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The Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) covers 3.5 square miles San Antonio Independent

School District (SAISD), including 6 Title I schools; two Academically Unacceptable and one

persistently low achieving. Families skew younger, are poorer and have less education than the

rest of San Antonio. The 5,925 students face persistent barriers to academic achievement. Access

to quality early learning programs is inadequate, with less than 24% of 0-5 year olds enrolled.

Only 62% of 3 rd graders pass standardized reading or math tests. Nearly half of 6 th graders are

over-age. Fewer than half of high school students graduate in four years. Student mobility is a

core issue, with 25-45% of students leaving each school year. The parents, educators and public

and private stakeholders that developed the EPN Plan identified three school reform strategies.

(1) Combine one low-enrollment elementary school with the middle school to create a P-8

Academy focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). (2) Address

improvement in teacher effectiveness by employing Instructional Coaches for new teachers or

teachers in need of assistance; assigning mentors to young teachers; and, establishing an online

professional development series covering literacy and research-based instructional strategies

available to all teachers. (3) Challenge EPN schools to implement rigorous, integrated and

aligned STEM curricula to build a pipeline that prepares students for college and career success.

Finally, EPN will cluster family strengthening resources and sponsor GED and ESL classes to

enable parents to complete their education. The success of this endeavor, however, was enabled

by the one-year EPN planning grant led by EPN residents, supported by key community

stakeholders, and dedicated to the development of operational capacity and enabling trusting

relationships necessary for implementing the continuum of solutions.