SAN ANTONIO — Michelle Salazar and her two children get a lot of steps in going to and from school — 1.6 miles worth. 

“It’s hard 'cause the kids complain about it being too hot. They don’t want to walk no more, they are sweaty,” Salazar said. “When we have to cross the street, it looks funny because I’m staring down the cars to make sure they can stop.” 

She keeps her head on a swivel because her kids’ school, Collins Garden Elementary, is right off a major highway in San Antonio. 

 Some cars respect the school zone on the access road, and others zoom past it. 

“Wait,” Salazar said to her kids. “I go this way. I don’t really stay on the main streets. They get crazy.” 

So when San Antonio ISD recommended Collins Elementary be shut down because of declining enrollment district-wide, Salazar was left wiping tears.

The closure meant her kids would go to the next nearest campus that’s even farther away than their current school. Kelly Elementary, J.T. Brackenridge Elementary and Briscoe Elementary are the recommended schools for Collins Garden students. 

“Have you walked to Briscoe down Flores? Have you walked down Brazos to J.T.?” one man shouted at SAISD leaders during a meeting. 

“The one that they want us at is Kelly — that’s way too far,” the man continued. 

Salazar’s children are just two of the 426 students enrolled at Collins Garden. The school district is recommending 19 schools be closed in the next two school years. Families await the school board’s vote on Nov. 13. 

“What’s going to happen when these bus drivers don’t bring our kids home?” Salazar asked the district leaders during the meeting. 

Even though SAISD says it will provide buses for relocated students, who are at least two miles away from their new school, Salazar doesn’t trust the plan. She fears it will always feel like a rainy day. 

While it was pouring rain, Spectrum News 1 asked her children Jasper and Serenity if it’s difficult walking in these conditions. 

“Yes,” they both answered. 

Salazar is even more cautious in those conditions. 

“I have to be extra careful,” she said, walking in the rain, trying to guide her children. “Watch the puddles.” 

Without support, crossing through train tracks, past busy roads and neighborhoods with loose dogs is inevitable. 

Even walking to Collins Garden in the rain showed the dangers. Jasper slipped and fell, strolling the crosswalk while holding his sister’s hand. 

“In the scenario where we have to take new routes, I’m not going to trust the neighborhood,” Salazar said. 

Salazar’s driving point is that her children’s safety is her biggest priority.