News from Dr. Cruz: What is a modern school?

Team AISD,

What is a modern school? We are posing that question to the Austin community as we embark on phase two of Facility Master Plan community engagement. The answers are inspiring, and they will help us support student learning in the best way possible.

More technology is one option, as well as Makerspaces—areas where students can get hands-on experience creating anything from art to engineering projects. Structural upgrades are also key—updating roofs, HVAC systems and lighting, etc.

We are considering a number of academic reinvention projects. They include an autism academy, dyslexia school, fine arts academies, health sciences school, montessori school, P-tech academy and a world languages school. These offerings would provide focused academics for students with specific interests and needs.

The beauty of the FMP is that it will take all of these perspectives into account.

As we gather community feedback, we’re also partnering with professional firms to conduct a Facility Condition Assessment and Education Suitability Assessment of every school. These assessments evaluate the architectural and engineering components of a building and how well it supports teaching and learning. In part, the data will inform recommendations for addressing over- and under-enrollment at individual campuses.

Ultimately, this information helps us answer another question: How can we create learning spaces that help our students achieve maximum success—and support the creative passion of our dedicated teachers?

Join us for FMP community engagement meetings Oct. 11–15, visit for updates and join the conversation on social media at #AISDFuture.

Now is the time to share your voice! 

Paul Cruz, Ph.D.