New Online Tool Helps Families Research All Bexar County Public School Options | Texas Public Radio

New Online Tool Helps Families Research All Bexar County Public School Options

Dec 9, 2019

San Antonio has a new website for parents researching their public school options.

The San Antonio School Finder includes a sortable list of all public schools in Bexar County, including traditional public schools, charter schools and magnet schools.

The list of more than 600 schools was created by local nonprofit City Education Partners to fill what community engagement director Dalia Flores Contreras said was a “gap in the ecosystem.”

“Parents told us they wanted to know more,” Flores Contreras said. “The state’s tool (TXschools.gov) really only focuses on accountability, some of the others aren’t inclusive of all schools, and none of them allow, currently, for schools to tell their story. This is the very first tool in San Antonio that does that.”

The online tool, which is available in Spanish and in  English, can be filtered by several categories, including grade level, academic accountability rating, extracurricular activities and transportation options. It also lets schools upload information about their school culture and vision.

Flores Contreras said City Education Partners hopes the tool will help more families choose that are helping students succeed, enabling those schools to succeed as well.

“To realize a vision where one day every single child is in a high quality school and our data is showing that all of our children are reading on grade level and our children are performing math on grade level — that’s the goal,” Flores Contreras said.

“Information is power. Knowledge is power. Every child in San Antonio deserves to wake up every day and get ready to go to an amazing, high quality school that meets their needs.”

City Education Partners is a proponent of a school reform theory called the Portfolio Model, which is based on the idea that students will be more successful if they can choose between a variety of schools. 

According to Chalkbeat, the academic research on the effectiveness of the Portfolio Model is mixed.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@tpr.org or on Twitter @cmpcamille.