Kiker Comments August 31, 2021

A joint newsletter from the Bernice Kiker Admin Team & PTA

In This Edition...

  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer Options
  • Join PTA
  • Additional Announcements:
  • Library News
  • HB4545
  • Austin Ed Fund Project
  • Upcoming GT Nomination Window
  • Crosswalk Safety
  • Quarantine and Ill Person Requirements for Return
  • September Staff Birthdays
  • Get to Know the Staff
  • Repeated Information (from previous newsletters)

Upcoming Events


18 - 9/3 - Reading & Math MAP Growth Window/Grades: 1 - 5


2 - PTA Meet and Greet at the Labyrinth from Drop Off - 8:30 am

6 - No School - Labor Day

13 & 14 - Back to School Nights - More info to come!

13-24 - GT Nomination Window for Grades 3 - 5 - More information below

13 - PTA Executive Board Meeting

14 - Principal Coffee Talk at 8:00 am

14 - Lockdown Drill - Afternoon

22 - GT Information Session for Parents/Guardians via Zoom, 5:00 pm

24 - Evacuation Drill - Morning

24 - GT Nominations for Grades 3 - 5 - FIRM DEADLINE

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Office Volunteers

Looking to get involved on campus?

We have an opportunity for you in the Front Office!

You will assist the amazing front office staff by answering the door and phone, making classroom deliveries and more.

Questions? Email us at

Library Volunteers Needed

Hello Kiker Families,
Interested in volunteering in the school library? See available time slots for sign up HERE. If you want to help out, but don't want to commit on a weekly basis, email me at with your interests (sub volunteer, special event help, etc.). I'm looking forward to working with you!

Outdoor Cafeteria Volunteers Needed

An email blast went out on Friday explaining our updated plans for spreading students out during lunch by utilizing two spaces. We need volunteers to partner with staff members to provide supervision, open milks, etc.

Click here to sign up for a 1 hour shift to support outdoor lunch times. (10:45, 11:45, or 12:45) This does not need to be a reoccurring volunteer opportunity, but we are happy for you to sign up for multiple shifts as many days as you would like.

Join the Kiker PTA

Join the Kiker PTA!

With your help we:

  • Support more than 35 impactful education programs

  • Build community through family programs

  • Raise funds to enrich our school and support Kiker staff

In the first week of school, PTA funds were allocated for outdoor picnic tables and ceiling fans to keep our children cool and comfortable while on the deck.

Have questions or want to get involved? Join! Feel free to email us at

See below for 3 ways to join!

Kiker PTA Meet and Greet 9/2 at Drop off

How do you PTA?

There is no wrong way and we can do more together than apart.

PTA Meet and Greet!

Drop by the labyrinth (front of the school) between 7:45-8:30 am on Thursday, Sept. 2. Grab some coffee and a taco and visit with other Kiker families at our first PTA event of the year. At this come-and-go event you can learn about volunteer opportunities, memberships, upcoming events, purchase some Kiker gear and meet the Kiker PTA board members. Hope to see you there!

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Grow our Library With the Book of the Month Club

Purchase a book from our special collection of new books. Be the first to read it and donate it to the Bernice Kiker Library!

Formerly known as Birthday Books, our librarian, Ashley Cross, will present your child with the book he/she has selected and your child will have two weeks to enjoy the book before sending it back for everyone else to check out.

Each book is $15 and a special book label will be placed in the book showing your child’s donation to the Kiker Library. In addition, your child’s picture with his/her chosen book will be displayed in the hallway for the school to enjoy.

To join the Book of the Month Club, please fill out this form and return. We ask that you use for payment. If you need to send cash or check please send payment with the below portion to Ashley Cross. Your child will be called from class to choose a book and parents will be notified when this takes place. Your child will be recognized on the bulletin board outside of the library for the month.

Thank you for participating! We can’t wait for your student to come choose a book from the library. Your student is welcome to participate as many months as you’d like. Each month is an additional $15. If your preferred month fills up, we will notify you by email for another month preference.

HB4545 and Beginning of Year Assessments (BOY)

Giving the Beginning Of Year (BOY) test this early is a direct result of House Bill 4545 (TEA FAQ on HB4545). All Austin ISD schools are using the MAP Growth assessment for our BOY for all students K-5, but it is incredibly important to get this data for our 4th and 5th grade students who did not take a STAAR test during the 2020-2021 school year.

Students who either didn't pass the STAAR last year, or didn't take the STAAR, could be identified for 30 hours of targeted intervention based on this HB4545. For those students who didn't take the STAAR, we can use their BOY score to determine the need for the required intervention. For many of our students, their BOY score will 'test them out' of this additional tutoring.

If you have questions about HB4545 or the required interventions, please reach out to Principal Cory Matheny.

The MAP Growth Assessment is used for tracking data and growth in all grade levels K-5 but is tied to HB4545 for our 4th and 5th graders.

Austin Ed Fund’s Creative Expression Project

Students are invited to submit artwork for Austin Ed Fund’s Creative Expression Project. Any student is eligible to submit 1 piece.

  • Mixed Media - Entries in which two or more 2-D media are combined in a single two-dimensional entry; includes collage. Materials may extend up to one inch from the surface.

  • Photography - Includes original, traditional or digital photographs taken by the student, in color or black and white.

  • Digital - Includes compositions rendered on a computer from a blank workspace, as well as compositions that begin with the student’s original photograph, drawing, or illustration that is scanned in and completed with digital processes.

  • Performing Arts - Dance, choral, instrumental, theatre, spoken word, debate, speech, film, etc.

  • Written Word - Poetry, essay, storybook, etc.

  • Drawing - Colored or graphite pencil, ink, pastel, crayon, chalk, marker, or charcoal. Pastels and charcoal must be protected with a fixative spray.

  • Painting - Acrylic, watercolor, oil, tempera, and other plastic paints.

  • Printmaking - Block print, monoprint, collagraph, serigraph, lithograph, + other forms.


  • September 17 - Deadline to submit artwork digitally. Use THIS LINK TO SUBMIT

  • October 4 - Austin Ed Fund contacts student artists to announce their involvement at the event.

  • October 8 - Deadline to deliver original artwork to location provided by Austin Ed Fund to be prepped for display at the event.

October 19 - Inspire the Future Day!

For questions, reach out to Mrs. Matheny at

GT Nomination Window - September 13 - September 24 for Grades 3-5

We will begin accepting nominations for Gifted and Talented testing for two weeks, September 13 - Septermber 24, for our students in grades 3-5. The window for K-2 is October 15 - November 5.

The process includes the following steps: nomination, screening, and selection. Information considered in the decision includes parent/guardian observations, teacher input, collection of a portfolio of student work, and standardized assessments. Students who are already identified as GT do not need to be reevaluated. Students identified as Talent Explore may be re-nominated for GT identification.

  • Please note that the nomination process is time sensitive. All nominations are due by September 24 at 4:00.
  • To nominate your child, please check this section of the Kiker Comments during the window of Septermber 13 - September 24. A form will be attached at that time.
  • An information session via Zoom will be available September 22 at 5:00. Zoom link will be posted closer to the event.

PTA - Reflections (early information)

Reflections happens in October, but feel free to learn more about it now.

Reflections has been a staple arts program in many schools for 50 years. Through the efforts of our Local PTAs, millions of students have found a creative outlet in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography, and visual arts.

Students of all ages and abilities can experience the benefits of creative expression and help in finding their own voice in telling their unique story.

This year’s theme is “I will CHANGE the World by” and the deadline will be the end of October.

Express your artistic talent and tell us what's within reach through Reflections!

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Crosswalk Safety

PLEASE be a role model for our students by only crossing at the crosswalks. We have two crosswalks. For the most part our families do a GREAT job at the La Crosse crosswalk. The area we need your help with is the crosswalk in the circle drive.

PLEASE DO NOT walk across the circle drive and in between cars at drop off and pick up. Our children are watching and learning from the adults they see. Please model safety by only crossing at the crosswalk that runs from the flagpoles towards the front doors.

Questions about Returning to School after Quarantine and/or being Symptomatic


Day 0 is the last date of exposure.

Day 1 is the first day without exposure.

Day 5-7 the testing can occur.

Day 8 the student can return if a negative test result is provided.

At this time, for someone who is quarantined, we can accept a rapid test OR a PCR test from any testing facility that provides a paper document or email copy of the results. At home tests are not accepted.

Symptomatic / Ill students or staff:

For a student/staff member who was symptomatic (sent home from school sick or self-reported sick), a negative PCR or a doctor's note is required to return.

Staff or students who are symptomatic may request a rapid test on campus. However, rapid tests are not available for asymptomatic individuals at this time. With 760 students and almost 100 staff members, our one nurse is not able to provide peace of mind testing while still meeting the safety needs of those currently on campus daily. Our priority is to have our nurse available for those staff and students with an immediate need in the building.

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September Birthdays

18 Nadra Collins

22 Amanda Prickett

23 Marian Martin

25 Christina Haschke

Get to Know the Staff

Each week we will feature a few staff members. This week, meet the new additions to our Essential Areas Team.
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Repeated Information

Drop off and Pick up Procedures

Please watch our arrival video and our dismissal video. We will be using the QR codes to help families spread out at dismissal.

We have already seen huge improvements with our efficiency at dismissal. Thank you all for your patience and support. As a reminder, visitors are not allowed in the building. Thank you for saying your goodbyes outside!

After School Programs

After School Enrichment

Did you know our Comets have a variety of after school activities to participate in? This fall, after school activities will include coding, art, cooking, Spanish, piano, and maybe more. Additional details will be shared in the next few weeks. For a full listing, please visit the after school enrichment page on our website to learn more and see the wonderful variety of classes and programs offered!

Ceiba Espanol

Coding with Kids

Sticky Fingers Cooking Program

Wicked Workshop Architecture Program

Capital Music Piano Program

Kiker Voyager is currently full.

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A Message From the Cafeteria

At AISD Food Service, our top priority is to ensure all students have access to healthy, tasty meals. The country is dealing with a nationwide food service worker shortage, directly impacting AISD; we currently have over 100 open positions, in addition to managing COVID-19 protocols. Because of this, changes in school meal operations and menus may occur. Please note, any menu changes will not be reflected on or on printed menus.

Bernice Kiker Elementary Administration Team

Cory Matheny - Principal

Alma Chapa Moore - Assistant Principal

Kelly Meyer - Assistant Principal