In the past several years, you may have noticed some significant changes throughout SAISD. The multitude of changes being made Districtwide all boil down to one fact: we care about each and every one of our students and it’s our mission to make sure they are as successful and well-rounded as possible. Every program added and dollar spent is done with the students—about 49,000—in mind, and the District doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon.
Bilingual Education from Day One
Up from just 13 programs in the prior year, SAISD now has 45 schools offering Dual Language programming, and will soon be up to 48 schools. Irving and Twain Academies are completely Dual Language-immersed, which means every student who attends these schools learns in both Spanish and English.
Dual language is an enrichment program for all students, helping them grow cognitively and develop the strong sociocultural competence required to respect and appreciate all languages and cultures. In addition, Dual Language is the only bilingual program that has been proven to close English earners’ achievement gap in their second language as they move through school.
The expectation is for all students graduating from SAISD Dual Language programs to be bilingual, biliterate and multicultural; empowered with higher levels of academic confidence, self-esteem and intercultural understanding; and prepared with the 21st century skills necessary for success in higher education and the workforce.
College, Here We Come!
SAISD has three Early College High Schools dedicated to preparing students for continuing education, but it doesn’t stop there. Ensuring students have the knowledge and life skills needed to get into college and succeed in receiving their degree is a goal throughout the entire District.
The acclaimed International Baccalaureate framework, known for its rigor and emphasis on personal growth, is available at nine SAISD schools, with SAISD being the only district in the county to offer the program at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Across SAISD high schools, increased Advanced Placement and dual credit courses immerse students in college-level work and provide a chance to earn college credit, which saves money and time toward a degree.
When it comes to college preparedness among SAISD students, the numbers speak for themselves:
- 94% of students took the SAT in 2018
- SAT college readiness has increased by 40%
- 85% of high school seniors graduated on time in 2018
Inspiring Future Artists and Athletes
SAISD now has art teachers to serve every single student in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Across the District, including in middle and high schools, 79% of SAISD students of all grades are participating in Fine Arts. Not only do these classes encourage creativity and open up doors to potential career paths, studies have shown that providing art classes improves school attendance, grades, and test scores. Our musicians are hitting high notes as well: five out of seven high school marching band programs received a superior rating at UIL— our best in 30 years!
Enhanced sports offerings across both traditional schools and PK/K-8 academies means students of all ages are learning healthy habits, both physically and emotionally. Participation in organized sports helps students learn teamwork and sportsmanship, whether it’s a temporary interest or they compete for years to come.
21st Century Classrooms
The 2016 Bond brought in $450 million to renovate 13 neighborhood schools, and those upgrades are well underway. Renovations are providing for 21st-century learning environments, along with major infrastructure improvements, such as heating and cooling systems, electrical, plumbing, and structural elements.
Beyond the Bond, investments in technology upgrades are being made across the District. More than $7 million in grant funding is helping the District to build a new high-speed fiber network for fast and reliable connectivity. The custom network will provide the bandwidth needed to meet demands over the next 10 to 20 years, enabling even more innovative digital learning opportunities in the classroom.
A recent Verizon Innovative Learning Grant provides 1-to-1 iPad and 24/7 internet access to 3,100 students and 190 teachers at four middle schools. And all SAISD school buses—every single one—are now equipped with Wi-Fi and access to an audiobook library.