Creative Learning Initiative
Our Creative Learning Initiative community is unique—and unified. We promote brave and joyful spaces for students and teachers to learn and create together. This is critical to students’ education and development, as well as success in college, career and life. Research shows our collaborative work in the arts and creative learning:
- empowers students to generate ideas, develop models and make creative choices
- helps students express themselves, regulate their emotions and heal
- builds a strong sense of community and belonging and
- increases cognitive engagement to effectively learn in any space.
Social Emotional Learning
We are committed to provide an early childhood experience that recognizes that the foundation of child development rests on a transformative belief that children require a positive and brain smart environment. Austin ISD has a strong and lasting partnership with CASEL. We are committed to SEL as ... "a process through which children and adults understand and mangage emotions, set and acheive positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and main positive relationships and make responsible decisions" - Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). https://www.austinisd.org/sites/default/files/dept/sel/docs/SEL-Competencies.pdf
Uphaus is in it's 3rd year of being an A.I.S.D. SEL Seed Campus - a leader in the field. The purpose of the Seed Model Campus Cohort Program is to create a community of practice for campuses in their journey of goal-oriented, intentional, campus-wide integration of social and emotional learning (SEL) into school culture and systems. At Uphaus we focus our SEL efforts on the foundation of Conscious Discipline through our learning about the work of Dr. Becky Bailey. https://consciousdiscipline.com/methodology/school-family/
Research on proactive SEL practices shows many positive effects for students, including higher academic performance, more positive attitudes about the self and others, increased prosocial behavior, and reduced conduct problems and emotional distress (Mahoney et al., 2019). AISD has supported the district-wide acquisition and development of students’ SEL skills since the 2011–2012 school year. During that time, program leaders have verified the essential contribution of campus-led SEL initiatives. Campus leaders know the strengths and weaknesses of their school communities and are best positioned to set up, lead, and reflect on strategic SEL goals.
Dual Language Education
We believe that proficiency in more than one language is an essential skill for all communities of learners. Dual Language education is a research based and effective model to promote the speaking, listening, reading and writing of languages. We promote dual language by educating our parents so that they 'opt in' to this model at the earliest age possible. We work with district leaders to ensure that children have the choice to continue their bilingual journeys through high school in Austin ISD. Bilingual learners not only excel academically but also develop a deep pride in their own and others' cultures and languages. We have 8 teachers in PK4 trained and offering dual language education to our learners. Our classrooms include language instruction in English for Math & English Language Development and Spanish Science, Social Studies and Language Arts. Spanish and English languages are fluid and embrassed in all centers. Our two way dual language PK3 & PK4 programs focus on the children exploring and discovering learning in order to become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural.
Doing is learning. We strive to increase the hands on, outdoor, project based learning experiences for all of our children. Natural outdoor experiences that are not controlled by adults are optimal spaces for children to develop creativity, problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking and much more! Our children experience active learning not only in classrooms, but also in our blocks and science labs. Both places include choice activities for children that encourage learning through play.