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La Joya ISD considering early start for migrant program

Next month, the La Joya school board of trustees may vote on giving migrant students an early start to the district’s migrant program.

At their latest school board meeting held Wednesday, May 9, school trustees heard a presentation from Ricardo Villarreal-the district’s assistant superintendent for student services-who talked of a possible partnership with the Texas Migrant Council to bring in 81 3-year-old migrant students into the district.

LJISD LogoThis partnership would place these students-whose parents are migrant workers-to the pre-kindergarten program at Patricio Perez Elementary School, Villarreal said. TMC would provide transportation for the students, afternoon snacks, furniture, computers and supplies for teachers and students as well as a teacher and assistant teacher for every 18 students, Villarreal said.

The school district, meanwhile, would just have to provide breakfast and lunch for students, and training for the TMC instructors so they can adapt to La Joya ISD’s rules and guidelines Villarreal said.

“In a nutshell, this is a win for everyone involved,” Villarreal said. “We receive a growth in student population while the community gets new prospective students who will help us close the educational and reading gaps in the community.”

As this was a discussion item, the board took no action on it Wednesday but may vote on it at the June meeting where it could be implemented for the 2018-2019 school year, Villarreal said.

In other business, the board also heard from Jose Villarreal, the district’s assistant facilities and construction director. Villarreal provided to the board an update on the department’s 7-year plan where every seven years, the facilities and construction department does several renovations to a school.

This summer, the department will conduct renovations at eight of the district’s 43 campuses. They are: Rosendo Benavides Elementary, Kika de la Garza Elementary, Diaz-Villarreal Elementary, E.B. Reyna Elementary, Cesar Chavez Middle School, North Academy, HOPE Academy and East Academy.

The renovations to all of these campuses will include paint jobs, maintenance on their A/C, electrical and plumbing equipment as well as replacements of any damaged doors and hardware.

“We should start with the renovations by the first week of June and finish by mid-August before the new school year begins,” Jose said, adding the district is still going out for bids on the project.

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