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Administrative Procedures Manual

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Section 23

Curriculum and Instruction

Associate Superintendent

Executive Director

Administrative Assistant

The Curriculum and Instruction department’s main purpose is to improve student academic achievement by strengthening and aligning curricular tools and resources to support the instruction of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS), and 21st century skills, as well as new state graduation requirements. Additionally, the C&I department strives to create a system of support structure that is focused on assisting School Leadership, campus administrative staff, and teacher personnel.


Professional Learning Department

Director of Professional Learning

The Professional Learning Department designs the training framework which aligns all work related to teacher development and teacher leader development.  All professional development frameworks and systems are designed to support Abilene ISD’s instructional priorities. This department creates all professional development catalogs for campus teachers and administrators building capacity with pedagogy, content and strategies to support at-risk learners. The PD department works with beginning teachers starting at New Teacher Orientation and extending throughout the year in Beginning Teacher Network workshops. The department also makes campus and classroom visits and provides coaching support for new teachers. Additionally, the PD department coordinates and supports clinical teachers in their campus placements. Additional guidelines and processes appear below.


Fine Arts Department

Executive Director of Fine Arts

Fine Arts Secretary

The mission of the Abilene Independent School District Fine Arts Department is to provide support to campus fine arts teachers, encouraging them to create an inspiring delivery of the sequential subject matter as defined by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills to all students in their classrooms.

AISD is committed to the education of the whole child and believes that every student should have a basic knowledge, skill, and appreciation of the fine arts.  For many years, AISD has taken pride in the outstanding accomplishments of its multi-faceted fine arts programs.

The Fine Arts Department includes elementary music (K-5); a special education handbell choir (9-12), band (6-12), choir (6-12), orchestra (6-12), visual art (K-12), dance (9-12); speech/debate (9-12), and theatre (6-12).

The district supports the philosophy that the benefits derived from a quality arts education program will enable students to develop self-esteem, self-discipline, self-motivation, and cooperation necessary for success in life.


Special Education Department

Executive Director of Special Education

The Abilene ISD Special Education Department provides the required administrative structure for delivery of services to students eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [Public Law 108-446] (IDEA).  The Department’s Child Find system is an integral component of the district’s comprehensive program to locate, identify, and evaluate any child within the district’s geographical boundary suspected of having a disability.

The Department is committed to providing a positive and supportive educational experience that offers opportunities for success to all students and offers a comprehensive program designed to meet unique individual student needs including a full continuum of services with access to the general education curriculum as well as specialized programs. Our goal is to provide educational opportunities that will empower students to reach their fullest potential in all areas of development by collaborating with parents, teachers, administrators, and the community to insure success. We are committed to providing a caring community of dedicated staff and involved parents who work together to meet the diverse academic, emotional, and social needs of all of our students.The Abilene Independent School District strives to provide appropriate programs for all students. The District provides facilities, personnel, and supportive services to assist students in learning at the pace and in the manner most appropriate for their capabilities. Dedicated educators continually strive to plan, establish, and implement Special Education programs which meet the needs of the student population. As the needs of the population change, programs are modified to meet student needs.

Department staff, who coordinate, maintain, and report student and district data related to federal, state and local compliance standards that govern special education, provide administrative oversight for program compliance.


Mathematics Department

Coordinator of Elementary Mathematics

Coordinator of Secondary Mathematics

Abilene ISD students learn about innovations and accomplishments in math through high-quality instruction in order to see the role of mathematics in their daily lives and to increase their ability to understand, analyze and critique information.  Mathematics is the language of problem solving.  Students use math to organize information and to make decisions.  Whether students are in elementary or secondary grades, AISD teachers and staff use research-based instructional materials, enrichment, and tutorials to teach specific learning objectives aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS).  Real world applications, as well as the use of technology, focus student learning on acquiring the content and the skills necessary to be successful well beyond high school.  Students may enroll in regular academic classes or elect to take coursework in pre-AP and AP mathematics as Abilene ISD continues a tradition of excellence in mathematics.


Science Department

Coordinator of Science

The Science Department supports inquiry-based learning in a student-centered classroom. Descriptive, comparative, and experimental laboratory investigations are integrated into at least 40% of science instructional time. To support the teaching of science, educators are encouraged to design learning environments that transform students into communities of scientific learners. Teachers model the skills of scientific inquiry, while providing activities and tools that allow the student to observe, collect data, reflect and analyze first hand events.

Supporting teachers and campus leadership through data-driven professional development sessions allows teachers to build their content knowledge and pedagogy skills in order to close achievement gaps and increase student performance in the area of science. To this end, the Science Department provides rigorous curricula and assessment products with opportunities for teacher involvement and teacher growth through professional development, and actively seeks opportunities for students and teachers to engage in science-related activities and programs both in and out of school.

Wonders in Nature field trips to Abilene State Park provide elementary teachers and students quality outdoor educational experiences to improve student achievement in science and develop awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the natural world. The field trips offer urban students and teachers the opportunity to connect with nature and learn important science content and skills. The instructional programs, led by Texas Parks and Wildlife Rangers and Master Naturalists, are fully aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, local science curriculum, and STAAR tests.

Establishing a solid foundational knowledge of science concepts begins in kindergarten and continues through adulthood. It requires the combined efforts of students, teachers, administrators and parents to provide the support for student success.


Technology Department

Chief Technology Officer

The Technology department is dedicated to providing multiple technology learning opportunities for all students. Students have several opportunities beginning in elementary school to explore STEM based learning activities. Middle school elective and CTE courses include programming and robotics to help create a pipeline of students who are prepared to pursue a STEM Computer Science endorsement in high school.


Health Service Department

Director of Health Services

The Health Service Department provides school nurses who have a crucial role in the provision of comprehensive health services to children and youth.  Increasing numbers of students enter schools with chronic health conditions that require management during the school day.  The school nurse’s role in serving as a team member in the educational sector is to provide preventive services, early identification of health problems, interventions, and referrals to foster the health and educational success of students.  As the school nurse, our vision is to advance the well-being, academic success, and lifelong achievements of the students.  School health services contribute to the goals of the education system and the healthcare system by providing screenings and referrals, administering medications and treatments, providing first aid, providing health counseling and education, and supporting students to acquire self-management skills.


Physical Education Department

Executive Director of Athletics

The purpose of Physical Education is to encourage the highest achievement of every student, by defining the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire at each grade level.

Physical Education offers students the opportunity to cultivate physical fitness; social and emotional adjustment; the ability to develop talents; the ability to develop physical attributes such as strength, flexibility, coordination, and cardiovascular health.

Additionally, this department offers an Off-Campus Physical Education program for secondary students who may participate in physical education activities that exceed those that are offered by AISD.


Library Media Services

Library Media Services has the responsibility to see that programs are offered in the library, physically and virtually in support of reading, the right to self-select books whether print, audio, or digital, and reading motivation, 21st century research skills, student digital skills, project-based learning, while supporting and enriching curricular activities in the classroom with online resources and print. Library Media Services opens new school libraries, closes libraries, processes and electronically supports the student use of the online library system and helps revitalize libraries within the district. The lead library team also works with administrators to select viable librarians and supports those administrators with data and information concerning the programs. Library Media Services establishes guidelines and standards for the district libraries in program development and integration of technology through makerspaces and other hands-on projects to support learning in the classroom. Library Media Services works in collaboration with the Abilene Public Library and area universities.


Bilingual/ESL Department

Executive Director of Federal Programs

Bilingual/ESL Education Program Officer

Bilingual Specialist

The Bilingual/ESL Department provides campuses with instructional and special language program support, including language interpretation, supplemental resources and professional development aligned to the district plan for English Learners (ELs) and research-based best practices for ELs in ESL programs. Through the Lee Elementary, Clack Middle School and Craig Middle School Newcomer Centers, the department provides targeted support for newly arrived refugee ELs, including parent orientation and instructional support for refugee students. As the Bilingual/ESL Department, our vision is to foster a culture of collaboration that advocates and ensures educational equity for the academic, linguistic and social success of all language learners. Our mission is to increase student achievement by effectively addressing the academic, linguistic and social needs of English language learners through Bilingual/ESL programs that are research-based and celebratory of student diversity.


Dual Language Program

Executive Director of Federal Programs

Bilingual/ESL Education Program Officer

Bilingual Specialist

The Dual Language Program team provides the Gomez and Gomez Two-Way Dual Language program located at Long Early Learning Center (Pre-K) and Ortiz Elementary with instructional and program support, including supplemental resources and professional development aligned to the district plan for ELs and research-based best practices for emerging bilingual students.  In addition, the program provides support to English speaking students enrolled in the Dual Language program as they work to learn Spanish.  As part of the Bilingual/ESL Department, our vision is to foster a culture of collaboration that advocates and ensures educational equity for the academic, linguistic and social success of all language learners. Our goals include opportunities for students to become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural.


Reading Language Arts Department

Coordinator of Elementary English Language Arts and Reading

Coordinator of Secondary English Language Arts and Reading

The Reading Language Arts office provides campuses with instructional support, including the development of curricular resources, assessments, and professional development that are aligned to the English Language Arts and Reading TEKS and the district’s reading and writing plan. The Department believes in a balanced approach to literacy instruction that includes reading, writing, speaking, and listening, with a focus on text-dependent reading, writing, and discussion.


Social Studies Department

Director of Social Studies and Leadership Development

The National Council for the Social Studies defines Social Studies as “the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence.” AISD strives to provide all students with academic and authentic learning opportunities that both ignite their passions for learning and also enhance their abilities and motivations to become informed and engaged citizens of a culturally diverse and globally interdependent world. In addition, AISD endeavors to empower students to evaluate the relevance of the past, identify and fulfill roles and responsibilities in the present, and use knowledge and experience to impact the future.


Leadership Development/Character Education

Director of Social Studies and Leadership Development

The mission of the Leadership Development department is to help others reach their fullest potential. To be effective in schools, character education must involve all stake holders, be integrated into the curriculum as well as school
culture. Our processes transform school cultures, reduce discipline referrals, increase academic achievement, develop global citizens, and improve satisfaction and retention among teachers and staff. The Leadership Development department oversees The Leader in Me process in our Elementary schools.


Section 504 and Dyslexia Services

504 Coordinator

Section 504 is a discrimination law, enforced by the Office of Civil Rights, stating the school district cannot discriminate against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

The mission of Section 504 is to increase student achievement by offering services and support to Section 504 students, parents and campuses through identification, instruction, and community awareness. The Section 504 team is committed to providing campuses with professional development and supplemental resources to assist in adequately assessing and serving students requiring Section 504 accommodations.

Career and Technical Education Programs

Director of Career and Technical Education

The mission of the Abilene ISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program is to prepare students for post-secondary education and/or the workforce and to assume productive roles in the family and the community.  Abilene ISD is committed to increasing and improving instruction in the CTE programs, particularly since the adoption of House Bill 5 in 2013.  The Foundation Graduation Plan established academic pathways with five endorsement options that allow students to receive sequential and specialized instruction, hands-on learning and project based learning.  Students may earn a higher performance category called Distinguished Level of Achievement; additionally they may earn Performance Acknowledgments that note outstanding achievement in specific areas as well as industry based certifications.  Instructional objectives for CTE were developed in cooperation with the Texas Workforce Commission so that upon graduation, students are extremely well equipped to either continue their education or enter directly into the workforce at a higher income level.


More information may be found at the following websites:

Texas Education Agency Graduation Toolkit http://tea.texas.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=51539608601

Texas Education Agency CTE Homepage http://tea.texas.gov/cte/

Abilene ISD CTE Homepage https://www.abileneisd.org/page/171


Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)

Executive Director of Instructional Support

AVID is a college and career readiness system.  AVID’s systematic approach is designed to support students and educators as they increase schoolwide/districtwide learning and performance and close the achievement gap.  It helps prepare students for the future—specifically, providing the skills for college readiness and success in a global society.  AVID is offered as an elective course at Mann Middle School (6th – 8th grade).  Students must apply and be accepted into the AVID program.  Interested students may request an AVID Application from the AVID site coordinator at the home campus.

Curriculum and Instruction Operating Procedures and Guidance



An aligned curriculum is provided in our school district at all grade levels. Any variation from the designated curriculum must be discussed with and approved by the appropriate curriculum program director, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction and the Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction.

Campus pilot programs are permissible in different subject areas provided they are approved and supervised by the Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction and closely monitored by the Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction and the building principal.

Annually, secondary campuses will have the opportunity to request course additions, modifications, and deletions to the College and Career Planning Guide.  Only course changes approved through this process may be offered at campuses.


High School Credit Policy

Please refer to the Abilene Independent School District College and Career Planning Guide for specific guidelines for high school credits.  The College and Career Planning Guide is found online at https://www.abileneisd.org/collegeandcareerplanningguide.


Use Of Student Work

During the annual student information update or student enrollment process, parents select whether student work may be used for display outside the district.  This information is accessible in the student information system (TEAMS).


Grading Policy

Grading policy for all grade levels is found at the following link:  Grading Policy 2017


Semester Exam Exemptions

Semester exams/projects will be administered in all high school credit courses in accordance with AISD Board Policy EIA (Local).  Specific guidance regarding semester exam exemptions is found at the following link: Semester Exam Exemption Policy 2017.


Professional Learning Procedures and Guidance


Board Policy DMA(LEGAL) and Texas Education Code Sec. 21.451 define required staff development.


Campus or Department Developed Professional Learning:

Recording and Posting of Campus-Based or Departmental Credit:  Supervisors will enter each class/session offered on a campus, update attendance records, and give credit to each participant in Eduphoria Workshop. This process will ensure each attendee will receive proper credit for attending the staff development training.


Region 14 Service Center Professional Learning:

All professional learning completed at ESC Region 14 will be uploaded into Eduphoria Workshop and applied to individual accounts on a monthly basis.


Alternative Professional Development and Alternative Work Days: 

Alternative Professional Development and Alternative Work Day policies for exempt and non-exempt employees is found at the following links: