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PHARR, Texas – Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD was among public school districts recognized by the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court for efforts to promote participation in the 2020 U.S. Census. 

PSJA had the highest response rate overall at 59.01 percent, earning 1st place in the large school district category of Hidalgo County’s first Friday Night Lights competition.

The competition’s aim was to mobilize school districts to compete to increase Census response rates. Historically, there has always been an census undercount in the Rio Grande Valley. The 2020 census numbers could yield the highest every undercount, experts have warned. 

“Thank you to our team and partners for their tremendous efforts in ensuring our community and region was counted in the 2020 Census,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. 

“We know how important the Census is and how it can impact the Rio Grande Valley. We are always honored to step up as an educational entity to serve our community.” 

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census count of the population be conducted every ten years. The statistics gleaned help determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and inform how state, local and federal lawmakers will allocate billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities over the next decade.

Arredondo said PSJA’s census count effort was led by the district’s Census Planning Committee. This comprised leaders in various key departments such as Student Services, Communications, Parental Engagement, Data Services, Social Studies Curriculum, and Library Services. They, in turn, collaborated with the cities of Pharr, San Juan, and Alamo. 

Through this strategic collaboration, PSJA started promoting the U.S. Census to families and staff throughout the district as early as the summer of 2019, PSJA Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Dr. Orlando Noyola explained.

Many activities and events were held to promote the 2020 Census, Loyola said. One of these was PSJA Census Week from May 27-June 1, 2020. During this week, all social studies classes promoted the need to respond.

Outreach to employees and the community members was done by Parent Census Ambassadors through the PSJA Parental Engagement Department. 

“PSJA ISD is proud to always collaborate with the County of Hidalgo in this and other endeavors that support our residents,” Noyola said. “We believe that all residents of the county are important, and they needed to be counted for the future growth of our county, cities, and school districts. We were also very happy to partner with the cities of Pharr, San Juan, and Alamo in this endeavor. Thank you to all that made this possible.” 

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows members of the PSJA Parental Engagement Program Census Ambassadors with PSJA Superintendent Jorge L. Arredondo.


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