From The Admin Team 10/5/2020

Bernice Kiker Elementary School

Phase-in Weeks

Thank you for your support as we update our procedures for in-person learning. We are committed to providing quality instruction, connection, and support to our students in both remote and in-person setting! There may be small changes as we move forward, but we expect to keep our schedules as close to the same as possible. Some of these potential changes may include: staggered lunch times by approximately 5-10 minutes to allow the cafe staff delivery time, 5 minute delayed sign on time for Essential Areas to travel from room to room, or regrouping of asynchronous small groups. Our synchronous blocks should not change.

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Upcoming Events

10/5 Week 5 - Pre-K and Kinder students who selected in-person learning begin as well as children of AISD employees and students who receive support through SCORES, ECSE, or Life Skills.

10/12 - NO LONGER A STUDENT HOLIDAY! This is now a regular school day

10/12 Week 6 - Grades 1 and 2 students who opted for in-person learning begin as well as students who began in Week 5, students who receive dyslexia intervention, and students who receive resource pull out groups through special education.

10/19 Week 7 - Grades 3 and 4 students who opted for in-person learning begin as well as students who began in-person learning in Weeks 5 and 6

10/26 Week 8 - Any student who opted for in-person learning can begin

11/3 - STUDENT HOLIDAY--NEW!

October 12 Student Holiday moved to November 3


Austin ISD Board Designates Election Day as


Student Holiday


The Austin ISD Board of Trustees approved an update to the 2020-21 school year calendar, changing the October 12 student holiday to Election Day on November 3.


To accommodate a student holiday on Election Day, the district changed the Elementary Parent Conference Day previously scheduled for Monday, October 12 to Professional Development onTuesday, November 3.

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School Lunch

School lunches are free to all students through December. Contact your classroom teacher 24 hours in advance for any breakfast/lunch request or change.


Many families have reached out to ask how they can pay it forward for receiving free meals. While nothing is necessary, our PTA and Admin team discussed the following ideas:


  • Make a donation to our school. Checks made to Kiker Elementary are tax deductible. Receipts are provided.
  • Make a donation to our sister school Allison Elementary.
  • Make a donation to a cause of your choice such as the Capital Area Food Bank.

Free and Reduced Meal Applications

As of September 3, ALL Austin ISD students receive FREE meals through December 2020. No documentation is needed for students to receive free meals through December, however schools need to continue to collect meal benefit applications from families who are not directly certified through state-funded programs. If you are eligible for free or reduced lunches, please make sure you have applied prior to December. Click here for more information.

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Look Who Got a Rave

Sean Whitehouse - Mr. Whitehouse is an exceptional teacher! He has done a remarkable job at virtual teaching and my daughter's attitude toward Math has already changed in 3 weeks.


Lauren Miller - Mrs. Miller is an amazing teacher! Mrs. Miller's virtual teaching is wonderful and she's doing a fantastic job engaging the students! We are so thankful for Mrs. Miller!


Tiffany Machado - I wanted to recognize Mrs. Machado for her exceptional virtual teaching and engaging with the students. It must be hard teaching music virtually, but somehow Mrs. Machado is knocking it out of the park!


Danielle Swint - Ms. Swint has an amazing ability to teach art virtually. My daughter loves her and is enjoying the class. Ms. Swint is engaging the students and making art fun!


Bart McMahon - Mr. McMahon makes PE fun even virtually. My daughter is really enjoying PE this year and we have Mr. McMahon to thank for that. He's engaging and interesting!


Sonya Butler - Mrs. Butler has been engaging to the students and helped them understand the importance of reading and the library.


Donna Kilpatrick - I am blown away by the organization and high quality education Mrs. Kilpatrick delivers. She makes it obvious every day that she loves her students and her Zoom “door” is always open to them! She is exactly the kind of teacher we wished for to make things easier!


Cory Matheny- She is navigating school reopening with a fantastic attitude, smile on her face and amazing guidance!


Rhonda Vasquez - Mrs. Vasquez has been so supportive and positive from the very beginning of this difficult school year. Her encouragement, creativity, and passion are a shining example of what a great educator can do under difficult circumstances.


Karen Young - She has done an incredible job of putting together creative and fun instructional videos that really grab the students' attention. Despite this virtual environment that can often feel monotonous, she is bringing smiles to our faces.


Lindsey Skalitsky -Lindsey's commitment to helping all of her students succeed is clear. She has joined the Kiker team during this unprecedented time and shown tenacity with every hurdle thrown her way.


Jennifer Blake - The kindness, patience, positivity, and energy she delivers to her second grade students is incredible. She troubleshoots students' technology problems, finds ways to encourage quieter students, and answers tough questions honestly and empathetically. She makes herself available via zoom to students who don't have an adult on hand.

Carolyn McKaskle- Ms.McKaskle is doing a great job with the Kindergartners. She listens patiently, engages with her students and makes them feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and viewpoints. She provides clear communication to the parents on the week ahead and always carries a cheerful disposition.


Amanda Prickett- Ms. Prickett has gone above and to get to know her students. She takes time each day to respond to my daughter's morning check-in and other assignments with a personalized message. She's also making her zoom meetings fun and interactive and the kids are learning.

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iPad Updates

iPAD IMPROVEMENTS: Beginning September 26, Austin ISD iPads will have two layouts for the home screen, which change by day and time. There is a “school layout” and a “home layout.”

School Layout:

• Activated from 7:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday

• This is the layout that has been on the iPads for the past couple of weeks.

• The layout of the apps is the same for all iPads across the District. This lets teachers easily reference the location of a desired app. (For example:, “Click the second app in the first row.”)

• Families are NOT able to delete or rearrange apps during the “school layout” hours.

Home layout:

• Activated during all other hours

• The iPad will return back to the family’s customized iPad organization. This lets families organize the apps in a way that makes the most sense to them.

• Families WILL be able to delete unwanted apps and rearrange apps during the “home layout” hours. To delete or organize apps, press and hold an app icon.

Please note: The iPads have 32GB of storage, approximately 13GB of which is required for District configurations. Families who run out of storage should delete apps and videos during “home layout” hours.

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Chromebook Repair and Hot Spot Update

We are only able to swap and replace a broken Chromebook when we have inventory available. We currently do not have available. Please call first if you are having Chromebook issues. Crockett ECHS is still able to solve these issues:


Austin ISD Computer Curbside

Safe repairs and returns for Austin ISD Chromebooks

Computer Curbside locations are open from 9:30a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday at the following locations:

  • The AISD Performing Arts Center (1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd; enter garage from east; exit only to Mueller)
  • Crockett ECHS, 5601 Manchaca Road

Computer Curbside services include:

  • Returning an AISD computer
  • Cracked screens
  • Computers that won’t turn on
  • Broken Keyboards
  • Broken Chargers

Students whose devices are working but who need technical support should call the student help desk at 512-414-4357.

Visit bit.ly/aisdcomputercurbside for more information, or bit.ly/aisdcomputerwait for service changes and approximate wait times at each location.

Austin ISD staff can also return computers and drop them off for repairs at these locations.

Families Must Bring:

  1. Your Chromebook
  2. Your charger (if you have one)
  3. A piece of paper with:
    • The student's full legal name
    • The student's ID number
    • A description of the problem "won't turn on," "cracked screen," etc.

Replacements are only available until supplies last each day. Your old computer will not be returned to you.


HOTSPOT UPDATE:

We have had many reports that hotspots are running out of data because it is getting close to the 20GB number in the LED or concerns about the message in LED that says cycle ends [date], these messages are cosmetic and do not have an effect on Unlimited usage. The 20GB message is a default setting and is not true - The T-Mobile hotspots are Unlimited data. If you believe you have one let us know the Unit# but we recommend to continue to use it. The cycle end message is just the monthly timeline and has no effect on usability of the device.

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Name The Mascot

Our Comet mascot needs a name! Submissions are due by October 9, 2020. Use this link to submit an idea.
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New Assessments: MAP Growth

AISD has adopted a new assessment tool for all students in Kindergarten through 5th grade called MAP Growth. MAP Growth can be completed while students are working remotely or in-person. This assessment monitors student progress and is designed with questions about items the students know as well as items students haven't learned yet. All AISD students will take the MAP Growth multiple times this year to monitor academic progress.


How can you help?

Please allow the child to take the assessment without providing answers.

Please help your child understand that they are not supposed to know everything on the test! It is GREAT if there are things they don't know how to do. When they take the test again throughout the year, it will show how much they are growing.

Please help your child understand this is not for a grade.

Bernice Kiker Elementary Administration Team

Cory Matheny - Principal

Alma Chapa Moore - Assistant Principal

Kelly Meyer - Assistant Principal