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Five middle schools in Socorro ISD are the region’s highest performing schools in 8th Grade Algebra I on state exams.

AIM High initiative honors faculty, teachers and staff who contribute to student success.

El PASO, TX – With the goal of increasing the number of El Paso County students who take and pass Algebra I at the meets standard level in middle school, CREEED launched the Algebra In Middle School (AIM High) initiative. The initiative kicked off today by recognizing and rewarding the top-performing 2022-2023 Middle Schools across El Paso County in the Algebra I STAAR exam, all from the Socorro Independent School District. 

“Students who pass Algebra while still in middle school get an extra year to study advanced math during high school, a subject that anchors many STEM careers,” said CREEED Board Chair Richard A. Castro. “They are also more likely to enroll in college than students who do not take or pass Algebra I in middle school. We want to encourage more middle schools to put their students on a pathway to college by teaching them Algebra I in eighth grade.” 

Early introduction to Algebra provides a strong foundation for success in high school and college. On this basis, the AIM High Initiative builds off CREEED’s commitment to increase the number of students taking dual credit classes, by preparing them for access to dual credit classes earlier in high school. Studies confirm that students who complete 9 to 12 dual credit hours double their completion rate for college. In addition to recognizing the school teams who are leading efforts at the region’s top performing middle schools in Algebra I, the AIM High initiative provides grants to expand existing programs to reach more middle school students.

In the most recent STAAR End-of-Course tests, only 40% of the eighth grade students in Region 19 took Algebra I, and only 30% passed the state exam at the MEETS grade level standard.

The five schools that CREEED recognized with its inaugural AIM High awards for academic attainment at the MEETS grade level include top-performing Col. John Ensor, whose students achieved a 2023 pass rate of 84 percent, as well as Montwood Middle School (65 percent), Ernesto Serna Fine Arts Academy (62 percent), Spec. Rafael Hernando III Middle School (59 percent), and William D. Slider Middle School (59 percent).  All five schools are located in the Socorro Independent School District, one of the few school districts in El Paso that enrolls all of its 8th graders in Algebra I.

“SISD is committed to providing endless opportunities for students to succeed now and in the future. We are proud of our students for seizing their opportunities and mastering Algebra I before high school,” said Socorro ISD Superintendent Nate Carman, Ed,D.. “We are equally proud of our faculty, teachers and staff who have labored tirelessly to help students make up ground lost to COVID and prepare them for future academic and professional success.”  

The AIM High initiative is the most recent program introduced by CREEED over the last decade to raise student achievement and attract and retain high-quality educators.  It advances CREEED’s commitment to increasing the number of high-quality programs and complements its related efforts, to increase the number of high-performing schools in our region. 

“I appreciate the contributions made by our faculty, teachers, staff, parents, and leading community organizations such as CREEED to boost scholars’ performance and help more El Paso students attend college and thrive there,” said Col. John O. Ensor Middle School principal Stephen Fernandez. “We know that the better job we do in preparing our scholars  to excel in courses like Algebra I, the better prepared they will be to prosper and advance in their future careers.” 

CREEED recognized each of the top-performing schools at a reception, and awarded cash gift cards to all faculty and staff at each of the top five schools. The award ceremony took place today at Socorro High School. 

To learn more about CREEED and get involved in its efforts to increase student performance, improve teacher preparation, and help parents advocate for their child’s education, visit. 


CONTACT: For media inquiries, please contact Daniel Escobar, SISD Chief Communications Officer (915) 309-0053 and or Laura Rodriguez at


About SISD

The Socorro Independent School District serves more than 48,000 students with innovative instruction in 51 campuses districtwide. SISD is an outstanding educational institution, having been recognized at the local, state, and national level with many achievements. SISD is dedicated to offering endless opportunities in all schools focusing on college and career readiness for all students. SISD educators are highly qualified, effective professionals and are dedicated to their students, schools, and communities.  


CREEED is a not-for-profit organization focused on increasing the number of high-performing seats in El Paso’s public education system. This is accomplished by investing in initiatives that are creating measurable outcomes to close the achievement gap for El Paso students. CREEED supports organizations, initiatives, and policies that prepare students to succeed in college and in our future workforce. CREEED’s efforts are focused on increasing the quality of education that students receive in El Paso. Our efforts fall into three categories: Increasing Student Attainment; Increasing Teacher Talent & Leadership Development; and Increasing Parent and Community Engagement.​

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