2024 is off to an incredible start! I want to take a minute to celebrate some of the exciting things happening at our CAST Schools already this year, as we enjoy a week of beautiful weather:
- CAST STEM moved its entire campus, mid-year, holding the first class on the beautiful Palo Alto College campus Jan. 9. The move is exciting for many reasons, and this week yet again I was thrilled to observe our students settling into their identity as both high school and college students. Our goal, in partnership with Southwest ISD and Alamo Colleges, is to showcase a new, more flexible model of co-location with a community college. Students at CAST STEM @Palo Alto College can earn up to an associate’s degree, but they also can earn certifications. These lucky young people learn to fly drones, build and drive electric cars and enjoy many hands-on experiences, all while getting college hours and gaining real-world industry experience.
- Our CAST LIVE speakers series kicked off January with a bang when we welcomed tech entrepreneur Beto Altamirano to CAST Tech on Jan. 17 with an audience that included CAST Lead students. Next up is former County Judge Nelson Wolff speaking to CAST Lead students at East Central’s Patterson Performing Arts Center about his Power Principles Feb. 16.
- We hosted our largest ever Speak Up Speak Out regional civics fair Jan. 19 at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, despite complications related to weather. I want to again thank all our celebrity judges, our sponsors, and our youth who hunger to build a stronger San Antonio.
- Our Black Student Union participated in a screening of the new film Blackwaters, featuring Black leaders fly fishing and discussing the outdoors and led a Q&A discussion with leaders from Black Outside, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Alaska Wilderness League. The screening took place at CAST Med High School on Jan. 12 and kicked off San Antonio’s Dream Week.
- Student Leaders from our student advisory shared their observations from the leadership trip to Mexico City in partnership with the U.S. Mexico Foundation, participating in a panel before the World Affairs Council, presenting separately to Councilmembers Sukh Kaur and Melissa Cabello Havdra, Congressman Greg Casar, and sharing on this episode of Texas Public Radio’s Fronteras.
- We are designing a new middle school, in partnership with SAISD, to serve San Antonio’s Southside, and to coincide with the completion of construction of the CAST Med building at Brooks. Because we believe in co-creation, we are hosting a series of design meetings, including focus groups with students and families, and that feedback will shape the school offerings. Please join us at the public launch of the new school March 6 at 6 p.m.