Assistant Principal Preparation Program (AP3)

Assistant Principals in Austin ISD must understand the dynamics and culture of not only their campuses, but the diversity, needs, and vision for the district as a whole. The Assistant Principal Preparation Program (AP3) prepares a select cohort of experienced Austin ISD educators to develop and hone their craft through the lens of the AISD Leadership Framework. The program provides cohort members the opportunity to gain targeted professional development focused on knowledge, experience and skills needed to be a successful assistant principal in Austin ISD. Learning opportunities are facilitated by the Leadership Development Team.


  • To target, plan and implement learning opportunities that align with the Austin ISD Leadership Framework, AISD Equity Framework and AISD Values;
  • To ensure that each participant obtains mastery of skills needed to be a successful campus administrator as outlined by the AISD Leadership Framework; and
  • To equip each participant with the leadership knowledge and skills needed to obtain their leadership position of choice and sustain a successful organization and career path.

Program Components

Professional learning experiences will take various forms, including, but not limited to the following:

Monthly Meeting 

These two hour, face-to-face learning sessions are mandatory to maintain participation in the program and take place after school hours. Each meeting will focus on core content that prepares aspiring assistant principals for future leadership positions. Guest instructors will often facilitate the learning. All content is based on the AISD Leadership and Equity Frameworks.

Lead NOW Project

The Purpose of the Assistant Principal Preparation Program (AP3) Lead NOW Project is to facilitate a rich, job-embedded learning experience in which aspiring leaders make tangible contributions to school improvement. Under the supervision of their principal and with guidance from their Leadership Development Coach, AP3 members will engage in a year-long project that requires participants to identify a Problem of Practice through thorough data-driven planning, campus informal observations and discussions with the principal, purposeful collaboration, and a comprehensive evaluation of results that specifically impact student achievement.

Coaching Sessions (one per semester)

In order to support the Lead NOW Project, cohort members will meet for one-on-one coaching sessions with Leadership Development. Additional coaching is available as needed. 

How to Apply for AP3

To be considered for the Assistant Principal Preparation Program, each applicant must first meet the established criteria to apply. Applicants who are currently on the Assistant Principal Highly Qualified list are eligible for automatic admission into the AISD Assistant Principal Preparation Program.

Cohort Membership Criteria

In order to be selected for AP3, each applicant must meet the following minimum: 

  • Currently serving as a teacher, instructional coach, or non-teaching professional in Austin ISD;
  • Currently hold an Administrative Certification or are scheduled to complete Master’s  Degree coursework and Principal Certification by August 31, 2023;
  • Has completed at least three years of successful service as a teacher or non-teaching professional; and
  • Must have a PPfT final rating of “Effective” or better from the school year preceding application submission.

Cohort Application Process

All aspiring AP3 members must complete the following to be considered to participate in the program.

  • Complete the 2023 - 2024 Assistant Principal Preparation Program (AP3) Application;
  • Acquire one Recommendation Form submission from your current Principal or Central Office Supervisor; and 
  • Participate in an interview facilitated by the Leadership Development Team and other district officials.