Officials with CAST (Centers for Applied Science and Technology) Tech High School recently gave the community a glimpse of what the downtown San Antonio charter campus will soon look like. Under the domain of the San Antonio Independent School District, CAST Tech will be a career-themed high school focused on coding, cybersecyruty, gaming and other developing information technologies. CAST Tech is being located in two newly renovated buildings at Fox Tech High School, in the city’s downtown high-tech business sector. Faculty and supporters of the school are already partnering with high-tech industry businesses and organizations to help prepare students for these career fields.
One main thrust behind CAST Tech is to help grow San Antonio’s high-tech talent pipeline by readying youngsters to pursue tech careers in college and enter the workforce with a diversified skill set. Students will graduate from CAST Tech with a diploma and a minimum of 30 college credits, as well as a chance to earn industry-recognized certificates and an associate’s degree. The learning environment will use blended (online) learning, project-based learning, and work-based learning, with class time built around research, labs, and projects offered by industry partners. The industry advisory group overseeing CAST Tech’s development includes leaders from the advocacy organization Tech Bloc, H-E-B, Rackspace, USAA, Frost Bank, Firstmark Credit Union, and Geekdom. Industry partners have already pledged to offer to job interviews for CAST Tech graduates, and a slate of work-based learning opportunities, such as coffee discussions, job shadowing, internships and summer employment.
CAST Tech opens this fall with its first class numbering 125 to 150 ninth-graders. The campus is expected to accommodate 600 students at capacity. Half of the students will come from SAISD and half from outside the school district. CAST Tech will have an information technology academy, and a business and finance academy, with an interdisciplinary focus on entrepreneurship. Additonally, CAST Tech is being developed to be a lab school, hosting teacher residencies and principals for training opportunities. Supporters and officials with CAST Tech say the new school’s location is key because it is a short distance from many of its business partners around downtown.
The first round of enrollment is already underway, scheduled for conclusion March. 10. Information sessions will take place at Fox Tech at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 and 27. Girls Inc. will host an information session for middle school girls and their families at 6:30 p.m. at 1209 S. St. Mary’s St. Refreshments will be served. For more information on CAST Tech High School, visit https://www.saisd.net/schools/casttech.