Announcing AISD's New Transformation Zone!
Why a Zone?
Austin ISD is excited to announce its very first Transformation Zone, an internal structure comprised of eight campuses that will allow us to reinvent the student learning experience and increase options that meet student needs and interests. The campuses include:
Transformation Zone Overview
The zone will allow these campuses to reimagine the student experience by accessing:
- increased flexibility and autonomy to design innovative strategies that address specific student needs and interests and provide more rigorous and personalized educational opportunities to students, supported by a Zone Director;
- a TEA grant to fund technical expertise and guidance in zone design, provided by an operational partner, Mass Insight. Mass Insight will not govern or manage zone schools; and
- a community of peer schools offering opportunities for collaboration and shared learning within the zone and across the district, as innovations are tested and expanded.
The Zone Opportunity IS:
- Optional – Interested campuses applied to the opportunity with demonstration of stakeholder support.
- A structure within AISD – All leaders, staff, and students remain part of the district.
- Driven by campus needs – Campus educators will be empowered to design innovative strategies for their unique student populations.
- An opportunity to innovate – Campuses can deviate from traditional district models to implement innovative strategies for student success.
The Zone Opportunity IS NOT:
- Mandatory – The zone only includes campuses that demonstrated interest in and readiness for the opportunity, with community support.
- External – This is not an external structure that is governed by outside entities. The zone will report to the AISD Superintendent and the AISD School Board.
- A top-down approach – Campuses will receive support to develop their own plans.
- A predetermined model – The supports, conditions, and zone office will all be shaped by campus needs.
How Were Campuses Selected?
In fall 2018, AISD shared the zone opportunity with all district schools and invited interested campuses to apply. Multiple schools applied and participated in a multi-step selection process, which included demonstrations of community interest, and school site visits with stakeholder interviews and focus groups. The process resulted in the selection of eight campuses to join the zone. These campuses were selected because they demonstrate strong stakeholder support for the zone and readiness to pursue and maximize innovative models for student success, and share unifying themes for collaboration, including reduction of achievement gaps and empowered teacher leadership.
What is Next for the Zone?
Now that schools have been invited to join the zone, representative school teams will continue the planning process, developing plans for innovations to test in the coming school year. School teams will engage their entire school community (staff and families) in the process by soliciting feedback and participation in the process. Simultaneously, district leadership will begin to design the zone support structures and systems.