IDEA College Preparatory was named one of America’s best high schools by US News and World Report. It was ranked 19th in the nation and number one in the Rio Grande Valley. It was also ranked among the top ten open enrollment and top ten charter schools in the nation — the only Texas school to be placed on these lists.

The IDEA Public School’s mission is to prepare students from underserved communities for success in college and citizenship. There’s currently six campuses open in the Rio Grande Valley.

IDEA Public schools, serves nearly 4,000 students in communities across the Rio Grande Valley. According to the US Census Bureau, 13 percent of Rio Grande Valley adults age 25 and older hold a college degree and students have only a fifty percent chance of finishing high school.

Directly challenging this trend, and one hundred percent of IDEA College Preparatory alumni are currently enrolled in a four-year college or university. Three-quarters of those alumni are first generation college students. Over 90 percent of IDEA students are Hispanic and over 75 percent of them come from low-income households.

Recently, IDEA Public Schools were approved for a $1 million grant from the Texas High School Project of the Communities Foundation of Texas. The funds will support the launch of an IDEA College Preparatory San Juan, part of the IDEA San Juan campus set to open in August 2009. This brings the total investment of the Texas High School Project in IDEA Public Schools to nearly $5 million since 2006; IDEA is now its fourth-largest grantee.

The San Juan preparatory will be a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic or T-STEM Academy and will enhance the existing curricular framework with additional focus on science, technology, engineering and math for middle and high school students.

The IDEA San Juan campus will be located at the Clover school site on the grounds of the Basilica in San Juan. Grades K, 6 and 9 will be offered in its initial year.

“Many families in San Juan have shown a strong interest in IDEA’s mission and vision for their community,” said Sam Goessling, principal of IDEA San Juan. “Great things are happening at all of our IDEA schools, and I am grateful to the Texas High School Project for their investment in our mission.”