Upon arrival at Promesa Academy, Social Venture Partners received big smiles and high fives from staff and student leaders from the school, welcoming us on a sunny afternoon October 6th. The warm day was matched by an extraordinarily warm welcome by our host, Ambika Dani, the academy’s founder and Superintendent and the four students who led us through a tour of their classrooms, recreation areas and cafeteria of this new charter school on the West Side of San Antonio.
Ambika also is one of SVPSA’s Fellows from the first class that began in September 2019. At the time of the fellowship, she was raising funding and securing support from the State Board of Education for a dream she held to provide an exceptional education experience as an option for students who live on the west side of San Antonio.
“I researched and found that this zip code of San Antonio struggles with academic rankings and graduation rates for some time, so I dedicated my effort to making sure the school was in 78207 area,” Dani told the partners during a briefing lunch.
Promesa Academy was one of only 3 schools to receive approval during the legislative session, she reported. Securing this approval was the result of a lot of effort on her part and the board.
“I am so proud of our Year 2 team at Promesa because despite the many challenges that we have faced during another year of unprecedented challenges for public educators, we have come together as a united team and have always done what was best for our students and our families.” – Ambika Dani in the 2022 – 2023 report.
The tour was led by elected student leaders in the fourth grade. They took the partners through the teacher’s offices and pods that are provided as study rooms and gathering places for small groups. The school provides specialists for the students in dyslexia, math, art, science and ESL.
One addition to the learning team this year is Shadow, the school’s therapy dog – whose mom is one of the teachers at Promesa.
Throughout the tour the partners were impressed with the poise of the student tour guides as well as the many smiles, hugs and high fives that were freely given to the partners, as guests on the campus.
“I could not have been more impressed with the school and the culture of joy we witnessed,” Becky Dinnin said. “This is a beautiful example of what a great education experience can be.”
If you would like to schedule a visit, you can contact Ambika here. We also invite you to read the Annual Report from Promesa Academy, click here for a copy.