- Why It Matters
- In Schools
- Collaborating Districts Initiative
- Policy & Advocacy
- 2013 CASEL Guide
AISD schools are organized into vertical teams consisting of the elementary and middle schools that feed into the district’s regular high schools. There are 11 vertical teams and a twelfth team for the district’s special campuses. Austin has adopted the Second Step evidence-based program for elementary and middle schools. For Year 1 of CDI, the Crockett High School and the Austin High School vertical teams were involved in SEL implementation. In year 2, additional teams include Eastside Memorial, McCallum and Travis High Schools. Each vertical team works with a full-time, dedicated SEL coach who coordinates professional development and works with each school’s leadership and staff. AISD’s SEL staff develops and refines professional development units, creating a coherent, high-quality and effective training process with integrated coaching.
In October 2012, AISD launched a website to communicate about SEL and serve as a resource for teachers, families and others in the community. The website continues to expand, featuring pages that introduce stakeholders to the basics of SEL, allow teachers to register for professional development, and give community members an opportunity to donate to support SEL in schools. The site also includes a blog and links to the district’s SEL Facebook page. A recent video on AISD’s SEL initiative also helps explain the importance of its work to ensure that all students have access to an education that supports them academically, socially and emotionally. In addition, the district’s SEL team creates materials for communicating about SEL in both English and Spanish, thus offering bilingual publications and posters to involve families and the broader community in SEL. The district currently has four additional initiatives that are linked to the SEL initiative: (1) Whole Child, Every Child, (2) No Place for Hate, (3) Athletics Character Education, and (4) Child Study Systems.
Superintendent: Dr. Meria Carstarphen has been superintendent of the AISD since July 2009. She previously served as superintendent of the Saint Paul (MN) Public Schools and in accountability positions for public school systems in Washington, DC; Kingsport, TN; and Columbus, OH. Dr. Carstarphen’s professional experience includes teaching at the middle school level, as well as elementary education in Seville, Spain, and Caracas, Venezuela. She hails from Selma, Alabama, where she began her teaching career.
Learn more about the Austin Independent School District at http://www.austinisd.org/.
Joined Collaborating Districts Initiative: 2011
Total Student Enrollment: 86,697
Total Number of Schools: 129
SEL District Lead: Sherrie Raven, SEL Director
CASEL Team: Rob Schamberg and Judith Nuss