North East ISD to convert former Walmart into new cybersecurity magnet center
North East Independent School District will open a new cybersecurity magnet program in a building that previously housed a Walmart.
The high school program is scheduled to start in fall 2021 with an inaugural class of 150 freshmen. Students from across the district will spend a few class periods at the district’s new CTE Cybersecurity Center and then return to their home campuses for the rest of the school day, allowing them to participate in extracurricular activities, district officials said at a board meeting Monday night.
San Antonio is home to the country’s second-largest concentration of cybersecurity experts and nearly 40 cybersecurity companies have headquarters in San Antonio, according to the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
NEISD won’t just invest in cybersecurity academic programming at the high school level; the district also plans to expand opportunities for younger students. It plans to integrate more lessons involving cybersecurity and robotics for younger students and offer robotics clubs at all elementary schools. In addition, the district will focus on recruiting female students and students from underrepresented minority groups into the program.
At the high school magnet, students will learn about computer programming, network security, network engineering, and cybersecurity. The district will work with local colleges and universities to create dual-credit course offerings and an advisory board of industry leaders to shape the curriculum.