The Austin ISD School Health Advisory Council voted to move forward on revising AISD’s ten-year-old, outdated human sexuality curriculum in June. Unfortunately, groups who oppose comprehensive sex-ed as well as LGBTQ inclusion efforts, are working to halt the new curriculum, redirect the focus on abstinence-only programs, as well as limit the grades that have access to vital health information.
If you support comprehensive, science-based human sexuality education and LGBTQ inclusion programs for Austin schools, we need your help now more than ever. We’ve talked a lot about SHAC & School Board meetings, but now we have a new acronym to add to your list of meetings: CAC. The list of meetings you should be adding to your calendar are:
1. Attend the monthly SHAC meeting. You can learn all about SHAC meetings here. Get them on your Google calendar by using the calendar in the top right corner, or visit our Facebook SHAC Events here.
2. Attend the monthly AISD School Board meetings. Visit our Facebook School Board Events here, or find more information at the AISD website.
3. Attend Your School’s CAC Meetings – Better yet, sign up to be ON the CAC. More info below.
First things first: What is a CAC? (the information in quotes is from the AISD website.)
“Campus Advisory Councils are committees of parents, students, business and community representatives, teachers, principals, and other campus staff. The formation of CACs is required by state law (Texas Education Code, §11.251). Specific functions of CACs include providing review and comment on:
- Campus Educational Program
- Campus Performance
- Campus Improvement Plan
- Campus Staff Development Plan
- Campus-Level Waiver Requests to the State
- Campus Budget
The mission of CACs is to promote excellence in education for all students through broad-based representation. CACs provide valuable input to principals, who ultimately have decision-making responsibility for their campuses.”
So, the CAC is an important group of individuals which is making incredibly important decisions about your school’s campus. We typically think of the PTA as *the* group in schools, but the CAC actually has much more power when it comes to input on curriculum, staffing and how funds are used at your school.
Based on feedback from recent SHAC meetings the CAC is going to have a couple important roles to play with the new human sexuality curriculum and LGBTQ inclusion programs.
First, each school’s CAC will be the group responsible for organizing input sessions (with the principal) and collecting feedback from parents regarding the human sexuality curriculum. We need as many supporters as possible at these meetings to ensure that our voices are heard.
Second, once feedback is collected and the school board votes on how to move forward with the human sexuality curriculum, each school’s CAC will be making important decisions regarding how the curriculum is rolled out at their schools. There is a huge risk of important aspects of the curriculum being stripped out during this phase and its important that we all stay involved through the entire process.
Check with your individual school about dates for upcoming CAC meetings. They are open to the public so anyone can attend.
If you’re interested in joining your school’s CAC, here is some additional information from the AISD website:
“Membership of Campus Advisory Councils is determined at the campus level. Click here to download a standard membership application. Completed applications should be submitted to your campus principal. Detailed information on membership criteria is contained in the CAC Bylaws.”
Unfortunately, I’m not able to send out meeting dates and reminders for each campus, but welcome you to post anything you find about your school’s upcoming CAC meetings in our Private Facebook Group or Public Facebook Page. Please help us spread the word with friends at your schools by sharing this post on your Facebook page, Twitter and anywhere possible to help get the word out.
Thank you for all you do to help keep ALL kids and parents in AISD Informed.
Want to help but don’t live in AISD? Learn more about SHAC’s in other school districts here.
Sign up for updates here.