About Us

Clifton Career Development School is dedicated to providing students with disabilities quality instruction in areas of Career and Technical Education. Clifton CDS currently offers instruction in the areas of Agriculture Mechanics, Career Preparation, Child Care, Culinary Arts, Horticulture, and Hospitality.

We welcome you to explore our website to learn more about the opportunities at Clifton. For additional information or to schedule a visit, please contact us.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Updates from Horticulture

The Clifton Greenhouse is almost ready for spring. We have over 4000 plants in the greenhouse waiting for warmer weather. On Saturday, March 14, the horticulture program will hold its annual spring break plant sale. We will have a large variety of plants available. This includes native plants, vegetables, cactus, indoor plants, oak trees and annual flowers. Please come out and support the students and their hard work.

On Friday, January 23, 2015, 7 students in the Clifton Horticulture Program sold 7 class winners in the Travis County Youth Show. These students won over $4,500 in cash at the auction. Congratulations to a job well done.

  • Vicente Ayala-Castillo – Lanier – Foliage Garden - $500
  • Tyler Von Quintus – Bowie – Cactus Garden - $950
  • Antwon Williams – Crocket – Cactus - $500
  • Steve Villegas – Crocket – Fern - $500
  • Jaydelynne Marsden – McCallum – Flowering Plant - $900
  • Manuel Gaytan – Akins – Foliage Plant - $600
  • Diamond Bigham – Lanier –Vine Plant - $500

Honey Bees are alive and well at the Clifton CDS. In September, we started 3 hives. Our students are responsible for inspecting, feeding and collecting honey during the fall and spring months. In May, we hope to collect and sale our honey to the general public. Honey is $10 per pound. In the meantime, the bees are helping our local environment by pollinating and ensuring our native plants continue to reproduce year after year.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ag Mechanics

On Friday January 16, students from Clifton Center FFA participated in the annual Travis County Youth Show held at the Exposition Center. Clifton had a total of twenty sheep that were shown by sixteen participants. The students worked very hard the entire year in order to do well at the show. While all FFA members did an amazing job, four did well enough to make the premium sale. Joseph Rameriz placed 1st with his Medium Wool, Xavier Mendez had a 3rd place Medium Wool, Michael Young placed 3rd in the Cross Wool class, and Matt Rosenblatt was 8th place with his Medium Wool. Those four students were awarded over $4500 that will go back into the program and allow future students to continue showing animals.

Clifton Ag students showing sheep

Monday, February 2, 2015

Practicum II

Third year students in Practicum II have accomplished many great things already in 2015! After returning from the holiday break, students were trained and certified in 1st Aid, CPR and AED through the American Heart Association. This is the 2nd of 3 certifications they may achieve this year, along with the Texas Food Handler's Permit and TABC certification.

Several students interested in pursuing a career in the medical field toured the Project SEARCH programs at Dell Children's Hospital and Brackenridge in January and are working on completing applications to be considered for the training program during the 2015-16 school year.

We are also extremely excited for 3 current Practicum II students and 1 Clifton alumni who were recently hired at the new JW Marriott hotel that will be opening in downtown Austin next month. The hotel is designed to host large conventions and meetings, with more than 112,000 square feet of event space, 42 meeting rooms and 1,012 guest rooms. The hotel will also achieve a LEED Silver certification and two-star Austin Energy Green Building rating, Upon completion in February 2015, the 340-story hotel will not only be the largest hotel in Austin, but also the largest JW Marriott in the United States and the second largest JW Marriott in the world. Visit their website herefor more information.

Clifton students learn 1st Aid Clifton students learn CPR

Clifton students tour Project SEARCH Clifton students employed at JW Marriott hotel

Monday, January 26, 2015


Jenny Larson is Clifton's Teacher of the Year!

Friday, January 23, 2015

No Place for Hate/Peace Through Pies

Clifton Culinary Arts will be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and encouraging peace by hosting the students from Clifton's other classes in a No Place for Hate/Peace Through Pies activity.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Travis County Youth Show Results

Culinary Arts had a great time with the Travis County Youth Show this year. Three students entered projects including chocolate cakes, salsas, and pies. We would like to congratulate Ryan Chappo, Kayla Rodrigues, and Natalie McCabe on their blue ribbon projects!

Hospitality students enjoyed participating as well. Blue ribbon winners were Aaron Whitby for his German Chocolate Cake, Marcus Jones for his Red Velvet Strawberry Fudge Pie, and Valerie Garza for her Hot Sauce. Kieondra Foley recieved a red ribbon, and Haylee McRae received a white ribbon for her BBQ sauce.

Tuesday, January 19, 2015

Two Students Find Employment at University Medical Center Brackenridge

Shaniya Gee and Marvin Medina are interns with Project SEARCH at University Medical Center Brackenridge. Shaniya began the year in Day Surgery where she checked patients in for surgery and helped the department meet many of its other needs. Throughout her rotation she proved her importance to the department. When a transporter position became available Shaniya applied, interviewed, and was accepted into the position. She will start as a part-time transporter in Day Surgery at the beginning of February.

Marvin's first internship with Project SEARCH was in PACU B. He assisted nurses and the department with patients that were coming out of surgery. Marvin became a big asset to the team. In December, a position opened up as a transporter for PACU B. Marvin also applied, interviewed and will be starting as a part-time transporter for PACU B at the end of January. Both interns are extremely excited to begin work doing something they love and helping patients.

Six Project SEARCH Interns began their second rotations in various departments throughout the hospital following the Winter Break. They are all enjoying learning new tasks and gaining new work skills that will help them become competitively employed.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Project SEARCH Applications

Project SEARCH 2015-2016 applications and related materials are ready for download. Please visit our Project SEARCH page for the paperwork and information for students applying to Project SEARCH. Applications are due February 12, 2015.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Poinsettia Sale

The 2014 Clifton CDS Poinsettia Sale starts today! A limited supply of red poinsettia plants is available in our greenhouse, Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm, while supplies last. Medium plants are $10 and large are $20. They make a lovely addition to your holiday decor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Project SEARCH at University Medical Center Brackenridge

Project SEARCH at University Medical Center Brackenridge is having a wonderful inaugural year. The staff at UMCB has been very supportive and the 8 interns have become extremely well integrated into their departments and the hospital. The interns are towards the end of the first rotations in various departments throughout the hospital. They are learning work skills in the Pharmacy, Sterile Processing, Materials Management, Pre Admission Testing, Day Surgery, PACU B, and Environmental Services. Each day after they are done with their internship, the interns come to the classroom where they continue to hone their independent living skills. They are learning money management, social skills, personal health care, resume building, cooking, interpersonal skills, and transportation throughout the community. The interns are enjoying their internship experience and gaining valuable skills that will help them in their future careers. Updates will continue, especially as interns gain competitive employment throughout the year. If you have any questions, please contact Renee Salvi at (512) 324-7092 or renee.salvi@austinisd.org.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Project SEARCH at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas

The 2014-2015 interns at Project SEARCH DCMCCT are off and running in their first rotations. Rotations include Sterile Processing, Pharmacy, Child Life, Food Services, Material's Management, Warehouse, NICU and the Emergency Department.

Interns are gaining a variety of job skills in their rotations but are also learning to be part of team, how having a positive attitude contributes to a successful internship rotation, decision making, time management, social skills, travel training and money management.

I'm very happy to see the progress all interns have made to date and look forward to sharing their successes throughout the year. For more information, please contact Joanna Puga-Mello, AISD teacher with Project SEARCH, at 512-324-9999 ext. 86127 or joanna.puga-mello@austinisd.org.

October 14, 2014

Vistors Welcome

Clifton CDS welcomes Staci Green, Special Education Director for Hallsville ISD. We love sharing program ideas with other districts.

October 6, 2014

Lamb Show

On Saturday, October 4th, four Animal Production students had the chance to attend their first ever lamb prospect show. The show was held at Bowie High School and was a great learning opportunity for everyone! These students have been working very hard with their lambs, and their work paid off. We came away with two 2nd Places, two 3rd places, a 4th place, and a 5th place. Most importantly, the students came away with knowledge and experience they will be able to use at future shows.

Clifton students show lambs

Clifton students show lambs

Clifton students show lambs

September 26, 2014


Clifton is proud of Supported Employment Consultant Gina Matizzi-Fuller on her acceptance into the Boston Marathon! We will be cheering for her on Monday, April 20th, 2015. Go Gina!

September 19, 2014

Project SEARCH Expands to UMC Brackenridge

Project SEARCH has now expanded to its fourth Seton location, University Medical Center Brackenridge, and now provides internships to approximately 40 high school students in Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Learn more here.

September 2, 2014

Follow our Twitter!

Clifton CDS now has a Twitter account. You can follow us at @cliftoncds to keep up on some of the latest happenings at Clifton.

Clifton Continues to Grow

Clifton has added a second Hospitality Practicum class, as our numbers continue to grow. We welcome David Carroll (back from Bowie High School) as our teacher, and Kim Penson as our Teaching Assistant. We look forward to having many more students employed!

Project Search also expanded to a second site. University Medical Center Brackenridge is now home to a new Project Search program. Renee Salvi, Deann Brown, and Caroline Smith make up our team. We look forward to news from them this year.

Clifton Success Stories, Volume 3

Jacob Guerrero attended the Clifton Ag/Mechanics Program a few years ago. He came by the other day to say hello. Jacob is now attending the Welding program at Austin Community College. He says college is fun and interesting, and he enjoys learning something new each day. He credits Clifton and Mr. Duncum for teaching him to weld and preparing him for college. He plans to continue his coursework to complete the certifications ACC offers. We are always glad to hear from former students about their successful transition from school to work or college. Congratulations Jacob!

Jacob in Clifton's welding class

Clifton Success Stories, Volume 2

Alden completed the Culinary Arts program at Clifton. She learned team work, got her Texas Food Handler's certificate, acquired proper kitchen skills, time management, organization, responsibility and so much more. She currently works at Austin's Pizza for four hours a week and at Cafe Express four hours a week, for a total of eight hours a week. Her employers have dress codes she must follow. She wears a tee shirt with restaurant logo and jeans or black slacks. Alden's mom drives her to work. She likes working because she has made new friends, learned lots about restaurants and cooking and she has her own money to spend. She says she would not be able to do her job if she had not learned all about the right way to work in a professional kitchen at Clifton. She plans to continue working and would like to work full time someday. She also would like to live in a house with some friends. Alden's family is really proud of her, and so are we!


Clifton Success Stories, Volume 1

Oralia was a student at Clifton from January 2008 to May 2010. She decided to come to Clifton because she thought it was an awesome school! She attended the Business Program with Mrs. Wine. She learned many things, but she says the most important lesson she learned was, no matter how hard the situation, never give up on your dreams.

In her third year at Clifton, Mrs. Borders helped Oralia find her job at Faith Presbyterian Child Development Center. She is happily surprised that she still works there and she enjoys making money. She works 40 hours a week as a Teacher Assistant. She is also working on earning her Child Development Certificate at the ACC Eastview campus. Her goal is to keep working and to get a place of her own.

Oralia would like to tell students that Clifton is an awesome school and you could learn a lot by going to Clifton. She also says the staff is amazing! We at Clifton miss Oralia and are very proud of all she has accomplished.



Friday, February 27, 2015

Administrators from Katy ISD to tour Clifton CDS.

Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Break. No school.

Clifton on Twitter

Check out our video

Absent?? Call 512-414-3614

If a student will be absent, they need to call Clifton to report the absence and the reason for the absence. This is important for two reasons. First, the teachers need to know if a student will be out in order to plan and prepare make-up work upon the student's return. Secondly, communicating an absence in advance is an important job skill that students need to practice.

When the student returns to school, they need to bring a note from a doctor or parent with the date(s) of absence(s), and the reason for the absence. Students with 5 or more absences in a semester are at risk of losing credit for the class. Students should ask their teacher how they can make-up the work they missed.

For more information, see the AISD webpage on attendance: Every Day Counts

Site last updated on February 24, 2015