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SAISD and UTSA to showcase community lab schools

Media Advisory 

What:     SAISD and UTSA to showcase elementary learning clubs as part of Community Lab Schools initiative, which includes unprecedented support and resources to foster student success

Who:    - UTSA President Dr. Ricardo Romo 

-  UTSA College of Education and Human Development Dean Dr. Betty Merchant

-  SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez

-  Principals, teachers and students

Remarks followed by viewing of Crockett and Douglass elementary students in the Roadrunner room demonstrating what they do in the after-school learning clubs.

When:       Feb. 25 (Thurs) – 10 to 11 a.m.

Where:      Crockett Elementary, 2215 Morales St. (begins in the library)

The development of two community lab schools are well underway at Crockett and Douglass elementary schools, following the awarding of a $1.8 million contract to UTSA last fall, funded through a Texas Title 1 Priority Schools Grant to SAISD for the two schools.

The two-year collaboration brings a variety of unprecedented resources and support to the two elementary schools, including:

  • About two dozen UTSA faculty experts in areas such as bicultural-bilingual PK-12 education, curriculum building, educational psychology, counseling and more to assist in day-to-day and strategic instruction.
  • Specially-designed curricula tailored specifically to each school’s needs.
  • A variety of in-classroom and after-school programs (known as Informal Learning Clubs) designed to help the elementary students learn the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. 
  • Counseling and school psychology services provided by UTSA students under the supervision of experts.
  • Job-Embedded Professional Development opportunities for SAISD teachers through one-on-one coaching, small and large group workshops, and the opportunity for enrollment in UTSA master and/or doctoral programs.
  • Family engagement through Comunidades Unidas Para la Educación/Communities United for Education (CUPE)

The community lab schools project is a collaboration between administrators, educators, families, teacher preparation programs, teachers, and UTSA staff, faculty, and researchers.

Crockett and Douglass also serve as host sites for classes attended by the participating UTSA teacher candidates.

Goals for the program include:

  • Vibrant classrooms that reflect a variety of learning approaches and teaching strategies appropriate for a bicultural-bilingual community that align with high academic standards to promote students’ academic success.
  • Differentiated teaching approaches for all students to receive the attention and instruction required in a diverse classroom.
  • Engaged university faculty and school administrators working with teachers to use formative assessment to plan and deliver instruction ensuring relevancy and rigor.
  • A supportive early college-going culture and community that is directly involved.


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