The Gathering Place is a new charter school on the northwest side of San Antonio that nurtures and celebrates the inner brilliance of all children. They are accepting applications for enrollment for the 2021–2022 school year. We have put together a guide to help you learn more about The Gathering Place and take steps to enroll your child for the next school year.
About The Gathering Place
The Gathering Place opened in August 2020 under the leadership of co-founders Asia Klekowicz and Ryan York, drawing on their experience as teachers, school leaders, and curriculum developers in innovative schools across the United States. For the upcoming school year (2021–22) The Gathering Place will serve kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade. They will grow to add one grade per year until they are fully K–12.
The Gathering Place is an art and social justice school. In elementary school, children have art every single day, and their learning experiences dive into social justice and equity to continuously engage in cycles of awareness, action, and reflection. Additionally, the method through which children learn at The Gathering Place is hands-on, project-based learning.
Asia and Ryan often emphasize the importance of unlearning at The Gathering Place as the school is innovatively building everything from the ground up. TGP does not replicate traditional forms of teaching, so children, caregivers, and staff are on a journey of unlearning and are actively engaged in building what school could look like instead of traditional models.
To understand more on who The Gathering Place is, and their commitment to social justice as well as to building a never-before-seen philosophy and approach to school, we recommend reading the following from their website: Manifesto, #BLM, Commitment to DEI.
To read more about The Gathering Place 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 TGP families who can comment with answers based on their own experiences.
The Gathering Place in San Antonio
The Gathering Place opened in August 2020 serving students in grades K–2, with plans to expand each year until they are serving grades K–12.
Download the free San Antonio Charter Schools app for an interactive map that includes The Gathering Place and many more. You can also find campus information about TGP (and many other schools of choice) in our Guide to Charter Schools in San Antonio.
Families can apply online to enroll their children at The Gathering Place. Open enrollment for 2021–22 began on November 4, 2020 and continued through March 8, 2021; the lottery was on March 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. As of this writing—early May 2021—there are still openings in grades K, 2, and 3 for the current school year (2020–21).
In addition, please join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook to post questions and search previous discussions about TGP.
Charter Moms Chats
Asia Klekowicz (M. Ed) joined the movement for educational equity after witnessing the injustice of the school-to-prison pipeline while tutoring inmates in Boston. She joined Teach for America—Memphis and led her students to achieve 2.5 years of growth, ranking in the highest percentiles across the state. She transitioned to developing high school math teachers across Chicago where she was the only coach in her organization to be recognized for excellence by every teacher in her cohort. She later ventured into the financial sector where she worked as an investment consultant managing a $536 million book and became the fastest promoted employee in the region.
Ryan York’s (M. Ed) career started by co-founding a nonprofit that served hundreds of children each year through its flagship program “Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp” and opening a 6,000 sq. ft. after-school arts facility outside of Nashville. Transitioning into the classroom, he was awarded the district All Star teacher award and developed a blended learning software management platform that led to the highest math growth in the district by enrolled teachers. As principal, Ryan led a school turnaround that ended with the highest staff retention, math scores, and 5th grade reading growth in one of the top performing school systems in Tennessee.
Asia and Ryan began working together when they teamed up with RePublic Schools to create a middle and high school computer science curriculum and teacher training program. After six months, Ryan was promoted to CIO and won the National Sally Ride & Deloitte Award for Innovation, while Asia scaled the project-based CS program from 250 students to 10,000+ students across eight states. Her work also resulted in the largest district-charter partnership in Nashville history, bringing RePublic’s CS program to all district middle schools.
After hearing repeating messages from students in different schools in different states: that they were not seen in their school, that school was boring, and that it was not relevant in their lives, Asia and Ryan realized that there was a need for an entirely different approach to how we think about school—that instead of making existing school better or more effective, what was needed was to build an entirely different school approach that was built on the wishes of children and what they wanted in a school—and that is how The Gathering Place was born.
Read More About The Gathering Place
- “Virtual learning working out for conferences and schools alike, impacting San Antonio,” Amanda Henderson, News 4 San Antonio, August 20, 2020
- “These Three Principals Are Opening New Schools This Fall. If That Sounds Challenging, You’re Right,” Bekah McNeel, 74 Million, August 12, 2020
- “3 New San Antonio Charter Schools Plan to Open in Fall 2020,” Emily Donaldson, San Antonio Report, April 27, 2020
- “Meet The Gathering Place, One of San Antonio’s Newest and Busiest Charter Schools,” Bekah McNeel, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 22, 2019
- “After fight, state education panel OKs new San Antonio charter schools,” Alia Malik, San Antonio Express-News, June 17, 2019
- “Board of Education Approves Two New San Antonio Charter Schools for 2020–21,” Emily Donaldson, San Antonio Report, June 14, 2019
- “Seven new San Antonio-area charter schools planned to open by 2020,” Ryan Salchert, San Antonio Business Journal, June 12, 2019
- “Two Applicants Look to Open New Charter Schools in San Antonio,” Emily Donaldson, San Antonio Report, May 1, 2019
- “Federal money to fuel charter expansion, including IDEA’s big San Antonio plans,” Liz Teitz, San Antonio Express-News, April 25, 2019
- “New charter school hopefuls eye San Antonio for expansion,” Liz Teitz, San Antonio Express-News, February 22, 2019
- “The Gathering Place Presents the Great Food Truck Summer Camp Showcase,” San Antonio Charter Moms, October 17, 2018