Schools open as mask debate continues; girl, 9, writes bilingual book about her late dog; learn science with root beer floats

KSAT Kids returns for another year to follow children, teachers, both in and out of classroom

(Brynn Anderson, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Hello parents, teachers and students!

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For those of you that started this week, welcome back! And for those that begin next week, we can’t wait to see you! It’s that time of the year again, when we set our alarm clocks, sharpen our pencils, and get out our school bags.

This past week, Cotulla ISD, Edgewood ISD, Karnes City ISD, Pearsall ISD, Pleasanton ISD, San Antonio ISD, South San ISD, Boerne ISD, Jourdanton ISD, La Pryor ISD, Lytle ISD, and SCUC ISD all began a new school year, sadly amid rising coronavirus cases in our area. 17 additional school districts will begin their year Monday, with the rest beginning over the next few weeks.

The new school year coincides with a bitter debate about mask mandates in our schools, as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and city leaders fight to determine if masks will be required in classrooms. As for now, masks are expected in Bexar County schools, but some districts within the county say they will not be enforcing the order, at least until the court case is clarified. KSAT will continue to follow the latest and give you updates as we have them. You can expect the next update Monday, when another hearing is slated in San Antonio.

Parents, are you concerned about sending your child back to the classroom? KSAT12 earlier this week livestreamed a Back to School Town Hall that answered questions and focused on safety protocols, mask mandates, mental health, the digital divide and vaccines. We spoke with doctors and educators to get you the most factual information. If you missed it, you can watch the town hall by clicking here.

Our very own GMSA anchor Stephanie Serna saw her daughter return to school this week, and in preparation of the big day Rooney showed off her new school supplies on Good Morning San Antonio. Be sure to check out this cute video as she explains her new stuff, and what it all is used for.

And in a touching KSAT Kids exclusive, 9-year-old Valeria Fernanda Espinoza Alatorre has written a bilingual book after her best friend passed away in June 2020. “Ben the Pug” came to life during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for her to pass the time and grieve, and it centers around her late pug, Ben. She said she hopes the book inspires children to be courageous and is available for purchase now.

Finally, Meteorologist Kaiti Blake shows off a cool experiment that allows you to learn the states of matter by simply using root beer floats.

Be sure to check out GMSA@9 on Wednesdays when Meteorologist Kaiti Blake does the demonstrations and explains the significance behind it. Parents and guardians: upload a video of your child performing the activity and you might see them on TV!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ben Spicer

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Here’s what can be found on KSAT Kids for Friday, August 13:

Student Spotlight

9-year-old girl writes bilingual book about her late dog, ‘Ben the Pug’

Nine year old Valeria Fernanda Espinoza Alatorre turned her passion for pugs into a children’s book that is now available for purchase.

Do you know of a student, classroom or school that is doing amazing work and deserves to be featured in KSAT Kids? Nominate someone by emailing

Kid Activities

KSAT Kids Home Science: States of Matter with Root Beer Floats

Are you looking for something fun to do at home that has a little bit of science behind it?

10 free events in San Antonio for parents and kids to do before summer ends

Looking for something to do with the kids as summer draws closer to an end but unsure of where to go or what to do? Here are some free and low-price activities.

Behind the ‘seas’ at SEA LIFE San Antonio

From underwater tunnels to a variety of tanks housing all of their sea creatures, SEA LIFE San Antonio has something the whole family can enjoy.

(SEA LIFE Aquarium San Antonio 2021)

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About the Author

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

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