La Joya

The Drama For Schools (DFS) professional development program was first implemented in La Joya, Texas. La Joya is located in the Rio Grande Valley, near the Texas-Mexico border. The La Joya Independent School District (LJISD) is one of the poorest districts in the state, with a high student drop-out rate and low standardized test scores. The three-year LJISD-DFS partnership began in 1999 at the invitation of the La Joya community. The initial model included weekly check-ins and monthly visits with 12 participating teachers from four different schools. La Joya is located over 300 miles away from UT Austin; from the very start of DFS, the program model has strived to be flexible enough to reach districts at significant distances while at the same time providing an intensive, ongoing support for teachers and administrators. Classroom performance was measured both before and after UT's pilot program. The La Joya students experienced increased classroom performance in their overall curriculum, and state test scores improved (43%) over the three-year period, indicating a positive relationship between teacher participation in the DFS program and overall student achievement.


Young people prepare to step into role
Young people prepare to step into role 


A monarchy is explored through role playing in a social studies class.  
A monarchy is explored through

role playing in a social studies class.