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. Lighthouse Public Schools is accepting applications for enrollment for the current school year in grades pre-K through 12. 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.
In recent years, the school has served grades PK3–8; during the current school year, the school is serving high school students in grades 9–11, and will expand to 12th grade. The expansion to high school came about because 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).
Lighthouse has a partnership with Texas A&M University San Antonio to offer dual credit courses to every high school student. Lighthouse will transport the students every Tuesday and Thursday, and a staff member will remain on the campus to provide additional support. Students will be dually enrolled, meaning that they will be a Lighthouse Public Schools student and an A&M student, and enjoy all the benefits of being an A&M student. The goal is to make access to college more equitable; this partnership allows Lighthouse to help level the playing field.
Lighthouse Public Schools in San Antonio
Lighthouse Public Schools opened in 2003 under the name Lighthouse Charter Schools. They currently serve students in grades PK3–11, and will add 12th grade next year.
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 2019 school report card for grades PK–1 has no rating (those grades don’t take standardized tests), and the 2019 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, and they are accepting applications for the 2022–23 school year.
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. In keeping with the avian theme, there is a space on campus called the Nest where students can find emotional support. One of the activities in the Nest is creating sensory bottles, as explained in this guest post by Erica Martinez, Director of Community Engagement. Along with the Nest, there is a food pantry, in partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank, called Seeds, and a clothing closet, in partnership with San Antonio Threads, called Feathers.
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 suspensions and expulsions are used only when necessary as per the student code of conduct. The goal is to build community through reparation and understanding. 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 pull-outs to study a social emotional learning curriculum.
Lighthouse Public Schools is supported by the Imagine Educational Foundation.
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Erica Martinez, MSW, Director of Engagement and Development at Lighthouse Public Schools, and Donald Mills, Ed.D., Superintendent of Lighthouse Charter Schools speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on December 7, 2021 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Erica Martinez, Ph.D., is the Director of Engagement and Development at Lighthouse Public Schools.
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.
Read More About Lighthouse Public Schools
- “Team Up for Success: Tools and Resources for Building Stronger Parent Teacher Relationships,” San Antonio Charter Moms, October 7, 2021
- “Summer Science Madness—4 Home Science Experiments,” Danielle Navarro, Qué Means What, June 30, 2021
- “Summer Slide, COVID Slide, and the Glitter Slide,” Erica Martinez, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 3, 2021
- “Family Self-Care Plan,” Erica Martinez, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 19, 2021
- “UTSA study: San Antonio-area charters see more student movement from school to school,” Krista Torralva, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 8, 2021
- “Charter Moms Chats — Lighthouse Public Schools, With Donald Mills,” YouTube, December 8, 2020