History

Equity in education is a critical factor for economic success — for individuals and for communities. It is one of today’s greatest social justice issues and a key contributor to the ecosystem envisioned by SA2020. 

Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design (HFA Alameda School), San Antonio’s college preparatory art and design high school shares this vision through our commitment to center learning in and with the community, graduate 100 percent of our students and send 100 percent of those graduates on to a college or university. 

HFA Alameda School is San Antonio’s only tuition-free high school that focuses on art and design as essential components of a world class education. We excel at developing not only students’ academic knowledge and skills, but also their potential as critical thinkers and innovative problem solvers — all in a vibrant, accepting atmosphere where students and teachers work together.

The school is a partnership with local organizations and Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI), a non-profit organization founded by Ford Motor Company Fund and The Henry Ford that envisions, designs and delivers programs to empower people become more innovative, creative and resourceful in how they think and learn.

HFA Alameda School opened on August 26, 2009 and initially occupied James Bowie School through an unprecedented partnership with San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). In exchange for occupancy and maintenance costs, HFA Alameda School shared its curriculum and professional development with district schools and educators. “It’s exactly the kind of creative, unprecedented collaboration that can help propel the troubled SAISD into a brighter future while also breathing new life into inner-city neighborhoods.” (My San Antonio Editorial. Robert Rivard. June 14, 2009). 

In August 2013, HFA Alameda School moved to the Casa de Mexico in the heart of the Zona Cultural district, adjacent to the historic Alameda Theater, made capital improvements through generous grants from Ford Motor Company Fund, and exuded a vibrancy extending beyond our colorful walls and into the surrounding community. The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) /Battelle for Kids recognized our school as 21st Century Learning Exemplar for 2019, citing outstanding practices in equipping learners with the necessary skills and knowledge for success in college, career and life. 

In January 2020, HFA Alameda School moved to a temporary learning space that presented our students with the unique opportunity to attend school on a university campus during the extensive transformation of the Alameda Theater complex. Our co-location on the UTSA Downtown Campus has the potential to provide HFA Alameda School students with the motivation, focus, and a new appreciation for what college can provide and what it takes to succeed. In Fall 2020, HFA Alameda School and UTSA offered dual enrollment to HFA Alameda School seniors for the first time to enrich their high school learning experience, earn college credits, and better understand the college experience. 

Our students consistently meet standards on their STAAR scores with distinction in one or more areas. But that’s just one indicator of achievement. Niche has rated HFA Alameda School as the top arts high school in San Antonio, and one to the top in the state. Our students are winners in many design, visual arts, and performing arts competitions at the state and national level. They complete internships in local workplaces. 

HFA Alameda School continues to engage our students in an empowering education as the COVID-19 pandemic carries on. Teaching, learning and leading may look very different from what they have been in the past, but we are committed to making sure that all HFA Alameda School students participate in a high quality, meaningful and personally supportive high school experience.

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