Austin ISD Wins Inaugural TAEA District of Distinction Award

Austin ISD has received the Texas Art Education Association District of Distinction Award - an honor given to the top 2 percent of school districts in the state. 

TAEA announced the 20 winners of the District of Distinction Award, which honored districts that provided a well-rounded education, which advocates and integrates visual arts curriculum to inspire creativity and reach all different learners. This is the first year that TAEA is honoring districts that meet rigorous criteria as evidenced by data from a rubric.

For the 2019 award, more than 1,000 districts were eligible to apply. Each school district submitted documentation that it had met the 14 criteria of the rubric over the 2018-19 school year. TAEA identified districts that actively participate in TAEA, including the Visual Arts Scholastic Event, Junior VASE, and the Texas Elementary Art Meet as a few examples. The organization also looked at field experiences, community service, and community exhibitions, to name a few as part of the rigorous rubric.

“Our fine arts programs are game-changers for our students and community,” Superintendent Paul Cruz said. “It is an honor to be among the top fine arts districts in the state and be part of the first class of District of Distinction recipients.” 

Twenty districts, including Austin ISD, will be honored at the TAEA Awards ceremony as part of the TAEA Conference on Nov. 15 at the Moody Gardens Convention Center in Galveston.

“Austin ISD has set the standard for visual arts advocacy, integrated visual arts curriculum, and creativity,” said Michaelann Kelley, chair of the administration and supervision division of TAEA. “This is a high honor. The award is a testament to the skill, perseverance, and vision for a well-rounded education for this winning school district.”


About AISD Fine Arts:

The Austin ISD Fine Arts Department believes that a fine arts education is essential for the development of the whole child. The arts provide students with unique experiences to explore their passions, maximize creativity and critical thinking skills, and learn valuable lessons about self-motivation, dedication, teamwork, and communication. AISD is a recognized leader in urban education and is dedicated to providing an arts-rich education for every student. Fine arts education is available at all 129 schools and every elementary student in the district receives a high-quality education in elementary and music.

Each of the sequential fine arts courses features a meaningful and rigorous curriculum taught by expert staff and provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for cognitive, creative, emotional, and social growth. By enrolling in these fine arts courses, students are also eligible to participate in clinics and contests such as All-City Guitar, All-City Band, All-City Choir, UIL Concert, and Sight Reading, One Act Play, Dance Spectacular and Visual Art Scholastic Event, as well as various concerts, events and art exhibits throughout the community. Fine arts students from AISD have won numerous district, state, and national awards and scholarships, and many have gone on to pursue the arts in higher education and beyond.