No school for students after TEA suspends charter school effective immediately
SAN ANTONIO —
Letter addressed to SASIC Superintendent Tonja Nelson
The Texas Education Agency announced the closure of a San Antonio charter school effective immediately after an investigation uncovered food safety issues that presented an "ongoing danger to the health, safety or welfare of students."
A letter from the TEA addressed to the superintendent of the San Antonio School for Inquiry and Creativity states the school is shut down effective March 8, 2017.
In addition to suspending operations, the letter states the school's FSP funding is suspended.
The school has a meeting with the TEA in Austin on March 10 at 1:30 p.m.
If the school does not satisfy conditions set forward by the TEA, parents will be given the option to seek different educational accommodations including home school or returning their child to their home district.
In February, State Representative Diego Bernal wrote a letter to the TEA Commissioner asking for the TEA to investigate improper conduct and contact between staff and students, improper, unsanitary storage of school food and nepotism within the district office.
He told News 4 San Antonio tonight that although he is heartbroken, he is also relieved the TEA is stepping in. He hopes the students and families can find others schools quickly.
Statement from San Antonio School for Inquiry & Creativity District Administrator Gina Luciano
1. Just a few hours ago SASIC received written notice from the Texas Education Agency.
a. Our staff and legal team are reviewing the notice even now.
b. We want to be completely responsive to the Agency.
2. In its notice, the Texas Education Agency has asked for the students to remain at home until the school shows the Agency that the school’s buildings, staff, and food are safe for the students.
a. We are confident that SASIC’s buildings, staff, and food are safe.
b. And, SASIC looks forward to showing the Agency its documentation in this regard.
c. Based on the school’s initial review of the Agency’s notice, it appears that TEA is concerned, in part, about the sufficiency of the background checks SASIC already has performed on all of the school’s employees.
3. SASIC looks forward to showing its documentation concerning these items to TEA on Friday of this week at a meeting scheduled in Austin at 1:30 pm.
4. We hope and expect for TEA to allow the campus to reopen on Monday, March 20th, following Spring Break. We will continue to update our parents.
5. We apologize for the inconvenience the Agency’s decision has caused, but we hope our families enjoy the extended break.
Here are points on food.
1. The Board approved the hire of a new Food Services Director last Wednesday. She has excellent credentials. We are excited to have her on our team.
2. The complaints about food safety and storage arose in December/over winter break. They are resolved.
a. The food supplier inadvertently delivered expired milk. The milk was never served to students.
b. Meat that was placed in the refrigerator and not the freezer, was discarded and never served to the students.
c. City of San Antonio inspected the central kitchen two times. First grade was 97; follow up report was “close the case.”
d. The Department of Agriculture has also reported favorably regarding the food service operations.