Austin ISD

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

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

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.

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.

The empty hallway at Bedicheck Middle School in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Schools in Travis County likely will be polling sites during the presidential election Nov. 3.

Local election officials had been unsure whether schools would be safe places to vote during the pandemic. At a school board meeting Monday, however, Austin Independent School District officials indicated they want to make Election Day a student holiday. Students would have the day off, while teachers could catch up on training.

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.

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.

The hallway is empty at Galindo Elementary School in South Austin in July.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Parents, teachers and advocates worry online-only lesson plans could widen the digital divide and exacerbate educational equity issues in Austin Independent School District. To try to prevent that, the district, which has roughly 81,000 students, is distributing Wi-Fi hotspots, laptops and tablets.

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

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

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 outside Crockett High School says the property is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The Austin Independent School District Board has scheduled a vote Thursday night to delay the start of the school year from Aug. 18 to Sept. 8, because of COVID-19. The district says the delay would give employees time to adjust to new health and safety requirements for in-person instruction.

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.

Stephanie Elizalde, jefa de liderazgo escolar del ISD de Dallas, es la única finalista para el puesto de nueva superintendente del ISD de Austin.
ISD de Dallas

Read this story in English.

Stephanie Elizalde, administradora del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD en inglés) de Dallas, ha sido elegida como la única finalista para el cargo del próximo superintendente del ISD de Austin.

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.

Stephanie Elizalde, an administrator in the Dallas Independent School District, has been named the lone finalist for Austin ISD’s next superintendent.

The empty hallway at Dawson Elementary
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The Austin Independent School District will not offer in-person classes when school starts Aug. 18, the district announced Tuesday. All classes will be held virtually for the first three weeks of the school year. 

Dawson Elementary School, along with other schools in Austin ISD, closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The first day of classes for Central Texas school districts is about a month away, but many parents and teachers still don’t know what it will look like. 

A young person reads a sign posted on the door at Travis High School, after the building closed in March because of the pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

If school buildings in Austin open on Aug. 18 as planned, there will be infections the first day of class, UT mathematical epidemiologist Lauren Ancel Meyers said.

Dawson Elementary School closes on Friday, March 13, following the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The union for Austin Independent School District employees is asking the district and the state not to send employees back to school buildings in August. Union members say it is unsafe for employees and children to be in classes together.

Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees dias
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees passed a $1.65 billion budget early Tuesday, taking $47.6 million from the district’s reserve funds to make up for a shortfall partly caused by COVID-19 expenses.

A police officer walks through the hall of LBJ High School in 2016.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the school board finalizes its FY2021 budget, racial justice advocates are calling on the Austin Independent School District to move money away from policing.

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz announces his resignation in February.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

There’s a lot we don’t know about the future for Austin’s students: Will Austin ISD's school buildings be open in August? Will online learning still be happening? Will there be sporting events or gatherings of any kind?

The AISD community also doesn't know who will be leading the district when the next school year starts. 

Frances Parra (clockwise from top left), Chantal Flores-Malagon, Maddy Pollack and Hudson Humphrey are all graduating high school this year.
Michael Minasi / KUT

If it weren't for COVID-19, many high school seniors would be walking across a stage to receive a diploma this month. They’d also be attending prom and other events to celebrate the end of high school.

Instead, many seniors are having to reflect on their high school experiences alone and make different memories for some of the biggest milestones.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District has spent $7.6 million in the last six weeks addressing changes related to the coronavirus pandemic, including new technology and software for online learning and increased pay for staff on the front lines. 

Travis High School is shuttered.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The transition to online learning has presented a new challenge for teachers: how to help students deal with the emotional turmoil of living through a pandemic. 

Travis High School, along with other schools in Austin ISD, are closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is asking all parents to update their contact information so teachers and principals can get in touch during the coronavirus pandemic. The district is trying to speak with every family to see if they need access to food, medical care or technology so their students can do assignments from home.

James Butler, AISD social and emotional learning specialist, offers two-minute mindfulness videos on YouTube.
YouTube screenshots

Austinites have been sheltering in place for a while now, but for households with a K-12 student, this week might have introduced a new challenge: virtual learning.  

Pages