Hornet Herald

News and notes for the week of March 7th, 2022

B Week!

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AISD is going mask optional starting Monday March 7th

Here are a couple of items to know:

  • All students will be allowed to make their own choice. Students should not be asked to wear a mask or be given incentives for choosing to wear a mask.
  • Masks are optional during all athletic events and performances for both students and guests.
  • Close Contact - Individual classroom letters will no longer be sent home.
  • Any asymptomatic individual (except those who have tested positive) may remain at school as long as they are asymptomatic.

  • For close contacts, asymptomatic individuals may remain in school.

For more information click link below

AISD Mask optional

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Courtyard Lunch Assignments for the week of 3/7/2022

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KMS Courtyard Diagram

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Testing Schedule Please Observe

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Principal's Message to Hornet Families for the week of 3/7/2022

Hello families,

We are now in our final week before Spring Break. We are excited to have Samantha Bates start in the Science 6 classroom tomorrow and have interviews scheduled for our English Language Arts 7 vacancies. We will look to schedule interviews for other vacancies before leaving for Spring Break. Our goal is to find a quality candidate for each vacancy before leaving. This past week I worked collaboratively with 4 amazing parents and 3 teachers to create questions for and interview candidates for our next Magnet Director. We now have 3 finalists we are all excited about and will interview on Tuesday to see which will be the best fit for our campus. I will continue pop in meetings and surveys to gauge the climate of our campus as we move forward. The results of our 2/25 biweekly survey indicated the climate is still not where we would like it and the main issues shared were hallway behavior, Walkthroughs, and uncertainty. Actions to address these concerns are below in the action plan update. Our main goal at this time is keeping each and every teacher we have and filling the vacancies that exist at this moment. Rest assured, Kealing will stay the strong program Austin has learned to grow and love.

Thank you for choosing Kealing Middle School and Austin ISD, feel free to reach out to me directly for any reason at all: jerald.wilson@austinisd.org

Action Plan Status Updates

This Past Week

  • Conducted exit surveys for teachers who have left this year. (not completely done yet)
  • Collaboratively Created Magnet Director questions with a committee of 3 teachers, 4 parents, and our Executive Director.
  • The committee conducted a day of interviews on Friday March 4th and are proud to say we have 3 candidates we are moving to the final round for the KMS Magnet Director Position.
  • Conducted pop in conversations with teachers to see how to improve campus climate (on going)
  • Held pop in meetings with Classified staff members to see how climate could be improved from their lens (not complete but so far the biggest concern is working collaboratively and providing support with visitor in take and the building entrances)
  • Reviewed the feedback from the 2/25 climate survey. Action plan below.
  • Conducted Principal's Coffee Follow Up Meeting. View meeting recap document here

This Upcoming Week

  • 3/7 - ELA 7 Interviews & Collaborative Learning Walk with administrators and Instructional Coaches
  • 3/8 - KMS Magnet Director Final Round Interviews
  • 3/9 - Meeting with Instructional Coaches and Administrators to observe trends and problem solve Instructional and Professional Development needs (In person - 3:15p - 4:15p)
  • 3/10 - Biweekly survey & Update the Campus' Improvement Plan to reflect action items
  • 3/10 & 3/11 -Distribution of Kealing It Awards, Exit Surveys and Pop in Meetings with Teachers and Classified Staff

Response to the 2/25 Biweekly Survey

1.) Hallway behavior - Immediate action: reestablish mobile offices for administrators to provide more support in the halls during critical times of the day. Long term action: collaborate with leadership team (teachers) and counselors to find other creative solutions.

2.) Walkthroughs - Immediate action: Provide more structured way of conducting walkthroughs for teachers (for example: avoiding walks without notice on Mondays & Fridays and not during the first and last 10 minutes of class)

3.) Uncertainty - Immediate action: send campus updates as they are received from central staff (teachers mentioned not knowing what was happening at the district level)

2/17 Principal's COffee Responses to Questions/Concerns/Statements

3/1 Principal's Coffee Responses to Questions/concerns/statements

3/1 Principal's Coffee Follow Up Recap

KMS Current Vacancies

Adjusted Budget Time Line

1/28 - Receive budget for 2022-2023 school year

Week of 2/21 - Share budget details with staff

Week of 2/21 - Share budget details with PTA

Week of 2/21 - share budget details with CAC

3/10- Budget workshop with CAC

3/11 - Budget due to AISD

4/15 - CAC signature Sheets due

PTA Corner!

Hornet Parents,

It is time to start planning for next year. We need three volunteers to serve on the nominating committee to find people to serve on next year's executive board. If you would like to serve on the committee or would like to serve on the board, please send an email expressing your interest to president@kealingpta.org.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the We Love Kealing Spring Fundraising Drive! We have reached our goal and can fulfill our promises to our students, teachers and staff. We will be able to purchase items for fine arts and science, fund field trips, pay for the 8th grade end of year celebration, and much more. We appreciate every donation of any size. If you were planning to donate, it's not too late. We will continue to accept donations. Huge thanks to Helen Yang, Shannan Reimer, Jen Loving and Nisha Rocap for working hard on the campaign.

We have a lot of volunteer opportunities on campus - lunch and hallway monitoring, helping build IKEA closest for the choir room, coffee cart treats and distribution, Costco pizza pick up, copy room help, food pantry distribution and more. Our volunteer scheduling is now being done through Konstella. Various volunteer sign ups will be live later in the week, so if you have time in your schedule, we would love your help.

If you haven't signed up for Konstella, PTA's new communication tool, yet, please do. You can find volunteer information there as well as PTA and school announcements.

2022 - 2023 Budget concerns, suggestions, and questions

Please click on this button to share your questions, concerns, or suggestions for the 2022-2023 KMS Budget

KMS Safety Protocols as of 3/6/2021

Before School

All staff, students, and visitors are encouraged to self screen for COVID 19 symptoms before entering into a campus or other Austin ISD Facilities each day


- We will maintain outdoor markers to social distance


- we will encourage moving halls where students are encourage to not stop while transitioning to classes

- staggered release


- We are seating/desks at least 3 feet apart when feasible

- Each classroom has a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration unit

- Personal Protective Equipment will be available in each room

- Plexiglass dividers available

- Additional outdoor seating (2 outdoor classrooms & the courtyard if teachers plan to use)

Breakfast & Lunch

- Students are allowed to eat lunch both inside the cafeteria and outside in the courtyard

- Plexiglass accordian dividers

-Volunteer lunch monitors

- The courtyard comfortably seats 4 classes, which is from 25% - 100% of the lunch capacity for each lunch period.


- we will have staggered dismissal where scholars will be dismissed by areas of the building to reduce traffic.


- Masks are optional

- assigned seating for lunches is a discontinued practice

- We are debating staggered releases during transitions at this time.

Upcoming Dates

Monday - March 7th - B Day (5th - 8th Periods)

Tuesday - March 8th- A Day (1st - 4th Periods) - SCA 3 Testing Day - No Advisory

Wednesday - March 9th- B Day (5th - 8th Periods) - SCA 3 Testing Day - No Advisory

COVID 19 Vaccine Clinic

Thursday - March 10th - A Day (1st - 4th Periods)

CAC Meeting @ 4p

Friday - March 11th - B Day (5th - 8th Periods)

Next Week - Spring Break!!!!!!!

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This Past Week on Campus


Welcome to KMS Ms. Bates- 6th Grade Science

Tomorrow will be Ms. Bates' first day at KMS! Here's a little more about her:

College graduate in May 2021 with a degree in Bachelor of Science Education. Played volleyball, softball and ran track in high school and continued to compete at the collegiate level for track. I love being outside , staying active, hanging out with my dog "Indie", family and friends and trying new food!!


In May, students will participate in STAAR testing online. Students must use an AISD device to access the exam. As a result, we need to know which students currently use a personal device from home, so we can secure them an AISD device for testing. Please complete this technology survey by March 25th

Chess Success!

Congratulations to the Kealing Chess Players: Lucius Melillo and Ethan Gu for winning 3rd place in the 2021-2022 Texas Scholastic Online Quick Open Chess Championship. Chess Club is coming soon to Kealing. Stay tuned for details!
KMS Amazon Wish List

Please click here to support our Amazon Wishlist

Bike Club is Back!!!

FINALLY!!! After a long hiatus, the Kealing Bike Club will begin after spring break with ONE mandatory meeting and safety orientation on Thurs 3/24 OR Thurs 3/31 in room 215 (Mr. Hendrex's room). Even if you've ridden with bike club before, you MUST attend one of these meetings to participate in the spring 2022 rides. You only need to attend ONE orientation. Rides will occur on Thursdays from 3pm to 4:15pm from April 7 to May 19. We provide bikes and helmets; students need to bring a water bottle, wear closed toed shoes and dress comfortably for the weather. Email william.shoaf@austinisd.org OR alexander.hendrex@austinisd.org for more information.

Kealing Algebra 2 Fundraiser

Please help our Algebra 2 class raise money for our end of year project! We are making a dynamic art installation in the school and need some funding! This art installation will be an exciting addition to our school and will demonstrate the creativity and individuality of the Kealing students. All donations are appreciated and every dollar counts!

Link to the GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/kealing-algebra-2-end-of-year-project-funding?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1

All Call for Supplies

Hello community! Thank you so much for showing up for Kealing time and time again! Be it your time, your talent, or your treasure--we appreciate you! Supplies are running low again and many of y'all know we basically do not have a supply budget as we previously had. Additionally, we are working hard to welcome refugee students to our campus. Their teachers providing resources to engage them and make them feel supported, so we have included several books and language acquisition resources to the Amazon wish list. I cannot express how much we appreciate you all. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/B7BQHNMLAOP?ref_=wl_share

KMS is looking for substitutes

The details: We've increased the base rate of substitute teacher pay for all levels. For example, degreed substitutes can now earn between $140 and $200 per day for filling a teacher assignment. We’ve also added compensation for supporting campuses when Austin-Travis County is in Stages 4 and 5.

  • We also expanded our eligibility requirements so that people with fewer than 60 college credit hours are eligible to work in elementary or middle schools.

  • Hopefully, we’ll get back to normal soon. In the meantime, if you know someone who would excel in a substitute role in AISD, point them to our website and encourage them to apply online.

Summer Youth Employment Program Brochure

SYEP is offering summer employment opportunities to young people 14-17 years of age as well as young people with a disability up to the age of 22. Employment opportunities include 100 hours of paid learning/work experience.

PTA Membership

Kealing prides itself on fostering a supportive & caring community, and one way it does that is through the Parent-Teacher Association. The PTA comprises families, teachers, administrators, students, and community members dedicated to enriching every student learning experience.

Your PTA membership makes Kealing a great community and unique learning environment. While our memberships number is at an impressive 486 members, we are 150 members short of the Texas PTA 3-year-high award. Let's finish this year with the largest PTA that Kealing has ever seen!!

To join the Kealing PTA hive, click the link below:

If you have Kealing PTA membership questions, please email Shannan Riemer, vpmembership@kealingpta.org.

Why Join PTA? Watch this video to learn more about why you should join the Kealing PTA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzGtGcYdEFs

Please contact Kealing membership VP, Shannan Riemer, vpmembership@kealingpta.org, with any membership questions, comments, or concerns.

Yearbook Recognition Ads are Available! Pre-Order Your Yearbook Today!

Hello Hornets Community! Yearbook recognition ads are currently available through the Josten's website (www.jostens.com > search Kealing)! Recognition Ads a great way for parents, families and friends to commemorate student achievements and important milestones. Limited ads are available so be sure to secure your space now! Recognition and Personalized Yearbook Ads start as low as $35!

How To Order Guide (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1b6bv9eEqfKqLAyzyyYIIeYCaz3_e_xXY/view?usp=sharing)

Community Donations

Thank you for all your generous contributions to our campus! We appreciate you and all the many ways you show up for our Kealing Community. We have started a Community Donates spreadsheet in order to repurpose household items to our campus. There are two ways to contribute--1. Drop off the requested item to the front office labeled with the requesting teacher's name. 2. If you have item(s) to offer that might have a second life on our campus, please add a description to the spreadsheet. Teachers can then go in and claim the item. HERE is a link to the spreadsheet. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IOK7cMk99UZtIQcClIWNQ8Wgc3_nBQ0tBrj7amKXLro/edit?usp=sharing

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