Lighthouse Public Schools is a longtime charter school that is experiencing a renewal as a place for students to find care and support. The school is growing, and the leadership team is working to create a welcoming environment and serve students’ social and emotional needs. On November 4, 2020, Lighthouse Public Schools began accepting applications for enrollment for the 2021–2022 school year, and the first open enrollment period continues through February 5, 2021. We have put together a guide to help you learn more about Lighthouse Public Schools and take steps to enroll your children.
About Lighthouse Public Schools
The board and leadership of Lighthouse Public Schools are in the process of expanding their mission. The school has a new motto, “Enlightening hearts and minds,” that reflects the culture they are working to create. The handbook sets out the goals of student achievement, school improvement, and a safe environment.
Superintendent Donald Mills joined Lighthouse Public Schools in 2019. In a recent interview, he spoke about wanting to create an environment for students that is, “safe, secure, and warm.” He described the leadership team as “committed”; they have high expectations of themselves, and that attitude spills into the students, too.
Lighthouse is a place where students who may have struggled in a different environment (whether because of class sizes or other reasons) can come and be successful. The typical class size at Lighthouse is 13–14 students for each teacher. Mills described the campus as having a family feeling. Some students come from non-traditional family structures—being raised by grandparents, or living in foster care—but they can come to school and find a safe, secure, and welcoming place.
The school is growing. After Thanksgiving, they added a small cohort of 9th grade students. Parents of former Lighthouse students asked the school leaders to accommodate their high school students, and they found a way. With older students on campus, the school is adding more elective courses and career and technical education (CTE). There are more conversations happening about how to help students build the skills they need to be ready for college.
Lighthouse Public Schools in San Antonio
Lighthouse Public Schools opened in 2003 under the name Lighthouse Charter Schools. In recent years, the school served grades PK3–8; during the current (2020–21) school year, the school began serving a small group of 9th grade students.
The Lighthouse Public Schools campus is located at 8138 Westshire Dr., San Antonio, TX 78227 (map). The main phone number is 210-236-7693.
In 2019, on the district’s most recent report card, they earned a C rating. For the campus-level report cards, the school report card for grades PK–1 has no rating (those grades don’t take standardized tests), and the school report card for grades 2–8 is rated C.
Download the free San Antonio Charter Schools app for an interactive map that includes the Lighthouse Public Schools campus and many more. You can also find campus information about Lighthouse Public Schools (and many other schools of choice) in our Guide to Charter Schools in San Antonio.
Enroll at Lighthouse Public Schools
Families can apply online to enroll their children at Lighthouse Public Schools. Enrollment for the current school year is ongoing. For the 2021–22 school year, the first open enrollment period began on November 4, 2020 and continues through February 5, 2021; the lottery (if needed) will be five days later. The second open enrollment period will begin on March 1, 2021, and end on May 31, 2021, and the second lottery (if needed) will be five days later.
Want to see the campus in person? Schedule a tour online.
In addition, please join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook to post questions and search previous discussions about Lighthouse Public Schools.
Facts About Lighthouse Public Schools
The school colors are maroon and gray, and the school mascot is the Seahawks.
Restorative practices are part of the school culture. The school leaders work to create a safe and secure atmosphere where students are encouraged to share information freely. In a recent interview, Erica Martinez, Director of Community Engagement, explained that there are no suspensions or expulsions. Instead of removing students from the campus, the students are brought together to correct the harm. All students experience a character education program and work in small groups or pullouts to study a social emotional learning curriculum.
In response to the pandemic, Lighthouse created an instructional plan for reopening the campus safely and keeping students, faculty, and staff safe on campus. As of November 2020, about 60–65 percent of students were on campus, and the remainder were participating in distance learning.
The pandemic has caused economic hardship among Lighthouse families, nearly all of whom qualify for meal program assistance. School leaders have responded to this need by organizing food bank drops in the parking lot. At a recent event, teachers sorted food into boxes for around 200 families. Community and corporate volunteers have helped with food box distributions as well. The goal is to establish a food pantry on campus.
Lighthouse Public Schools is supported by the Imagine Educational Foundation.
Charter Moms Chats
Donald Mills, Ed.D., joined Lighthouse Public Schools as Superintendent in 2019. For more than ten years, he led the Meadowland Charter District, part of Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, supporting their mission of serving students in crisis. He has served as a board member of the Texas Public Charter Schools Association and as a TEA-approved provider for school leadership and board training. He has graduate degrees in education administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Texas A&M University, the University of Phoenix, and the International Institute for Restorative Practices, as well as undergraduate degrees from Eastern New Mexico University and Southwestern Assemblies of God University.