Guide to Enrolling in Promesa Academy Charter School in San Antonio for 2021–2022

Promesa Academy Charter School reading

Promesa Academy Charter School is a new elementary school in San Antonio that provides students with a rich mixture of knowledge and experiences, while building genuine relationships and supporting them with love. On November 1, 2020, Promesa Academy began accepting applications for enrollment for the 2021–2022 school year. Open enrollment continues through February 10, 2021, and the lottery will be on February 15, 2021. We have put together a guide to help you learn more about Promesa Academy Charter School in San Antonio and take steps to enroll your child for the next school year.

About Promesa Academy Charter School

Promesa Academy Charter School opened in August 2020 to serve students in grades K–2 with a school model that invites children to love learning. “There are no boundaries to what kids can do,” said founder Ambika Dani. The school provides teachers with the time and support to build meaningful relationships with every child. Each class is designed to create authentic and engaging learning experiences. The mission of the school is grounded in equity and innovation.

The school opened under unusual circumstances: because of the global pandemic, all students began the year learning from home. The Promesa Academy team worked hard to create virtual experiences, like math problems and PE classes, that would help introduce students and families to the school culture and to begin building community. They made sure every student had a tablet and a wireless hotspot so they could participate in virtual learning.

One of the unique features about Promesa Academy is that students learn from subject matter expert teachers, even as young as kindergarten. So, the math teachers are people who love math and problem solving, and they get to spend their time teaching math to multiple groups of students. The teachers who focus on literacy, art, and music are themselves authors, artists, and musicians, respectively. When young children are taught by subject matter expert teachers, it builds a strong foundation in those areas.

The process of building relationships starts at the very beginning. “It’s in how we greet students at the door, when we open the car door,” said Dani. “We learn that a student likes Baby Yoda, and that’s the beginning of a bond.” Once students feel loved and know that they are surrounded by people who care about kids, then their minds are ready for the executive learning state to tackle subjects like, math, reading—the whole world.

Through partnerships, Promesa Academy is able to introduce their students to authentic learning experiences. For example, they were able to accomplish this virtually through a partnership with Youth Code Jam to help kids learn coding. In the future, the teachers will be able to take the students off campus to visit people doing interesting jobs—helping students visualize how they will apply their lessons to real life someday. They also want to introduce more experiences to help students expand their horizons and develop an international perspective.

To learn more about Promesa Academy in the news, we recommend that you click on the articles linked at the bottom of this post. Also, we invite you to join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook and ask questions; the group includes current Promesa Academy families who can comment with answers based on their own experiences.

Promesa Academy Charter School classroom on Veteran's Day

Promesa Academy Charter School in San Antonio

Promesa Academy has one campus on San Antonio’s West Side, serving grades K–3, and expanding to serve grades K–5 or more. The address is 607 Merida St., San Antonio, TX 78207 (map), and the main phone number is 210-560-3575. Because the school is so new, there is no school report card data yet.

Download the free San Antonio Charter Schools app for an interactive map that includes the Promesa Academy campus and many more. You can also find campus information about Promesa Academy (and many other schools of choice) in our Guide to Charter Schools in San Antonio.

Promesa Academy Charter School playground

Enroll at Promesa Academy Charter School

Families can apply online to enroll their children at Promesa Academy Charter School in San Antonio. Enrollment for the current school year is ongoing. Open enrollment for 2021–22 began on November 1, 2020 and will continue through February 10, 2021. The lottery will be on February 15, 2021. Students who are selected will receive a notice inviting them to register; the remaining students will be placed on waiting lists, and will be notified if a spot becomes available.

During application season, there will be opportunities for families to learn more about Promesa Academy Charter Schools. School tours will begin in January 2021. Families can get more information, or ask for help with their applications, by calling 210-942-1700, reaching out through the website, or sending a message through social media. We recommend that you follow these Promesa Academy social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

In addition, please join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook to post questions and search previous discussions about Promesa Academy.

Promesa Academy Charter School bootiful celebration

Facts About Promesa Academy Charter School

The school culture at Promesa Academy is partly a reflection of its founder, Ambika Dani, who is curious and playful, but also serious, dedicated, and organized. She wrote a guest post for our at-home learning resources about how math is all around us. Her recommendations include games and brain teasers for kids of all ages, as well as tips for taking a walk and noticing patterns in nature.

In addition to time spent on core subjects, students at Promesa Academy take electives, too. The elective courses for August–December 2020 included coding, community beautification, creative writing, dance, fitness club, gardening, STEAM, Spanish stories, and yoga. Year after year, the teachers will continue to experiment with and refine the electives offerings.

The campus has three buildings, containing classrooms and a cafeteria, that are located surrounding a courtyard area for outdoor learning. Promesa Academy has eight acres of land, so there is room for community-designed play spaces and gardens as the school grows.

Promesa Academy has an active Family Advisory Council. The council members work in service to the school community and have a voice in school decisions that affect families. The school works to be responsive to the needs of its families by offering services such as free transportation for students and distributions of food, books, and holiday gifts.

Early on, Dani made a conscious decision to locate Promesa Academy in the 78207 zip code, a historically underserved area of San Antonio. For years before Promesa Academy opened its doors to students, Dani and her team built relationships with nonprofits that work with families on the West Side of San Antonio. Because of those contacts, the Promesa Academy team is able to call on those nonprofits and businesses to provide aid for students and their families. The school serves a racially and socioeconomically diverse group of students.

Promesa Academy is a partner of Choose to Succeed, a nonprofit organization working to attract the nation’s best public charter schools to San Antonio and help successful schools to grow. Learn more about Choose to Succeed in this post.

Before founding Promesa Academy, Dani learned from innovative schools around the country. She was a 2018–19 New Schools Creation Fellow with the High-Tech High Graduate School of Education. Before that, Dani was a 2017 BES Fellow.

If you like what you have learned so far about Promesa Academy Charter School in San Antonio, we recommend that you apply for enrollment now. You are also welcome to join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group to learn more and interact with current Promesa Academy families.

Charter Moms Chats

Watch Ambika Dani, Founder and CEO/Superintendent, Promesa Academy Charter School, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on December 14, 2020 at 4 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.

Ambika Dani began teaching when she was 14 years old, in Lagos, Nigeria, when she gathered a group of underserved children in the living room of her apartment to help supplement the education they were receiving. Since that summer of teaching children on mats in her living room, she has dedicated herself wholly to education and to ensuring that children everywhere have equal access to the quality education they deserve.
Dani comes from a strong mathematics background. During her undergraduate years in college, she provided SAT tutoring and additional after-school support to low-income students of all ages on a volunteer basis. Following her graduation from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, she spent six years teaching math at the elementary, middle, and high-school levels in both charter and private schools. Two of the schools she taught at, THINK Global School and Saint Ann’s School, have been recognized as two of the most innovative schools in the United States. These opportunities helped her recognize high-quality, effective instruction and made her further appreciate how rare it is. In 2015, Dani returned to Columbia University to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics education from Teachers College in order to further improve her teaching practice.

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