SAN ANTONIO (September 20, 2023) – CAST STEM High School, the #1 engineering school on San Antonio’s Southside, will move to Palo Alto College to further its commitment to educational innovation and excellence, Southwest ISD, Palo Alto College and CAST Schools announced.
CAST STEM Juniors and Seniors will relocate starting in January 2024, while 9th and 10th-grade students will start in August 2024 as part of a whole school move. The Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees approved the facilities lease with Southwest Independent School District to move CAST STEM High School to Palo Alto College officially at its Sept 18 meeting.
“The relocation of CAST STEM to Palo Alto College has been years in the making and something I have worked toward since assuming the presidency,” said Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College. “This achievement is a significant victory for our community’s students and Educate South, as this partnership supports our mission of providing students with excellent educational opportunities.”
CAST STEM students are currently enrolled as Palo Alto students, with one hundred percent of the Class of 2023 earning college credit from Palo Alto College and fifty-two percent earning either an associate’s degree or a Level 1 certificate.
CAST STEM opened in 2018 at Legacy High School and relocated to the Southwest ISD complex where it serves approximately 200 students with an emphasis on preparing students for high-demand, high-wage jobs in engineering, advanced manufacturing, and global logistics.
Co-location with Palo Alto will provide students unprecedented access to a diverse and enriching learning environment while opening new doors to higher education. “At Southwest ISD, we believe in removing barriers to education and ensuring that every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential. This move will not only provide our students with a cutting-edge learning experience, but will also enhance their access to higher education pathways,” said Dr. Jeanette Ball, SWISD Superintendent of Schools.
While the San Antonio region is home to many successful early college high school programs, this new partnership between Palo Alto, SWISD and CAST Schools offers a new model integrating both college and career, and allowing students to pursue customized opportunities based on student interests.
“We’re excited to co-create this new model on the Southside that allows students to tailor their education to meet their needs,” said CAST Schools Executive Director Jeanne Russell, “and we’re so grateful to Palo Alto College and SWISD for their partnership.”
About Southwest Independent School District
Southwest Independent School District is a distinguished, award-winning school district with numerous recognitions at the regional and state levels. SWISD prides itself in its family-friendly schools, positive and inclusive community culture, and wide range of college and career-ready programs. Southwest ISD serves 13,800 students and 1,900 employees and comprises 11 elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools with state-of-the-art athletic facilities and a brand-new aquatic center.
ABOUT THE CAST Schools Network
The Centers for Applied Science & Technology (CAST) is a San Antonio-based network of tuition-free public schools with a mission to reinvent schooling in order to maximize opportunities for students while preparing them for college, career, and life. Open to all Bexar County students. The network includes high schools CAST Tech, CAST Teach, CAST STEM, CAST Med, CAST Lead, and the Advanced Learning Academy. Schools are co-created with industry and partner with area public school districts, including Northside, San Antonio, Southwest, and East Central ISDs. For more information, visit castschools.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About Palo Alto College
Palo Alto College, part of the Alamo Colleges District, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and a recipient of the 2015 Texas Award for Performance Excellence, a finalist for the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and a Rising Star winner of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. With over 9,000 students, Palo Alto College is accredited to offer associate degrees and short-term certificates. The College is located on the southside of San Antonio at 1400 W. Villaret Blvd. at I-410 and Texas Hwy 16 and online at alamo.edu/pac.