Apply online for 2018-19 school year at https://saisdchoice.com/.
Causes for celebration
January 17, 2018
Dear SAISD Staff,
Even in Texas, wintery weather can still surprise us! I trust everyone stayed safe and warm yesterday.
I also hope you enjoyed a restful holiday break and have returned energized for the second part of this school year. I also extend this sentiment to our students! For the first time, students are back from the winter break with their first semester exams behind them. Because of our earlier start date in August, students received the benefit of completing one full semester before the holidays, allowing them to start a fresh semester in January.
Our spring semesters are especially exciting because we begin hearing about college acceptances, scholarship awards and other student honors.
In my last email, I mentioned that eight of our seniors were QuestBridge scholarship finalists. We now know that Jonathan Gadison of Sam Houston High School was awarded the full, four-year QuestBridge scholarship to the University of Notre Dame. His announcement from the university noted that this life moment was a great accomplishment. I couldn’t agree more!
And early last week, the District and the SAISD Foundation also celebrated 72 students who were named Advanced Academics Scholars. Students were recognized for exemplary achievement in the Advanced Placement Program and the Duke TIP Talent Search Program. These programs assure that students will be well prepared for post-secondary admission to Tier 1 universities.
We all applaud our students when they excel – but none more so than our Board of Trustees. And, this month, it is our turn to return the favor.
In January, we celebrate School Board Recognition Month. Our Trustees are extraordinary people who voluntarily tackle the enormous job of governing our large, urban school district. Their actions and decisions affect the present and future lives of our children. At our Jan. 22 Board meeting, and year-round, please join me in recognizing our Trustees for their commitment and dedication to SAISD students.
Also this month, we commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. On Monday, I joined several of the Trustees in our city’s MLK March – the largest one in the nation. It has been 50 years since the first march was organized in San Antonio by Rev. Dr. R. A. Callies Sr. – an SAISD middle school instructor for more than 30 years.
The MLK celebrations hold a special significance in this District, and we do our part to continue the tradition. In addition to marching on Monday, staff and students participated in other official events of the MLK Commission. Sam Houston High School Principal Dr. Mateen Diop was the keynote speaker at the pre-march early morning worship program at MLK Academy. The academy also was the launch site of the 50th National Anniversary March, and the MLK Academy Step Team and band performed. And on Sunday, the Sam Houston choir performed the national anthem during the wreath-laying ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in MLK Plaza.
As part of additional concurrent Dream Week events, the Young Men’s Leadership Academy held its second annual MLK 5K on Sunday, and I was a panelist on “Redeeming the American Dream,” a conversation on housing equitability and gentrification in San Antonio.
I also know that many SAISD middle and high school students last week were able to hear the inspirational stories of the Freedom Riders, civil rights activists who protested segregation in the 1960s. They also heard from a local hero who worked alongside civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Other students participated in simulated marches through their school, held social justice forums, and other events to commemorate Dr. King.
I hope you, too, reflected on the life of this great man and his messages of tolerance, equality and diversity.
And finally, as a reminder, our application period for Choice Schools and Magnet Programs continues through the end of the month – through Jan. 31. Please share our Enrollment Guide with families interested in learning more about all of the options available to their children in our District.