AUSTIN, Texas - From schools being closed to new programs, Austin ISD is proposing dozens of changes, and the district would like your input.
The school board along with the superintendent met Friday in order to let everyone in the community know nothing proposed is final, but they do not want things to stay the same in the district.
In the list of changes is the potential closure of 12 schools: Sims, Pecan springs, Metz, Maplewood, Brooke, Palm, Pease, Joslin, Dawson, Ridgetop elementary school, Sadler Means Young Women's Leadership Academy, and Webb Middle School.
There was an air of uncertainty among the parents at Metz elementary Friday. “A lot of parents really were disappointed why take our school away,” said Diane Wilmot, whose kids go to Metz elementary.
School closures aren't the only things proposed to change over at AISD.
“It's going to look different, it's supposed to, it needs to be different because it's about equity for all of our students making sure we serve them in the best way for them it's long term its strategic,” said Dr. Paul Cruz the AISD superintendent.
In order to compete with charter schools, one of the changes includes offering more before and after school programs which will extend the schoolday from 6 am until 6:30 pm district wide. Along with the closures, in the changes the district lists a plan to open new schools; examples include a new middle school in northeast and southwest Austin.
Another change includes offering new programs such as bilingual, increased mental health services and programs, and improvements to their special education program. "We can't look away. The option can't be status quo. The option cannot be business as usual. That's not the option. We have to look at the changing context, we have to look at changing learning standards and expectations for students, face it head on, and address it, and plan for those improvements," said Dr Cruz.
While the tides of change are coming to the district, superintendent Dr. Cruz said one thing is clear, nothing is set in stone. “We all want what's better for our students, we all do. It's never going to be perfect plan but we need to start somewhere,” said Dr. Cruz.
Along with attending upcoming meetings, parents can also discuss these proposed changes with the district online. To share your thoughts with Austin ISD online, click here.