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Superintendent Message (March 8, 2016)

SAISD and Trinity University partner to create PK-12 academy for advanced and creative learning

March 8, 2016

Dear SAISD Staff,

For some time now, I have been sharing with you our need to do more to serve our most ambitious students, those who are eager for greater depth and complexity with opportunities for acceleration. Today, we came together with SAISD supporters, including Congressman Lloyd Doggett, state Senator José Menéndez, Mayor Ivy Taylor and Trinity University President Dr. Danny Anderson, in announcing a partnership with the university to create a new PK-12 academy for advanced learning.

The academy will serve students who may be identified as gifted, but also other students who are highly motivated and eager for academic and creative challenges.

The academy, which also will include a learning lab for aspiring master teachers and principals, will open next school year. The announcement that went out this morning is at the end of this email.

We will begin taking applications from potential students on March 24. I’ll share more details about that in an upcoming message. Also, positions for the new school will be posted to our District website on March 23 for any employees who are interested in applying.

I hope you will be as excited as I am about this new opportunity for SAISD students. Academic Excellence is one of the five SAISD pillars, and I do believe this new academy will help us in our pursuit of District-wide excellence, ensuring that many more of our students are performing at higher levels.



SAISD and Trinity University partner to create PK-12 academy for advanced and creative learning

School to serve as learning lab for aspiring teachers and principals

SAN ANTONIO (March 8, 2016) — San Antonio ISD today announced plans to establish a new PK-12 academy for students who seek academic challenge with greater depth and complexity and opportunities for acceleration. The to-be-named academy will open in August 2016 with kindergarten through 10th grades, with Pre-K and the 11th and 12th grades added over the next two years.

The school will be open to any student who has the interest and desire to take on creative and academic challenges.

“We are pleased to partner with Trinity University to help fill a critical need in our District,” Superintendent Pedro Martinez said. “SAISD traditionally has underserved its highly motivated students, and when we don’t deliver for students who are eager for greater stimulation in the classroom, we run the risk that they will become disconnected and disengaged from school.

“We want them to thrive, which is why this laboratory school and our other efforts around creating more advanced learning opportunities for more of our students are so critical and promising.”

The academy also will serve as a new professional development school and learning laboratory for aspiring teachers and principals through Trinity University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. The teacher interns will work side-by-side with master teachers to earn a graduate degree through Trinity University. All interns and faculty at the school

will be provided with professional learning to enable them to earn the state certification in serving gifted and talented learners.

The model school will create a pipeline of highly trained teachers for SAISD campuses to support all students eager for advanced learning.

"We are excited about the opportunity to add a dynamic, new school to our professional development school family. In this school, we will train the next generation of San Antonio teachers and school leaders. Together Trinity University and SAISD support enhanced learning and teaching for students across the city as well as leadership development for teachers and principals," Trinity President Danny Anderson said.

A new San Antonio area nonprofit, City Education Partners (CEP), is providing grants to SAISD and Trinity for the new teacher training and innovative school design.

The academy will be located across two nearby campuses, with the majority of grades housed at the Fox Tech campus, and other grades at the Austin Academy facility.  The Fox Tech magnet programs will remain at the campus, while Austin Academy closes at the end of this year, as previously announced.

The new academy will help the District to better serve students seeking advanced learning opportunities with greater depth and complexity. The school will provide opportunities for curious learners to discover their interests and passions and learn beyond the four walls in authentic and relevant settings. Learning will include working across content areas and grade levels on meaningful projects and problem-solving to develop deep understanding and strong interpersonal skills. Students who are advanced learners will have the opportunity for acceleration.

For the 2016-17 school year, SAISD also is hiring a team of credentialed specialists to deliver advanced instruction at other schools in the District. Each specialist will cover multiple elementary schools, providing services through a mix of out-of-class, small-group sessions and in-class instruction, in collaboration with the classroom teacher.

Note:  SAISD will begin taking applications from prospective students and teachers in late March. Details will be posted at www.saisd.net