SJUSD, Stop Bullying Your Students and Community and Open Promise Academy

Promise Academy was supposed to be a small, free TK-8th grade public school in San Jose. It was the dream school for my children that was scheduled to partner with the tech museum. It was going to be a personalized world class school that prepared students to reach their potential and change the world. Promise Academy was scheduled to open its doors for the first time on Monday, August 12th. I write this in past tense because the San Jose Unified School District refuses to work with school leaders and staff to ensure that our students have a facility where they can learn.

Almost three years ago, I found out about Promise Academy and was interested because of the school’s vision. I was intrigued by innovation, the instructional model focusing on small group academic rotations, daily applied mathematics, science, and technology, and of course, the partnership with the tech museum. 

My son, who has ADHD, will thrive in this type of environment. He needs the small class sizes so that he is able to focus on his assignments. His mind is engineering based, he loves tinkering, fixing, and building stuff. My daughter, who is more artistic, but ahead of her class, will thrive as well. She thrives where the teachers are able to push her further and challenge her.


Promise Academy first submitted its petition at the San Jose Unified School District at the beginning of 2017 and with the petition, many inten to enroll forms were also submitted signed by hundreds of families in the Downtown San Jose community. The district denied the petition saying that we didn’t have enough families interested. We later found out that the Superintendent, Nancy Albarran and the Deputy superintendent, Stephen McMahon and staff made calls to the interested families and asked misleading questions. 

We then appealed to the Santa Clara County Office of Ed where Promise Academy’s petition was also denied. This time the school was denied because the board president was not present, and the vote was a tie. We were finally approved by the State Board of Education to be a TK-8th grad public school opening in 2018-2019 school year. 

The fight was not done there. We had to head back to San Jose to prepare for a new battle, the prop 39 battle. ”Prop 39 was written to ensure that all public school students share equally in district facilities, this law is one of equity and fairness for all public school students, irrespective of whether they attend public district schools or public charter schools in their communities.” 

We were unable to secure a facility before the 2018-19 school year began, therefore, delaying the opening one more year. This broke many families’ hearts, including my own. 

Current Situation

Once again, SJUSD refuses to provide a facility for our students and confirmed it will not provide a site only a week before the school is supposed to open its doors to students. As a parent and community member, I feel bullied, and I feel played by the district. I want to share my open letter to the board below.

Open Letter to San Jose Unified School District

Dear Board Members,

My name is Tanida Plamintr, parent leader with Promise Academy. We are here today to tell you about our emotional, distressing journey. Our parents and students have worked for almost three years to open Promise Academy. It is our choice where our children should go to school. 

It has been a long, emotional battle. We have continued to be held back numerous times. We have played by your rules, we have played by the law. Board members, it is time for you to hold the superintendent and deputy superintendent accountable.

We are upset and we have been bullied by the superintendent, the deputy superintendent, and how the district has treated us from the very beginning. We have had the police called on us, and we have had illegal actions against us. How is this acceptable? 

All we are asking is for the law to be followed, for us to have a place for our children and our community. We have been requesting a good relationship with SJUSD, but we continue to be bullied.

Board members, you have the ability to change this and allow our kids to go to the school of their choice. Our choice is Promise Academy.

What do you think?
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Tanida Plamintr

Tanida Plamintr

Tanida has been a parent leader at Rocketship Rising Stars and KIPP Heritage in San Jose, CA since 2017. She is an advocate for high-quality education ever since she moved to San Jose 15 years ago. Her experience with public schools out of state that were high quality and overachieving is what sparks her passion to getting high-quality schools in the city of San Jose, which is where she calls home. She says she became a leader by accident and as she learned about her power as a parent, she realized that this was the only way that she can leave both her children and future generations a legacy. She can make sure that they have a great education.

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