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 become assistant principals. The Academy provides cohort members the opportunity to gain targeted professional development focused on the qualities and skills needed to be a successful assistant principal on an Austin ISD campus. Curriculum is grounded in the AISD Leadership Framework. 


  • To target, plan, and implement strategies that support and operationalize the AISD Leadership Framework.
  • To develop individual capacity for current and future leadership roles.
  • To prepare teacher leaders for assistant principal positions within Austin ISD.

Cohort Selection

  • Announcement of upcoming cohort and call for applications takes place in March or April of the previous school year.
  • Submitted applications are screened by leaders from the Office of Talent Acquisition and Development. 
  • AP3 appointments are announced in May for the upcoming school year.

Cohort Criteria

  • Candidate must currently be a full-time Austin ISD teacher, instructional coach or non-teaching professional.
  • Candidate currently holds a Principal Certification or is scheduled to hold certification by August 1, 2021 and has at least two years of successful service as a teacher.

Program Components

  • Cohort will meet 10 times for after-school/evening professional development sessions. Curriculum and session topics will be based on the AISD Leadership Framework with a focus on urban leadership.
  • Cohort will also engage in outside learning activities including, but not limited to; scenario reflection, interview preparation, scholarly article analysis, and other job specific tasks.
  • Leadership Development staff meet in the fall with building principals and cohort members jointly to explore leadership opportunities on their specific campus. 

Lead Now Project

Program members will complete a Lead Now Project that addresses an identified academic or systemic need. The objective of the project is to strengthen the leadership skills defined in the AISD Leadership Framework. The initiative can be a continuation of a program of improvement currently under the direction of the academy member, or it can be developed from the ground up in conjunction with campus leadership based on data analysis or demonstrated campus need. The project is intended to increase the leadership capacity of each individual AP3 member in their current position with a focus on modeling personal responsibility and a sustained focus on improving student outcomes.