Award Year: 2019

Sam Houston Elementary School

3221 Olga Avenue
McAllen, TX, 78503-8705

(956) 971-4484

Ms. Debra Loya Thomas, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

McAllen Independent School District

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The mission at Sam Houston Elementary is to educate all students to become lifelong learners and productive citizens in a global society through a program of educational excellence utilizing technology and actively involving parents and the community.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • Hispanic: 99%
Sam Houston 2nd Graders Hard at Work

Sam Houston 2nd Graders Hard at Work

Sam Houston Elementary Schools embraces its challenges by engaging families in a unique manner where students themselves run their own mini-society.
Located fewer than seven miles from Mexico in deep South Texas, our campus serves a significant low socio-economic and bilingual student population.

Family culture is big here and we tap into that pipeline.One of the biggest ways we engage families and students is by offering them a program where students rely on themselves to create a mini-society. Our Minitropolis is a community where students become responsible, honorable citizens. Here, students earn real-life leadership, career, and, financial literacy skills. They become mayor, police officers, nurses and more - learning about responsibilities and earning and managing "money." They also develop the confidence to become effective thinkers and communicators. In short, we are able to create community leaders because Minitropolis relies on acquiring those skills. The Minitropolis concept streamlines connections with the business community as bankers, business managers, and others establish partnerships with our school. This enhances the educational experience.

In addition to Minitropolis, we also offer STEAM-Plus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities. The "Plus" refers to an emphasis on emotional intelligence. Students can join clubs, like chess, robotics, Spicing up Literature (where students read and learn to create recipes based on the literature they have read) in addition to University Interscholastic League (UIL) academics. Combining these wonderful elements helps to ensure Sam Houston Elementary remains at the apex of educational standards.