Kiker Comments October 26, 2021

A Joint Newsletter from the Bernice Kiker AdminTeam & PTA

In This Edition...

  • Upcoming Events
  • Attendance Notes
  • Bicycle Safety Concerns
  • Love Your Brain Dress Up Week
  • GT Nominations for Grades K-2
  • PTA News: APEX Fun Run, Pumpkin Patch, Costume Parade, Reflections
  • Announcements
  • Library Update
  • Original Art
  • Health Office - Vision and Hearing Screenings
  • Special Education Update
  • Coats For Kids
  • AISD News - Budget 101
  • 5th Grade Family News
  • October Staff Birthdays
  • Get to Know the Staff
  • Repeated Information (from previous newsletters)
  • Quarantine and Ill Person Requirements for Return
  • After School Programs
  • All the Links to Everything You Need

Upcoming Events


27 - Dress up -Mismatched day

27 - Extended Deadline for PTA Reflections

28 - Dress Up - Silly Socks

28 - Read for the Record

29 - Kindergarten Gets a Visit from the Fire Department-- Fire Trucks on Campus!

29 - Dress Up - Book Characters

29 - PTA Dress Up Parade Evening Event 5:30 pm


1-5 Book Fair

3 - GT Parent Information Session - Zoom Link Shared Next Week

16 - Evacuation Drill

22-26 No School - Thanksgiving Break

Attendance Notes

Please send all attendance notes to the front office or email to

Bicycle Safety After School

We have received numerous reports of students making unsafe choices during their bike ride home after school. Students are riding westbound (towards Escarpment) in the bike lane on the eastbound traffic side of the road. Bike safety rules state that people riding in the bike lane should be riding WITH the flow of traffic.

Please discuss with your bike riders the importance of crossing the street at the crosswalk to ride with the flow of traffic. Riding with the flow of traffic is especially important since cars turning right in front of the old Xplor parking lot may not anticipate bike riders heading the wrong direction.

Drivers should use the utmost caution around school zones in anticipation of children still learning safety rules.

Thank you for every effort to keep everyone in our community safe.

Love Your Brain Week

Austin ISD will celebrate Love Your Brain Week, which is a drug and alcohol use prevention and healthy coping skills week held October 25-29, 2021. This week is a collaborative effort between School Counselors, School Administration, Coordinated School Health Leaders, Austin ISD Peer Assistance Leadership Service (PALS) Student Peer Mentors, Licensed Mental Health Professionals, and School Nurses with support from departments across the district.

The goal is to promote healthy choices, positive activities, and encourage students to avoid drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

Big picture
Big picture

GT Nomination Window - October 25 - November 5 for Grades K-2

We will be accepting nominations for Gifted and Talented testing for two weeks. The window for K-2 is October 25 - November 5.

The process includes the following steps: nomination, screening, and selection. Information considered in the decision includes parent/guardian observations, teacher input, 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.

  • The nomination process is time sensitive. All nominations are due by November 5 at 4 pm.
  • To nominate your child, click on the link below.
  • A Zoom information session will be available November 3 at 5 pm. Zoom link will be shared prior to the event.

PTA News

Big picture

APEX Earnings

We are so excited to announce that our students raised $70,000 + for our school. We are so proud of our students, families, and teachers for working together AS ONE and helping make this program a success! Thank you to all the parents who volunteered, and to all the families and friends who pledged. The funds raised will be used for classroom support, school infrastructure improvements, and community-requested special projects.

Big picture

It's time for the 2nd Annual Kiker Pumpkin Patch!

We can't wait to see your spooky, funny, and creative creations. Please include your name and grade on the back or bottom of your pumpkin and pick it up by Friday, October 29 at 5pm. Any pumpkins not picked up will be thrown away.

Big picture

PTA Costume Parade - October 29

PTA invites Kiker students and their families to our Halloween Parade on Friday, October 29. After a brief PTA General Membership Meeting at 5:15 pm by the front labyrinth, the parade will begin in the front circle drive at 5:30 pm.

Immediately following the parade, PTA is treating Kiker students to a frozen treat from Mister Softee! Tickets will be passed out to students at school on Friday. If you are a virtual Kiker learner, PTA will have your ticket at the event. Additional treats for parents, siblings, or visitors may be purchased directly from the Mister Softee truck.

If possible, please let Kiker PTA know if you are planning to join us using the link below. This helps us get an idea of the headcount for the evening, but you are not required to RSVP to attend.

Please bring your own mask. A mask will be provided at the event if you do not have your own. We will practice social distancing during the parade and while enjoying ice cream.

Look for the spirit wear table to buy Kiker tie-dye shirts, scrunchies, and socks!

Big picture

PTA - Reflections Deadline Extended Until Wednesday

Here's how to enter

1. Download the entry form here in English or Spanish.

2. Submit entries in this Google Form.

The new deadline is Wednesday, October 27.

A student's family must be a member of the Kiker PTA by October 31, 2021 to participate in Reflections.


Library News

Dress up as a Book Character on Friday, Oct. 29!

Celebrate your love of books by dressing up as one of your favorite book characters the day before Halloween! This is totally optional, but if your child would like to participate, here's how:

  1. Dress up as a book character.
  2. Dress up in their costume of choice and create a book character to match.
  3. Wear your pjs (lots of books have characters in pjs. 😉
Big picture


The Jungle Book Fair is coming Nov 1 -5!

Our fair will be open to the kids all day November 1-5 and open to parents to shop at the following times:

Monday, Nov. 1: STUDENT PREVIEW DAY- no sales!

Tuesday, Nov. 2: 10:45-1:15 and 3:10-3:45

Wednesday, Nov. 3: 10:45-1:15 and 3:10-6:30 (extended hours)

Thursday, Nov. 4: 10:45-1:15 and 3:10-4:45 (extended hours)

Friday, Nov. 5th: 10:45-1:15 and 3:10-3:45

*Parents may NOT pull their children from class to shop at the fair during school day hours.

No cash to send with your kid for the fair? No problem with eWallet!

Set up an eWallet for your child to make shopping seamless with no cash needed on book fair days. You can also share your eWallet with family and friends to drop some money on your kiddo at the fair!

Donate to your child’s class!

Find the eWallet for your child’s teacher HERE. You are welcome to donate Scholastic dollars to your teacher to shop the fair, or pick up one of their wish list items while at the in-person fair.


We love to give back to the community here at Kiker, so what better way to do so then to donate Scholastic dollars to Allison Elementary so that they can enjoy the benefits of the book fair as well. Donate to Allison Elementary HERE. If we raise $750, everyone gets a PJ day the last day before winter break.

We still need a few volunteers for the fair!

Sign up HERE.

Want to virtual shop at the fair?

The Jungle Book Fair is a great way to get those holiday gifts and shipping times are fast if you shop online from our book fair home page (beginning Oct. 28).

Feel free to email me with any questions:

Big picture

Original Art Works

The Art Department is excited to announce that the Art Fundraiser will be back this year! Kiker students are creative and resilient young artists who have worked hard to make their art masterpieces! You may preview the student artwork at the website Original Works. Go to the Gallery tab and type in Kiker to behold a fabulous schoolwide art show online! Enjoy!

Look for the Art Fundraiser packets to be sent home on Friday, November 5. There are many great items available for excellent holiday gifts. The sale, benefitting Kiker Art, will begin Friday, November 5, and end Friday, November 19. All ordering will be online this year. Families who would like to participate need to refer to their students'' custom-made order form for ordering instructions. Orders will arrive before the Winter Break. Please celebrate your child's creativity!

Please contact Ms. Swint with questions regarding the art fundraiser at

From the Health Office

The Texas Department of State Health Services requires that all children enrolled in school have a vision and hearing screening or have a professional examination for possible vision or hearing problems.

The Vision and Hearing requirements apply each year for children enrolled in any school program at the ages or grades listed below:

● Pre-K 4

● Kindergarten

● Grade 1, 3, and 5

● Any new student to Austin ISD

Our campus screenings are scheduled to begin Wednesday October 27 starting with Pre-K students.

If your child wears glasses or contact lenses, please ensure they bring them to school in the coming weeks.

Referral letters will be sent home for students that do not pass the screening. Please know that the screenings are not a substitute for an eye examination by an eye care specialist. Because learning is 80% visual, and visual problems are best treated when detected early, a comprehensive eye and vision examination is recommended. Please provide written notification if you DO NOT want your child to participate in the screening program. If you have any questions, please contact your campus health office at (512) 414-5359.

Updates in Special Education

Big picture

Coats For Kids

Coats for Kids, sponsored by the Junior League of Austin in collaboration with Austin ISD, is so excited to provide winter coats to students across the district! Along with Jack Brown Cleaners, KVET and KVUE, The Junior League of Austin will provide more than 30,000 coats to Central Texas children.

To receive a coat, AISD students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch services can register by filling out this form in English or Spanish. No documentation is needed.

The form will close on Friday, Nov. 12. Please remember that families need to complete one form per child.

Coats will be delivered to AISD campuses before Winter Break.


Big picture

5th Grade Family News

Middle School Fair

Calling all current and future middle school families. Mark your calendars for our Middle School Fair on November 13.

Why it matters: Our middle schools offer a bundle of diverse and innovative programs that your child can take advantage of. Programs include athletics, fine arts, dual language, STEM, tech and film, after-school clubs, and more.

This year's fair is being held at Martin Middle School, 1601 Haskell Street.

  • You’ll learn about our programs offered across our 19 middle schools, enjoy performances from talented students, and meet with other students, families and staff from our middle schools.

Magnet Middle School Applications

Updates to this year's applications for choice middle schools:

  • Families will complete one common application (School Common Application) to apply to the various school choice programs in AISD.

  • The application will remain open from September 13, 2021 - January 7, 2022.

Gorzycki Middle School

Monday, November 1 - Only 1 Gorzycki- 5:30-6:30 This will be an evening event where parents and students come to learn about our amazing campus. We will send flyers closer to the date.

Friday, January 28th- 5th Grade Campus Visit- 9:30 -10:45 (sometime in that time frame depending on buses) GMS will bus the 5th graders over to tour the campus, have a choice sheet presentation and a Fine Arts Presentation.

Monday, February 7th- Incoming 6th Grade Choice Sheet Night- 5:00-6:00 pm- Students come for an electives fair and counselors are available for questions.

Thursday, February 10th- Electronic Choice Sheets due.

Kealing Information

Big picture
Big picture

Lively Middle School Information Session for Current 5th Graders

Greetings from Lively Middle School,

We invite all interested students and parents to attend our fall events to learn about Lively’s amazing Law, Humanities and Global Studies Magnet and Spanish Dual Language Programs.

Please share this flyer with all of your families and join us at the following events:

  • Tuesday, October 19th 6:00-7:00 pm: Virtual Prospective Parent Information Night
  • Tuesday, November 9th 6:00-7:00 pm: In Person Prospective Parent Information Night
  • Tuesday, December 7th: 5:30-7:30 pm: Lively’s Showcase: The Evening of Wonder (In-person)

For students applying to our Law, Humanities and Global Studies Magnet Program, the application process can be found on our website. Please find a summary of the components below:

  1. Parents apply through their AISD Parent Portal using the Intent to Apply tile
  2. Parents also need to fill out our electronic application on our website
  3. Students submit a 2 minute virtual interview. Prompts, assessment rubric and a sample interview are on our website.
  4. Students attend an In-person Essay Session on one of the following dates:
    • Saturday, December 4th
      • Last Names A-L 9:00-10:00 a.m.
      • Last Names M-Z 11:00-12:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 11th
      • Last Names A-L 9:00-10:00 a.m.
      • Last Names M-Z 11:00-12:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, January 8th
      • Last Names A-L 9:00-10:00 a.m.
      • Last Names M-Z 11:00-12:00 p.m.


Big picture

October Birthdays

1 - Donna Kilpatrick

3 - Chris Bryson

4 - Raven Jeffrey

5- Ashley Cross

11 - Veronica Taylor

19 - Nicole Kruszona

20 - Anmarie Bochey

26 - Paige Hariharan

31 - Kim Reiman

Get to Know the Staff

Each week we will feature a few staff members.

Repeated Information

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.

After School Programs

After School Enrichment

Did you know our Comets have a variety of after school activities in which to participate? This fall, after school activities will include coding, art, cooking, Spanish, piano, and more. 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!

Library Volunteers: View Openings by Clicking Here

Email to sign up

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