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. Next year, we will add a Health Sciences program.

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.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

AISD Back to School Bash

  • Back to School Bash
  • August 15, 9-noon
  • Palmer Events Center
  • 900 Barton Springs Rd.

Austin ISD students must be present to receive a free backpack filled with school supplies, while supplies last. At the event, community and district organizations will provide information about services and programs that will help ensure a safe and successful school year to for AISD families. AISD will provide free shuttles throughout the district. Please see attached flyer for more information.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Clifton is hiring

Clifton is expanding to add a Health Sciences program, and we are looking for a qualified teacher. Check out the required qualifications here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Grant Awarded

Clifton’s Horticulture program has received a $1000 grant from Rainwater Revival for a water conservation project. This project involves design and installation of a system to harvest rainwater from an existing 3500 square foot barn. The water will be stored in a 2500 gallon storage tank and transported to an adjacent garden, fruit orchard, and turf grass project, using an inline pump and drip irrigation lines. Clifton already has a rainwater collection system on our main building. These projects teach students skills and concepts relevant to current trends in the horticulture field. Thank you to Rainwater Revival!

Rainwater collection system

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Public Input Wanted

We encourage parents and community members to take part in the upcoming tele-townhall on May 20, during which participants can listen to a budget presentation and submit questions. The tele-townhall will be able to be watched on AISD’s Channel 22, livestream at austinisd.org or call in at 512-414-9922.

  • Wednesday, May 20* 6–8 p.m.
  • Central Office Board Auditorium 1111 West 6th Building B Room 100
  • *Tele-townhall: Watch on AISD’s Channel 22, livestream at austinisd.org or call in at 512-414-9922.
  • Wednesday, May 27 6–8 p.m.
  • Perez Elementary Cafeteria
  • Thursday, May 28 12–1:30 p.m.
  • Doss Elementary Library

For more information, please visit www.austinisd.org/budget or contact AISD Community Engagement Coordinator Linda Medina-Lopez at linda.medina@austinisd.org or (512) 414-9706.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Clifton staff were recognized at the annual AISD Salute celebration on Tuesday, May 19 at the AISD Performing Arts Center. Principal Tony Dishner was a finalist for Principal of the Year, Jenny Larson is Clifton's Teacher of the Year, and new teacher Lindy Hutton is our 2014-15 Teacher of Promise. We are proud of all of our staff here at Clifton CDS.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Project SEARCH at Brackenridge Update

The inaugural year of Project SEARCH at University Medical Center Brackenridge (UMCB) has been full of success stories and positive learning experiences. Congratulations to all 8 students who have worked hard this year to reach their goals and a big thank you to all the departments at UMCB that have provided an environment for the students to learn and grow.

5 out of the 8 students have been hired either at Brackenridge or out in the community. Marvin is a UMCB employee working in the PACU B to transport patients. In Day Surgery at UMCB, Shaniya is the first person patients see when checking in for surgery and she transports them where they need to go. The Emergency Department at UMCB has found a hard working employee in Ama, who transports patients throughout the hospital. The most recent hire at UMCB is Jeremy, who is now working in Food Services assembling patient food trays and delivering them to rooms. Congratulations also goes to Janell, who was recently offered a position at GattiTown and will be starting work this week.

3 students are continuing to work hard in their internships at UMCB. Lena is in the Clinical Lab, performing clerical work for patients getting their labs drawn. The hospital’s flu stations remained fully stocked thanks to Mai, interning in Environmental Services. Marisol helps check patients in and answers phone calls in Patient Access. Each of these students is working with a Goodwill Trainer and Job Placement Specialist to find a job in the community that matches their skills and interest. All of the students will be participating in the Project SEARCH graduation on June 4th at UMCB. It will be a chance to celebrate their success and the multitude of skills they have learned this year. The Project SEARCH staff is proud of their dedication and commitment to finding competitive employment!

Project SEARCH students at Brackenridge

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Practicum II Update

Springtime not only brings high temperatures and pollen counts, it also brings more employment opportunities for students! Several Practicum II students have gained employment over the last 2 months at businesses including Intown Suites, Walgreens, Bubble'z and Sudd'z, Pizza Hut, Logan's and La Madeleine. The students are enjoying work..... and their paychecks!

In April, Practicum II students traveled to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas after their successful fundraising efforts this year. They had a blast at the country's largest indoor waterpark where they played and got a special tour of the various rooms and amenities available at the hotel. Along the way, they also stopped at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco and the home of the Dallas Cowboys, the AT&T Coliseum in Arlington. Students said that the only thing that would have made the trip better was if they could have stayed longer! A huge thank you again to all of the businesses that donated items for our silent auction and for everyone in the community who attended and supported our events. Without you, our students would never have these wonderful opportunities.

students at att stadium Dr. Pepper Museum

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tax Free Plant Sale

We are having a second plant sale on Saturday, May 2 from 8:00am to 12:00pm. There is still plenty of inventory and need to make room for the summer. If Austin ISD staff would like to come prior to Saturday, the doors are open during the week.

These are few of the items that are reduced in price.

  • All ferns - 10" and 12" pots - $10 - Huge!
  • vegetables 6 packs - $3
  • annual 6 packs - $3
  • annuals - $1 to $2.50
  • zz plants - $8
  • herbs - $2
  • geraniums - $4
  • sunpatients - $3.50
  • plumeria - $10
  • sweet potato vine $3
  • lantana - $2
  • day lilies - $5 - beautiful!
  • much much more!!

Also, there will be refreshments (coffee!) available, and the Clifton Center is a great place to take pictures of wild flowers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

College Signing Day

For #GenTXDay, we're asking everyone to wear their favorite college T-shirts Friday, May 1. Follow @CTXSigningDay on Twitter. We are #AISDProud.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Culinary Arts has been busy!

Clifton Culinary arts students are breaking in a new range oven and griddle. Thanks to the Career and Tech Ed department, students are now able to practice their culinary on a new (and fully functional) piece of equipment. Students put it through its paces last week as they prepped for their Friday luncheon of Navajo tacos, hominy, nopalitos, pinto beans and sauteed mushrooms. This week, students Quintin and Courtney tested out their burger flipping skills!

Quintin at the grill Courtney at the grill

On Tuesday, April 14 and Wednesday, April 15, the Austin Community College Culinary Arts program hosted our students so they could learn about what it takes to continue a culinary education after high school. Chef Laura LaGue graciously lead the tour through their impressive kitchens and told our students about the elements of Culinary Arts at the college level. Students were impressed by the teamwork they saw and got to show off their own familiarity with kitchen equipment and procedures. To top it off, Clifton students got to sit in on a post-luncheon discussion involving both ACC Culinary Arts students and Service Class students.

Clifton students visit ACC Culinary Arts

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Horticulture students Vincente Ayala-Castillo and Elena Castellanos passed all three portions of the Texas State Florists' Association's High School Level 1 Floral Certification.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Supported Employment news

Our congratulations to Supported Employment's 6 Employment Consultants for the 2014-2015 school year! Out of 60 students the 6 Consultants serve - 30 students are working! (4 students from Clifton CDS, 4 students from high school campuses and 22 students from GO Project) If you are ever in their place of business - please tell them thank you for working with AISD Supported Employment!

  • IHOP - Slaughter
  • Mage's Sanctum - Slaughter
  • Double Dave's Pizza - West William Cannon
  • Marshall's - Arbor Walk
  • Englewood Estates - Jones Rd
  • J.W. Marriot - 2nd St./Downtown
  • Austin Thinkery Museum
  • Mangia Pizza - Mesa Dr.
  • AISD Police Dept - 6th Street
  • Long Center For The Performing Arts
  • B.J.'s Bar and Grill - Arbor Walk
  • Whataburger - Cameron Rd
  • Applebee's - William Cannon
  • Ci Ci's Pizza - West William Cannon
  • Amaya's Taco Village - Southpark Village
  • Trader Joe's - Bee Caves
  • TGIF Friday - Southpark Meadows
  • Chuck E. Cheese - South IH 35
  • Torchy's Tacos - 1st St
  • Burger King - Braker Lane and Mopac
  • Eastside Pies - 51st
  • Kerbey Lane Cafe - UT area
  • Verde's Mexican Parilla - Hamilton Pool Road
  • McDonald's
  • Panera Bread - Bee Caves
  • Panera Bread - N. Capitol Texas Hwy
  • Citi Trens - Aiport
  • Walgreen's - Plugerville
  • Walgreen's - Rundberg/Lamar
  • Home Depot - Brodie

Clifton Fundraiser Night at Gattitown Southpark Meadows

Come out to Gattitown Friday, April 17th from 6-9 p.m. to enjoy food and fun while helping Clifton Career Development School! Gattitown will donate 15% of all sales when customers mention Clifton with their order. This even includes game cards purchased at the front register. Bring the whole family for a night of fun in support of a great cause!!

Gattitown fundraiser flier

Monday, March 9, 2015

Annual FUNdraiser

Time to spruce up your garden for Spring! On Saturday, March 14, from 8am to noon, Clifton's Horticulture program will be hosting our annual Spring Plant Sale. The greenhouse is full of plants. We have tomatoes, peppers, bedding plants, native plants and hanging baskets.

While you are here, follow the signs to the cafeteria, where our Hospitality program will be hosting an all you can eat Pancake fundraiser. For just $8 cash, you get pancakes, bacon, orange juice, apple juice and coffee. Our Child Care program will also be selling home-made scented play dough and crayons.

We are unfortunately unable to accept credit or debit cards. Hope to see you this Saturday morning!

Tuesday, March 10,2015

Project SEARCH at Dell Children's Medical Center update

The Project SEARCH interns are wrapping up the last week of their second rotations and are in the process of working with their Goodwill Training and Placement Specialist on applying for jobs in the community and within the Seton hospitals. Interns have been working in the following departments during their second rotations: Food Services, Materials Management, Sterile Processing, Emergency Department, Respiratory Screener in the Emergency Department, Pharmacy, NICU and Clinical Assistant intern in seven patient units. Interns have enjoyed their rotations and have gained a variety of not only work skills but social, team building and problem solving skills.

We also want to take this opportunity to highlight the following interns for receiving Project SEARCH Intern of the Month: Maria N. (October); Camry C. (November), Christian H. (January) and Michael H. & Emelia F. (tie for February). Congratulations to all the winners for demonstrating a positive attitude, work ethic, class participation and perfect attendance!

Project SEARCH students at DCMC

In the upcoming months we will continue to work on the skills needed to obtain and maintain competitive employment and prepare for graduation. We are also in the process of recruiting for our next internship class this Fall. Applications were due in February and interviews for both Project SEARCH sites will occur on Monday, March 9, 2015.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Child Care

Clifton's Child Care students have been busy. We have been learning all about the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social needs of children, and how to help guide them with positive redirection and role modeling. We have participated in CPR with AED and First Aid training, with many students recieving a certification. We are now ready to take our Texas Food Handler's certificaton tests as well.

Our second year students go to Zavala Elementary once a week to work with the infants and toddlers at their Clubhouse Cadets child care center. This is a win-win arrangement since the kids love the extra attention and our students get experience with real children. PreK students from Zavala came to tour our campus recently, to learn about careers. We enjoyed hosting these energetic and curious new friends. Now we will take several field trips to child care related locations.

Clifton student working with children Clifton students with Realcare babies

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.



Saturday, August 15, 2015

AISD Back to School Bash 9:00am to noon

Palmer Events Center 900 Barton Springs Road

Monday, August 24, 2015

First day of classes for 2015-16 school year

Clifton on Twitter

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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 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 July 15, 2015