Enrollment numbers for reopened South San ISD schools drawing mixed reactions

Some are expressing excitement after the South San Independent School District board of trustees made the controversial decision to reopen three schools this year.

The district budgeted about $6 million into the reopening of Athens Elementary, Kazen Middle School and West Campus High School. So far, up to $3 million has been used.

The schools were shut down in recent years because of low enrollment numbers.

On day two of the new school year, Athens Elementary had more than 200 students registered, Kazen Middle School had about 175 students and West Campus High School, an extension of South San High School, had 50 students enrolled.

Jenny Suniga Collier, district spokesperson, said looking at the enrollment numbers from the last couple of days, one could determine the community is excited about the campuses reopening. The district expects a better look at the enrollment numbers around October.

“We were down to the wire, and I believe we pulled it off. We were working around the clock and we got the schools ready,” she said.

The district is putting all negative controversy surrounding the opening of these schools in the past and says its goal is to serve the community. 

“We're not going to look in the past, we as an administration. We are focused on improving student outcomes, and I think we're doing that,” Suniga Collier said.

Athens Elementary will also serve as a wrap-around service hub for the community with a food pantry. The district is also partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services to offer programs.

School board leader Gilbert Rodriguez took to Twitter to express his frustration with the low enrollment numbers at West Campus High School, where he says 195 students were projected to be enrolled. He declined an interview with KSAT on Tuesday.

Parent Audrey Garza said her children were pulled from the district in the past because of the behavior and decisions she was seeing at the board level. She’s giving them another chance.

Garza said she thinks enrollment will increase if the district can demonstrate effective leadership.

“I think a lot of what impacts parents’ decisions comes from what the board does and what the board has to say,” Garza said.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.