Approval Process for Campus Initiatives

A request for approval of a campus initiative will be required to comply with the following guidelines:

The application must include a description of the instructional rationale.

The application must include a recommendation from the principal and attest that the campus is able to absorb the cost of the change from its existing budget, including facilities.

The associate superintendent will facilitate the application process and must recommend the initiative for further review by the Cabinet.

The application process must address such Districtwide implications as:





Student achievement;

Staffing; and


The application must include an impact statement from the principal(s) of potentially affected campus(es).

The application must include a statement of the approval of the Campus Advisory Council (CAC).

The application for consideration must be received in the Superintendent's office by October 31 of the year prior to the desired implementation year of the initiative.

The Cabinet will evaluate the application and make a recommendation to the Superintendent. If appropriate, the Superintendent may make a recommendation to the Board within two months after the application is received.

This process is not to be used to request the addition of a grade level to an existing campus, e.g., adding grade 6 to a kindergarten–grade 5 elementary school.

Campus Improvement Plans

The purpose of the campus-level plan is to improve student performance for all student populations, including students in special education programs under Education Code Chapter 29, Subchapter A, with respect to the student achievement indicators and any other appropriate performance measures for special needs populations. [See BQ(LEGAL)]

In order to accomplish this purpose, the Campus Improvement Plan (CIP) process will be updated to include the following, with respect to the training of principals and CAC members, oversight, and development of the plan:

Principals will be provided with a script detailing the CIP process in back-to-school materials. The script will emphasize the role of the CAC and will identify particular milestones the principal must meet with respect to the CAC and CIP.

Orientation and training materials for CAC members will include a description of the role of the Coordinator of District Advisory Bodies [see BDF(LOCAL)] and will direct CAC members to contact that office if they believe that the CIP process has faltered and the principal has been unresponsive. At appropriate milestones in the CIP process, this information will be repeated to CAC members to ensure concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

The Coordinator of District Advisory Bodies, in addition to being available to reactively audit CACs at the request of the Chief of Schools or the campus principal, will also provide proactive audits of CACs. These audits will include, as necessary, visiting a select group of CACs each year, and providing feedback and suggestions, as well as noting exemplary practices that could be shared with other CACs.

The Coordinator of District Advisory Bodies will be available to conduct training sessions on request of the CAC. Any Web-based training materials will be updated to indicate in-person training sessions are available on request. The Coordinator will also work with the District Advisory Council (DAC) to provide an annual opportunity for Districtwide CAC training, which may be augmented by special training for campus principals and CAC co-chairs.

The CIP template and instructions will be provided to the CAC directly through the District's Web site. In addition, the prior year's completed CIP will be distributed to the CAC prior to the initiation of the planning process for the following year. CAC training will include instructions on how to access these and other important documents on the District's site.

The CIP template will include a time line/milestone checklist, in addition to the certification of CAC hours spent on CIP development. These milestones will include, at a minimum, the date the CIP template was provided to the CAC, the date the CAC's recommendations were submitted to the campus, and the dates of any meetings the principal/campus leadership had with the CAC to discuss CIP development. Each milestone will be signed by the CAC co-chairs and the campus principal.

The biennial CAC satisfaction survey will be used to identify campuses potentially facing challenges in the CIP process. To the extent possible, the survey will elicit greater participation from every campus and will be conducted at a time chosen to maximize meaningful participation. The campus principal will ensure that the CAC is aware of the survey, the assurance of anonymity, and applications of the survey. The results of the survey will be made available on the District's Web site.

To improve DAC-CAC communication, the DAC will hold one to two meetings per year at campuses.

The planning department will develop a campus report card template, distinct from the campus's data profile, which is to be completed by the principal and the CAC. The report card will help identify problem areas on campuses, including areas not immediately evident from data. The District will base this template, in part, on input from CACs. The District will investigate methods to incorporate this report card with the Campus Improvement Plan Goals (CIPG) Report, currently appended to the CIP at the end of the planning process.

To the extent practicable, the changes enumerated above will be implemented for the current CIP process. They will be fully implemented by the start of the 2014–15 CIP process.

Campus-Level Budgeting

In order to encourage CAC involvement in the campus-level budgeting process, the process includes the following, with respect to the training of principals and CAC members, oversight, and development of the budget:

1.Training materials for principals will emphasize the role of the CAC in the budgeting process.

2.The District will offer training to all CACs on the District's budget process and will make available online materials for CAC members to reference outside of training. CAC training and reference materials will include a link to the District's budget Web site, with particular areas of interest flagged for CAC members.

3.The Coordinator of District Advisory Bodies will monitor CACs identified as having difficulties with the budgeting process and will offer direct interventions to ensure the principal and CAC engage in a budgeting process with input from both parties. Any CAC member may contact the Coordinator to obtain additional support if the CAC is experiencing difficulties regarding the review of campus budgets.

4. CACs will have access to budget information and reports specific to their campus and associated budget glossaries to explain data formats. This includes, but is not limited to, campus Basic Table of Organization (BTO), an overview of the District's budget process, and financial reports that include the previous year's operating expenses data for particular campuses. Ad hoc reports can also be provided as requested by a CAC to the extent that the information is available in the financial system.

5. The District will issue surveys to CAC members who attend training sessions to obtain feedback on how to strengthen training and informational materials. The District will also provide a mechanism for CAC members to request additional information on the budget or the budget process.

6.The District will emphasize the connection between the CIP and the budget process to ensure that CACs can map CIP goals with investments in campus budgets. The current CIP should assist the CAC and the principal in developing the budget for the following year.

7.To facilitate cross-participation, the Coordinator of District Advisory Bodies will inform the appropriate associate superintendent regarding campuses that have been identified as having problems with the CIP or budgeting process. The associate superintendent will work with the Coordinator to monitor the progress of the CIP and budgeting process at such campuses and may intervene as necessary to provide additional support to the CACs.

To the extent possible, these changes will be implemented before the budget process begins in September 2013, or as soon as possible thereafter. The District will monitor progress of the current budget process to identify areas of concern and develop further recommendations based on its observations.

Austin ISD


LDU 2013.06

DATE ISSUED: 8/7/2013