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AISD Administration Proposes Changes for 2012

A breakdown of what's in store for the next school year

By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Dec. 9, 2011

On Dec. 2 – a week earlier than anticipated – AISD Super­intendent Meria Carstarphen released her annual academic and facilities recom­mend­a­tions for the 2012-13 school year. The timing of the announcement surprised the media, teacher and staff union Education Austin, and the broader community, all of whom had been told that they would not receive the recommendations until Dec. 9. AISD's board of trustees, which is divided on some of the major proposals, will take its final vote on the recommendations on Monday, Dec. 12. Expect to see the administration spending the next week touting what it claims are supportive survey results while holding over everyone's heads the threat of heavy-handed Texas Education Agency action if the recommendations are not approved.

A) Two In-District Charters

1) IDEA Public Schools would take over kindergarten through second grade and sixth grade at Allan Elemen­tary in 2012-13, then move grades six and seven to Eastside Memorial High School in 2013-14; IDEA would expand to fill all grades at both campuses by 2018-19. Allan students who do not wish to attend the charter would attend either Govalle or Ortega.

2) A Graduation Pathways Education Program, targeting at-risk kids in grades nine through 12 and run by Responsive Education Solutions, would be put in place at Travis and Lanier high schools.

B) Elementary Overcrowding and Realignment

1) Webb Middle School would be converted into a prekindergarten through eighth grade center, and the sixth graders from Barrington and Brown elementaries would be moved there.

2) Remaining Barrington Elementary pre-K students would be transferred to Reilly Elementary.

3) A pre-K center would be built at Dobie Middle School, drawing kids from Graham and Hart elementaries, and Walnut Creek Elementary's sixth grade would move to Dobie.

4) 2008 elementary bond money would be designated for a new 669-seat North Central campus.

C) Disciplinary Suspension and Student Removals

1) The Alternative Learning Center (currently housing students removed from their schools for disciplinary reasons) would be closed.

2) An outside partner would be engaged to run a Learning Support Center, which would send itinerant teachers and social workers to provide support at a home campus rather than removing students.

D) Dual Language Immersion Programs

1) "One-way" Chinese (English speakers taught Chinese) at Doss Elementary.

2) "Two-way" Spanish (English and Spanish speakers) at Blanton, Casey, and Galindo elementaries.

E) Boundary Changes

1) Barrington, Govalle, and Ortega attendance zones would be redrawn to reflect charter and pre-K plans.

2) The North Central elementary boundaries would be realigned to accommodate the new elementary.

F) Single-Sex Schools

No recommendation for this year, but Carstarphen said she's still considering Pearce and Garcia middle schools as future sites for segregated boys and girls schools.

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