Located in Kendall County just north of Bexar County, Boerne Independent School District made a commitment last year to keep students learning on campus as much as possible. As a result, Boerne students were able to make academic progress in the classroom and win recognition through extracurricular activities. The current school year began on August 11, 2021, and Boerne ISD schools are once again welcoming students back to school for learning on campus. The communications team at Boerne ISD answered our questions about the high points of the past year and how they are navigating back to school in 2021.
In-Person Learning at Boerne ISD Campuses
After making the commitment to maximizing on-campus learning last year, how did that affect student performance?
As we begin the 2021–22 school year at Boerne ISD, we are excited to continue the positive momentum from the previous school year. As districts across the country continue to slowly come back from the pandemic, Boerne ISD ran full speed ahead last year as was one of the first public school districts to open to in-person learning, not just in Texas, but in the United States.
We made a concerted effort to make life, including the school experience, as normal as possible for our students. Because we were able to open up for in-person learning, our students, parents, and staff had unprecedented success. In sports, Boerne ISD claimed three state championships: Boerne-Champion Girls Cross Country, Boerne-Champion Girls Swimming Relay Team, and Boerne High School Boys Soccer. Our orchestra, band, and choir students earned top scores in the UIL sight-reading contest. Herff Elementary Student Council won a statewide leadership award. Curington Elementary and Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary Schools each were named a National Showcase School. Boerne High School and Champion High School were ranked as two of the best high schools in the San Antonio area. In addition, several staff members earned statewide awards. We proudly keep track of Boerne ISD’s district honors.
How did students benefit academically from in-person learning?
Boerne ISD students were able to attend school in-person and participate in hands-on learning, including ROTC, STEM, and Digital Learning, as well as CTE programs like Culinary Arts, and the Incubator Entrepreneurship Program, and many more. Our students benefited from participating in those on campus programs. We chronicle these experiences through episodes of the Boerne Insider.
Minimizing Pandemic Learning Loss
How has Boerne ISD used assessments and data to identify learning loss?
Our students also benefited from our plan to combat learning loss due to the pandemic through Progress Monitoring. With students out of the classroom and learning virtually from March to August 2020, we took the initiative to issue a Beginning of Year (BOY) test to our students in August 2020. We then took that data, created learning plans for our students, then issued interim testing to those same students in Spring 2021. On average, we have dramatically cut learning loss from BOY testing to Spring Interim in reading and math. We will continue to monitor our students’ progress this year and tailor a learning plan for them.
What programs is Boerne ISD offering to remedy learning loss?
To continue the upward trend, we had over 800 students in summer school, offering programs such as Credit Recovery Classes, Language Academy, Bilingual Recovery, and Extended School Year, as well as enrichment programs like Science Mill, STEM Camp, Accelerated Math Classes, among others.
Entering the 2021–22 school year, we have earmarked our Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) to continue to combat learning loss by adding classroom teachers and enrichment programs to help students continue to excel.
Supporting the Well Being of Students
How is Boerne ISD supporting mental health for students, families, and staff?
The Well is a free program from our Counseling Team that gives us the opportunity to provide mental health services for our Boerne ISD staff and parents. The Well is a place for students and adults to come find solutions to their problems, continue their education, connect with others and find true joy. We will continue to add offerings, seminars as well as a few virtual opportunities.
Are there programs to help young children adjust to on campus learning?
Prior to the start of this school year, Cibolo Creek Elementary School offered Cub Camp, a Jump Start program for kindergarten, first, and second grade level students. The camp prepared students for the upcoming school year and gave them a glimpse as to what to expect.
What are the trends and outlook for Boerne ISD?
The success and programs mentioned above are just a few of the reasons why we were named the 2019–20 Best Small School District in Texas by the H-E-B Excellence in Education Foundation, and named a 2020 Top Workplace by the San Antonio Express-News.
As our district continues to grow, with an expected enrollment of over 10,000 students, we are constantly looking for ways to engage, inspire, and enrich our students. We are excited for the new school year and look forward to helping our students continue to succeed.
Charter Moms Chats
Bryan Benway serves as Boerne ISD’s Director of Communications. He came to Boerne ISD in March of 2020 after serving as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s District Director for three years. Before working in the Texas Legislature, Bryan held a variety of communications roles over the past decade, including as a nationally syndicated radio host, as a broadcasting and media relations director in professional hockey, and working at Schreiner University in Kerrville, among others. Bryan, his wife Danica, stepson Phenix, and daughter Brady reside in Boerne. Danica is a Boerne ISD teacher and Phenix is enrolled at Boerne ISD.
Read More About Boerne ISD
- “Mask mandates: Here’s how San Antonio schools are responding to the Supreme Court’s decision,” Steven Santana, Mysanantonio, August 27, 2021
- “Boerne ISD has record-breaking enrollment surpassing 10,000 students,” KENS 5, August 13, 2021
- “Boerne ISD students head back to school as debate on masks continues,” Jonathan Cotto, KSAT, August 11, 2021
- “What Boerne ISD Has Learned From Having Students on Campus During COVID-19,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 3, 2020
Read More About Back to School in 2021
- “Compass Rose Public Schools Sets a Goal of Universal Reading Growth,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 24, 2021
- “Incarnate Word Virtual High School Offers Catholic Online School for Girls,” Anne Schaefer-Salinas, San Antonio Charter Moms, August 18, 2021
- “Safely Learning Together: IDEA Public Schools Students Are Back in School for 2021–22,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 17, 2021
- “Prelude Prep Welcomes Students for Its First School Year on San Antonio’s Southside,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 9, 2021
- “Empowering Parents Through Communication,” Justin Johnston, San Antonio Charter Moms, August 2, 2021
- “All About the Royal Public Schools Campus,” San Antonio Charter Moms, July 15, 2021