SAN ANTONIO – Harlandale ISD students returned to class Wednesday morning ready and excited to start a new school year.
One topic on the forefront of a lot of families are concerns about school security.
“Actually, we have a plan in place. We can’t go into the details of what the plan is because that would defeat the purpose, obviously. But we do have an in-house police department, and our police officers are all trained. They go through several different trainings throughout the year. They’ve been training this summer as well, just to make sure that they’re ready to to respond to any kind of emergency situation,” Mariana Vieyra, public information officer said.
In terms of the amount of students and families in the district, Harlandale is still feeling the effects of the pandemic.
“We’ve seen a trend of declining enrollment for the past few years with COVID. Obviously, that decline was a lot sharper. And so right now, our enrollment, if you compare it to five, six years ago, it’s obviously you’re going to see a big, big change because it is lower. But we are doing everything we can to get our students back into the classrooms,” Vieyra said.
The programs opportunities in the district however do continue to grow.
“We’re offering our STEM to early college, high school. A lot of people don’t know, but some of our students, most of our students that go to that school can graduate with an associates degree already,” Vieyra said.
There are plans in place for more hands-on learning and opportunities for certifications.
“We are increasing our career and technical education programs and so we are hoping to have those implemented soon where we’re going to be able to certify our students in HVAC, we’re going to have eventually a dental hygienist certification, architecture, cybersecurity. And so I think Harlandale is growing in the fact that we are always looking to provide our students with the best education and the best source available,” Vieyra said.
The goal is that if a student chooses not to go to college, they are still prepared for life after graduation.
“We are able to provide our students with certifications while they’re still in high school. When they get out of high school. They’re able to have better jobs. What that what that means is better jobs means better salaries for them, that they can get out of high school and start a job that makes over $60,000 a year or $70,000 a year. And so they’re able to provide for their families,” Vieyra said.