Theory of Action for Change

  • The Theory of Action for Change is aligned with Dripping Springs ISD’s Vision, Mission, Core Beliefs and Commitments and is intended to drive the Board’s strategic plan, goals, policies and budgets for academic excellence for all students in DSISD.

    We inspire and equip students to be life-long learners and positive contributors to the world.;

    We partner with students, parents, and the community to provide a personalized and exceptional education for every student.


    • Each child has unique worth and potential.
    • Our schools and our staff have the power to positively change each child’s life.
    • It is the responsibility of the school district, the student, the family, and the community together to identify, nurture, and develop each child’s individual talent and passion.


    • We are committed to developing leaders, one child at a time.
    • We are committed to empowering our teachers, staff, and administrators to foster the skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
    • We are committed to identifying, nurturing, and developing each individual’s talent and passion.


    • Our current educational model can no longer reliably produce graduates who are equipped to meet all of the challenges they will face in the world, including the demands of employers.
    • Our students need different skills to truly be life-long learners and able to adapt to a world changing at an incredible rate.
    • We must do more than make incremental changes to the current system in order to provide an exceptional education for the realities of the future.
    • We must make a transformational shift to our traditional educational model in order to provide a personalized education that identifies, nurtures, and develops each child’s individual talent, passion and ability.


    • Learning must shift from a focus primarily on memorization of content to the development of skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.
    • Learning must be engaging and meaningful for students; we must personalize learning for every student.
    • We must embrace the potential of learning anywhere, anytime, and at “any path, any pace”.
    • Learning must be a combination of learning at school, virtual learning, learning at home, and learning in the community.
    • Assessment must shift from the present standardized, high-stakes “autopsy” model to one that more resembles a “daily check up,” which continuously identifies student strengths, interests, motivations, accomplishments, and other information necessary so that teachers can design the learning experiences that will best meet each student’s needs.
    • Assessment should be used primarily for obtaining student feedback and informing the student and the teacher about the level of student conceptual understanding or skill development so that the teacher has accurate information to consider for designing additional or different learning experiences.
    • By harnessing the strengths of every participant in our system (listed below) and the rich array of technologies that are currently available as tools, we will equip our students to meet any challenge they may face.



    • Students are no longer just passive consumers of knowledge; they can and should be active creators of knowledge and experiences as well.
    • Students must be willing to take risks as deep learning happens when not constrained by fear of failure.
    • Students must embrace a mindset of applied learning versus regurgitating content.


    • The teacher’s role must shift from the traditional role of a teacher as presenter, instructor, and performer  to teacher  as a facilitator  of learning  and designer  of engaging  tasks  that produce learning.
    • Teachers must seek methods and tools that allow them to discern students’ individual talents, passions, and learning styles, along with demonstrated content knowledge.
    • DSISD is fortunate that the quality of our teachers is excellent and our teachers are capable of assuming this new role.


    • Principals are ultimately  responsible  for all learning that occurs in their own schools. They must have autonomy over the operation of their campuses.
    • Principals must encourage the risk-taking inherently needed for a paradigm shift.
    • Principals must  insist  upon  the necessary support from Administration  in order to provide needed training, capacity building, and structural provisions.


    • The Superintendent must create a climate and conditions that support engaged student learning at every level.
    • The Superintendent must identify District-level capacity building needed for a fundamental shift in delivery of instruction.
    • The Superintendent must create and implement an evaluation system providing both formative assessment and accountability for results.

     Board of Trustees:

    • The Board of Trustees must make every decision in alignment with the intent of the Strategic Plan.
    • The Board of Trustees must provide resources for capacity building changes that facilitate the change in instructional delivery methods.
    • The Board of Trustees must continually strive to partner with students, parents and the community.


    • DSISD is fortunate to have a community of committed and engaged parents who support our students and our schools.
    • Parents must support their students but also hold them accountable for their own learning.
    • Parents must actively question and partner with schools to leverage our community’s knowledge and talents.

     Community Members:

    • For every child to reach his or her full potential, a full community effort must include individuals and institutions beyond the schools.
    • DSISD is fortunate to have access to and partnerships with institutions of higher education including Austin Community College, the University of Texas and Texas State University.
    • Community members should be active conveyors of information about what today’s employers (locally and nationally) are seeking.


    Goal 1: Village
    DSISD exists in a sea of stakeholders. Successful collaboration and communication with all stakeholders is critical to success. This goal is about building and sustaining positive relationships. It definitely takes a village to raise a child.

    Goal 2: Operations
    To achieve this strategic plan, operations must become like breathing. As long as systems operate effectively and efficiently, they shouldn't be noticeable. Operations is all about the delivery of exemplary service.

    Goal 3: Life Changers
    The most important part of this plan is the people. Without a life-changer in every position in the district, we will not achieve everything in this plan. Our job is to hire the right people, put them in the right places, and build their capacity to do the right work.

    Goal 4: Personalized Learning
    This is the ultimate goal of the entire plan. By 2021, we want personalized learning in place for every student. A plan will be developed by a team that includes the student, parents, teachers, professional support staff, and administrators.