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SAISD releases preliminary Rightsizing Framework; Community invited to review and provide feedback
July 3, 2023 – San Antonio ISD has published the first draft of a potential Rightsizing Framework and is seeking public input on the plan. Rightsizing the district may involve closing school buildings, co-locating schools to the same campus, or consolidating multiple schools into one school. The draft is available online at

After reviewing the draft framework, the community is invited to provide feedback through a survey on the website. The district is publishing the draft framework now to give the community as much time as possible to review the proposed decision-making tool and provide initial feedback. Input shared and received is expected to prepare both the community and the district for public meetings that will begin in August.

The preliminary framework was drafted in response to a resolution to study school building capacity approved by the SAISD Board of Trustees at its meeting on June 20. According to the resolution, the study is for the purpose of supporting thriving schools, classrooms, students, teachers, and school leaders. The study was prompted by decades of declining student enrollment in SAISD, similar to the student-age population decline in other urban areas across the state and nation.

The study will assess all schools, analyze the student enrollment at each school, evaluate if the district is providing high-quality education as promised, consider whether the building is being used effectively, and determine whether resources are fairly distributed to support all students. 

“We want to deliver on the promise of an excellent education to our students and families, and we are faced with a fundamental problem,” said SAISD Superintendent Dr. Jaime Aquino. “Our enrollment and school-aged population have been declining for more than two decades, and according to demographers, the student-aged population will continue to decline for at least five or 10 more years.”

“In the past, we have resisted closing schools as our enrollment declined,” Aquino said. “As a result, our schools have gotten emptier. We invested in innovation and it worked, but we have not recovered enough students to reverse the trend. At this time, our resources are spread thin, and this leads to our students and their families experiencing inequities.” 

As part of the study, a proposed framework is being developed to assist with the decision-making process. This tool, in its final form, will be used to generate a list of school buildings that may be considered for consolidation or closure, as well as a list of school buildings that may be able to receive more students. The proposed framework will be edited based on community feedback before it is made final.

The draft framework that is open for public review is divided into three parts that may guide the study, including values, primary criteria and contextual criteria.

The preliminary plan proposes six values that the district should embrace. These values are in addition to its commitment to pursue the study within the Board Guardrails of embracing community, supporting excellent schools in every neighborhood, creating safe environments, and ensuring equitable funding. The six additional values include creating thriving schools, serving families and students, standing by staff, driving toward equity, finding a suitable use for buildings that may be vacated, and upgrading all remaining buildings and academic programs. 

“The district aims to honor its stakeholders through these recommended values,” Aquino said.

Additionally, the draft framework proposes three primary criteria and eight contextual criteria to determine if a building is being underused, while also taking into account additional circumstances that may guide the decision-making process for the best possible outcome. 

The three primary criteria that are proposed are statistics that would directly impact program quality at a school. These metrics include data around enrollment, facility usage, and cost-per-pupil at each school facility.

The six proposed criteria that could provide additional context in decision-making include school characteristics, grade-level configuration and/or enrollment, enrollment in the surrounding area, facility capacity, investment in the facility, the school’s partners, other regional factors and community considerations, and legislative districts.

The proposed criteria will be fine-tuned through staff and community feedback and additional staff research.

After the first phase of community engagement, the district will present an initial rightsizing recommendation of affected school buildings to the board on Sept. 18. A second phase of community engagement immediately will follow the board presentation and will run through October. During this second phase, the community will be able to provide input on the initial rightsizing recommendation, and this input may result in changes. The district will present the final rightsizing recommendation to the Board on Nov. 18, at which time, the Trustees are expected to vote on it as a total package. 

Should the Trustees approve the final recommendation, the district will mobilize a transition team of experienced educators and leaders to support students, families and staff in preparing to implement the recommendations. Recommendation from the study, if approved by the Board, will go into effect for the 2024-2025 school year.

“Rightsizing, if done thoughtfully, can be an opportunity to build higher-quality schools,” Aquino said. “Some of the advantages could include smaller class sizes and campuses having greater access to extraordinary academics, special education services, fine arts, and athletics, among other essential services such as social-emotional learning and mental health support.”

Additionally, Aquino said, teachers may no longer be at a campus where they are the only ones teaching a certain grade level or subject.

“With peer educators,” Aquino said, “teachers will be able collaborate on curriculum and feel more supported – further enhancing a child’s education and a teacher’s experience.”

In addition, with fewer school buildings, Aquino said, there may be an opportunity to staff each campus with a safety and security officer, further enhancing school safety.

“All of these advantages could lead to more thriving students and staff, and therefore, more thriving schools,” Aquino said.

For more information and to provide feedback on the preliminary rightsizing framework, please visit

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