A+ Academics Elementary and Middle School UIL

2017 – 2018 marked a record year for Elementary and Middle School students’ participation in the SAISD A+ Academics UIL district tournaments.  1,362 students participated in academic contests including Art, Calculator Applications, Chess Puzzles, Creative Writing, Dictionary Skills, Maps/Graphs/Charts, Ready Writing in both English and Spanish, Number Sense, Modern Oratory, Spelling in both English and Spanish, Music Memory, Science, and Oral Reading in both English and Spanish.

Students competed by preparing in their events in advance and then on tournament day by performing, taking tests and speaking to earn medals and ribbons for 1st – 6th places.  Students also earned points for their schools for each place earned.  Points were totaled to award the top three point earning schools with sweepstakes trophies.

Below are photos of our Sweepstakes Schools for each tournament.  We can’t wait for next year’s contests!

Zone 1 1st Place: Bonham Academy
Zone 1 2nd Place: Highland Hills Elementary
Zone 1 3rd Place: Kate Schenck Elementary
Zone 2 1st Place: Hawthorne Academy
Zone 2 2nd Place: Arnold Elementary
Zone 2 3rd Place: Maverick Elementary
Middle School 1st Place: Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Middle School 2nd Place: Harris Middle School
Middle School 3rd Place: Bonham Academy

Chembridge- Dr. Biberdorf visits with SAISD students March 23, 2018 at ACC

UT Chembridge professor demonstrates chemical reactions for SAISD students. Students from Burbank, Edison, Highlands, Houston, Jefferson, and Lanier all gathered at the  Alamo Convocation Center to learn from their online Chembridge professor, Dr. Biberdorf, for a face to face class.

Dry ice and colored water

Hot water and dry ice.

District AVID Student Essay Winners

AVID students in 6th – 12th grades had the opportunity to participate in an essay writing contest as part of their semester final for their AVID elective classes.  One student at each grade level was recognized from across the district for creating an outstanding piece of work expressing their response to the prompt: What makes AVID unique? How has AVID helped you?
Cynthia Martinez, SAISD AVID Coordinator recognized the following students for their essays along with the AVID teachers and administrators who support them:
6th Grade Winner from Longfellow Emily Velasquez with Dr. Terry (principal), Mr. Bermea (AVID Teacher), Ms. Martinez (District AVID Coordinator) and Mrs. Rodriguez (Campus AVID Coordinator)
7th grade winner from Longfellow Erick Salas with Mr. Reyna (AVID Teacher) and Ms. Martinez (District AVID Coordinator)
8th grade winner from Harris Aiden Garcia with Ms. Martinez (District AVID Coordinator), Dr. Velasquez (principal) and Mrs. Castillo (AVID Teacher)
Students from Travis – 9th Grade Winner Nathan Paredes, 10th grade Winner Rozlyn Olivas, 11th grade Winner Armando Hernandez and Mrs. Arredondo (principal)
12th Grade Winner Lesly Hernandez and Coach Beresford (AVID Teacher)

World Languages: Annual AATSP Academic Contest “Colores, Voces, y Poesía”

San Antonio ISD hosted the Annual AATSP Academic Contest, “Colores, Voces, y Poesía” at Longfellow Middle School. This is the second year the event has been hosted in the district. The following students placed in the competition:

  • 1st Place Poster Contest – Manuel Mendoza – Edison High School
  • 2nd Place Original Poetry Contest – Maria Guadalupe Miranda – Phoenix Middle College
  • 2nd Place Poetry Level 4-6 – Anna Sofia Carrasco – Jefferson High School
  • 3rd Place Poetry Level 4-6 – Manual Garcia – Tafolla Middle School
  • 3rd Place Poetry Level 1 – Victor Romero – Jefferson High School
Poster by Manuel Mendoza, a student at Edison High School. Manual will compete at the national level with this entry.

World Languages: 2018 Texan Cultures Asian Festival

The San Antonio ISD World Languages teachers from Longfellow and Tafolla Middle Schools took a group of students on a Learning Expedition to the Institute of Texan Cultures. While there, students experienced firsthand the annual celebration of the Chinese New Year. They were also able to experience examples of the many Asian cultures that have influenced the development of Texas.

One of the highlights of the day was a performance given by Longfellow students enrolled in the Chinese Mandarin class under the leadership of SAISD Chinese teacher Dr. Liang Ward. This group was invited by the Confucius Institute at UTSA to perform and dance for the event.

We are proud of our SAISD World Languages Program, teachers, and students’ stellar performance.

World Languages: 2018 Region 20 Spanish Spelling Bee

Two San Antonio ISD students gave an outstanding performance at the 2018 Region 20 Spanish Spelling Bee competition. This event is part of the educational highlights of the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the City of San Antonio.

High school student Maria Garcia from YWLA placed second and middle school student Paola Jauregui from YWLA placed third in their respective competitions. Paola will now represent SAISD in the 2018 National Spanish Spelling Bee that will take place in San Antonio this summer.

Sam Houston Takes First in Regional Academic Decathlon

January 20, 2018 was a special day for students on the Sam Houston Academic Decathlon team when all their hard work and studying paid off garnering them the 1st Place slot for medium schools. This Regional Tournament was hosted at Northside’s Warren High School and included teams from all SAISD high schools as well as Alamo Heights, Boerne, and Northside. This honor cleared the path for the Hurricane Scholars to compete at the state Decathlon tournament which will take place in Frisco, Texas in February.

Students who participate in Academic Decathlon are known as “decathletes” and they compete by deeply studying a topic designated annually. This year’s topic focused on the continent of Africa and found students exploring literature by reading the novel Things Fall Apart, while also studying the music and art of various African regions, and science with a focus on HIV and malaria. Students also study economics, mathematics, and social science.

Decathlon teams include nine students from each school who compete in three different divisions. Three students with “A” averages represent the Honors division, three students with “B” averages represent the Scholastic division, and 3 students with “C” averages represent the Varsity division.

Decathletes compete by writing a timed essay, delivering a prepared and impromptu speech, participating in an interview and taking exams over the core areas of study. Students accumulate points for their performances in each of these individual contests, and their individual points accumulate to create their team’s total point earnings. Students also compete as a team in an event called “Super Quiz.”

Sam Houston’s team, coached by Veronica Marines and Kathleen Sadler, included students who also earned top point totals in their divisions as well as the winning Super Quiz team.

Congratulations Hurricane Scholars!

Advanced Academics Scholar Celebration

On January 8, 2018, the SAISD Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Academics hosted its second annual celebration honoring academic student scholars. The event was hosted at the McNay Museum of Art and included student scholars, and the families, teachers, counselors and school administrators who have supported their academic success. SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez & Associate Superintendent Lisa Riggs congratulated students with the help of SAISD Board of Trustees President, Patti Radle and the members of the Advanced Academics team. Scholars in two areas were recognized.

Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search State Recognition Scholars

In February of 2017, 189 SAISD 7th grade students participated in the Duke TIP talent search program. This program helps gifted and high performing seventh graders develop their abilities and identify the extent of their academic talent through above-level testing. It is the entry point for many TIP educational programs, and benefits last through the end of high school.

One of the 7th Grade Talent Search’s most important benefits is recognition. This program celebrates academic achievement at a time in life when it’s essential to foster a love of learning and teach students to take pride in their scholastic accomplishments. Students are recognized for participating in the talent search with a certificate of merit, given opportunities to submit their work for publication, profiled in Insights for their state- and national-level achievements, and may be invited to special ceremonies in honor of their exceptionally high scores on the ACT or SAT.

Students qualify for the state ceremonies by earning scores that are approximately equal to the 50th national percentile rank for college-bound seniors taking the tests—about 35 percent of TIP students meet that criteria.  To qualify for the nationally hosted Grand Recognition Ceremony, students must earn scores that are approximately equal to the 90th national percentile rank for college-bound seniors taking the tests—that includes about 4 percent of TIP students.

In 2017, 14 SAISD students who are now 8th graders earned Duke TIP State Recognition. 29 students earned invitations to summer programs hosted at Tier 1 universities across the nation. 2017 marked the highest number of students meeting criteria and earning recognition and/or invitations for summer studies over the past five years. (2016 saw 5 students earning recognition and 7 students earning invitations to summer studies.)

Students who participate in the Duke TIP program and who meet recognition criteria are on track to earn standing as potential Merit Scholars when they take the PSAT test.

Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars

Since 1955, the AP Program ahs enabled millions of students to take college-level courses and earn college credit, advanced placement, or both while still in high school. AP has grown to offer 38 courses in multiple subject areas, each culminating in a college-level AP Exam recognized by colleges and universities across the United States.

Beginning as early as 8th grade, SAISD students have multiple opportunities to take one or more of 30 different AP course offerings. Each course culminates in a nationally sponsored AP Exam given in early May. Students may qualify with a score of 3, 4 or 5 points out of 5 points to earn college credit. In addition, College Board recognizes students who take and earn qualifying scores in multiple courses with special recognition. The AP Scholar Awards recognize high school students who have demonstrated exemplary college-level achievement on AP Exams.

In 2017, 58 students achieved this honor, the highest number of students to do so in the last 5 years. Recognition criteria are cumulative, so many of these students will rise to additional honors levels as they continue taking AP courses. (see criteria chart below).

Several scholars and their families shared their appreciation for the opportunity offered by SAISD’s generous support in paying for the exams, materials and other support resources. These programs assure that students will be well-prepared for post-secondary admission to Tier 1 universities. We are so very proud of our SAISD scholars!