Superintendent Aquino promised to address the failure’s root causes as the district prepares to welcome students back Monday.
SAN ANTONIO — The fallout continues over widespread system failures that caused the closure of nearly all SAISD campuses this week.
Parents sent KENS 5 photos of thermostats showing classroom temperatures in the 40s. As a result of the system failures, KENS 5 is now learning there have also been resignations of top administrative staff.
In an internal staff email obtained by KENS 5, Superintendent Jaime Aquino wrote that when he took on the role he “made a promise to lead with transparency and honesty,” and made three commitments:
- That SAISD will reopen schools only when staff are confident classrooms are ready.
- That administrators and technicians will work to identity and fix “the root causes of this crisis,” including the creation of an external investigative team that will “publish a full report” on the breakdown.
- That district leaders will take responsibility for this week’s blunder.
“We had a week to prepare,” Aquino went on to write. “Our families count on us to be open, and we are obligated to be there for them.”
Aquino called the conditions the district operated under this past week inadequate, saying the failures were a combination of human error, faulty equipment and “being underfunded by the state.” The failures led to a severe breakdown in their heating systems.
In the memo, Aquino says he deeply apologizes and expressed gratitude to staff and their commitment. But, he also said apologies are not enough.
The superintendent says he accepted the resignation of Deputy Superintendent Ken Thompson and Chief of Operations Mike Eaton, while recognizing their “significant contributions.” He also acknowledged the current situation stems from various issues including aging infrastructure, system failures and being underfunded by the state.
Early on Friday evening, meanwhile, the district said it was “open and ready” to stick to its goal of welcoming students back to its 90-plus campuses on Monday. SAISD said 50 specialists “are comprehensively checking heating systems and analyzing conditions site by site” after this week’s breakdown.
Student absences for Tuesday, when the issues first arose, through Friday will be excused.
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