Baldwin Blast

February 2021

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February 2, 2021


Dear Baldwin Parents,


I can’t believe that I am already writing the February letter! It seems that 2021 is in a hurry. January was filled with activity, and we demonstrated once again our ability to be flexible.


This month, love is in the air, and we are asking for artwork again. Please print the attached heart and decorate it either individually or as a family. Feel free to drop it off at the front doors or you may attach it to any window around the school. It was so fun to walk the school and see everyone’s creativity with turkeys and I can’t wait to see your decorated hearts as well. As a school, we are not passing out Valentine cards this year so please do not send cards to school. Instead, teachers will have Valentine activities for the kids on February 12th.


As we begin this spring semester, many of you are already thinking about testing and taking the STAAR test. We are receiving updates from TEA on an ongoing basis. As we understand it now, all students must take the STAAR test on campus. There will be a window of time for each test, and once those are finalized I will share the dates with you. I will continue to share any information about these updates at my Principal’s Coffee so please be sure to join us for regular updates and the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Our next one is scheduled for Thursday, February 11th at 5:30.


It is APEX time again - March 1st - March 12th! The APEX fundraiser is the school’s only fundraiser for the year and is historically a huge success. It will look a bit different this year as all events will be virtual, but the character lessons and community building will continue. Please see the attached flyer below for more information and be on the lookout for more details.


The district has sent out a Family Survey for each family to complete to share their feedback. Please take the time to fill out the survey as it lets us know what we are doing well and where we can make improvements. Parent Survey


It is already time to start thinking about next school year! Please go into the student portal and register your children for next year. This will be extremely helpful in staffing allocations for the 2021-22 school year. If you need assistance, please contact Alicia Cruz in the front office as 512-841-8900.


As always, thank you for your continued support, your kind words and your flexibility.


Kindly,

Jennifer Murray

Principal, Baldwin Elementary

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Online registration is now open for the 2021-2022 school year. If you have not registered your child, please do so today by logging into the Parent Portal at portal.austinisd.org. to register your child(ren). Any student attending an AISD school next year needs to complete this registration. Click here for step by step instructions on how to register.

Clike here for Instructions on How to Create a Parent Portal

Presione aqui para Instrucciones de Como Crear una Cuenta de Portal de Padres

Parents of returning students: Like previous years, proof of address must be provided in order to complete registration. Once you have completed the online registration process, please email the proof of address to Alicia.Cruz2@austinisd.org

Parents of new Baldwin students: please attach/upload your student's original birth certificate, immunization record, parent photo id, and proof of address (light, gas, water bill, or lease agreement) in section 9 of the online registration. If you have any questions please call the school at 512-841-8900. For technical difficulties please call 512-414-9187 or email parenttechsupport@austinisd.org.

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  • February 1-28: Black History Month
  • February 1: Counseling Appreciation Week
  • February 8: CAC Meeting at 3:15
  • February 11: Principal's Coffee
  • February 15: Student Holiday
  • February 25: Principal's Coffee (GT Information shared)
  • February 26 Asynchronous Learning Day


You may have received an email about a Student Climate Survey. Both virtual and in person students will complete these during class time (proctored by the counselor) between February 11-March 13.

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We are looking for volunteers to share what they're jobs are for Career Week! We would like as many presenters as possible to expose students to all sorts of job opportunities. We are asking for 5-10 minute videos explaining what you do for a living. Feel free to show off props and your work space! There are also questions you may want to answer on the form below. Submit your video using the form below or email to lindsay.holley@austinisd.org by February 20th. Thanks!
Thank you for all of the amazing support provided for Care and Share. We had many appreciative families and happy kids! We are now collecting gently used books of all genres for reading levels Prek-5. As it gets colder, we are also accepting gently used gloves, hats, and warm clothes. If you would like to donate, reach out to Lindsay Holley or Deb Alexander.

Middle School Update

All choice sheets need to be turned in virtually this year. Gorzycki Middle School will release choice sheets on February 5th. Choice sheets for Gorzycki and Small Middle School are due on Friday - February 12th.


Questions? Please contact Ms. Alexander at 512-841-8912 or dalexander@austinisd.org. Thank you!

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With a new year, comes new opportunities to learn and grow as well as focus on important goals. At Baldwin, we are continuing to work towards our goal of creating an inclusive, diverse, equitable, antiracist environment for all our Bobcats.


I am including an excerpt from our districts CP& I Newsletter. When I think about the actions we can take as educators and with our children, the idea that we can affect the entire pyramid by disrupting the bottom layer resonates with me.


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Pyramid of Hate

Above is the Pyramid of Hate from the Anti-Defamation League who sponsors No Place For Hate. Austin ISD is the largest No Place for Hate School district in the United States for the 7th year (SY 2019-20) in a row. The Pyramid of Hate shows biased behaviors, growing in complexity from the bottom to the top. Although the behaviors at each level negatively impact individuals and groups, as one moves up the pyramid, the behaviors have more life-threatening consequences. Like a pyramid, the upper levels are supported by the lower levels. If people or institutions treat behaviors on the lower levels as being acceptable or “normal,” it results in the behaviors at the next level becoming more accepted. In response to the questions of the world community about where the hate of genocide comes from, the Pyramid of Hate demonstrates that the hate of genocide is built upon the acceptance of behaviors described in the lower levels of the pyramid.


When we look at the very bottom layer, we see that acts of bias includes jokes, rumors, stereotyping, non-inclusive language, and insensitive remarks. We hear a lot of this language in schools and the next level, acts of prejudice, is built upon these unchallenged remarks. Acts of prejudice also include biased language that is even more targeted and intentional. But remember, the upper levels are supported by the lower levels and so if we interrupt biased language in the bottom level, we don’t allow it to escalate.

If you would like to join the IDEA committee, please reach out to Tammy Thompson, assistant principal.


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Are you looking for personalized practice for all your student’s academic needs? Ixl provides immersive learning experiences for students in Math, Language arts, science, and social studies. You can access Ixl through the portal and on the left side of your students blend page.

For more information on accessing IXL click here.


-Kylie Schantz

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We are so excited to announce that the Baldwin Library will now be offering library curbside for all of our virtual learning students. If you are an in-person learner, your teacher has scheduled a checkout time for your class where you will make your book selections.

Library curbside is a contactless service that at-home learners can use to request physical copies of books from the Baldwin Library. Virtual learners will make their requests through a Google Form located on the Baldwin Library BLEND Course. When their orders are ready, Mrs. Wright will send an email to parents letting them know that part of their student's book request is ready for pickup. All book requests will be placed in the library curbside cart, located just outside the library doors. Students' orders are placed in tubs based on the first letter of their last name. A "RETURNS" bin is also located on the library curbside cart for books that learners are returning to the library.

Please note that the library curbside cart will only be out from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm each day, and only students with cleared library accounts will be able to make book requests. If your student still has books checked out to them from last year, they will need to turn them in or pay a lost book fee to clear their accounts. Mrs. Wright sent individual emails to families in the fall if their student still had books checked out to them. Email Mrs. Wright (mackenzie.wright@austinisd.org) if you have any questions or concerns about your student's library account.

Check out the FAQ page linked below for more information about library curbside.

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Our brains are naturally set up to learn to speak, but learning to read does not happen on its own. Scientists have found that we must develop certain parts of our brains and build connections between brain areas that were not connected before. The picture (below) shows four different areas of our brains that we use when we read
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For in- person learning:

Health Screenings:

  • All staff will conduct a self health screen by 7:15 am, including a current temperature check.

  • All staff and students will be required to wear face masks while in the building.

  • All students will be given a temperature check and health screening prior to entering the building. This may be done at home via the Austin ISD app or upon arrival to school. We will have multiple health screening sites during arrival to facilitate students getting to classrooms as quickly as possible. Car riders will be screened at the curb inside their car and bus riders and walkers/bikers will be screened at the entrance.

  • Students who are running a fever or do not pass the screening questions will be taken to the staging room known as the “Bobcat Den” until parents can pick them up.

Once in the Building:

  • All students will report directly to their classrooms. We will have staff available to assist with our younger students and make sure they get to their classrooms safely. Parents will not be able to walk students into the building to their classrooms.

  • Visitors will not be allowed in the building at this time.

  • We are going to do everything we can to make the classroom spaces feel inviting and friendly, even with strict standards.

  • During dismissal, students will remain in their classroom and be called down and escorted individually to their car. Students will all be assigned a number that must be displayed on your dash to facilitate this system. More information will be sent home as the time draws near.

Food Service:

  • Breakfast and lunch will continue to be offered to our students BUT the cafeteria will be closed for students to eat.

  • All meals from the cafeteria will be delivered to the classrooms and eaten there.

  • Please note, we will no longer accept any outside delivery of food to the campus so please make sure your child has his/her/their lunch kit and water bottle with them when they come to school unless eating from the cafeteria. If a student forgets their lunch, one will be provided from the cafeteria.

  • Families may apply for free or reduced meals here: https://www.austinisd.org/nutrition-food-services/applications-payments

  • Families may also deposit funds in their child's meal account at: https://www.schoolcafe.com/

Recess:

  • All students will have an outdoor recess, but social distancing will be required and only a small number of students will be scheduled for play at the same time.

  • At this time the playscape equipment will be closed.

In Case of Illness:

  • We will continue to have full time nursing staff on campus.

  • If a child displays COVID-19 symptoms at school, the school nurse will be consulted and parents contacted. We have created the “Bobcat Den” for students to wait comfortably under adult supervision for pick up.

  • Should a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19, we will conduct contact tracing and inform families who came into contact with that person. The district office will be notified and we will follow health protocols for quarantining. (Please see the AISD reopening guidelines for more detailed information.)