Inspection reports reveal previous issues at currently suspended SASIC schools

Metro Health, Texas Dept. of Agriculture reports show food, bathroom problems

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Food safety and health records released by the city's Metropolitan Health District and the Texas Department of Agriculture paint a concerning picture about conditions at the San Antonio School for Inquiry and Creativity (SASIC) District's charter school campuses.

Last August, the health department received a complaint that a girl's bathroom at SASIC High School had human waste everywhere because of remodeling and that meals were being served in a classroom.

Then in January, after a complaint of rats where children ate at the SASIC Prep Academy, a health inspector found a possible rodent entry hole, missing base boards and rodent bait traps inside the kitchen pantry.

Other investigations found the charter schools served food despite no hot water, causing children to become sick. The schools also repeatedly operated without a food license.

The only health report sent to KSAT from February 2017 was for the SASIC campus at 4618 San Pedro, and despite a food safety complaint, there were no violations found.

In Wednesday's order of suspension, the state said health violations were partially to blame for the 72-hour suspension notice given on Feb. 16. It also mentioned compliance with criminal history requirements.

Four state departments decided those issues were never corrected and the license to operate at all campuses was suspended March 8.

In response, the district administration sent a statement saying, "We are confident that SASIC's buildings, staff, and food are safe. SASIC looks forward to showing the agency its documentation in this regard."

"Corrective actions have been taken on each item. On every complaint we’ve had, we’ve told parents about it through our communication system," Superintendent Dr. Tonja Nelson said.

The district plans to appeal the suspension at a hearing in Austin on Friday, where they'll ask to re-open the schools on March 20 after spring break. Board president Denise Fritter said the district has worked its hardest to comply with the Texas Education Agency's demands since the first suspension notice and is tackling each issue as it comes.

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