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Read an update from the Superintendent
02/19/2021
open feb. 22Our buildings will be open, and we will have school and office operations on Monday, Feb. 22. At this time, after evaluating our facilities, we do not have any issues that will prevent us from reopening on Monday. Please know we will have comfortable and safe facilities. Our buildings will be warm. And, on our campuses, Child Nutrition staff will boil all water needed for food preparation until our community receives an update from the San Antonio Water System that the water supply is safe. We also will have bottled, drinking water available for everyone at our schools. We know it has been a very difficult week, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back.

Nuestros edificios estarán abiertos, tendremos clases y operaciones de oficinas el lunes 22 de febrero. En este momento, tras evaluar nuestras instalaciones, no tenemos ningún problema que nos impida volver a abrir el lunes. Queremos que sepan que tendremos instalaciones cómodas y seguras. Nuestros edificios tendrán calefacción. Y en nuestras escuelas, el personal de Nutrición Infantil hervirá toda el agua necesaria para la preparación de comida hasta que nuestra comunidad reciba una actualización por parte del Sistema de Agua de San Antonio de que la fuente de agua es segura. También tenemos agua embotellada para beber disponible para todos en nuestras escuelas. Entendemos que ha sido una semana muy difícil y esperamos darles la bienvenida a todos de regreso.
 

San Antonio ISD’s International Baccalaureate education empowers students
01/27/2021

 

ib storyEighteen years ago, Penny Tschirhart became an International Baccalaureate (IB) convert. A classroom teacher in Houston ISD at the time, Tschirhart was introduced to the IB philosophy and instantly fell in love with the student-centered, right-fit curriculum. 
  
“IB is all about inclusion,” she said. “This program is for everyone! It’s not about getting kids in or keeping kids out; it is about finding the right fit for your child.” 

Tschirhart, who is currently serving as SAISD’s assistant director of IB, joined the District in 2019 and is super excited to tell parents about the benefits of an IB education. 

“I always used to tell my parents, IB is not just for the smartest kids in the school; it’s for kids who are willing to work hard,” she said. “IB looks at things like tenacity, communication skills, creative thinking, research skills, self-management, and collaboration. The IB programme inspires lifelong learners who are not just satisfied to answer a question, but to understand at a deeper level through self-reflection and examination.” 

An IB education focuses on teaching students to think critically and independently, and how to inquire with care and logic. According to the IB website, the programme prepares students to succeed in a world where facts and fiction merge in the news, and where asking the right questions is a crucial skill that will allow them to flourish long after they’ve left school. 


IB Fenwick“You have students paying thousands of dollars in tuition at private schools for this exact same IB framework, but children in San Antonio can get the same type of education for free, thanks to SAISD’s well-thought out and calculated implementation in our different feeder patterns,” said Tschirhart.

SAISD began offering the IB programme at Burbank High School more than 20 years ago. Now, the District offers an IB curriculum framework at nine campuses, which allows students to begin participating  in the programme as soon as they enter elementary school and continue with it all the way through high school, if they wish. SAISD is the only school district in Bexar County to offer the full IB continuum. 

Three campuses are in the Burbank High School feeder, including IB World Schools Burbank High School, Harris Middle School and Briscoe Elementary School. 

Six campuses are in the Jefferson High School feeder, including IB World Schools Jefferson High School, Longfellow Middle School, Woodlawn Academy, and Huppertz Elementary School, as well as IB-candidate schools Fenwick Academy and Woodlawn Hills Elementary School. 

John Davila graduated from the IB programme at Burbank, and now teaches Spanish with the District. 

“As an educator at multiple IB campuses, my appreciation for the program has deepened,” he said. “I still see the freedom, the focus on student choice and student-led inquiry that I recognized as a student, but I have also come to understand the scope of it. The focus on multidisciplinary and globally-minded action aims to make more than just scholars—it makes better people.” 

Davila loves the fact that the IB framework asks its students to be well-rounded, tolerant individuals who are conscious of their place in a wonderful and interconnected world. 

“This is the beauty and the strength of the IB,” he said.  

IB can be found in over 5,000 schools globally every day, and in over 150 countries around the world. The programme is internationally recognized for its educational tenants and in Texas, there is state legislation that supports the earning of the IB diploma stating that if a student earns the IB diploma, and scores a 4 or higher on all six exams, they can start at a state-sponsored university with a minimum of 24 hours college credit. 

“Students can find relevance in the IB programme, no matter their interest,” said Tschirhart. “If that means a kiddos is interested in pursuing the IB diploma, great.” 


A unique feature of the IB program is that no one subject is held above another. Be it science or theater, literature or art, students are incorporating their interests across every subject, finding connections between subjects. 

“No matter if a student is planning on going to a four-year university, community college or going directly into the workforce, IB will prepare them to be better humans,” said Tschirhart. “We are inspiring lifelong-learners who will not be satisfied to know the answer to a question, but to develop the curiosity to want to know more about the world around them.” 

Interested in applying for an IB education at SAISD? Learn more here

  
La educación del Bachillerato Internacional en San Antonio ISD faculta a los estudiantes
 
Hace dieciocho años, Penny Tschirhard llegó a ser una conversa del Bachillerato Internacional (IB). En ese entonces Tschirhart era maestra en Houston ISD y cuando se le presentó la filosofía del IB ella de inmediato se enamoró del plan de estudios de buen ajuste y centrado en el estudiante. 
  
“El IB se trata de la inclusión”, dijo ella. “¡Este programa es para todos! No se trata de lograr que más niños participen o de mantener a niños fuera; se trata de encontrar el ajuste indicado para su hijo/a”. 

Tschirhart, quien actualmente sirve como la directora asistente de IB en SAISD, se unió al Distrito en 2019 y está súper emocionada de contarles a los padres sobre los beneficios de una educación del IB. 

“Yo siempre solía decirles a los papás, el IB no es solo para los niños más inteligentes en la escuela; es para los niños que están dispuestos a esforzarse”, dijo ella. “El IB busca cosas como tenacidad, habilidades de comunicación, pensamiento crítico, habilidades de investigación, autogestión y colaboración. El programa del IB inspira a los aprendices de por vida quienes no están satisfechos con solo contestar una pregunta, sino que buscan entender a un nivel más profundo por medio de autoreflexión y análisis”. 

Una educación del IB se centra en enseñar a los estudiantes a pensar de forma crítica e independiente, y cómo indagar con cuidado y lógica. De acuerdo con el sitio del IB, el programa prepara a los estudiantes a tener éxito en un mundo en el cual los hechos y la ficción se mezclan en las noticias, y en el que hacer las preguntas indicadas es una habilidad crucial que les permitirá prosperar aún al salir de la escuela. 

“Hay estudiantes que pagan miles de dólares de colegiatura en escuelas privadas por este mismo marco del IB, pero los niños en San Antonio pueden recibir el mismo tipo de educación gratis, gracias a la implementación bien pensada y deliberada en las zonas de asistencia de SAISD”, dijo Tschirhart.

SAISD comenzó a ofrecer el programa del IB en Burbank High School hace más de 20 años. Ahora el Distrito ofrece un marco de currículo del IB en nueve planteles, lo cual les permite a los estudiantes comenzar a participar en el programa tan pronto entren a la escuela primaria y continuar formando parte de él hasta la preparatoria, si lo desean. SAISD es el único distrito escolar en el condado de Bexar que ofrece la enseñanza completa de IB. 

Tres escuelas están en el área de asistencia de Burbank High School, incluso los Colegios del Mundo del IB de Burbank High School, Harris Middle School y Briscoe Elementary School. 

Seis escuelas están en el área de asistencia de Jefferson High School, incluso los Colegios del Mundo de Jefferson High School, Longfellow Middle School, Woodlawn Academy y Huppertz Elementary School, al igual que las escuelas solicitantes al IB de Fenwick Academy y Woodlawn Hills Elementary School. 

John Davila se graduó del programa del IB en Burbank y ahora enseña español en el Distrito. 

“Como educador en varias escuelas del IB, mi aprecio por el programa ha crecido”, dijo. “Aún veo la libertad, el enfoque en la elección del estudiante y en la indagación dirigida por los estudiantes que reconocí cuando estaba en la escuela, pero ahora también entiendo el alcance. El enfoque en la acción multidisciplinaria y la orientación mundial tiene como fin no solo lograr metas académicas, sino desarrollar a mejores personas”. 

A Davila le encanta el hecho de que el marco del IB les pide a los estudiantes que sean personas integrales y tolerantes quienes están conscientes de su lugar en un maravilloso mundo interconectado. 

“Esa es la grandeza y la fortaleza del IB”, dijo él.  

El IB se encuentra en más de 5,000 escuelas y en más de 150 países en todo el mundo. El programa es reconocido internacionalmente por sus principios educativos, y en Texas hay legislación estatal que apoya recibir el diploma del IB al indicar que, si un estudiante recibe el diploma del IB, y recibe una puntuación de 4 o más en los seis exámenes, pueden comenzar sus estudios en una universidad estatal con un mínimo de 24 horas de crédito universitario. 

“Los estudiantes encontrarán que el programa del IB es relevante, sin importar cuáles sean sus intereses”, dijo Tschirhart. “Si a un estudiante le interesa obtener el diploma del IB, genial”. 

Una característica única del programa del IB es que ninguna materia se considera superior a otra. Ya sea ciencias o teatro, literatura o arte, los estudiantes incorporan sus intereses en todas las materias y encuentran conexiones entre ellas. 

“Independientemente de si un estudiante tiene pensado asistir a una universidad de cuatro años, a un colegio comunitario o si piensa entrar directamente a la fuerza laboral, el IB los preparará para ser mejores personas”, dijo Tschirhart. “Estamos inspirando a aprendices de por vida que no estarán satisfechos con solo saber la respuesta a una pregunta, sino que desarrollarán la curiosidad de querer saber más sobre el mundo que los rodea”. 

¿Le interesa solicitar ingreso a una educación del IB en SAISD? ¡Aprenda más aquí

 

 


The importance of COVID testing
01/22/2021

covid testingWeekly COVID-19 testing is now available to in-person learners at San Antonio ISD’s more than 90 campuses. It’s a signal that the District is sending to the community to maintain the safest possible conditions for every student, teacher and other campus-based staff. 

“SAISD is committed to protecting each and every person on an SAISD campus throughout this pandemic,” Toni Thompson, associate superintendent for human resources, said. “We want our families to feel comfortable that the testing is safe, accurate and painless.” 

This regular and free testing is vital to the success and health of those students who attend class in person. Weekly tests in most cases take place on campuses on Thursdays and Fridays and are administered by District partner, Community Labs. Results will be available within 24 hours. 

Maverick Elementary teacher Tanya Jacobson is diligent about the proper spacing in her classroom, where at any given time she has no more than nine students. 

Jacobson believes that SAISD is taking appropriate measures to keep everyone safe and is very happy with the job her administration is doing to prevent illness for anyone coming to the campus. With weekly testing, Jacobson says it’s another measure that’ll maintain health and safety for everyone involved. She received all the permission slips back from parents for their children to receive the free test at school. 

"It’s a peace of mind for them,” Jacobson said. “Continuing to do it every week is a good idea to stay the course to keeping consistent and making sure we’re all safe. It’s not harmful in any way. The students have been troopers. I’m a 4th-grade teacher. Two weeks in and I think our kids are pros at it.” 

Jacobson has now had several tests herself. With nothing to be afraid of and only more awareness toward COVID, she said it’s so important to be in the know. 

“Knowledge is power,” Jacobson said. 

At-home learners are getting tested, too. Free COVID tests are available for those SAISD students working remotely (or asynchronously), and these results also are available within a day. 

Through a partnership with Con Corazón San Antonio, both in-person and remote staff and students within SAISD – and household family members of positive staff members or students – are eligible for testing at three sites:

• Alamo Stadium, 110 Tuleta Drive, Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• STAAMP Allergy-Olmos Park, 341 E. Hildebrand, Monday-Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• STAAMP Allergy-Westover Hills, 10447 State Hwy 151, Monday-Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For Sandra and Chris Gonzalez-Lamb, who have two children, they feel extremely comfortable for their son and daughter to receive the weekly COVID testing at Alamo Stadium. 

“It’s safe, important and will help your family and other families,” Sandra said. 

Like others, the Gonzalez-Lamb family has taken to the new normal in stride. Sandra believes that perception and trust are key to convincing other parents that COVID testing will keep everyone safe, especially for those who attend class in-person. 

Jacobson said she does have parents requesting that their children return to in-person learning. But until vaccines are more widely distributed, she said this is the way of life for now. Testing is the best way to keep everyone safe. 

“The bottom line is that we just want everyone to be healthy,” she said. “We want everyone back at school.” 

 

 La importancia de las pruebas de COVID

Las pruebas semanales de COVID-19 ahora están disponibles para los aprendices en persona en las más de 90 escuelas de San Antonio ISD. Es una señal que el Distrito le está enviando a la comunidad de que están manteniendo las condiciones lo más seguras que sea posible para cada estudiante, maestro y otro personal que esté basado en las escuelas. 

“SAISD está comprometido a proteger a cada persona que esté en una escuela de SAISD durante esta pandemia”, dijo Toni Thompson, superintendente asociada de recursos humanos. “Queremos que nuestras familias se sientan tranquilas de que las pruebas son seguras, precisas y sin dolor”. 

Estas pruebas regulares y gratuitas son vitales para el éxito y la salud de los estudiantes que asistan a las clases en persona. Las pruebas semanales en la mayoría de los casos se llevan a cabo en las escuelas los jueves y viernes y son administradas por el socio del Distrito, Community Labs. Los resultados están disponibles dentro de 24 horas. 

Tanya Jacobson, maestra de Maverick Elementary, es diligente en cuanto al distanciamiento apropiado en su salón, en el cual nunca tiene a más de nueve estudiantes. 

Jacobson siente que SAISD está tomando las medidas apropiadas para mantener a todos seguros y está muy contenta con el esfuerzo de la administración para prevenir que cualquier persona que esté en la escuela se enferme. Jacobson dice que las pruebas semanales son otra medida que mantendrá la salud y la seguridad de todas las personas involucradas. Recibió todas las notas de permiso por parte de los padres para que sus hijos reciban la prueba gratuita en la escuela. 

"Les brinda tranquilidad”, dijo Jacobson. “El hacerlo cada semana es una buena idea para seguir siendo consistentes y asegurarse de que todos estemos seguros. No es perjudicial de ninguna manera. Los estudiantes han hecho un excelente trabajo. Soy maestra de 4.º grado. Apenas van dos semanas y creo que nuestros niños ya son expertos”. 

Jacobson se ha tomado varias pruebas. Ya que no hay nada qué temer y brinda más información en cuanto a COVID, dijo que es tan importante saber. 

“El conocimiento es poder”, dijo Jacobson. 

Los aprendices que están en casa también reciben pruebas. Hay pruebas de COVID gratuitas disponibles para aquellos estudiantes de SAISD que estén trabajando a distancia (o de forma asincrónica), y esos resultados también están disponibles dentro de un día. 

Por medio de una asociación con la organización Con Corazón San Antonio, tanto el personal y los estudiantes de SAISD que estén en la escuela en persona como los que estén a distancia –y los miembros de la familia de personal o estudiantes que hayan tenido una prueba positiva– califican para las pruebas en tres sitios:

• Alamo Stadium, 110 Tuleta Drive, los miércoles de 8:30 a.m. a 3:30 p.m.
• STAAMP Allergy-Olmos Park, 341 E. Hildebrand, los lunes a jueves de 8 a.m. a 5 p.m., y los viernes de 8 a.m. a 3 p.m.
• STAAMP Allergy-Westover Hills, 10447 State Hwy 151, los lunes a jueves de 8 a.m. a 5 p.m., y los viernes de 8 a.m. a 3 p.m.

Sandra y Chris Gonzalez-Lamb, quienes tienen dos hijos, se sienten muy cómodos con que su hijo y su hija reciban la prueba semanal de COVID en Alamo Stadium. 

“Es seguro, importante y le ayudará a su familia y a otras familias”, dijo Sandra. 

Como otras personas lo han hecho, la familia Gonzalez-Lamb se ha acostumbrado a la nueva normalidad. Sandra siente que la percepción y la confianza son la clave para convencer a otros padres de que las pruebas de COVID mantendrán a todos seguros, en especial a quienes asistan a la clase en persona. 

Jacobson dice que tiene a padres que han solicitado que sus hijos regresen al aprendizaje en persona. Pero hasta que las vacunas se distribuyan más ampliamente, ella dijo que esta es la forma de vida. Las pruebas son la mejor manera para mantener a todos seguros. 

“Lo esencial es que queremos que todos estén seguros”, dijo ella. “Queremos que todos regresen a la escuela”. 

 

Burbank High School Wind Ensemble earns prestigious TMEA invitation
01/07/2021

Burbank wind ensembleThe Burbank High School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Hector Trevino, has been invited to perform for the 2021 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Clinic/Convention, the largest music educators convention in the nation. Hundreds of ensembles applied for selection as a 2021 TMEA Invited Performing Group, and Burbank was one of only three band programs in Texas to be invited. 

“Today marks yet another proud moment in SAISD,” said Superintendent Pedro Martinez.

The annual convention will be held virtually Feb. 11-13. As a featured group, the Burbank Wind Ensemble pre-recorded a half-hour concert at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to be showcased during the virtual event. 

“This selection is the opportunity of a lifetime that very few band programs in the state get to experience,” said Hector Trevino, director of bands for Burbank High School. 

Burbank was the only band program selected from the San Antonio area and the South Texas region. The other two band programs selected were Dripping Springs from the Central Texas area and Flower Mound from the North Texas area.

“TMEA is especially proud of Texas music directors and students for rising up to the challenge of presenting a performance in these COVID times,” said TMEA Executive Director Robert Floyd. “They will surely be appreciated by thousands of music educators across our state – and the world.”

“Our music program has existed since 1937 when our school first opened its doors, and our community has faced times of prosperity and adversity while continuing to fulfill our mission of educating students of the Bulldog Nation,” said Burbank High School Principal Irene Talamantes. “We are honored to carry on that tradition during another challenging time in our nation’s history and we know that the power of music will continue to uplift us all.”

The Burbank band is one of the oldest music programs in San Antonio. In July 1976, the band had the honor to perform for President Gerald Ford during his visit to our city. The Burbank band is a consistent “sweepstakes” program with many performing ensembles for students to explore and is currently 100 members strong. In its recent history, the band has been a UIL marching band area finalist and was featured as a demonstration group at the TMEA convention in 2019.

TMEA is an association of more than 13,500 school music educators dedicated to promoting excellence in music education. For more information on the association, visit www.tmea.org and for details about the convention, visit www.tmea.org/convention.

 

Conjunto de instrumentos de viento de Burbank High School obtiene invitación prestigiosa de TMEA

El conjunto de instrumentos de viento de Burbank High School, bajo la dirección de Hector Trevino, ha sido invitado a presentarse ante la Clínica/Convención de Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) para 2021, la convención más grande de educadores de música en el país. Cientos de conjuntos solicitaron para ser seleccionados como un Grupo de Interpretación Invitado para TMEA 2021, y Burbank fue uno de solo tres programas de banda en el estado de Texas en ser invitado. 

“Hoy es un momento más de orgullo en SAISD”, dijo el Superintendente Pedro Martinez.

La convención anual se llevará a cabo de forma virtual del 11-13 de feb. Como un grupo destacado, el Conjunto de Instrumentos de Viento de Burbank pregrabó un concierto de media hora en The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts que se presentará durante el evento virtual. 

“Esta selección es una oportunidad única que muy pocos programas de banda en el estado logran tener”, dijo Hector Trevino, director de bandas en Burbank High School. 

Burbank fue el único programa de banda seleccionado del área de San Antonio y de la región del Sur de Texas. Los otros dos programas de banda seleccionados fueron Dripping Springs del área Central de Texas y Flower Mound del área del Norte de Texas.

“TMEA está especialmente orgulloso de los directores de música y estudiantes de Texas por hacer frente al reto de presentar una interpretación en estos tiempos de COVID”, dijo el Director Ejecutivo de TMEA, Robert Floyd. “Miles de educadores en todo nuestro estado, y en todo el mundo, seguro los apreciarán”.

“Nuestro programa de música ha existido desde 1937 cuando nuestra escuela abrió sus puertas, y nuestra comunidad ha enfrentado temporadas de prosperidad y adversidad mientras continúa cumpliendo la misión de educar a los estudiantes de la Bulldog Nation”, dijo la Directora de Burbank High School, Irene Talamantes. “Nos es un honor continuar esa tradición durante otra temporada desafiante en la historia de nuestro país, y sabemos que el poder de la música seguirá alentándonos a todos”.

La banda de Burbank es uno de los programas de música más antiguos en San Antonio. En julio de 1976, la banda tuvo el honor de tocar para el Presidente Gerald Ford durante su visita a nuestra ciudad. La banda de Burbank es un programa consistente con muchos conjuntos de presentación para que los estudiantes exploren y actualmente cuenta con 100 miembros. En su historia reciente, la banda ha sido finalista UIL para banda de marcha en el área y fue destacada como un grupo de demostración en la convención TMEA en 2019.

TMEA es una asociación de más de 13,500 educadores escolares de música dedicados a promover la excelencia en la educación de música. Para más información sobre la asociación, visite www.tmea.org y para ver más detalles sobre la convención, visite www.tmea.org/convention.


Industry-focused P-TECH programs growing in SAISD
12/17/2020

P-TECH inviteWhen the Texas Legislature paved the way for school districts to work with the Texas Education Agency to launch Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) programs, San Antonio ISD was the first in the city and Bexar County to offer the open-enrollment, industry- and higher education-focused model to high school students across Bexar County.

The concept is that each program concentrates on a high-demand, high-wage industry that is needed in its regional area. Under the model, within four to six years, students will be able to earn a high school diploma, an industry-specific associate degree, industry certification, and complete work-based training through internships, apprenticeships or other job-training programs.

 

Each high school program works in cooperation with a higher-education partner and industry partners. For higher education, the P-TECH programs work with Alamo Colleges District's San Antonio College or St. Philip's College. Two local entities signed on as industry partners for all of SAISD's P-TECH programs: H-E-B and SA Works. Additional industry partners are listed below for each program.

SAISD’s first P-TECH program centered on cybersecurity and has been housed at Sam Houston High School since 2018. In 2019, the second program rolled out at Fox Tech High School with pathways in registered nursing and other healthcare careers. Now, as the district looks toward Fall 2021, it will greatly expand with the addition of three new programs at three different high schools.

 

• Edison High School will feature a program on business fields, including marketing, accounting, finance and more. 

• The program at Highlands High School will focus on aerospace, engineering, manufacturing and welding. 
• Sidney Lanier High School will launch a program centered on construction science/technology and power generation and alternative energy.

Click here to register for the grand opening celebration on Jan. 19, 2021.

The culture of a P-TECH school is built upon high expectations and a belief that all students can earn their college degrees. Students enter the program as ninth graders and, as part of the cohort model, advance each year together. Most importantly, from the moment students begin ninth grade, they see themselves as “college students” that are “on a career pathway.” 

P-TECH programs in SAISD

edison ptechEdison P-TECH School of Business
High School P-TECH Coordinator: David Garcia
Higher Education Partner: San Antonio College
Industry Partners: H-E-B, Galan-Graphix, Tacit Growth Strategies
Future annual salary expectations: $54,923-$116,799

 

Students combine high school and college-level courses to earn a post-secondary degree or post-secondary credentials, including an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration, Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technology, or Level 1 Certificate. Students also will engage in work-based training through job shadow experiences, internships, and apprenticeships.

 

Follow: Twitter @EdisonPTECH / Instagram @EdisonPTECH / Facebook @EdisonPTECH

 

fox tech h-techFox Tech H-TECH Pathways in Healthcare 
High School P-TECH Coordinator: Lynn Hernandez
Higher Education Partner: San Antonio College
Industry Partners: University Health System and Metropolitan Methodist Health System
Future annual salary expectations: $48,675-$272,239

 

Students will be able to earn their high school diploma as well as an Associate of Science degree and certification in Patient Care Technician or Pharmacy Technician. Students will also complete work-based training through internships and job-training programs.

 

Follow: Twitter @Fox_Tech_HS / Facebook @FoxTechHS

 

highlands ptechHighlands P-TECH for Aerospace, Engineering, Manufacturing and Welding
High School P-TECH Coordinator: Michelle Garcia
Higher Education Partner: St. Philip’s College
Industry Partners: TX-FAME (Consortium of companies including H-E-B, Toyota, TTTX, CPS Energy, Caterpillar, and more)
Future annual salary expectations: $44,530-$98,480

 

Students combine technical courses with dual credit courses to earn an associate degree and industry-approved certifications in the areas of aerospace, engineering, manufacturing and/or welding. Students will also complete work-based training through internships and job-training programs.

 

Follow: Twitter @STEMHHS / Instagram @stem_owls / Facebook @STEM Owls Highlands HS

 

lanier ptechConstruction Science P-TECH at Sidney Lanier High School
High School P-TECH Coordinator: Shelby Parker
Higher Education Partners: St. Philip’s College, UTSA
Industry Partners: Joeris General Contractors, Johnson Controls, Bartlett Cocke General Contractors, Workforce Solutions Alamo
Future annual salary expectations: $87,600-$127,200

 

Students are provided dual credit opportunities as well as work-based training through internships, apprenticeships, or other job-training programs. Students will earn the necessary skills, certifications, and industry-specific training necessary for careers within construction technology, construction science and management, or power generation and alternative energy.

 

Follow: Twitter @SAISDLanier @SAISD_CSPTECH / Facebook @ConstructionSciencePTECH

 

cyber ptechCyber P-TECH USA at Sam Houston High School
High School P-TECH Coordinator: Kaye Robinson
Higher Education Partners: St. Philip’s College
Industry Partners: STEMuli, Accenture
Future annual salary expectations: $45,000-$170,000+

 

Students will have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, industry certifications, as well as an associate degree in applied science. Students will engage in work-based training through job shadow experiences, internships, and apprenticeships and will develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in the cybersecurity industry.

 

Follow: Twitter @saisdcyberptech / Instagram @saisdcyberptech / Facebook @SamHoustonHSSAISD

 

Programas P-TECH con enfoque en ciertas industrias crecen en SAISD

Cuando la Legislatura de Texas preparó el camino para que los distritos escolares trabajaran con la Agencia de Educación de Texas para lanzar programas de Escuelas Preparatorias con Crédito Universitario de Vías Académicas en Tecnología (P-TECH, por sus siglas en inglés), San Antonio ISD fue el primer distrito en la ciudad y en el condado de Bexar en ofrecer el modelo de inscripción abierta con enfoque en industrias y educación superior a los estudiantes de preparatoria en todo el condado de Bexar.

El concepto es que cada programa se concentra en una industria de alta demanda y alto sueldo que se necesita en su área regional. Bajo el modelo, dentro de cuatro a seis años, los estudiantes podrán obtener un diploma de preparatoria, un título asociado para una industria específica, certificación de la industria, y completar capacitación laboral por medio de pasantías, prácticas u otros programas de formación profesional.
 
Cada programa de preparatoria trabaja en cooperación con un socio de educación superior y socios de las industrias. Para la educación superior, los programas P-TECH trabajan con San Antonio College o St. Philip´s College de Alamo Colleges District. Dos entidades locales se afiliaron como socios de la industria para todos los programas de P-TECH en SAISD, H-E-B y SA Works. Los socios adicionales de las industrias se detallan a continuación para cada programa.

El primer programa P-TECH de SAISD que se centra en seguridad cibernética y ha estado ubicado en Sam Houston High School desde 2018. En 2019, el segundo programa se lanzó en Fox Tech High School con vías académicas en enfermería registrada y otras carreras de atención médica. Ahora, a medida que el distrito mira hacia otoño de 2021, se ampliará considerablemente con la adición de tres programas nuevos en tres preparatorias diferentes.

• Edison High School contará con un programa que abarca los campos de negocios, entre ellos mercadotecnia, contabilidad, finanzas y más. 
• El programa en Highlands High School se centrará en aeronáutica, ingeniería, fabricación y soldadura. 
• Sidney Lanier High School lanzará un programa que se centrará en las ciencias/la tecnología y generación eléctrica y energía alternativa.

La cultura de una escuela P-TECH se establece sobre altas expectativas y una creencia de que todos los estudiantes pueden recibir títulos universitarios. Los estudiantes entran al programa en noveno grado y, como parte del modelo de grupos, avanzan juntos cada año. Lo más importante, desde el momento que los estudiantes comienzan el noveno grado, se ven como “estudiantes universitarios” que están “en una vía académica”. 

Programas P-TECH en SAISD

edison ptechP-TECH de Escuela de Negocios en Edison
Coordinador P-TECH de preparatoria: David Garcia
Socio de educación superior: San Antonio College
Socios de la industria: H-E-B, Galan-Graphix, Tacit Growth Strategies
Expectativas de salario anual en el futuro: $54,923-$116,799
 
Los estudiantes combinan cursos de nivel de preparatoria y universitario para obtener un título superior o credenciales superiores, incluso un título Asociado de Artes en administración de empresas, un título Asociado de Ciencias Aplicadas en Tecnología de Contabilidad o un Certificado de Nivel 1. Los estudiantes también participarán en la capacitación laboral por medio de experiencias de observación de trabajo, pasantías y formación laboral.
 
Siga: Twitter @EdisonPTECH / Instagram @EdisonPTECH / Facebook @EdisonPTECH
 

fox tech h-techH-TECH de vías académicas de atención médica en Fox Tech 
Coordinadora P-TECH de preparatoria:  Lynn Hernandez 
Socio de educación superior: San Antonio College
Socios de la industria: University Health System y Metropolitan Methodist Health System
Expectativas de salario anual en el futuro: $48,675-$272,239
 

Los estudiantes podrán obtener su diploma de preparatoria al igual que un título Asociado de Ciencias y una certificación de Técnico de Cuidado de Pacientes o Técnico Farmacéutico. Los estudiantes también completarán capacitación de empleo por medio de pasantías y programas de capacitación laboral.
 
Siga: Twitter @Fox_Tech_HS / Facebook @FoxTechHS
 

highlands ptechP-TECH de Highlands para aeronáutica, ingeniería, fabricación y soldadura
Coordinadora P-TECH de preparatoria:  Michelle Garcia
Socio de educación superior: St. Philip’s College
Socios de la industria: TX-FAME (Consorcio de empresas entre ellas H-E-B, Toyota, TTTX, CPS Energy, Caterpillar y más)
Expectativas de salario anual en el futuro: $44,530-$98,480
 
Los estudiantes combinan cursos técnicos con cursos de doble crédito para obtener un título asociado y certificaciones aprobadas por las industrias en las áreas de aeronáutica, ingeniería, fabricación y/o soldadura. Los estudiantes también completarán capacitación de empleo por medio de pasantías y programas de capacitación laboral.
 
Siga: Twitter @STEMHHS / Instagram @stem_owls / Facebook @STEM Owls Highlands HS
 

lanier ptechP-TECH de Ciencias de Construcción en Sidney Lanier High School
Coordinadora P-TECH de preparatoria:  Shelby Parker 
Socios de educación superior: St. Philip’s College, UTSA
Socios de la industria: Joeris General Contractors, Johnson Controls, Bartlett Cocke General Contractors, Workforce Solutions Alamo
Expectativas de salario anual en el futuro: $87,600-$127,200
 
Se les proporcionan oportunidades de doble crédito a los estudiantes al igual que capacitación de empleo por medio de pasantías, formación u otros programas de capacitación laboral. Los estudiantes recibirán las habilidades, certificaciones y capacitación específica a las industrias para las profesiones dentro de los sectores de tecnología de construcción, ciencias y administración de construcción, o generación eléctrica y energía alternativa.
 
Siga: Twitter @SAISDLanier @SAISD_CSPTECH / Facebook @ConstructionSciencePTECH
 

cyber ptechCyber P- TECH USA en Sam Houston High School
Coordinadora de preparatoria P-TECH: Kaye Robinson
Socios de educación superior: St. Philip’s College
Socios de la industria: STEMuli, Accenture
Expectativas de salario anual en el futuro: $45,000-$83,891
 
Los estudiantes tendrán la oportunidad de obtener un diploma de preparatoria, certificaciones de la industria, al igual que un título asociado en la ciencia aplicada. Los estudiantes participarán en la capacitación laboral por medio de experiencias de observación de trabajo, pasantías y formación laboral y desarrollarán las habilidades y cualificaciones necesarias para tener éxito en la industria de seguridad cibernética.
 
Siga: Twitter @saisdcyberptech / Instagram @saisdcyberptech / Facebook @SamHoustonHSSAISD

 
 
 
 
 
 

High school internships help students find their passion
12/11/2020

internshipsCAST Tech High School, a career-themed high school in SAISD and part of the CAST Network, focuses on coding, cyber security, IT, gaming, entrepreneurship, business and user experience. But among those specific career fields, school leaders share a common belief in one thing that will give students real-world experience – internships. 

Amir Samandi is the school’s partnership director. More than that, he’s a mentor. 

He’s got a big task. He’s in charge of helping each and every student find the perfect internship that will be the best fit for his students. 

“My role is to create a mentoring program, but we went many steps above that,” he said. “I’ve taken on connecting students to internships that’ll give them experience they can use in their real-life jobs after they graduate high school and college. I hope they can use that to leverage their talent, personality and ambition.” 

The CAST network promises students that, if they want an internship, every student will be able to obtain an internship. Samandi has 150 students in his program right now, including 52 mentoring pods (where two students are paired with one mentor) with companies like HEB, Rackspace, Joeris, USAA and CPS Energy. 

One of those students is Timiera Jackson, a CAST Tech senior who is a marketing intern at San Antonio-based DOCUmation, a Forbes company specializing in cloud computing. 

Jackson says she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do with her life when the internship at DOCUmation came along. 

“I went from business to computer science to now psychology,” Jackson said. “When I heard about the opportunity at DOCUmation, I didn’t know how this can help me. Business wise, I wanted to work with people. I’m not qualified to work in social media. When I went to the job interview, I was honest. I didn’t know anything about social media aside from posting about my life.” 

As it turns out, Jackson found that working with the company’s marketing team is so much more than posting on social media or organizing files. There’s a people connection to it. That’s what she was looking for. 

“Timiera is energetic, involved and eager,” said DOCUmation’s director of marketing, Arica Espinoza. “When I interviewed her, right off the bat, she has such a great personality. You can tell she’s a thinker. To have someone that thinks through is what a big piece of marketing and strategy is. Anyone can put a social media post up. But she paints a picture and thinks about the strategy behind it.” 

Right now, DOCUmation is pivoting from what people have known it for – printing – to a full-service technology solutions company that provides IT, print, and software managed services.   

Jackson is there at the right moment to help the marketing team change people’s view of DOCUmation. 

“It’s opened my eyes in ways I didn’t even expect. How can I grab people’s attention? It’s been eye-opening and something I hadn’t even considered,” Jackson said. 

For Samandi, internships are much more than fulfilling a requirement. 

“At the end of the day, we feel it’s all about helping young people realize their potential to make our community better,” Samandi said.

 

Las pasantías en la preparatoria ayudan a los estudiantes a encontrar su pasión

CAST Tech High School, una escuela preparatoria en SAISD con una concentración profesional y parte de la red de CAST, se enfoca en la codificación, la seguridad cibernética, la informática, los videojuegos, el emprendimiento, los negocios y la experiencia de usuario. Pero entre esos campos profesiones específicos, los líderes escolares comparten una creencia en un elemento que les dará experiencia práctica a los estudiantes – las pasantías. 

Amir Samandi es el director de asociaciones de la escuela. Más que eso, él es un mentor. 

Él tiene una gran tarea. Está encargado de ayudar a cada estudiante a encontrar la pasantía perfecta que será el mejor ajuste para sus estudiantes. 

“Mi función es crear un programa de mentores, pero fuimos más allá que eso”, dijo él. “Me dedico a conectar a los estudiantes con pasantías que les darán experiencia que pueden usar en sus trabajos después de que se gradúen de la preparatoria y de la universidad. Espero que puedan aprovechar su talento, su personalidad y su ambición”. 

La red CAST les promete a los estudiantes que, si quieren una pasantía, cada estudiante podrá obtenerla. Samandi actualmente tiene 150 estudiantes en su programa, incluso 52 conjuntos de asesoría (en los que dos estudiantes se agrupan con un mentor) con empresas como HEB, Rackspace, Joeris, USAA y CPS Energy.  

Una de esas estudiantes es Timiera Jackson, una estudiante de último año de CAST Tech que es una pasante de mercadotecnia en DOCUmantion, una empresa de Forbes con sede en San Antonio que se especializa en la informática en la nube. 

Jackson dice que no estaba muy segura de a qué quería dedicarse cuando se presentó la pasantía en DOCUmation. 

“Pasé de negocios a informática y ahora a psicología”, dijo Jackson. “Cuando me enteré sobre la oportunidad en DOCUmation, no sabía cómo esto me podría ayudar. En términos de negocios, quería trabajar con las personas. Pero no estoy calificada para trabajar con las redes sociales. Cuando fui a la entrevista de trabajo, fui honesta. No sabía nada sobre las redes sociales más allá de lo que publico sobre mi vida”. 

Jackson se dio cuenta que trabajar con el equipo de mercadotecnia del equipo significa mucho más que publicar en las redes sociales u organizar archivos. Tiene una conexión a las personas. Eso es lo que ella buscaba. 

“Timiera es energética, comprometida y entusiasta”, dijo la directora de mercadotecnia de DOCUmation, Arica Espinoza. “Cuando la entrevisté, supe de inmediato que ella tiene una gran personalidad. Es fácil ver que ella es una pensadora. Una gran parte de la mercadotecnia y la estrategia es tener a alguien que piense detenidamente. Cualquier persona puede hacer una publicación en las redes sociales. Pero ella define el panorama y piensa sobre cuál es la estrategia”. 

En este momento, DOCUmation está cambiando el servicio por el que es más conocido  –la impresión– a un a empresa de soluciones integrales de tecnología que proporciona servicios de informática, impresión y servicios administrados por el software.    

Jackson está allí en el momento indicado para ayudar al equipo de mercadotecnia a cambiar la opinión de las personas sobre DOCUmation. 

“Me ha abierto los ojos de formas que no esperaba. ¿Cómo puedo captar la atención de las personas? Ha sido revelador y algo que ni siquiera había considerado”, dijo Jackson. 

Para Samandi, las pasantías son mucho más que solo cumplir con un requisito. 

“A fin de cuentas, sentimos que se trata sobre ayudar a las personas jóvenes a darse cuenta de su potencial para mejorar a nuestra comunidad”, dijo Samandi.


SAISD has record number of QuestBridge Match Scholarship Recipients
12/07/2020

QuestBridge Winners 2020

 

This year, San Antonio ISD has a record number of students who have been selected as QuestBridge Match Scholarship Recipients. These six high school seniors will receive full four-year scholarships to the nation’s top colleges, totaling more than $1.8 million toward their post-secondary education. 

 

·      CAST Tech’s Andrea S. matched with California Institute of Technology 
·      Edison’s Angel I. matched with Amherst College 
·      Highlands’ Ja'Lynn C. has matched with Washington University 
·      Travis ECHS’s Samuel T. matched with Princeton University 
·      YWLA’s Caroline E. matched with Brown University 
·      YWLA’s Armani C. matched with University of Notre Dame 

 

“We have always known the high level of achievement that our students are capable of producing and this record number of QuestBridge matches validates that,” said Dr. Eduardo “Lalo” Sesatty, director of SAISD Postsecondary Initiatives. “Our students are truly capable of greatness and we thank QuestBridge for seeing that in our scholars. This record also highlights the importance of positions like the College Bound Advisors and the crucial ways in which they help students navigate the complex and nuanced college enrollment process.” 

 

The QuestBridge National College Match is a national program that connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds. Out of over 18,500 applicants this year, 1,464 students were named as Match Scholarship Recipients with one of QuestBridge’s 42 college partners. 

 

"The achievements of our 2020 Match Scholarship Recipients are particularly exceptional in the midst of a year marked by challenging circumstances,” said Ana McCullough, CEO and co-founder of QuestBridge. “The fact that our college partners awarded a record number of scholarships this year bolsters our hope for a brighter, more equitable future.” 

 

Match Scholarship Recipients are admitted early to QuestBridge college partners with full four-year scholarships that are provided by the colleges and universities, ensuring for the students and their families that an education at a top college can be affordable. QuestBridge’s 42 college partners include top liberal arts colleges such as Amherst, Pomona, and Williams and exceptional research universities such as Columbia, Duke, UChicago, Stanford, and Yale. 

 

“I'm looking forward to getting to know the students who will be attending Princeton with me,” said Travis ECHS’s Samuel T. “I've lived in San Antonio my whole life, and only left Texas a handful of times: most notably on an East Coast trip to Princeton and other schools that SAISD took me on during my sophomore year. While I'm appreciative of my native roots, I have to admit that I'm eager to see what life is like living in a different state and hearing stories from all across the country and, in some cases, the world.” 

 

The Match Scholarship is offered as part of a generous financial aid package provided by the college that covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses. 

 

“I'm still in shock that I am a College Match Recipient and I have to keep reminding myself that it's not a glitch in the matrix!” said CAST Tech’s Andrea S. “I've known about QuestBridge for years, but never in a million years did I think that I would get this far. It feels all really strange, but in a good way.” 

 

The majority of the 2020 QuestBridge Scholars - 78% - are among the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college in the United States. 

 

“I feel very proud of myself since I worked hard to get here, and all my work is finally paying off,” said YWLA’s Caroline E. “I am also very relieved about my financial situation in college in addition to my education. This scholarship is amazing!” 

 

Since 2003, the QuestBridge National College Match has successfully connected over 8,850 students with full scholarships at college partners. These 2020 Match Scholarship Recipients become the first QuestBridge Scholars for the Class of 2025. Based on previous years, it is estimated that over 2,000 Finalists will be admitted to QuestBridge college partners later in the year through Early and Regular Decision processes.  

 

About QuestBridge: 
 
QuestBridge, a national nonprofit based in Palo Alto, California, connects the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading institutions of higher education and further life opportunities. By recruiting, developing, and motivating these students — beginning in high school through college to their early career — QuestBridge aims to help talented low-income students attend the nation’s best colleges and to support them to achieve success in their respective careers and communities. 

 

SAISD tiene número récord de beneficiarios de la beca QuestBridge Match Scholarship
 
Este año, San Antonio ISD tiene un número récord de estudiantes que han sido seleccionados como beneficiarios de la beca QuestBridge Match Scholarship. Estos seis estudiantes de último año de preparatoria recibirán becas completas de cuatro años a las universidades superiores de la nación, con un total de más de $1.8 millones de dólares hacia su educación superior. 
 
·      Andrea S. de CAST Tech se dirige a California Institute of Technology 
·      Angel I. de Edison se dirige a Amherst College 
·      Ja'Lynn C. de Highlands se dirige a Washington University 
·      Samuel T. de Travis ECHS se dirige a Princeton University 
·      Caroline E. de YWLA se dirige a Brown University 
·      Armani C. de YWLA se dirige a University of Notre Dame 
 
“Siempre hemos sabido el alto nivel de desempeño del que nuestros estudiantes son capaces y este número récord de beneficiarios de QuestBridge lo confirma”, dijo el Dr. Eduardo “Lalo” Sesatty, director de Iniciativas de Estudios Superiores de SAISD. “Nuestros estudiantes realmente son capaces de la excelencia y le agradecemos a QuestBridge por ver eso en nuestros estudiantes. Este récord también destaca la importancia de puestos como los Consejeros Universitarios y las formas cruciales en las que ayudan a los estudiantes a navegar el proceso de matriculación universitaria complejo y matizado”. 
 
El QuestBridge National College Match es un programa nacional que conecta a los estudiantes de último año de preparatoria de alto rendimiento y bajos recursos. De más de 18,500 solicitantes este año, 1,464 fueron nombrados beneficiarios de la beca Match Scholarship con uno de los 42 socios universitarios de QuestBridge. 
 
"Los logros de nuestros beneficiarios de la beca Match Scholarship de 2020 son especialmente excepcionales en medio de un año caracterizado por circunstancias desafiantes”, dijo Ana McCullough, directora ejecutiva y cofundadora de QuestBridge. “El hecho de que nuestros socios universitarios otorgaron un número récord de becas este año reafirma nuestra esperanza para un futuro mejor y más equitativo”. 
 
Los beneficiarios de la beca Match Scholarship reciben un ingreso anticipado con los socios universitarios de QuestBridge con becas de cuatro años que proporcionan las universidades, lo cual les asegura a los estudiantes y a sus familias que una educación en una universidad superior puede ser asequible. Los 42 socios universitarios de QuestBridge incluyen las universidades superiores de artes liberales como Amherst, Pomona y Williams al igual que universidades excepcionales de investigación como Columbia, Duke, UChicago, Stanford y Yale. 
 
“Estoy emocionado por conocer a los estudiantes que asistirán a Princeton conmigo”, dijo Samuel T. de Travis ECHS. “He vivido en San Antonio toda mi vida y solo he salido de Texas unas cuantas veces: particularmente para un viaje a la Costa Este a Princeton y otras escuelas al que me llevó SAISD durante mi segundo año de preparatoria. Mientras que aprecio mis raíces de origen, debo admitir que estoy ansioso por ver cómo es la vida en un estado diferente y escuchar historias de todo el país, y en algunos casos, del mundo”. 
 
La beca Match Scholarship se ofrece como parte de un paquete generoso de ayuda financiera proporcionado por la universidad que cubre el costo completo de la asistencia incluso la matrícula, el alojamiento y las comidas, los libros y útiles, y los costos del viaje. 
 
“Todavía estoy en shock de que sea una beneficiaria de la beca College Match y tengo que recordarme a menudo que no fue un error”, dijo Andrea S. de CAST Tech. “He sabido sobre QuestBridge por años, pero ni en un millón de años me hubiera imaginado que llegaría tan lejos. Se siente muy extraño, pero en un buen sentido”. 
 
La mayoría de los Alumnos Questbridge de 2020, el 78 %, forman parte de la primera generación en su familia en asistir a una universidad de cuatro años en los Estados Unidos. 
 
“Me siento muy orgullosa ya que me esmeré mucho por llegar aquí, y mi ardua labor por fin está dando resultados”, dijo Caroline E. de YWLA. “También siento un gran alivio sobre mi situación financiera en la universidad además de mi educación. ¡Esta beca es increíble!”. 
 
Desde 2003, el programa de QuestBridge National College Match ha conectado exitosamente a más de 8,850 estudiantes con becas completas con las universidades asociadas. Estos Beneficiarios de 2020 de la beca Match Scholarship son los primeros Estudiantes QuestBridge en integrarse a la Clase de 2025. En base a los años anteriores, se estima que más de 2,000 Finalistas serán aceptados a las universidades asociadas de QuestBridge en el transcurso del año por medio de los procesos de Decisión Anticipada y Regular.  
 
Acerca de QuestBridge: 
 
QuestBridge, una organización sin fines de lucro con sede en Palo Alto, California, conecta a los jóvenes más excepcionales de bajos recursos con instituciones destacadas de educación superior y oportunidades adicionales. Al seleccionar, desarrollar y motivar a estos estudiantes —comenzando en la preparatoria, a lo largo de la universidad y hasta principios de sus carreras profesionales— QuestBridge procura ayudar a los estudiantes talentosos de bajos recursos a asistir a las mejores universidades de la nación y apoyarlos a lograr el éxito en sus carreras y comunidades respectivas. 

 
 

7 SAISD schools place in Children At Risk rankings
12/04/2020
Out of 550 San Antonio area schools, seven SAISD campuses received eight top placements in the 2020 Pandemic Edition School Rankings, produced by the nonprofit Children At Risk – a statewide research and advocacy think tank. 

This year’s rankings were labeled the “pandemic edition” because the emergence of COVID-19 changed the way Children At Risk calculated its data – resorting to a three-year analysis with newly added indicators. SAISD schools rated highly in the top 10 lists and in two of the new indicators: Racial Equity and Pace Setter Schools.

In the ranking’s top 10 lists, Young Women’s Leadership Academy was named both the top local high school and the top local middle school in the San Antonio area. Travis Early College High School received the fourth spot on the top 10 list of public high schools.

Among top performers in racial equity, Fox Tech High School was rated first in the high school category. The racial equity indicator is a comparative measure indicating how well schools are serving students of color.

SAISD schools also received the top four spots among Pace Setter Schools in the Elementary Category. Washington Elementary School placed first, Cotton Academy placed second, Mission Academy placed third, and Kelly Elementary School placed fourth.

Pace Setter Schools are those that have shown significant improvements from prior years and are on track to becoming Gold Ribbon Schools. Gold Ribbon Schools are those that receive an A or B in Children At Risk rankings and have 75% or more of their students classified as living in low-income households. Gold Ribbon Schools are neighborhood schools that do not classify as charter or magnet programs.

Children At Risk releases its rankings for each region of the state annually. San Antonio’s rankings were released Monday, Nov. 30. Locally, Children At Risk analyzed 550 schools, including 339 elementary schools, 138 middle schools and 73 high schools.

All rankings can be seen here: https://texasschoolguide.org/pandemic-rankings/?fbclid=IwAR3DzC0YZ3RRBpWjt4IrBOO8qIf1FWMaKB7B_w5T1y42lqCerR9q-bKM8QE
 

children at risk  children at risk  children at risk  children at risk

 

7 escuelas de SAISD califican en el ranking de Children At Risk

De 550 escuelas en el área de San Antonio, siete planteles de SAISD recibieron 8 clasificaciones superiores en el Ranking escolar de 2020 de la edición de la pandemia, que produjo la organización sin fines de lucro Children At Risk – un grupo de expertos de investigación y abogacía a nivel estatal. 

Los rankings de este año se clasificaron como la “edición de la pandemia” debido a que el surgimiento de COVID-19 cambió la forma en la que Children At Risk calculó sus datos, recurriendo a un análisis de tres años con nuevos indicadores. Las escuelas de SAISD clasificaron en niveles altos de las listas de las 10 escuelas superiores en dos de los nuevos indicadores: escuelas de Equidad Racial y Pioneras.

En las listas de las 10 escuelas superiores del ranking, Young Women´s Leadership Academy fue nombrada la escuela preparatoria superior local y la escuela secundaria superior local en el área de San Antonio. Travis Early College High School recibió el cuarto lugar en la lista de 10 escuelas preparatorias superiores públicas.

Entre las mejores escuelas en términos de equidad social, Fox Tech High School recibió el primer lugar en la categoría de escuelas preparatorias. El indicador de equidad racial es una medida comparativa que marca qué tan bien les presta servicio la escuela a los estudiantes de color.

Las escuelas de SAISD también recibieron los cuatro lugares superiores entre las Escuelas Pioneras en la Categoría de Escuelas Primarias. Washington Elementary School calificó en el primer lugar, Cotton Academy en segundo, Mission Academy en tercero y Kelly Elementary School en cuarto lugar.

Las escuelas Pioneras son las que han mostrado mejorías significativas de años anteriores y están en camino a convertirse en Escuelas Gold Ribbon. Las Escuelas Gold Ribbon son las que reciben una A o B en el ranking de Children At Risk y tienen un 75 % o más de sus estudiantes que viven en hogares de bajos ingresos. Las Escuelas Gold Ribbon son escuelas del vecindario que no clasifican como programas chárter o magnet.

Children At Risk lanza sus rankings para cada región del estado cada año. Las clasificaciones para San Antonio se lanzaron el lunes, 30 de nov. Localmente, Children At Risk analizó a 550 escuelas, entre ellas 339 escuelas primarias, 138 escuelas secundarias y 73 escuelas preparatorias.

Puede ver todas las clasificaciones aquí: https://texasschoolguide.org/pandemic-rankings/?fbclid=IwAR3DzC0YZ3RRBpWjt4IrBOO8qIf1FWMaKB7B_w5T1y42lqCerR9q-bKM8QE

 

SAISD’s sustainability department ‘shooting for the stars’
12/02/2020

aaron stein

 

In just a few short years, the San Antonio ISD’s investment in its sustainability program has paid off substantially, not only in energy savings and recycling initiatives, but with nearly $2 million to put back into educating students. 

Aaron SteinAaron Stein, who is the director for the District’s Energy and Sustainability Department, arrived at SAISD in 2017. His first task was to emulate best sustainability practices developed by other school districts and large public and private organizations. But he also set out to create SAISD’s own set of sustainability standards. 

“We did a lot that first year,” Stein said. “It’s been a work in progress since the beginning.” 

Along with many ideas, metrics and targets, Stein also set out to track utility usage. That’s typically the largest cost to a school district, after personnel. But with no budget in that first year and a big job ahead of him to reduce energy consumption and recoup costs, Stein looked to streamlining processes. 

Part of that included creating an energy policy and procedures that standardized heating and cooling set points, shutting down systems on weekends and reducing air conditioning and heating run times when students went home for the day.  And engaging teachers and students in the process. 

“Things like that are really fun,” Stein said. “It tells a better story than ‘we wrote a sequence to make the chiller run more efficiently.'” 

Chris SalleyStein along with Chris Salley, who joined the District in 2018 as senior executive director of SAISD’s Facilities Services Department, are reaching out to campuses to create competitions between campuses. 

Soon, a five-week challenge will begin at Poe Middle School geared toward energy conservation, and the campus will compete against schools across the country. Stein says it causes people to stop and think about energy and sustainability. Salley thinks it creates momentum for future programs and will get people excited about it. 

"I’m a big fan of the ‘all of us are stronger than any one of us, all of us are smarter than any one of us’ philosophy,” Salley said. “My vision long-term is the whole district is on board with energy conservation and sustainability.” 

Already it’s paying off in a big way. Salley says the district was able to save $1.98 million since the program’s inception. That can buy technology for classrooms.   

“Any number of ways, it goes back to the bottom line of the district,” Salley said. “It definitely benefits our children.” 

Stein also looks for rebates provided by CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System. Money collected from rebates goes right back into the sustainability plan for the District, Stein said, by adding efficient LED lighting and more. 

Salley and Stein agree, they’re just getting started. 

“My end goal is for us to be a self-sustaining school district,” Salley said. “My vision is that we can generate our own electricity if possible - a solar panel on every building. I’m shooting for the stars, but if I hit the moon, that’s still pretty high.” 

 

El departamento de sostenibilidad de SAISD ‘aspira a lo máximo’

En solo unos cuantos años, la inversión de San Antonio ISD en su programa de sostenibilidad ha rendido frutos considerables, no solo en ahorros de energía e iniciativas de reciclaje, sino con casi $2 millones de dólares para utilizarse en educar a los estudiantes. 

Aaron Stein, quien es el director del Departamento de Energía y Sostenibilidad del Distrito, llegó a SAISD en 2017. Su primera tarea fue emular las mejores prácticas de sostenibilidad desarrolladas por otros distritos escolares y grandes organizaciones públicas y privadas. Pero también se propuso crear un conjunto de estándares de sostenibilidad específico a SAISD. 

“Hicimos mucho ese primer año”, dijo Stein. “Ha sido un trabajo en curso desde el principio”. 

Junto con muchas ideas, medidas y objetivos, Stein también se propuso monitorizar el uso de los servicios públicos. Normalmente ese es el costo más grande para un distrito escolar, tras el personal.

Pero sin un presupuesto ese primer año y con una gran tarea de reducir el consumo de energía y de recuperar costos, Stein se enfocó en optimizar los procesos. 

En parte eso incluyó crear una política y procedimientos de energía que estandarizaron los puntos fijos de calefacción y climatización, apagar sistemas los fines de semana y reducir el uso de aire acondicionado y calefacción después que los estudiantes regresan a casa cada día.  Al igual que lograr la participación de los maestros y estudiantes en el proceso. 

“Ese tipo de cosas son muy divertidas”, dijo Stein. “Es mejor que solo decir: ‘escribimos una secuencia para lograr que el sistema de refrigeración funcione de forma más eficiente'”. 

Stein, junto con Chris Salley, quien se unió al Distrito en 2018 como director ejecutivo superior del Departamento de Servicios de Instalaciones, se están poniendo en contacto con las escuelas para crear concursos entre las mismas. 

Pronto comenzará un reto de cinco semanas en Poe Middle School centrado en la conservación de energía, y la escuela competirá contra escuelas en todo el país. Stein dice que hace que las personas pausen y reflexionen sobre la energía y sostenibilidad. Salley considera que crea un impulso para futuros programas y logrará que las personas se entusiasmen. 

"Soy un gran partidario de la filosofía ‘todos juntos somos más fuertes que cualquiera de nosotros, todos juntos somos más inteligentes que cualquiera de nosotros’”, dijo Salley. “Mi visión a largo plazo es que todo el distrito esté a bordo con la conservación y sostenibilidad de energía”. 

Y ya está rindiendo frutos a gran medida. Salley dice que el distrito ha podido ahorrar $1.98 millones de dólares desde que comenzó el programa. Eso puede comprar tecnología para los salones de clase.   

“De muchas maneras, todo tiene que ver con los resultados netos del distrito”, dijo Salley. “Definitivamente beneficia a nuestros niños”. 

Stein también busca reembolsos que proporcionan CPS Energy y el Sistema de Agua de San Antonio. El dinero recolectado de estos reembolsos se invierte directamente al plan de sostenibilidad del Distrito, dijo Stein, al agregar luces LED eficientes en energía y más. 

Salley y Stein están de acuerdo con que solo es el comienzo. 

“Mi objetivo final es que seamos un distrito escolar autosuficiente”, dijo Salley. “Mi visión es que podamos generar nuestra propia electricidad di es posible, un panel solar en cada edificio. Sé que estoy aspirando a lo máximo y si logramos y si logramos una porción será un gran éxito”. 

 


"Holidays Around the World" holiday card contest winners
11/15/2020

For the past 17 years, the SAISD Fine Arts Department has showcased student art through the annual Student Holiday Card Contest. This year’s theme is “Holidays Around the World.” The contest was introduced in September, and dozens of entries were received in the elementary, middle and high school grade levels. Winning entries are bundled into 13-count full-color holiday card packages, complete with envelopes - and are being sold for $10.50 (including tax).

 

Employees and families may show their support for our talented students by purchasing their creative masterpieces. Deadline to place an order for cards is Monday, Dec. 14. To purchase holiday card packages, please call Central Office Printing Services Department at (210) 554-8350 or email your order to Vanessa Vance

 

The contest winners are as follows: 


holiday card

Judge’s Choice Elementary, Level K-2:
Casaybree Ortiz, Kinder, Wilson Elementary School
Art Teacher: Julie Cummock

 

holiday card

Honorable Mention Elementary, Level K-2:
Giacomo Diaz, 2nd Grade, Advanced Learning Academy
Art Teacher: Sonya Castro

 

holiday card
1st Place Elementary, Level K-2:
Isabel Alfaro, 2nd Grade, Irving Dual Language
Art Teacher: Katy Bleyl

 

holiday card
Judge’s Choice Elementary, Level 3-5: 
O’Laura G. Alvarado, 5th Grade, Washington Elementary
Art Teacher: Stephanie Ramirez

 

holiday card
Honorable Mention Elementary, Level 3-5:
Sebastian Vasquez, 4th Grade, Bonham Academy
Art Teacher: Morgan Oliver

 

holiday card
1st Place Elementary Level, 3-5:
Joacim Olivo, 4th Grade, Mark Twain Dual Language
Art Teacher: Elisabeth Diaz

 

holiday card
Judge’s Choice Academy/Middle School: 
Iliana Cabrera, 7th Grade, Tafolla Middle School
Art Teacher: Nicole Vasquez

 

holiday card
Honorable Mention Academy/Middle School:
Jazmin Parga, 8th Grade, Harris Middle School
Art Teacher: Phillip Sada

 

holiday card
1st Place Academy/Middle School:
Julienne Marie Gonzaga, 7th Grade, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Art Teacher: Marcella Gutierrez

 

holiday card
Judge’s Choice High School: 
Sadie Carter, 11th Grade, Jefferson High School
Art Teacher: Omer Garcia

 

holiday card
Honorable Mention High School:
Isis Santos, 9th Grade, Jefferson High School
Art Teacher: Amber Smith

 

holiday card
1st Place High School:
Melissa Faz, 10th Grade, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Art Teacher: Laura Schultz

 

holiday card
Grand Prize Winner:
Gabriela Mendoza, 8th Grade, Bonham Academy
Art Teacher: Monico Vitela


SAISD honors Veterans Day
11/11/2020

Brackenridge High School

veterans day

veterans day

 

Edison High School

Every year at Edison High School, JROTC pairs up with the Culinary program to serve our Veterans and First Responders breakfast on Veterans Day. The breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and a  biscuit.

veterans day veterans day

veterans dayveterans day

 

Highlands High School JROTC Veterans Day presentation

Highlands JROTC

 

Jefferson High School JROTC Veterans Day presentation

Jefferson JROTC

 

Sam Houston High School

veterans dayProud veteran and JROTC Army instructor Donald R. Halford says the best part about working with SAISD students is when he sees them overcome a challenge and not give up. That’s why he has been serving at SAISD for more than 14 years! We’re proud to have veterans like Halford and to celebrate them, and all veterans, this Veterans Day and throughout the year.

 


COVID testing provided at no cost to SAISD students
11/05/2020

COVID testingIn a typical school year, student-athletes do everything together. They practice together. They eat lunch together. They ride the bus together. And this year, they take COVID-19 tests together. On Tuesday, athletes at Highlands High School were the first students in San Antonio ISD to have the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19, right in their school's gym. As highlighted last week in the superintendent's letter, the testing was part of a limited pilot beginning with students who participate in extracurricular activities such as varsity athletics, fine arts, and JROTC.

 

"It was pretty easy; I like how they went through it," said Joshua Cooper, Highlands senior who plays wide receiver on the football team. "They have all of our coaches do it, and it is just easier to have us do it ourselves and not have someone doing it for us. It gives me a relief that I know that me, my teammates, and my coaches are getting tested, and we know that everyone is safe for game day and practices."

 

The rapid tests, which show results in less than 15 minutes, were provided to SAISD by the Texas Education Agency as part of a collaboration between the two educational entities to mitigate COVID-19 in the San Antonio community. Representatives from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Department of Emergency Services were on hand to help guide the test administration. 

 

"I was really surprised how fast it went this morning testing the girls' volleyball team," said Angie Gutierrez, family community health agent with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Bexar County. "It's a collaborative effort, everyone working together."

 


According to public health officials, COVID-19 testing – particularly of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals – is key to interrupting the disease by quickly identifying cases, quick treatment for reduced severity of infection, and immediate isolation to avoid spread. 

 

"Testing is an additional layer of assurance beyond the social distancing measures and the four levels of the safety matrix that guides our re-opening plans, in which we currently are in the Yellow phase until positivity rates are below 5% for two consecutive weeks," said Todd Howey, senior executive director of SAISD Athletics in a recent letter sent to parents. 

 

Students in athletics, fine arts, and JROTC will be provided testing before participating in competitive or extracurricular activities, with parental consent. If refused, students may continue to participate in the class and in practice, but they may not participate in the game or competition. A student's grade will not be negatively affected by refusal to participate in the testing pilot. 

 

"We are starting with these targeted high school groups because it is less straightforward to maintain social distancing and masking protocols during some types of competitive events," continued Howey in the parent letter. "The tests will give us another level of assurance that we are limiting the risk of exposure during extracurricular activities as much as we possibly can without holding students back from participation."

 

During the week of Nov. 2, SAISD began administering the rapid tests to the following students:

  • Varsity athletes in football, volleyball and basketball. In advance of competitive play, athletes in football will be tested once weekly on Saturdays; those in volleyball and basketball will be tested on Mondays; and Wednesdays are make-up testing days. 
  • Fine arts students in band, dance, cheer and pep squad who participate at varsity games. Prior to game-day participation, students will be tested once weekly on Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are make-up testing days.
  • JROTC students will be tested on Wednesdays prior to future competitions.

 

Testing will be provided for asymptomatic students, and positive results, if any, will be addressed following Metro Health protocols. It is important to note that there is the potential for false negatives. The District will continue to require social distancing and mask guidelines in all educational settings, including classrooms, cafeterias, libraries, and labs.

 

"Number one, I am happy for our kids; they are going to be safe," said Chris Castillo, Highlands' head football coach. "At least us being together now, knowing that we are COVID-free, I feel really confident about that, really excited about that. This is different than anything I have ever done in my life. I didn't come to coach and be the COVID guy, but if it helps our kids play football and plays sports, I am all in. It's been a really neat learning experience." 

 

SAISD is actively advocating for additional testing for the District’s broader community, and if it becomes available, the District will notify all staff and students to the opportunity.



Demonstrated need, planning and voters moved SAISD into the next phase with Bond 2020
11/04/2020
Pedro MartinezThe three key elements in the success of Bond 2020 included a demonstrated need, planning, and most importantly, voter confidence in the direction that the San Antonio Independent School District is moving. 

Among voters, almost 70% approved “Proposition A,” the $1.21 billion construction portion of Bond 2020, and almost 70% said yes to “Proposition B,” the $90 million technology component of the Bond. Due to language defined by the Texas legislature in 2019, building construction needed to be separated from technology upgrades. SAISD superintendent Pedro Martinez said that thanks to the community, students will benefit from new and improved learning environments with bigger classrooms, updated infrastructure and the latest technology. 

“We are just so excited to see not only the voter turnout, but the amount of support we have for our ballot questions,” Martinez said. “With this support, every single school in our District will be affected - classrooms will receive technology, outdated AC systems will be replaced, and security will be upgraded.” 

SAISD Board of Trustees took action on placing the Bond referendum on this November ballot after it received recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Task Force, a community-driven body made up of community leaders, parents, business professionals and alumni. The Task Force toured the campuses proposed for Bond 2020 to see for themselves the current conditions of the campus buildings.  

Patti RadleBoard President Patti Radle echoed a big thanks to the community for recognizing the need throughout the District. 

"First, we want to express extreme gratitude to the voters,” she said. “The boldness of our board and superintendent in the size of this bond is a statement about SAISD's determination to address the historic inequality and deterioration of the condition of our school facilities.” 

Indeed, Bond 2020 is historic. In fact, it’s the largest bond that SAISD has ever called, and the largest bond program ever sought in Bexar County. Work toward the Bond 2020 referendum took on plenty of planning, including vetting campuses in need of major renovations, upgrades, overhauls, chiller replacement, security additions, and providing each and every campus with the technology that teachers need to successfully engage their students in learning day-in and day-out. 

Parents and volunteers advocated for Bond 2020 because they saw the need for upgrades first hand. 

“As a parent and advocate for students with divergent needs, I am moved by the district’s and community’s commitment our children and families,” said Denise Ojeda, who served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. “The passing of this bond will allow us to create spaces and programs that will greatly improve and transform SAISD’s Special Education experience and work to empower our buildings and community as whole with better, strong internet capabilities.” 

Cristina Noriega also served on the Task Force and said it provided her an eye-opening opportunity to help shape Bond 2020. 

“On one hand, I was blown away by the beautiful renovations that the 2010 and 2016 bonds have brought. On the other hand, there is nothing like touring dozens of schools in person to make one truly understand the scale of need that remains in our SAISD schools,” she said. “It became crystal clear to me that all our students in all our schools deserve safe, modern facilities and technology that represent a district on the rise. And the best way to accomplish this is through support of the 2020 bond. 

Martinez said he is thankful for the voters now allowing SAISD to move forward with $1.21 billion in work.  

“We have been addressing inequities in our district that have existed for decades,” he said. “Over the past five years, our academics have improved. We have the largest achievement gains of any district in Texas in the last year that got tested in 2019. I can’t wait for this bond work to get started. I’ve seen with some of current projects the reaction that our children have when they come into buildings that all of a sudden now have been renovated and have great learning spaces. Just these smiles and they always ask us the question, ‘Is this for me? Is this for me?’  

“For us, we’re just grateful to our community and we can’t wait to be able to put these dollars into action,” he said. 

Setting the stage for a love of learning: Early Childhood Education in San Antonio ISD
10/30/2020

PreK studentSan Antonio ISD’s Head Start and Pre-K programs are one of a kind! In addition to offering Head Start and Pre-K at 55 academy and elementary school locations, SAISD is the only District in Bexar Country to have five Early Childhood Education Centers dedicated to the education and development of our youngest learners. Head Start and Pre-K in SAISD is the right choice for San Antonio parents! 

 

Register now!

 

Head Start and Pre-K offer full-day, high-quality curriculum, specifically developed for 3 and 4-year-olds. At our 5 Early Childhood Education centers, the school day begins at 7:30 a.m. and runs through 2:30 p.m. After school care is also provided at our five Early Childhood Education Centers. At most of our Elementary campuses and Academies, the school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:20 p.m.  

 

SAISD Early Childhood educators create a happy and nurturing environment where you and your child feel accepted, respected, and loved. 

 

What makes Early Childhood Education in SAISD the best choice for your family? 

 

OUR TEACHERS 

 

  • Our experienced and highly qualified teachers hold a Texas Educator Certificate as well as their bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees. Each classroom has an Instructional Assistant who supports students with effective teaching and instructional strategies. Instructional Assistants hold a Child Development Associate Credential, Paraprofessional Certificate or a higher degree. 
  • SAISD provides on-going professional development throughout the year to ensure that our teachers receive the latest, highly effective teaching practices. 
  • Teachers have direct access to our acclaimed Early Childhood Education Department for personalized support.  

 

OUR INSTRUCTION 

 

SAISD Early Childhood educators follow a State Adopted Curriculum that is approved through the Texas Education Agency. 

 

  • Small group instruction is offered in all SAISD Early Childhood classrooms to provide targeted support.  
  • SAISD uses hands-on, child-centered learning where each child’s distinctive capabilities and their linguistic and cultural backgrounds are recognized and used as learning tools. •     
  • Early Childhood educators incorporate the latest research into their teaching methods to ensure students have the best experience possible. 
  • SAISD offers early childhood special education and co-teach classrooms for students with special education needs. 
  • SAISD offers a robust dual language program for students who speak a language other than English. 
  • SAISD offers choices that meet the diverse needs of every child. Select choice campuses offer programs for dual language, STEAM, Montessori, High Scope, project based, and International Baccalaureate. Each program ensures equitable, dynamic and high-quality learning experiences that translate to multi-grade academic, social and civic success. 

 

OUR COMMUNITY 

 

  • With 55 academy and elementary school locations and five Early Childhood Education Centers, chances are you do not have to travel very far to find an SAISD Head Start or Pre-K program that is convenient for you! 
  • All students currently receive free breakfast, lunch, and snack.  
  • Knowledgeable SAISD educators help our students make a seamless transition from our Early Childhood Education programs to an SAISD Kindergarten classroom. 

 

Learn more here about the application process and the eligibility criteria to qualify for admission to Head Start or Pre-K.  

 

 

Sample daily schedule 

 

7:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m.- Arrival 


8:00 a.m. -8:30 a.m. - Breakfast in the classroom 

8:45 a.m.-9:00 a.m. - Dental Hygiene 

9:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m. - Morning message 

9:10 a.m.-9:30 a.m. - Focused instruction (Social studies) 

9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. - Music and movement 

9:45 a.m. -10:00 a.m. - Focused instruction (PA and writing) 

10:00 a.m. -10:15 a.m. - Music and movement time 

10:15 a.m. -11:15 a.m. - Individual learning centers (Blocks, drama, writing, alphabet, math and science, dramatic play, library and listening) 

11:15 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.- Handwashing/Personal Hygiene 

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Lunch 

12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m. - Quiet time 

12:45 p.m.-1:00 p.m. - Outdoor time 

1:00 p.m. -1:15 p.m. - Focused instruction (Math) 

1:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m. - Snack and read aloud 

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. - Individual learning centers (Blocks, drama, writing, alphabet, math and science, dramatic play, library and listening) 

ECE schools 3

ECE schools 2

ECE schools 1

 

Preparando el camino para el amor por el aprendizaje: educación preescolar en San Antonio ISD


¡Los programas de Head Start y Prekínder de San Antonio ISD son únicos! Además de ofrecer Head Start y Prekínder en 55 ubicaciones de academias y escuelas primarias, SAISD es el único Distrito en el condado de Bexar que tiene cinco Centros de Educación Preescolar dedicados a la educación y el desarrollo de nuestros aprendices más pequeños. ¡Head Start y Prekínder en SAISD son la opción indicada para los padres de San Antonio! 


 
Head Start y Prekínder ofrecen un plan de estudios de día completo y de alta calidad desarrollado específicamente para alumnos de 3 y 4 años. En nuestros cinco Centros de Educación Preescolar, el día escolar comienza a las 7:30 a.m. y termina a las 2:30 p.m. También se ofrece el cuidado después de clases en nuestros cinco Centros de Educación Preescolar. En la mayoría de nuestras escuelas Primarias y Academias, el día escolar comienza a las 8:00 a.m. y termina a las 3:20 p.m.  


 
Los educadores Preescolares de SAISD crean un entorno feliz y enriquecedor donde usted y su hijo/a se sienten aceptados, respetados y queridos. 


 
¿Qué hace que la Educación Preescolar en SAISD sea la mejor opción para su familia? 


 
NUESTROS MAESTROS 


 
Nuestros maestros experimentados y altamente cualificados cuentan con un Certificado de Educación de Texas al igual que sus títulos de licenciatura y/o maestría. Cada salón de clase tiene un Asistente de Instrucción que apoya a los estudiantes con estrategias efectivas de aprendizaje e instrucción. Los Asistentes de Instrucción cuentan con una Credencial Asociada de Desarrollo Infantil, un Certificado Paraprofesional o un título superior. 
SAISD proporciona desarrollo profesional continuo a lo largo del año para asegurar que nuestros maestros reciban las prácticas más actualizadas y eficaces de enseñanza. 
Los maestros tienen acceso directo a nuestro reconocido Departamento de Educación Preescolar para recibir apoyo personalizado.  


 
NUESTRA INSTRUCCIÓN 


Los educadores de Educación Preescolar de SAISD siguen el plan de estudios adoptado por el estado que ha sido aprobado por la Agencia de Educación de Texas. 


 
Se ofrece instrucción en grupos pequeños en todos los salones de clase Preescolares de SAISD a fin de proporcionar apoyo específico.  
SAISD utiliza el aprendizaje práctico centrado en el niño en el cual las aptitudes distintivas de cada niño al igual que sus origines lingüísticos y culturales se reconocen y se utilizan como herramientas de aprendizaje.      
Los educadores Preescolares incorporan las investigaciones más actuales en sus métodos de enseñanza para asegurar que los estudiantes tengan la mejor experiencia posible. 
SAISD ofrece educación especial preescolar y salones de clase con dos maestros para estudiantes con necesidades de educación especial. 
SAISD ofrece un programa robusto de lenguaje dual para estudiantes que hablen un idioma que no sea inglés. 
SAISD ofrece opciones que cumplen con las necesidades diversas de cada estudiante. Ciertas escuelas de opción ofrecen programas de lenguaje dual, STEAM, Montessori, High Scope, basados en proyectos y de Bachillerato Internacional. Cada programa garantiza experiencias de aprendizaje equitativas, dinámicas y de alta calidad que se traducen al éxito académico en varios grados, social y cívico. 


 
NUESTRA COMUNIDAD 


 
Con 55 ubicaciones en academias y escuelas primarias, y cinco Centros de Educación Preescolar, ¡lo más probable es que no tenga que viajar muy lejos para encontrar un programa de Headstart o Prekínder que sea conveniente para usted! 
Todos los estudiantes actualmente reciben desayuno, almuerzo y refrigerio gratuitos.  
Los educadores expertos de SAISD ayudan a nuestros estudiantes a llevar a cabo una transición fluida de nuestros programas de Educación Preescolar a un salón de clase de kindergarten en SAISD. 


 
Aprenda más aquí sobre el proceso de solicitud de ingreso y los criterios de elegibilidad a fin de calificar para la admisión a Head Start o Prekínder.  
 
 
Ejemplo de programa diario 

7:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m.- Llegada 

?8:00 a.m. -8:30 a.m. - Desayuno en el salón de clase??8:45 a.m.-9:00 a.m. - Higiene dental ??9:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m. - Mensaje matutino ??9:10 a.m.-9:30 a.m. - Instrucción enfocada (Estudios sociales) ??9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. - Música y movimiento ??9:45 a.m. -10:00 a.m. - Instrucción enfocada (PA y escritura) ??10:00 a.m. -10:15 a.m. - Tiempo de música y movimiento??10:15 a.m. -11:15 a.m. - Centros individuales de aprendizaje (Bloques, teatro, escritura, alfabeto, matemáticas y ciencias, juego dramático, biblioteca y escucha) ??11:15 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.- Lavado de manos/Higiene personal ??11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Almuerzo ??12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m. - Tiempo tranquilo ??12:45 p.m.-1:00 p.m. - Tiempo al aire libre ??1:00 p.m. -1:15 p.m. - Instrucción enfocada (Matemáticas) ??1:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m. - Refrigerio y lectura en voz alta??1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. - Centros individuales de aprendizaje (Bloques, teatro, escritura, alfabeto, matemáticas y ciencias, juego dramático, biblioteca y escucha) 

?8:00 a.m. -8:30 a.m. - Desayuno en el salón de clase

8:45 a.m.-9:00 a.m. - Higiene dental

??9:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m. - Mensaje matutino

??9:10 a.m.-9:30 a.m. - Instrucción enfocada (Estudios sociales) 

9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. - Música y movimiento

9:45 a.m. -10:00 a.m. - Instrucción enfocada (PA y escritura) 

10:00 a.m. -10:15 a.m. - Tiempo de música y movimiento

10:15 a.m. -11:15 a.m. - Centros individuales de aprendizaje (Bloques, teatro, escritura, alfabeto, matemáticas y ciencias, juego dramático, biblioteca y escucha)

11:15 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.- Lavado de manos/Higiene personal

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Almuerzo

12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m. - Tiempo tranquilo

12:45 p.m.-1:00 p.m. - Tiempo al aire libre

1:00 p.m. -1:15 p.m. - Instrucción enfocada (Matemáticas)

1:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m. - Refrigerio y lectura en voz alta

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. - Centros individuales de aprendizaje (Bloques, teatro, escritura, alfabeto, matemáticas y ciencias, juego dramático, biblioteca y escucha) 


Jefferson High School launches eSports as an extracurricular option for students
10/28/2020

eSportsSan Antonio ISD teacher Robby Hernandez has played video games – from Mario Kart to Super Smash Brothers – since he was a kid. Now a computer science teacher at Jefferson High School, Hernandez this school year is leveraging his students’ passion for eSports to help them become 21st-century learners and give them experience to compete for college scholarships. 

eSports, a form of sport competition using video games, is on the rise in the global community, and Hernandez says students are beginning to see the possible careers they can pursue while doing what they love. 

“The community is behind growing eSports in education, and we are almost prepared to compete at the highest levels,” Hernandez said. “Students will become 21st-century learners as they gain valuable skills in teamwork, communication, and dexterity. Furthermore, as students train to become elite in their respective games, millions of dollars are being handed out in scholarships to schools such as Ohio State, Arizona State, St. Mary's, Texas A&M San Antonio, and Schreiner University. Our students deserve an opportunity to compete for all those awards.”

To obtain the required equipment to help his students find competitive success, Hernandez applied for and received a $5,000 Innovative Grant through the SAISD Foundation to purchase high-end computer components for five computers. The high-speed computers will give students a chance to be part of a safe, eSports community within school walls. 
 
“Just like our football team has the best protective gear and the band has finely tuned instruments, I want my eSports players to have access to quality hardware to compete,” he said. 

eSportsHernandez will be working with his computer science students to build the computers from the ground up. By using his grant award to order computers as components, the cost decreases drastically because assembly labor is no longer required. Hernandez will bring in experts from the SAISD Technology Department and from local computer companies to present their love of computers while showing students how to build the machines properly. 
 
“Often, people balk at the idea of opening a computer and seeing all the wires,” said Hernandez. “By diving headfirst into a computer build, my students will learn there is nothing to fear when it comes to all those scary wires. One only needs to know how to handle everything properly. The hands-on experience will allow students to learn important knowledge and skills outside of a book. It's one thing to read about RAM, memory, CPUs, PSUs, and fans, but it's entirely more meaningful to hold all those parts in your hand.”

Currently, more than a dozen students are participating in the extracurricular program. Jefferson has two competing teams in the Rocket League, and additional students are practicing for future competitions in League of Legends and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.

 

Read News 4 San Antonio story

 

SAISD principal and teacher awarded for dual language accomplishments
10/27/2020
A San Antonio ISD principal and teacher have been recognized by Education Service Center, Region 20 (ESC-20) for their achievements in dual language education. Brackenridge High School Principal Yesenia Cordova has been named the World Languages Administrator of the Year, and Neal Elementary School fifth-grade dual language educator Alba Avila has been named the 2020 Bilingual Teacher of the Year. 

“On behalf of ESC-20, we applaud Ms. Cordova and Ms. Avila for serving the students of SAISD with great passion and commitment,” said Dr. Jeff Goldhorn, ESC-20 executive director. “While working with their bilingual communities, they find opportunities to make meaningful connections, while removing barriers and clearing the path toward student success.”

Both Cordova and Avila work at one of SAISD’s dual language campuses. Currently, 50 campuses – more than half of all SAISD schools – include a dual language component. 
 
Brackenridge HSCordova was selected for the administrator award based on her leadership achievements in education. She led the Brackenridge team in a pilot of SAISD’s first dual language program at the high school level in the 2018-2019 school year to positive results. Based on this pilot, other SAISD high schools including Lanier, Edison, and CAST Med now offer dual language education to secondary level students. Additionally, Cordova continues to share her own dual-language journey with Brackenridge families so that they feel understood and come to realize there are possibilities, not just limitations, to learning.  

“We worked really hard and we truly believe that we offer equity for all students,” said Cordova. “When they offered us an opportunity to pilot a dual language education at Brackenridge, I jumped on it because I felt this was an opportunity that many kids don’t have. The most exciting part about the whole program is I see our kids flourish, learn and grow; if we believe in them, they are going to believe in themselves.”

Avila was selected for the bilingual teacher award for her outstanding teaching. Avila – like Cordova – also shares her experience growing up as a bilingual student with her students at Neal Elementary School. This has led her to be purposeful about teaching and has shaped how she approaches connecting students with their community. She wants to ensure her classes are helpful experiences where students are unafraid of being wrong or asking for help. 

Neal ElementaryAdditionally, Avila previously began an ethnomathematics club when her previous campus in the District partnered with UTSA. She continues to incorporate these lessons at Neal to encourage students toward academic success and to give them a sense of belonging for their language, culture, and customs. 

“This award gives me the confidence to know that teaching through a culturally responsive lens is valuable to the education community,” Avila said. “It should give confidence to those educators in Texas that teach beyond math, science, social studies, and literacy, and dig deeper to connect lessons to the interests and knowledge of students and their communities – they are on the right path.”

Both Cordova and Avila will be recognized further during the 2020 ESC-20 World Language Virtual Conference, which will be held Dec. 5. 

SAISD students earn recognition for Gates and QuestBridge Scholarship programs
10/27/2020
Gates A total of 17 San Antonio ISD seniors demonstrating leadership ability, personal success, and academic merits have earned recognition for two prestigious scholarship awards. Seven students were named Phase 1 Scholars for The Gates Scholarship, and 12 were named finalists for the QuestBridge Scholarship Program. One student from Travis Early College High School was recognized for both scholarship programs.

The 7 students chosen as Phase 1 Scholars for the Gates Scholarship are:

• Andrea Sanchez, Brackenridge High School
• Timothy Melendez, Burbank High School
• Mario Campos, Fox Tech High School
• Damian Chavez, Lanier High School
• Chyna Smith, St. Philip’s Early College High School
• Samuel Torres, Travis Early College High School
• Mya Barrera, Young Women’s Leadership Academy

The 12 students chosen as finalists for the QuestBridge Scholarship include:

QuestBridge• Juan Gonzalez, Burbank High School
• Laurent Andrea Torres Sauceda, CAST Tech High School
• Isauro Sanchez, CAST Tech High School
• Angel Isaac, Edison High School
• Ja’Lynn Crenshaw, Highlands High School
• Taylor Miner, Sam Houston High School
• Elisabeth Gutierrez, Lanier High School
• Samuel Torres, Travis Early College High School
• Selena Flores, Travis Early College High School
• Caroline Evangelista, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
• Armani Carreon, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
• Autumn Kretzschmar, Young Women’s Leadership Academy

The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households. Three hundred students win this prize each year with the intent of helping these young scholars realize their maximum potential. The QuestBridge National College Match program is a college and scholarship application process that helps outstanding low-income student seniors gain admission and full, four-year scholarships to the nation’s most selective colleges. Only 3 percent of high school seniors nationwide are considered for the esteemed scholarship.

“This is the most diversified group of QuestBridge scholars we’ve had at San Antonio ISD,” said Dr. Eduardo Sesatty, director of postsecondary initiatives. “This year, we had 12 finalists from eight high schools. In 2019, for example, we had eight finalists from three high schools. This is a testament of what our students can accomplish when given access to opportunity.”

Burbank QuestBridge finalist Juan Gonzalez couldn’t believe he made the cut and is excited to see if he’ll be named a winner.

“My dream job is to be a computer engineer. I love coding and the unlimited possibilities that come with those languages,” he said. “When I found out I got selected to be a finalist for QuestBridge, I was in shock because I didn’t believe I had a chance.”

The Phase 1 Gates scholars will compete for semifinalist spots in December, with candidate interviews in March and April of 2021 and final selection in April. QuestBridge finalists will begin the college match process with early admission to their matching school in December 2020.

SAISD celebrates National Principals Month
10/08/2020

 

San Antonio  ISD  Board  of  Trustees  is pleased  to  join  other  Boards  of  Education  across  the  United  States  in  proclaiming  October  as National  Principals’  Month  beginning  October  12,  2020  through  October  30,  2020 . The District encourages the  citizens  of  SAISD  to  join  in  the  celebration  of  National  Principals’  Month  by thanking  all  school  administrators  for the  care  and concern they  show  for our children.  

 

SAISD is honored to employ who we believe to be the strongest and most innovative cohort of leaders in the state of Texas. Our principals not only set the academic tone for their schools, they also work hand-in-hand with our teachers to create standards, develop virtual and in-person curriculum goals, maintain health and safety procedures, and accomplish a list of countless other tasks during these unprecedented times. 

  
This 2020-2021 school year is unlike any school year we have ever experienced. With the COVID-19 pandemic in the forefront of our minds, our principals have gone above and beyond their typical back-to-school duties, working with their staff to create safe and welcoming campus environments, despite limitations. From virtual award ceremonies to mobile Meet the Teacher drive-up events, our campus leaders are doing what it takes to make this school year a memorable experience for staff and students alike. 

  
Our principals are amazing educators whose work extends well beyond a typical school day. They dedicate a significant portion of their lives to serving our students and community, and lead their campuses in providing the best possible education for their students. 

  
This October during National Principals Month, we are taking the opportunity to recognize the contributions of all principals to the success of students in SAISD schools and encourage you to join us. Login to your social media accounts and tell your principal how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication. Make sure to include the #ThankAPrincipal hashtag to show your support for our school leaders and get the word out to other educators across the country. Or, to send an encouraging e-card, click here

  
During the next three weeks, there are a number of recognitions planned for SAISD principals including a special lunch delivery, free swag, and principal-specific digital Zoom backgrounds.  

 

 High Schools

Great leaders create environments that support great teaching and learning. SAISD is proud to recognize each of our campus principals! ? 
High Schools  ?

·       Advanced Learning Academy - (PK-12) - *Kathy Bieser/Fabiola Rivera
·       Brackenridge - Yesenia Cordova
·       Burbank  - Irene Talamantes
·       CAST Med - Dr. Eddie Rodriguez
·       CAST Tech  - Dr. Melissa Alcala
·       Cooper Academy at Navarro - Robert Loveland
·       Edison - Dr. Cynthia Carielo
·       Fox Tech - Jennifer Benavides
·       Healy Murphy Center - Michael Jordan, Director
·       Highlands - Dr. Penny Pruitt
·       Houston - Sharene Dixon
·       Jefferson  - Ralf Halderman
·       Lanier - Dr. Moises Ortiz
·       St. Philip’s ECHS - Dr. Derrick Thomas
·       Texans CAN Academy - Mario Hernandez
·       Travis ECHS - Adrianna Arredondo
·       Young Men’s Leadership Academy - Derrick Brown
·       Young Women’s Leadership Academy: Secondary - *Delia McLerran / Regina Arzamendi
     

  Middle Schools
·       Davis Middle School  - Dr. Hugo Saucedo
·       Harris Middle School - Dr. Carol Velazquez
·       Longfellow Middle School  - Nancy Rodriguez
·       Lowell Middle School - Yvonne Hernandez
·       Poe Middle School - Christine Perez
·       Rhodes Middle School - Rick Flores
·       Rogers Middle School - Julie May
·       Tafolla Middle School - Jeff Price
·       Whittier Middle School- Dr. Armando Gallegos
·       Young Women’s Leadership Academy - *Delia McLerran / Regina Arzamendi


Academies

Academies  ?

·       Advanced Learning Academy  - *Kathy Bieser/Fabiola Rivera
·       Ball Academy - Gregory Rivers
·       Beacon Hill Academy - Laryn B. Nelson
·       Bonham Academy - David Nungaray
·       Bowden Academy - *Brian Sparks / Venus Davis
·       Cotton Academy - Rawan Hammoudeh
·       Crockett Academy - Anna Garcia
·       Democracy Prep Academy - Virginia Silva
·       Douglass Academy - Dr. Stephanie R. Ratliff
·       Fenwick Academy - Dr. Tambrey J. Ozuna
·       Forbes Academy - Erica Lopez
·       Foster Academy - Johnny Diaz
·       Green Academy - Jeanette Vasquez
·       Hawthorne Academy - Valerie Walker
·       Herff Academy - Kelly Allen
·       Japhet  Academy- Natasha Gould
·       M.L. King Academy - Natasha Pinnix
·       Mission Academy - Noemi Davila
·       Ogden Academy - Nicanora Martinez
·       Riverside Park Academy - Dr. Cassie McClung
·       W. Rogers Academy - Zada Fowler
·       Steele Montessori Academy - Laura Christenberry
·       Twain Dual Language Academy - David Garcia
·       Washington Irving Dual Language Academy - Olivia Almanza-Pena
·       Woodlawn Academy - Karen Rose
·       Young Men’s Leadership Academy - Derrick Brown

Elementary Schools
·  
Advanced Learning Academy - Kathy Bieser/Gabriela Joseph
·      Arnold Elementary School - Belinda Hernandez
·       Barkley-Ruiz Elementary School - Jackie Ibarra-Lanford
·       Baskin Elementary School - Yvonne Martinez
·       JT Brackenridge Elementary School - Marco Morales
·       Briscoe Elementary School - Jennifer Emerson
·       Cameron Elementary School - *Sonya Mora / Brandy Lewis Lagrant
·       Carvajal Elementary School - Valerie Rabadan
·       Collins Garden Elementary School - Cynthia De La Garza
·       De Zavala Elementary School - Donna Venable Finch
·       Franklin Elementary School- Jennifer Adan
·      Gates Elementary School - *Sonya Mora / Kimberly D. Barg
·       Graebner Elementary School - Noemi Saldivar
·       Highland Hills Elementary School- Deborah Esparza
·       Highland Park Elementary School - Dr. Rose Engelbrecht
·       Hillcrest Elementary School - Santa Lopez
·       Hirsch Elementary School - Erika Persaud
·       Huppertz Elementary School - Linda Rios-Garcia
·       Kelly Elementary School- Claudia Ramos-Coto
·       S. King Elementary School- Melody Clay
·       Lamar Elementary School) - *Brian Sparks / Roxanna Montes-Bazaldúa
·       Madison Elementary School- Lianna Cano
·       Margil Elementary School - Sandra Galinzoga
·       Maverick Elementary School - Leila Garza
·       Miller Elementary School - Dr. Christine Weiland
·       Neal Elementary School - Valerie D. Henry
·       Pershing Elementary School - Dr. Thamesia Handford
·       Rodriquez Montessori Elementary School - Alicia Craig
·      Schenck Elementary School - Susan Del Toro
·       Smith Elementary School - Mayra Gutierrez-Ibarra
·       Storm Elementary School - Jacquelyn Rodriguez Navar
·       Washington Elementary School- Phyllis Foley-Davis
·       Wilson Elementary School  - Dr. Jennifer Zavala
·       Woodlawn Hills Elementary School - Martha Martinez-Silva
YWLA Primary - Delia McLerran/Andrea Pitts

·       Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Page Primary - *Delia McLerran / Andre’a Pitts ?


Early Childhood Education Centers 

Early Childhood Education Centers ?

·       Carroll Early Childhood Education Center - Fabiola Gonzalez
·       Gonzales Early Childhood Education Center - Lisa Frost-Heal
·       Knox Early Childhood Education Center - Raymond Macias
·       Nelson Early Childhood Education Center - Marisa Mendez
·       Tynan Early Childhood Education Center - Gregorio Velazquez

Special Campuses
·       Brewer Academy - Keli Mullins
·       Cooper Academy at Navarro - Robert Loveland
·       Estrada A.C.  - Gary Pollock
·       Healy Murphy Center - Michael Jordan, Director
·       Texans CAN Academy - Mario Hernandez

* Network Principal/Associate Principal

 

Martinez named finalist for national award
10/01/2020

national San Antonio ISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez has been named as a finalist for the Green-Garner Award from the Council of the Great City Schools. The Green-Garner Award is the nation's highest urban education honor, recognizing outstanding contributions in urban education. Nominees for the award are judged on their attributes in five key areas: leadership, achievement, public confidence, professionalism, and involvement. The winner will be announced in mid-October.

 

The Green-Garner Award, given to a superintendent every other year, is presented in memory of Richard R. Green, the first African-American chancellor of the New York City school system, and businessman Edward Garner, who served on the Denver school board. Martinez is one of twenty finalists from across the nation. 

 

Pedro Martinez joined San Antonio ISD as superintendent in June 2015. Under his leadership, the District is seeing improved graduation and college-going rates, as well as expanded access to rigor. Innovative schools have been developed and launched providing new models of education. In addition, strong academic programs in existing schools have been expanded to provide high-quality choice for families.


Martinez remains involved in education reform and is frequently invited to speak on the topic. He is a member of Chiefs for Change, a nonprofit, bipartisan network of diverse state and district education chiefs.

 

Martinez also serves on the boards of the Southern Regional Education Board, The Council of Greater City Schools, the Masters Leadership Program of Greater San Antonio, the P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County, the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and is an ex-officio board member of The Dee Howard Foundation. Martinez also participates in the Trinity University Superintendents Forum and is a member of the UTSA President’s Downtown Campus Advisory Council.

 

In the spring of 2020, Bexar County and City of San Antonio leaders named Martinez to their COVID-19 Economic Transition Team, which was tasked with guiding a safe reintroduction of business and activities suspended in the region as a result of a global pandemic. The economic transition team comprised CEOs, entrepreneurs and local leaders.


 On July 4, 2020, the Carnegie Corporation of New York named him to their annual list of Great Immigrants, Great Americans for his leadership of the District during the pandemic.


Before coming to SAISD, Martinez was Superintendent-in-Residence for the Nevada Department of Education and was responsible for advising the Governor’s office and the State Superintendent of Instruction on education policy decisions. Prior to that, he served as superintendent for the 64,000-student Washoe County School District, covering the Reno, Nevada area.

 

He also previously served as Chief Financial Officer at Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district, under the leadership of Arne Duncan, the former U.S. Secretary of Education.

 

Martinez has more than 20 years of experience in the private, nonprofit and public education sectors. He holds an M.B.A. from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also is a graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy.

 

Patriot Day Remembrance Ceremony
09/10/2020

The Highlands High School JROTC unit produced a virtual remembrance ceremony to observe Patriot Day. Patriot Day, which is recognized each year on Sept. 11, honors the memories of those who died during the 9/11 attacks in 2001.  Please click the image below to watch the video.

 

patriot day


Abundis named finalist for 2021 Texas Teacher of the Year
09/09/2020

abundis TOYAdriana Abundis, a dual language mathematics teacher at Lanier High School, has been selected as one of six finalists for the 2021 Texas Teacher of the Year award, a recognition announced by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) on Sept. 9. Texas Teacher of the Year is the highest honor the State of Texas can bestow upon a teacher.

 

“Every day in public schools across Texas, teachers perform miracles as they inspire children for lifelong learning,” said Kevin Brown, executive director of TASA, which has coordinated the Texas Teacher of the Year program since 2011. “These six finalists are among the best in a profession that is perhaps the most important in our nation, both for individual children and for society. They are national heroes and deserve this tremendous honor. They have distinguished themselves among thousands of outstanding, dedicated teachers across our state and nation have who have answered the call to serve others.”

 

A panel of judges composed of representatives of Texas teacher associations and last year’s Texas Teacher of the Year finalists selected the finalists from the 40 Texas Regional Teachers of the Year — one elementary and one secondary teacher from each of the 20 Texas Education Service Center regions. In August, Abundis was awarded the 2020 Secondary Teacher of the Year by Education Service Center, Region 20, during a school-wide a virtual ceremony at Lanier.

 

“Education is a cultural action,” said Abundis in her Teacher of the Year application. “I believe that, at its core, education is driven by community wisdom and authentic real-world connections; and it is because of this that I vehemently enjoy binding learning with community.”

 

In the spring semester this year, Abundis was named one of SAISD’s three 2020 Distinguished Teachers of the Year. She has been teaching at SAISD for the past eight years. Abundis received her B.A. from Michigan State University, and has two M.A. degrees: an M.A. in teaching, secondary mathematics from the Relay Graduate School of Education and an M.A. in bilingual and bicultural studies from The University of Texas at San Antonio.

 

“Ms. Abundis is an educational advocate for all students who centers her craft on social justice and 21st-century learning platforms,” said Dr. Moises Ortiz, Lanier principal. “She is committed to the multifaceted education cause and embodies a moral imperative for providing her students with a quality learning experience every single day. Lanier is blessed with a very talented and experienced cadre of teachers who know they impact a better tomorrow for their students.”

 

Read the full announcement from TASA.


Campuses to open for small numbers of students
08/28/2020

colorsDistrict transitions levels from Red to Yellow

 

San Antonio ISD has shared with parents and staff that it plans to move forward in gradually allowing a small number of students onto campuses starting after Labor Day, on Sept. 8 – as long as the improvements seen in the local COVID-19 health metrics are maintained over the next week.

 

There are three local health metrics that the District is monitoring closely: the positivity rate in Bexar County, the number of days it takes for the local case count to double (known as doubling time), and the two-week trend in daily case numbers. At this time, all three statistics meet the criteria for Level 2 Yellow on the District’s safety matrix, which allows for up to 25% of student enrollment on campuses.

 

SAISD began school on Aug. 17 at Level 1 Red, which provided remote-only instruction. During SAISD’s Level 2 Yellow phase, the District will not bring back every student whose parents declared their preference for in-person instruction. For health and safety, SAISD will keep student numbers small in this phase. When the District reaches its Level 3 Green phase, which includes up to 50% of student enrollment on campuses, SAISD will be able to meet the initial set of parent requests for in-person learning.

 

On Sept. 8, when the District transitions to Level 2 Yellow, up to 10% of students may return to campuses. SAISD will limit class sizes to four to six students, and campuses will begin reaching out to parents by early next week.

 

For those students whose parents have given consent, SAISD will prioritize student return by focusing on those who will benefit most from in-person learning. Campuses will work with families to bring in small numbers of students who require services in the area of special education, are struggling academically and are at risk, or are younger learners – such as prekindergarten through second grade.

 

If statistics remain positive, the District will bring in another 10% of students on Monday, Sept. 21. SAISD will continue to gradually increase the number of students based on local health metrics and the District’s criteria for student occupancy.

 

“We will move into the Level 2 Yellow phase gradually,” said Superintendent Pedro Martinez, “focusing on the health and safety of students, staff and families.”

 

“We are grateful for this opportunity to be able to slowly re-open our campuses for in-person learning. However, it is important to note that for all of this school year, we will offer a fully-remote instructional option for families who need that.”

 

During in-person instruction, all students and staff will be required to practice physical distancing and wear face coverings, which the District is providing.

 

For more information on SAISD’s safety matrix, visit https://www.saisd.net/safetymatrix.


Abundis is 2020 Teacher of the Year for Region 20
08/18/2020

Adriana AbundisThis school year, teachers across San Antonio knew the school year was going to hold a lot of new discoveries. But Lanier High School math teacher Adriana Abundis had no idea of the surprise that was awaiting her on the second day of classes when she was awarded the 2020 Secondary Teacher of the Year by Education Service Center, Region 20. 

 

On a school-wide Zoom conference call, Region 20 representatives, SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez, and Lanier Principal Moises Ortiz surprised Abundis in front of her fellow Lanier teachers.   

 

“We thank you, Ms. Abundis, for making learning in your classroom memorable and impactful," said Dr. Jeff Goldhorn, executive director of the Education Service Center, Region 20. “You serve as a role model for teachers across our region. We are honored that you will represent ESC-20 at the state level competition.”  

 

The recognition at the regional level makes Abundis eligible for consideration for Texas Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). Texas Teacher of the Year is the highest honor the State of Texas can bestow upon a teacher, and finalists for the state distinction will be announced later this month.

 

“Ms. Abundis is an educational advocate for all students who centers her craft on social justice and 21st-century learning platforms,” said Dr. Moises Ortiz, Lanier principal. “She is committed to the multifaceted education cause and embodies a moral imperative for providing her students with a quality learning experience every single day. Lanier is blessed with a very talented and experienced cadre of teachers who know they impact a better tomorrow for their students.”


In the spring semester this year, Abundis was named one of SAISD’s three 2020 Distinguished Teachers of the Year. She has been teaching at SAISD for the past eight years. Abundis received her B.A. from Michigan State University, and has two M.A. degrees: an M.A. in teaching, secondary mathematics from the Relay Graduate School of Education and an M.A. in bilingual and bicultural studies from The University of Texas at San Antonio. 

 

SAISD Bond elections set for Nov. 3, 2020
08/17/2020

bond 2020During the Aug. 17 Board meeting, SAISD Trustees called for a $1.3 billion bond election, with two separate propositions to appear on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot for school renovations and technology.
 
The decision to move forward on the Nov. 3 elections followed recommendations from a community-based Blue Ribbon Task Force, as part of the District’s long-range facilities master plan.
 
Taxpayers would not see a tax rate increase from the bond, based on District projections.
 
Under Proposition A, $1.21 billion: The bond would address significant renovation needs for 36 campuses, provide safety upgrades to all schools, and replace all air-conditioning chillers that are more than 15 years old. 

• Renovations include 21 schools whose main buildings have not been fully renovated in more than 50 years, and most with 30-year-old infrastructure. In addition, funds would go toward the final phase to complete campus renovations at 15 schools that received partial renovations under Bond 2016 or Bond 2010.

• Of the 43 schools with the oldest infrastructure on the District’s long-range facilities plan, this bond would fund renovations for nearly half of them, and completely renovate the majority of the largest schools.
 
• All SAISD schools would benefit from the security upgrades. In addition, all outdated air-conditioning chillers would be replaced, benefiting another 30 campuses. 

• Funds would also go toward buildings housing new school models, including Rodriguez Montessori Elementary and Young Women's Leadership Academy – Primary, to renovate classroom spaces as grade levels are added.

 

Proposition B, at $90 million, would fund technology upgrades in all schools, equipping every classroom with high-speed connectivity, audio systems, devices, support tools, interactive smart boards and the necessary infrastructure.

 

SAISD announces new campus administrators for the 2020-2021 school year
08/10/2020

San Antonio ISD has announced 13 new campus administrators for the 2020-2021 school year. Please welcome the following principals:

 

Baskin Elementary School - Yvonne Martinez, Principal

Yvonne MartinezYvonne Martinez is a servant leader who has had the honor of serving the SAISD community for 17 years and is now the proud principal of Baskin Elementary. Throughout her professional career Ms. Martinez has served as an elementary teacher, curriculum instructional coordinator, assistant principal, associate principal, and principal. She was born and raised in San Antonio and graduated from Antonian College Preparatory High School. Ms. Martinez received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in early childhood education and her master’s degree in educational leadership from UTSA. It is her belief that all children can achieve at high levels by empowering and growing teachers, partnering with parents, families, staff, and community members to work toward a common goal of student success. Ms. Martinez is a lifelong learner who has a passion for teaching and learning.

 

 

 

 

 

Brewer Academy - Keli Mullins, Principal

Keli MullinsKeli Mullins is the proud principal of Brewer Academy in SAISD. Ms. Mullins has 17 years of experience in education and has served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in the Houston area and San Antonio. She brings a well-versed background in special education, discipline management, and overall campus leadership. Ms. Mullins is known for her strong leadership skills, excellent communication skills, and good rapport with staff, students, and parents. She believes both parental and community involvement along with a staff that possess a growth mindset, are essential to a successful learning environment.
Ms. Mullins graduated from Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California. She relocated to Texas and attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology-educational science. She also holds a Master of Science degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University, and a Master of Arts degree in counseling. Ms. Mullins is looking to begin her Doctoral studies in the near future.

When speaking with her staff they state, “Ms. Mullins brings an energy, enthusiasm, and passion for pursuing excellence. She promotes a school culture where students flourish and staff are eager to create a professional learning community.”  

Ms. Mullins’ passion for the “struggling student” is simply contagious. She believes a social and emotional component implemented into the daily schedule is a must when educating students in the 21st Century. Ms. Mullins has worked with special populations and students that struggle with behavior issues. Her years of experience working in Title I campuses has given her a first-hand experience of the needs, the challenges and most importantly the triumphs. Ms. Mullins has an active involvement in her community, church, and sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

 

Burbank High School - Irene Talamantes, Principal

Irene TalamantesIrene Talamantes is honored to be selected as the new principal for Luther Burbank High School. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, where she graduated from Coronado High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree at University of Texas at El Paso and earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University. Ms. Talamantes has been serving the SAISD community as an educator and later as an administrator since 1998. She began her teaching career at Wheatley Middle School and then transitioned into the role of an assistant principal first at Whittier Middle School and then Burbank High School. Most recently, Ms. Talamantes served as the principal at Whittier Middle School, where for the past two years, the school has earned and maintained a B rating and has earned several TEA distinctions. Ms. Talamantes believes that building relationships with students and parents is the foundation of student achievement.  

 

 

 

 

Davis Middle School - Dr. Hugo Saucedo, Principal

Hugo SaucedoDr. Hugo Saucedo began his career with SAISD in 1998 as a social studies teacher at Sam Houston High School. He taught social studies at four SAISD high schools over a span of almost a decade, (Sam Houston, Lanier, Burbank, and Brackenridge). Additionally, Dr. Saucedo served as assistant principal at two campuses, Page Middle School and Rhodes Middle School. Most recently Dr. Saucedo served as the principal of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School where in the 2018-2019 school year, the campus earned a B rating and a TEA distinction in Post Secondary Readiness. Dr. Saucedo is a proud graduate of the Thomas Jefferson High School class of 1994. His experience at Jeff inspired him to become an educational leader and to earn a doctorate degree in educational leadership from UTSA in 2016. Dr. Saucedo believes firmly in Freire’s philosophy of education, which is rooted in humility and the belief that we must ignite a passion for learning in our students.

 

 

 

 

Franklin Elementary School - Jennifer Adan, Principal

Jennifer AdanJennifer Adan and her family are from Eagle Pass, Texas. She moved to San Antonio to pursue her education in elementary instruction. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from UTSA in 2010. Adan then went on to earn a Masters of Education in school leadership and policy study from Trinity University. Since entering education, Adan has been dedicated to our SAISD community. She began her career as a kindergarten student teacher at Bonham Academy. She then became a fifth grade teacher at Smith Elementary as she continued in her endeavors to become an administrator. In 2016, Adan served Rhodes Middle School as an administrative intern and implementation specialist. In 2018, Adan was promoted to assistant principal at Madison Elementary. She is now the proud Principal at Franklin Elementary, a dual language school in SAISD. Adan leads with passion and energy. She works to ensure that students and staff are supported and treated with respect. Her educational philosophy is based on her belief that all students can achieve at high levels with quality instruction and a positive learning environment.  She embraces the Spanish language and culture and wants to bring the community, staff and students together at Franklin Elementary.

 

 

 

Hawthorne Academy - Valerie Walker, Principal

Valerie WalkerValerie Walker is the proud principal of Hawthorne Academy in SAISD.  Ms. Walker has 16 years of experience in Texas education both as a teacher and a campus administrator. In fact, she has been an assistant principal for elementary, middle and high school, and she has also opened three new school school facilities. Over the course of her administrative career, Walker has earned the reputation of being relentless in her pursuit of providing the excellence in education our students deserve. Walker was born in Tyler, Texas. She graduated from Lindale High School, has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University. Walker is determined to ensure all students have an opportunity to learn in the best environments from the best educators. She passionately believes education equalizes future opportunities, and her role as Lead Learner and Lead Inspirer is to ensure each student has equitable access to a high-quality education.

 

 

 

 

 

Highlands High School - Dr. Penny Pruitt, Principal

Penny PruittDr. Penny Pruitt is honored to serve as the new principal at Highlands High School. She was born in Colorado and raised in northern New Mexico. Dr. Pruitt earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Arizona, a Master of Arts in history from Northern Arizona University, a Master of Science in education administration from Texas A & M University, Kingsville, and a Doctorate of Education from UTSA. Dr. Pruitt is beginning her 28th year in education. She began her teaching career in New Mexico prior to moving to Texas in 1996 and transitioned into the administrative role at Northside ISD 16 years ago by serving as assistant principal, vice principal, and academic dean.  She also spent two years as the Early College High School principal in Southside prior to moving to Highlands High School three years ago as associate principal.  
During her three years at Highlands, she has seen a change in culture. Students are positive about their education and learning experiences, and they are excited about their post-high school opportunities. Dr. Pruitt is excited to continue the upward trend of the academic growth at Highlands High School by increasing opportunities for all students to have access to rigorous courses, maintaining and instruction driven focus at the campus, and preparing students for post-secondary life. Dr. Pruitt believes that building relationships with students and their families is the key to success.

 

 

Hirsch Elementary School - Erika Persaud, Principal

Erika PersaudErika Persaud is an enthusiastic professional that believes in enhancing educators' capacity to develop strong leadership and instructional practices. For the past seven years, Persaud has proudly served in SAISD as a teacher, science implementation specialist and instructional dean. Prior to SAISD, she gained diverse learning experiences while working in Lewisville, Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Sinton ISDs. She holds a bachelor's degree in advertising/public relations and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Angelo State University. Persaud is now honored to serve as principal of Herman Hirsch Elementary and work alongside so many dedicated and passionate individuals. Go Huskies! Collectively, she believes the Hirsch team will positively shape the lives of all students and prepare them to succeed as productive citizens within an ever changing society.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knox Early Childhood Education Center - Raymond Macias, Principal

Raymond MaciasRaymond Macias is proud to return to SAISD to work for the students and families of Knox Early Childhood Education Center. He brings to the incredible Knox faculty and staff his enthusiasm for student growth and to the profession. Macias has had a varied background in education over the last 13 years. He began his career as a special education instructional assistant for post-high school students. He enjoyed his work with students with special needs and became a Lifestrides teacher at Poe Middle School. He also taught in the Behavior Mastery Center environment and Collaborative classrooms within Northside ISD. Macias served as the vice principal at Paul W. Ott Elementary and principal at Patricia J. Blattman in Northside ISD. 
Macias was raised in San Antonio and graduated from O’Connor High School. Macias earned his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas San Antonio. He earned his Masters of Education in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at Arlington. Macias firmly believes that an early start is vital for learners and all students deserve the opportunity to learn at high levels. 

 

 

Rodriguez Montessori Elementary School - Alicia Craig, Principal

Alicia CraigAlicia Craig is a native of San Antonio. She attended schools in North East ISD and Judson ISD, becoming an honor student and proud graduate of the 1991 class of Judson High School. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Southwest Texas State University (Texas State University) earning a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies specializing in early childhood education, and later received her Master of Science in educational management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Craig started her career in Judson ISD as a teacher. She relocated to Houston and served in various roles such as mentor teacher, summer coordinator, professional development trainer, curriculum specialist, assistant principal, principal, and Dyslexia Lead, North Area Schools. Craig was recognized as campus Teacher of the Year three times and Outstanding Magnet Instructor two times. As Dyslexia Lead, she received the Excellence in Leadership Award in 2018 and 2019. Craig is entering her 26th year in education, and is a passionate educational leader committed to creating generations of global graduates. She believes leaders and teachers are facilitators of learning who are charged with cultivating the minds of our students. 

 

 

Rogers Academy - Zada Fowler, Principal

Zada FowlerZada Fowler is a transformational leader with a deep sense of purpose and an intense desire to ensure students receive support and nurturing, and an engaging, rigorous educational experience.  With 22 years of educational experience spanning elementary, middle and high school, she believes that social-emotional learning is an essential part of reaching and teaching the whole child. She graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station with her Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism and began teaching middle and high school English and journalism in Marion ISD, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD and Southwest ISD respectively. Upon graduating from UTSA, Fowler was an assistant principal in Southwest ISD until becoming part of the SAISD family in 2016 as an instructional leadership coordinator in the Office of School Leadership, where she supported over 40 campuses districtwide. Most recently, Fowler served as the interim principal at Will Rogers Academy. She believes whole-heartedly in the power of unity and builds relationships with both staff and students to reach the ultimate goal of student success! It is her belief that ALL students CAN and WILL learn.  

 

 

 

Sam Houston High School - Sharene Dixon, Principal

Sharene DixonSharene Dixon is the proud principal of Sam Houston High School. She has 21 years of experience in education and has served in many capacities including English teacher, curriculum writer, instructional coach, director of educator effectiveness, assistant principal, associate principal at Sam Houston High School and principal at S.J. Davis Middle School. During her two years at Davis Middle School, there was an increase in culture, academics, parental involvement and Pride.
She earned a bachelor's degree in English education, a master’s degree in curriculum instruction design and leadership and she is currently working on her Ph.D in educational leadership. Originally a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania via Maryland, her family moved to San Antonio 14 years ago. As the saying goes, “She may not be a native of Texas, but she got here as fast as she could.”
She is looking forward to an amazing school year of relationship building, academic and personal growth, challenges, accomplishments and making each day a positive experience for every student. She believes that building relationships with students and parents is the foundation of student achievement. Dixon is ecstatic to work with such an amazing community with such deep dignity and commitment to our students. We are the Pride of the East Side! Please feel free to contact me and introduce yourself via email. Together we make the difference! GO MIGHTY HURRICANES!!!

 

 

Sarah King Elementary School - Ms. Melody Clay, Principal

Melody ClayMelody Clay is a San Antonio native and strongly dedicated to the SAISD community. She started her career in middle school, first at Twain and then Connell Middle school. She then transitioned to Forbes Academy where she served as the campus implementation specialist before taking on the role of assistant principal. Clay earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from UTSA. She completed the McNeil Educational Foundation for Ecumenical Leadership’s 21st Century Leadership Principal Preparation program in 2018.  
Clay is incredibly excited and honored to be the new principal of Sarah King Elementary School. She views the ideal school environment as a welcoming and safe place where students can learn, grow and thrive socially, emotionally and academically. She looks forward to building strong partnerships with parents and the Sarah King community.

 

 

 

 

Whittier Middle School - Dr. Armando Gallegos, Principal

armando gallegosDr. Armando Gallegos has been dedicated to the field of education for more than 20 years.  He has worked with students in grades 6-12 in a variety of roles. He started as a substitute teacher before becoming a high school Spanish teacher, the head of a foreign language department, baseball and football coach, high school assistant principal, middle school principal and interim high school principal.  Most recently, he has served as a director in the Office of Transportation in El Paso ISD. Very quickly he realized how much he missed the students and all the action of the schools. Dr. Gallegos is thrilled to bring his skills as an educational leader to Whittier Middle School and to work with all stakeholders as a partner in education to ensure students' success.  
Dr. Gallegos holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at El Paso; he majored in Spanish with a minor in education. He has a master's degree in educational leadership also from UTEP. In the summer of 2017, he completed his doctoral program defending his dissertation “Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Middle School 50/50 Dual Language Program.” He earned an Educational Doctorate in ESL in July 2017. 
“It is my desire to work in a capacity that will allow me to serve as a proponent of academic success through college readiness, teacher collaboration and fostering strong relationships with all community stakeholders.”

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

SAISD releases tiered plan for student return to campuses
08/07/2020

Four levels of occupancy based on safety and science

levels matrix

See current level

 

San Antonio ISD shared last week with employees and parents its plan for re-opening campuses safely, based on four levels of student occupancy that are directly linked to health metrics. 

The District has been working closely with the city and Metro Health to ensure its decision-making around starting school is being driven by safety and science, using the most current health data. In consultation with Metro Health, SAISD has developed health safety criteria to determine how it will advance to increased levels of student occupancy as local COVID-19 conditions improve over time.  

“Metro Health sees our data-based decisions as aligning well with their health and safety recommendations, and this gives us reassurance we are on a safe path moving forward,” said SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez.  
 
Movement between levels is based on three statistics: The positivity rate in Bexar County, the number of days it takes for the local case count to double, and whether numbers are trending upward, downward, or flattening based on data for a certain number of days.   
 
SAISD is implementing one additional level beyond the city’s plan, as outlined below: 
  
Level 1 Red – No in-person learning  
• Positivity rate is greater than 10%  
• Doubling time is 12 days or less   
• Not flattening or not a consistent downward trend in positive cases for at least 14 days  
   
Level 2 Yellow – Up to 25% in-person learning  
• Positivity rate of 10% or less  
• Doubling time is 13-18 days or more  
• A flattening of positive cases for at least 14 days  
  
Level 3 Green – Up to 50% in-person learning  
• Positivity rate of 5% or less  
• Doubling time of greater than 18 days  
• 14-day downward trend in positive cases or flat at a low level  
  
Level 4 Blue – More than 50% in-person learning, phasing up to 100%  
• To be determined in consultation with Metro Health  
 
Note: Criteria may change over time based on Metro Health guidance adjustments.

Parents and staff will receive at least one week’s notice of a change to Levels.    
  
Currently, SAISD is in Level 1 Red and will start the school year on Aug. 17 with 100% remote learning. The District anticipates moving to Level 2 Yellow sometime after Labor Day.  
 
In Level 2 Yellow, when up to 25% of students are on campuses, the children who comprise in-person learning will be prioritized among those who will most benefit from it – such as students who are struggling academically or students who need services in the area of special education. Campuses will have the authority to engage families proactively and bring in small numbers of students with parental permission.    
  
SAISD expects Level 3 Green of up to 50% of in-person learning to become its new normal during the first semester. However, if local health metrics do not meet the criteria for Level 3 Green before the end of the eight weeks of flexibility granted by the Texas Education Agency, the District will request a formal waiver from the state to continue at Level 1 Red or Level 2 Yellow.   
 
While Metro Health’s Green Zone has all students being able to return, adhering to social distancing and mask requirements, SAISD is limiting student occupancy to up to 50% of its students in its Green Level, in order to achieve the necessary social distancing.
 
SAISD does not envision meeting criteria for its Level 4 Blue – the uppermost tier of more than 50% of in-person learning and phasing up to 100% – until potentially at some point in the spring semester. 
 
For more information about the SAISD Safe School Start plan, visit www.saisd.net/schoolstart.

 


San Antonio ISD, meet Canvas
08/05/2020

New learning management system to enhance digital learning

 

woman at computerIn light of the increase of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Antonio ISD has purchased a new learning management system, Canvas, for the 2020-2021 school year. Canvas is made up of a powerful set of highly integrated learning products that allow teachers and schools to customize their digital learning environment, as well as introduce students to a system used at colleges and universities around the nation.

 

“We have dual credit students at the Alamo Colleges and UT Austin who are already taking college courses using Canvas,” said Becky Landa, executive director of the Office of 21st Century Learning. “We felt this was a viable product for high school as it was a natural transition. Rather than having multiple platforms, it allows students to fully participate in college courses right away.”

 

The goal of integrating Canvas at SAISD is to provide a robust learning management system to facilitate rigorous and high-quality blended learning experiences as well as support teachers, students, and families. SAISD’s Office of Organizational Learning and Office of 21st Century Learning began training master teachers on Canvas in July.

 

“Training for us is non-stop,” said Landa. “When you think about who is getting trained, it’s not just teachers. We’ve got instructional assistants, consulting teachers, librarians, lead teams who train others. By the time we are done in August, we will have trained up 4,000 staff members.”

 

canvas According to Landa, Canvas takes about 12 hours for teachers to learn. Principals get an abridged version of the training so they can get a bird’s eye view of the system. SAISD librarians will be receiving a specialized training model focused on helping support parents and students through the new process this fall. The Office of Family & Community Engagement’s specialists are also being trained to help parents understand the system at the school level.

 

Almost 70% of SAISD teachers have already entered training as of August 7, according to Landa. In a normal cycle, training would have commenced on August 10 but this year, teachers on- and off-contract have jumped in and are already completing Canvas training modules.

 

Canvas has a variety of features including calendars, attendance tracking, curriculum and assessments, module sharing, analytics, discussion boards, differentiated assignments, assistive technology and a peer review function. Additionally, a language translator as well as an announcement and communication feature that sends real-time messages to students are integrated into the program.

 

“Teachers will never have to carry another journal, or notebook, or a stack of papers ever again because this type of student work is uploaded into Canvas and easily retrievable by teachers for evaluation and feedback,” said Landa. “Canvas tracks every interaction to monitor and support student progress. This is a game changer for teachers because the system gives them real-time information about student performance.”

 

Canvas gives students multiple opportunities to show their progress and allows teachers to set extended deadlines for students with special needs. Teachers can provide immediate feedback to students and ask them to revise their work.

 

“Typically in a classroom, a teacher would be redirecting, or be a guide-on-the-side, as a continuous process in teaching and learning,” said Landa. “That is what we are doing now with Canvas as the feedback features offer an ease-of-use of the product. When teachers see this, they remark, ‘It’s amazing.’”

 

While teachers may choose to start their Canvas classrooms from scratch, there will be a multitude of resources and lessons, some developed by SAISD’s own master teachers, that will be available. Some SAISD master teachers have already begun sharing resources on Canvas.

 

“Teachers can look for anything they want: a course, a module, a quiz, a video by grade level or by SAISD resource,” said Landa. “Eventually, we will be placing all sorts of instructional resources that our master teachers are developing. Master teachers received intensive trainings with Canvas. We used that model so that the master teachers could help us support other teachers within their own buildings and across the District.”

 

In addition to access to master teacher-developed resources, teachers can integrate District-approved apps, like Flipgrid and Google resources, into their Canvas course. Over the next several weeks, the Office of Organizational Learning and the Office of 21st Century Learning will be partnering to provide Canvas professional learning opportunities. Staff accounts are in the process of being established and will be accessible through the ClassLink Single Sign On when available.

 

Staff interested in learning more about Canvas may complete Session 1: Foundations by viewing the five-part video tutorial. Once completed, staff can register for training through Performance Matters or view the training recordings and modules by visiting the Ed Tech and Design Website at http://www.saisd.net/edtech

 

Teachers will need to participate in seven training sessions in order to complete the Canvas onboarding. At this time, Sessions 2-5 are available in Performance Matters. The training calendar will continue to grow with new sessions regularly for the remainder of the summer, during back-to-school professional development, and throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

 

Additionally, the Office of Family and Community Engagement will be conducting Canvas workshops specifically for parents Aug. 13-20. Both morning and afternoon sessions will be offered in English with Spanish interpretation, unless noted otherwise.

 

“The District is so excited to have this opportunity to engage and introduce parents to Canvas,” said Irma Hess, a licensed master social worker with the Office of Family and Community Engagement.

 

Click here to view Canvas parent training sessions.

 


SAISD superintendent awarded Great Immigrant distinction
07/06/2020
SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez has been named among this year’s list of Great Immigrants, Great Americans published annually by Carnegie Corporation of New York. The list honors naturalized citizens who have enriched and strengthened the nation and its democracy through their contributions and actions, and it has been published each Fourth of July since 2006.

This year, 38 honorees were selected to highlight the work of millions of immigrants who are playing essential roles in the global health crisis as COVID-19 responders. The honorees were recognized in an online tribute and in a full-page public service announcement in the New York Times. 

Superintendesuperintendent pedro martineznt Martinez was named to the list for his leadership in overseeing the transition to remote learning for approximately 49,000 students within his district, including the distribution of 30,000 computers and 4,000 Wi-Fi hotspots to ensure the students had access to continue their learning once COVID-19 forced the closure of school buildings.

Overall, the 2020 Great Immigrants, Great Americans represent 35 countries of origin and a wide range of contributions to American life, from human rights and computer science to art, business, education, health care, journalism, music, politics, religion, research, and sports.

“Millions of brave Americans responded with selflessness and urgency to COVID-19, including immigrants, who represent one out of six nurses and one out of four physicians. Their contributions to health care, biomedicine, the nation’s food system, and many other critically important sectors are immeasurable,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “We express our admiration and gratitude to the COVID-19 responders and researchers, and to all Great Immigrants. They have come from different backgrounds, and have pursued different worthwhile goals, but collectively, they have shared a desire to become citizens and have made our democratic society stronger. For all of their efforts, we salute them.”

The initiative is a tribute to the legacy of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant who rose from poverty to become a leading industrialist. The 2020 honorees mark the 15th class of Great Immigrants. 

Click here for the full announcement from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, including the list of all honorees.

A graduation season for the history books
06/25/2020

edison graduationIt’s been more than 100 years since San Antonio school buildings closed in the face of a pandemic. The Spanish Flu prompted the San Antonio Board of Health to vote to close all schools and ban all public gatherings on Oct. 16, 1918. Fast forward to March 13, 2020, and students throughout San Antonio heard a similar message about a new coronavirus spreading across the globe and which was just beginning to affect their city.

While San Antonio reopened by the end of December in 1918, students in 2020 were not able to return to in-person instruction for the rest of the school year because of COVID-19. Following nine weeks of virtual classrooms, miraculously prepared in a matter of days, the Class of 2020 began to fear the unthinkable – a graduation from home in front of a computer.

pull out quoteOn May 5, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that graduation ceremonies in Texas would be allowed with certain restraints, such as following social distancing protocols and using outdoor venues. By May 18, SAISD announced in-person graduations would go on. It was one of only a few local districts selecting the outdoor option.

Dr. Judith Solis, assistant superintendent, led a team to plan June commencement events at Alamo Stadium, an iconic facility in which SAISD students have been creating memories for 80 years. 

“There is not a more traditional setting for our Class of 2020 to commemorate their final moments as SAISD students,” wrote Superintendent Pedro Martinez in a letter to all seniors.

In any given year, planning more than a dozen graduations is a massive undertaking; but in a pandemic year, critical health and safety details made the coordination a painstaking endeavor. 

Chairs for the seniors were spaced 6 feet apart, and red dots marked the areas where audience members could safely watch from the stands. Masks were worn, and in some cases, were designed to commemorate the occasion – an effort reminiscent of the tradition of decorating graduation caps.

Solis put a lot of care into the plans to keep students, their families, and staff members safe – and she was moved when she saw everyone respecting the guidelines put in place.

“When I looked up into the stands and saw all the people perfectly positioned at their red dots, I was pleased to see that everything was playing out as planned,” she said. “I got emotional.”

In addition to the thorough preparation around public health precautions, ceremonies were scheduled at 8:30 a.m. or 8 p.m. to avoid the Texas heat. 

Shortly after sunrise and right at dusk, the ceremonies were held against the San Antonio skyline. More than 2,800 seniors had the opportunity to cross the stage while two of their family members witnessed their transition from student to graduate.

“Getting to see the seniors’ smiles when they walked the stage was the most gratifying part,” Solis said. “It was priceless.”

While the Class of 2020 had a traditional closing to an untraditional senior year after all, the events leading up to and surrounding their graduations will go down in history.

Reflecting on the severity of the pandemic locally, Solis remarked about the teamwork she has seen across the District in responding to the crisis.

“The effort is in everything we are doing,” said Solis. “This is part of our story.”

 

Click here for the Class of 2020 Celebration page

high schools

 

August Meal Plan
06/25/2020

july meal schedule

MEAL UPDATE: We will begin distributing weekly meal kits on Thursday, July 30.

 

Two distributions will be held between now and the first day of school following the schedule indicated. Please be sure to mark your calendar! These kits include enough food for one week.

A weekly meal kit for the week of August 3 - 6 will be distributed:
Curbside locations: July 30, 9 a.m., 11 a.m.
Bus Routes: July 31 (existing delivery schedule)

A weekly meal kit for the week of August 10-14 will be distributed:
Curbside locations: Aug. 7, 9 a.m.- 11 a.m.
Bus Routes: Aug. 7 (existing delivery schedule)

 

Please see the list of locations and note that some are at campuses. 


 


SAISD announces 2019 Rising Star teachers
05/28/2020

At the end of each school year for the past 10 years, family members, mentors, SAISD administration, and friends would gather together in the Alamo Convocation Center to celebrate SAISD’s finest first-year teachers. But this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SAISD’s annual Rising Star Awards ceremony went mobile, with each campus recognizing their own shining star with a variety of social-distancing celebrations. 

“Initially, it was quite a challenge to re-imagine what this event would look like,” said Toni Thompson, associate superintendent of Human Resources. “We were disappointed that we could not hold a ceremony for them which would provide an opportunity for hugs, handshakes and high fives, but once we started reaching out to campuses, we felt confident that they would help us recognize these outstanding educators in memorable ways. That has certainly happened and we appreciate the efforts that campuses have undertaken.”

Of the more than 200 first-year teachers currently closing out the 2019-2020 school year, 40 were selected for this honor. Each of the Rising Stars will receive a $50 voucher for the Learning Zone, an SAISD star keyring, SAISD tumbler, a certificate of recognition and a customized yard sign. 

Out of the 40 teachers recognized, four were chosen as 2019 Rising Star Teachers of the Year in one of four categories: early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school. These top four teachers were surprised with flowers, balloons and an additional $200 voucher for Learning Zone by school and District administrators on the teacher’s home campus as they packed up their classrooms for the summer. 

Rising Star teacherTatiary Ozuna-Lawson
Head Start Teacher
Carrol Early Childhood Education Center

 

Tatiary Ozuna-Lawson, Head Start teacher at Carrol Early Childhood Education Center, won in the early childhood category.

“Ms. Ozuna-Lawson has established a positive learning environment built on solid relationships with students, families, and her Instructional assistant,” wrote Fabiola Gonzalez, associate principal at Carrol, in Ozuna-Lawson’s nomination packet. “She greets everybody daily with a smile on her face and incorporates routines in her daily schedule to foster a caring and safe environment. Ms. Ozuna has open communication with her students’ families and the shared space is fluid for families to communicate with her and her teaching partner.”

 


Rising Star teacherKiana Bourgeois
Special Education Teacher
Douglass Academy

 

Kiana Bourgeois, special education teacher at Douglass Academy, won in the elementary category.

“Since the moment Ms. Bourgeois stepped foot on campus, she’s been a driving force to ensure every child is comfortable in their learning environment,” wrote Dr. Stephanie Ratliff, principal at Douglass Academy, in Bourgeois’ nomination packet. “Her understanding of the learning environment goes beyond physical aspects of a classroom – she dug deeper! When decorating her classroom she took research into account and researched what colors would best help students remain calm. She got to know her students by reaching out to them before school even started. In addition to talking with students, she talked with parents about their child’s interests and learning styles.”


Rising Star teacherValentina Fernandez Plaza
ELA Teacher
Whittier Middle School
 

 

Valentina Fernandez Plaza, ELA teacher at Whittier Middle School, won in the middle school category. 

“Ms. Fernandez was an early adopter of utilizing Google classroom as part of the VILS program to put learning online for her students, taking full advantage of the technology available to further student learning,” wrote Irene Talamantes, principal at Whittier, in Fernandez’s nomination packet. “Ms. Fernandez’s use of these different ways facilitates clear communication of her lessons to her students taking advantage of their varied learning styles in and out of the classroom. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, she also created a virtual classroom utilizing Instagram, Flip grid, email and Zoom for her students and parents to maintain contact with her during the time that school is not in session. Students communicate their appreciation to her with their accolades of her teaching in comments they have sent to her.”


Rising Star teacherTaylor Cantu
Chemistry Teacher
Lanier High School

 

Taylor Cantu, chemistry teacher at Lanier High School, won in the high school category.

“Through knowledge of students and proven practices, Ms. Cantu ensures high levels of learning, social-emotional development, and achievement for all students,” wrote Dr. Moises Ortiz, principal at Lanier, in Cantu’s nomination packet. “Ms. Cantu builds personal relationships with all students by showing interest in their academic and extracurricular activities including attending sports games, band events, pep rallies, and community events. She builds relationships with her students making them comfortable to openly talk with her.“

 

 

To be nominated for a Rising Star Award, each school principal must submit an application that highlights four key areas in which the nominated teacher demonstrates excellence: effectiveness in the classroom, evidence of exceptional qualities, demonstrated leadership, and other qualifying information. The school-level applications are forwarded onto Human Resources, and a District-level committee makes the selection based on the criteria.

“I would like to say to all of our first-year teachers, thank you for choosing SAISD; thank you for your commitment to our students and families; and thank you for making a difference,” said Thompson. “I hope that your relationship with SAISD is long-lasting and rewarding. We appreciate you!”

 

rising star teacher program rising star teacher program
 

Graebner Elementary teacher named statewide Rising Star in H-E-B Excellence in Education awards
05/06/2020

hebGerardo Villegas Juarez, a fifth-grade teacher at Graebner Elementary School, was named this year’s statewide Rising Star elementary teacher in the H-E-B Excellence in Education awards. The honor was announced May 5 during a Zoom call organized in place of the contest’s annual banquet, a tradition modified by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Villegas Juarez will receive a $5,000 check and a $5,000 grant will go to his school. When his name was announced during the virtual ceremony, he looked shocked.

 

“I did not understand the magnitude of this award, in fact, it is still hard for me to understand!” he said. “Seeing people like Matthew McConaughey and Eva Longoria on the Zoom call really help put it in context. I know for a fact that there are a million other people out there doing amazing things, and I am still in shock that I was chosen for this award.”

 

Villegas Juarez says the most rewarding part isn’t the money or the recognition for himself, but the fact that his school Graebner, was recognized.

 

“I was super proud of the video that H-E-B created,” he said. “It highlighted my school over and over again. I am incredibly proud of this district and my school. The only thing I wanted to do was make people who invested in me proud. Since I won, I am getting feedback from teachers who taught me in SAISD and they are super proud. That is the best part.”

 

Noemi Saldivar, principal at Graebner, says that having Villegas Juarez on her campus brings continuous joy to the school.

 

“He always speaks with passion and is constantly advocating for the kids,” she said. “He works from the angle of, ‘How is this decision ultimately going to benefit the students, benefit their learning.’ He is a problem-solver, a thinker and an advocate. His whole purpose is to be there for his kids and help them to gain the knowledge to access the opportunities that are out there.”

 

Villegas Juarez is a product of SAISD, and he is currently teaching at Graebner with one of his former SAISD teachers, Rhonda Garcia. The two have teamed up and this year, started the school’s first mariachi group.

 

“Teaching with Gerado makes me feel incredibly proud,” said Garcia. “I am honored to see my former student take the reigns as a fellow educator. As a teacher, it is truly remarkable to know that you have impacted one of your own students to a point where they want to inspire, motivate, and cultivate the future of our country. My heart is so full of joy!”

 

Villegas Juarez attended Nelson and Bowie Elementary schools, Irving Middle School, and then Jefferson High School before graduating from Fox Tech High School in 2012.

 

Created in 2002, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards are designed to honor outstanding public school professionals and to thank them for their dedication and commitment. Through the program, H-E-B seeks to pay tribute to those educators who go the extra mile each and every day to serve their students and their communities and who inspire others to do the same.

 

H-E-B’s Excellence in Education Awards program has become the largest monetary program for educators in the state, spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators.

 

“Mr. Villegas Juarez feels a huge responsibility to give back, and it is very evident in all that he does,” said Saldivar.

 

Teacher Awards are designed to recognize teachers and are based on the teachers’ passion and commitment to the teaching profession, innovation and creativity in the classroom and their professional growth and development.


SAISD celebrates its teachers
05/03/2020
Teachers are inspiring mentors for children on a daily basis. And this year, when a global pandemic sidetracked in-person instruction, teachers upped their game yet again. 

During Teacher Appreciation Week, SAISD is celebrating our teachers for the role models that they are. After fast-tracking their own professional development in online classroom environments, teachers across the District quickly transitioned to virtual classrooms – complete with engaging lessons and social-emotional outreach. They have proven that the teacher-student bonds are as strong as ever.

Through their own actions of tackling head on the challenges of social distancing and remote learning, our teachers not only have maintained their students’ academic instruction, but also led the way in how to overcome unexpected challenges.

Because of their dedication and can-do spirit, our teachers have inspired students to strive to conquer this and all other challenges. They are helping our students realize that they, too, have the capabilities to rise above whatever comes their way.

In appreciation, schools are hosting various celebratory activities – from surprise gifts to student messages, meal deliveries and parades. Superintendent Pedro Martinez taped a special message for all teachers.

SAISD has immense gratitude for the work that our teachers do every day and every year. The District thanks them for answering the call to be educators, and being the role models that guide our students to fulfill their dreams.
 


Lanier High School's automotive program: A gift that drives a community
03/06/2020

Lanier auto programVehicle repairs can put the brakes on a family’s ability to have safe and reliable transportation to go to school or work, doctor appointments and the grocery store – especially when that family’s budget already is tight.

Retired SAISD employees Sarah and Terry Baxter, who are part of the Early Ford V8 Club of America, decided they wanted to shift the gears in favor of families who find themselves in this situation. At the same time, they wanted to give back to the District’s students at Lanier High School.

The couple made a gift through the SAISD Foundation to fund vehicle parts that students in Lanier’s automotive program could use to help families in their West Side community, who otherwise could not afford car repairs.

Lanier’s automotive program provides reasonably priced maintenance and light repairs such as brakes, oil changes, shocks, tire rotations, tune-ups, alignment and other essential vehicle repair. Because of this donation, students can start to do more complex work at no charge for a few families that cannot afford critical repairs. These are all experiences that contribute to the education of students. 

 

Lanier auto program“The real-life, hands-on experience students receive in the program enhances their learning, which transfers to higher rate of program completion and a continued passion for the automotive industry,” says Juan Morales, automotive master teacher at Lanier High School and adjunct professor at St. Philip’s College.

Students in the program are obtaining industry certifications, dual credit (earning both high school and college credit), and also participate in SkillsUSA leadership and skills competitions. 

“Donors like the Baxters and the Early Ford V8 Club of America can play a significant role in making project-based learning possible,” says Judy Geelhoed, SAISD Foundation executive director. "Programs like this are both a meaningful investment in our future workforce and the local community." 

SAISD Foundation is accepting additional donations to grow the program. For more information, visit www.saisdfoundation.com or call (210) 554-2235.

 

SAISD educator recognized as 2020 H-E-B Excellence in Education finalist
03/06/2020
HEB Excellence in EducationSan Antonio ISD educator Gerardo Villegas Juarez, a fifth-grade teacher at Charles Graebner Elementary School, was surprised with balloons, cookies, and a giant check when he was named an H-E-B Excellence in Education finalist earlier this week. 

He was recognized in the category of Rising Star, Elementary.

“Mr. Villegas Juarez is a phenomenal teacher,” said Noemi Saldivar, principal at Graebner.  “He is very dedicated and very authentic. He is a product of SAISD himself and is passionate; he truly wants to make a difference in the lives of his students.”

Villegas Juarez attended Nelson and Bowie Elementary schools, Irving Middle School, and then Jefferson High School before graduating from Fox Tech High School in 2012. 

“The nicest thing about winning this award is seeing my former SAISD teachers share the post and congratulate me,” said Villegas Juarez. “It’s nice to know that this award extends to other people who were part of this. I mean, I had the best role models. I always tell people who I get to share my story with that my journey walks on the backs of hundreds of people that I have been blessed to encounter in my life.  Someone like me doesn’t get to be in the place that I am in today by themselves. There were a lot of people in SAISD that helped me.”

Villegas Juarez received $1,000 check for himself and $1,000 check for his school. All state finalists are invited to travel to San Antonio in May for face-to-face interviews to compete on the statewide level for larger cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Winner will be announced at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on May 3 at the La Cantera Resort & Spa.

Created in 2002, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards are designed to honor outstanding public school professionals and to thank them for their dedication and commitment. Through the program, H-E-B seeks to pay tribute to those educators who go the extra mile each and every day to serve their students and their communities and who inspire others to do the same.

H-E-B’s Excellence in Education Awards program has become the largest monetary program for educators in the state, spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators.

Teacher Awards are designed to recognize teachers and are based on the teachers’ passion and commitment to the teaching profession, innovation and creativity in the classroom and their professional growth and development. 
 

School closure FAQs - COVID-19 and how it affects academics
02/27/2020

distance learningClick here for our COVID-19 Resource Page

 

SAISD schools will remain closed through Friday, May 1. We join school districts across Bexar County in complying with Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement to extend the state's closure through May 1.

 

Be assured, we are even more committed than ever to providing excellent learning experiences for your children and to continue to meet the diverse needs of our students.

 

The following Frequently Asked Questions provide a basic framework for how we will operate during this school closure. It is important to note that the circumstances surrounding school closures are evolving. We ask that you please notify your campus if your contact information has changed. 

 

General FAQ:

 

1. When does my child’s online classroom begin?
Online classes began Monday, March 30. For additional questions, please contact your child’s school.

 

2. What if my child does not have a computer?
Please contact your school. Principals are working with families to ensure all students have access to a device. We are still in the process of distributing laptops and iPads. Families that still need devices should check the campus webpage for distribution dates and times. Each campus web page will communicate the deadline for device pick up. After this date, teachers will begin taking grades for the 4th 9 weeks.

 

Keep in mind that many devices are on order and are not yet at the school. If the devices are in transit, this will be indicated on the school’s web page.

 

3. Is my child required to attend online classes?
Yes. School will be in session through online classes beginning Monday, March 30. The majority of classes will be done by students independently. There may also be time when teachers will connect with students online at a specific time of day. Students are encouraged to attend these class meetings. Students who are unable to attend may view the video in the online classroom at a later time.

 

Parents should contact the teacher or school if students are unable to connect to the online classroom or if students had previously had an attendance contract.

 

4. Will the District keep track of students who are attending online classes?
Yes. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires school districts to track student participation in online classes. SAISD will use a Student Interaction Tracker to collect information on the multiple ways students may participate in online learning, whether this is through online classes, phone calls from their teacher, using Classlink to access digital resources, or other ways of connecting.

 

5. Will assignments be graded?
Yes. Teachers are required to take grades and students will receive a final semester grade as usual.

 

6. Does my child have to turn in work at the school?
No. For the safety of our students and staff, we are asking that all work be submitted online according to the teacher’s direction.

 

Students who must work from hardcopy packets may send pictures of their work to their teacher or may be assessed over the telephone, as outlined by the teacher.


7. What if my child needs help and I don’t know how to help?
You or your child can contact the teacher who can provide support on assignments.

 

8. Will my child receive a progress report?
Texas Education Code, §28.022(a)(3) requires districts to, at least once every three weeks, or during the fourth week of each nine-week grading period, give written notice to a parent or legal guardian of a student's performance in a foundation subject if the student's performance in the subject is consistently unsatisfactory.

 

9. Will my child receive a report card at the end of the semester?
Yes. Texas Education Code, §28.022(a)(2) requires school districts, at least once every 12 weeks, to give written notice to a parent of a student's performance in each class or subject.

 

10. Will my child take the STAAR or STAAR EOC in Spring of 2020?
No. The Texas Education Agency has canceled all administrations of STAAR testing for Spring 2020

 

Pre-K - 8th Grade FAQ:

 

11. Will a checklist be used for ECE through 1st grade?
The checklists are designed for a regular face-to-face classroom experience. Teachers may focus on a portion of the checklist. If sections on the checklist are left blank, it means that this was not an area of focus, but students will default to passing for any standards left unmarked.

 

12. What happens if my child missed assignments because they did not have a device?
Students will not be penalized for work missed while trying to secure a device and/or internet connection.

 

High School FAQ:

 

13. What happens if my child missed assignments because they did not have a device?
Students must make up work missed while trying to secure a device and/or internet connection. Students should work with their teacher to determine what was missed. 

 

14. My child was in the process of making up credit. What should we do now? Are we allowed to continue that process?
Yes. Students who were in credit recovery programs will be allowed to complete them. For questions regarding student schedules contact your child's teacher.

 

15. How will my child earn credits for 2nd semester?
Credits for 2nd semester will be earned by considering performance for both 3rd and 4th 9 weeks.

 

16. My child is enrolled in an AP course. How will my child take the AP exam?
The AP Exam will be offered online. Dates are yet to be determined. Students will only be assessed over content taught through mid-March. Students will have 45 minutes to complete their response and will be able to use notes, books and other resources. The College Board is providing resources for students through the AP Classroom online. All students who registered for the AP exam have access to this resource through their AP teacher, including access to a revised syllabus and other resources.

 

17. My child is enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme (DP) at Burbank or Jefferson High School. Will my child take IB exams and will they still be able to earn their IB Diploma?
The May 2020 IB examinations will not be administered. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) has canceled the 2020 administration of IB exams and will move forward with a plan to award a Diploma for the work students have done throughout their program.

 

The IBO will be taking the following actions for the 2020 May Examination session:
- The May 2020 examinations scheduled April 30 through May 22, for Diploma Programme will no longer be held.
- Depending on their registrations, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on the student's coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programme.

 

IBO has sent full details and FAQs to Burbank and Jefferson IB Coordinators on March 27, 2020. FAQs regarding testing cancellation may be found on IBO’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update page.

 

18. Will my child be able to take the TSI, SAT and/or ACT for college placement and/or entrance?
Our testing department and our college partners are working on a strategy for students to be able to take the TSI assessment, the exam that many colleges require to be completed before students take courses for college credit, including dual credit classes in high school. Please stay in contact with your school counselor for updated information.

 

College Board and ACT will offer additional opportunities to take the SAT/ACT as soon as large convenings are allowed. Students who are completing college applications should remain in touch with their chosen college/university and/or their counselor and/or their college bound advisor for updates on admissions/application completion.

 

19. Will my child be able to complete their certification exam for Career & Technology Courses?
Yes, your child should contact the course teacher to arrange to take the certification exam. Please note that some certification exams may be delayed until teachers and students are allowed to return to campuses while others may be done online or at home.

 

Seniors 2020 FAQ:

 

20. If I have a senior, will my child graduate in May?
All students who complete graduation requirements will receive a diploma.

 

21. Will there be a graduation ceremony?
We have not made a decision regarding graduation ceremonies; however, we will be following the guidance of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District regarding large convenings.

 

22. Will there be prom?
We have not made a decision regarding prom; however, we will be following the guidance of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District regarding large convenings.

 

23. Will class rank still be calculated?
In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), §51.803, Districts must identify junior and senior students in the top 10% of their class for the purposes of eligibility for automatic college admission to a Texas institution of higher education.

 

24. If the District remains closed for the remainder of the year, will credits be awarded for graduation?
Yes. Credit for courses for high school graduation will be awarded based on a student's demonstrated proficiency in the essential knowledge and skills for the course based, in part, on work completed in online courses.

 

25. What if my senior does not currently have enough credits to graduate?
Students must complete credit requirements to graduate. Students who successfully complete the 4th 9 weeks and have a passing semester average will receive credit for the semester. Students who are short credits to graduate may continue to accumulate credits in their credit recovery courses.

 

26. What if my senior has failed an EOC required for graduation?
Seniors in the 2019– 2020 school year who have not yet met assessment requirements for graduation may be eligible to graduate as a result of an individual graduation committee (IGC) review. The school counselor will contact parents if this is the case.

 

27. What is the Individual Graduation Committee (IGC) process?
A student who has failed the EOC assessment graduation requirements for no more than two courses may receive a Texas high school diploma if the student has qualified to graduate by means of a special process of obtaining an individual graduation committee (IGC) determination.

 

According to the requirements, as part of the IGC, each student will:
- Participate in the IGC process to ensure that alternate graduation requirements and expectations are clearly understood
- Attend additional hours of remediation as outlined by the IGC
- Complete an approved project or portfolio per EOC that exhibits proficiency in the EOC area(s)

 

28. Are all students eligible to receive an IGC review?
Seniors who were enrolled in the district during the 2019–2020 school year may graduate via an IGC determination, regardless of the number of EOC exams they still need to pass. In accordance with TEC, §28.0258, students must successfully complete the curriculum requirements for high school graduation as identified in Title 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 74, Subchapter B. Districts and charter schools must determine if a student has met all other graduation requirements under TEC, §28.025(c), including successful
completion of all curriculum requirements or an individualized education program.

 

A student who is on schedule to complete graduation requirements in Spring 2020 but does not have the opportunity to retake a STAAR EOC assessment prior to graduation is not required to pass that specific test to fulfill graduation requirements but will need to successfully complete the IGC process to be eligible to graduate.

 

A student who is on schedule to complete graduation requirements in Spring 2020 and was scheduled to take a required EOC for the first time in Spring 2020 is not required to pass that specific test to fulfill graduation requirements. An IGC is not needed in such circumstances.

 

29. What is the timeline for the IGC if I have a senior?
The IGC process has begun at all high school campuses. Counselors will be contacting families. Administrative rules specify that a school district may not establish an initial IGC for eligible students after June 10.

 

In accordance with 19 TAC §74.1025(d), an IGC must make a decision to award a diploma no later than August 31 of each school year in order for the student to be included as a graduate in the district or charter school's graduation data in the school year in which the student meets the requirements. Please note that a decision to award a diploma via an IGC determination can be made after this date. In such cases, a student would be reported in the subsequent year's graduation data.

 

30. My senior is in special education. Will requirements be waived so that my senior is able to graduate?
The ARD committee will discuss the graduation plan for your child which may or may not include the IGC option, based on the collaborative decision of the ARD committee. Unless otherwise indicated in the ARD, students must meet all graduation requirements.

 

31. How will I know that my child will be college ready by the end of the year?
All high schools are continuing to ensure structures are in place for students to be on track for college readiness no later than the fall semester of their senior year.

 

32. My child does not have a computer or internet. Will my child still graduate?
All seniors will be provided a device and internet if needed. Please contact your child’s school.

 

The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and we wish to provide you the most current recommendations of city and federal health authorities regarding health risks associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

What is COVID-19?


COVID-19 is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of COVID-19 to the American public is low.

There are many viruses in the coronavirus family that can cause illness in both humans and animals. Many are among people all of the time, and cause mild to moderate illnesses, such as the common cold.

Risk is based on exposure. When a new disease is circulating, it is natural for people to ask what they can do to protect themselves and their families.

What are the symptoms? 

• Fever
• Cough
• Difficulty breathing
• Chills
• Repeated shaking with chills
• Muscle pain
• Headache
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell


How is it spread?

• Through coughing and sneezing
• Close contact (within a six-foot radius) with others who are sick
• Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
• Because COVID-19 is new, we are learning more each day about the transmission patterns and incubation periods

What can I do?

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
• Help young children wash their hands well
• Refrain from touching your face
• Do not drop off a sick child at school
• Stay home when you are sick
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
• Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

Should I wear a mask to protect myself from COVID-19?

The CDC generally suggests that masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and people who are already sick with a respiratory illness and need to visit a doctor. The CDC doesn't recommend that people who aren’t sick wear masks to protect themselves from respiratory illness while out in public.

Generally, in cases where you are not ill, the best way to protect you and your family members is to follow preventive measures such as washing your hands often, not touching your face, and avoiding people who are sick. These precautions are still considered the best mode of protection.

 

What is SAISD is doing to reduce the spread of viruses?

 

We are in regular communication with the city’s Metropolitan Health District who, in turn, receives regular updates from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any local response to COVID-19 will be coordinated through Metro Health. 

 

Currently, the CDC recommends that schools follow its National Pandemic Influenza Plan, which the CDC updated in 2017. SAISD is following this plan, which includes as the first course of action standard prevention measures for any respiratory disease, including hand washing, covering coughs, and staying home when sick. Posters on health hand-washing habits are being distributed to all campuses.

 

Additionally, high-touch surfaces are being cleaned more frequently, using approved hospital-grade virucidal wipes. During spring break, all campuses, administrative offices and school buses will receive a deep cleaning. Entire spaces including all horizontal and vertical surfaces will receive a treatment with the hospital-grade germicidal solution.

 

When there are respiratory or gastrointestinal outbreaks, SAISD school nurses and school leaders will use the existing illness outbreak processes to track illnesses, notify health department officials, disinfect schools, and notify staff and parents. 

 

We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and report any updates to the SAISD community.

 

 

How does the March 16-20 school closure affect the STAAR assessment?

 

TEA canceled the STAAR assessment requirement for 2019-2020. 

 

Are there any current cases in San Antonio?

 

Yes, at this time there are cases in San Antonio. 

 

Resources

 

SAISD Cleaning Protocols (English)
City of San Antonio Mayor's March 8 update (Facebook) (Twitter)
City of San Antonio COVID-19 Fact Sheet (English) (Spanish)
City of San Antonio Reduce Your Risk (English) (Spanish)
City of San Antonio COVID-19 Poster (English) (Spanish)
Texas Department of State Health Services information on COVID-19 (English) (Spanish)
CDC information on COVID-19 in the United States (English) (Spanish
CDC information on COVID-19 in Children (English)
CDC travel advisories (English)

 


SAISD and University Health System announce opening of Health Center West
02/25/2020

Health Center WestSAISD and University Health System are collaborating to operate a health center at Tafolla Middle School to serve students and campus employees from schools in the West Side Lanier High School feeder. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Feb. 25, 2020.

Health Center West serves patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Health System will staff the center with its employees, including a nurse practitioner, a nurse, a medical assistant and a registrar.

The center will provide care for the following health issues:

• Minor acute care (ear infections, throat infections, asthma, bronchitis)
• Physical exams/well-child checkups
• Primary care
• Immunizations
• Sports physicals
• Health education on nutrition, disease and injury prevention
• Medication prescriptions as needed

Parents can make appointments by calling (210) 644-2000.

The cost of a visit will depend on a patient’s insurance status at the time of the visit. Private insurance, CHIP, Medicaid, and cash payment arrangements are all accepted. Health Center West staff can assist patients that are underinsured or uninsured make an account with Bexar County’s CareLink financial assistance program.

Health Center West is located on the Tafolla campus, behind the main school building in a stand-alone portable building.

SAISD and University Health System plan to open a second health center, Health Center East, at Davis Middle School later this school year. Currently, University Health System also has health centers in Harlandale, Southside and Southwest ISDs.

In addition to the support from the Health System, in collaboration with the SAISD Foundation, the Baptist Health Foundation provided furniture for the waiting room and provider offices for both the West and East clinics, a $40,000 value ($20,000 per clinic).

 

Health Center West  Health Center West  Health Center West

 

Distinguished Teachers of the Year selected
02/14/2020

2020 teachers of the yearThree outstanding educators were honored last night at SAISD’s 2020 Distinguished Teachers of the Year ceremony. They are Christina Leal, special education teacher at Advanced Learning Academy (PK-3); Marie Marks, Spanish teacher at Young Women’s Leadership Academy; and Adriana Abundis, mathematics teacher at Lanier High School. These outstanding educators will be considered as nominees for a variety of outside honors throughout the next school year.

Advanced Learning Academy’s Leal has spent the past 14 years as a teacher. After graduating from Trinity University with an M.A in teaching, Leal began her teaching career at Hawthorne Academy in 2006. She dreamed of being a teacher since she was a little girl. She took joy helping her brother, who was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia, with his homework.

“I always found joy when I was able to support him with understanding a new concept or saw the pride on his face when he would come home with a good grade for an assignment he worked tirelessly to complete,” she said. 

Now as a special education teacher, Leal says she is blessed to have students who work with her in her classroom and then return to their general education classroom. 

“It is my hope and belief that they carry the positive self-awareness they have in my classroom to their general education classrooms, making the entire school a more creative and productive place for learning,” she said. “As an educator, I have always treated all of my students as if they were my own children. I do the best of my ability each and every day because that is what they deserve.”

Young Women’s Leadership Academy’s Marks has been teaching for the last 20 years, graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Spanish language, and then earning her Texas teaching certificate from The University of Texas at San Antonio. She was drawn to teaching at a young age, tutoring fellow students in high school, teaching swimming lessons to children and adults, and teaching religion classes at her church.

“Enthusiasm is the characteristic which best defines me as a teacher,” said Marks. “If students see an instructor who demonstrates a passion for the subject she is teaching, inevitably they will be affected by this energy and will engage themselves actively in the learning process. I strive to create an appropriate affective filter in my classroom so that all my students feel comfortable participating in class.”

Spanish is not her first language, and Marks says that she knew very early in her life that learning Spanish turned on a light inside of her.

“People who know me say that my soul is alive when speaking in Spanish and about the cultural and historical perspectives I have gained,” she said. “I have been very fortunate to be able to study and to travel and feel immense self-satisfaction in being able to share this spark with other people. I love interacting with others and helping to cultivate in them the same love of learning, cultural awareness, travel, and service that I have in my own life.”

Lanier’s Abundis has been teaching at SAISD for the past eight years. She received her B.A. from Michigan State University, and has two M.A. degrees: an M.A. in teaching, secondary mathematics from the Relay Graduate School of Education and an M.A. in bilingual and bicultural studies from The University of Texas at San Antonio. At a young age, Abundis recalled carrying a strong ambition toward schooling and education.

“Education empowered me and afforded me opportunities in my life that I knew could change the economic and intellectual destiny of my family,” she said. “I fell in love with learning at a young age, in part as it validated my worth and academic potential.”

Abundis says she wants to support youth and help them understand that education is their most critical life opportunity. She wants them to understand that learning is not simply an opportunity to grow one's intellectual capacity, but a vehicle by which to challenge stereotypes, address misguided notions, and remove biases that are unjust and misinformed. 

“The most significant contributions and accomplishments in education for me begin with the families whom I have supported, the student trajectories which I have impacted, and the school culture and curriculum which I have contributed to the field,” she said. “It is my dream and desire that all SAISD students feel powerful.”
   
A total of 89 teachers and librarians across the District were celebrated as Teachers of the Year for their individual schools during the ceremony held at the Alamo Convocation Center. This is the first year that librarians were considered for the Teacher of the Year acknowledgement, and eight librarians were among the night’s honorees. 

Each school’s Teacher of the Year was selected by a vote of his or her peers. All had the opportunity to submit a written application for SAISD Distinguished Teacher of the Year, and one each was selected for the elementary, middle and high school levels from a pool of outstanding candidates. 

All Teachers of the Year received a certificate, personalized glass trophy, and $100 gift certificate to the Learning Zone. The 2020 Distinguished Teachers of the Year received an additional $150 gift certificate as well as a check for $500.

 

Teachers of the Year for each campus

Early Childhood Education Centers
Carroll: Mallorie Sarro
Gonzales: Elizabeth Saavedra
Knox: Ellen Mc Kissick
Nelson: Heather Beagle
Tynan: Elizabeth Rendon

Elementary Schools
Arnold: Christina Vara
Barkley-Ruiz: Analisa Spicer
Baskin: Kim Rosenthal
JT Brackenridge: Norma Montalvo
Briscoe: Anna Ulate
Cameron: Ashley Brady
Carvajal: Enrique Hernandez
Collins Garden: Petra Garcia
De Zavala:  Martha Espinoza
Franklin: Leslie Romero
Gates: Angel Prado
Graebner: Elly Felson
Highland Hills: Cynthia Garcia
Highland Park: Raymond Briseno
Hillcrest: Alejandra Lopez
Hirsch: Isabel Renteria Quijano
Huppertz: Melinda Adams
Kelly: Blanca Quezada
Sarah King: Vanessa Osburn
Lamar: Megan Correia
Madison: Christina Vogel
Maverick: Priscilla Quezada
Miller: Barbara Smith
Neal: Leticia Lara
Pershing: Rikii Gipson
Schenck: Danielle Eisele Elizondo
Smith: Leticia Salcido
Storm: Julie Vallery
Washington: Fidelia Rosas
Wilson: Cristina Silva
Woodlawn Hills: Maria De La Rosa

Academies
Advanced Learning Academy (Pk-3): Christina Leal
Ball: Carmen Hurtado
Beacon Hill: Michelle Naumann
Bonham: Diana Estrada
Bowden: Robert Wilson
Cotton: Sylvia Anchondo Gonzalez
Crockett: Veronica Cuellar
Douglass: Blanca Hernandez
Fenwick: Cynthia Montalvo
Forbes: Sarah Kersh
Foster: Sarah McFarland
Green: Sara Cortez
Hawthorne: Bonnye Cavazos
Herff Academy: Julieta De Luna
Irving Dual Language: Zachary Chan
Japhet: Maria Yebra
M.L. King: Jessica Grice
Margil: Doris Blanco
Mission: Conor Callison
Ogden: Stephanie Fernandez
Riverside Park: Monica Ramirez
Will Rogers: Joy Tuxhorn
Steele Montessori: Claire Romano
Twain Dual Language: Guadalupe Villarreal
Woodlawn: Brian Derouen
YMLA: Franki Allmon
YWLA at Page Primary: Shelby Calderon

Special Campuses
Cooper Academy at Navarro: Melanie Martinez
Estrada Achievement Center: Rebecka Rendon
Satellite Campuses: Jeana Vidaurri

Middle Schools 
Davis: Tijuana Jones
Harris: Dorothy Kniker
Longfellow: Tina Duffy
Lowell: Hannah St. Pierre
Poe: Wilson Sims
Rhodes: Leah Andrews
Rogers: Andrew Campos
Tafolla: Tammy Mendez
Whittier: Margaret Pearson

High Schools
Advanced Learning Academy (4th-12th): Meghan Harrington
Brackenridge: Carlos Borrego
Burbank: Jennifer De Waelsche
Cast Med: Sarah Alecozay
Cast Tech: Dr. Donald Davis
Edison: Rita Ann King
Fox Tech: Lindsey Buff
Highlands: John Decker
Sam Houston: Diana Godines
Jefferson: Monica Rodriguez
Lanier: Adriana Abundis
St. Philip’s Early College: Jenalyn Stetz
Travis Early College: Frances Santos
Young Women’s Leadership Academy: Marie Marks

 

Longfellow Middle School achieves designation as International Baccalaureate World School
02/12/2020
Longfellow IB bannerSan Antonio ISD today announced that Longfellow Middle School has been named an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the Middle Years Programme. An IB education is acclaimed worldwide because its active and engaging framework prepares students for college, and primes them to excel as lifelong learners in our global society.

“This is an important step in the school’s journey to provide a challenging and rewarding learning experience for both students and teachers,” said Dr. Courtney Gober, assistant superintendent of SAISD International Baccalaureate Schools. “Students at IB World Schools are given a unique education. They are encouraged to think independently, drive their own learning, and become inquirers who are more culturally aware, all while developing a second language.”

“Participation in IB programmes can lead students to some of the highest-ranking universities in the United States and around the world,” Gober said.

In order for a school to offer one or more of the IB programmes of education, it must first be approved as a candidate school by the International Baccalaureate Organization, and then must complete a multi-year authorization process.

“This designation is the culmination of three and a half years of hard work,” said Principal Nancy Rodriguez. “It confirms the school’s commitment to developing internationally minded students equipped to create a better, more peaceful world.” 

Longfellow is the sixth SAISD school to receive the IB World School status, and three additional campuses are in their IB candidate phases. While candidate schools are still in the process of becoming IB World Schools, they offer a full IB framework.

SAISD hosts the largest number of IB and IB-candidate schools throughout Bexar County – totaling nine IB campuses. In addition, SAISD is the only school district in the county to offer an IB education at the elementary, middle and high school levels. It offers the full IB continuum – Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma programmes – in two SAISD high school feeder patterns. 

Six campuses are in the Jefferson High School feeder, including IB World Schools Jefferson High School, Longfellow Middle School and Woodlawn Academy, as well as IB-candidate schools Fenwick Academy and Huppertz and Woodlawn Hills elementary schools. Three campuses are in the Burbank High School feeder, including IB World Schools Burbank High School, Harris Middle School and Briscoe Elementary School.

For more information on the International Baccalaureate program in SAISD, visit https://www.saisd.net/ib

Statewide honor awarded to technology leadership team
01/27/2020

IT awardSan Antonio ISD's technology leadership team has been honored with the TEAM Award, presented by the Texas K-12 Consortium of School Networking Council. The TEAM Award recognizes a district leadership team for its transformative impact on student learning with technology.

 

The SAISD team was recognized at the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Midwinter Conference during the Texas K-12 CTO’s 12th annual award ceremony this past weekend.

Each year the Texas K-12 CTO Council recognizes individuals and school districts that demonstrate outstanding vision in the use of information technologies to improve student learning. State-level winners are submitted to the Consortium for School Networking to compete in its national awards contest.

The winning team, led by Chief Information Technology Officer Dr. Kenneth J. Thompson, includes Executive Director of Information Technology Evangelina Mendoza; Manager of Enterprise and Data Warehouse Edward Martinez; Manager of Network and Telecom Jeffery Eagan; Director of Applications, Data Systems and Reporting Ray Tena; Director of Infrastructure and Security Eugene Gonzales; Director of Information Technology Services Delivery Aaron Alonzo; Manager of Data Center and Security Hector Sandoval; and Computer/Network Technician Israel DeLeon.

The SAISD technology leadership team works with 80 team members, focusing on data, infrastructure and communications, applications, customer service, and stewardship. 

The SAISD Technology Department launched its five-year strategic plan in December 2018 and is committed to building and implementing physical and virtual learning environments that support student learning and meeting the business needs of District staff. 

The Texas K-12 CTO Council is the state chapter of the Consortium of School Networking and the premier organization for chief technology officers in Texas schools.

Click here for more information on the Texas K-12 CTO Council.


Students observe state's first Holocaust Remembrance Week
01/27/2020
Holocaust Remembrance WeekOn Monday, Jan. 27, sixth-grade students from Harris Middle School held a memorial service in observance of the state's inaugural Holocaust Remembrance Week. The program featured poetry, music, student exhibits, and guest speaker Sen. José Menéndez. 

In June 2019, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 1828 into law establishing Holocaust Remembrance Week throughout Texas public schools. Menéndez authored this bill, which passed unanimously in the House and Senate Chambers allowing Texas to join 11 other states that require some form of Holocaust education in public schools.

The event at Harris was held on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the first day of the state’s newly established Holocaust Remembrance Week. The memorial service was the culmination of a 25-day Holocaust Remembrance social studies unit, which included a visit to the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. 

Teachers from two SAISD International Baccalaureate Schools – Harris and Longfellow middle schools – developed the supplemental curriculum as the result of a two-year grant over the summer. Longfellow students, who visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio, also are displaying an exhibit in the Longfellow library this week.

The educational programming was made possible by Rene Plessner, through the SAISD Foundation. Plessner is passionate about educating students of all ages about the universal lessons of the Holocaust as a means to create a more humane, just, and peaceful world.
 

Celebration recognizes student scholars’ hard work
01/16/2020
2020 Advanced Academic ScholarsSan Antonio ISD celebrated the academic achievements of more than 180 SAISD students during the Advanced Academic Scholar Celebration held at the VIA Grand Rotunda earlier this month. The District, the SAISD Foundation, and VIA Metropolitan Transit hosted the event, which recognized students who are Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) Scholars, National Hispanic Merit Scholars, or AP Scholars.

“I am really glad that they are having this for us so that it can encourage other students to work hard and pass these classes,” said Ariel Cirilo, an Edison High School student. “It feels really great to have my parents’ and teachers’ support. They give me a lot of encouragement and I feel like I can do anything I want to.” 

Ariel, who was being recognized for her AP scholar status, attended the event with her parents Roger and Mary Cirilo.

“This definitely lifts the spirits of the kids who are working hard and putting forth the effort,” said Mary Cirilo. “Academics are the basis for your future. If you don’t have a good foundation in education, you are going to struggle for the rest of your life.” 

Attendees were greeted with the sweet sounds of the SAISD Honor String Quartet, as well as refreshments before the ceremony began. Kevin Rasco, coordinator for Advanced Placement, and SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez spoke before students were individually called up to the podium to be recognized for their academic accomplishments. 

Mandie Holtsford, associate principal at Brackenridge High School, was in attendance to show her support for her school’s students. 

“They worked so hard and prepared for their AP exams all school year,” she said. “To see them get recognized for receiving a 3, 4, or 5 - it is really an honor to see that hard work pay off.”

AP Scholar recognition is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. To be eligible for the Duke TIP program, a seventh-grader takes the ACT exam and scores at the college-ready level. National Hispanic Merit Scholars are selected by a combination of an application, student’s grade point average and their test scores on the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT.

“These kids have worked so hard to get all of these different accolades,” said Dana Kincaid, AP implementation specialist. “This isn’t something that someone just handed them; they have to work really hard all year and then do well on a test. They deserve all of this.”
 

SAISD to launch new healthcare pathway that puts students on track for RN career
12/17/2019

Incoming 9th-graders can apply now for program opening at Fox Tech High School in Fall 2020

H-TECH logoSan Antonio ISD today announced it is taking applications for the new Healthcare Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or H-TECH, program, which will debut in August 2020, providing students with a track for a Registered Nurse (RN) career or other high-demand healthcare jobs.

Within four to six years (depending on the track chosen), H-TECH students can earn their high school diploma as well as an Associate of Science degree and/or healthcare industry-based certifications for Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, First Aid, and CPR. Students who complete the program will have priority in interviewing with participating employers.

The program will open for the 2020-2021 school year within the Health Professions magnet at Fox Tech High School. Partnering in the effort are San Antonio College, Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan, and University Health System.

Applications are being accepted for up to 50 incoming 9th-graders throughout Bexar County and surrounding areas now through Jan. 31, 2020. The program will ultimately serve 9-12th graders, with a new grade being phased in each year.

“The P-TECH model, which H-TECH is based on, is the next generation of early college programs. What makes the Fox Tech program unique is its focus on the RN career track,” said SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez. “The healthcare industry is a major employer in San Antonio and that is why our District has three other programs with health career pathways. H-TECH is the first one to be specific to registered nursing. I appreciate the partners that are joining this effort.”

The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 22 in 2017, paving the way for school districts to work with the Texas Education Agency to launch P-TECH programs. In the P-TECH model, schools partner with Texas institutions of higher education and regional businesses and industries, giving students both post-secondary education and workforce training opportunities.

H-TECH students at Fox Tech will complete work-based training through internships, apprenticeships or other job-training programs. In the first four years of the program, students will split their time between Fox Tech and San Antonio College. The last one to two years of the program student will spend time exclusively on the college campus, which is the largest educator for registered nurses in San Antonio.

“San Antonio College is excited to enter into a new partnership with SAISD to create a P-TECH high school providing students college courses to forge much-needed career paths in the Nursing and Allied Health fields,” said Dr. Robert Vela, president of the college. “This is an extension of our robust relationship with SAISD helping students achieve associate degrees while attending high school through programs at Travis Early College High School, CAST Tech High School at the Fox Tech campus, CAST Med High School on the city’s southside – and now this effort at Fox Tech.”

Through San Antonio College, H-TECH students will have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Science. Upon successful completion of the H-TECH program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) authorized by and administered through the Texas Board of Nursing. Upon passing the exam, the graduate will be a registered nurse in the State of Texas and ready to begin a career in the nursing profession.

Students also will have the opportunity to learn from the program’s industry partners at Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan and University Health System.

“This program is a wonderful example of how Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan is fulfilling our core competency of building partnerships to serve our community,” said Greg Seiler, CEO of the hospital. “The H-TECH program at Fox Tech High School is an opportunity for our San Antonio students to be trained to fill the health care needs of the city. And it is a chance for the students to fulfill the dreams they have for their own lives and careers.”

“We are proud to play a part in making these dreams a reality for these students – and to play an integral role in bolstering our health care talent pool,” Seiler added. “These students live and learn in San Antonio. And our goal is that they will stay in San Antonio.”

“University Health System is proud to partner with Fox Tech High School and San Antonio College to provide students an early opportunity to enter into the healthcare profession. Innovative programs like this change lives, both the lives of the students who participate and those of the patients we serve every minute of the day,” said Tommye Austin, University Health System senior vice president and chief nurse executive. “As our community’s healthcare needs continue to grow, so will the demand for highly trained nursing professionals. University Health System is honored to be a part of this initiative to give students a solid foundation upon which they can succeed and improve the health of our community.”

H-TECH at Fox Tech High School will host four upcoming information sessions for interested students and their family members. The first one will be held on Thursday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Fox Tech campus, located at 637 N. Main Ave. Additional sessions will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 16, Jan. 23, and Jan. 30.  

For more information, please visit www.saisd.net/htech.

H-TECH partners

Partnership brings connectivity to help bridge digital divide
12/06/2019
digital divideSan Antonio ISD announced on Dec. 6 an initiative with the 1Million Project Foundation to help ensure high school students who don’t have reliable internet access at home get the digital tools and connectivity they need for “learning everywhere.”  

More than 5,200 students, about 40 percent of SAISD’s high school students, will receive wireless devices and high-speed wireless data access – at no cost, thanks to the 1Million Project Foundation.

The 1Million Project Foundation launched in August 2017 with a mission to help one million high school students achieve their full potential by ensuring they have the digital tools and connectivity they need to succeed in school. 

“In SAISD, we know how devastating the digital divide can be for our students' educational outcomes, and are tackling it through partnerships like the one with Sprint and the 1Million Project Foundation,” said Pedro Martinez, superintendent of SAISD. “We appreciate our partners’ understanding that many of the communities served by SAISD represent neighborhoods that may not have access to internet services, and providing the digital tools and connectivity they need for learning everywhere.”  

Each participating student with the required parent permission will receive either a free hotspot device or a smartphone and 10GB of high-speed LTE data per month for up to four years while they are in high school. Every device has a free Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant content filter to block adult content and malware. Products are being distributed to eligible students at all SAISD high schools. 

“The prevalence of technology in our society today means that more and more schools have turned to digital curricula to arm students with the skills they need to succeed after they leave high school,” said Doug Michelman, president of the 1Million Project Foundation. “That connection extends well beyond the classroom, but only for those that have internet access at home. Students whose families cannot afford internet connectivity are at a severe disadvantage. With the support of Sprint, we are working hard to make a meaningful impact in eligible students’ lives by providing both a device and connectivity to help level the playing field.”

The District’s Information Technology department has a number of initiatives underway to provide the technology resources and infrastructure needed for future ready learning environments.

SAISD is in the process of installing a dedicated high-speed fiber network for all schools and offices within San Antonio ISD through a $7 million grant and additional state funding. Students will benefit from fast and reliable connectivity, enabling even more innovative digital learning opportunities. The new network will be ready for service in the summer of 2020.

About The 1Million Project Foundation
The 1Million Project Foundation will help 1 million high school students who do not have reliable Internet access at home reach their full potential by giving them mobile devices and free high-speed Internet access. Today’s learning environment requires 24/7 internet access in order to study, learn, explore and complete school work from home. Students that cannot connect when they leave school are at disadvantage, and their chances of staying on track in school are greatly limited. By working with school districts across America, the 1Million Project seeks to remove a significant hurdle in these students’ lives by ensuring they have the same access to the internet as any other student so that they too have a fair shot at achieving their full potential. For more information, visit www.1MillionProject.org

About Sprint
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.3 million connections as of June 30, 2019 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint's legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching a 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and twitter.com/sprint.

SAISD and Bexar County partner on developments
11/19/2019

press eventSan Antonio ISD and Bexar County are partnering on two developments in the Fox Tech High School campus area: the first BiblioTech EDU collaboration, and a new parking garage with access to the San Pedro Creek area. The developments will benefit both the District and the public. 
 
The SAISD Trustees approved both proposals at the Nov. 18 Board meeting. The Bexar County Commissioners Court approved the parking garage proposal at their Nov. 19 meeting and the BiblioTech EDU proposal at their meeting this past June.
 
BiblioTech EDU, a new iteration of the county’s digital library, will serve as a model for public and school library collaboration. Under the agreement, the county will invest approximately $2.7 million to redesign and renovate the existing 8,400-square-foot library at Fox Tech into a 21st-century flexible collaborative learning commons (see concept drawings below). The opening is targeted for 2021. 

“The building of the BiblioTech EDU on the shared campus of Fox Tech, CAST Tech and the Advanced Learning Academy, is a new venture for us,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. “The new BiblioTech EDU will include a makerspace, robotics lab, recording studio, a children’s room, as well as e-books and e-readers. We believe that our service as a school and public library will enhance the education of the nearly 1,600 students on campus, as well as local residents, and be a model for public partnerships in communities throughout the country.”
 
BiblioTech EDU will primarily serve students in grades 4-12 from the three schools housed on the Fox Tech campus: the Advanced Learning Academy, CAST Tech High School and Fox Tech High School.
 
During the school hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., BiblioTech EDU will serve as the campus hub for instruction, research and learning enrichment programs for students and their families. BiblioTech EDU will offer SAISD a digital library collection to support curricular programs, and will provide innovative learning spaces. 
 
During non-school hours from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., the general public will have free access to library resources and technology, as well as the library space amenities including a recording studio, study rooms, community room, makers’ space and robotics room. The library will operate under special weekday hours for the public during District breaks, including spring break, summer break, Thanksgiving break, and winter break.
 
Additionally, SAISD and Bexar County will partner on the construction of a parking garage across the street from Fox Tech High School, at the site of the future SAISD administration building (see concept drawing below). 

“This is a great example of leveraging tax dollars and public-to-public partnerships to benefit both our District and the citizens of San Antonio,” said Superintendent Pedro Martinez. “We are excited to be a part of downtown growth, providing both our families and the greater community with educational resources and recreational access to the San Pedro Creek Culture Park.”   
      
Under the agreement, Bexar County will invest $17.2 million to construct a 600-space garage, to be operated and maintained by the County. 
 
SAISD will lease the garage for the exclusive use of its employees during business hours. 
 
The garage would be open to the general public on nights and weekends, as well as for event parking – providing the public with greater access to the San Pedro Creek area. 
 
Anticipated completion of the garage is by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

bibliotech concept

bibliotech concept

 

parking garage concept


Care packages bring a bit of early holiday cheer
11/15/2019

thank you tweetRecent SAISD graduates attending college outside of Texas may be surprised when a large care package filled with goodies shows up at their door this month. It wasn’t Santa making his rounds early; these special care packages were put together thanks to collaborations between the SAISD Foundation, the Department of Postsecondary Initiatives, and two local businesses.

Earlier this semester, employees from Valero Energy put together care packages for SAISD alumni. And, just last week, employees of the Freeman Coliseum did the same for recent Sam Houston High School graduates. 

“Education is really critical to me, the Bexar County Commissioners Court, and my board,” said Derrick Howard, executive director for Bexar County Community Arenas and former member and chairman of the SAISD Foundation. “We are always looking to participate in community partnerships and looking at ways to give back.”

A dozen Freeman Coliseum employees, alongside SAISD college alumni advisors and representatives from the SAISD Foundation, packed sturdy cardboard boxes full of snacks, laundry detergent, mini-speakers, tumblers and other useful treats. 

“I really think this is important to do this because these kids are far away from home; it is their first semester being gone,” said Nikko Delgado, receptionist at Freeman Coliseum, as she unfolded a big, white cardboard box. “We just want to support them, to help them succeed in their lives.”

SAISD Postsecondary Initiatives college alumni advisors Andrew Cervantes and Desiree San Martin cheerfully stuffed the care packages alongside Freeman Coliseum employees. The college alumni advisor positions that Cervantes and San Martin fill are new to SAISD and funded by the five-year, $8.4 million grant that was awarded to the District two years ago by the Valero Energy Foundation, the local energy company’s philanthropic arm. The grant funds SAISD’s Pipeline for College Success program, an initiative aimed at increasing the number of students who enroll in and complete college. 

“We want to make sure that our students are not only getting into school but [we also follow along to] see how they are doing their first year,” said Cervantes. “We want to break down any barriers and make sure our students are aware that there is someone from the school district who is available to them and assist them throughout their college career.”   

Care packages will also be going out in February to recent graduates in colleges across Texas, with the involvement of other local benefactors. 

The Postsecondary Initiatives team is also supporting alumni who are attending college locally. Last month, the team donated a variety of food and personal care items to a number of the Alamo Colleges, including to the S.H.A.R.E. Center at Palo Alto College. 

“Just because they leave SAISD doesn’t mean they stop having needs,” said Desiree San Martin, Postsecondary Initiatives college alumni advisor. “A lot of our students are on the free and reduced lunch program and when they go to college, there is not always a place where they can get a free and reduced lunch. The S.H.A.R.E. Center is an excellent place where they can come and get emergency meals. It feels good knowing we can still support our students after they leave the K-12 setting.”  

Whether an SAISD graduate attends college out of state or right here in San Antonio, the Postsecondary Initiatives team will be finding creative ways to help serve them on their educational journeys. 

Follow SAISD Postsecondary Initiatives on Twitter.

 

  care package assembly  care package assembly


SAISD Choice application period for 2020-2021 open Nov. 5-Jan. 31
11/01/2019

Parents of students both inside and outside the boundaries of San Antonio ISD may apply to the District’s Choice Schools and Programs for the 2020-2021 school year beginning now through Jan. 31, 2020.  

SAISD offers a robust portfolio of 42 specialized offerings at 38 campuses with diverse areas of focus and innovative methods of instruction.  

Offerings include early college high schools, dual language academies, single-gender schools, International Baccalaureate campuses, the city’s only public Montessori school, an Advanced Learning Academy, career-focused schools including CAST Med and CAST Tech high schools, and diverse magnet programs at the comprehensive high schools. 

All students in Bexar County and surrounding areas are welcome to apply Nov. 5, 2019 through Jan. 31, 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year.

Transportation is provided to these Choice schools from numerous pick-up and drop-off hubs around the District. After-school care is available at most Choice schools.

The District will be holding information sessions on all Choice offerings (see schedule below). Each participating school also will be holding information sessions specific to their educational model.

 

For a full list of options for the 2020-2021 school year, please visit www.saisd.net/apply

info sessions

 

 

 

Six SAISD marching bands advance to UIL area competition; one makes finals
10/22/2019
marching band finals

On Oct. 26, the Burbank High School Bulldog Band advanced to the UIL Area H Marching Band Finals at D.W. Rutledge Stadium in Judson ISD. This marks the first time that an SAISD band program advanced to the Area finals since the event changed its format more than 19 years ago.  

 

After the preliminary round, Burbank placed ninth out of 22 bands. The top 10 bands marched again Saturday evening for a different panel of judges. In the finals, Burbank ranked one spot higher at eighth place. The top four bands advanced to the state competition.

 

Burbank was one of six SAISD marching band programs to compete in the Area event. Earlier, on Oct. 19, Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Highlands, Jefferson and Lanier high schools earned a First Division rating at the UIL Region 29 Marching Evaluation held at Northside ISD’s Farris Stadium. This rating allowed them to advance to the Oct. 26 round of UIL marching competition. 

“This is the most bands the District has had advance in over 31 years,” said Dr. Daniel Loudenback, SAISD executive director for Fine Arts.

In 2018, five SAISD high schools earned a First Division, and in 2017 and 2016 four high schools received the honor.

 

The five other SAISD marching band programs placed well in the preliminary round at Oct. 26 Area competition. Jefferson placed 15th, Highlands placed 16th, Brackenridge placed 18th, Edison placed 19th, and Lanier placed 21st.

“Congratulations to all the SAISD bands who advanced and competed at the 2019 UIL Area H Marching Contest!” said Dr. Peter Acosta, Fine Arts instrumental music coordinator. "Thank you to the directors, staff and students for all of your hard work and dedication."

 

marching band contest marching band contest


Three honored as G.E.M.S. Employees of the Year
10/15/2019
2018-19 GEMS honoreesYou may see their name on the campus marquee or their framed photo displayed on the wall. You may see a parking space dedicated to this individual or hear the applause when they are announced during a campus or department meeting.

But what stands out most of all is why they are being recognized.

They are the ones who inject enthusiasm into every task they touch. Their warm smiles brighten everyone’s day. They have big hearts, listening ears, and respectful and kind speech. And, their flexibility and willingness to lend a hand are the definition of teamwork. 

At SAISD, we call these employees G.E.M.S., or Great Employees Modeling our Standards. At the Oct. 14 Board meeting, three outstanding SAISD support staff members were recognized as the District’s G.E.M.S. Employees of the Year for 2018-2019. 

Josie SerrosTwo exceptional employees tied for Paraprofessional of the Year. The first one introduced to the Board was Josefina Serros, secretary at Highland Hills Elementary School. According to her nomination form, “This is not just a job for her; this is her passion ensuring Highland Hills’ climate is a positive and welcoming place. The theme for the school is ‘Super Heroes’ and Ms. Serros decorates the front office by making cloth seats with Super Hero characters and posters with super heroes stating positive statements such as ‘Come to School Every Day’ and ‘Read 30 Minutes’ daily.”

“Ms. Serros always puts children first,” said Deborah Esparza, principal at Highlands Hill. “Even when she has deadlines to meet, she always makes time to assist and answer questions from teachers, students, parents and community members. She has made significant contributions to the campus by helping create a positive climate.”

Lucia GutierrezAlso commended for Paraprofessional of the Year was Lucia Gutierrez, senior executive secretary in the Human Resources Department. In her nomination form, it was stated that Gutierrez always finds a way to support her teammates and to lessen their loads or alleviate their stress by offering a helping hand. This has included offering to stand in for a colleague when and if the colleague was not able to work late to finish tasks.

“Ms. Gutierrez exemplifies all the District’s core values in an extraordinary manner,” said Toni Thompson, associate superintendent. “No task is too small or ‘not in her job description’ when it comes to providing support for her colleagues. She is always willing and able to do whatever is needed to do to assist them and to help the team accomplish the mission.”

Norma LopezNorma Lopez, a porter at Lamar Elementary School, was honored as the Classified Employee of the Year. Her nomination form shared that many families have approached the school to describe how Lopez has helped their child and made their experience at school better. For instance, every morning by 7:15 a.m., she is welcoming students in the cafeteria and encouraging students to eat a good breakfast or engaging students in conversation about their morning or weekend. She also encourages her students to help lay out silverware and napkins to prepare for other students to enter the cafeteria.

“Ms. Lopez has demonstrated a consistent willingness to take initiative on campus to serve students, staff, and our families,” said Roxanna Bazaldua, associate principal at Lamar Elementary School. “Ms. Lopez is willing to do anything to support our campus mission and she does so without needing attention or special recognition. She truly is a servant leader who humbly takes care of our campus.”

Prior to the Board meeting, this year’s winners were surprised on their home campuses with a visit from campus and District leadership, where they were presented with a personalized, etched glass award. 

Each month, campuses and departments can nominate paraprofessional and classified employees for modeling our core values and for making significant improvements in job efficiency, quality of service, safety or conserving resources to achieve these standards. One from each campus or department can then be nominated for districtwide recognition as G.E.M.S. Employees of the Year.

2020 nomination period in process 

Don’t hesitate – herald the virtues of your full-time support staff members! Nominations are now open for the 2019-2020 G.E.M.S. Employees of the Month awards. Campus principals and department heads may choose a genuine jewel of an employee for recognition each month, culminating with an employee to be nominated at the end of 2019-2020 for the Districtwide G.E.M.S. Employee of the Year recognition. 

Details about the nomination process can be found here. For more information, call 210-554-8412 or email srendon3@saisd.net.

Trobaugh wins EXCEL Award for SAISD
10/01/2019
2019 EXCEL honoreeIliana Trobaugh, an SAISD Distinguished Teacher of the Year, was recognized on Oct. 1 as one of Bexar County’s best educators. The sixth-grade science teacher at Ogden Academy learned during a surprise visit to her school that she was named the 2019 EXCEL award honoree for SAISD, presented by KENS5 and Credit Human. 

“This was a big surprise,” said Trobaugh after she accepted the award in front of a cafeteria filled with cheering students she has personally taught. “I come to school every day thinking that I am going to make a big difference, and this is helping me realize that I really am making a difference. It feels so good to win this award.”

Growing up, Trobaugh had a passion for science and math but faced obstacles as a female Latina. Now, she strives to grow a love of science in her students to usher in the next generation of scientists, mathematicians or engineers.

“My students don’t have a lot of background in science, but by the time they leave me, I want them prepared for college. Not high school, but college,” she said. 

Her science class follows rigorous college and career readiness standards to prepare them as 21st-century learners. Their units of study cover relevant issues and allow them to solve real-world problems, which also serves to reaffirm the belief that they are scientists in action, not only in name. 

“My scholars become doctors studying a treatment for diabetes, microbiologists debating the use of antibacterial soaps, and climatologists examining the effects of El Niño,” she said.

Trobaugh grew up not far from the school and has lived in the area her entire life. She says she sees herself in her students. 

“We have had a lot of the same experiences, and I want them to know that anything is possible, especially with science,” she said.  

During her time at SAISD, Trobaugh has contributed to the success of her scholars as well as helped create a STEM robotics team and organized a pre-K through fifth-grade science fair with the help of student volunteers. 

As a Master Teacher at Ogden, Trobaugh not only performs as a teacher for students but also as a teacher leader for other teachers. And she also strives to instill the quality of leadership in her students. 

“I decided to organize a community service club based on modeling the qualities of leadership while performing helpful actions within the community,” she said. “The response was tremendous.” 

The students’ first campaign of action was a campus-wide food drive that resulted in restocking the neighborhood pantry for more than 1,000 families. Other campaigns included an anti-littering program and a positive culture movement, in which reaffirming messages are posted around campus.

“We are so excited for Ms. Trobaugh to be the winner of the award this year,” said Rachelle Davis, Ogden associate principal for sixth through eighth grades. “She is an amazing teacher. This couldn’t go to a more deserving person. Ms. Trobaugh works day in and day out to make sure our students have the education they deserve, both in and outside of the classroom.”

In early 2019, Trobaugh was one of three SAISD educators selected Distinguished Teachers of the Year from a pool of campus-level Teachers of the Year, representing each District campus. The EXCEL Award includes a silver apple trophy, $1,000 cash prize and a feature story aired on KENS5 .

Advanced technology gives CAST Med students strong start
09/19/2019
anatomage tableCAST Med High School was the place to be Sept. 19 as students, industry professionals and representatives from various partner organizations gathered together for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the school’s newly refurbished auditorium.  

CAST Med Principal Eddie Rodriguez hailed local community members, including local colleges and universities such as San Antonio Community College and The University of Texas at San Antonio who are helping students earn up to two years of college credit and providing exciting summer learning opportunities. 
 
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the help of the San Antonio Independent School District, the CAST Schools Network, Brooks, the families and students who believe in our mission, and all our amazing partners,” Rodriguez said. “Each partnership represents an opportunity for our students, and a door to their future.” 

School leaders and students provided tours of the recently renovated building, showcasing the Anatomage medical table used to teach students about human and animal anatomy. Typically, this $70,000-plus piece of technology is found at universities, but CAST Med is the first high school in Texas to have this unique tool. 

Dr. Woodson Jones, vice dean for graduate medical education at UT Health, said that when he was doing his medical training, he and his fellow students used cadavers to accomplish the same type of learning at can be accomplished using the Anatomage medical table. 

“At this level, this is amazing,” he said. “It makes learning real. You are looking at real images, real bodies. This has got to be very preparatory for these students; it’s pretty advanced. If you are used to looking at images in 3D, moving them around and understanding how the anatomy changes as you look at it, whether you want to be a radiologist or a surgeon or anybody else in medicine, this is a big jump start.” 

The table, which looks like a gigantic computer tablet, allows users to take two-dimensional digital information and convert it into three-dimensional life-size models that can be flipped, rotated, dissected and spliced. 

“I am really looking forward to getting a head start on my career,” said Adrienne Rodriguez, a CAST Med freshman who wants to work in kinesiology. “I think it is really cool how the body moves and how everything works together.”

The table was donated to the school through H-E-B, which is one of more than 40 partner organizations working with CAST Med. Industry partners are committed to linking students to exciting mentoring, job shadowing, internships, field trips, guest speaker series, and service-learning events. 

The partnerships will also allow students to shadow physicians at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, UT Health, the SAVE clinic, the University Health System, and the Bexar County Medical Society as well as expose students to a weekly guest speaker series to learn about the various medical, biomedical, and public health opportunities in San Antonio. 

Additionally, CAST Med students will participate in field trips and service-learning opportunities that will offer them a valuable perspective outside of the four walls of the classroom.

Dr. Ron Rodriguez, urology professor at UT Health San Antonio, said he was proud to be associated with the school and excited to help develop the next generation of medical, biomedical and public health professionals. With its diverse pathways and emphasis on dual-language, Rodriguez called the offering revolutionary. 
 
“This year there are students taking math classes in Spanish and in the coming years there will be students learning medical terminology in Spanish,” Rodriguez said. “This means that one day, the Spanish-speaking person who you treat will be able to understand you and will not be afraid to ask questions. In a city like San Antonio, this is invaluable as we work to bring greater parity to healthcare professions.”

CAST Schools Network Board Chair Kate Rogers said the schools were created with a vision to rethink the high school experience and create an environment that will empower students to find their passion and imagine their place in the world.
 
“We also strive to more fully understand and help fill the workforce needs of our industry partners,” she added. “Today, the CAST Schools are doing both. They are creating a bridge so students can find the career of their dreams and employers can find the employees they desire.” 
 
CAST Med is adding to the pipeline of much-needed doctors and researchers in the San Antonio area by offering students an opportunity to pursue careers in the medical, biomedical research, and public health fields.
 

Tobin Center partnership provides unique opportunities in Fine Arts
09/09/2019
As part of its expanded access to fine arts, SAISD is partnering with The Tobin Center for Performing Arts to integrate art into classrooms. 

“The Tobin Center’s Art Integration initiative is a great way for us to explore how to incorporate the art aspect of STEAM into our classrooms,” said Sonya Cardenas, principal at Carvajal Elementary School, which opened this fall with expanded grades and a focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Through the Tobin Center’s Arts Integration initiative, all teachers at Carvajal Elementary School, M.L. King Academy and Tafolla Middle School will receive a half-day of development once a month, starting in September and ending in May. Courses like Shadow Math: Exploring Mathematics through Shadow Puppetry and Cutting Paper: A Pathway to Creative Writing and will be taught by artists from around the country.

The professional development will connect an art form with a core subject area, which leads to parallel learning in both.

“Arts Integration is beneficial to students for many reasons,” said Dr. Kimberly Stephenson, director of education for The Tobin Center. “The cyclical nature of Arts Integration (learning, engaging, discussing, revising) leads to deep understanding through the many forms of engagement students have with the concept. The learning is constructed and demonstrated by the student. It is active and participatory and fun.”

According to Americans for the Arts, a student involved in the arts is four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. Last school year, 79 percent of SAISD students participated in arts education, up four percent from the previous year. 

“Studying the arts is a worthwhile pursuit in and of itself,” said Daniel Loudenback, executive director for Fine Arts at SAISD. “Our own District data shows that students who participate in the arts score higher in standardized tests, pass more of their classes, have better attendance, and receive fewer disciplinary referrals. Fine Arts integration goes a step further using tools taken from the fine arts classroom and uses them to teach core content.”

In addition to the Arts Integration initiative, 20 SAISD academy campuses will benefit from the new Tobin Center Teaching Artists program. Tobin Center Teaching Artists will provide arts-based education in the classroom as part-time employees and will conduct school rehearsals and an end-of-year performance on each participating campus. 

“As we began our plans to ensure that each of our academy campuses has the best arts educators, it was only natural that we turned to The Tobin Center,” said Loudenbeck. “Their connection to the artist community is far-reaching, and their reputation for excellence is proven.”

The Tobin Center is also providing experiences for children to get out of the classroom and view live performances at the venue, located in the heart of downtown San Antonio. Each and every SAISD student in grades two through five will have the chance to see a live performance this school year thanks to The Tobin Center’s Generation NEXT Education Initiative. 

“GenNEXT removes barriers to arts participation by providing a diverse range of cultural, educational, and artistic experiences to our community, including SAISD students,” said Stephenson. “These enriching field trip experiences matter, especially for students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see these programs. Schools impact students’ lives in more ways than grades and scores. The Tobin Center is happy to be a part of this impact.”
 

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