Leading SA: San Antonio ISD Superintendent talks safety concerns before Monday’s return to the classroom

SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez joined Leading SA Sunday to discuss what to expect

SAN ANTONIO – Many students in and around San Antonio return to the classroom this coming Monday. For some of these children, it is their first time being back inside of a classroom since March of 2020.

San Antonio ISD is one of the districts starting up Monday.

SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez joined Leading SA Sunday to discuss what families and students can expect for in-person learning.

“So basically, we encourage all of our families to support us in having their children wearing masks. We gave the families the ability to opt out. We had less than 2% of our families that opted out. And right now, as I speak for tomorrow, we have less than 1% of our families are opting out. So over 99% of our families are supporting us and having their children wear masks. All of my staff will be wearing their masks. We just want to be safe right now, especially when we’re still learning about the variants,” Martinez said.

Texas school districts do not need to notify parents of COVID-19 outbreaks, but SAISD said it will keep parents informed.

“One of the things that we were very proud of last year, we just gain the trust of our parents and kept it. So, we will continue to notify all of our families when there’s cases in our schools. There will be a personal phone call if your child has been exposed because as a parent, that’s what I would expose. I’m very optimistic because vaccination rates are so high in our community that we won’t have to go back to our top. But, we do have vaccination clinics in all of our large high schools. We want to make sure that we vaccinate all of our eligible children. I’m still worried about community members that may not be vaccinated in my community,” Martinez said.

Many families and students did participate virtually when the opportunity presented it, but with the return to the class, the energy is electric.

“I’ll tell you, the energy is very high right now in my schools. My teachers are excited to see their children. I was in open houses throughout the week. Last week, I saw the excitement of parents and students. So ,we’re ready. So we have a lot of work, but I’m very excited that all of our children will be coming back,” Martinez said.

SAISD is encouraging those who have questions or concerns to reach out.

“Please just talk to your teacher, your principal. We’re going to work with you, but we’re just excited. We’re excited to see everybody back tomorrow,” Martinez said.

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.