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SAISD State of the District address

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State of the District invites business connections

“The state of the district is as strong as ever,” Superintendent Jaime Aquino told business and community leaders at the State of the District event Thursday morning. The event, hosted by the SAISD Foundation with presenting sponsor IXL and co-hosts the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, allowed more than 200 community and business leaders, staff and students to hear the district’s achievements and learn about opportunities to strategically partner with the district. 

Guests were welcomed by The Caballeros Distinguidos of Briscoe Elementary and listened to Brackenridge High School Mariachi and recited the Pledge of Allegiance bilingually with Twain Dual Language Academy. Marina Gonzales, CEO and President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce welcomed the crowd and invited Marilu Reyna, Chair of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Workforce and Education Council to the podium. 

Reyna, a Highlands High School alumna, said supporting San Antonio schools makes good sense for the local business community. 

“I realize that the economic development of our community depends on the success of our educational institutions,” Reyna said. “The San Antonio Chamber works to help connect community leaders who understand the value of education’s impact on our workforce and quality of life.”

Fox Tech senior Ramiro Lopez spoke to the group, emphasizing the urgent need to support schools at this moment. 

“I know many students throughout SAISD who simply need someone to advocate for them and ensure they are given the resources to overcome any challenges that may come their way,” Lopez said. 

Superintendent Aquino took the stage, sharing statistics of the district’s achievement — exceeding state goals in college and career readiness, leading the county in the provision of early childhood learning, and providing the most options for early college education and dual language education.

“Our global society needs our students,” Aquino said. “Bilingualism and multilingualism are an asset to our collective humanity.”

Aquino walked through the extensive process of creating the district’s five-year strategic management plan, called Always Learning, and the vision the plan has for students, staff, organizations and the community that comprise the SAISD Familia. The plan is built to address the challenges that lie ahead for the district — the nationwide problem with student reading level; inadequate state funding; changes to state accountability ratings, some of which are occurring retroactively; and implications of declining populations in urban core areas. 

There are ways, Aquino said, that the local business community can help. 

“Will you help us help our children achieve their best future?” Aquino asked. “To best serve our students, we are looking for funding of some of the Always Learning initiatives. My 45,000 kids are your kids. They are your future, and I can guarantee that our board will ensure that you get your return for your investment.”

Aquino said the community can also help by joining the Children's Cabinet, which will advise and oversee the implementation of Always Learning, by providing mentorships and internships, and advocating for public education in the state of Texas. 

It was information that Reyna said she is glad to take back to the Workforce and Education Council, which meets monthly. 

“The San Antonio Chamber’s Workforce and Education Council is really focusing on our schools — access to schools, the structure of the schools and how they are getting their funding,” Reyna said. “The students that come out of those schools that are well-funded, have good access and well-paid teachers — they are going to be our future workforce. We push a lot of mentoring, but there are so many other ways to help. Business leaders in San Antonio are going to make sure children are getting those opportunities.”

Sitting in the audience at tables with those business leaders were the 12 members of the superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee, seniors from high schools across the district.

“Providing different opportunities like this is a good way for students to get out there and see people who are living their dream jobs and on the path they want to walk,” Burbank senior Raymond Macias said. “There’s always that saying that it takes a village to raise a child and so it definitely takes a huge community to raise so many children. It’s good to see there are so many people here who are willing to volunteer, to listen, to donate, to help better our community to allow our kids to be more successful.”




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