Members of the San Antonio ISD Student Advisory Committee express their support for the Board of Trustees' decision to proceed with the district's rightsizing recommendation, involving the closure and merging of several schools ahead of the 2024-2025 school year.
The committee, consisting of 41 middle and high school students, serves for two years and regularly engages with Superintendent Jaime Aquino to provide feedback on district matters, including rightsizing. Despite recognizing the difficulty and pain associated with the process, students believe that rightsizing is necessary and will ultimately benefit SAISD students in the long run.
During committee meetings, students learned about the rightsizing process, considering factors such as declining enrollment and birth rates. They also examined campus budgets and staff ratios, understanding the need for the district to optimize resources. The committee played a crucial role in ongoing conversations about rightsizing, offering insights that influenced the decision-making process.
Students like Fox Tech High School senior Ramiro Lopez see the potential benefits of rightsizing, particularly in improving school safety by moving closer to meeting state requirements for police officers on each campus. Lopez emphasizes the need to invest more in hiring counselors, social workers, and therapists to enhance student mental health.
Fox Tech junior Miamor Gaitan and Young Women’s Leadership Academy senior Malena Flores agree that rightsizing is necessary for addressing resource distribution challenges among schools. They express optimism about the potential positive outcomes of the decision.
Community engagement has been a focal point throughout the rightsizing process, with Superintendent Aquino actively involving the public in decision-making. Despite criticisms, students appreciate Aquino's commitment to hearing from the community and visiting every campus affected by the decision.
Lanier High School senior Starfire Sanchez highlights the importance of continued community engagement, emphasizing that trust is built over time. She believes involving the community in repurposing closed school buildings and honoring their significance will contribute to building trust.
Sam Houston High School senior Alexia Ruiz underscores the district's promise not to sell closed facilities but lease them to nonprofit organizations for community benefit. Ruiz hopes the district holds events to honor the history of merging and closing schools, facilitating a smooth transition for students to their new campuses.
As the district moves forward with rightsizing, students emphasize the importance of patience, support, and ongoing community engagement to build trust and ensure a positive outcome for everyone involved.