News from Dr. Cruz: Athletics and Arts

Sept. 24, 2014

Team AISD,

Throughout the year, but especially in the fall, I try to attend as many athletic events and student performances as I can. Whether cheering for our students on the field or listening to the band at halftime, I see firsthand how athletics and fine arts support student achievement.

Athletes and band members are making friends and having fun while also developing their individual talents. They may remember these experiences for the rest of their lives. But these activities aren’t just for fun.

An AISD study shows that students who participate in athletics and fine arts have higher rates of attendance and graduation, better academic performance and are more likely to advance to the next grade and stay out of trouble.

Creative learning research shows students engaged in the fine arts develop habits of mind that promote innovation, imagination and creativity. These habits include critical and creative thinking, dealing with ambiguity and complexity, the integration of multiple skill sets and working with others.

AISD is part of the Creative Learning Initiative, a strategic partnership with Austin ISD, the City of Austin, MINDPOP and more than 40 community arts organizations.

This year, more than 1,500 teachers and principals will be trained in arts-based instructional strategies, directly affecting approximately 23,000 students attending schools in the McCallum, Travis and Crockett vertical teams.

I’m a fan of athletics and arts-rich education. I hope to see you at a game or performance soon!

Paul Cruz, Ph.D.
Interim Superintendent