Austin ISD to release updated School Changes scenarios Friday

Austin ISD trustees met in October for a workshop about School Changes.
Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper
Austin ISD trustees met in October for a workshop about School Changes. Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper

Austin ISD trustees met in October for a workshop about School Changes. Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper

In an Oct. 31 email, Austin ISD announced the district would release Version 2 of its School Changes plan in the afternoon Nov. 1. According to the email, the updated packet will only include scenarios that could be implemented for the 2020-21 school year if approved by the board.

In an email to the community sent Oct. 30, Superintendent Paul Cruz thanked the AISD community for feedback over the past month as School Changes scenarios were being revised.

“We understand from our communities that change is hard, and collaboration is essential to design the best outcomes for our students,” he said in the email. “We listened, and we hear you. In response to this concern, you will see a phased timeline for School Changes that creates space for even deeper community conversations and planning. At the same time, my team and I believe deeply that no change at all is not an option.”

In the email, Cruz also guaranteed all AISD employees “in good standing” with the district who would be affected by School Changes would have a position “at their current staffing level or higher.”

While Version 2 of the School Changes plan will focus on changes to implement for the 2020-21 school year, additional scenarios for the out years will continue to be revised as more feedback is collected, according to the district. Those scenarios could be considered for approval this spring, while some previous scenarios have also been withdrawn from consideration, according to the district.


“Please know that community feedback is informing our plans,” Cruz said. “With the allotted 2017 bond money and space available in our schools, we will bring you an updated proposal focused on the changes we can make in the 2020–21 school year.”

The district's original list of School Changes proposals was released in September and included 39 total scenarios. Of those, 12 included closing schools, although only one—Brooke Elementary School—has a timeline to close during the 2020-21 school year. Currently, district trustees are scheduled to make a School Changes vote at a meeting Nov. 18.

The district has posted information about a "Building Bridges Town Hall" that will take place Nov. 2 at 1:30 p.m. at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex,1156 Hargrave St., Austin. According to the district, the meeting will focus on School Changes Version 2.

A public board information session is scheduled for Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. at the district’s board auditorium at 1111 W. Sixth St., Austin.
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By Nicholas Cicale

Nick was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in South Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in writing and a minor in music. Nick was a journalist for three years at the St. James Plaindealer in Minnesota before moving to Austin to join Community Impact Newspaper in 2016.


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