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SAISD interim superintendent on board with continued masks, vaccine mandate as part of vision leading district forward

Building bridges with staff, students and families is a big part of Dr. Robert Jaklich's agenda as interim superintendent.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio ISD interim superintendent Dr. Robert Jaklich expressed support for the district’s coronavirus safety protocols, and a need to focus on building bridges with the community.

The SAISD Board of Trustees appointed Jaklich to serve as interim superintendent after former superintendent Pedro Martinez accepted the leadership position as CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

Jaklich comes to SAISD with 40 years of experience as an educator, having previously worked at Harlandale ISD and Victoria ISD.

He stressed that the safety of students and staff is the top priority.

“By this vaccine mandate and the mask mandate, allows us to get more kids in school, allows us to keep our teachers safe while they’re teaching. We are committed to do everything we’re doing now and even more in the future if those opportunities arise,” Jaklich said.

Christina Martinez, president of the SAISD Board of Trustees, said 90% of the staff is currently vaccinated.

The deadline for staff to get fully vaccinated is Oct. 15.

It’s unknown how many teachers have left, or plan to leave, due to the vaccine mandate.

“We don’t want to cause anymore harm at this time. We know that children are reliant on the adults that show up every single day in those buildings, and so we’re going to work with every single person one-on-one to find a way to meet all the needs of both the staff and the students,” Martinez said.

Jaklich spoke on the importance of connecting with families, teachers and staff to ensure that they have the resources they need to succeed.

He also intends to break down barriers that prevent equitable education for children.

Filling teacher vacancies is another top priority for Jaklich who noted there are more than 100 available positions.   

“Northeast, Northside, SAISD -- we’re all feeling that challenge, and so we’re also working together in sharing ideas on what we can do to close those openings,” he said.

Jaklich said he’s committed to serving as interim superintendent until a permanent successor is hired potentially by next summer.

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