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AISD Accepting Applications for its UpClose Program

Austin, TX—Austin ISD invites community members to learn more about the district and how to support public education by participating in the UpClose program. The district is accepting applications through Aug. 9.

UpClose teaches community members about the district's infrastructure, programs and services at monthly meetings from September through May. Each month, participants gain an “up close” look at  AISD departments. Last year’s meetings included discussions with district leaders who shared overviews on school finance, legislation affecting school districts, as well as testing and accountability.

“One of the most interesting things I gleaned through the program, which I wasn’t expecting, was gaining a better perspective of how much AISD’s current demographics have changed in recent years and how the budget is applied,” Barbara Morgan, executive director of the Austin Film Festival said 2008 UpClose graduate. “I thought the program was well-rounded without being overwhelming and the people who were brought in to speak gave great perspective.”

AISD’s Department of Communications and Community Engagement developed the program to engage a diverse cross-section of AISD parents and community leaders through a content-rich, interactive learning experience focused on four pillars: education, leadership, ambassadorship and service.

Through learning about the district’s challenges and opportunities, UpClose participants can be more involved in AISD as leaders and advocates of public education.

“The biggest lesson I took away is the scope of what the district does within our community and what it means to our community,” Morgan said. “It’s important to know what everybody has on their plate. There are so many people involved in the school district and the scope of their responsibilities is more than I had imagined.”

She also said the program was invaluable for understanding and working with the district from a professional standpoint.

To date, about 230 community members have participated in the program.

The district will notify applicants about the status of their applications by Aug. 30.

For more information, please contact Pat Dabbert, Event and Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator, at (512) 414-3991, pdabbert@austinisd.org or visit www.austinisd.org/upclose/alumni.