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, Health Science, 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.


Thank you!

Culinary Arts Friday $5 lunches have ended for the 2015-16 school year. Thanks to all who participated. Our students learned valuable skills while preparing the meals. We look forward to serving you again next year.

AISD Budget Community Conversations

Click here for information regarding upcoming opportunities to engage and learn about strategic investment in priorities and long-range financial planning for the district.

No Place For Hate

Clifton CDS has been a No Place For Hate campus since 2012. This year we increased our programming to one event each 6 weeks. Child Care students created videos and power point presentations on cybersafety, stereotypes, and being an ally who stands up against bullying. They also came up with activities and games to play. Our February event was Peace through Pies. We played Getting to Know You Bingo and ate pies and pizzas made by each class. Clifton will continue to support NP4H8 programming because we understand social and emotional learning are an important part of student success.

Mr. Dishner and a student exchange bingo answers students and staff play getting to know you bingo

Clifton students in the news!

Check out this KEYE news story about Clifton Ag Mechanics students modifying a picnic bench for Austin High students who use wheelchairs.

Project SEARCH at University Medical Center Brackenridge Update

Project SEARCH has had a successful beginning to the spring semester. 11 interns are hard at work completing their second rotations in various departments throughout University Medical Center Brackenridge (UMCB). Our interns are assisting patients, analyzing hospital data, providing supports for nursing students in the simulation lab, preparing food for patients and staff, and stocking supplies used throughout the hospital. During class they are continuing to build their independent living skills by developing personal budgets, comparing banks, and creating healthy meal plans. Congratulations to Alaina who received the Intern of the Month Award for January due to her outstanding work ethic and attitude while in her internship in Food and Nutrition Services.

In February, 3 Project SEARCH interns have been hired at Seton. Peyton began a job working at Dell Children’s Medical Center as a floor supply specialist assistant in the Emergency Department. At University Medical Center Brackenridge Bella began working in the Materials Management Department as a full time floor supply specialist and builds case carts that are used during surgery. Jermaine is also working at UMCB in Food and Nutrition Services as a food service worker where he prepares patient food and delivers it to the floors. Way to go Peyton, Bella, and Jermaine!

Applications for Project SEARCH for the 2016-17 school year have been submitted and interviews will be held on March 7th. We look forward to meeting the prospective interns! If you are interested in Project SEARCH or if you would like more information, please contact Renee Salvi, Project SEARCH teacher, at renee.salvi@austinisd.org or call 512-324-7092.

Student working in Materials Management Bella hired at Brackenridge JW hired at Brackenridge Sabrina working in the Simulation Lab

Clifton Horticulture Update

Mark your calendars for Clifton’s Annual Plants and Pancakes Sale on Saturday, March 5. Our greenhouse is overflowing with plants of all varieties for your gardening pleasure. And to sweeten the morning, the Hospitality Program will be selling pancakes, coffee, and other breakfasty delectables. The sale is open to the public and lasts from 8am-noon, so come early and bring your appetite and your green thumb!

Speaking of green thumbs, our students recently showed off theirs at the Travis County Youth Fair in January. We had seven Class Champion winners, as well as seven reserve class champion awards. Congratulations to all of the students that participated!

Aside from our success in the Youth Fair, the Horticulture Program is happy to announce that we have been awarded a $3000 grant through the City of Austin’s Bright Green Future School Grant Program. These funds are for a rainwater collection system that will provide water for our garden and greenhouse, as well as for our newest venture, a gourmet mushroom cultivation project.

Student with plant at Youth Fair Lemon Oyster mushroom Student with plant at Youth Fair Clifton Greenhouse

Scholarship Awarded

Clifton's Child Care program was awarded a scholarship to cover admission for a student field trip to the Thinkery, Austin's Children's Museum. The funding is provided by ACCESS for Learning, Inc. ACCESS is committed to connecting schools and cultural institutions throughout Austin, and strives to provide the opportunity for students to see the world beyond their classrooms. Ms. Wine and her students are grateful for their support!

Travis County Youth Show Participation

Clifton programs participated in the 2016 Travis County Youth Show. We are proud to report great results:


  • Champion Barbeque Sauce- Camry Jones
  • Reserve Champion in the Dried Foods category- Valerie Garza
  • 2 Blue Ribbons in the Pie and Candy category- Tu Anh Phung and Angela Ventura
  • 6 Red Ribbons- McKenzie Greenwalt, Ariana Moreno, Makalia Sutton, Christian Tienda, Jose Ruiz, and Shervin Seyvani


  • 1st place Heavy Weight Fine Wool Cross- Daniel Contereras
  • 2nd place Heavy Weight Dorper- Alex Roebuck
  • 2nd place Light Weight Dorper- Jai Castro
  • 2nd place Light Weight Fine Wool- Guillermo Miranda


  • Courtney Crawford- Red Ribbon for red chili hot sauce
  • Omar Veliz- Blue Ribbon for hard candies
  • Angelica Otero- Blue Ribbon for chowchow (preserved vegetables)
  • Michael Meyer- Red Ribbon for chocolate candies
  • Quintin Scott- Red Ribbon for decorated cookies

Clifton Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to David Carroll, Clifton's Teacher of the Year for 2015-16!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Project SEARCH at UMCB Update

Project SEARCH at University Medical Center Brackenridge interns are wrapping up their first internships at the hospital. The interns have been very successful in their first rotations, gaining work skills that will be invaluable when applying for competitive employment in the spring. After Winter Break, the interns will begin a second rotation in a new department.

Congratulations to our Interns of the Month who received this award for their outstanding work ethic during the first rotation: Bella Tovar (September), Nereida Calzada (October), and Nancy Hernandez-Castelan (November). All the interns deserve a pat on the back for their hard work and dedication to their departments.

Congratulations are also in order for Douglas Pryor. He has obtained paid employment at University Medical Center Brackenridge in the Materials Management Department as a Floor Supply Specialist and will begin his new job at the end of December. Way to go Douglas!

Project SEARCH students Douglas

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Clifton Horticulture News

Fall is a time for sweet success for the Clifton Horticulture Program. Our students recently harvested, extracted, and bottled honey from our apiary. We just sold last few jars and are pleased to report that our bees are happy, healthy and preparing for the cold season.

Speaking of the season, we have a bumper crop of poinsettias this year that are nearing perfection. Our greenhouse is awash in brilliant red, white, gold, and green. We will soon begin distribution of the over 400 poinsettias that have been pre-sold to the community. That’s a lot of colorful cheer to go around!

We are also busy preparing for the Travis County Youth Fair, in which many of our students will be showing the plants they have been caring for this semester. We have students competing in many horticulture categories, including flowering plants, foliage plants, cacti, vines and ferns. Stay tuned for results of the competition in January, as well as news of our ongoing horticultural adventures!

Brandon with Poinsettias Clifton Student Bee Keepers Youth Fair Contestants

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lamb and Goat Show

Mr. Duncum's Animal Science students braved the cold and rain to attend the Lake Travis lamb and goat prospect show on Saturday, November 7. Eight students showed 10 lambs in seven classes, and all placed.

  • Alex Roebuck - Reserve Champion and 4th place
  • Jesse Trevino - 3rd place
  • Noe Munoz - 2nd place
  • Walker Kaatz - 3rd place
  • Ivan Benites - 3rd place
  • Guillermo Miranda- 3rd & 4th places
  • Truett Peter - 4th place
  • Joann Garcia - 6th place

Lamb and Goat show participants student with lamb

Monday, November 9, 2015

Child Care holds Baby Olympics

Students in Practicum in Human Services created events and scoring rubrics for the Child Development students. The events included Diaper Changing, Formula Mixing, Car Seat, Crib Mattress, and Play Pen Set Up. In the case of a tie, we had a timed Infant Fire Drill, which required getting 4 babies out of the building safely in under 2 minutes. The second year Practicum students awarded homemade medals to the first year students with the highest scores in each event.

Child Development students have been learning about the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Social development of children from birth to Kindergarten. They have chosen safe toys, sorted books by age and theme, made posters explaining how play activities foster development, and created videos about activities you can do with kids to help them learn through play.

Practicum students continue to go to the Clubhouse Cadets center at Zavala Elementary to assist with the care of infants and toddlers. They gain valuable experiences to reflect on and create fun activities for the toddlers.

Students will be attempting CPR with AED certification before the end of the semester, and will attempt the First Aid certification after the holiday break.

Baby Olympic medalists sorting books by age and theme baby fire drill working with babies at Zavala

Friday, October 30, 2015

Project SEARCH at University Medical Center Brackenridge update

Project SEARCH is excited to begin their second year at University Medical Center Brackenridge with a great group of 8 interns. Everyone is off to a great start in their first rotation at the hospital. The interns are developing work skills in their various departments and learning alongside supportive co-workers and job coaches. DeAnn Brown and Justine Salsbury from Austin ISD and Jessi Behnke from Goodwill are job coaching the interns in the following departments: the Simulation Lab, Patient Access, Imaging, Materials Management, Sterile Processing, Environmental Services, the Clinical Education Center, and Food Services.

Project SEARCH can’t wait to see how the interns grow throughout the year and where their journey to work takes them. The 2015-2016 group of interns at University Medical Center Brackenridge are: Nereida, Nancy, Ruby, Douglas, Bella, Aaron, Aleisha and Jermaine. Each month an intern is recognized as Intern of the Month for outstanding character and work ethic. Congratulations to Bella, Intern of the Month for September, and Nereida, Intern of the Month for October.

For more information on Project SEARCH at University Medical Center Brackenridge feel free to contact the teacher, Renee Salvi, at 512-324-7092 or renee.salvi@austinisd.org. We are looking forward to updating everyone on the interns’ successful employment as the year progresses.

Project SEARCH group Project SEARCH student

Project SEARCH student Project SEARCH student

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hands-on Learning

Health Science students are using fun, alternative methods to learn about the systems of the body. Ms. Munoz and Ms. Martinez help the students understand the respiratory system by having them make lungs with assorted treats. The results were visual, tactile, tasty, and memorable.

rice crispy lungs rice crispy lungs

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Spaghetti Fest 2015 is a huge success!

3rd year students worked hard to promote, prepare and work at Clifton's 2nd annual Spaghetti Fest. We had a lot of fun and made over $2000.00! A huge thank you to Cat at the Olive Garden for donating breadsticks to go along with our spaghetti and salad, as well as Cakes by Ms. Kim for donating the cakes and cupcakes for our dessert table.

Over half of the funds generated came from our silent auction items, all of which were graciously donated by the following businesses:

  • Austin Symphony
  • Austin Steam Train Association
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Holiday Inn, Town Lake
  • Jack's Links
  • Kerbey Lane
  • Pappas Restaurants
  • Texas Rowing Center
  • Woods Fun Center
  • Alamo Drafthouse
  • Amy's Ice Cream
  • Birds Barbershop
  • Chaparral Ice
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Chuy's
  • Halina European Day Spa
  • Hopdoddy
  • In-n-Out Burger
  • K&N Management
  • Kickbutt Coffee
  • Maudie's
  • Pinot's Palette
  • Pok-e-Jo's
  • Raising Cane's
  • Round Rock Express
  • Tacodeli
  • The Thinkery
  • Thundercloud Subs
  • Verts Kebap
  • Wheatsville Co-Op
  • A huge thank you to everyone who attended our event and the hardworking students and families that made it all happen!

    Friday, October 23, 2015

    Disability Mentoring Day

    Practicum II had 3 students participate in Disability Mentoring Day on October 21st. This is a national event where young people with disabilities can experience their dream job for a day. We had students job shadow at the Bob Bullock Museum, Crema Bakery and Cafe and Sterling Affairs catering company. The students had a fun, interactive morning at their job sites and then went to a luncheon and awards ceremony in the afternoon hosted by the Mayor's Committee of Austin. It was a wonderful day for all involved!

    student participating in DMD Day student participating in DMD Day

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Ag Students Compete in Lamb Shows

    Fifteen of Mr. Duncum's Animal Science students participated in lamb prospect shows at Bowie High School on October 3 and Hendrickson High School on October 17. The students are practicing their showing skills and preparing their sheep for the Travis County Show in January.

    Placing at Bowie

    • Jai Castro - Reserve Champion
    • Alex Roebuck - 3rd place
    • Jessie Trevino - 5th place
    • Shay Martinez - 7th place

    Placing at Hendrickson

    • Jai Castro - Grand Champion
    • JoAnn Garcia - 2nd place
    • Eric Quintero - 2nd place
    • Alex Amaya - 2nd place
    • Ivan Benites - 3rd place
    • Alex Roebuck - 3rd and 4th places
    • Eric Cavazos - 3rd place
    • Guillermo Miranda - 5th place

    The next prospect show will be at Manor on October 24.

    Ag student with lamb Ag student with lamb Ag student with lamb

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    Project SEARCH at DCMC update

    The 2015-2016 Project SEARCH interns at Dell Children’s Medical Center are having a successful start to their year and are already halfway through their first rotations. Our seven interns are gaining a variety of new job skills, have made meaningful connections with their co-workers and are now working independently in their assigned internships. Internship rotations include Food Services, Materials Management, Patient Floors, Emergency Department, Pharmacy, Administration and Respiratory Screening. Our interns are supported by two dedicated AISD job coaches, Mary Watkins and Janet Hansen, whose training and daily support have fostered the level of independence our interns are demonstrating in their internships.

    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 about Project SEARCH, please contact Joanna Puga-Mello, AISD teacher with Project SEARCH, at 512-324-9999 ext. 86127 or joanna.puga-mello@austinisd.org.

    Thursday, October 8, 2015

    Thank You, Families!

    Clifton staff enjoyed meeting student families and sharing information about our program. Thanks to all who attended our Family Night on October 7. If you were unable to attend, but have questions or concerns, feel free to click on Contact Us at the top of this page and email us. We will get back to you right away.

    Friday, October 2, 2015

    Project SEARCH at UMCB newsletter

    Check out what is happening with the Project SEARCH students at Brackenridge in their first newsletter of the year. Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    Culinary Arts news

    Happy New (School) Year! Clifton Culinary Arts has gotten off to a roaring start. Let's begin by welcoming aboard our new Teaching Assistant Maria Carrasco. She is a great addition to our Clifton Culinary Arts team! Culinary Arts' second year students rolled out the red carpet to welcome our new students and rolled up their sleeves to get to work at their internship. Our new students are currently hard at work finishing up their Texas Food Handler training courses. In the kitchen they are learning to navigate their way around while learning new skills, hands on. Crowne Plaza is once again a fabulous partner in our quest to teach real world job skills in real world environments. Culinary Arts' Practicum students have gotten to work in the kitchen with Executive Chef John leading the way and are looking forward to a great internship year. Thanks Crowne Plaza!

    On a more social note, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Services have begun this year's Friday Luncheons. We kept is simple for the first week with salad and grilled chicken, then set off into our Hispanic Heritage Month series. Week one featured the culture and cuisine of Mexico with enchiladas rice and beans, and an AMAZING tres leches cake. Last week (9/25) our classes made a foray into the cuisines of Cuba and Puerto Rico with authentic Cuban sandwiches, Puerto Rican rice and beans, and fried tostones. Our students are really looking forward to this week's South American theme and next week's Spanish themed luncheons before heading off into the world of European culture and cuisine. As usual Culinary Arts strives to make as much as possible from scratch. If you are interested in being added to our Friday Luncheon email list feel free to email aaron.mason@austinisd.org for more information. Stay tuned for updates on class happenings and pictures from our luncheons!

    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.



Monday, May 23 and Tuesday, May 24, 2016

End of Year Awards Ceremonies

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Last day of Clifton for the year. Students attending at home campuses only until June 2.

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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 with the date(s) of absence(s), and the reason for the absence. Students with 4 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 May 17, 2016