2013 SAISD Highlights
• Highlands HS is the only school in Texas and among a select few nationally offering CodeHS, a class for all freshmen that teaches how to code computer systems through a Web-based platform. The course seeks to augment students’ high-tech skills and hone critical thinking. Funding for CodeHS is courtesy of the 80/20 Foundation.
• Eight District campuses are ranked among Texas' best by earning three Academic Achievement Distinction Designations on the state’s new accountability system, the maximum number of distinctions possible. Less than 10 percent of the state's Texas Education Agency-rated campuses earned three distinctions.
• The Irving MS honor band placed in the top 10 at the Texas Music Educators Association state finals, where they beat out hundreds of other middle school band hopefuls. Irving is a two-time recipient of this honor.
• The Young Women’s Leadership Academy was named top middle school in the state by the Houston-based advocacy organization Children at Risk. Ranking in the top 10 middle schools in the greater San Antonio area were Austin, Bonham and Hawthorne academies, and Lamar Elementary was in the top 10 Elementary Schools in the area.
• Burbank and Edison high schools made Newsweek magazine's top 2,000. They were among 16 in Bexar County included in the annual America's Top High Schools list which recognizes campuses proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready graduates.
• Whittier MS was selected as a National AVID Demonstration School, one of only 135 in the nation. Whittier will now serve as an exemplary model for schools interested in implementing the college-readiness system to visit and observe the very best of this system’s proven methodologies and strategies. Last year Jefferson HS and Longfellow MS were named AVID Demonstration schools and have hosted educators from across the country who come to learn more about the college readiness program.
• Two SAISD seniors are among 1,000 high school students in the nation named 2013 Gates Millennium Scholars, an honor that comes with a good-through-graduation scholarship to be used at any U.S. accredited college or university. The students, from Fox Tech and Lanier, were selected based on their academic achievement, community service and leadership potential.
• Ten SAISD freshmen are among 20 citywide named 2013 Voelcker Scholars. Through this intensive three-year summer program at the University of Texas Health Science Center’s Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy, they will gain valuable learning experiences as well as financial awards ranging by year from $500 to $1,000.
• A Brackenridge HS senior has won the 2013 Congressional Art Competition for Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s district. The student’s art will hang at the U.S. capital for one year.
• A Smith Elementary School teacher was named as the National Scholastic System 44 Outstanding Educator of the Year. Additionally, a Beacon Hill ES 4th-grader was one of only 12 outstanding students in the nation to be named a 2013 Scholastic Reading All-Star winner.
• This summer four talented Jefferson HS cadets will join an elite cadre of teens to compete in a national contest designed to prepare them for the rigors of college. The JROTC team is among just 24 nationwide and one of only three from San Antonio advancing to the 2013 National Academic Bowl Championship.
• Two Lanier High School students will represent Texas in the national competition this summer based upon their first-place performances at the state SkillsUSA competition.
• Three Brackenridge HS Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) students competed at the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California. Two additional DECA sophomores received an invitation from the state organization to participate in the Leadership Development Academy in Anaheim, California.
• This spring teams from Burbank, Edison and Sam Houston high schools advanced to the Texas Academic Decathlon based upon their performances at regionals. At state, Sam Houston, competing in the small schools category, placed second in Super Quiz and also won two first- and three third-place medals in individual categories.
• Teams from District secondary schools took four of the five top prizes in the Team Up Challenge, receiving $20,000 by Silver & Black Give Back to fund service learning projects. Student groups from Brackenridge and Edison high schools and Lowell and Rhodes middle schools were selected based on their service throughout the year, online voting and the recommendations of a review committee that heard presentations from all the semifinalists.
• This year SAISD became the first District in the state to provide financial literacy lessons for all seniors. Four days of lessons are held during economics classes, helping students understand the college applications process and related financials, so they can make informed decisions regarding college packages.