Friday, November 1, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Teaching with Google Nexus Project Winners!

Austin ISD has announced four recipients of the 2013 Teaching with Google Nexus Project.  Award recipients will receive a classroom set of Google Nexus tablets for their innovative and creative ideas using technology to improve educational outcomes of students. 

The 2013 Teaching with Google Nexus Project winners are:

  • Nicole Griffith, Teacher, Austin High School
  • Elisabeth Healey, Teacher, Blackshear Elementary School
  • Joon Yee Chuah, Teacher, Kealing Middle School
  • Adam Holman, Assistant Principal, Crockett High School

“We are thrilled to be selected as an award recipient of the Teaching with Google Nexus Project grant. This technology will help our teachers transform math instruction, helping students see the real-world application of mathematical concepts," said Craig Shapiro, Principal, Crockett High School where Assistant Principal, Adam Holman received 30 tablets to support Algebra I instruction. "We know that effectively incorporating technology into the classroom is of paramount importance to prepare our students to be successful in a globally competitive economic environment."

The 2013 Teaching with Google Nexus Project was made possible by an in-kind donation of 100 Google Nexus tablets for educators to integrate technology into their classroom.  More than 60 grant submissions from AISD teachers and non-profit providers who work with AISD students on campuses were received.  Through a multi-step screening process and review panel of distinguished advisors and educators, the four winning grants were selected. 

"The Teaching with Google Nexus Project illustrates how teachers are embracing digital devices as teaching tools in the classroom," said Michelle Wallis, Executive Director of the district's Office of Innovation & Development.  "Google’s generous contribution of the Nexus tablets will engage and challenge students through individualized instruction and enable teachers to get creative in their teaching strategies.  It was great to see how much excitement was generated through the grant process – from art projects, language immersion instruction and advanced computer programming – teachers from all disciplines are finding ways to incorporate technology in the classroom."

Austin ISD will distribute the Nexus tablets to the four winning applicants for the 2013-2014 school year.  Austin ISD and Google jointly express gratitude and compliment to the 62 Teaching with Google Nexus Project applicants who collectively put forth tremendous efforts into their submissions.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

News: City Recognizes Cunningham Elementary and Fulmore Middle School for Sustainability Projects

Congratulations on your achievement, Cunningham and Fulmore !

This month, the City of Austin recognized Cunningham Elementary School and Fulmore Middle School for their work implementing sustainability projects on their campuses with help of the city's Bright Green Future Grant. 
Sponsored by the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability, Bright Green Future Grants is a competitive program that provides funding for school-based sustainability projects.  The grants program was designed to recognize and support innovative projects that will inspire students to become lifelong environmental stewards.  
Cunningham Elementary School was recognized for their community organic farm, Partners for Education, Agriculture, and Sustainability. Grant funding allowed the PEAS farm to add an outdoor classroom to better facilitate a hands-on learning experience for participants.  The project involved educators, students, parents, and members of the surrounding community, who learned about irrigation and organic farming practices, composting and healthy cooking.
Fulmore Middle School applied their Bright Green Future Grant funding to expand a successful air-conditioning condensate collection project.  The students collect condensate in clay olla pots that serve as rain barrels; the condensate becomes a self-sustaining water source for a native Texas habitat on campus that features drought-resistant plants.  The project has helped educate Fulmore students about water conservation and responsible landscaping practices during one of the worst droughts in Central Texas history.
The schools were recognized for their sustainability projects at a city council meeting where Mayor Lee Leffingwell presented representatives from the schools with certificates of appreciation for their work. 

Congratulations 2013 Seniors !

Congratulations so all AISD 2013 Seniors ! May all your futures be BRIGHT !

Monday, June 3, 2013

News: Safe Dating, Social Emotional Learning and Athletics at AISD

On May 14, all Austin ISD High School Athletic Directors received training on five relationship lessons including topics on dating abuse and sexual assault.  The lessons were developed collaboratively by Keeth Matheny, teacher at Austin High School, and Randy Randolph of SafePlace.  Athletic Directors received the training in order to teach the lessons to their student athletes.  In addition to the other social and emotional learning (SEL) lessons during the year, with topics such as teamwork, empathy, and decision making, the department of SEL, SafePlace, and AISD Athletic Director Tommy Cox created character development lessons.  There are plans to roll out modified lessons to middle school athletes and high school band students next school year.

The Office of Innovation and Development is currently assisting the Department of Social and Emotional Learning in their $1 Million match campaign to expand SEL to all AISD Students. For more information,  read this entry :

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MINDPOP distributes 100 Gibson Guitars to 25 AISD campuses!

The Gibson Foundation, the City of Austin, and MINDPOP are awarding 100 guitars to 25 AISD schools and community arts partners to support music, band, and orchestra programs. The donation of Gibson Guitars furthers the Any Given Child mission to support the development of arts-rich schools and expand creative learning opportunities for Austin school students.  The gift was presented to AISD by the Mayor, the Gibson Foundation, and MINDPOP on December 17th, 2012, in recognition of the prestigious Any Given Child initiative in Austin, earned from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

All AISD schools had the opportunity to apply for Gibson Guitars to support their guitar and music programs in Spring of 2013.  MINDPOP will distribute 100 Gibson guitars to 25 AISD schools and community arts partners in May 2013.

Congratulations to schools receiving guitars:
Akins, Anderson, Austin, Crockett, Eastside Memorial, Lanier, LBJ, and Travis High Schools; Gardner Center; Bailey, Bedichek, Burnet, Covington, Dobie, Gorzycki, Kealing, Lamar, Mendez, Murchison, Pearce, Small, and Webb Middle Schools; and Ridgetop Elementary.

These guitars will not only promote the creative development of our students, it will develop the habits of mind that support academic skills useful throughout the lives of these young people.  Almost 1,400 students in the Austin school district participate in guitar programs at 10 high schools and 11 middle schools throughout the city.  Guitar is among the fastest-growing musical instrument choices in AISD as more students are drawn to the string instrument’s strong cultural heritage in genres such as jazz, mariachi and classical music. Gibson’s generous gift of electric guitars will strengthen the district’s fine arts programs, especially for jazz and blues performers.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Austin Creative Classroom Fund Awards

Austin Creative Classroom Fund Awards over $200,000 to AISD Schools
The Austin Creative Classroom Fund sent the second round of funding awards of over $200,000 in 33 grants to 25 schools in Austin ISD, Thursday, May 2, 2013.  The Austin Creative Classroom Fund, funded by an initial donation of $1M from an anonymous donor in Austin supports the city-wide creative learning plan, Any Given Child.  Any Given Child is a partnership between the City of Austin, MINDPOP, Austin ISD, and community arts partners designed to help teachers meet their instructional goals through the arts and increase the breadth and depth of creative opportunities for students.

Congratulations to:
Allison, Blackshear, Blazier, Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Fulmore, Galindo, Govalle, Hart, Houston, Barbara Jordan, Linder, Lamar, McCallum, Mendez, Oak Springs, Ortega, Perez, Reilly, Rodriguez, Sunset Valley, Travis Heights, Webb, Winn, Widen, and Williams.

The grants awarded demonstrate a wide range of creative learning projects designed to support increased access to arts learning; improved student achievement and engagement through the use of arts-based strategies; and funding specialized materials and equipment designed to improve the quality of creative learning programs for students.

While any campus could apply, priority points were given to elementary schools with an enrollment of more than 60 percent students who are qualified for the federal free and reduced lunch program and officially designated Fine Arts Academies.

Next year’s grant application and funding guidelines will be announced in the winter with a spring 2014 deadline.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Texas Stars Foundation Grant

The Texas Stars Foundation is the official charity of the Texas Stars Hockey Club.  The Foundation strives to utilize the talents and resources of the Texas Stars players, families, staff and ownership to enrich the greater central Texas area. The Foundation has an upcoming grant opportunity available to all AISD schools. The deadline is May 31st 2013. For more information and application details, please visit