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Our Story

Foundations Matter! We see huge unmet needs for children at public schools in San Antonio, Texas. We want to open 7Cs Academy, a public PreK - Grade 8 school to serve families in San Antonio. Children need a strong foundation, starting in PreKindergarten. Literacy, numeracy, and SEL are non-negotiable competencies for every child. 7CsThrive was established as a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization on April 5, 2019. We have held multiple informal and fomal public meetings in San Antonio to engage the community. We continue to share our vision of whole child education with families. Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey with seven major milestones.

In a few months, we expect to submit a charter application to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for a Generation 26 Charter. Then we will embark on a 9-month journey. Second, the review process will involve a completion check by TEA staff. This is the second milestone we expect to cross in February 2021. Third, the Commissioner of Education will determine eligibility to ensure our "application submitted for 7Cs Academy is complete." Fourth, applicants will "advance to both Internal and External Review." TEA does not score our applications. Instead, each "complete" Charter Application will be independently reviewed by five randomly assigned external reviewers. Last year, one reader concluded that "our proposed model should provide students and families with an innovative high-quality option for school choice." Another noted that "the biggest strength of our application was that it is innovative." 

For Generation 25, after additional review and internal analysis by TEA in June 2020, Commissioner Morath advanced a few applications for a "capacity interview" during the week of July 27, 2020. We expect to reach this fifth milestone next year. After a successful capacity interview and further consideration, the Commissioner might recommend one or more Charters to the State Board of Education in August 2020. That would be the sixth milestone.  SBOE Members will have the final word. After deliberations by the SBOE Committee on School Initiatives, the entire SBOE will vote to take no action or veto the Commissioner's recommendation on September 11, 2020. That day would conclude the seventh and final milestone for the successful and deserving Gen 25 charter applicants in Texas.

On a weekly basis, we are reminded about the huge unmet needs that persist for families in San Antonio. Our Board and CEO continue to engage families and the community. We always ask them, do you know how your child's school is rated by the Texas Education Agency? We are finding out that families are often not aware of this information. On February 23, 2020, upon learning about how her children's school was doing academically, a family responded to our survey "Necesito cambiar escuela" ("I need to change school"). Public schools must meet the needs of families. Leadership matters. Customers matter. Purpose matters. Professor Ted Levitt called it 60 years ago! Like every family, the Board and CEO of 7CsThrive believe student outcomes should matter. Do you know how your child's school is doing?

Clearly, 7Cs Academy is a new entrant to the charter sector. November 1, 2019 was when our Board of Directors and CEO officially entered the charter arena to positively improve student outcomes through public education. Our CEO has served as a key member of Executive Teams in traditional public schools for over a decade. Research shows that the quality of new entrants substantially increases "mathematics and reading value-added" scores "relative to traditional public schools." 

As a recent San Antonio Express-News article highlights, the city remains educationally the most challenging major metropolitan area for public schools in Texas. Our CEO knows poverty is not destiny. His story proves that destiny is forever changed through equity and opportunity. Access and opportunities matter! Let us champion equity and excellence for every child in San Antonio. This means every child must be educated and productive as defined in our Core Principles. We know that with your support, we will prevail in this difficult journey. The journey will become easier as innovative public charter schools like 7Cs Academy share best practices with traditional public schools. 

In response to our RFQ No. 2020-01 for Architectural and Engineering Services to Provide Multi-Phase Design Solutions for 7Cs Academy, several companies are scheduled to present their conceptual plans to the Board of Directors and CEO on May 6, 2020. Achieving our seventh milestone in September 2021 (as described above), we will open our PreK - 8 school in August 2022.   

Meet Our Leader

Dr. Nathan Balasubramanian is the chief education officer at 7CsThrive. He believes there is a lot of compelling data on student learning to improve public education. And yet, the current reality is that the data “baby” is thrown out with plenty of actionable “bath water.” He is on a mission to stop this data waste and transform public education with actionable knowledge guided by his vision.

Dr. Balasubramanian holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership and Innovation from the University of Colorado. He also has a master’s degree in educational management from the University of Sheffield in the UK and a master’s degree in physics from the University of Madras in India. 

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