MCCALLUM HS CAMPUS UPDATES

Information Current as of 4.19.20

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Message From the Principal

Dear McCallum Family,


As always, I hope this finds you all healthy and safe.


I don't know about you, but this whole thing seems like a bad remake of the movie Groundhog Day . (I'm sure our students have no idea what I'm talking about, but perhaps our parents and faculty members do.) Students, you have plenty of time on your hands. Time to brush up on 80's and 90's pop culture.


We have now made it through two weeks of distance learning! I would like to extend an enormous 'thank you' to our teaching staff for making it happen. We haven't perfected it, yet, but I'm so impressed with the efforts and actions thus far. It's a tremendous feat to pivot teaching and learning to a 100% online format in the given time frame and under current conditions. We will continue to get better as we move forward.


I would also like to recognize our students for their level of engagement. I have heard so many positive stories from our teachers - some are truly blown away by the depth of thought and creativity happening via distance learning. Keep it up!


Finally, to our families - thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate all of these changes. I have heard from so many of you, expressing genuine kindness and support for our faculty. To be shown such grace during a time of uncertainty is simply incredible.


I know I sound like a broken record - but I miss you all so, so much. Seniors, of course you weigh extra-heavy on our hearts. I promise we will continue to find ways to recognize and celebrate you. There are still memories to be made for the Class of 2020! #MACStrong


Love you. Mean it.


Mrs. Hosack

A Little Therapy...

Senior Event Information

In case you missed it, this was the letter that went out last week regarding prom and graduation:


Dear McCallum Family,


It is with the heaviest heart that I must write you this message. I regret to inform you that all activities throughout May, including prom and graduation, will not be able to take place as scheduled. We know how important the prom and graduation season is to our seniors, their families, and friends. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, is causing changes to all aspects of our lives.


For the safety of our students, staff, and families, and in response to the Stay Home – Work Safe order banning all large gatherings, we are canceling all proms and postponing our graduation ceremonies for this school year. Canceling proms now will allow school administrators to work with vendors to refund monies to students and families.


AISD’s graduation ceremonies originally scheduled for May 26-28, 2020, will be postponed to Aug. 10-13, 2020. All graduations (except Rosedale) will take place at the Erwin Center. As a reminder, because of the ongoing COVID-19 issues, those new dates are subject to change and dependent on conditions at that time. The tentative August graduation schedule is attached.

In addition, the High Schools Office along with a committee of parents, students and principals, is working on a virtual graduation ceremony plan. We will announce details about the ceremonies shortly. We expect the virtual graduations to occur on or around June 15, 2020.


We are disappointed that these important milestones cannot continue as scheduled, but we are hopeful that we can come together virtually in June, and in-person again in August to celebrate the successes of our seniors.


Please continue to take care of yourselves and your family. I miss you all terribly. #MACStrong


Sincerely,


Brandi Hosack

Principal

McCallum High School

GRADING GUIDELINES

  • The 10-week spring semester is still open for students to complete work that was assigned or scheduled before March 13. Students will have until May 26, 2020, to complete missing or outstanding work that will help them improve this 10-week spring semester grade. These grades will be recorded in the TEAMS gradebook.
  • The 10-week spring semester average will be used by the teacher to determine the transcripted grade of “Pass” (70 or higher) or “Incomplete” (lower than 70). It can also be used to recover fall semester credit if a student failed the first semester of a year-long course and if averaging the failing fall semester and the passing spring semester numeric grades together is 70 or greater. The spring 2020 grades will never factor into the student’s cumulative GPA or rank GPA.
  • Activities and assignments for continuous learning will be assigned to students from April 6 through May 27, and teachers will provide students with feedback on this work in BLEND. Students will receive "No Marks" during this period of continuous learning, due to the unique nature of these circumstances.
  • Teachers will use maximum flexibility in assessing and evaluating student learning for the remainder of the school year. To that end, assignments submitted during the period of continuous learning can positively influence students’ overall grade for the year, based on their understanding of the content for the whole year or “demonstration of proficiency.” In other words, any work assigned since April 6 may only benefit the student by positively contributing to the final grade. Only final grades will be shown on transcripts; the “No Marking” period of continuous learning will not show on a student’s final transcript.

Grading FAQ

What does this mean for high school students?


The fourth and fifth six-weeks grades will be combined into one 10-week grading period. This combined grading period will serve as evidence of the student’s performance in the third quarter of learning.

All final grades for the spring semester will be entered as “Pass” or “Incomplete”.

Yearlong averages will be calculated by averaging the fall semester (50%) and the average of the grades earned during the 10-week spring 2020 grading period (50%).

This ensures that students who failed the fall 2019 semester of a yearlong course will be permitted to repair failing grades or make up missing assignments in order to earn the year long credit.


How will my senior meet graduation requirements?


All cohort 2020 student records will be reviewed to ensure students are on track to satisfy all requirements in their personal graduation plan.

The student, caregivers and guidance counselors will create a plan of action for any student at-risk of not completing all requirements for graduation.

Students in cohort 2020 will be able to continue working to meet graduation requirements.

Students who have not passed one or more STAAR examinations are eligible for the Individual Graduation Committee (IGC) process. Seniors will need to complete their assigned IGC Courses via Garza Online to meet all state testing requirements.

All graduation plans will target a May 26, 2020 completion. Parents of students who are not successful in meeting requirements for graduation shall be informed of any available options, such as an extended year program or summer school.


How does this impact students’ rank GPA?


Final rank GPA for cohort 2020 students will be calculated according to AISD’s policy using grades transcripted through the Fall 2019 semester. Rank GPA is used to determine the top 10% of the class and the valedictorian and the salutatorian for the class of 2020.

Final rank GPA for the 2020 school year for all grade levels will be calculated according to AISD’s policy using grades transcripted as of 12/20/19.

Cumulative GPA calculations will not include grades transcripted from the Spring 2020 semester.


How will students earn a P or an I for the second semester?


All assignments and assessments considered in the spring of 2020 must have been due prior to March 13, 2020. Grades after March 13 will be used to determine how much students are progressing to proficiency, attaining proficiency, incomplete in their progress toward proficiency, or incomplete because the district and students were not able to navigate this new learning space in these uncertain times.

Students can make up or repair any prior assignments assigned during the spring 2020 semester (10-week spring semester grades)


How will this affect AP, IB, and CTE exams and certifications?


Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Dual Credit, OnRamps, and specific Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses that result in certification and/or articulated or be transferred for college credit will follow the curriculum and regulations of the respective external governing agencies beyond AISD’s local control. Teachers will continue in the prescribed curriculum including feedback to students, review activities, and preparation for their end of year assessments or certifications.


What about Dual Credit courses?


Students enrolled in dual credit courses will earn a P for Pass, an I for Incomplete, or a D for Drop.


How will students keep up in fine arts or athletics?


Students in performance-based courses such as fine arts, Career and Technical Education, athletics, world languages, or others will continue working on their proficiencies using individual videos, performance and technique challenges, and continuous skill development to keep students actively engaged.


What does this mean for middle school students?


As with high school students, the fourth and fifth six-weeks grades will be combined into one 10-week grading period and compromise the third quarter of the school year.

All final grades for the Spring semester will be entered as “Pass” or “Incomplete”.

Yearlong averages will be calculated by averaging the fall semester (50%) and the average of the grades earned during the 10-week spring 2020 grading period (50%). Students who are in danger of not earning the yearlong credit will be able to repair their grades in order to earn the final year-long credit.


Assignments and Assessments


All assignments and assessments considered in the spring of 2020 must have been due prior to March 13, 2020. Grades after March 13 will be used to determine how much students are progressing to proficiency, attaining proficiency, incomplete in their progress toward proficiency, or incomplete because the district and students were not able to navigate this new learning space in these uncertain times.

Students can make up or repair any prior assignments assigned during the spring 2020 semester (10-week spring semester grades)


Incomplete Grading


Incompletes will not be used for promotion or retention, but will be used to identify students who will need extra help and support next school year through small group instruction and/or tutorials.


How will middle school students enrolled in high school courses earn credit?


The same high school guidelines apply for middle school students; however, middle school guardians/students will also have the opportunity to drop any high school credit courses taken during the 19-20 school year during the fall semester of the 20-21 school year.


How will elementary students keep up with their learning?


Teachers will work closely with their students all year either through online learning, emails with pictures of students’ completed work, or even joint phone calls with caregivers and students.

Teachers will monitor student progress on the most important skills, content and standards that will prepare our young people for success next year. Teachers will be in communication with parents and caregivers regarding their students’ progress. Students will be identified who may be in need of extra support in the summer or the following school year.

Our Social-Emotional Learning Department will design community outreach through creative activities that encourage social emotional wellness while respecting social distancing. Examples include Zoom meetings where students can bring and introduce their pets or a carnival designed to be driven through without attendees leaving their vehicle.

Grades administered after March 13 will be used to determine how much students are progressing to proficiency, attaining proficiency, incomplete in their progress toward proficiency, or incomplete because the district and students were not able to navigate this new learning space in these uncertain times.

FRAMEWORK FOR LEARING

All McCallum teachers will be posting materials for continuous learning in their respective BLEND courses. Students should log into their BLEND courses daily in order to stay informed of learning opportunities and to receive teacher feedback on their learning.


Because our students are experiencing a wide array of circumstances and learning environments, teachers will post one assignment per week per course. Teachers may engage with their students for online lessons/meetings/tutoring more often if they wish (more on that below). Advanced Academics such as Advanced Placement, UT On-Ramps, and ACC Dual Credit will have different expectations.


All instruction will be offered in an asynchronous format, meaning that for any course students may work on their own time if they choose. However, some teachers may also offer synchronous, or live, supplemental instruction, opportunities to collaborate or get feedback, class meetings, etc. in accordance with the following schedule. The purpose of the schedule below is to help students structure their day, and prevent potential scheduling conflicts for optional synchronous lessons. However, please note that a student's ability to complete an assignment will not be contingent on their ability to attend an online lesson.

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Virtual Office Hours

Teachers and/or their PLC Teams will establish their own office hours in consideration of their personal household circumstances. Most teachers/teams will likely select times for tutoring and conferences during your child’s class periods indicated in the chart above or during the Monday through Thursday morning and afternoon virtual office hours windows. Teachers will not interface with students after 8 p.m. or before 8 a.m. Per teacher preference, office hours may be “open” using an online platform allowing students to “pop” in, or may be arranged by appointment. Teachers have been asked to post and communicate their protocol for virtual office hours to students and their families. In addition, teachers/staff will respond to emails within one business day.

Austin ISD Tech Support

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UTILIZING BLEND TO SUPPORT TEACHING, LEARNING AND COMMUNICATION:

Here are some key things to know:


  • BLEND is our district's version of Canvas LMS(Links to an external site), a tool that the University of Texas and other K-12 districts, colleges, and universities around the country are using to support instruction. This is why BLEND email/text notifications say "Canvas."

  • Teachers are still getting comfortable with BLEND and are using it to varying degrees.

  • ALL Parents/Guardians have "Observer" access to BLEND. This means that when they click on BLEND through the portal or download and set up the Canvas mobile app, they will automatically be able to view any published content for their child's courses.

  • Parents will ONLY be able to see individual responses and teacher feedback for their child, not for the entire class.

  • TEAMS is still the grade book of record. Parents should still access overall course grades through Self Serve, but if a teacher is using BLEND to grade individual assignments, parents can view those assignment grades in BLEND.

PARENT ACCESS TO BLEND

These links will take parents to short screencasts that demonstrate what BLEND looks like from the parent "observer" view.

BLEND Parent Access Screencast Video

BLEND Parent Access Screencast (Spanish)


This link will direct parents to another BLEND course with very detailed information about how BLEND works. The course is available in English and Spanish.

http://bit.ly/BLENDparentTOUR

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ZOOM MEETING TIPS FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

Zoom tutorials to help students, parents, and families prepare for April 6th launch date for online learning.


https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials

https://zoom.us/resources

ADVANCED COURSEWORK UPDATES:

Dual Credit - ACC started back on March 30, 2020. All courses will be administered online. All students who are in dual credit courses will be contacted to ensure they have the technology needed to continue their work.


Advanced Placement - The examinations will all be taken at home in the form of free-response essays or short-answer questions. The College Board is providing free video review lessons for students. Our teachers will also support students by providing online instruction. Click here to learn more about this year's AP test administration and access other helpful information.


UT OnRamps - The courses began again on April 6, 2020. UT has adjusted the curriculum so students will be able to complete the coursework by the end of the semester. Our teachers will continue to support our students online. College credit will still be available for students.


College Examination Updates:


TSI - The examination must be taken in a certified testing site. There is an option for students to take the examination at home. More information on this soon.


SAT - The June 6th administration of the SAT has been cancelled. Click here for the latest SAT information from College Board. Khan Academy will be available for all students to prepare for the examination.


ACT - The next scheduled exam is June 13, 2020. Click here for the latest information from ACT.

FINE ARTS ACADEMY CONVOCATION UPDATE

The Class of 2020 McCallum Fine Arts Academy Convocation has been rescheduled for Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 7pm in the MAC Theatre.


Since the full Class of 2020 graduation has been set for Thursday, August 13th at 1pm in the Erwin Center, we felt that this decision was in support of our goal to keep the celebrations together. Obviously, this new date and time are subject to change based on the current situation and decision-making by our leaders.

Message from the Counselors

Dear Students and Parents:


We hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy. We miss seeing our students very much and want to be sure you know how to reach us if you need anything.


For the most up-to-date information, please check our counselor website at www.maccounselors.com. There, you can find information concerning scheduling, choice sheets, AP information, college, upcoming ZOOM sessions and much more.


Students and parents please email your counselor with any questions. We will get back to you as soon as we can.


A-Cn – Loren Croom – loren.croom@austinisd.org

Co-Hd – Shelley Goldstein – shelley.goldstein@austinisd.org

He-Me – Daniela Galvan – Daniela.galvanortiz@austinisd.org

Mi-Sd – Cristela Garcia – cristela.garcia@austinisd.org

Se-z – Mickey Folger – mickey.folger@austinisd.org

College – Nancy Nitardy – nancy.nitardy@austinisd.org

Special Education – Julie Rigby – julie.rigby@austinisd.org


If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, Integral Care has a 24/7 Crisis Helpline at 512-472-HELP (4357). You can also Text TX to 741741 to connect to Crisis Text Line. The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 crisis support via text.


For a mental health emergency, please call 911 and ask for a wellness check.


Thank you and Go Knights!

STUDENT MEALS DURING CAMPUS CLOSURES

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

Online Learning Resources for Parents

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES
Source:Forbes.com


  • The Barbara Bush Foundation for Literacy Educational Toolkit for At-Home Learning offers free online resources that can help children continue to build critical literacy skills while schools are closed.
  • The U.S. Department of Education’s Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day! Tip Sheets for Families, Caregivers and Early Learning Educators provide families, caregivers and early educators with research-based tips for talking, reading, and singing with young children every day beginning from birth.
  • NPR has created this Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus to help demystify the virus and to teach children how to protect themselves. The online version includes a print-and-fold zine version.
  • Storyline Online is produced by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television’s SAG-AFTRA Foundation as part of its children’s literacy program. The site streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and others.
  • The New York Times is hosting and continuously updating this page on ideas for working with content from the Times and other reliable sources.


Social-Emotional Learning


  • The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning offers suggestions for educators on addressing the social and emotional needs of students.
  • In a Learning Is Social, Emotional and Academic blog, Lorea Martinez offers parents homeschooling tips to ensure social emotional learning is a part of student learning.
  • Sanford Harmony, a Pre-K-6 research-based social emotional learning program, promotes positive peer relations among students through lessons and activities that encourage communication, collaboration, and mutual respect. These free resources can be used by parents at home to help children express feelings and solve problems together.
  • The National Association of School Psychiatrists has developed a set of materials for schools and districts to support for their students and community around COVID-19 and pandemics.


Supporting Students With Exceptional Needs


  • The Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities has a wealth of resources focused on making online learning more accessible, engaging, and effective for students with disabilities.
  • Common Sense Media has curated a list of the Best Special Education Applications and Websites based on recommendations by educators who work with students with special needs. Applications support the development of academic and social-emotional skills, as well as sites to assist teachers in providing differentiated learning opportunities.
  • The Council for Exceptional Children has developed COVID-19 Information for Special Educators, including a forum for members on how to adapt IEP services during school closures and a link to a resource page developed by the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE).
  • The New York City Department of Education offers suggested activities and strategies for families to support Diverse Learning at Home for Special Populations. Resources include links for assistive technology support, as well as specific occupational, physical, and speech therapy activities for students as young as preschool.
  • The State Educational Technology Directors Association offers strategies and resources on its site for ensuring that online learning supports students with Individualized Education Plans.


Supporting English Learners


Resources:

Austin ISD

Austin ISD Crisis Support Fund
Telehealth Options for Families
Board Resolution - Emergency COVID-19 March 13, 2020

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC on COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
CDC on COVID-19 in Texas: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
CDC Confirmed Cases of COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Videos

CDC Handwashing Videos (English/Spanish)

The City of Austin

City of Austin COVID-19: http://austintexas.gov/article/cdc-updates-coronavirus
City of Austin COVID-19 FAQ: http://www.austintexas.gov/COVID19