Texas Border Business
PHARR, Texas – Cesar Chavez Elementary in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) is one of only two schools in the State of Texas recognized as one of the highest-rated National Association of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished Schools and was named recipient of the Distinguished Progress Award. Making campus and district history, the school also received this prestigious distinction in 2020.
A project of NAESPA, the National ESEA Distinguished Schools program publicly recognizes qualifying federally funded schools for the outstanding academic achievements of their students. Only two schools per state can be selected as National ESEA Distinguished Schools each year, this award is an especially prestigious honor for school leaders, campus staff, and students.
“Congratulations to Cesar Chavez Elementary for earning this recognition for the second time,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “Being one of only two schools in the entire state selected for this recognition is remarkable and speaks to the love and dedication happening every day by our teachers and staff in collaboration with parents to ensure our students receive a high-quality education and are prepared to achieve the highest levels of success.”
Each year, Texas schools are chosen by the Texas Education Agency based on outstanding performance in one of the following three categories:
- Category 1: Exceptional student performance and academic growth for two or more consecutive years
- Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years
- Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g., homeless, migrant, English learners, etc.)
Located in South Pharr and just 7 miles north of the Mexican border, Cesar Chavez Elementary is a suburban Title 1 school with a majority Hispanic population. Despite of 94% of students and families being identified as economically disadvantaged and having more than 60% identified as Limited English Proficient, the campus expectations remain high to ensure students are prepared to reach the highest levels of success as they go on to middle school, high school, and beyond.
“We recognize that education is ever-changing and multi-dimensional. Chavez Elementary is always ready to adapt and improve our ways of teaching,” said Cesar Chavez Elementary Principal Erika Garcia-Reyes. “Attaining this prominent level of performance is proof that poverty, ethnicity, language, and disabilities, are not destiny.”
In addition to being honored with the Distinguished Progress Award for closing the gaps and student progress during the 2021-2022 school year, Cesar Chavez Elementary was designated as a prestigious National Blue Ribbon School in 2018 and most recently earned a “A” Rating from the Texas Education Agency for the 2021-2022 school year.
“We are so proud of Cesar Chavez Elementary teachers, staff, and parents for their efforts in ensuring students receive a top-quality education,” said PSJA Chief Academic Officer Dr. Rolando “Rudy” Treviño. “These accolades and high-level of achievement demonstrate how here at PSJA ISD, no matter our students’ current economic circumstances, they have access to receive a great education and go very far.”