Superintendent Message (May 8, 2017)

Spotlight teachers, high schools, budget & bond

May 8, 2017

Dear SAISD Staff,

Today kicks off national Teacher Appreciation Week, with tomorrow being Teacher Appreciation Day. Teachers, I want you all to know how much we appreciate your hard work, as well as your dedication to your job and to the students of SAISD. I see you working tirelessly to ensure our students achieve their fullest potential. Know that we are here to support you in every way.

In other news to celebrate, we were pleased to have three SAISD schools included in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best High Schools national ranking. The schools are Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Fox Tech High School and Travis Early College High School.

Of the 13 Bexar County schools listed in the ranking, YWLA was ranked the highest, making it the second time in as many years that the all-girl school has led the area.  This story includes the local schools.

I have no doubt that down the road more SAISD schools will make this list, as a result of our transformation efforts. It’s going to take time. We are putting the pieces in place to achieve Districtwide excellence, and you are doing amazing work to get us there.

So much work has been done over the past two years, and more is to come. We began 2017-18 budget discussions with the Board of Trustees last month, updating the board members on the initiatives underway and outlining those we plan to launch next school year. We will present more on the initiatives at tonight’s Board meeting, and I will highlight some of those for you in an upcoming message.

Also, last week I joined the community to celebrate the new Highlands High School, which received vast renovations under Bond 2010. The new campus, the largest project included in that bond, is a dramatic contrast to the old campus. Students now are learning – and teachers teaching – in modern classrooms, and they have the benefit of a more conducive learning environment all around. The final phase of the project included a new 2-story building to house the fine arts programs and the auditorium, as well as a new ROTC center and college-readiness GO Center.

As we prepare to close out Bond 2010, we are moving forward on Bond 2016. We have issued Requests for Qualifications for architectural and engineering services so we can build a pool of qualified firms to call upon for the various projects. We will review the submissions in late May and will begin the selection process. In the fall, we plan to hold community meetings at campuses that will receive renovations so we can share project plans and receive feedback.

As we head into the final weeks of the school year, keep up the good work. Let’s remember our goals and stay committed.