AIS Friday Flash

Friday, September 25, 2020

Welcome Back from Ms. Emily

It has been so wonderful to have our students back on campus this week! Owlvin even came back as well to join them. Ask any AIS teacher and they will tell you how amazing their students are and how glad they are to see them back in class. While we are operating in a new and different way, which does have its challenges, we are finding new and creative ways to make learning happen. We are so proud of our students' responsible attitudes and respect for the new protocols that have been put into place, and we thank all parents and guardians for discussing them with students at home! While the carline is a new process for our community, I have very much enjoyed seeing and saying hello to every student and family who passes by each morning and afternoon. It is a great way to begin and end each day! A big thank you to the students, teachers, assistant teachers, afterschool supervisors, administrators, and families for helping us get off to a successful start with in-person learning. Have a wonderful weekend, and we look forward to seeing everyone again on Monday!


Return to School Letters from Physicians

Thank you to all AIS families for submitting the Health and Safety Protocol Family Acknowledgement Form. We were so pleased to have forms on file from 100% of families on Monday, our first day of in-person learning! As a reminder, page 1 of the acknowledgment form has a list of symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, and students must not be sent to school if they are exhibiting any of these symptoms. Our health and safety protocol requires that if the child has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and the parents want their child to return to school before completing the self-isolation period, then the child’s parents/guardians must obtain a signed physician’s note clearing the child for returning based on an alternative diagnosis. Medical clearance will be acceptable only if issued by an MD, DO, or medical staff supervised by the same. The Texas Medical Association has prepared a COVID-19 Physician Letter for Students to return to school; please provide this form to your child’s physician to complete during your visit to the doctor’s office. It is important that any note provided to the school clearly indicates: the student’s name, the earliest date the student may return to school, the date of the doctor’s visit, the physician’s name, and the physician’s signature.


Decision Tree for COVID-19 Related Symptoms

September is a time of year when we begin to see increased allergy symptoms in Austin; have a look at this handy allergy calendar to see what may be affecting you or your family. We recognize that this may cause some questions or confusion at home about whether or not a child should attend school. Our Health and Safety Protocol requires families to keep children at home if they are exhibiting any symptoms associated with COVID-19. If a child exhibits any of these symptoms while at school, we will isolate that student and then use this School Nurse Decision Tree provided by the Texas Medical Association to guide our decisions, knowing that we will err on the side of caution. Please feel free to use this resource to assist with your own decision-making at home.


PikMyKid Drop-off & Pick-Up Reminders

We would like to extend a big thank you to all students, parents, and guardians in adapting so well to the new drop-off and pick-up procedures and in arriving on time. We have been completing the process within or under the time windows and have seen improvement all around with teachers, staff, and families from Monday to today. Thank you so much for your participation and patience. Here are a couple of reminders and tips to be mindful of, which will improve our processes even more. Please watch the parent video which outlines instructions for some of the items below or review the included screenshots.

  • Mornings: Use the Check-In feature to complete the mandatory Health Screening for each child. (Blue icon on top left corner, click on the green checkmark to the right of the student name). We highly encourage you to do this from home before you leave the house. You have successfully announced when your child's name appears on a white landscape screen. You do not Announce in the mornings, just in the afternoons.
  • Afternoons: Use the Announce feature when you are at the entrance Announce stop sign or while stopped and waiting in line from 3:00 pm on. Pick-up begins at 3:15 pm but varies by grade.
  • Delegate other authorized Pickup individuals in the app. Please let us know of daily or reoccurring changes by clicking on the calendar feature and marking who is picking up for the day. You may repeat as needed (ex: every Tuesday and Thursday, or every other week). This does not need to be done daily for parental pickup, only when there is a change in delegates. It may also be done in advance - weeks or months out. Delegates should download the app in order to announce when they arrive, or just tell a staff member upon arrival (although this may add some time to student retrieval).
  • Monitor/Adjust Pick-Up Mode: Most importantly, however, is to adjust your default pickup mode if you are modifying it for the day (ex: usually in Afterschool care but picking up at regular time instead....in this case, change to carline for the day). This will help the teachers and staff monitor when you announce. This too can be done in advance in batches or by day as needed. You can modify the pickup mode using the same calendar feature.
  • Car Tags: Please place car tags in your passenger window, right side dashboard, and or right side visor for both morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. This will also let us know if you are a Maternelle parent needing to drive through to the other side of the building.
  • Dismissal Times: If you arrive earlier than the allotted pick-up time listed below, teachers may not release students until the correct school dismissal time. Coming early is totally fine, just know we may ask you to pull forward and wait until your student(s) are sent out.
  1. PS-GS students may be picked up between 3:15 pm-3:45 pm.
  2. CP-CE2 students may be picked up between 3:15 pm-3:30 pm.
  3. CM1-4è students may be picked up between 3:30-3:45 pm.
  • One Way Campus via Right Turn only on Coronet
  • Speed Limit of 5 miles per hour
  • Yield to Pedestrians. Please be mindful and cautious of our littlest walkers.
  • Announce when your vehicles are parked/still. No cell phone usage while driving on campus.
  • Volunteers Needed! to help watch students walk to and from classrooms. Thank you for signing up for an afternoon Safety Patrol shift here.
  • If you are having trouble with the app itself, you may contact the PikMyKid help desk directly at support@pikmykid.com or (813)-864-7627.
  • If you have questions about processes, changing student records, or administrative features, feel free to reach out to April for help.


Afterschool Care Program

Afterschool Care (ASC) has begun and we do have space available for flat rate participation! ASC begins when the school day ends at 3:45 until 6:00 pm for an additional fee. Students will remain in sections (with their classmates only) in the auditorium, foyer, or in the Maternelle mini gym, but split up in stations separated by wall or plexi dividers as shown in some of the pictures below. Older students will have their own desks spaced 6' apart and younger students will be at 6' tables with plexi in-between.

Students will be able to work on homework, do some activities independently, or be guided by a specialist and will also have an outdoor recess session on separate sections on the playground with other students from their class. Additionally, each afterschool space has 1-2 large medical grade Hepa air filters in the rooms to filter, circulate, and clean the air. Students won't be able to share materials but will have designated activity kits with a variety of toys, crafts, and games to use for the day which will be thoroughly disinfected and sanitized before rotated to another student the next day. Students are encouraged to bring additional books or materials from home to use during this time.

Pickup for ASC will take place under the portico for CP and up students after announcing in the PikMyKid app. For Maternelle, parents will announce in the app and then park and walk to their external classroom door to be met by an Activities Specialist for dismissal.

No Daily ASC Drop-Ins

Because of the additional space limitations and enhanced COVID protocols, AIS cannot accommodate daily rate drop-ins for afterschool care as we will not be able to sufficiently plan for varying student participation and necessary spacing and staffing. However, we have had some changes to our roster, so if you need afterschool care, please email April & Jhino to sign up for the flat-rate program. You may sign up by semester, in the event we modify plans over the course of the year.

New Faces

Join me in welcoming Tristan, Dana, Hannah, and Sydney, joining Joel and Mr. Jhino to our Extracurricular Programs team.


Room Parents Needed

Each year Room Parents help provide support to the class teachers, the school, and the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Volunteering as a Room Parent will look a bit different this year, but will include disseminating reminders (from school & PTO updates found in the Friday Flash) to the other class parents, reinforcing class and teacher needs, and updating parents with other school information regularly. We hosted a virtual Room Parent coffee this week and thank you to those parents who have already signed up. We still need Fall Room Parents in the following grades: CP1, CP2, CE2, CM1, CM2a, CM2b & Middle School. Thanks for signing up here. You may review the information shared at the coffee here.


Student Forms Due-Mon., 9/28

Please be reminded that as per Texas law, all wellness check forms and immunization records are due by September 28, 2020. There is no exception to this requirement. Students who do not have the required documentation on file will be excluded from school until appropriate documentation is submitted.

  • Wellness Check Form: A student wellness check must be completed every year, without exception. The wellness check form must indicate the date of the exam (i.e., not simply the date the form was signed) and wellness checks must have taken place within the last calendar year. If a wellness check is scheduled to take place after the previous wellness check has expired, please inform the school in writing (reception@austinis.org) of the upcoming wellness check date.
  • Immunization records: All vaccine requirements are listed on our school’s website. This information includes which vaccines are required, the documentation that must be on file, and information about exemptions, if appropriate. Texas Administrative Code §97.66(a) requires our school to exclude students who are not in compliance with the vaccine requirements.

We thank you for your support to ensure that your children’s records comply with the laws of the State of Texas. If you have any questions about these requirements, please do not hesitate to contact Jacques at your convenience.


Virtual PTO Community Coffee-Thur., 10/1 9:00 - 10:00 am

The school hosts a community coffee the first Thursday of each month, alternating between a coffee with the Head of School and a coffee with the Parent Teacher Organization. On Thursday, October 1st, join us for the first PTO Coffee of the 2020-2021 school year. Learn about the PTO and how you can stay connected and involved at AIS.


No School-Staff In Service-Fri. 10/2

The school will be closed to students on Friday and we will not have off-campus instruction on Friday, October 2nd for a staff in-service training day.


Fall Break-10/5 - 10/9

The school will be closed for our Fall Break the week of October 5th through 9th. This year we will not have a Fall Break camp as originally planned, but we will see you as you return from Fall Break on Monday, October 12th.


Updated Save the dates

We will continue to build out our school calendar and will update you with more event dates as they approach.

  • 9/28 All Medical Forms Due
  • 9/29 AIS Board Meeting
  • 10/1 PTO Coffee
  • 10/2 No School-Staff In Service
  • 10/5-10/9 Fall Break
  • 10/15 State of the School
  • 10/26 MAP Assessments Begin
  • 10/27 PTO Mtg 5:30
  • 10/27 Board of Directors Mtg 6:30