While school was out for the summer, the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) Board of Trustees and executive staff were hard at work creating a new ‘vision statement’ and developing a new set of five-year goals for the superintendent and the district. These initiatives are required by the State of Texas.
Our vision statement expresses our ideal for the district. It is a clear statement that gives everyone in the district (including students, educators, administrators, staff, parents, and community members) a shared understanding of what we are working towards.
Our new vision statement is as follows:
The San Antonio ISD is an inclusive familia that is the destination for transformational learning that makes the impossible a reality by demonstrating an urgent and relentless commitment to love, nurture, and teach all our students as if they are our own so that they realize their power to shape the world.
Our vision statement serves as the foundation for our new board goals.
Using student performance data, we identified areas where increases in student performance would have the greatest impact across the district. We also chose to focus on social emotional learning as mental health is an area where students and families have consistently expressed a need for greater support.
Our new five-year goals are:
Improve reading and writing outcomes for all students: Increase the percentage of all students who meet or exceed state grade level in reading across all grades from 35% in August 2022 to 50% in August 2027.
Improve math outcomes for Black students: Increase the percentage of Black students who meet or exceed grade level in math across all grades from 16% in August 2022 to 50% in August 2027.
Improve college readiness for students with disabilities: Increase the percentage of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) receiving instruction and services in the general education setting who meet the TSI College-Ready Standard in reading and math from 4% in August 2022 to 30% in August 2027.
Improve social emotional readiness in all students: Increase by 25% the percentage of all students who meet the SAISD Standard for Social Emotional Readiness from the August 2024 baseline to baseline +25% in August 2027.
In addition to adopting the new vision statement and five-year goals, the board also adopted a list of guardrails to guide the superintendent and staff. The guardrails are a list of community values that the superintendent and staff must not violate when working to carry out the vision and goals.
Embrace our community: The Superintendent will not implement major decisions of the board without authentic community engagement, including students, staff, families, and the community.
Support excellent schools in every neighborhood: The Superintendent will not allow any neighborhood to be without a high-quality school.
Create safe environments: The Superintendent will not allow students, staff, and families to learn and work in an environment that is not physically and emotionally safe.
Ensure equitable funding: The Superintendent will not allow any school to be funded at a level that is inadequate to produce transformational learning in all students.
The vision, goals and guardrails will serve as the foundation for SAISD’s Strategic Management Plan entitled Always Learning. Superintendent Aquino has completed a first draft of the plan and is working with a team of 50 staff members from across the district to conduct a preliminary review before the district begins a public engagement process where members of the community can share their feedback on the plan. The community engagement process will take place in early 2023.
Community members can also get involved with the implementation of the board vision and goals by serving on a superintendent advisory committee. Superintendent Aquino has created three new committees:
The Budget Committee
The Student Achievement Committee
The Growth and Development Committee
These committees have been formed to advise district programs and policies in three key areas.
The Budget Committee will provide input on district-level financial planning, including the District’s revenue sources, short-term general fund and ESSER budgets, the long-term financial sustainability plan, and alignment of the budget to District goals.
The Student Achievement Committee will monitor student achievement data and solicit feedback on major initiatives as they relate to the Board Goals and Superintendent Interim Measures. This committee will also provide feedback on any major curriculum, instruction, assessment, or professional development decisions, including the creation and adoption of the instructional calendar, district improvement plan, and summer school program plan.
The Growth and Development Committee will support the district in addressing challenges related to declining district enrollment and will gather and analyze data on enrollment, population, housing, facility capacity, and Bond plans to guide decisions related to planning and facilities.
More information about the committees and the application to serve on the committees can be found here. The application period ends on Friday, December 9. The application is short and simple. It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Committee membership is open to students, parents/guardians, staff, and members of the SAISD community. If you would like to be part of making SAISD’s vision a reality, I encourage you to apply to serve on a committee.
Sarah Sorensen is our district's representative on the SAISD Board of Trustees
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