The mission of CAST Schools is to prepare San Antonio students for their future, while ensuring there’s a skilled and passionate workforce for the city’s highest need industries. By partnering with CAST Schools, business leaders have the opportunity to play a direct role in the career readiness of students and provide mentorship to help students seamlessly transition into college or the workforce, while nurturing a homegrown and committed source of talent.
Students engage in real-world problem-solving to discover and explore their own interests, develop their curiosity, and connect learning to a bigger purpose. Embedded in this type of experiential learning with a purpose is the ability to reflect on what, how, and why.
Students interact with adult professionals and experts through job shadowing, networking events, mentoring, coffee and book talks, research, internships, travel experiences, and summer jobs. They acquire knowledge, skills, and values by working alongside a variety of industry and other partners to solve real-world problems.
Students act as co-creators and co-problem solvers at their high schools and beyond, offering ideas, posing new questions, and authentically engaging in their own education. Student-led learning promotes effective collaboration, development of leadership skills and growth of students’ own self-management, goal setting, and self-advocacy. Flexible scheduling allows students to accelerate through content and courses so they pursue their passions.
Students share their learning beyond the school walls through competitions, conferences, and presentations to industry or other authentic audiences. Exhibitions set the expectation that all students, not just select groups, are capable of producing high-quality work and will share that work with the larger community.
Students design a course of study to meet their own interests and strengths. A varied approach to learning, including blended and face-to-face, allows students to choose the methods best suited to their own advancement.
The network partners with higher education institutions to develop the next generation of teachers and principals. Over time, we will support full-time teacher and principal residencies and dedicated faculty housed at each of our schools to create schools that are learning laboratories. The network also looks to deepen the relationship with higher education through research partnerships, mentoring, dual credit, summer classes, and more.
Students utilize design thinking to become doers and makers in their local, national and global communities. Students develop solutions to problems by using empathy to understand the needs of real people. It is an iterative process, with prototypes and drafts of solutions, reflecting on the human impact of each. Design thinking takes students out of the classroom into their community.
The CAST Network is envisioned as five schools strategically located in different sectors of the San Antonio region, each with a set of high-demand career pathways. Each school will partner with an area independent school district, a community college, and a teacher-preparation institution, and be guided by an advisory board of industry professionals.