New Southside ISD school filled with educational technology

Menchaca Early Childhood Learning Center opens doors to first students

SAN ANTONIO – For the first time this decade, the Southside Independent School District opened a new school year with a new school.

The Menchaca Childhood Learning Center opened its doors Monday to hundreds of new students.
KSAT 12 News reporter Max Massey spoke with administrators, parents and students about the new possibilities the new school brings to the community.

The new school cost $29 million to bring to the district, leaving many to wonder why it was so expensive.

"This is going to be the foundation for our students, and I assure you that in 2031-2032, when these first students graduate from Southside High School, they will be at the top of their game, they will be educational and civic leaders," Southside ISD Superintendent Mark Eads said.

Menchaca is a school for pre-K and kindergarten students, and the idea behind the change is to help provide the latest in learning technology to families who normally would not have access to such.

"They are going to have state-of-the-art technology here, they are going to have virtual-reality technology here, we are going to have iPads, computers, desktops, we are just going to try and provide these kids with hands-on experiences so they can grow," Principal Rebecca Herrera said.
How does this facility set these students up for success?

"Our goal, our objective, here, is to make sure that the students, when they leave here, when they enter first grade, they are at grade level and they're moving forward," Eads said. "And this is the start to go forward, and it's a great opportunity." 

Parents of the students are excited for these new opportunities.

"I heard there's a lot of new technologies and everything going on in this campus, so a lot of things that will help develop him, things like that," said David Ryvera, whose 4-year-old is one of the first 700 students to step foot in Menchaca. "So, I'm excited for his education to get started in the right direction." 

In this new generation of technology, Ryvera said using these tools at a young age is important for his son.

"Technology changes, it gets advanced, so that's what schools like this are for," he said.

What should people who weren't here today, know about this new facility?

"This state-of-the-art building is going to be amazing, it is going to be one of the most beautiful schools, it will be innovative and it will set up our students to be 21st-century learners," Herrera said. "They will be ready to rule the world." 

Students will also be offered free breakfast and lunch.

"It's more wheat bread and healthy, which I want for my kids, because she does a lot of sports, so healthy is better," said Valeria Torres, whose daughter attends Menchaca. "We are thankful for Southside for doing that."

About the Author

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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