SAISD superintendent: Schools have had no contact with 2,000 students in district

SAISD Superintendent says digital divide is biggest issue for district

SAN ANTONIO – The coronavirus pandemic is shining a light on a big issue in San Antonio, the digital divide.

The San Antonio Independent School District has made big efforts to make sure every student has access to the internet and the technology needed to learn from a distance during the pandemic, but challenges remain.

SAISD Foundation raising money to pay monthly internet service fees for students

SAQ: This pandemic has spotlighted the digital divide in San Antonio. How has this issue impacted students in your district?

The district’s Superintendent, Pedro Martinez, says it’s been the biggest challenge during this time. He said the district purchased 30,000 devices to conduct distance learning for just over 48,000 students. “If you do the math, there is no district in the country that I know of that has distributed that high percentage of devices,” Martinez said.

In addition, the district purchased more than 3,000 hot spots to provide internet access to students.

SAISD: Students to receive additional resources at home amid school closures

Despite the additional resources Martinez says he it has still been a challenge getting students to do the required coursework and perform like they would in the classroom. “What scares me is we have about 2,000 children, and that’s significantly lower from a few weeks ago, that we haven’t been able to get a hold of at all." Martinez he worries this could be due to families experiencing the loss of income or homelessness and potentially moving outside of the district.

Watch the full interview with Martinez below.

Find more answers and ask your own questions on our SAQ page. Watch anchor Steve Spriester ask local leaders your questions weeknights at 6 p.m. on KSAT12 and 9 p.m. on KSAT-TV and You can also sign up for our free SAQ newsletter to get answers to the most common questions in your inbox.

About the Authors:

Alyssa Medina is the Video-On-Demand Producer and has worked at KSAT since 2016. She creates exclusive content for the KSAT-TV streaming app. Some of her most notable contributions focus on race and culture or health and wellness. She's created the segments 'Creating Black History in S.A.' and 'New Week. New You."

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.