School Matters

May 2021

Welcome to School Matters, your official source for award-winning news coverage from the Lake Travis Independent School District Office of Communications, Media & Community Relations. Questions or concerns regarding any of the content in this publication should be addressed to info@ltisdschools.org.

Governor's Executive Order prohibits government entities from mandating masks

We are aware of Governor Greg Abbott's Executive Order 36 issued May 17 directing TEA to "revise its guidance such that, effective 11:59 p.m. on June 4, 2021, no student, teacher, parent, or other staff member or visitor may be required to wear a face covering." As you may recall, the Lake Travis school board is scheduled to discuss the District's current face covering protocols at its May 19 regular meeting. We will notify you of any board action that may impact our current COVID protocols prior to the June 4 mandate.

Student and family COVID vaccines opportunity available

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Please follow these steps to schedule your vaccine(s):


Step 1: Schedule an appointment



Step 2: Immediately after selecting an appointment, you will receive a link to a

consent form. Please complete the consent form.

Step 3: Please take a moment to read the Fact Sheet(s) prior to receiving your

vaccine.

Pfizer Fact Sheet - https://www.fda.gov/media/144414/download

Johnson & Johnson Fact Sheet - https://www.fda.gov/media/146305/download

Update on virtual school option

In March, Lake Travis ISD released a parent questionnaire to gauge interest in a potential virtual campus option for the 2021-2022 school year. The District received approximately 2,800 responses of which roughly 70% indicated they did not have an interest in pursuing a virtual campus option. Parents who indicated an interest in a virtual school option shared various concerns which would ultimately prevent them from enrolling their child in a virtual campus including:


  • limited options for programs and courses that are not conducive to an online environment;
  • commitment to a semester or to a full school year;
  • restriction from participating in UIL events;
  • requirements to participate on a physical campus as needed; and
  • requirements to apply and meet certain skills or criteria.


Because of these concerns, coupled with the fact that we do not yet know if either the legislature or the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will allow us to provide virtual learning next year, Lake Travis ISD will not offer a virtual campus option for the 2021-2022 academic year.


Furthermore, with increased access to vaccine administrations for our staff and students, lower transmission rates of COVID-19 in our classrooms, the improvement of conditions overall, and because TEA has not approved a remote learning at home option for the 2021-2022 school year, we will return to in-person instruction and activities for all staff and students this fall.

District to reclaim all WiFi hotspots on loan, Chromebooks for non-returning students

The Lake Travis ISD Technology Department must reclaim all District-issued WiFi hotspots prior to the end of the current school year. Hotspots and power cords should be returned to the student's campus front office where they will be placed in a container for collection and check in.


Additionally, students in grades K-5 grade must return Chromebooks to their school's front office. Students in grades in 6-7 who will not be returning to LTISD must check in Chromebooks to their school library, while students in 9-11 who will not returning to the District, and seniors not attending summer school, must check in their Chromebooks to Room K100 at Lake Travis High School. Unless attending summer school, all current eighth graders must return Chromebooks to their campus library.


  • All Elementary level Chromebooks will be disabled on June 1
  • All LTISD issued hotspots (students and staff) will be deactivated on June 2


For complete details on WiFi and Chromebook returns, please visit our End of Year Chromebook and Hotspot Returns webpage.

TEA approves Missed School Days waiver due to winter storm closure

The Texas Education Agency allows districts to submit waivers if instructional days are missed due to weather, health, safety, or other issues. Lake Travis schools were closed to in-person and remote student instruction February 16-22 due to Winter Storm Uri. Upon school board approval in April 21, LTISD officials submitted a Missed School Days Waiver to TEA, and on May 3, the Commissioner granted approval. As a result, students will not be required to make up the instructional days missed due to school closures caused by the winter storm.

District celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Speech-Language Pathologists, better known as SLPs, are highly trained professionals who evaluate and treat individuals with speech or language difficulties.


With the theme “Building Connections,” LTISD joins the The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to celebrate May as National Better Hearing & Speech Month in recognition of the critical role SLPs play in both school and clinical settings.


At Lake Travis ISD, our SLPs utilize strategies that promote good communication skills which lead to success in speaking, thinking, reading, writing, and learning. During a time of challenge and change, our SLPs continue to skillfully translate and deliver speech and language services—both virtually and in person—engaging students and coaching parents through innovative and interactive therapy sessions.


The following Speech Language Pathologists serve students across LTISD:


  • Miranda Bradford - LWE
  • Whitney Dittman - RHE/WCHE
  • Ana Duque - LTE/Bilingual
  • Eileen Green - HBMS
  • Marne Grgurich - LTE
  • Leigh Han - LTHS/18+
  • Sydney Jenkins - SHE
  • Kimberly Kight - BCMS/LTHS
  • Chloe Kruedewagen - BCE
  • Elizabeth Liles - RHE
  • Bianca Lopez - LTE
  • Yvonne Loredo - BCE
  • Anne Massey - LWE
  • Kathryn McWilliams - LTMS
  • Laura Miller - SHE
  • Kira Moler - WCHE
  • Kristi Payton - Lead SLP
  • Haley Root Watkins - LPE/LTE
  • Andrea Wilder - LPE
  • Christine Wilson - LTE

Results of May 1 Board of Trustees Election

As per the Travis County Clerk, these are the unofficial election results for Lake Travis ISD Board of Trustees Place One and Place Two from Saturday, May 1, 2021. The results posted before certification are unofficial until certified by the county. The Lake Travis school board is expected to canvass the results of the election during its regular meeting on Wednesday, May 19.
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Meal accounts with negative balance settled May 17

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LT Fine Arts Signing Day 2021

Our fourth Annual Lake Travis ISD Fine Arts Signing Day will be held at 7:45 a.m., Tuesday, May 25 at the Lake Travis High School Annex. Student-artists graduating as part of the LTHS Class of 2021 will be signing letters of intent to colleges and universities in a variety of fine arts studies.


In-person attendance will be limited to student-artists and family members. A livestream of the event will be available for public viewing on the Lake Travis ISD Fine Arts Facebook page.

Lake Travis High School Commencement Ceremony scheduled for Friday, May 28

Lake Travis High School will hold an in-person commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021 at 7:00 p.m., Friday, May 28 at Cavalier Stadium.


In-person attendance will be limited to graduates and family members. A livestream of the event will be available for public viewing on https://www.ltisdschools.org/graduationlivestream.


Please note, this webpage will not be active until May 28.

District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year announced

Lake Travis ISD announced the 2020-2021 District Teachers with in-person surprise visits May 4. LTISD Superintendent Paul Norton, along with district senior staff and campus principals, delivered the good news to each district-level Teacher of the Year in front of their peers during each school's staff meeting.


Lake Travis ISD 2020-2021 District Teachers of the Year:

A look back at National School Nurse & Texas Public School Paraprofessional Day

Nurse & Paraprofessionals Day 2021

Wednesday, May 12 was both National School Nurse Day and Texas Public School Paraprofessional Day. Together with the National Association of School Nurses, LTISD applauds the work of our school nurses to improve the safety, health, and academic success of all students. This year’s theme, “Championing the Whole Student,” is reflective of the significant roles school nurses have in healthcare within their school communities. In addition to the incredible responsibilities and demands placed on them by the pandemic, school nurses have the unique skills to plan and implement care for students with chronic and medically-complex conditions and prepare school staff to recognize and respond appropriately to potential emergencies.


At LTISD, the following school nurses provide critical services to more than 11,100 students:


  • April Hicks - BCE
  • Margaret Freudenburg - LPE
  • Christina Colwell - LTE
  • Neal Shotwell - LWE
  • Teresa Mitchell-Monroe - RHE
  • Bobbi Roberts - SHE
  • Dana Hensel - WCHE
  • Cheryl Rhodes - BCMS
  • Sue Meyerhofer - HBMS
  • Cynthia Williams - LTMS
  • Molly Hinds, Luanne Belville and Tara Thompson - LTHS
  • Tiffany Shreve - Transportation
  • Becca Harkleroad - Lead Nurse

Additionally, in 2001, the Texas Legislature formally designated the second Wednesday in May of each year as Public School Paraprofessional Day in recognition of education paraprofessionals. On this day, we recognize our LTISD paraprofessionals who make important contributions across our schools.

A look back at Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week

May 3-7 was Teacher Appreciation Week across our District. With less than two weeks of school before summer break, it is fitting that we take a moment to recognize and applaud the commitment and work of our 685 professional educators districtwide.


Aside from our front line healthcare professionals, first responders, and those in the service industry, the expectations and demands that have been placed upon teachers this year are simply unprecedented. Yet our teachers continue to rise to the challenge each day, doing whatever it takes to make sure more than 11,100 students across our district are connected, engaged, successful, and most importantly… healthy and safe.

LTHS trio earn gold, silver medals at UIL state track and field meet

Lake Travis High School junior Emily Fitzsimmons earned a gold medal with a pole vault leap of 13 feet, 9 inches which tied the 6A state record.

Junior Jack Mann captured a gold medal in the pole vault, clearing the bar with a personal-best 16 feet, 4.75 inches.

Senior Jacob Tracy earned two silver medals—the first for his shot put of 63 feet, 7.5 inches and a second for a discus throw of 195 feet, 9 inches.


View the full UIL track and field state competition results.

LWE students compete in national math tournament May 13

Lakeway Elementary School 5th grade teacher Vanessa Malone wanted to provide her students with an opportunity to challenge themselves in mathematics while also working on effective collaboration in a remote learning environment. Ten students volunteered, meeting virtually one to two times weekly via Google Meet, to work on math problem sets. The students compete as 'The Machines,' their class mascot.


Ten students, two teams of five students each, participated in the Texas Math Perennial Tournament April 17. The results for the Texas Math Perennial Tournament individual categories are as follows:


  • Ran Zitny - 1st Place
  • Justin Chen - 2nd Place
  • Avery Hua, Clara Hua and Jennifer Su - tied for 3rd Place

Team 1

(left to right, top to bottom)

Clara Hua, Justin Chen, Jennifer Su, Trajan Koberg, Ran Zitny

Team 2

(left to right, top to bottom)

Avery Hua, Holly Tracy, Anya Durrani, Raiyan Hasan, and Kevin Thakkar

The two teams participated in the live national competition which was held virtually on May 13. They earned eighth place in the National Math Competition.


The results for the National Math Perennial Tournament are as follows:


Team 1: 8th Place (Ran Zitny, Clara Hua, Justin Chen, Trajan Koberg, and Jennifer Su)

Team 2: 15th Place (Avery Hua, Raiyan Hasan, Holly Tracy, Anya Durrani, and Kevin Thakkar)


Individual Winners:

8th Place: Justin Chen

10th Place: Avery Hua

14th Place: Ran Zitny

17th Place: Clara Hua


This was Ms. Malone's her first year sponsoring a team and plans to participate in the future.

LTHS student-athletes to compete in UIL tennis state tourney

Congratulations to the following Lake Travis High School student-athletes who will compete in the UIL tennis state tournament in Helotes, Texas May 20-21:

A look back at School Lunch Hero Day

School Lunch Hero Day 2021

Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, responding to state and federal audits, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, our Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) team has a lot on its plate. To celebrate their hard work and commitment, Lake Travis ISD joined the School Nutrition Association in recognizing Friday, May 7 as National School Lunch Hero Day.


School Lunch Hero Day is a chance to showcase the difference school nutrition professionals make for every child who comes through our cafeterias. Now more than ever, we are fortunate to have an outstanding, student-centered food service department.


Led by FANS Director Ryan Mikolaycik, we have an amazing team that is committed to serving our students across our 11 cafés every day. Our café managers are:


  • April Billingsley - BCE
  • Michelle Visco - LPE
  • Mike Villegas - LTMS
  • Gloria Torres - LWE
  • Dolores Arriaga - SHE
  • Corinne Stewart - WCHE
  • Shana Jones - BCMS
  • Kylene Goebel - HBMS
  • Sheila Bussemey - Support Manager
  • Courtney Sain - LTHS
  • Gina Zachmann - Annex
  • Sandy Padilla - LTE
  • Rachel Stewart - RHE

Not sure if driving a bus is right for you?

Do you have reservations about driving a bus? Get behind the wheel and join us for a no commitment test drive in a controlled environment. Visit the LTISD Transportation Center located at 16101 SH 71, Austin, 78738, Monday through Thursday, between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm. Job applications will be available onsite.


For more information, contact Kristal Smith at smithkr@ltisdschools.org, or at 512-533-6423.

Summer Squires registration is open

Reminder parents/guardians: Online registration for LTISD 2021 Summer Squires is open and will be ongoing pending space availability.


For more information visit https://www.ltisdschools.org/summersquires.

LTHS student-athletes sign letters of intent

Congratulations to the following Lake Travis High School student-athletes across multiple programs who signed letters of intent to compete at the collegiate level:

Tennis

William Wang - Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh

Swim

Norah Carr - Loyola University in New Orleans

Kyle Valdez - Arizona State University in Tempe

Track & Field

Jacob Tracy - Arkansas State University in Jonesboro

Palmer Rasmussen - Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista

A look back at Administrative Professionals Day

Administrative Professionals Day

Wednesday, April 21, was Administrative Professionals Day. There is no better time to highlight the hard work and dedication of our administrative professionals, both in our schools and in our administrative offices throughout the district. These individuals do so much to help our campuses and our district offices operate efficiently and effectively.


Now more than ever, we applaud their can-do and positive approach, their attention to detail, and their focus on customer service for our staff, students and families. Their hard work does not go unnoticed.

LTHS student-athlete named Capital Area Tennis Association Male Junior Player of the Year

William Wang, a Lake Travis High School senior, has been named the Capital Area Tennis Association Male Junior Player of the Year. This honor is given to one player out of all junior players (high school and home-schooled USTA players) each year in the greater Austin area. This year there are several boys who are nationally-ranked players and earned college scholarships, and William was chosen for the award. This is the first LTHS tennis male student-athlete to earn this honor. William will be presented the award by LTHS tennis coach Carol Creel and one of William's private coaches in a pre-recorded video during a virtual ceremony during the CATA junior awards banquet.

A+ FCU presents 2021 first quarter check for cash back program

Representatives from A+ Federal Credit Union recently hand-delivered a ceremonial check in the amount of $4,816.45 to Katie Kauffman, LTISD Director of Development and Corporate Relations, as part of the Lake Travis ISD Visa Debit Card Cash Back Program. This was the first-quarter cash back reward of 2021.


This is the fifth year of the partnership. In August 2016, A+FCU and LTISD launched a student-designed card that rewards the District when A+FCU customers make purchases using the LT debit card. Donations are made each quarter, and the amount varies based on customer use of the card. The custom card is available through the Cash-Back Checking program at the A+FCU branch in Bee Cave.


Learn more and get your LT A+FCU debit card today.

Lake Travis Education Foundation celebrates annual gala "fun gala"

The Lake Travis Education Foundation hosted a one-of-a-kind "UnGala, FunGala" May 8, an in-person and virtual fundraising event for the entire Lake Travis community.


"High5 in Lakeway provided the perfect setting for an amazing evening of philanthropy and fun," said Katie Kauffman, Executive Director of the Lake Travis Education Foundation. "Although this year has been like no other, the needs in our schools remain. We are so fortunate to live in a community that consistently supports our students and teachers of Lake Travis."


LTEF developed a series of videos which initially aired during the gala including "Who is LTEF," "LTEF Dreaming Big," and "Rise Up LTEF." Each video was produced by Jon DaSilva of Roadrunner Pictures and is hosted on LTEF digital and social media platforms.


For more information, visit the LTEF website for more information.

WHO IS LTEF
LTEF DREAMING BIG
RISE UP LTEF

Returning student verification begins July 15

Enrollment verification for currently enrolled students returning for the 2021-2022 school year will be available July 15 via Skyward Family Access. For assistance with your login or password, contact the Lake Travis ISD Help Desk at 512-533-6565 or via email at skyward@ltisdschools.org.

Lake Travis Independent School District

The Lake Travis Independent School District is a 6A district located about 25 minutes west of Austin, Texas. Established in 1981, Lake Travis ISD is a fast growth district comprised of 11 campuses serving more than 11,000 students.