AISD began the 2013–14 school year on Aug. 26, 2013, with more than 85,000 students, including 561 Grizzlies at the district’s newest facility, Janis Guerrero Thompson Elementary, which opened this year. During the first week of school, Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen and other district leaders visited 14 schools to welcome students and staff.
The district received the news that students had performed well in the new state accountability system—110 schools met the standard and 55 earned academic distinctions. AISD exceeded the state average on student achievement and outperformed the state on student progress.
Preparing for new graduation requirements was a focus of the 2013–14 school year. On Dec. 16, the AISD Board of Trustees established the Distinguished Level of Achievement as the default graduation plan for AISD to help ensure students are academically prepared for college and careers.
The district continued to expand on the board’s priority of supporting the Whole Child/Every Child. Austin is leading the nation in implementing Social and Emotional Learning, a fundamental research-driven approach based on the tenets of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
Students learn critical life skills such as recognizing and managing emotions, solving problems effectively and establishing positive relationships. SEL is now in 71 schools, and with significant funding, including a $1 million from St. David’s Foundation, AISD is working to take SEL districtwide within the next two years.
In 2014, the Anti-Defamation League announced that AISD is the nation’s largest No Place for Hate district—every school and CAC qualified for the No Place for Hate designation.
In 63 elementary schools, more than 12,000 students are enrolled in either a one-way or two-way dual-language program. Two-way dual-language programs are offered in 17 schools, and 56 schools have English/Spanish one-way dual-language programs.
At the district’s annual Salute event in May, AISD recognized campus Teachers of the Year, first year Teachers of Promise, and 32 National Board Certified Teachers. The district also named and celebrated the 2014 principal, assistant principal, teacher, counselor, librarian and classified staff member of the year.
The 2013–14 school year ended with 15 high school graduation ceremonies honoring more than 4,300 seniors as they received their diplomas.
AISD celebrated not just these individual seniors, but the overall increase in the district’s graduation rate. Graduation rates increased to 82.5 percent for the class of 2012—up from from 80 percent for the class of 2011—and graduation rates for the class of 2013 are expected be even higher, at 84.1 percent. This is an increase in graduation rates of 10 percentage points since 2008!
In AISD, thousands of dedicated staff members work in the classroom and throughout the district to improve education for all students. The end-of-year timeline below constitutes the new floor of our expectations, the base on which we will continue to build in the upcoming years.
The interactive timeline format allows users to relive the past school year through print, photos and videos. Users may concentrate on a certain event, navigate the timeline, or follow it chronologically. For more information about events on the timeline, simply click on a video or text link.
The timeline provides AISD with a great way to take stock of where we are and what we’ve been through and accomplished during the past year. It gives us a springboard from which to jump into the summer and the coming school year.