Purpose

Students at J.T. Brackenridge Elementary work on tablets as part of their daily curriculum.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Citizens Advisory Committee kicks off first meeting

Things are beginning to take shape for your San Antonio ISD Bond 2016 program.

The CitizensAdvisory Committee (CAC), which will oversee the progress of the Bond and make sure the money is being spent wisely, held its first meeting to get organized. The nearly two-dozen folks seated at the table are your friends, neighbors and business leaders in your communities.


If you walked in during this first gathering – which you are welcome to do since the meetings are open to the public – you would have noticed that already the members are taking an active role in shaping this Bond program. They asked questions, offered up ideas and spoke together about the scope of the projects.

Overview

Kamal ElHabr, Associate Superintendent for Facilities Services, provided an overview of the 13 schools included in the Bond. The $450-million project includes seven high schools, four middle schools and two elementary schools.

ElHabr told the committee members that most, if not all, of the projects include renovations to classroom spaces, the auditorium (if applicable), roofing, front-entry modifications for safety and upgrades to athletic facilities. Indeed, extensive renovations are part of the plan for the aging schools. The goal is to target infrastructure needs including air conditioning, electrical and plumbing needs.

Committee leaders

Part of getting organized means electing those members who will lead the group. The committee elected its chair, vice-chair and secretary following a self-nomination process. Serving as chairperson will be David Garcia (pictured), who was appointed to the CAC by District 7 Trustee Ed Garza. Fatema Basrai was elected by her peers on the committee to serve as vice-chair. She was tapped to serve on the committee by District 3 Trustee Debra Guerrero. Denise Ojeda, also selected by Trustee Guerrero, will serve as secretary.

Timeline

As ElHabr (pictured) explained, the timeline of the Bond 2016 program is already in action! Right now, he and his team are in the middle of hiring architectural and engineering firms that will work on the projects. That process will take up most of the summer and a small portion of the fall. After those services are hired (and there will be more than one firm involved), they’ll get to work on the 13 schools. That should take about a year. The turning of the dirt will follow, and that’s when we’ll see physical evidence of the Bond in action!

Tone

The committee members heard from SAISD Board President Patti Radle, who said that they are truly providing guidance and oversight on something that’s very important to the community. Superintendent Pedro Martinez also spoke. He stressed that all students at SAISD deserve to be proud of the school where they learn, and that the members will help create the right environment for each of the District’s children. Martinez said SAISD is being aggressive in its plan to provide the right tools for each child to reach his or her full potential.

The next CAC meeting is scheduled for Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. They are held at SAISD’s Central Office Board Room, located at 141 Lavaca St.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Welcome to our new Bond & TRE website!

Dear families of San Antonio ISD,

I have always been a staunch advocate for education. I loved school. English, in particular was my strength, and I flourished in areas of communication, history fairs and all things words.

I’m new to SAISD, and I am finding myself thoroughly enjoying my role in bringing messages to you. I will be working closely to ensure that we are communicating bond and TRE implementation information because we think transparency is extremely important. We’ve put together this website so that we can stay directly in touch with our community, as well as those who place their children’s education in the hands of this dedicated school district.

There’s a lot of planning and preparation going into this process ahead of the implementation of funds for both the bond and TRE. As you may know, both the bond and TRE (known as the tax ratification election) passed in November with more than 70 percent of voters saying yes to these two measures. Thank you SAISD community!

What that means for you is that 13 of our wonderful schools will be undergoing major upgrades as part of this bond. The seven high schools are Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Fox Tech, Sam Houston, Jefferson and Lanier. Four middle schools are included as well, and they are Davis, Irving, Rogers, and Tafolla. Two elementary schools will receive upgrades - Bowden and J.T. Brackenridge. The District sent out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) so that we may begin the process of identifying architects, design firms and others who will play a direct role in reshaping the selected bond schools.
The bond isn’t all that’s taking place.

Over time, our other campuses will also see benefits from TRE funds with technology and other upgrades to classrooms, as well as increased academic support and expanded extracurricular activities. This will extend across the District but understandably will take time to roll out.

One initiative already underway to help student achievement is the recruiting internally and externally for 250+ highly-skilled teachers. The Districtwide program targets students who are behind and need additional support, and includes extended days and summer programs, partially funded by the TRE.

On this site, and frequently in this blog, I will provide timelines, milestones, videos and photos to you. We will share stories on the impact the bond and TRE will have on our students. It's my belief that the most important work we do is give students the tools they need for life. And that, in part, begins with the quality of our facilities, classrooms, educational programs and offerings in San Antonio ISD.

Thank you for the opportunity to work on behalf of you and your children. I invite you to subscribe to this blog (enter your email address in the box on the top right of this blog), or drop us a comment or question below. Together we will begin the dialogue on these two important measures.

Sincerely,

Ryan W. Loyd
Assistant Director of Communications

Citizens Advisory Committee kicks off first meeting

Things are beginning to take shape for your San Antonio ISD Bond 2016 program. The CitizensAdvisory Committee (CAC), which will overse...