• The San Antonio Independent School District plans to urge all students to attend on-campus classes 2021-2022, but will be ready for pupils who continue remote learning.
• Work funded by SAISD’s 2016 and 2020 bond issues has provided additions and improvements to all facilities, including Edison and Fox Tech high schools.
• SAISD is launching industry-specific programs for Edison students in 2021-2022, and began a health care career-centric program at Fox Tech.
SAN ANTONIO –Welcoming more students back to in-person classes, the San Antonio Independent School District is focusing on finishing bond projects and expanding programs at Edison and Fox Tech high schools.
Testing and vaccinations of employees and students to counter the COVID-19 pandemic means SAISD is looking ahead to a post-outbreak future. Several campuses are getting upgrades.
Superintendent Pedro Martinez led “State of the District” town halls at each SAISD high school in April, including an April 7 gathering at Edison, and an April 8 meeting at Fox Tech.
Roughly half of SAISD students were attending school in person by mid-April.
“We’re one of the few school districts in the country, of our size, that does COVID testing at every school,” Martinez said.
Enrollment numbers more than 48,000 learners, both in-class and remote.
SAISD plans to offer remote-lesson options for the 2021-2022 school year, but in-person attendance will be highly encouraged.
“We’ll have dedicated teachers for any student who needs to start remote or stay remote during the year,” Martinez added.
Martinez said SAISD will work to ensure each student has a digital device to use at home, and a free, reliable online connection.
The district is also expanding mental-health care services at every campus to help students struggling to return to the rhythm of campus life.
According to Martinez, the pandemic has had little to no effect on the completion of 2016 bond projects or the start of 2020 bond upgrades.
Attendees at each town hall got to see completed construction endeavors at the respective high school they visited.
Bond work at Edison included auditorium and gym renovations, an athletic field- house replacement, and black-box theater and dance-room additions.
District 6 Trustee Christina Martinez, representing the Edison area, said fine-arts improvements were a priority at the high school.
“When we were working on this project a couple of years ago, I was so moved by our theater teachers and students who showed up to those meetings and demanded a high-quality, equitable theater education,” she added.
As for Fox Tech, a site that once hosted San Antonio’s first public secondary school beginning in 1879, new bond work includes a makeover of the main mall.
This involves new classrooms, makerspaces and a learning staircase, which is wide enough for teachers to instruct their students in a less informal way.
SAISD is also expanding its Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or P-TECH, program, launching new offerings at Edison, Lanier and Highlands high schools in 2021-2022.
Edison’s program will focus on marketing, accounting, finance and other business fields.
Pedro Martinez urged Edison parents to review the existing Healthcare Pathways, or H-TECH, program that provides Fox Tech students with nursing and other health care skills.
Martinez added P-TECH programs are designed in a way “that you could see what they look like, and then we can multiply across the high schools based on demand of the students.”
The additions of magnet schools at Fox Tech have have had a positive impact on the downtown campus, which outgoing District 1 trustee Steve Lecholop said had lacked traditional neighborhood support because it was cut off by the development of surrounding freeways decades ago.
“This campus went from quiet and forgotten to thriving and full of life,” Lecholop added.