Thousands of families waiting to get in to Will Smith Zoo School in San Antonio

School is attracting families from Texas and beyond

SAN ANTONIO – The Will Smith Zoo School in San Antonio is attracting families from around Texas and beyond.

“We have kids come from Austin, from Uvalde, from Big Foot, Texas. All over Texas and even in our summer programming we have people coming from Mexico,” Tim Morrow, president and CEO of the San Antonio Zoo said.

Morrow said they are at capacity at the moment.

“We have a little over 240 kids right now. A waitlist that gets to 8 to 9,000. People are getting on our list as soon as they get pregnant because they really want this programming and this experience for their children,” Morrow said.

With so much interest in this school, Morrow said they are looking at expanding.

“We are looking at what that model is. Is this a collaboration with univerisities? We are working with UTSA, Trinity and Incarnate Word. What does that look like going forward? We are talking with partnerships with school districts. Do we partner with school districts? Do we become kind of a privatized model where we open more schools around the city?” Morrow said.

The Crow family says the school changed their son’s life.

“When our son came in with his neurodivergent, he had a lot of behavioral challenges. A lot of developmental challenges as well. I feel like Ms. Maddi and Ms. Cici were so extraordinary in seeing him for who he was and working with him where he was at,” Shannon Crow, mother of Dean Bonham said.

“He had a lot of sensory issues when he started, he didn’t like getting his hands wet, or his hands muddy. That doesn’t register on his radar now. That provides a lot of confidence for him,” Dos Crow, Dean’s father said.

The school is designed for one teacher to every eight students.

Students are ages three to five-years-old.

“We really blend the indoor learning with outdoor learning spaces. If it’s our literature, if it’s our math concept, it’s all happening outside,” Rachel Buck, vice president of education said.

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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