  Read on to learn 10 facts about IDEA El Paso. 

We come to El Paso with experience.  

IDEA Public Schools was started in 1998 by Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama in Donna, Texas.  It was created as a way to help combat some of the major educational deficiencies they saw in their students, focusing the prog...

Ana Martinez, IDEA Tarrant County Executive Director, Looks Forward to Working Together

IDEA Public Schools is headed to Tarrant County, where they will open 4 schools in 2019.  Led by Ana Martinez, executive director and respected educational leader, IDEA looks to work together with both high-performing charter schools and public independent school districts to continue the mission of offering quality school choice for children in the Fort Worth, Texas area. 

About Charter Schools 

IDEA is a public charter school.  Public charter schools are...

IDEA Weslaco’s Dominoes Champion

Photo credit: The Monitor

At IDEA, we emphasize student success inside and outside the classroom. IDEA Weslaco’s Brynn Ebe is a stellar student, and she has also made a name for herself in Texas as a champion, a champion in a game that has been around for centuries—Dominoes!

At just 5 years old, before Brynn was even in school, Brynn began playing Dominoes with her great uncle.  This is wher...

Southern New Hampshire University Partners with the Shapiro Foundation and TheDream.US to Launch $20 Million Initiative to Educate DREAMers at IDEA-U

IDEA is thrilled to announce that Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), with generous support from The Shapiro Foundation and TheDream.US, announced a new initiative to educate 1,000 DACA students over the next five years, which will directly benefit students attending IDEA-U in the Rio Grande Valley. The initiative will provide full scholarships to DACA students to pursue associate and bachelor’s degree programs through SNHU’s competency-based education program, College for America.  

Last year, I...

Black History Month Recap at IDEA Public Schools

IDEA Carver students read to a crowd about important African-American figures in U.S. history. 

This month was a time for our organization, and our nation, to further highlight the profound impact of African-Americans in our country’s history.  Black History Month, or National African0American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African-Americans in the story of the Uni...

IDEA Achieves 100 Percent College Acceptance for Twelve Consecutive Years

Gesselle Sanchez, part of IDEA’s 2018 graduating class, will be heading to Lafayette College this fall. 

IDEA Public Schools is proud to announce that 100% of the Class of 2018 have been accepted to college.  We take pride in this momentous achievement because we believe a college degree is the most important stepping stone to success in life.  This accomplishment is the culmination of our students’ hard work throughout their academic careers.  Every one of our ...

​IDEA and McAllen Creative Incubator “Unite for the Ninth” Annual Art Exhibition

Visitors to McAllen’s March Art Walk can expect another year of exemplary works by IDEA Public Schools’ art students.

Carefully curated by IDEA’s exhibition coordinator and art instructor, Julissa Rodriguez, the McAllen Creative Incubator, located at 601 N. Main St. in McAllen, is hosting "Unite for the Ninth" in conjunction with Texas’ Youth Art Month.

“Our exhibition showcases a wonderful collection of artwork of our students,” shared Rodriguez, who teaches pain...

Welcome to IDEA: A Student Perspective

You may have heard the Welcome to IDEA buzz these last few weeks on our IDEA blog and media channels.  These events really make for an exciting time to be part of the Team & Family.  

New-to-IDEA families!  You can learn all about Welcome to IDEA by clicking here, but we also thought: what better way to capture the essence of Welcome to IDEA than by having one of our students write abo...

Digital Learning Day at IDEA Public Schools

Happy Digital Learning Day, IDEA Team & Family! 

Alongside thousands of school systems, teachers, and students across the country, IDEA champions this day as a time to celebrate and spotlight the technology we use in our academic programs to promote learning and improve student outcomes.

Why celebrate Digital Learning Day?

In 2012, Digital Learning Day started as a platform for educators and leaders to highlight great teaching practices and ...

Welcome to IDEA Is Around the Corner

A Welcome to IDEA Event at IDEA Weslaco Pike

Welcome to IDEA, an exciting event for all new-to-IDEA families, is right around the corner.  If you have accepted an offer to enroll at IDEA Public Schools in the 2018-19 school year, we’d like you to join us at a Welcome to IDEA event. This event is the next step in the onboarding process, and it officially kicks off your family’s jour...

IDEA Teacher Spotlight: An Interview with Ana Gaby Chapa de Ibarra

Ana Gaby Chapa De Ibarra is a kinder teacher at IDEA Academy McAllen.  Ana started her career at IDEA as a co-teacher and wanted to continue to be a co-teacher because she wasn’t used to being out of her comfort zone. After two years of working as a co-teacher, she was offered a lead-teaching position.  Now, Ana is a Kinder Grade Team Leader and Direct Instruction Coach. 

From the day Ana deci...

IDEA McAllen Builds Butterfly Garden On Campus

IDEA McAllen 3rd graders and staff recently headed outside to build a butterfly garden for a unit they are studying on life cycles and ecosystems in the Rio Grande Valley.  The goal?  Incorporate hands-on learning and memorable experiences in science for students of all grade levels. 

“It’s part of a pilot program associated with Learning Landscapes, a local collaborative that focuses on learning in nature,” said Mary Jones, Science Elementary Curriculum Manager f...

What is Welcome to IDEA?  3 Things You Should Know About the Event

Attention all new-to-IDEA families! If you have accepted an offer to enroll at IDEA Public Schools in the 2018-19 school year, we’d like you to join us at a Welcome to IDEA event. This event is the next step in the onboarding process, and it officially kicks off your family’s journey with IDEA on the road to success in college and beyond. We can’t wait to see you there!


25 IDEA Scholars Place at Regional Science Fair

IDEA is beaming with pride. 

At the recent 58th Annual RGV Regional Science & Engineering Fair, IDEA scholars from across the Rio Grande Valley achieved tremendous success and recognition for the projects they had been working on.  A special congratulations to David Garcia from IDEA College Preparatory McAllen, who won 2nd Runner Up Grand Prize and an automatic entry to the international competition.  Hiriam Martinez from IDEA McAllen College Preparatory won the Gr...

30 IDEA Scholars Named Dell Scholarship Semifinalists

IDEA seniors will announce their final college choice this April at College Signing Day events.

Have you heard the great news?

30 IDEA seniors recently qualified as semifinalists for the nationally renowned Dell Scholarship, which provides students with financial assistance, resources, and mentoring to ensure they have the support they need to obtain a bachelor’s degree.    

About the Dell Scholarship

The Dell Scholars Program is a coll...

Black Student Alliance Fosters Dialogue, Learning at IDEA Allan College Preparatory

This year, a new club was founded at IDEA Allan College Preparatory.  It’s the first of its kind at IDEA, but club members suspect it will catch on across the Team & Family.

It’s called the “Black Student Alliance.”  The purpose?  Club member and IDEA Allan 11th grader Jacque’lynn Walker said it best: 

“Black Student Alliance (BSA) allows students to hold onto cultural experiences and take on new ideas to create ...

IDEA Holds First District Spelling Bee

This past Saturday, IDEA Public Schools held its first District Spelling Bee.  IDEA students from 12 campuses across the Rio Grande Valley participated in the friendly spelling competition held at IDEA Headquarters in Weslaco, Texas. 

“The event was a tremendous success,” said Colleen Stearns, Director of Secondary Humanities at IDEA Public Schools and Spelling Bee coordinator.  “Next year, we plan to expand the Spelling Bee to our other regions as well.”

The event ...

IDEA Greater Houston Area PIR Program Now Accepting Applicants

Pictured above is Allison Serafin, Executive Director of IDEA Public Schools Houston

At IDEA, we know our vision of College For All Children is possible, but not without individuals who want to make positive change in education.  This path to real change starts with our principals.  We educate nearly 36,000 students in 61 schools, all on the road to success in college and in life.  By 2022, IDEA will grow to 100,000 college-bound students in 173 schools nat...

​IDEA Public Schools Announces Expansion to the Greater Houston Area

We at IDEA are excited to announce our expansion to the Greater Houston Area. In December, 2017, the IDEA Public Schools Board granted approval for IDEA Public Schools to begin expansion to Houston, with plans to open four schools in 2020 and 16 additional schools over six years.  By 2022, IDEA will operate 173 schools in ten regions educating 100,000 students on their road to and through college. 

“We are excited to offer children and families in Houston an add...

Students Shine at IDEA Regional Science Fair

IDEA scholars were proud to showcase their scientific explorations this past weekend. 

The entire IDEA Team & Family is very proud of the amazing students who participated in this year’s IDEA Regional Science Fair at our IDEA McAllen campus this past weekend.  In total, there were over 214 student participants who presented over 160 projects! 

The campuses that participated were IDEA College Preparatory Mission, IDEA College Preparatory McAllen, IDEA College Preparatory Nort...

So You’re Awaiting IDEA’s Student Lottery Results: 8 Things You Should Know

IDEA’s Student Lottery was held on January 27, 2018, to ensure equal access for all student applicants.  Read below for 8 things you should know about this important event. 

You can also review IDEA's Lottery FAQs here:

Random Selection - During the Lottery, names will be selected at random using SchoolMint, an automated enrollment software system that is fair, transparent, and complies with data privacy regulations. When ...

IDEA Public Schools Breaks Ground on Second Campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

On Monday, January 22, 2018, IDEA Public Schools joined local Baton Rouge community leaders and supporters in celebrating the groundbreaking of IDEA Innovation, one of two IDEA campuses opening in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this fall!   

IDEA Southern Louisiana Executive Director Kenneth Campbell initiated construction on the second IDEA campus in Baton Rouge.  “We are thrilled to continue our expansion to the Baton Rouge community,” said Kenneth Campbell, executive director of IDEA Southern Louisiana. “IDEA believes...

Celebrating National School Choice Week

This week, we at IDEA will join thousands of schools, districts and communities in recognition of National School Choice Week (NSCW). NSCW is an initiative created to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options for children, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online learning, and homeschooling.  

We believe that every child, regardless of race or income, should have access to a high-quality education. Across our regions, tho...

IDEA Teacher Spotlight: Paola Guerrero

This month's teacher spotlight features Paola Guerrero, English & Language Arts Teacher at IDEA Academy Brownsville.  Read about her journey, and how she's giving back to the community she loves.  

How long have you been with IDEA?

I have been with IDEA for 5 years now. I began at IDEA Frontier as a 2nd grade co-teacher in English Language Arts (ELA).  I worked at IDEA Frontier for 2 years and then transferred to I...

Inclement Weather Update

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

At IDEA, the safety of our students and staff is a top priority. We are continuing to closely monitor weather conditions across our regions this afternoon.

As of this evening at 8:30 p.m, all IDEA Public Schools in Austin will operate on a 2-hour delayed start on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.  

As of this afternoon at 3:30 p.m., All IDEA Public Schools in the ...

IDEA Public Schools Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”

At IDEA Public Schools, we could not agree more with Dr. King.  Today, Monday, January 15, 2018, IDEA schools will be closed in the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, work and legacy.

Through the education of over 36,000 students from the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, Austin, and our soon-to-be regions of El Paso a...

Four-Year-Old Fountains of Knowledge

IDEA’s Student Lottery is less than 3 weeks away, and limited spots are still available in our Pre-K program.  If your child will be 4 years old by September 1, 2018, you can apply now!

Why Pre-K? 

While only about half of students in the United States attend Pre-K, numerous studies have shown that a child who begins their academic career in Pre-K, as opposed to starting in kindergarten a year later, will more ...

Top 17 Moments of 2017 at IDEA Public Schools

We had another amazing year at IDEA Public Schools. We are so proud of these accomplishments, and we know none of it would be possible without the hard work, dedication, and commitment of our Team & Family.

Here are some of our favorite moments and accomplishments of 2017. Take a look at just some of the feats we’ve accomplished together. We can’t wait to see what 2018 holds!

Our Pre-K scholars continue to sho...

IDEA Allan Academy Partners with Waste Connections to Surprise Students with Holiday Gifts

On Friday, December 15, 50 students at IDEA Allan Academy in Austin, Texas were surprised with a holiday present at school—a brand new bike!

IDEA Allan Academy partnered with Waste Connections, a recycling and disposal service in Austin, Texas, to build 50 bikes and give them out to students at school.  IDEA Allan Academy Principal, Disha Jain, and other staff members visited Waste Connections to help construct the bikes the week before giving them ou...

3 Books Your IDEA Scholar Will Love This Holiday Break

IDEA Rio Grande Valley and IDEA Austin will be closed for the holiday break from December 21 through January 7, and IDEA San Antonio will be closed from December 22 through January 7.  During this time, we recommend fixing up some hot chocolate, snuggling under some covers, and reading with your child.  When your child finishes a book, remind him or her to test on it online via the Accelerated Reader software!  Afterward, throw in some fun math ga...

​IDEA’s Food Program Ranked Number One Among Public Charter Schools for Low-Income Students in Texas

If you’re a member of the IDEA Team & Family, you’ve probably heard the phrase: “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Results.” Through our Healthy Kids Here program, we are committed to offering well-balanced, farm fresh and nutritious meals to every student and encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle.  Hence, we are so excited to share the following great news!  

The Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation recently released CHILDREN AT RISK’s ann...

More Than Just a Classroom

IDEA is more than just a classroom. We support the development of the whole child including emotional and physical health and wellness.                

At IDEA South Flores Academy, and schools across the IDEA family, students use mood meters to discuss and share their feelings. Emotional intelligence is a crucial factor in the success of every student, so while kids as early as Pre-K are excelling in their academics, they’re also making sure they’re in...

Show and Tell: IDEA Pre-K Students’ Favorite Thing About School

Sofia De La Cruz, a proud Pre-K student at IDEA Brackenridge Academy, is so glad you’re here to check out IMPACT Magazine Student Takeover bonus material!  If you haven’t yet, go read pages 12-15 of our latest issue to learn more about our stellar Pre-K scholars’ work and the program they love.

In the magazine, we asked students at IDEA Academy McAllen to explain what their favorite part of Pre-K is, th...

Student Creative Exhibition Extended

Can’t get enough of IDEA student creative work?  Fear not.  We’ve compiled even more amazing poetry and artwork from our scholars.  If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our featured artists and writers on page 48 of IMPACT Magazine Student Takeover!      


By Imani Sullivan, 9th grader at IDEA College Preparatory Mission

You were once beautiful

I could get lost in your deep blue color f...