AISD Humanities Department


The AISD Humanities Department collaborates with diverse  communities of learners to help design opportunities for authentic engagement with the human experience, helping students connect to the past and impact the present as they become college, career, and life ready.

Defining the Humanities in Austin ISD

The humanities are the study of how people understand and record the human experience. Since the beginning of time, we have used literature, art, history, music, dance, theater, philosophy, religion, and language to understand and tell the story of our world. Access to humanity’s records fosters a connection between the past and present, and provides an entry point for how we might understand and impact our future.

Language Arts Overview

The AISD Language Arts Team is dedicated to creating a community of students who see themselves as readers and writers. During a school day, we believe that all students should have the chance to:

  • read texts that interest them and teach them something new
  • write about what matters to them and makes them feel proud
  • share ideas with confidence and ask questions without fear
  • listen and learn from other students' ideas

These opportunities should be available to all students, so the Language Arts Team works with other district teams, including the Multilingual Education Team and Departments of Special Education and Dyslexia/504, to make sure we meet the literacy needs of all students.


The AISD Language Arts curriculum is aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) set by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Please see the links for more information on the standards appropriate for your student.

Signature Programs

  • Facing History
  • Vision+Voice
  • 5 Book Dive

Social Studies Overview

The goal of the AISD Social Studies Team is to provide students with a deep and relevant educational experience focusing on the duties and responsibilities of being an American and global citizen as well as gaining an understanding of local, national, and world history and its continuing effects on culture and government. Students engage in the study of history through critical historical inquiry, learning to evaluate the diversity of ideas that shape our global society.


The AISD Social Studies curriculum is aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and developed in accordance with the Understanding by Design (Expanded 2nd Edition, 2005) framework created by McTighe and Wiggins. This design utilizes a conceptual framework that includes enduring understandings, essential questions, assessments, and exemplar lessons for teachers that support the implementation of inquiry-based instruction and learning. In addition, the Social Studies curriculum framework contains support for English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS), 21st Century Skills, Social Emotional Learning, and Response to Intervention (RtI) strategies.

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) divide grade K-12 Social Studies into eight specific strands. Each strand addresses content needed to understand the historic, geographic, economic, and social issues that students will apply when making effective personal and public decisions beyond the classroom.  

For more information, please see the documents below:

Signature Programs

  • Facing History
  • Generation Citizen
  • Ethnic Studies

Contact  Information

Jessica Jolliffe
Director, Humanities