- RSS Channel Showcase 1815039
- RSS Channel Showcase 4231858
- RSS Channel Showcase 8919323
- RSS Channel Showcase 9410451
Articles on this Page
- 12/13/13--15:51: _Remembering Sandy H...
- 12/18/13--12:55: _Our Students Score ...
- 12/19/13--12:04: _Thanks for Your Gen...
- 12/20/13--13:19: _Article 0
- 01/15/14--11:54: _Honoring Dr. Martin...
- 01/17/14--09:26: _Say Thanks to Our T...
- 01/27/14--15:58: _Wintry Weather Deci...
- 01/30/14--11:40: _Taking the Next Ste...
- 02/11/14--13:44: _Healthy Smiles for ...
- 02/21/14--15:18: _We Remember Barbara...
- 02/26/14--09:50: _Students, Staff and...
- 02/26/14--10:02: _Supporting Academic...
- 02/28/14--09:52: _An Adventure at Sch...
- 03/03/14--13:01: _I Pledge to Read to...
- 03/06/14--15:06: _SXSWedu Showcases A...
- 03/07/14--13:10: _Tack Tack Packs for...
- 03/24/14--15:26: _Thanks for Supporti...
- 03/25/14--09:57: _Celebrating Youth A...
- 04/04/14--14:50: _Don't Miss the Yout...
- 04/23/14--14:31: _Thanks for the Memo...
- 12/13/13--15:51: Remembering Sandy Hook: Keeping our Schools Secure Every Day
- This week, the St. David’s Foundation announced it is matching last year’s million-dollar challenge with an investment of $1,068,051 in AISD’s Social and Emotional Learning program. SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to recognize and manage their emotions, demonstrate caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations constructively.
- At the start of the school year, all principals received specialized training on safety and security protocols and were asked to reinforce those protocols with staff members.
- District-wide, AISD provided additional professional development opportunities for principals that focus on how to tighten procedures to ensure that all students are accounted for throughout the day.
- This fall, AISD improved exterior play spaces at the elementary schools to further safeguard our students.
- Beginning this year, the AISD police department dedicated six officers to patrol and monitor all elementary schools in the city during the school day—an increase over previous years—to complement the 69 officers already serving our middle and high schools and the district.
- 12/18/13--12:55: Our Students Score Well on the Nation's Report Card
- Austin’s economically disadvantaged students outscored their peers in both the nation and large cities on the eighth grade reading assessment for the first time.
- Austin’s English-language learners outscored their peers in both the nation and large cities on the fourth grade reading assessment for the first time.
- Austin’s students in all groups outscored their peers in large cities on the eighth grade math assessment, and white students and English-language learners outscored their peers nationwide.
- Austin’s students in most groups outscored their peers in both large cities and the nation on the fourth grade math assessment.
- Even with dramatic decreases in the percentage of students excluded in the assessment, Austin’s fourth and eighth grade students still made significant gains over time in both reading and math.
- 12/19/13--12:04: Thanks for Your Generosity
- 12/20/13--13:19: Article 0
- 01/15/14--11:54: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Akins High School, educator Charles Akins;
- Anderson High School, educator L.C. Anderson;
- Blackshear Elementary, educator E. L. Blackshear;
- Campbell Elementary, educator Lee Lewis Campbell;
- Hart Elementary, educator and trustee Bernice Hart;
- Jordan Elementary, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan;
- Kealing Middle School, educator Hightower Theodore Kealing;
- Norman Elementary, educator G.W. Norman;
- Overton Elementary, community leader Volma Overton;
- Sims Elementary, educator Mary Jane Sims; and
- The Delco Activity Center, named for Exalton and Wilhelmina Delco, a former trustee and political leader.
- AISD’s most vulnerable student groups have seen increased achievement. In particular African-American, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students have made gains—from increasing attendance and graduation rates, performance on state assessments, school ratings, college readiness and post-secondary enrollment to decreasing dropout rates and disciplinary referrals.
- Graduation rates have increased by 13.9 percentage points to 79.6 percent for African-American students; by 14.7 percentage points to 78.6 percent for Hispanic students; and by 17.7 percentage points to 78.9 for economically disadvantaged students. And, dropout rates have declined by several percentage points.
- During the past four years, AISD also has decreased discretionary removals for African-American, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students by between 76 and 81 percent at the high school level.
- 01/17/14--09:26: Say Thanks to Our Teachers!
- 01/27/14--15:58: Wintry Weather Decisions and Process Behind School Closings
- 01/30/14--11:40: Taking the Next Steps to Expand Social and Emotional Learning
- 02/11/14--13:44: Healthy Smiles for Our Kids!
- 02/21/14--15:18: We Remember Barbara Jordan
- W. Charles Akins Award: Gilbert Hicks, AISD Associate Superintendent for Area 3 Schools
- H.L. Gaines Award: Patrick Patterson, Executive Director of the UT Outreach Center, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
- Darlene Westbrook Leadership in Education Award: Jacqueline Porter, AISD Director of Early Childhood Education
- Distinguished Teacher Award: Debra Overton
- Distinguished Teacher Award: Don Haynes, Director of Bands, LBJ High School
- Community Service Award: Neighborhood Longhorns Program
- Volunteer Service Award: Larry Comer, Public Relations Director, Association of Texas Professional Educators
- Unsung Hero Award: Ormide Armstrong, Director of Bands, Reagan High School
- 02/26/14--10:02: Supporting Academic Success at Feria Para Aprender
- 02/28/14--09:52: An Adventure at School Headquarters
- 03/03/14--13:01: I Pledge to Read to Put Smarts in My Head
- 03/06/14--15:06: SXSWedu Showcases AISD Students and Programs
- 03/07/14--13:10: Tack Tack Packs for Our Kids
- 03/24/14--15:26: Thanks for Supporting the Rosedale Ride
- 03/25/14--09:57: Celebrating Youth Art Month with a Billboard Signing
- 04/04/14--14:50: Don't Miss the Youth Art Month Show
- 04/23/14--14:31: Thanks for the Memories!
Today, the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported AISD students ranked second in fourth grade math and third in eighth grade math in the percentage of students scoring at the proficient or advanced levels. In reading, our students ranked third in both fourth and eighth grade. AISD’s English-language learners outperformed their peers in both the nation and large cities for the first time. I'm proud of our students and teachers for their accomplishments and I am pleased that our district’s hard work continues to pay off.
AISD met its goal with dramatic decreases in the percentage of Austin’s students excluded from the NAEP assessments. For example, fourth grade students excluded from the reading assessment due to limited English proficiency and/or disabilities decreased from 20 percent in 2005 to 4 percent in 2013.
Despite the changing composition of the students who were tested, Austin continued to perform well in comparison to the nation, large cities and urban districts.
Results for mathematics were particularly strong, a testament to the district’s emphasis on numeracy, integration challenging content within the curriculum and the investment of resources to provide supports for students.
The Nation’s Report Card also reported:
A big thank you to all who contributed to our district's 2013 AISD Gives campaign and to those who participated in the campaign events. Together, we raised $38,604!
Giving binds us together as a community in the shared mission of creating opportunities for all. Thank you for giving your money or time to help make Austin a better place.
Artwork by Harper Brand, Murchison Middle School, Jill Escamilla, Art Teacher
Today, is the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the district hosted its annual celebration to honor Dr. King at the Carruth Administration Center. A big thank you to the students, staff and families who attended the event to honor Dr. King and his legacy.
|Kiara Hopkins (left), a student at Webb Middle School, read her essay honoring Dr. King, followed by|
Rodell Hopkins and Josh Rogers, tudents at Lanier High School and
Gavriel Rachael-Homann (right), a student at Garza High School .
|The Fulmore Middle School Choir, directed by Yvette Carroll, sang “A Dream Within a Dream” by Ruth Morris Gray and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around,” a traditional spiritual arranged by Rollo Dilworth with additional text by Langston Hughes.|
In seeking equal opportunities for African Americans, Martin Luther King, Jr., ignited movements among women, Hispanics, people with disabilities, and other groups. His calls for equal treatment under the law changed and improved the lives of millions all over the world, not just African Americans. He showed us how to seek change by working within the system, while still challenging injustice.
This year, the world lost another giant in the fight for equal rights with the death of Nelson Mandela. Here in Austin, we mourned two local and beloved community leaders, Willie Mae Kirk and pastor Marvin Griffin, who led Ebenezer Baptist Church and was the first African American elected to serve as president of the AISD Board of Trustees beginning in 1978. As I watched the worldwide tributes to Mandela, and the outpouring of love in our city for Mrs. Kirk, and Mr. Griffin, I was so moved by the difference one courageous individual can make in the lives of so many, either on the world stage or in own communities.
In December, I was awarded the 2013 DeWitty/Overton Freedom Award by the NAACP for my commitment to civil rights and social justice. In our academic and facilities work, our district has made strides in alleviating overcrowding, expanding opportunities, and strengthening academic offerings in parts of town that often have been neglected. This I believe Dr. King would be proud of. And we cannot listen to those who say that these changes can wait until next year, or the year after that. Because, every year we wait to make a decision, more students will not graduate, and we will have failed to do our job of preparing all students to take advantage of the opportunities before them.
Here in Austin, Dr. King’s dream was shared by many African American educators, community leaders and political leaders for whom some of our schools are named. Today, I would like to read the list of schools, and the individuals for whom they were named:
Dr. King said “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.” In our work in public education, we have a unique opportunity and a particular responsibility for making progress towards realizing Dr. King’s dream of equal access and opportunity for all Americans. Our job is to ensure that every student in AISD receives a quality education, regardless of skin color or zip code. We’re not there yet, but there are concrete signs of progress:
|Anderson High School's National Board Certified teachers encourage others to pursue this advanced teaching credential.|
Teachers who are selected for a Thank A Million Teachers grant can receive up to $2,500 to cover the cost of pursuing National Board certification, which is an advanced teaching credential. Like board-certified doctors and lawyers, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.
Austin ISD has 261 National Board Certified Teachers, which is more than any other district in Texas. Another 36 candidates are pursuing National Board certification right now. Our district covers registration fees, provides mentor support, and, pays a stipend to teachers who achieve certification.
To nominate a teacher or teachers for this opportunity, register for the campaign at Thankamillionteachers.com.
|TEA Commissioner Michael Williams helped Anderson IB student Carlos Cabello adjust his bow tie before speaking at the kickoff event.|
Last Friday, schools throughout the region closed when a winter storm caused icy roads, plunging temperatures, and sleet and snow in central Texas. On Thursday evening, as the storm worsened, we made a decision to close school and notified our school community as quickly as possible.
When bad weather or other emergencies require school schedules to be changed on short notice, our district makes every effort to notify the school community as soon as a decision is made. We are very aware that parents and families need to hear from us, so that they can plan accordingly.
Last week, I heard from families that expressed frustration about the timing of our decision to close schools, and when we notify them. I want to assure our school community that we do our best to provide timely information through as many channels as possible. However, we do not always have control over the timing of a final decision.
Today, after a sunny weekend, another winter storm is expected to bring more sleet and freezing temperatures.
We have a handful of time-sensitive opportunities to make decisions about weather closings. The first would be to cancel after-school activities, which we did not do today. The second is to make a decision in time for the 10 o'clock news. This evening, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Austin area until noon tomorrow. Therefore, we are able to notify families of a two-hour delay in the opening of school, bus schedules, and office hours for tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 28th. I announced this at tonight’s Board meeting and through various communication channels this evening.
We will continue to monitor the weather, and will only call families again at or about 6:00 in the morning if the district needs to cancel school, since families have indicated that they do not wish to receive phone calls any earlier in the morning on the day of a delay or school closing.
As soon as we are aware that bad weather may be a possibility, representatives of affected district operations gather to respond. Affected operations include transportation, facilities, food service, law enforcement including emergency operations staff, after school programming, athletics, fine arts and others. We share information provided to us via conference calls arranged by the City of Austin's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office. The largest partners in these conference calls are the City of Austin, Travis County, the University of Texas and AISD, but many others participate.
In these conference calls, we rely heavily on information provided by the National Weather Service and local meteorologists to provide the best and most reliable information. The meteorologists often want to wait as late as possible, when better data allows for more accurate forecasts and precise solutions. This wait can conflict with the district's need to notify families early as possible.
AISD staff is present at the Emergency Management Center from the time it is opened by the City of Austin until the time the City closes it. While discussions are taking place with other partner entities, the district's communications office prepares to provide information to families as soon as it is available. Information is provided through web announcements, press releases, social media and text and telephone messaging to families.
Some families do not wish to receive automated telephone calls notifying them of changes in school schedules due to weather events. They can opt instead to receive text or e-mail notifications by visitinghttp://www.austinisd.org/communications/school-district-relations/schoolmessenger/families.
We understand our school community's desire for timely information, and we do our very best to balance this desire with the need for coordinated community-wide emergency planning in these situations.
|AISD's Executive Director of the Office of Innovation and Development Michelle Wallis, donor Jeanne Klein, SEL Director Sherrie Raven, and Betsy Abell of the Buena Vista Foundation were on hand to witness the contract singing.|
We have chosen to roll SEL out over a five year period in 2-3 vertical teams at a time, while working on climate and culture and cultural proficiency in all schools and central office. We started with two vertical teams, Austin and Crockett, which had applied to be “pioneers” in this area. In the past year, we have added the Eastside Memorial, McCallum, and Travis vertical teams, and we intend to expand to all vertical teams by 2015. Funding from the St. David's Foundation will allow us to proceed with this expansion. Thanks to all of our partners for their support of Social and Emotional Learning in Austin ISD.
|AISD Student Health Services Tracy Lunoff and St. David's Foundation Chairman Earl Maxwell helped kick off Smile Week with a big brush!|
|Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Earl Maxwell, and former AISD Board Chair Mark Williams helped me put on our smiles.|
|St. David's Foundation Board Member and Singer Ray Benson wrote his own Smile Week lyrics.|
|Shirley Franklin, left, former Mayor of Atlanta, was our special guest speaker. Principal Diana Vallejo and Tristyn McElroy.|
|Our district's Dual Language program had its own "storefront" space,and many of our staff were on hand to provide information to families.|
|Ann Richards School students, who wear uniforms to school, review the choices of possible uniforms for the new single gender schools at Pearce and Garcia.|
HI! Our names are Nancy and Mark-Ja' and we're 6th graders at Matthews Elementary. Today we are visiting AISD headquarters and learning a lot.
|We Judged How Much Fun We Had!!|
Cesar Gutierrez makes sure the teachers have the right supplies to teach students science. Which is important because our education depends on our teachers having the right supplies. Mr. Goodman works on fine arts like band and orchestra. Asha Dane’el works on programs to help kids and parents, so that their children have after school programs so they can interact with children.
“I thought it was Amazing”! That there are 123 schools in the AISD school district including elementary, middle school and high school. That’s about 86,000 kids and at least a third of the of 86,000 kids ride the bus.
Adriana Solis and Betty Rodriguez work in Customer Service in the Superintedent's office. They say the hardest thing they deal with in their career is the time limit they have on assignments. Rosa Palacios helps with Board meetings. Toni Baker helps schedule the superintendent's meetings.
We met with Dr. Carstarphen and we asked what was the most fustrating part about her career, and she responded that she doesn't like when people lose sight of the focus on kids!
We all recited the Readers Oath:
Thanks to all of the students and staff at Guerrero-Thompson Elementary for being such great readers and hosting this event today!
|District 3 Trustee Ann Teich leads a class in reading the oath.|
|AISD Chief of Staff Mel Waxler...|
|...State Trooper Gilbert Villarreal....|
|...former AISD administrator Anita Uphaus..|
|...and Principal La Kesha Drinks, left, with students Genado Ugarte (above) and Jonas Arias (below).|
|The front office staff, plus the bear, are wearing funny hats for Read Across America Day.|
I joined UT Austin Assistant Professor of Psychology David Scott Yeager and Rosalind Wiseman, author of “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” which was the basis of the movie “Mean Girls,” in a panel discussion “Moving Beyond the "id" in Kid: Why Teaching Social Emotional Learning Will Change the World.” The panel was moderated by Timothy Shriver, Chairman of the Board of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning.
Thanks to all of the students and staff who were such great ambassadors for our district.
What's a Tack Tack Pack? It's a rolled blanket filled with notebooks, pencils, pens, Frisbees, band aids, granola bars, crayons, rulers and hygiene products.
|Today, a big shipment of Tack Tack Packs were delivered to Mathews Elementary and O. Henry Middle School.|
Proceeds from this race are used to help Rosedale School continue to provide additional resources, including new IPads our students are using to communicate with their teachers and friends, additional training for teachers, and extra field trips.
For a moving tribute to our great Rosedale staff and students, view the documentary by Arrowhead Films that was presented at this year's Silent Auction: http://vimeo.com/88708524.
|Rosedale teacher Brian Miller serves as the emcee and kazoo player at the starting line.|
|Rosedale Principal Elizabeth Dickey on the road.|
|Fortunately, Julia Lund has experience with billboard signing.|
|Julia's grandmother, family and fellow students watched her sign the billboard.|
|Thanks to the Austin Fire Department for supporting our students again this year.|
|Bowie High School art students came out to support their fellow artist.|
6850 Airport Boulevard
10615 Burnet Road
1614 Montopolis Road
5419 Congress Ave.
13009 Dessau Road
US 183 North
2800 US 183 South
2005 1st St.
2401 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy the great work of our district's talented artists.
Our work is working: we have become a national model, drawing attention for our efforts to meet students where they are, while working to ensure they have a fighting chance to get to where they want to be—to achieve their greatest potential.
As a school district, we have come together to support and help each other amid dwindling resources to serve our growing and incredibly diverse student body.
This work hasn’t always been easy, but I leave Austin grateful for the many friendships I have formed and enriched by the journey, in all its parts.
Thank you, and my best wishes to you for the future.