Los Frensos CISD Schools Receive National Recognition for Commitment to Empowering Students

Los Fresnos, TX- Wednesday, May 3, 2023 – Los Fresnos CISD announced today that ten of the District’s campuses have been recognized as a 2022-23 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School. All nine elementary schools, and one middle school are part of a small number of schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning experiences for students through PLTW Gateway. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S. 

This is the first time the Resaca Middle School Gateway program is honored with the Distinguished designation.  It is one of only seventeen campuses in the state of Texas, and 212 nationally, to do so.

This is the third consecutive year all nine elementary schools receive the PLTW Launch designation.  The campuses include the following: Dora Romero Elementary, Las Yescas Elementary, Laureles Elementary, Lopez-Riggins Elementary, Los Fresnos Elementary, Olmito Elementary, Palmer-Laakso Elementary, Rancho Verde Elementary, Villareal Elementary, and Resaca Middle School. 

“For the fifth year in a row, all 9 of our elementary schools have been recognized for providing excellent STEM learning opportunities for our students.  This year, we are so proud to add Resaca to the list of of  Distinguished PLTW Middle schools.  Our teachers are not only providing our students the opportunity to explore concepts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through PLTW programming, they are also creating strong foundations in critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication.  Thank you to our administrators, counselors, and PLTW Teachers who encourage our students and provide these meaningful opportunities,” said Valarie Londrie, Chief Academic Officer for Los Fresnos CISD.

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, the schools had to meet a variety of criteria such as a certain percentage of the student body participating in PLTW Gateway, participate in two or more units during their time at school, offer at least one PLTW Gateway unit at each grade level, and have strategies in place to ensure equitable access to students. 

  • Have more than 50 percent of the student body participating during the 2021-22 school year;
  • Have 25 percent of students advancing to high school participate in two or more units during their time at the school;
  • Offer at least one PLTW Gateway unit at each grade level;
  • Have strategies in place that support reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty, and/or gender.

Research shows that the middle grades play a pivotal role in influencing high school, college, and career success. During this transitional time, it’s crucial to provide students with access to relevant, engaging, and real-world learning experiences that illuminate the range of career paths and possibilities available to them. Whether designing an automated robotics system or solving a mysterious disease outbreak, PLTW Gateway students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.

“We are proud to recognize Los Fresnos CISD for their commitment to providing students with exceptional educational experiences while ensuring equitable access to PLTW programs,” said Dr. David Dimmett, PLTW President and CEO. "We congratulate them on this achievement and celebrate their important work empowering students with the knowledge and skills to succeed, not only in STEM subjects, but also more generally in life and career." 

Los Fresnos CISD is part of a community of PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit pltw.org. 

For more information on Los Fresnos CISD’s PLTW programs, contact the Los Fresnos CISD Office of Academics at (956) 254-5000.