SAISD gives insight on how to best prepare children for 2020-21 school year

SAISD will resume the new school year on Aug. 17

SAN ANTONIO – As parents are wondering what the 2020-21 school year is going to look like, San Antonio Independent School District is taking every safety precaution mandated to ensure each student is in a safe and healthy environment once school restarts.

“We have aligned our safety practices to the CDC and to the San Antonio Metropolitan District,” said Patti Salzmann, chief academic officer for SAISD. “We have very stringent safety protocols in place.”

SAISD is requiring that students wear a cloth face covering at school. The district will also provide safety equipment for teachers and students.

To help keep students engaged virtually over summer, SAISD developed a digital learning playground that connects children in grades early childhood development through eighth grade.

“This summer, we have been busy creating content for our San Antonio ISD digital learning playground,” Salzmann said. “To date, we have over 300,000 hits where students come and they participate in things like daily lessons and interaction with teachers. We’ve also sent out over 100,000 books and we are running virtual summer book clubs for all of our students in grades early childhood through eighth grade.”

SAISD will resume the new school year on Aug. 17 and will open its doors to students Sept. 8, after Labor Day.

The first three weeks of school will be fully remote, and then after Labor Day, parents have the option of in-person learning or continuing remote.

“Our plan is to allow parents to choose whether they want to select a fully online option or come in person to school,” said Salzmann.

Salzmann said it’s important for parents to get kids connected to the resources that their school district has available as soon as possible.

“We are trying really hard to ensure that we are supporting students socially and emotionally,” Salzmann said. “Get them connected to the learning now and have them register and attend classes online when those classes become available.”

SAISD also has 50 of its campuses offering a dual-language program. Advanced placement and dual credit opportunities are available for high school students, as well as a diverse selection of career tech programs in which students can earn certifications to prepare them for college and the workforce.

The district received an overall grade of B from the state in 2019, and the TEA Commissioner announced that SAISD had the most gains in student achievement of every large school district in Texas.