Edinburg CISD is making strides in education for its students.

The district has opened the “Vision Academy of Excellence,” a campus designed to help second year ECISD seniors who have not completed all high school graduation requirements. The campus is located at 222 W. Kuhn Street (old Roosevelt Elementary).

For information on the Vision Academy students or parents can call 289-2584.

The school director is Nelda Ramirez. The school counselor is Felipe Lozano.

The Vision Academy offers a self-paced curriculum; TAKS preparation classes; guidance and counseling services; assistance in obtaining day care or social services if needed and college opportunities.

Over at Johnny G. Economedes High School, 41 current students are going to high school classes in the morning and taking college classes at the University of Texas Pan American in the afternoon. The special program is a college-going concurrent enrollment program collaborative between ECISD and UTPA. The purpose of this initiative is to provide JEHS students the opportunity to benefit from the experience of a four-year university while they are still in high school.

In order to qualify for participation in the initiative, JEHS students must meet one of the following: be in the Top 10 Percent of their class; have a 90 Average in academic courses; be recommended by a school counselor or campus administrator.

JEHS is the only high school in the Region One area to have 41 students enrolled in a concurrent program with UTPA where the students actually board a bus in the afternoon and go to college. Other districts have program where the university professors go to the high schools to teach classes.

ECISD has submitted an application seeking an H-E-B Foundation Excellence in Education Award for 2010. Additionally. Freddy Gonzalez Elementary principal, Arnoldo Benavides, and South Middle School principal, Anthony Garza, have been nominated to receive an Excellence in Education Award..

The Excellence in Education Awards honor the contributions of school districts and public school professionals whose leadership and dedication inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Criteria for the award are:

• Commitment to student achievement through innovative programs.

• Parental/Community Involvement.

• Professional development opportunities for teachers and principals

Other district-wide

notable accomplishments

• Nine elementary schools have received the National Center for Educational Achievement “2009 Just For Kids” award. Austin Elementary, Betts Elementary, Canterbury Elementary, De la Vina Elementary, Esparza Elementary, Escandon Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, San Carlos Elementary; and Trevino Elementary.

• Nine ECISD elementary schools were named Distinguished Title I Schools for 2008-2009 by the Texas Education Agency. Making the list were Austin, Canterbury, Cavazos, De la Vina, Escandon, Hargill, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Trevino elementary schools.

• Five top spellers captured honors at the recent district spelling bee. The top student spellers were Alyssa Cantu (eighth grader - South Middle School) first place; Alexander Ross (sixth grader — South Middle School), second place; Anna Magadia (fourth grader — Dela Vina Elementary), third place; Sydney Swatsworth (fifth grader — Freddy Gonzalez), fourth place; and Jordy Tello (sixth grader — Memorial Middle School), fifth place.

• ECISD Board of Trustees recently recognized school bus driver Hernan De La Rosa for saving students from a burning school bus on Dec. 17, 2009

• ECISD schools celebrated School Board Recognition Month in January to recognize board members for their service to the distrit.

• 36 students from Johnny Economedes, Edinburg North and Edinburg high schools in the Career and Technological Education Business Professionals of America Program advanced to state competition.

As Edinburg CISD observes its centennial anniversary in the 2009-2010 school year, it is important to note that from a two-room schoolhouse in 1909 to 36 schools 10 decades later, and seven more to be opened within the next two years, this great district celebrates a century of educational excellence.

Public education can — and must — put educational opportunity within reach of every student. To that end, Edinburg CISD, perseveres to do so.