Austin ISD breaks ground on new school for students with special needs with parade

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new Austin Independent School District campus, built specifically for students with severe special needs, broke ground on Friday.

Families of students who will eventually attend the new Rosedale School showed their support with a safe, drive-by parade.

“Our schools don’t belong to us, they belong to our communities,” said Dr. Stephanie Elizalde, the superintendent for AISD. “Coming together creates things that go from a vision to a reality.”

Brian Miller, a teacher at Rosedale for 28 years and a father to a 19-year-old with severe physical and mental disabilities, was proud to stand on the sidewalk and cheer as cars drove by.

Miller says having a classroom built to accommodate his son’s needs will help him grow.

“The traditional subjects in school, math and social studies, are not high priority issues. We are trying to teach them how to get along in the world. Truly life skills,” Miller said.

AISD officials said the entire blueprint for the $40 million school, funded through the $1.05 billion bond, is based on family and teacher input.

“Whether we are talking about libraries, cafeterias, playgrounds, it’s all being built in the perspective of the students and their special needs,” Elizalde said. “Instead of our students having to adjust to physical facilities, this facility is being built with them at the center of the design.”

With wheels spinning and horns honking, the support proves that families are thankful.

“Every student needs a campus that serves them,” said Rosedale principal Elizabeth Dickey.

Reach KXAN’s Education Reporter Alex Caprariello by email at alexc@kxan.com or by phone at 512-703-5365, or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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