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Celebratory moments in the midst of COVID - March 22, 2021
Dear SAISD Staff:
We have just learned that SAISD has the largest number of Dell Scholars we’ve ever had – 20! Two years ago, we had six students named Dell Scholars, and we saw a major increase to 15 scholars last year. This an uplifting moment in a crazy year, and I know that proud moments like this are the direct result of your hard work.
Since last spring, our world has been upended with the COVID pandemic. But despite the upheaval, the academic excellence of our students continues to grow and be recognized. These student gains are matched only by the strength of your teaching, guidance, and mentoring – and I thank you for your strong dedication to our children’s futures.
While academics is one indicator we observe, we also value and care about whether our students feel supported, feel safe, and are excited about school. We know that student participation in extracurricular activities, athletics, fine arts, career exploration, and college pathways all contribute to their success. This emphasis on all facets of a solid educational foundation has contributed to students in our District closing the gap with the state in academic achievement, doubling the amount of earned scholarships, and increasing their college-going rate.
We are seeing success and know we are on the right path.
In addition to a strong academic year, we’ve come as close as we’ve possibly could to a safe school year. I want to thank each of you who faithfully participate in our weekly COVID testing, and who come out to our Saturday events – like the one we held this past weekend – to test before coming back to campus after school breaks.
And just as importantly, I am relieved and pleased that by tomorrow, we will have offered the opportunity of a COVID vaccination to 100% of our employees. I am full of gratitude for the 5,000 doses that University Health is providing today and Tuesday. By mid-April, after today’s participants receive their second doses, we will be a District that is almost fully immunized.
We have been advocating for this feat! But it is not ‘mission accomplished’ yet. We will continue to collaborate with healthcare agencies to ensure our SAISD community – from our families to our eligible students – also receive the access they need to these vaccines.
Ideally, we would like to see our high school seniors become eligible for COVID vaccinations this spring. Our wish for them is to experience traditions like prom, graduation, and preparing for college life on a physical campus. 
Another wish dear to us is seeing its day in Congress. Last week, a pair of immigration bills passed the House. The first bill provides a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, and the second bill permits farm workers, and their spouses and children, to earn legal status through continued employment in the agricultural sector. The bills now head to the Senate. 
These votes come on the heels of an historic celebration right here in San Antonio. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice, as well as the 55th anniversary of Cesar Chavez’s historic 350-mile pilgrimage in support of farm workers in America. We in SAISD have long participated in this march, and I encourage us all to continue to support this year’s virtual festivities this Saturday, March 27
Yes, it has been a tough year, but there are countless moments to celebrate. We are a strong district, and we have gotten this far together. We will only grow stronger as we move forward, united in our belief in our children and in our SAISD community.

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