San Benito schools are looking at new ways of reaching the ‘gold standard’

SAN BENITO — In keeping with his goal of propelling the district forward to reach the “gold standard,” Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega has sparked interest in several new initiatives.

He introduced them to the Curriculum Committee yesterday.

So far, the committee and Vega are in discussion and research phases only.

However, that didn’t stop the committee members from discussing in detail and moving forward with exciting and possibly new initiatives.

“I just want to open the dialogue and begin planning,” Vega said.

The Re-Imagine 2021 Five-Year Strategic Plan is designed to positively impact the future of San Benito CISD. It will serve to guide the district toward a future of excellence, officials say.

With the newly-adopted mission that calls for being the “gold standard” in all they do, the district secured two billboards to promote the lengthy campaign.

If a student entered the district at pre-kindergarten and stayed in SBCISD, what would their educational pathway look like all the way through high school?

Vega said that question is a jumping off point to a bigger vision.

He suggests starting off by revamping the bilingual education program, pre-Advanced Placement program and the dual credit program.

“Can we make those more robust?” Vega asked.

Vega expressed his desire to carve out what he called a niche — the San Benito way of getting to the gold standard.

“When you look at the Rio Grande Valley, a lot of what’s going on is early college high schools,” he said. “That’s a possibility, but I don’t think that’s the only possibility.”

Other districts in the state and beyond have implemented what Vega called the new tech network and tech high schools.

“These schools are focused on STEM opportunities, project-based learning, one-on-one learning and higher-level courses,” he said.

“I would love to bring Princeton Review to further enhance the kids who are preparing for the ACT and SAT.”

Vega also talked about the possibility of bringing a college advisor program to the district.

This program would enable recent high school graduates or college students to help counselors at the high school level, making sure students get the help they need with financial assistance applications, or FAFSA, college applications and other college readiness help.

“This would be a great way to develop and further the college-going culture,” Vega said.

From a birds-eye view, Vega said this would be the first step in creating a college-going culture starting from the very beginning at pre-kindergarten.

Before making any decisions on the new ideas, Vega said he wants to set up various fieldtrips for the leadership team.

“This would be for next year,” Vega said. “We would have to see if there is a model out there that fits within the strategic plan, then discuss cost and space.”