In Spring 2015, Austin Ed Fund adopted a new program model to help strategically select programming AISD aligned with our mission and vision that also has a need for private investment. This framework highlights our priority content areas:
- Whole Child, Every Child
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Within these content areas, Austin Ed Fund supports programs that are innovative, systemic, and sustainable. The majority of funds raised will be directed to our Signature Initiatives, which are best-practice, evidence-based, and scaled across the district with the ability to impact student performance on a large scale. Recognizing that many of the most innovative ideas come from the creativity, experience, and critical thinking skills of our teachers and administrators, Austin Ed Fund will provide a smaller amount of funding to our Idea and Incubator strands via the Innovation Grants program.
Our inaugural Signature Initiative is AISD’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program, currently receiving national attention as a large urban school district focused on teaching students these necessary skills for life. Students learn about managing emotions, showing empathy to others, resolving conflict, and responsible decision-making. These concepts are explicitly taught as well as integrated into academic lessons and the campus culture as a whole. As leaders in the Austin community who understand that these skills are essential in the workplace, Austin Ed Fund’s board was compelled to champion SEL as a way to prepare the next generation for success.
We have also launched our Innovation Grants program this fall, competitively awarding up to $2,000 for an individual classroom or up to $10,000 for a campus/ department team to implement their most creative ideas. Teachers and school leaders, click here to learn more and apply!