News from Dr. Cruz: Welcome back!

Team AISD,

Welcome to the new school year! I hope everyone had a fun and refreshing summer break. A special welcome to those of you who are new to Austin ISD. I’m glad you’ve joined our #AISDProud family.

In our students’ journey through the coming year, what they learn is important—as well as how they learn. 

There is increasing evidence that the learning environment is a key indicator of student success. When students feel safe and supported, they are more likely to excel academically. 

Staff throughout our district are doing a great job creating positive learning environments, and I got to see many of them in action during the first two days of school—click here for the "first day visits" video.

Kiker Elementary School staff showed me their STAR Lab, complete with a calming corner, for students to visit when they feel overwhelmed. Bailey Middle School teachers showcased their science curriculum that incorporates socialization and leadership into lesson plans. McCallum High School students told me that the best thing about their school is that it’s inclusive, supportive, welcoming and accepting.

Health and wellness were thriving at Wooldridge Elementary School, where a physical education class showed me the stay fit chant. LBJ Early College High School students were excited to earn free college credits and use the school's ECHS lab, which provides a fun and relaxed setting for planning a college career.

Our students are up to the challenge of rigorous academics, and it’s our job to ensure they have the environment they need to thrive.

Here’s to a year of continually improving!

Paul Cruz, Ph.D.