Advanced Programs

Advanced academic programs are a high priority in Leander ISD, offering an academic challenge to our brightest, most-creative students. Leander ISD wants each child to be challenged to learn to his or her maximum abilities.

LISD has worked diligently to develop and coordinate a full range of academic programs providing challenging instruction leading to advanced learning opportunities. From PACE (Programs for Advancement, Challenge and Enrichment) Language Arts and Math at our elementary and middle school campuses to Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes at our high schools, to the recent addition of an IB Primary Years program at Grandview Hills and Mason Elementary, students are encouraged and supported so that they may take - and be successful in - coursework that provides the highest level of academic challenge. Leander ISD also provides the innovative QUEST Program that provides challenging learning opportunities for identified gifted students.

Why is participation in advanced coursework so important for today's students?

Leander ISD believes that students get far more out of school when they are challenged by their coursework. Academically able students need to be in advanced programs so that they can become excited and involved in their own learning. And, quite frankly, the world beyond graduation has become more and more competitive - and Leander ISD wants its graduates to have an edge on that competition!

Data supporting the need for academic challenge includes:

  • College Admissions counselors agree that the rigor of courses taken in high school is the single biggest factor for college success and completion of a 4-year degree. (2000 NACAC Survey of College Admissions Counselors)
  • Students who complete AP and IB courses in high school have higher college GPAs after one year of college work. Students who participate in AP courses and IB programs have higher acceptance rates at some universities. (Various university admission statistics gathered by IB North America and the College Board)
  • Success on AP and IB exams can generate college credit for students, potentially saving thousands of dollars in tuition and fees.

Participation by students in PACE, QUEST and other advanced programs during elementary and middle school provides the academic achiever with the tools to help them to continue their success and growth toward AP, IB, and college courses. Teachers of Leander ISD's elementary and middle school advanced courses receive training that helps ensure success in future high school-level AP and IB coursework. And this preparation gives students the best opportunity for success in college and the working world!