February 1- February 5
Note from Ms. Muehling
I hope you were able to find some relaxation and peace after an emotional week. My thoughts go out to all the families and individuals affected by the tragic loss of Dr. Dodson. I know she had a special place in many of our families' lives and hearts. Please let us know if you or your family need any support as our community grieves this great loss.
COVID/At- School Numbers Update
This past week we had an average of 140 students on campus for learning. This is approximately 34% of our current enrollment. This is a large increase from the previous week. We did have one positive case on campus last week and numerous individuals quarantaning. We will continue to have many staff members out again this week and continue to ask for your patience as many staff members continue to take on various roles and responsibilities.
This week we will have our monthly PTA meeting on Tuesday at 5:00. Please see LivingTree for the zoom link.
The month of February brings many wonderful events-
- Black History Month Celebrations
- Panther Fund
- Valentine's Day Celebrations
- SEL Family Night
- 100th Day of School
Have a wonderful week!
Peace, Love, Panthers!
This Week's Events
February 5: Magnet School Applications Due (5th Grade)
February 8: CAC Meeting 3:15
February 9: Benchmark Testing (3rd-5th)
February 10: Benchmark Testing (3rd-5th)
February 11: Benchmark Testing (3rd-5th)
February 12: Schoolwide Dance Party (more info to come)
February 12: Valentine's Day Parties
February 15: No Students/Staff PL Day
February 18: SEL Family Night
February 19: Picture Day
Instructional Setting Changes
During the last three weeks, per the recommendation of the district, we have provided families with the flexibility to participate in remote learning after participating in on-campus learning. The district is now fully re-opened for on-campus learning and we are moving back to the initial requirements set forth by the district for families to choose in-person or remote learning.
What does this mean for our students?
- Remote learning is an option for all students through the end of the school year.
- On-campus learning is an option for all students through the end of the school year.
- Families will only be able to make one change per grading period (9 weeks)
Starting February 8th, if your student is learning on-campus, remote instruction will not be an option when your student is off campus. Frequent changes make it very difficult for teachers to offer meaningful instruction to all students. Some teachers are assigned to all in-person instruction, just as some teachers are assigned to all remote instruction.
If you request a change in instructional setting for your student, you will not be able to change back until the next grading period. For example, if your student is learning on campus and you would like to switch to remote instruction, your student cannot return until the next grading period (after Spring Break).
Q: Our family is going on vacation and would like to have our students switch to remote learning for the week and then come back to campus. Can we do this?
A: No. If you would like for your student to learn remotely after being on campus, this would count as a change and your student would not be able to return until the next grading period.
Q: We want to try on-campus learning but not we're not sure if we will want to continue. Can we try it and then switch back to remote?
A: Yes, remote learning is an option for the remainder of the school year. However, if you choose on-campus learning and then move back to remote learning, this will count as a change and your student would not be able to return until the next grading period.
Q: My child isn't feeling well enough to come to school today, can we just log on to Zoom and do remote learning?
A: No. If your child needs to be at home for illness, please have your child rest and get well! As always, if your child is out for more than two days, your child's teacher will work with you on make-up assignments.
Q: My family needs to change our instructional setting; will my child stay in the same class?
A: Possibly. If your child is learning with a remote only teacher and requests to come to campus, your child will be placed with an in-person teacher. Likewise, if a teacher is assigned to in-person learners and you choose to go remote, your student will move to a teacher that provides remote instruction.
Congratulations Alex Rodgers, Teacher of the Year!!!
We are really excited to welcome Mr. Edwards as our long term music teacher while Ms. Schiele is on leave.
This week Mr. Edwards will be incorporating live Music classes back into the schedule. He will be teaching live lessons to at-school and hybrid classes this week and will be teaching live classes to all classes next week. We ask for your patience as he learns BLEND and adapts to teaching through Zoom.
Note from Mr. Edwards-
"Hello everyone! My name is Austin Edwards and I have presumed the role of long-term music substitute here at Bryker Woods. I have just moved to the Austin area from New Mexico, where I attended Eastern New Mexico University and obtained a degree in Health and Physical Education. Upon graduation, I taught STEM at a junior high for two years and developed a passion for working with students. I am very excited to get back into the classroom and am looking forward to having fun with your kiddos for the remainder of the year! Thank you all for the warm welcomes and I'm excited to be a Bryker Woods Panther!"
Austin Edwards- email@example.com
Our annual Panther Fund Drive starts tomorrow, February 1st! Yes, this year it was postponed from September to allow everyone to get their bearings during these challenging times.
The Panther Fund is an opportunity for the BW PTA to raise funds for critical programs and services that make our school special:
- Teacher and Staff Salaries -- half of Vice Principal salary, Math and Tech Specialist salary
- Teacher and Office Supplies -- like teaching tools, art kits, gym and music equipment
- PTA Programs and Events -- like Arts By Bryker Woods (AXBW), Spelling Bee, Science Fair, Virtual Field Trips, etc....
- Various Operations and Expenses
Our primary goal for the Panther Fund Drive is always focused around participation! For years the average participation from our BW Community has been ~80%, yes, 8 out of every 10 BW families participate in supporting our beloved school. This is outstanding, but we can always do better!
Due to the ongoing challenges of this year, the BW PTA has decided to lower our financial goals. The PTA spends ~$237/child most years, but our goal this year is to raise ~$150/child. Participation is key, and any amount that works for your family will help reach our goal!
Thank you for your continued support and stay tuned for further communications on this during February.
Make your Panther Fund donations at -- https://brykerwo.ejoinme.org/PantherFund
Additional Mass COVID Testing Available
In order to be proactive and offer additional testing resources to our students and staff, Austin ISD will be offering mass COVID-19 testing once per week while we are in Stage 5 in Austin/Travis County.
We are also excited to announce that rapid tests (for mass testing events only) are now available to ALL Austin ISD students and staff, which includes those who learn and work in-person and remotely.
February Dates and Times
- Thursday, Feb. 4 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday, Feb. 11 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Locations (for both days)
- North: Northeast Early College High School (Nelson Field) 7105 Berkman Dr. Austin, TX 78752
- South: Austin ISD Central Office 4000 S. IH-35 Austin, TX 78704
Participants must register to be guaranteed testing. REGISTER HERE: https://forms.gle/mv9ScYqSTftJiPP76
Items to Bring to Your Testing Appointment
- Austin ISD ID or Badge
- Completed Consent Form
- QR Code from Pre-Registering Online (not required, but strongly encouraged to help decrease wait times): https://register.txrapidtest.org/
If you are unable to make either date listed above, or if you have non-AISD family members who wish to access testing, we encourage you to contact your primary care provider or schedule an appointment through Austin Public Health: https://www.austintexas.gov/covid-testinfo
Alexandra Copeland, Director of Health Services
Update: Opportunity to Support Ms. DiGaetano
As I mentioned last week, Ms. DiGaetano welcomed her baby girl, Cecelia, 11 weeks early. A group of wonderful 1st-grade families are organizing ways to support Ms. DiGaetano and her beautiful family.
Please see this link on Living Tree for more information on how to support Ms. DiGaetano.
Central Texas African American Family Support Conference
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 8:30 am to Friday, February 5, 2021 - 6:00 pm
Join us for the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference which will be held virtually, Feb. 3-5 from 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
- Inspirational speakers like Grammy-winning songwriter Billy Dorsey, who overcame depression and homelessness to reach his dreams, plus Dr. Brenda Combs and Dr. Lonise Bias
- 20 interactive workshops on grief and loss, COVID-19 and racism, trauma, Black men and mental health, self-care, substance use and much more
- Entertainment from Austin’s finest hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm as well as local icon DJ Hella Yella
Austin ISD will be providing scholarships to AISD families who would like to attend the conference. Deadline to request a scholarship is Fri., Jan. 22.
Any AISD family interested in attending who needs a scholarship to pay the conference fee can register with their @AustinISD Parent Support Specialist or call the AISD Parent Engagement Support Office at 512-414-0726. Visit: ctaafsc.com for details.
If you have any questions, please contact your school Parent Support Specialist or Jennifer Vasquez at 512-414-0726.
AISD Family Survey
The Austin ISD 2020–21 Family Survey is now available and is accepting responses online through March 5, 2020. Please click the link below to access the survey.
Families are encouraged to participate so they can share input on district and campus performance. The survey includes questions about how well school staff and leadership communicate with parents, as well as how easily parents may communicate about their students and how families learn about programs offered at their school. Due to COVID-19, it is especially important this year to provide your opinion to ensure we are providing a great experience for you and your child.
The results will help district leadership learn how to best to improve services for our students.
To take the survey:
2021/2022 Calendar Survey
Austin ISD is currently working on the calendars for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. The Calendar Task Force has worked very hard to prepare two (2) calendar options. Please take a minute to vote on the calendars that you prefer for each school year.
Please click on this link to view the calendars and to vote: Vote here
Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
If you have technical issues with this survey, please contact Cinda Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology Available at BW!
If you need to request a device, please reach out to Ms. Kettler.
iPad Home Screen/Layout Settings by The Time of Day
Beginning Friday, September 25, Austin ISD iPads have settings restrictions that vary by time of day. From 7:00 am-4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, apps will appear in the current pushed layout. Outside of those hours, the apps will revert to any customized layout caregivers have set, AND they will be able to delete apps they have added. (Note that the iPads have 32GB of storage, and currently 13GB is taken up by District-required content.)
Lost/Stolen student devices:
Families should follow the procedures outlined here.
Student devices in need of repair:
Families can take iPads, Chromebooks, and hotspots in need of repair to either your school or to one of the Curbside locations, where they can be swapped out as long as supplies allow.
“Power wash” Chromebooks to Update Zoom:
Students may notice that Zoom is out of date on their Chromebooks. Students and caregivers that Chromebooks must be “power washed” (restored to Austin ISD default settings) for Zoom to update automatically. Here is a step set as well as a link to a video.
MackinVia and Dreambox added to iPads:
The MackinVia and Dreambox apps have been added to iPads. Apps on the student iPads will soon be organized into logical folders to streamline student access and hide infrequently used apps and system apps.
Students use the Canvas Student app to access BLEND (and then Seesaw)
A video in English demonstrating this process can be seen here. A video in Spanish is in progress and a link will be provided as soon as it is available.
Student iPad Security and Student Safety
Please note: District-wide safety restrictions can be seen on the iPads under Settings> General > Device Management > JamfSchool MDM Management Profile > Restrictions. Families may see other options under Screen Time, but despite appearances, no Screen Time setting can be less restrictive than the General Restrictions pushed by the District. A flyer for distribution is available here.
Have a question? Use Let's Talk! to get the answers you need. Families may call the Family Support line at 512-414-9187. You can also send a Let's Talk! text to (512) 886-6434. Support is available weekdays from 7 a.m.–5 p.m.