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Get an UpClose Look at AISD Programs

Applications being accepted for a behind-the-scenes look at the district

Austin ISD invites parents and community members to learn more about the district and how to support public education by participating in its UpClose program. The district is accepting applications through July 24. 

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. Meetings are held from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month.

Last year’s meetings included discussions on the district's curriculum and instruction, safety and security, campus operations, human capital, House Bill 5, graduation plans, budget and finance, district operations and board governance.

“I believe the program was professionally beneficial because there are opportunities for collaboration and coordination everywhere between entities,” said Celso Baez, community involvement for Capital Metro and recent UpClose graduate. “Many issues Austin and Central Texas face are mutually symptomatic, and I believe we can learn a lot from one another.”

In 2007, 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, the class focuses 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.

“I thought it was a great experience. The UpClose program was the perfect platform to take a deep dive into the issues affecting AISD and learning about the unique challenges and opportunities the district deals with,” Baez said. “Even if you don’t have students attending AISD, you’re a part of a community and are impacted indirectly. Being engaged is essential when seeking and implementing communitywide solutions.”

Baez, who has lived in Austin for about eight years, also said the program allowed him to learn more about AISD’s operations from finance to recapture. 

To date, 276 community members have participated in the program.

Community members can apply at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/upclose. If selected, the program is available for parents and community members at no cost.

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

For more information, please contact Linda Medina-Lopez, community engagement coordinator, at (512) 414-9706, linda.medina@austinisd.org or visit www.austinisd.org/upclose.