Clifton CDS Homepage
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.
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.
AISD is No Place for Hate Celebration
Austin ISD Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness in the Office of Academics is proud to announce that Austin ISD has earned the designation as the largest No Place for Hate district in the nation! Clifton is proud to participate in No Place for Hate.
Save the Date for the 2014 Back to School Bash
The 2014 AISD Back to School Bash will be held from 9:00am to noon on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at the Austin Convention Center, located at 500 E.Cesar Chavez. This event is for AISD students and their families. There will be over 100 exhibitors, including AISD departments, City of Austin departments, non-profit agencies and other organizations that provide services for our students and families. 3000 backpacks with school supplies will be distributed to students attending. Immunizations, car booster seats, and eye exams will be available. Please save the date and plan to attend. Free shuttle buses will be available from various schools. See the AISD Back to School Bash 2014 web page for more information.
AISD UpClose Program for 2014-15 School Year
The Department of Communications and Community Engagement is going to start recruiting in June for next year's AISD UpClose Program. The program no includes a leadership development component. For more information and teh application, go to the AISD UpClose web page beginning June 16, 2014. Or click the Contact Us link on this site and we will get you more information.
Students Hit the Beach in Galveston!
At the beginning of May, students in Practicum II and Hospitality were finally able to enjoy the fruits of their labor from multiple fundraisers throughout the year with a trip to Galveston! Students enjoyed time at the beach (some of whom had never been to one before), a historic ghost tour, a dolphin watching boat tour, shopping on the strand and fun at Pleasure Pier. Everyone had a great time. A special thanks to Kip McRae and Anne Mason, who attended as extra chaperones on the trip.
Practicum II Students on the Road to Success
As the year comes to an end, Practicum II students bid Clifton a fond farewell after completing at least three years of vocational training here. Miss Larson is proud to announce that 100% of students have either had employment throughout the year, have made agency connections or have a plan in place to continue their education/training at the ACC, the GO Project or Project SEARCH. We are all extremely proud of these young adults and look forward to hearing about their successes in the future.
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!
Project SEARCH celebrates graduation at Dell Children's Medical Center
On May 21, 2014, Project SEARCH interns and associates at Dell Children's Medical Center celebrated their 6th annual graduation with family, friends and co-workers. It was a wonderful celebration with many guest speakers including two recent Project SEARCH graduates, Roberto Ovalle and Meagan Bess. Out of the 10 interns who started this journey in August 2013, six are now Seton employees, two are in the interview process with Seton and two are applying for jobs in the community. Congratulations to all the 2013-2014 Project SEARCH students!
San Antonio/Marble Falls Field Trip
Our Horticulture class has been busy for the 2013-2014 school year. To celebrate our accomplishments for the year we took the second and third year students to San Antonio to have a relaxing field Trip. The students got to experience the breathtaking view of the city from the Tower of America. They explored the city from the Alamo, the River Walk, and had a day of fun at the San Antonio Zoo. On the last day we went the Marble Falls to have the experience of a working farm (Sweet Berry Farm) where they got to learn how a farm operates and also got to pick their own strawberries.
Clifton Students Earning College Credits
Clifton CDS is very proud of students in our Ag Mechanics (Welding) Class who have earned articulated college credits with Austin Community College. This not only helps our students by giving them a head start on that college certificate, but also saves our families tuition and fees. Way to go students and instructors Russell Duncum and Danna Troppy.
- Ruben Serapio 8 hours articulated credit
- Alejandro Riojas 8 hours articulated credit
- Ruben Landeros 8 hours articulated credit
- Alejandro Castillo 8 hours articulated credit
- Austin Shiel 8 hours articulated credit
Clifton Students Recognized at AISD Latino Academic Achievement Awards
On Saturday, May 10, 2014, Clifton students received awards at AISD's annual Latino Academic Achievement Awards. Please join us in congratulating:
- Manual Gaytan Young Latino Leader
- Deisy Solis Appreciation of Culture and Language
- Seth Miller Outstanding Latino Community Service Volunteer
Our students joined representatives from other campuses at the LBJ School of Public Affairs Auditorium, University of Texas at Austin. The event was attended by public officials, students and families.
Thinkery Field Trip
The Child Care classes raised enough money from our Yard Sale to visit theThinkery, Austin's new childrens' museum. On Friday, May 16 and 23, the Child Care classes tried out the hands-on exhibits to see for themselves how children can explore and learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while being creative and having fun.
May Plant Sale
Due to inventory issues, the Horticulture Program will not be having an end of year plant sale. The greenhouse will continue to sell plants Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm, until May 30.
Spring is Here and Companies are Hiring!
As the weather warms up, many businesses are hiring for the busy spring and summer seasons. This is great news for students in Practicum II. In March and April, we have had students gain employment at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport, Walgreens, Chili's and Serrano's. These students are working from 20-35 hours/per week, depending on whether or not they have other academic classes to complete. All students are doing very well at work and loving their jobs (and their paychecks!).
Clifton Alumni receives Award at Work!
Former Clifton student, Marcus Clark, received recognition as Employee of the Month at the Holiday Inn, Town Lake on April 24th. Marcus completed the Hospitality program and had an unpaid internship at the Holiday Inn Town Lake through Practicum II during his final year. He graduated in 2012 and applied for a position in the Holiday Inn, Town Lake several months later. Marcus has been working as a Houseman and now actually trains new employees! We are all proud of his hard work and success in his chosen career.
Yard Sale Success!
Clifton's Child Care program raised over $230 with their yard sale last Friday. The funds will be used for a field trip to Austin's new childrens' museum, The Thinkery. Thanks to all who donated and attended!
The Clifton Child Care Program is having a yard sale on Friday, April 25 from 10am to 3pm. The sale includes childrens' items such as clothing, toys, and books. Prices are low for this one day sale to raise money for our activity fund. Come see us on the corner of Berkman and Coronado Hills Drive.
Clifton Horticulture student Greg Parks has passed his Texas High School Floral Certification. Students who complete the certification become a Texas State Florists' Association member, and are entitled all benefites of a student membership. Mr. Vader and the rest of us at Clifton are proud of Greg.
The required forms for student application to Clifton are now available on our Resources page.
Child Care Internship
The students in Mrs. Wine's Practicum in Human Services class have been spending time with the children at Zavala Elementary's Clubhouse Cadets Child Care Center this year. It has become a very successful partnership! Clifton Interns gain valuable on the job experience, and the kids get more attention and fun. Miss Natalia, staff member at Clubhouse Cadets says, "We appreciate you guys so much!" and Clifton Intern Bianca Martinez says she loves taking care of the kids. Our current first year students will be visiting the site on May 2nd and 9th, to get a sneak peek at what they will be doing next year. We appreciate Clubhouse Cadets for giving us the opportunity to learn from the kids.
The Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC), an undergraduate organization at UT will be holding a Family Panel on Wednesday, April 16th,and are looking for a couple of parents of children with disabilities to serve on the panel. The Panel will be from 6 - 7 pm on UT's campus. Most of the attendees fall into 2 camps: they are either future special education teachers or they are siblings/relatives of children with disabilities. Please contact Katie Tackett at email@example.com if you would like to participate.
Region 13 is hosting a free Transition Fair to help students with disabilities and the families find the resources to plan for adult life.It will be held at Region 13 on Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. for more information, view the flier here.
Hospitality's 4th Annual Pancake Fundraiser was the biggest and best yet. Thanks to the support of those in the community that attended, we managed to raise over $2300 after all of our expenses were paid. This is an incredible accomplishment for our Hospitality and Practicum II students who worked so hard to promote the event and showed up bright and early the first day of spring break to make pancakes and serve our guests. Dr. Dow, Chief Academic Officer for AISD, even took the time to come over and have some of Clifton's famous pancakes and have a back of the house tour with John, a 2nd year Hospitality student.
Practicum II and Hospitality raised enough money with their fundraising efforts this year to reach their goal to travel to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas later this spring and see what it takes to work at the country's largest indoor waterpark. We would also like to give a HUGE shout out to all of our sponsors in the community that so graciously donated items for our silent auction:
- Texas Rowing Center
- Holiday Inn, Town Lake
- Zipline Lake Travis
- DoubleTree Hotel
- Holiday Inn, Midtown
- Austin Steam Train
- San Antonio Spurs
- Volente Beach
- Austin Toros
- Chaparrel Ice
- Cafe Monet
- Pokejos BBQ
- Kick Butt Coffee
- Texas Coffee Traders
- Roland's Soul Food
Silent Auction Prizes- come win one this Saturday!
Don't forget to check out our Silent Auction during the Pancake Fundraiser on Saturday! Here is a complete list of items to bid on:
- Kayaking Lessons for 2 from the Texas Rowing Company ($360 value)
- 2 Zipline passes from Zipline Lake Travis ($212 value)
- $100 Gift Certificate for the Austin Steam Train
- 6 Spurs vs Jazz Tickets (Game on 3/16) ($66 value)
- 4 Austin Toros Tickets ($40 value)
- 2 Day passes to Volente Beach ($42 value)
- 4 Tickets to Chaparrel Ice ($40 value)
- Pottery Painting Session at Cafe Monet ($26 value)
- 1 Night Stay at the Holiday Inn, Town Lake ($259 value)
- 1 Night Stay at the Double Tree Hotel ($159 value)
- 1 Night Stay at the Holiday Inn, Midtown ($189 value)
- Gift Basket from Texas Coffee Traders ($25 value)
- $25 Gift Card to Chili's
- $20 Gift Card to Hopdoddy's
- Family Pack at Pok-E-Jos ($28.99 value)
- Gift Basket from Kick Butt Coffee ($25 value)
- Wooden Side Table with Metal Top ($125 value)
- Wooden Chair ($75 Value)
If you are interested in bidding on an item in advance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners will be notified and delivery arranged beginning March 17th.
Cold Weather Delays Bees
Due to the near freezing temperatures, the arrival of the bees at Clifton has been delayed. The Horticulture program is hopeful that they will arrive Thursday, March 6. Stay tuned....
Annual Plant Sale and Pancake Fundraiser March 8
Clifton Soon to Bee Buzzing
The Clifton Career Development School Horticulture Program will start a honey bee apiary this spring. Five hives will be delivered to Clifton on Wednesday, March 5 under the supervision of Walter Schumacher and Central Texas Bee Rescue. The bees will be transferred from the Circuit of the Americas F-1 Racetrack.
Our goal is to teach the importance of honey bees and the beneficial impact it has on our environment. Honey bees pollinate about one-sixth of the world's flowering plant species and some 400 of its agricultural crops. To the Unites States agriculture alone, the annual value of honey bee pollination can be counted in the billions of dollars.
In preparation of the arrival of the honey bees, the students at Clifton have established wild flower gardens, fruit orchard and provided a location that will allow the honey bees to prosper. Clifton Horticulture program will provide 20 apples and 20 pears and a blender to make food for the bees. The food will be made on site with Central Texas Bee Rescue and Clifton Staff and Students. Students will have the opportunity to safely interact with the honey bees, extract honey and create products from the beeswax. Honey and bee by-products will be sold locally and used to support the efforts of the Clifton Horticulture Program.
There are up to 15 members of the media expected, including KTBC, KLRU, KVUE, KXAN, plus The American Statesman and Austin Chronicle.
The bees are expected to arrive Wednesday, March 5, between 9:30am to 10am at the Clifton Career Development School Greenhouse and Gardens
Ag Mechanics News
Clifton students exhibit top 4 placing lambs in the heavy weight finewool class at the Travis County Youth Show. Austin Van Noordt placed 1st, Cesar Armas-Norda placed 2nd, Manny Cavazos placed 3rd and Eddie Jaimes placed 4th.
Austin Van Noordt, Seth Miller and Bryce Wheeler wait to exhibit their lamb projects in the Travis County Youth Show.
Third year student Ruben Landeros checks to make sure the holding rod on his BBQ pit holder is square. His project received a red award and is currently being used in the shop to hold BBQ pits the students work on.
Second year student Kyle Turi makes welds on a lamb rack, as Mr. Duncum checks measurements. The lamb rack will be used in our school barn to aid first year students with their lamb projects.
In early November, students gathered in the cafeteria in celebration of No Place for Hate, a campaign that helps promote anti-bullying in schools. Several Culinary students made presentations and shortly after, served a variety of pies to students, faculty and staff. Peace thru Pie helped sponsor the event.
During the week of Valentine's day, students were responsible for selling chocolate chip cookie cakes to their teacher and peers at their home campuses. Cookie cakes were sold for $7.00 a cake and were decorated by the students.
As part of their six weeks exam, Culinary students were graded based on their customer service skills. For their service exam, Culinary made homemade chicken pot pie. Students were divided into two teams: front of the house, where some greeted and served guests and back of the house, where students helped prepare the meal.
Clifton's Hospitality program has introduced a fantastic new educational tool this year... The Clifton Coffee Cart! Our coffee cart is a business on wheels serving visitors from all over the district. We have partnered with local business, Texas Coffee Traders, to provide the best and freshest coffees from all over the world. Clifton Coffee Cart, or C3 for short, gives Hospitality students the opportunity to practice an array of skills that they will use once they enter the workforce. From customer service to food handling, advertising to bookkeeping the cart really has proven to be a bonanza of opportunity. Ask about our coffee service next time you are on campus!
Speaking of which, have you heard about our Annual Pancake Fundraiser?!?! Held in the spring, this year's event promises to be the best yet. Come visit on March 8th from 9-noon for all you can eat pancakes, bacon and beverages. Don't miss our silent auction, featuring items like hotel stays, Spurs tickets and goodies from other local businesses. Stay tuned for more info!
Practicum II News
During the 4th 6 weeks, Practicum II students earned several certifications, including Adult/Child First Aid, CPR and AED certification, Texas Food Handler's Permits, and TABC (Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission) certification These certifications tie into our unit about being aware of safety and hazards in the workplace, and also give students certifications necessary to work in a variety of industries.
In February, several students interested in pursuing careers in the medical field went on a tour of Project SEARCH at Dell Children's Hospital and got to see first hand many of the departments offered, as well as meet with representatives from Seton and ask questions before making a final decision about applying.
Four Practicum II students have recently achieved paid employment at HEB, Torchy's at north and south locations and the AISD Police Department. Below, Austin is punching in for his first day of work - very exciting!
Thanks to the support and training opportunities provided by the Holiday Inn, Town Lake and DoubleTree Hotel, the majority of students in Practicum II have already achieved paid positions in the community or made plans for post secondary education because of the skills, knowledge and confidence they have developed working in various departments on internship days. It is truly incredible to see the growth and progress they have made over the course of the year. If your company would be interested in working with students from Clifton, please contact Jenny Larson at 512-841-3374 or email email@example.com
It has been a busy and successful Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters at Project SEARCH. We started the school year with nine interns and out of those nine, four have obtained employment and a fifth is in the process of obtaining employment. All positions are located at Dell Children's Medical Center.
Our first Project SEARCH graduate was James Ford who obtained a part-time position in the Health Information Management department as a Document Capture Specialist and has successfully been working in that department since the end of November 2013. Our second graduate is Daniel Zapata who obtained a full-time position in the Food Services department as a Food Service Aide and began his full-time position on December 30, 2013. Our final two graduates, William Wilson and Keitheion Steiner, obtained part-time positions with our Environmental Services Department. William works as a Porter and Keitheon works as a Linen Tech and both began their part-time positions January 27, 2014.
Our fifth intern is in the process of being hired as a clerk in the Administration Department at Dell Children's Medical Center and will graduate from Project SEARCH the end of February 2014.
The remaining interns had successful first rotations in their respective departments and are in the final three weeks of their second rotations. Our remaining interns are currently working in the following departments: Pharmacy, Materials Management, Emergency Department, Specially for Children, Accreditation and Sterile Processing.
We will continue to work on the skills needed to obtain and maintain competitive employment and offer support to those who have graduated and are now working at Dell Children’s Medical Center. We are also starting the process of recruiting for our next internship class this Fall. Applications were distributed in January 2014 and due February 26, 2014.
It's been an exciting year and we are looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for our interns.
Child Care update
Students in Child Care have been busy this year. First year students have learned the basics of Child Development, practiced caring for our digital babies, created projects to promote the learning of parents and children, visited community businesses related to children, and earned CPR with AED and First Aid certifications. We are also attempting OSHA Career Safe and Texas Food Handlers certifications.
Second year students have gained valuable experience at Clubhouse Cadets on the Zavala Elementary campus. A staff member at this child care center had this to say about the Clifton Child Care interns, "The Clifton volunteers are fantastic! The relationship is proving to be incredibly symbiotic. The kids at the center are always so excited to see their friends!"
An Important Message regarding Bad Weather Delays
Due to transportation conflicts, when Austin ISD delays classes for bad weather, Clifton's morning classes are cancelled. Students should remain at their home high school campuses. Afternoon classes at Clifton remain on normal schedule.
Congrats to Travis County Youth Show Winners
Congrats to our students that competed in the Travis County Youth Show this weekend at the Exposition Center. Clifton had participants from Ag Mechanics, Animal Science, Horticulture, and Hospitality. We had five Grande Champion Winners (Greg Parks - Anderson, Nate Baker - Bowie, Liam Le Coz - Bowie, Elliot Pennick - LBJ and Juan Cruz - Travis), thirteen blue ribbon winners and 11 red ribbon winners. Our students did well in the Animal Science area as well. In the Fine Wool Division, our students placed First (Austin Van Noordt- Austin High), Second (Cesar Armas-Noda - McCallum), Third (Manny Cavazos - Eastside), and Fourth (Eddie Jaimes - Lanier). We also had several other students place in the top ten. Special thanks to those that put in extra hours to assist our students: Russell Duncum, Danna Troppy, Clayton Vader, Steven Gallego, Aaron Mason and Carrie Jones!
Way to go TEAM!!!
Project SEARCH Applications available
Please visit our Project SEARCH page for the paperwork and information for students applying to Project SEARCH.
Family Support Cooperative meeting
Our award winning Family Support Cooperative (FSC) continues to bring you the education, support and training you asked for! And all for FREE!!
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. will be an evening full of simultaneous presentations. There is something for everyone, including pizza and childcare activities! Please note that we will no longer be able to provide 1:1 support in childcare.
NAMI Austin continues their support group for families who have a child with emotional/behavioral challenges. Our Social Emotional Learning Department shares their expertise with parents in Part 3 of a 5-part parent series that focuses on Solving Problems and Making a Plan for a Peaceful Existence. Also new this year is an ongoing group facilitated by Renee Borders, Transition Specialist, that focuses on planning for the future. The presenter is a respected attorney who will discuss Guardianship. This session is for everyone, all ages, but is imperitive if your child is 14 and older!
We continue to host Dr. Ed Gooze, Ph.D. for his Amazing ADHD session and prepare yourself for our annual Camp Session when we roll out our fabulous 2014 Camp Directory.
Maria Hernandez from Growing Roots facilitates a topic focused Spanish session on Autism and if you are interested in learning how to help your child with social communication and the impact it has on behavior, join Sheila Suarez, SCORES teacher and her team of parents & educators from Small Middle School as she shares Best Practice in Social Communication Learning!
The Adults with ADHD group, Sibling Support Group and Meet the Director session are also scheduled!
Project Search Success
Employment achieved! It has been a busy and successful Fall 2013 semester at Project SEARCH. We started the semester with nine interns and out of those nine, two have obtained employment at Dell Children's Medical Center and two more interns have applied, interviewed and are in the process of accepting two positions also at Dell Children's Medical Center.
Our first Project SEARCH graduate was James Ford who obtained a part-time position in the Health Information Management department as a Document Capture Specialist and has successfully been working in that department since the end of November 2013. Our second graduate is Daniel Zapata who obtained a full-time position in the Food Services department as a Food Service Aide and began his full-time position on December 30, 2013. The next two interns who will be obtaining part-time positions at Dell Children's Medical Center are William Wilson and Keitheon Steiner. Both positions are with our Environmental Services Department.
The remaining interns had successful first rotations in their respective departments and will be beginning their second rotations this week. Our interns will be working in the following departments: Pharmacy, Materials Management, Emergency, Specially for Children, Accreditation and Sterile Processing. We will continue to work on the skills needed to obtain and maintain competitive employment and offer support to those who have graduated and are now working at Dell Children's Medical Center. We are also starting the process of recruiting for our next internship class this Fall. Applications will be distributed January 14, 2014.
It has been an exciting year and we are looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for our interns.
Promoting Continuing Education Opportunities
The University of Texas is announcing six new courses aimed at adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the University of Texas at Austin for Spring Semester 2014. Each course will include volunteer UT students ready to befriend adults with IDD with any type of intellectual and developmental disability (Down syndrome, autism, etc) in a social cafs setting before meeting in a classroom (19 yrs old+). Courses are offered at a competitive rate of $110-130 per semester. A limited number of scholarships are available for adults with DS via DSACT. Sign up for courses below!!
To orient new students and their families to our life-long education program, I will require that all new students to attend a pre-course orientation on campus. Specific questions about our program can be addressed to me via email or phone to Jon Pierce-Shimomura, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of Adult Education for DSACT, 512-232-4137, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clifton students deliver holiday cheer
See Dr. Carstarphen's blog post about Clifton's Horticulture program: Thanks to Clifton Students and Staff for Continuing A Bright Seasonal Tradition (Opens in a new window)
The Clifton Career Center will have their annual poinsettias for sale starting Dec 2 through Dec 6. The poinsettias are $10 (tax included). Come and support our students as they have produced an exceptional crop of poinsettias this year.
October Employment News in Practicum II
More and more students are showing their job readiness skills in Practicum II and it is really starting to pay off! 5 students have gained paid employment recently at GattiTown in Southpark Meadows, Open Doors Preschool, Family Dollar, Goodwill Industries and Partnerships for Children.
Thanks to all for Supporting Practicum II's Fall Festival!
Clifton's first annual Fall Festival was held Saturday, November 16th and was a huge success! Thank you to all who came to the event, the support of the parents, the students for all their hard work, and the generous donations from local businesses. Our prize sponsors for the event include:
- Cothron's Security Professionals
- Austin Symphony
- Austin's Pizza
- Kerbey Lane
- Alamo Drafthouse
- Texas Stars Foundation
- Round Rock Express
- Taco Deli
- Maudie's Tex Mex
- Kick Butt Coffee
- Amy's Ice Cream
Game Prize Donations provided by:
- A+ Federal Credit Union
- United Heritage Federal Credit Union
- Jose and Deya Velasco
With support of all involved, we raised over $800 and are well on our way to raising enough funds to travel to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas to see what it takes to work at the country's largest indoor waterpark!
Edmund Oropez, AISD Associate Superintendent of High Schools and ARS Foundation Board member was named 2013 Outstanding District Leader of the Year by Austin's Chamber of Commerce.
On Monday, November 4, Clifton welcomed visitors from Manor ISD. Among the visitors were Gerard Cortez, Director of Special Education, Elizabeth Crownover, Director of Career and Technology Education, Joan Meyers, Special Education Coordinator, and teachers from the district's 18+ program.
The Austin Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities has honored Clifton in the 34 Annual Disability and Employment Awards Program on October 28th. The City of Austin committee recognizes all of the hard work of the Clifton staff to help prepare our community's youth with disabilities for a productive and meaningful future.
Come to our Fall Festival!
Clifton's First Annual Fall Festival:
- Saturday, November 16th 11am-3pm in the Clifton Parking Lot.
- Carnival Games for $.50
- Food and Drinks starting at $.50
Buy a raffle ticket for $1.00 for a chance to win prizes from Chuys, Alamo Drafthouse, Round Rock Express, the Austin Symphony and more! (You do not need to be present to win)
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, where students will tour the country's largest indoor waterpark and see what it takes to work at a facility of such magnitude (and have a little fun while we are there as well)! Come out and support our cause. If you are unable to attend but would like to make a donation or buy a chance at the raffle prizes, please contact Jenny Larson at email@example.com
Parent Videos for Transition Topics
Region 13 has posted several videos relating to special education and parent perspectives. Several of the videos relate specifically to transition issues, such as Guardianship, SSI, and more.
Disability Mentoring Day 2013
More than 100 high school and college students with disabilities participated in the community's 11th Annual Disability Mentoring Day "Putting Dreams to Work" Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013.
Work sites throughout Austin hosted students. Students spent the morning job shadowing career mentors. The job shadow mentors, students and their families then participated in a luncheon to celebrate the day.
Clifton CDS Culinary provided the annual DMD celebration cake, fruit and veggie tray, cookies, brownies and lemon bars. The food was delicious!
During the event, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole presented this year's Disability Mentoring Day proclamation. Expert panelists also discussed personal experience, post-secondary education and the world of work.
One of Supported Employment's 2013 graduates, Woodrow, was on the panel of past DMD participants. Woodrow talked about how his experience of job shadowing at the Omni - South last year, which led to his full time job now at the Omni - South.
Teens and young adults with disabilities chose from a number of different careers. Students are interested in jobs ranging from restaurant work to law enforcement; from graphic design and gaming to aviation.
Supported Employment students job shadowed at the following businesses: City of Austin Park Rangers, Omni-Downtown, Hyatt - Austin and the Omni-South.
Three Clifton Practicum students shadowed at the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Open Door Preschool, and Ernie's Welding. The students enjoyed their time at the businesses, and two students made connections for potential job opportunities.
Participating mentors included the Austin Police Department, Central Market, City of Austin Parks and Recreation, Red Lobster, Austin Animal Center, St. David's HealthCare, Open Door Preschool, Longhorn Steakhouse restaurants, and many other large and small employers in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
"We are always looking to add mentors to the program," said Disability Mentoring Day Chair Kathy Keller. "Just a few hours of your time one morning, once a year, can have a huge impact on the life of a young person with a disability."
Disability Mentoring Day 2013 drew students from the Austin Independent School District, Hays Consolidated School District, Austin Community College, the University of Texas-Austin, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and various high schools.
Disability Mentoring Day began in 1999 as a White House initiative to commemorate national efforts to increase employment options for people with disabilities. The National Organization on Disability estimates that the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is 59 percent. This initiative seeks to educate students with disabilities to different career opportunities, while familiarizing them with the requirements associated with prospective career fields.
Clifton CDS welcomes our new partnership with Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH started as a partnership with AISD and Seton Hospital in 2007. The program provides students with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a 9 month program. The focus of the program is developing job skills and allows students to perform internships in various departments of Seton Hospital. The goal is to obtain paid employment within the hospital or similar work settings.
Of the eleven students accepted into the Project SEARCH program in the 2013-2014 school year, four previously participated in the Clifton Program. The program gives our former students even more opportunities for success. As our relationship with Project SEARCH continues, we may look at ways to expand the program opportunities. We welcome the new connection between our programs.
Please visit our link, at the top of the page, to learn more about Project SEARCH.
Practicum II Update
Practicum II is in full swing, with students entering their third week of internships at the Holiday Inn - Town Lake and DoubleTree Hotel. The students are enjoying their new experiences at both sites and are also eager to get to work on internship days. During the first 6 weeks, students learned the fundamentals of completing applications and created their own 'Cheat Sheet' where they include addresses, phone numbers and dates of their schools and previous work/internship sites to reference; students also created their resumes, which they will update throughout the year. Practicum II students are in the beginning stages of planning their first annual Fall Festival, set for Saturday, November 16th, here at Clifton CDS. We will have carnival style games, refreshments and raffle items. Stay tuned for more details!
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!
Practicum II Students End the Year with a Plan in Place
By the last day of the 2012-13 school year, all 17 of the 17 students in Practicum II had a transition plan in place that includes work, continuing their education at ACC or further work training at the GO! Project or Project SEARCH within AISD. We are all extremely proud of these students and know that great things await them in the future!
Child Care Internships
Mrs. Wine is excited to report that students in Practicum in Human Services, the second year class of the Child Care Program, will have two internship sites for the 2013-14 school year. Clubhouse Cadets, Inc. at their Widen Elementary location, and a new Austin business,Toybrary, will allow students to gain valuable experience working with children. Clifton's internships give students valuable on the job training in the community. We thank these businesses for their cooperation.
Parent Group Forming
Clifton parent Jose Velasco is forming a Transition Action Group for Clifton. This group will brainstorm ideas, network, and discuss opportunities regarding continuing education and employment for young adults. It will also be a great opportunity for support and guidance from other parents as young adults transition from high school to adulthood. Career and Technology Education is growing and Clifton may be expanding programming, so now is a great time to make new connections. The first meeting of this group will be on Wednesday, May 29th at 6:30pm at Clifton.
Recruitment for 2013-2014 in Full Swing at Clifton
Clifton CDS continues to offer courses in :
Ag Mechanics (Animal Science and Welding)
Horticulture (remember the Floral Design class counts as a Fine Arts credit!)
We have openings in all areas at this time. We are encouraging all teachers at high school campuses to refer students. Parents are also encouraged to call and come for a tour.
NEW FOR NEXT YEAR - ALL programs will give students the opportunity to earn articulated credit! We hope that this will help attract additional students.
We are setting up group tours multiple times each week. Just give us a call and we’d be happy to schedule your visit.
CPR with AED
Twenty Clifton students have earned their CPR with AED Certifications this year.
Thanks from the Clifton Pancake Fundraiser
On Saturday, May 4th Hospitality Services, in partnership with Hospitality Practicum II, hosted the annual Clifton Pancake Fundraiser. It was a great success! The students enjoyed serving all the guests and preparing all the food. Service included pancakes, sausage, bacon and a variety of beverages. This year we were fortunate to be able to include a number of local businesses who supported the fundraiser through our silent auction. Money raised on Saturday will go toward an end of the year celebration. With such a successful fundraiser, students are already looking forward to next year! Thank you to all of our sponsors for their support in our silent auction, including:
- Sam's Club
- The Round Rock Express
- Texas Stars
- DoubleTree Hotel
- Holiday Inn - Town Lake
- Holiday Inn - Midtown
- Wyndham Garden Hotel
- Marie Callender's
- Hair by Katlin Smith @ the Venus Day Spa
- Gatti Town @ Southpark Meadows
- Los Barrios
- Ornaments by Desiree Hampton (facebook.com/desmariehampton)
- Third Coast Coffee
With their support, our silent auction raised more than $800!
Student Employment Update
Spring in a busy time of year, especially for job hunting! Practicum II attended several job fairs this month, including The City of Austin Career Expo and job fairs at Baby Acapulco's and HEB. Students have really been putting their interview skills to the test, and the results have been tremendous. Ivan Stansfeld was hired at Central Market as a busser in the restaurant. Arlan Byrd gained a position as a grill cook at Whataburger, and has also been put on the waitlist for summer acceptance into the City of Austin's Youth Development Program Graffiti Cleanup. Luis Hurtado has accepted a maintenance position at HEB and will begin work this summer. Drae Whittley will also begin working at Gatti Town as a Pizza Maker/Salad Bar Attendant. Great job, guys, and congratulations on your new positions!
AISD Bond Information
Clifton repairs and improvments are included in the May 11 AISD Bond Election. See what is included at Clifton Scope of Work for the facts. For more information on the entire Bond program, go to May 2013 AISD Bond Facts.
Clifton Students in Latino Academic Achievment Awards
The Austin Independent School District will honor outstanding Latino students in 6th through 12th grade at the annual Latino Academic Achievement Awards ceremony. Three Clifton students will be honored. Clifton's Young Latino Leader is Elliot Briones, our Appreciation of Culture and Language award goes to Ruben Landeros, and our Outstanding Latino Community Service Volunteer is Jose Velasco.
When: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11
Where: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ Auditorium, 2315 Red River St.
Background: AISD will recognize more than 120 students and volunteers for accomplishments, including Outstanding Progress in the English as a Second Language Program, Appreciation of Culture and Language, Outstanding Community Service Volunteer and Young Latino Leader. The school district also requested nominations from the community for the Latino Parent Volunteer, Latino Community Service recipient and Latino Excellence in Advocacy awards.
Child Care Program Field Trips
Clifton's Child Care students have been out and about, exploring facilities in Austin. We have visited Children's Courtyard, AISD's Webb Primary School, AISD's Uphaus Early Childhood Center, Teacher Heaven, and this week we will visit ACC's Child Development department and lab school. Big thanks to everyone who took the time to help us connect our classroom learning to the real world
AISD Tweets Clifton
Are you on Twitter? AISD Communications tweeted photos of Clifton's Pancake Fundraiser and Plant Sale on Saturday, May 4.
Annual Pancake Breakfast, Silent Auction and Plant Sale Fundraiser
On Saturday, May 4th, Clifton Hospitality and Hospitality Practicum II will be serving pancakes, bacon, sausage, orange juice, apple juice and coffee. Tickets are $7.00 and will be available at the door. There will also be a silent auction with items such as hotel stays at the Doubletree and the Holiday Inn Townlake, Round Rock Express tickets, salon services, a photography session, and gift certificate to Chuy's. The Clifton Horticulture program will also be having a plant sale in the greenhouse. Come enjoy and support what makes Clifton such a wonderful place!
Clifton Culinary participates in the All Chocolate Affair
On Sunday, April 21st, Clifton's Culinary Arts program participated in the Third Annual "All Chocolate Affair" at the Carver Museum & Cultural Center. The event, hosted by Austin food critic, Rob Balon, featured a sampling of savory and sweet treats and chocolate showcasing the artistry of six other high school culinary programs from the central Texas area and benefited Broadcast Your Love, a non-profit using communication-related programming to encourage health and wellness. Blanca Tovar, a senior from Austin High, represented Clifton in the inaugural brownie competition known as the Texas Brownie Bowl. Each school baked a uniquely flavored brownie that was later scored by local celebrity judges Balon, Todd Boatwright from YNN News, and Aaron Spivey-Sorrells from "Friday Night Lights." After presenting her Mexican Brownies to the judges and audience, Blanca received a medal for her great work! Congratulations to Ms. Hall and Mr. Vela for helping prep all the savory chocolate sweets and most importantly, Blanca, for a job well done.
Practicum II news
Practicum students completed their certification/recertification of the Texas Food Handler's Permit in March. The following passed with a class average of 90%
- Vincente Castro
- Arlan Byrd
- Roberto Ovalle
- Erika Roberts
- Aaron Sweeney
- Adam Acosta
- Eduardo Gomez
- Luis Hurtado
- Jessica Reeves
- Ivan Stansfeld
- Maria Cervantes
- Drae'Yon Whittley
Texas Disposal Systems in Creedmoor recently hired two 3rd year students at Clifton! Jacob Guerrero and Brandon Reyes will be working as Product Assemblers, where they will get to use their creativity and welding expertise to turn salvaged materials into repurposed items (lawn ornaments, decorations, furniture, etc) that will be for sale in the Garden Center.
Ag Mechanics students to visit ACC
Clifton Ag Mechanics Students will attend ACC's Applied Technology Open House for High School Students on April 12, 2013. This event will showcase ACC's Automotive, Building Construction, and Welding Technology programs. In addition to being introduced to excellent post-high school education opportunities, Clifton students will be able to network with industry representatives, and will compete in a welding contest. Wish us luck!
Ag Mechanics students complete 10 hour OSHA training
Clifton Ag Mechanics Students have been working hard to complete OSHA’s 10-hour General Industry Safety Course. This valuable training program will not only help Clifton students be more competitive job candidates, but also make them safer workers who are aware of their workplace rights. So far, 11 Ag Mechanics students have completed their training. Great job guys!
Save the date for an All Chocolate Affair
On Sunday, April 21st, come support area Culinary Arts programs and enjoy a selection of savory and sweet chocolate dishes. This event will showcase the skills of high school students, including the Clifton Culinary program, led by Chef Thelma Hall. The event will be at the George Washington Carver Museum at 1165 Angelina Street, 78702 at 4:00PM. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Plant Sale March 9th
On Saturday, March 9, 2013, Clifton's Horticulture Program will be having a plant sale in the Greenhouse. The sale is from 8am to 1pm at 1519 Coronado Hills Drive. Plants include geraniums, ferns, vegetables and more.
Austin I.S.D.'s Supported Employment Team presented at the Texas Transition Conference on February 21, 2013. The title of the presentation was Work Matters: Making it Work for Everyone”. This was a panel presentation that included: Renee Borders, Supervisor of A.I.S.D. Supported Employment, a parent, Shelley Scott whose son, Matthew, works at The State Capitol and was placed by Gina Matizzi-Fuller in 2008. One of our employers – Marcelino Garza with Walgreen’s, Gina Mattizi-Fuller – Employment Consultant with AISD Supported Employment, and our student worker, Andrew, who was placed by AISD Supported Employment in 2000 at South Austin Hospital – Andrew is still successfully employed there!
Austin ISD Supported Employment is in its 16th year of making work happen for students with disabilities. Practice shows that youth benefit from work during high school. The number one indicator of whether a student with a disability will be employed after high school is whether or not the student was employed prior to graduation.
On Tuesday, February 5, Clifton welcomed over 40 students from O'Henry Middle School. Students took a tour of the facility to learn about future possbilities. This is a great way for middle schools to address transition.
So far this year, Clifton students have earned 92 certifications! 60 students earned Texas Food Handlers Certifications, 24 students earned OSHA 5 Hour Workplace Safety Certifications, and 8 students earned OSHA 10 Hour Workplace Safety Certifications. More certification testing is coming soon.
Also, six Clifton students have earned a combined total of 32 credit hours of articulated credit from Austin Community College through Clifton's Ag Mechanics program.
Clifton's Teacher of the Year is Hospitality teacher Aaron Mason!
Summer Employment Opportunity
Goodwill Summer Youth Employment Program is now interviewing applicants for Summer 2013. Students will be matched up with a paid employment opportunity in the community for 5 weeks in the summer, working 20 hours per week. Parents should call 512-637-7196 to schedule an appointment and register for training. This is highly recommended for students who will be entering Practicum in the future, or for any current Practicum student who will be continuing their education next year and is not currently employed.
Project Search is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 school year. This is a 9-month internship program for students who have completed all of their high school requirements and are interested in building work skills to enter employment in a hospital setting in the future. Several interested students have already taken a tour of Project Search at Seton Medical Center to learn more about the program. If you would like to take a tour, please contact Miss Larson.
Travis County Youth Show
On January 11 and 12, many Clifton students competed in the Travis County Youth Show. Students from our Ag Mechanics, Animal Science, Culinary Arts, Horticulture and Hospitality programs participated. Clifton students won 5 Grand Champion awards, 9 Reserve Champion awards, and 25 Blue and 20 Red Ribbon awards. Eight of the sheep shown by Clifton students placed high and were auctioned.
This month, Clifton welcomed AISD Associate Superintendent of Academics Dr. Suzanne Burke, Associate Superintendent of High Schools Edmund Oropez, Director of Secondary Education Operations Timothy Gadson, and Director of Special Education Raul Nuques. We are very fortunate to have such support.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The Austin Mayor's Commitee for People with Disabilities 33rd Annual Employment Awards were held on October 29, 2012.
Two of the Internship sites for Hospitality Practicum II received awards:
Distinguished Service Award: Melissa Graves, Director of Human Services, Doubletree Hotel
Chairman's Commendation Award: Holiday Inn, Lady Bird Lake
Congratualtions and thank you to our community partners!
Disability Mentoring Day
The following Clifton students participated in the 10th Annual Disability Mentoring Day on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. More than 100 high school and college students with disabilities participated in the event. DMD activities include spending the morning shadowing career mentors in the community, and in the afternoon, celebrating the day with their mentors and family. Our own Clifton Culinary program provided treats for the get together. There was also an expert panel discussion on personal experience and the world of work.
- Erika Roberts - Austin ISD Police and Cafe Express
- Peyton Murphy - Omni Southpark
- Maria Cervantes - Holiday Inn - Lady Bird Lake
- Blanca Tovar - Holiday Inn - Lady Bird Lake
- John Lee Requejo - Sterling Affairs - Catering and Events
- Eddie Gomez - Sterling Affairs - Catering and Events
- Marvin Medina - Zilker Botanical Gardens
- Thomas Torres - Holiday Inn - Lady Bird Lake
Thanks to the 125 people who attended Clifton's community input meeting on the AAFR planning! Your input and support is so valuable.
Please join us
On Wednesday, October 3, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm for pizza, discussion, and a tour of Clifton.
Austin ISD is preparing a master plan for facility and program improvement, referred to as AAFR (Annual Academic Facilities Recommendation). Clifton programming and facilities will be a part of the master plan. We would like your input in looking at both facility improvements and programming.
6:00-6:30pm pizza and drinks
Please RSVP at 414-3614
Welcome and welcome back!
On Monday, August 27, we will begin the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to a new Child Care program and a new A day/B day schedule, we have some new staff members. We welcome Jennifer Larson, who will teach Hospitality Practicum II, and her new Teaching Assistant, Marie Killion. Delia Botbol is our new Child Care Teaching Assistant, and Kent Chandler is our new Teaching Assistant in Ag/Mechanics. It's going to be a great year!
Clifton CDS 2010/2011
Congratulations to Mr. Mason, Ms. Jones and their hospitality crew for their pancake fundraiser, and to Mr. Vader, Mr. Gallego, and their students for the greenhouse sale! Both classes' students were super professional and the fundraisers were a big success. Go Horticulture and Hospitality!!
Horticulture student Ashley Lener earned her High School Floral Certification at Texas A&M on Saturday, March 26. Congrats!!
The Business students have earned a total of 14 OPAC certifications so far, and are working on more!
Congratulations to Mr. Mason and Mr. Vader for earning Special Education Teacher Certification.
Clifton's Horticulture students created planter boxes that were on display at the AISD School Board Trustees meeting on Feb. 28.
All 13 of the students in Hospitality Services have successfully completed the Texas Food Handler Certification program! Good job!
Students from Clifton Career Development School Participated in the 2011 Travis County Youth Fair. Students received a total of 33 awards during the show. Nine of these awards were Class Champions (first place) and six were Reserve Champions (second in class).The Fair was held January 21-22 at the Travis County Expo Center. Students participated in Ag Mechanics, Horticulture, Culinary/Hospitality and Goat showing events. We are very proud of our students!!
Clifton welcomes 18 new students for the spring semester.
Students from both the Hospitality Class and Culinary Arts Class at Clifton CDS participated in the Travis County 4H Food Competition. We came away with five blue ribbons.
Check out Dr. Carstarphen's blog post highlighting her visit to our campus: A National Model at Clifton Career Development School (Opens in a new window)
Monday, September 1, 2014
No classes. Labor Day holiday.
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 June 6, 2014