Innovative CAST Tech High Opens Today, a Jewel in SAISD

A lot of new schools are opening in San Antonio as schools ramp up for the fall semester, but what may be the most innovative high school ever in the city, CAST Tech, opens classes today in the San Antonio ISD, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

CAST Tech, the Center for Applied Science and Technology, is the brainchild of the school district and Tech Bloc, as the local tech industry hopes to swell the ranks of qualified workers by participating in a high school that will focus on tech subjects.

Leslie Price of SAISD says the 175 member freshman class, which starts the fall semester today, is already being immersed in the tech world.

"During the summer, all of the students had a full day over at Rackspace, where they were hosted, and all of our industry partners had representatives there," she said.

Price says Geekdom and major local and national tech firms will be hands on with the curriculum at CAST Tech.

"The innovative curriculum at CAST Tech was developed with our industry partners, so we have a lot of project based learning, with technology."

Interesting, CAST Tech is located in the former industrial arts complex at Fox Tech High School downtown, symbolizing the change in American industry over the past half century.  The downtown location also allows CAST Tech to be part of the Tech Corridor, close to Geekdom and other tech firms.

The classrooms will also be non traditional, with a lot of open work places and areas whee students can innovate, as well as classrooms for other core subjects like English and history.

But Price says the key is the active involvement of the tech industry with CAST Tech students.

"There will be a lot of job shadowing, and there will be mentors for our students from our different partners."

The local tech industry has said its number one challenge to growth in San Antonio is a lack of available, skilled and trained employees.  In fact, a report presented to Commissioners Court last month put San Antonio at number forty, below such places as Oklahoma City and Cleveland, for availability of skilled and qualified tech workers. 

CAST Tech opens today with 175 freshmen.  It will add a new class each year, to become a traditional four year high school by the 2020-2021 school year.

Price says when the students who start class today walk down the aisle in the summer of 2021, they will be qualified to take some of the highest paid, most knowledge-heavy jobs anywhere in the world.

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