March 3, 2023 | Monthly Message

Letterhead for the Superintendent with Logo

March 3, 2023

AHISD Families, Staff, and Neighbors-

It's hard to believe that it's already March! This is a busy time of year for all of us in Alamo Heights ISD, and there is much to look forward to in the coming weeks and months.

I hope you've circled March 27 on your calendar for our annual Festival of Learning and Culture Night. It's scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at the High School. You do not want to miss the opportunity to attend this community event that highlights the engaging learning experiences that all our AHISD students are excited to share with you as well as some outstanding presentations about the cultural backgrounds of some of our AHISD families.

Feedback February

Today, March 3rd, is the last day to complete our Feedback February Survey. You are an important partner as we work to improve our communication, academic programs, and overall experience for students and their families. Please complete one survey for each child in your family. You can access the parent survey through the QR code below or at this link.  

Campus teams will use the feedback you provide as part of their comprehensive needs assessment process for planning for the future.  Ultimately, this becomes a source of data for our district and campus improvement plans.  We will share the feedback as well as areas of focus and action items at the March Board Meeting and  in my April message to the community.

Academic Achievement

The last three years were uniquely challenging for students and teachers, and nationally students lost ground in reading, and scores in math fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years. However, thanks to concerted efforts by our AHISD staff, parents, and students, the projections for learning loss did not materialize for most students in AHISD. We assess reading and math proficiencies of all students three times a year with universal screeners. As we analyze the overall impact of instructional interruptions caused by the pandemic, a review of our middle of year 2022-2023 data helps us take stock of our local academic responsive actions. 

In addition to the universal screening data that we use to monitor progress ongoing throughout the year, we use the STAAR assessment to provide one piece of feedback on student achievement. In reading, our STAAR scores dropped 3-percentage points from 2019 to 2021. In 2022, our reading scores bounced back up 5-percentage points, exceeding our pre-pandemic achievement levels. One of our greatest concerns throughout the pandemic was the impact that instructional interruptions could have on literacy development during early childhood. We have been monitoring the reading progress of students in PK-3 very closely over the last three years. Mid-year universal screeners from this past month show that 87% of our current 3rd graders are reading on or above grade level. The national comparison is 60% of 3rd graders reading at grade level. 

Math is our area of focus for this current school year. While our reading scores are back to pre-pandemic levels, progress in math is returning at a slower pace. By the end of the year, our goal is for 90% or more of our students to meet math expectations on STAAR. Our current 5th graders were in the 2nd grade when the pandemic began. As third graders, 74% of these students were meeting expectations in math on STAAR. As fourth graders, the number of these students performing at grade level expectations on STAAR rose to 79%. In January, as 5th graders, 92% of these students are performing at or above grade level expectations on universal screeners in math.. This year, we have introduced new math curriculum materials, expanded tutoring and intervention opportunities, and provided additional training for our faculty. 

In addition to providing support for students and teachers, we have prioritized communication with families.  We created systems to send academic screening scores to parents via email, offered online informational meetings so parents can fully understand the score reports, and included discussions about academic screening and student progress in all elementary parent conferences. As we move through this spring, we will continue to hold our AHISD learners to exceptionally high academic expectations while ensuring that we provide supplemental support as needed to help each student reach their full potential. 


We have made great progress with the installation of the Centegix Crisis Alert system over the past month and will have the system fully operational when we return from Spring Break. Our staff received their badges and training on how they work in the event of a daily emergency (like an accident on the playground or in a classroom), or in the event of the need for a lockdown. 

I can share that staff members have already used Crisis Alert to request assistance for a student having a medical emergency. These “daily emergencies” are  the types of situations we expect the system to be utilized for most often to provide our students and staff members with responsive support.

As with the implementation of any new system, there is troubleshooting that takes place during training.  The unplanned test that occurred on the campuses last Friday provided insight into some additional areas of needed attention and fine-tuning.  Our team is responding to that information and is working diligently to ensure the smooth operation of the Centegix system moving forward.  Please reach out to your campus principal if you have additional questions. 

Bond 2023

The AHISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday, February 16, 2023, to place a $371 million bond proposal on the May 6 ballot. The bond referendum will appear as three separate propositions and the proposed projects would impact all students and staff at all campuses. 

The Bond 2023 website has an overview of the proposal, the presentation shared at the last Board meeting, and answers to frequently asked questions.  We will host virtual and in-person community meetings beginning later this month. A schedule will be posted on our Bond website.

Early voting runs April 24 through May 2 and Election Day is Saturday, May 6.

I hope you will take time to learn more about Bond 2023. If you have questions, please email us at [email protected]

Spring Break provides us with a wonderful opportunity for quality family time as well as time for rest and recharge. I extend best wishes for an amazing week with your family.   After break, I know our students and staff will return re-energized for a strong finish of our spring semester. Mules up!

Dr. Dana Bashara

Twitter: @BasharaDana 

Photo of the Month:

Lisa Barry, 5th grade teacher at Woodridge, is a state finalist for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards in the Lifetime Achievement- Elementary category. She was surprised last week with this wonderful news! 

The finalists will be interviewed and grand prize winners announced at the end of April. The winner in the Lifetime Achievement category will receive $25,000 for themselves and a $25,000 grant for their school! 

We are so proud of Mrs. Barry! 


-Kindergarten Registration: Kindergarten registration for the 2023-24 school year opened on January 17, 2023. To introduce parents and children to the school, Howard Early Childhood Center is hosting Kinder Preview events these next few months. Visit our website for the schedule and to register to attend a Kinder Preview. Please share with your family, friends, and neighbors who will have five-year-olds next year. 

-Check out the March WellNews: A wellness newsletter for district parents.  

Additional issues can be found on the AHISD Wellness website at:

-Grand-Mule/Senior Mule Event: We’re calling our “Grand-Mules & Senior Mules” to visit our district and learn from district leaders and students about our AHISD Profile of a Learner. Participants will hear about the educational experience in AHISD that highlights many of our innovative programs and practices. Those participants 65 years old and older, who reside in the district boundaries, will receive their Gold Card for free admission to all athletic and fine arts events! We’ll conclude our morning together with a tour of a few classrooms to see learning in action. There is one remaining session date for Friday, March 31, 2023, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Alamo Heights High School Auditorium Foyer. Please call Alicia Caballero at 210-832-5953 or email [email protected] to reserve your spot!

-Opt-In for School Text Messages: AHISD utilizes the School Messenger system to communicate important information to families through email, text, and/or phone calls. If any contact information has changed over the summer, like phone numbers or email addresses, families should contact their campus office to update our student information system. In order to receive text messages, which the district sends only in emergencies, families must opt-in to this service. Here's how to sign up for text messages. Those who have previously opted in do not have to complete it again.

-If you see something, say something! We ask all AHISD families to commit to having ongoing conversations with students about safety and security and to encourage the reporting of any concerns to a trusted adult on campus.  Families can also report safety concerns on our website by clicking Students / Parents and then Safety Concerns.

-Please stay connected with all things AHISD by visiting Heights Happenings and also following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Also, I invite you to follow @WeGoPublic to support this organization that promotes the amazing benefits of our Bexar County Public Schools!

March One-Month Glance:  

Below are upcoming events, throughout the district, during the month of March. 

Athletic Events

Visit Rank One for all sporting events

Master Calendar Events 

  • Friday, March 3 - Friday, March 10 - Cambridge Spring Book Fair - Cambridge Elementary Library
  • Friday, March 3 - Elementary Student Holiday/Parent Conferences/Staff Workday
  • Wednesday, March 8 - AHHS PTO Meeting - Alamo Heights High School - 12-1 PM
  • Friday, March 10 - 3rd 9 Weeks Ends/End of Grading Period
  • Saturday, March 11 - SAT Testing - Alamo Heights High School - 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Monday, March 13 - Friday, March 17 - Spring Break
  • Monday, March 20 - Student Holiday/Staff Workday
  • Tuesday, March 21 - 4th Nine Weeks Begins
  • Friday, March 24 - Elementary and Secondary Report Cards Distributed
  • Friday, March 31 - Grand-Mules & Senior-Mules Partners - Alamo Heights High School Foyer - 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Saturday, April 1 - ACT Testing - Alamo Heights High School - 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM
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