Garland ISD leads the state in esports

Garland ISD is leading the state of Texas in esports. In an effort to provide more Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) opportunities for students, Garland ISD launched esports clubs at all seven high schools and the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center last year. To expand the unique program's impact, GISD is proud to announce the addition of esports teams at five district middle schools, as well as Memorial Pathway Academy, for 2020-21. The middle school clubs will play as junior varsity teams under their partner high school's umbrella.

Esports teaches teamwork, communication, strategic thinking and leadership while providing students who may not be interested in traditional sports programs the opportunity to be on a team. The popular virtual sport is a great example of how students can stay connected and socially distant while developing collaboration and critical thinking skills.

During its first year of launching, Garland ISD’s esports program landed a state championship title. Naaman Forest High School’s Orange Rocket League team won the Spring 2020 PlayVS State Championship. The three-person team competed against 90-plus high school groups statewide. After four playoff games, Orange Rocket League headed to finals, winning the best of seven games.

GISD is currently the largest school district to have all of its high schools competing for a state champion esports title. It’s important to note that the district has launched this initiative without additional funds, using only existing equipment at campuses.

“This esports state title shows other districts that it is possible to be competitive without spending thousands of dollars on equipment,” stated Naaman Forest High School esports coach Lesa Atkinson. “We want the Garland ISD community to be proud of what we are accomplishing and to recognize the hard work that the esports teams and coaches are putting in to represent our district.”

GISD is determined to continue to support and nurture a strong sense of teamwork and sportsmanship within our student body that develops discipline and self-esteem with gameplay. We want to provide our students valuable experiences like esports in addition to increasing participation in sports, STEAM engagement and scholarship applications. Having this goal in mind, Trustees unanimously called for a Tax Rate Election (TRE). If approved, the district’s TRE will provide $42 million in needed funds to continue these valuable programs while also lowering the district’s property tax rate by nearly 5 cents.

Our TRE will be on the last page of the upcoming November ballot, so be sure to vote all the way to the end. We encourage our Garland, Rowlett and Sachse communities to learn more about the #GISDTaxReductionElection at