EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Independent School District welcomes the 2023-24 academic school year with new implementations to help students thrive.

“We strive to be pioneers in education, and that commitment has never been stronger,” Superintendent Diana Sayavedra said. “With the introduction of the first public Montessori program and various other innovative initiatives, we aim to inspire and empower our students to thrive. We are excited to welcome everyone back to another memorable and transformative school year.”  

Adopting a Strategic Blueprint for Success

  • In adherence with the district’s commitment to academic excellence, El Paso ISD stands guided by an adopted Hopes and Dreams Realized strategic blueprint.
  • This visionary plan establishes a clear direction for reaching educational goals and continuously improving student outcomes.
  • By aligning its efforts with this strategic framework, El Paso ISD ensures that every decision made propels the district toward success and ultimately empowers students to thrive in a rapidly changing world.  

Launching the El Paso ISD Montessori Program    

  • This groundbreaking initiative offers a unique approach to learning, fostering independent thinking, self-motivation and problem-solving skills essential for lifelong success.
  • Moreno Elementary School will be home to the El Paso ISD Montessori Program, providing students with an individualized, student-led curriculum that nurtures a strong sense of community while promoting holistic growth.   

Early childhood programming offerings    

  • El Paso ISD will be the only area school district to offer free full-day pre-K for qualifying 3-year-olds and free half-day pre-kindergarten for 3-year-olds, starting from the 2023-24 school year.
  • Parents with non-qualifying 3-year-olds have the option to pay $275 per month tuition for all-day pre-kindergarten.
  • All-day pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds will remain free for all students. To find out if your child is eligible for free all-day pre-K 3, visit episd.org/prek.  

Extended Day Learning and Support for Parents     

  • This program provides valuable support for parents before and after school hours, ensuring that children engage in enriching activities that promote personal development and academic growth.
  • The Extended Day Learning program offers a safe and welcoming environment, staffed by dedicated professionals who foster creativity and facilitate educational opportunities beyond the traditional school day.
  • This program will initially be available at four campuses with the intention of expanding the program at a future date.
  • The initial sites include Aoy Elementary, Zach White Elementary, Whitaker Elementary and Cielo Vista Elementary. To register, please contact your respective campus.   

Student-Centered Curriculum Designed for Students   

  • El Paso ISD understands the importance of creating an engaging and inclusive learning experience for all students. As such, the district unveils a new student-centered curriculum this academic year.
  • This thoughtfully designed, research-based approach aims to build students’ enduring content knowledge and academic language while strengthening each student’s exposure to on-grade-level content that is both rigorous, engaging, and inspires a joy for learning.
  • With a dedication to academic excellence, this new curriculum is another step toward providing an exceptional, vibrant learning journey for every student.   

Back to School Fiesta  

  • This event took place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4 at 10 high schools in the district.
  • The purpose of El Paso ISD Fiesta is to foster stronger connections between district campuses and the communities they serve.
  • Actively incorporating stakeholder feedback from district staff and community members, El Paso ISD introduces a new format for its kickoff celebrations, bringing schools closer to their respective communities.   

New consolidated campus — Coach Wally Hartley PK-8  

  • This school year marks the official consolidation of Hughey Elementary School and Ross Middle School into Coach Wally Hartley PK-8 School.
  • The new school, worth $43 million in construction, combines the best traditions of both institutions and introduces new initiatives and programs that will invigorate learning and promote growth.
  • The renovated campus will welcome students in grades PK-5 this fall, providing an inspiring and empowering environment.  

Kickstart Kids

  • El Paso ISD is introducing the Kickstart Kids program for grades 6-8 at Navarrete Middle School and Murphree PK-8 School throughout the 2023-2024 school year.
  • This character-building program empowers youths through martial arts, instilling core values such as discipline and respect to help students achieve their greatest potential.
  • With daily in-school lessons delivered by black belt instructors, Kickstart Kids creates a positive impact on students, families, schools, and communities.

Dual-language teachers from Spain   

  • El Paso ISD welcomes four highly qualified teachers from Spain as part of the esteemed Visiting Teachers from Spain Program for the 2023-2024 school year.
  • This international cooperation initiative, led jointly by the education authorities of Spain and the United States, bolsters the district’s bilingual education program, promoting equity and cultural connectivity.
  • The arrival of Pilar Felis Grau, Laura Aparicio García, María Ángeles González and Maria Melodi Flores Fernandez strengthens the district’s commitment to academic excellence through dual-language instruction.   

Expansion of intramurals   

  • El Paso ISD is excited to continue with its intramurals initiative for sixth-grade students.
  • Since last year, sixth-grade students have had the opportunity to engage throughout the school year in various sports that will prepare them for middle-school athletics and enhance their character-building skills.
  • Sports offered to sixth graders include soccer, basketball, cross country, volleyball and flag football.   
  • This year, a new elementary intramural initiative will be introduced for fourth and fifth grade students at every El Paso ISD elementary school.
  • Students in these grades will have the opportunity to participate in organized soccer, volleyball, football and basketball games throughout the year.
  • These four sports will be the vehicle to spark our students’ interest in athletics while developing fine motor skills and learning key sportsmanship skills.
  • The districtwide intramural program will expose and guide students through the concepts of adversity, responsibility, commitment and dedication.  

Air-conditioning upgrades   

  • El Paso ISD is addressing the critical need for updates to air-conditioning technology in high-traffic areas throughout its campuses.
  • These renovations, which will be made at 21 campuses and are possible through ESSER federal funding, aim to enhance the comfort and overall well-being of our students while ensuring they thrive academically.   
  • In alignment with its strategic plan to develop and implement detailed facilities plans, El Paso ISD is addressing feedback from community members regarding the need for enhanced air-conditioning systems. In response, the district initiated a series of board-approved HVAC projects that will reinforce the existing infrastructure and significantly improve air quality for students and staff.   
  • In addition, a tactical team comprised of multiple departments has been assembled to inform, educate, collaborate and be proactive in response to inclement weather. The district is committed to providing safe, comfortable environments.
  • The El Paso ISD leadership team will ensure that all teachers and employees have access to the resources necessary to provide students with the environments needed for academic excellence.   

Bliss Elementary School    

  • Bliss Elementary School has long been a focal point of educating Fort Bliss’ youngest students.
  • That tradition will continue in earnest in 2023-2024. Along with all the exciting things planned for the Commander Falcon community in the months ahead, the campus also opens the year at an exciting juncture.
  • El Paso ISD is in the very early stages of planning with the Department of Defense Education Activity system to build a new Bliss Elementary campus.
  • While there are many steps ahead before such a plan comes to fruition, El Paso ISD is involving the community’s voice.
  • The campus hosted a pair of community listening sessions July 20 and plans to host more.
  • The feedback gathered during these sessions will be vital in ensuring El Paso ISD delivers a campus that will meet the needs of the Bliss community.