Grantee Corner  |  Longview Independent School District

A female student stands in front of a trifold poster board display
Ned E. Williams Elementary School student stands with a display about her STEAM-based experiment at the regional science fair

Two female students pour a blue liquid into a beaker
Forest Park IB Middle School sixth grade students investigate the relationship between density, mass, and volume as they observe patterns in the data collected during their experiment

Two male students pour a blue liquid into a beaker
Forest Park IB Middle School sixth grade students use their observations to explain the concept of density

Two male students pour a blue liquid into a beaker
Forest Park IB Middle School sixth grade experiment with the concept of density

A group of teachers and students pose in front a truck from Bonnie Plants
Ned E. Williams Elementary School third grade students start the third annual Cabbage Program sponsored, where students learn to grow cabbages at home to share with elderly members of the community

Two students write on cards while a teacher looks on
East Texas Montessori Prep Academy PreK students work with Dr. Burnett, LISD Montessori Director, using Montessori Equation Cards and Golden Beads to add four-digit numbers

A student presents at the front of the class
Longview High School IB student gives an oral presentation and readings from Lu Xun, a noted Chinese author as a part of the IB Literature course

Headshot of Holly Lyon
Holly Lyon, LISD Project Director

Longview Independent School District (LISD), in East Texas, covers 120 square miles. The district serves about 8,500 students in seven elementary schools, three middle schools, one high school, an alternative school, and an early childhood learning center. The student population is 20 percent White, 37 percent Hispanic, 36 percent African American, and 7 percent Other. LISD is committed to providing innovative opportunities for all students, recruiting and retaining diverse students and staff, and creating diverse student-centered environments.

LISD’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) project includes five magnet schools: one science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) elementary school (Ned E. Williams Elementary School), one International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) middle school (Forest Park Middle School), one school within a school IB Programme/ECHS (Longview High School), and two charter/magnet designated campuses for Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade Montessori articulation and continuity (East Texas Montessori Prep Academy PK and East Texas Montessori Academy 1-5th grade).  

LISD is using MSAP funds to enable students to become innovators through thematic school environments that are collaborative, diverse, and student-centered. Through partnerships with the City of Longview Major’s Office, Partners in Prevention, Junior League of Longview, The Boys and Girls Club of The Big Pines, and Longview Non-Profit Coalition, LISD is backed by a wealth of community supporters to help the district address poverty, at-risk student needs, the and diversity goals of the greater Longview area.

MSAP funds also support delivery of professional development that will enhance and sustain high teacher performance and provide equitable access to quality educational programs. The professional development focuses on innovative instructional methods and research-based practices to promote diversity and strengthen students’ knowledge and skills, and covers topics such as IB, STEAM, project-based learning, cultural competency, Leader in Me, Project Lead the Way, and Montessori Teacher Certification. 

Technology is a key component of LISD’s MSAP project. All five schools will receive robust STEAM-infused resources, including flexible learning labs with a variety of student devices as well as robotics, coding, and makerspaces that have 3D printers and digital cutters. Through partnerships with local engineering and manufacturing companies, including Eastman Chemical Company, students engage with professionals and learn about real-world application with multiple technologies. The IB schools have multimedia learning centers and labs to support students’ development as globally minded citizens. Partnerships with Kilgore College, Southern Methodist University, and Le Tourneau University provide additional experiences that place student projects within an international context. In addition, all five MSAP schools support arts integration through designated performance spaces. By teaming with community organizations and businesses such as WOW Museum, Junior League of Longview, and The Belcher Center, LISD students are able to seek expertise and perform for an expanded audience.

The LISD MSAP project is critical in achieving sustainable reform and growth in the county. Mrs. Holly Lyon is the LISD Project Director. Mrs. Lyon brings experience in researching, designing, and implementing innovative student-centered programs and is passionate about ensuring all students are provided high-quality educational opportunities. She has served as a teacher, instructional coach and trainer, principal, and curriculum director. Mrs. Lyon is an active member in multiple state and local organizations, including the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Rural Education Association.