Scott Ball / Rivard Report
The School of Science and Technology, a small charter school network with high marks from the Texas Education Agency, announced plans Wednesday to add four campuses in San Antonio in the next five years.
The charter school system is a little more than a decade old – it opened in 2005 with its first campus located in a former furniture store in Northeast San Antonio. Since then, SST has amassed an enrollment of about 4,200 students across 10 campuses – four in San Antonio, four in Houston, and two in Corpus Christi. Locally, its enrollment is about 1,650 students, and the four additional campuses are expected to grow its San Antonio student population to about 4,000.
The charter network, which is known to make use of former stores, broke ground on its first new facility in San Antonio on the city's far West Side in October, marking a period of expansion, which gained further momentum Wednesday. Charter officials announced SST's first major gift, a $1 million donation from the Brackenridge Foundation, which supports San Antonio charter schools.
Nora Walsh, the foundation's executive director, told the Rivard Report that the donation is meant to fund future growth in the San Antonio area.
"Their work with students is just phenomenal, and we're very proud they are an A-rated school," Walsh said, noting that the foundation gave SST a small grant last year, but this donation is the first major gift.
Over the next five years, SST said it hopes to add 10 more campuses throughout Texas. Projections show the new campuses will allow SST's total enrollment to increase to more than 12,000 students.
In Fall 2019, the first of the four new SST campuses will open at Loop 1604 and New Guilbeau Road, southeast of Government Canyon and within Northside Independent School District. The new campus initially will be open for certain elementary grades, with eventual plans to expand up to high school, a SST spokeswoman said.
Another new facility will open near Morgan's Wonderland off of Interstate 35 in northeast San Antonio, replacing the old campus of SST-Alamo. SST-Alamo's current enrollment has outgrown its facility and is in need of new space, the spokeswoman said.