AISD

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

The Austin Independent School District met with community members Thursday night to get feedback on whether to change the names of five district buildings. All five buildings were named for people connected to the Confederate military or government during the Civil War.

Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees voted this week to sell property in the Hyde Park neighborhood to Alamo Drafthouse for $10.6 million.

The Baker Center is in a former school building, which the district uses for administrative purposes. But what will it be going forward?

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Students of color in the Austin Independent School District aren’t doing as well academically as their white peers, so the district's Board of Trustees had a discussion earlier this month about how to address this "achievement gap."

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

This Election Day, school bond measures are on the ballot for many communities across Texas. More than 50 school districts are asking voters to approve around $8 billion in bonds. More than $1 billion is for just one school district, Austin ISD. Spring Branch ISD in Harris County is asking for about $900 million.

Joe Smith, a retired superintendent from East Texas who now runs the website Texas ISD, says Texas schools are growing quickly and more bonds would help to build new facilities.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

At a September meeting of the Austin Independent School District's board of trustees, almost half of the public comments weren't about academic issues. Instead, they were about housing. Students, parents, teachers and other community members were asking the board to create affordable housing at the former Allan Elementary School on the East Side.

Students in Victoria Twining's class at Fulmore Middle School in Austin.
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Fulmore Middle School Principal Lisa Bush doesn’t want her teachers talking like this to students: "Oh, you’re doing a great job! You’re smart! You’re so great!"

It's not because she’s some evil headmistress. Over the last three years, Bush and her teachers have been thinking about different psychological practices. It made her realize that how teachers speak to students makes a huge difference.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The number of Latinos dropping out of high school nationwide is lower than ever before, according to a new study. The dropout rate in Austin is even lower than the rest of the country.

Nationwide, the dropout rate was 10 percent in 2016. In the Austin Independent School District, it was 1.3 percent. About 200 Latino students dropped out of AISD high schools last year.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is asking voters to approve a $1 billion bond this November. The bond would pay for projects at schools all over the district, but there's a difference between funding for schools on the East Side versus the West. 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Austin Independent School District is asking voters to approve a $1 billion bond that would bring major changes to East Austin schools. 

The bond, which voters will decide on in November, is the district’s largest bond proposal ever. If voters approve it, every school would get money for building and technology improvements.

Supporters Push $1 Billion Austin ISD Bond

Sep 6, 2017
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin voters will decide in November whether to authorize more than $1 billion in bond money to the Austin Independent School District.

Austin Schools Prepare To Enroll Harvey Evacuees

Aug 29, 2017
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

This post has been updated.

Students who have evacuated their homes elsewhere in the state because of Harvey are welcome at Austin schools, Austin Independent School District Superintendent Paul Cruz and Mayor Steve Adler reiterated at a press conference Thursday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Winn Elementary in Northeast Austin launched the city's first Montessori program housed at a public school this month. The program is an attempt by the Austin Independent School District to attract more students to a school with declining enrollment. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Students can earn an associate's degree during their four years in high school through a new program starting this year at two Austin schools.

Bryan Winter / KUT

Four Austin schools received the lowest ranking in an accountability report released by the state Tuesday.

Burnet, Martin and Mendez middle schools, as well as Govalle Elementary School, were rated "improvement needed" by the Texas Education Agency

That's down from eight Austin schools receiving the rating in 2016. 

Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Austin City Council voted Wednesday to raise the maximum rate at which it can tax homeowners, as it considers a "tax swap" plan that would divert that extra money to the Austin Independent School District.

Charlotte Carpenter for KUT News

From the Austin Monitor: Once again, the Historic Landmark Commission was the site of an ideological showdown over the fate of Russell Lee Elementary. And, on Monday night, it was also a face-off between the commission and the Austin Independent School District.

Charlotte Carpenter / KUT

Austin’s Robert E. Lee Elementary school has a new name: Russell Lee. The Austin School Board voted 8-1 to change the name Monday night. But for some school board members, the decision wasn't an easy one.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

More Austin public high school students could start earning their associate degrees next year. Austin ISD is asking the state for permission to open Early College High School programs at two additional schools this fall.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

There are 10 acres in the quickly expanding Mueller development that haven't been touched yet. The land is set aside for a public school. But what will that school look like and who will attend it? Right now, those are questions few people are willing to answer.


Charlotte Carpenter for KUT News

A group of parents, teachers and people who live around Robert E. Lee Elementary school are sending a formal message to the Austin school board: rename the school after someone who was not a prominent member of the Confederate States of America.


Nathan Bernier / KUT

Some parents say they're concerned the Austin school district's new student transfer policy might force them to leave the district — or Austin altogether. After this fall, the Austin Independent School District will discontinue its policy allowing students to automatically transfer to a school attended by one of their siblings. The reason? Overcrowded schools.

Shrinking AISD Enrollment Could Be New Normal

Jan 13, 2016
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

From the Austin Monitor: Trustees for the Austin Independent School District are asking district staff to let them know what variables they have control over after hearing grim student enrollment projections.

At Monday’s workshop meeting, board members heard the results of an annual demographics report conducted by Davis Demographics & Planning Inc. The yearly report estimated that AISD’s enrollment will drop to 77,628 students by 2025, a reduction of 6,140 from AISD’s total 2015 enrollment. The decline is greater than was previously predicted.


Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Almost a year ago the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Austin school district to examine equity between its higher- and lower-income schools, or it would file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Now the district is finally expected to set a timeline to conduct that assessment at its Dec. 10 meeting.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Some public schools in South Austin are teaching students how to become business leaders. They’ve implemented an entrepreneurship program for kindergartners through high school seniors that’s the first of its kind in the U.S. The Austin Independent School District unveiled the program at Crockett High School yesterday. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The discussion over whether to rename Austin schools named after Confederate figures probably won’t be decided until the end of this year, but one city commission already has a list of names they’d like the school district to consider.


Housing Works via YouTube

The new school year starts today for thousands of students across Austin, but a growing number of students in Austin public schools don’t have a home. Last year, more than 2,600 students in the Austin Independent School District were counted as homeless, which is up from just over 2,000 in 2012.


Andrew Weber/KUT News

Most students in the Austin Independent School District returning to school today are minorities, but many of those students won’t see a minority teacher in front of the classroom. State data show there's a large diversity gap between teachers and students in all Austin high schools and middle schools.

Every single Austin middle and high school has more white teachers than teachers of any other ethnicity. Individually, schools have teaching staffs that are anywhere from 46 to 87 percent white. Last year, 25 percent of the district's middle and high school students were white. 

AISD

This week, the Austin Independent School District holds its annual gang resistance and training summer camp for students. For the Austin ISD Police Department, which organizes the event, it’s just one way to try to eliminate gang activity on campuses.

Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez says his department has two goals when it comes to gang activity. First, keep it off campus. Second, make sure students aren’t joining gangs.

“We want to catch them when they’re more statistically inclined to engage in criminal activity or criminal gangs,” says Mendez.

Charlotte Carpenter / KUT

In the midst of a national discussion about Confederate symbols, some residents in Austin's Hyde Park neighborhood want the school board to change the name of a local elementary school. Lee Elementary was named for Confederate Army Commander Robert E. Lee. 

"To honor him with naming schools after him is, I think, just inappropriate," says Teresa Griffin, a Hyde Park resident for 25 years and member of the Friends of Hyde Park Neighborhood Association

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

Enrollment at Travis Heights Elementary School has dropped by seventy students this year — about 13 percent of the student population. 

It's a uniquely diverse school in an increasingly economically segregated Austin Independent School District. 

The median home price in the neighborhood is $689,000, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. But last year, 76 percent of the students who attended Travis Heights were considered economically disadvantaged. 

As the school celebrates its 75th anniversary Saturday, parents, staff and alumni must also consider its future. As affordable housing complexes scattered around the neighborhood become more expensive, more low-income families are leaving Travis Heights for cheaper housing.

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