Claire McInerny | KUT

Education Reporter

Claire McInerny is the education reporter for KUT. Previously, she was a statewide education reporter for NPR member stations in Indiana. She won an Edward R. Murrow award for a series she did there about resources for English Language Learners in the state’s rural school districts. Claire is originally from Kansas, and got a journalism degree from the University of Kansas. Since moving to Texas, she’s never missed winter. 

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Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees seal
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

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Cuatro escaños en la junta escolar de nueve miembros del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin están en juego en las elecciones de noviembre. 

Students at Boone Elementary sit spaced apart behind dividers.
Michael Minasi / KUT

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El Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin está terminando su primera semana completa con los estudiantes de vuelta en el aula. Se permitió a las escuelas recibir hasta el 25% de su capacidad en un edificio y estarán recibiendo más estudiantes durante el próximo mes.

Students at Boone Elementary sit spaced apart behind dividers.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The Austin Independent School District is finishing its first full week with students back in the classroom. Schools were allowed to bring back up to 25% of a building’s capacity and are phasing in more students over the next month.

Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees seal
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Four seats on the nine-member school board of the Austin Independent School District are up for election in November. 

The school board is a group of volunteers who oversee policies and finances in the district. They approve the yearly budget, hire and fire the superintendent, and approve various policies throughout the district. In 2019, the school board approved new sex education standards and voted to close four district schools.

Madeline Horrell poses outside Kealing Middle School with her cello.
Michael Minasi / KUT

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Dirigir una orquesta de escuela conlleva para Madeline Horrell una serie de pequeños actos:  mover el meñique de un estudiante ligeramente, afinar rápidamente un violín, tomar un violonchelo para reemplazar una cuerda rota.

Pero la magia de tocar en grupo ocurre cuando los estudiantes que empiezan a tocar una pieza juntos, se mejoran mutuamente.

Madeline Horrell poses outside Kealing Middle School with her cello.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Teaching middle school orchestra is often about small actions for Madeline Horrell: moving a student’s pinky ever so slightly, quickly tuning a violin, grabbing a cello to replace a broken string.

But the magic of playing as a group is that once the students start a piece together, they make each other better.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

AISD for All, a group of parents and community members advocating for equity in the school district, is hosting a series of forums with candidates for the four open school board positions that will be on the ballot in November.

A sign at St. Elmo Elementary encourages people to be safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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El doctor Mark Escott, el médico principal de Salud Pública de Austin, apoya el plan del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin de recibir de nuevo a los estudiantes en los edificios escolares el 5 de octubre, según le informó a la junta escolar este lunes.

A sign at St. Elmo Elementary encourages people to be safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The top doctor at Austin Public Health, Dr. Mark Escott, supports the Austin Independent School District’s plan to bring students back to school buildings Oct. 5, he told the school board on Monday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

AISD for All, a group of parents and community members advocating for equity in the school district, is hosting a series of forums with candidates for the four open school board positions that will be on the ballot in November.

UT students move into off-campus housing in West Campus on Aug. 1.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

UT Austin enrolled almost 300 more students of color in its freshman class this semester than in fall of 2019, UT President Jay Hartzell said.

Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees seal
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

AISD for All, a group of parents and community members advocating for equity in the school district, is hosting a series of forums with candidates for the four open school board positions that will be on the ballot in November.

Crockett High School in South Austin during the coronavirus pandemic. Austin ISD is planning to bring some students back to school buildings in October.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Cuando el Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin empiece a recibir gradualmente a los estudiantes en los edificios escolares el 5 de octubre, dará prioridad a la educación especial y a los grados inferiores dentro de cada escuela. Ellos serán los primeros en regresar.

Crockett High School in South Austin during the coronavirus pandemic. Austin ISD is planning to bring some students back to school buildings in October.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

When the Austin Independent School District begins phasing students back into school buildings Oct. 5, it will prioritize special education and lower grade levels within each school as the first to return.

UT professors Ayelet Haimson Lushkov and her husband, Pramit Chaudhuri, have not felt comfortable bringing their young children back to day care during the pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Cuarta parte en una serie de cuatro artículos.

Hay mucho que cuidar en la vida de Ayelet Haimson Lushkov. Es madre de un niño de 1 año y de una niña de 3, y también da clases de licenciatura y postgrado en la Universidad de Texas (UT, en inglés). 

UT professors Ayelet Haimson Lushkov and her husband, Pramit Chaudhuri, have not felt comfortable bringing their young children back to day care during the pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Part four of a four-part series.

There's a lot of caregiving in Ayelet Haimson Lushkov's life. She's the mother of a 3-  and 1-year-old,  and she also teaches undergraduate and graduate classes at UT. 

Eligia Rivera with her sons Jair, 9, and Elias, 1, outside their Montopolis home.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Part three of a four-part series.

Back in May, Eligia Rivera was in a parking lot at Webb Middle School, guiding families through a line to pick up groceries. The nonprofit she works for, Austin Voices for Education and Youth, distributes food weekly at schools in Austin. 

Cheasty Anderson walks her dog with her husband, Hansen, and daughters Caroline (center) and Mary Dale.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Segunda parte de una serie de cuatro artículos.

El primer mes de cuarentena no fue muy estresante para Cheasty Anderson. La pandemia daba miedo, pero le dijeron que lo mejor era quedarse en casa, así que lo hizo. 

Cheasty Anderson walks her dog with her husband, Hansen, and daughters Caroline (center) and Mary Dale.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Part two of a four-part series.

The first month of sheltering in place wasn’t too stressful for Cheasty Anderson. The pandemic was scary, but she was told the best thing to do was to stay home, so she did. 

Mainspring School, a nonprofit child care center that serves children up to age 5, has been closed since March. Most of the families it serves are low-income.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Primera parte de una serie de cuatro artículos.

El 13 de marzo, Cheasty Anderson se sentó en la sala de conferencias de su oficina. Ella y sus colegas del Fondo de Defensa Infantil estaban lidiando con el repentino mandato de trabajar desde casa.

Mainspring School, a nonprofit child care center that serves children up to age 5, has been closed since March. Most of the families it serves are low-income.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Part one in a four-part series.

On March 13, Cheasty Anderson sat in the conference room at her office. She and her colleagues at the Children's Defense Fund were grappling with the sudden mandate to work from home.

Daily life was about to become unrecognizable in many ways, and one of Anderson's biggest challenges began that day.

A masked UT employee indicates where a driver should go.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Four students sat at the corners of a picnic table on the UT Austin campus Wednesday, looking down at their open laptops, masks on their faces and backpacks open at their feet.

Courtesy of Austin Independent School District

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted to hire a new superintendent Tuesday night. Stephanie Elizalde comes to AISD from Dallas ISD, where she was the chief of schools. Elizalde started the new position immediately.

Caution tape hangs from the door of Crockett High School in South Austin last month.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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La Junta Directiva del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin aprobó posponer el comienzo de las clases del año escolar hasta el 8 de septiembre. Las clases virtuales debían comenzar el 18 de agosto, pero la junta quiso dar más tiempo a los profesores para prepararse para el aprendizaje en línea. 

Caution tape hangs from the door of Crockett High School in South Austin last month.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted to delay the start of classes for the school year until Sept. 8. Virtual classes were supposed to begin Aug. 18, but the board wanted to give teachers more time to prepare for online learning. 

Stephanie Elizalde, chief of school leadership at Dallas ISD, is the lone finalist for Austin ISD's new superintendent.
Dallas ISD

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Los miembros de la comunidad del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin tuvieron la oportunidad de aprender más sobre la única finalista para ser la próxima superintendente durante una charla virtual el martes por la noche.

Stephanie Elizalde, chief of school leadership at Dallas ISD, is the lone finalist for Austin ISD's new superintendent.
Dallas ISD

Lee esta historia en español. 

Members of the Austin Independent School District community had the opportunity to learn more about the lone finalist to be the next superintendent during a virtual discussion Tuesday night.

A sign at Crockett High Schools says the building is closed until further notice because of the coronavirus.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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La "existencia misma" del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin podría verse amenazada si no sigue las reglas establecidas por la Agencia de Educación de Texas, dijo este miércoles su directora académica.

A sign at Crockett High Schools says the building is closed until further notice because of the coronavirus.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The Austin Independent School District's "very existence" could be threatened if it doesn't follow rules set out by the Texas Education Agency, the director of academics said Wednesday.

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