Kiker Comments November 2, 2021

A Joint Newsletter from the Bernice Kiker Admin Team & PTA

In This Edition...

  • Thank You
  • Upcoming Events
  • Attendance Notes
  • Bicycle Safety Concerns
  • GT Nominations for Grades K-2
  • PTA News: Veterans Day Wall of Honor, APEX Fun Run Summary, Yearbook, Fall Luncheon
  • Announcements
  • Library Update
  • Original Art
  • Health Office - Vision and Hearing Screenings, Acanthosis Nigricans Screenings
  • Coats for Kids
  • AISD News - Budget 101, Dual Language, Family Academy
  • 5th Grade Family News
  • November 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

Thank You

In response to the events on Wednesday which led to us being placed in 'Secure' and 'Lockdown' during the day, we would like to extend gratitude to the following people.

  • AISD Counseling Department for sending two additional counselors to our campus on Thursday to support students and staff.
  • Gorzycki Principal, Dr. Mitchell, for coming to Kiker after school to support any students who were not able to get bused home.
  • The Voyager staff for offering to include students in their after school program if parents were unable to pick them up.
  • The Kiker Community for the beautiful chalk messages which warmed our hearts.
  • The Kiker Community for deliveries of Tiff's Treats, Empanadas, and breakfast tacos.
  • Everyone who sent emails and notes of appreciation for the awesome work of our staff who kept our students safe, busy, and learning.
  • AISD PD and Austin PD for providing us with real time updates so that we could adjust our dismissal plans.
  • The front office staff and volunteers who supported so many families with phone calls, emails, and requests for early pick up.

Upcoming Events


1-5 Book Fair

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

16 - Drills - Hold, Shelter, Evacuation

22-26 - No School, Thanksgiving Break


17 - Last Day with Students before Winter Break

January 2022

3 - Winter Break

4- PD Day, Staff Only

5 - First Day Back for Students

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.

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:

Meeting ID: 882 3744 4459

Passcode: BKE

PTA News

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Wall of Honor

Honor a Veteran in your life by adding them to our Wall of Honor. Just turn in a turn in a piece of red, white, or blue paper (any size) with the following information:

• Title: <Student’s name/family name> honors <Veteran’s name>

• Photo of Veteran

• Date of birth and date of death (if deceased)

• Any other info you would like

OR any artwork thanking all veterans!

Submit by dropping off in the front Kiker office between November 1 – November 10.

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APEX Summary

Kiker PTA is proud to share the final numbers from our Apex Fun Run, and they're impressive! We ran 29,227 laps totaling 1,826 miles - more than twice the distance across Texas! And together, we raised over $70,000 to invest into our Kiker Community. Awesome job, Comets!

Pumpkin Patch Pick Up

We loved having the clever and festive pumpkins decorate our entrance. If you have not already picked up your pumpkin, please do so before the end of the day on Wednesday. Any pumpkins still outside the school at 4:00 pm on Wednesday will be discarded.
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Yearbook Sales

Kiker Yearbook Sale

Buy your yearbook between November 1 – November 14 to get the lowest price of the year!

Go to to order today.

Email questions to

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Fall Luncheon to Say Thank You

Kiker PTA is hosting a fall luncheon for all the teachers, administrators and staff this Friday. We would love a few extra items to spoil the staff and show our appreciation for all they do to make Kiker so amazing every single day!

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Halloween Candy Give Back - Operation Gratitude

Bring in your Halloween candy! We are collecting excess Halloween candy to share with Military & First Responders in the @OperationGratitude #HalloweenCandyGiveBack Program! Drop off your excess candy in the Kiker front office anytime on or before Friday, November 10.


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The Jungle Book Fair is happening NOW!

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

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

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

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

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

*Parents may NOT pull their children from class to come shop 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! We also gladly accept cash or credit card payments.

You can shop the fair ONLINE and still support the Kiker Library through Nov. 10!

The Jungle Book Fair is a great way to get those holiday gifts that are around the corner and shipping times are fast if you shop online from our book fair home page (Oct 28- Nov 10). This is also a great resource if a book sells out at the in-person 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.

Feel free to email me with any questions:

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Art Fundraiser Brochures Coming Home Friday!

Please look for your child's Kiker Art Fundraiser order form to be sent home on Friday, November 5th. This brochure has your child's artwork featured on it, their ordering code, and instructions for placing orders online. If families lose their brochures, Ms. Swint will hold on to all the original artwork with codes until after the Thanksgiving Break.

The sale, benefitting the Kiker Art Department, will begin Friday, November 5th, and end Tuesday, November 16th. Orders placed during the 5th -16th dates will arrive before the winter break. Orders after the 16th may not make it back before the holidays, but they will ship out later.

Please celebrate your child's creativity! They are great young artists that put a lot of hard work into their art. Thank you and enjoy!

Don't hesitate to get in touch with Ms. Swint at with questions regarding the art fundraiser.

From the Health Office: Vision and Hearing Screenings

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

● Grades 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.

Health Office: Acanthosis Nigricans Screenings for 1st, 3rd, and 5th Graders

November 1 , 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Your child will soon participate in a state mandated health screening for Acanthosis Nigricans. This is a recognizable skin feature that can indicate high levels of insulin in the body. Elevated insulin puts a person at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. We look for a light brown or black velvety, rough or thickened area on the back of the neck. Having that condition is Acanthosis Nigricans. If your child has this skin condition, we also weigh and measure them, and take blood pressure readings. Having elevated insulin levels over long periods of time can increase your risk of cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. We will notify you by phone or letter if your child has this skin condition. We will request that you make an appointment with your child’s doctor for a checkup. This skin condition is not a medical emergency, but it is very important to have your child seen by a doctor. There may be steps you can take to reverse the process, and bring the level of insulin back to normal. These steps include nutrition counseling, exercise and weight management.

All 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade students will be screened. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the nursing staff at 512-841-8908.

Cristy Coffey, RN

Elizabeth Milliner, RN

Cheryl Villarreal, CA

Your School Nurse Team

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.


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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.

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November Birthdays

6 - Mindy Farmer

25 - Candace Cotten

25 - Danielle Swint

Get to Know the Staff

Each week we will feature a few staff members. This week we are featuring our two new counselors!
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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, 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!

What's New?

Young Rembrandts Holiday Drawing for Kids

Sticky Fingers - There is still time for the Fall Session!

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