MERCEDES — South Texas Independent School District (STISD) will open enrollment for the 2017-18 school year on Saturday, Jan. 14.

The enrollment application must be completed online at www.stisd.net. Limited slots will be available, and enrollment for each campus will close once the school reaches capacity. Students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

STISD offers students an educational alternative through six magnet schools throughout the Rio Grande Valley – two middle schools and four high schools.

The district’s two middle schools include Rising Scholars Academy of South Texas (Rising Scholars Academy) in San Benito and South Texas Preparatory Academy (STPA) in Edinburg. Both of these campuses serve students in grades 7 and 8. While enrolled in these middle schools, students take above-grade-level courses in various subject areas, with the opportunity to gain high school credits to put them on track for more advanced coursework while attending one of STISD’s four magnet high schools.

STISD’s four high schools offer students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to complete career-and-technology coursework and gain hands-on experience in specific vocational areas while engaging in college-level learning experiences, with the chance to earn college credits. These campuses include:

• South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy (BETA) in Edinburg: concentrates on the careers of business, education and technology; students gain experience at local companies and elementary schools and cultivate their technology skills through media project development. BETA is also an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, offering students the opportunity to gain a more balanced education and enhanced international understanding through the prestigious IB Diploma Programme.

• South Texas High School for Health Professions (Med High) in Mercedes: focuses on the various health careers while allowing students to develop clinical skills in area hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies, as well as doctor, dentist and veterinary offices; students can earn certifications in the following: Certified Nursing Assistant, Dental Assisting, Pharmacy Technician, Emergency Medical Technician, and Veterinary Technician.

• South Texas Academy for Medical Professions (Medical Academy) in Olmito: emphasizes the careers of medicine; students develop medical and clinical skills in area hospitals and doctor offices and can earn their certifications in the following: Clinical Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy Technician, Clinical Laboratory Assistant (Forensic Science), Patient Care Technician, Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Ophthalmic Assistant, and, in the near future, as a Registered Dental Assistant.

• The Science Academy of South Texas (Science Academy) in Mercedes: specializes in the math and science careers; partners with Project Lead the Way, Inc., a national pre-engineering program in which students can receive college credit beginning their freshman year.

This year, all campuses will begin their enrollment on Saturday, Jan. 14; however, each individual campus will begin at a different time during that day. Below is the schedule of start times by campus:

•             Med High: 9:00 a.m.

•             Medical Academy: 10:00 a.m.

•             Science Academy: 11:00 a.m.

•             BETA: 12:00 p.m.

•             STPA: 1:00 p.m.

•             Rising Scholars Academy: 2:00 p.m.

 

Rising Scholars Academy will accept applications for students entering the seventh- or eighth-grade in August 2017. STPA will only accept applications for students entering the seventh-grade. Those who will start the ninth- or 10th-grade in August 2017 may enroll at any STISD high school.

To be eligible, students must reside in Cameron, Hidalgo or Willacy County. After submitting the online enrollment form, all students and their parents must attend Advisement in the spring, and students must attend the New Scholar Academy in the summer to complete the enrollment process.

As STISD is a public school district, there is no cost to attend any STISD school. Bus transportation is also provided free of charge. STISD and its campuses consistently rank among the best in the state and nation in various polls, including those in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and Niche.

For more information about enrollment, visit www.stisd.net or call (956) 565-2454.