Baldwin Blast

March 2021

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Welcome March!


I’m not sure about you all, but I am VERY glad to see March - and what I hope to be the beginning of spring. It became clear to me a few weeks ago that I am not a northern girl after all and I am going to try very hard never to complain about the heat again! Our staff has tried to reach out to each family to be sure that there is not anything that else we can help you with after that storm. If you still have a need, please feel free to reach out. We would love to help you.


The month of February was Black History Month. I hope you and your family enjoyed our announcements where we were able to celebrate, educate, and challenge ourselves to dive deeper into the history of Black Americans. Our core values of collaboration, commitment, diversity, respect and accountability were all carried out through these messages. As a campus, we find it incredibly important to recognize the work that must be done to address and repair racial inequalities in our own community. At times, this work can be hard and uncomfortable, but it is important and necessary. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” As parents and educators we have a huge influence over the next generation of leaders who will help us work toward these goals of equality and justice. Together we can teach our children more than the basics of history - we can teach them to see the humanity in each other. I encourage all of you to continue these conversations as a family and recognize and celebrate all differences.


As you know, Apex is coming to Baldwin! Apex is the school’s largest fundraising event. The money raised helps us to fund positions on campus as well as campus wide projects. In the past, this has included a rock wall, ice machine, sensory room, subject specific materials and outdoor equipment. In addition, 10% of all funds raised go directly to the classroom teacher to spend how they desire. Beyond raising money, Apex staff will teach five classes on character. These classes will be conducted virtually for all students with times and Zoom information shared by your child’s classroom teacher. Students who are virtual will have set times to pick up fundraising information, prizes, and t-shirts on 3 different occasions. Tuesday, March 2nd, Thursday, March 4th and Thursday, March 11th from 3:30 - 6:00 pm in the front circle drive. If your child is coming to school, they will receive all materials from their teacher. The fundraiser will culminate with the “Apex ReMix” on March 12th. This event will be for both in person and virtual learners to participate at the same time. We can’t wait! Thank you in advance for your support!


We will have about 50% of our student population returning to on-campus learning Monday, March 1st. As more students return, we are having to closely monitor the number of students to assure social distancing is still maintained in the classroom. Please remember that all students that request to come back to campus should attend every day unless they are ill or have a medical appointment. Other reasons may necessitate changing back to remote learning so that others are allowed to come back.


As a reminder, Friday, March 5th is no longer asynchronous, but is now a synchronous day for all students. This all students will continue with their typical Friday schedule whether in person or remote. The AISD School Board made the decision to move the asynchronous day to Friday, April 23rd at their board meeting on Thursday night. We look forward to an entire week of being together!


As always, thank you for your continued support and positivity. We are better together!

Kindly,

Jennifer Murray Principal, Baldwin Elementary

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  • March 1: Registration is open for the 2021-2022 school year
  • March: Women's History Month and Deaf History Month
  • March 2: APEX Assembly
  • March 5: Regular school day (changed from asynchronous)
  • March 8: CAC Meeting
  • March 11: Principal's Coffee at 5:00
  • March 12: APEX Dance Remix
  • March 12: End of 3rd nine weeks
  • March 15-19: Spring Break

A note about registration:

Online registration is now open for the 2021-2022 school year. If you have not registered your child, please do so today by logging into the Parent Portal at portal.austinisd.org. to register your child(ren). Any student attending an AISD school next year needs to complete this registration. There's no need to create a new parent portal account if you have a parent cloud, you will use those same credentials to log into the parent portal. It is extremely important that we have all our students registered so the district knows our campus staffing needs for next school year.


Parents of returning students: Like previous years, proof of address must be provided in order to complete registration. Once you have completed the online registration process, please email the proof of address to Alicia.Cruz2@austinisd.org

A message from Green Apple:

“Hello to our wonderful Green Apple participants! We at A+ would like to thank you for your membership and for your participation in the Green Apple Program here at Baldwin Elementary. We are still dedicated towards helping you and your child achieve their financial goals, especially now in these trying times. Although we are not able to be present at Baldwin, we would like to invite you to stop by our branch located at the intersection of William Cannon and Escarpment Blvd. Please remember that if you would like to use our coin machine or need assistance in the branch lobby, an appointment will need to be scheduled by visiting our website aplusfcu.org or by calling our Member Contact Center at 512-302-6800. We are also always happy to assist you with deposits through our branch drive thru. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Green Apple Program, and we hope to see you at our branch soon. Thank you, and have an A+ day!”
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We know it has been a difficult few weeks as we navigate through the effects of the winter storm. We have been delivering water and food to families who have been directly impacted and currently don't have running water. If you need assistance, please reach out to lindsay.holley@austinisd.org. Counselors are also here to talk with all students to help process their experiences. Please reach out through our Blend or email. We are here to help!


Thank you to everyone who provided a video for Career Week. Students had a great time learning about future professions and how they can follow their passion. Click below to see the powerpoint students had an opportunity to explore. If you did not get a chance to participate, you can still send me a video and I will attach it for next year!

Please see below for information about AISD's new mental health provider

We care about your mental health, and we are here to continue serving students through the School Mental Health Centers (SMHCs). Effective March 1, 2021, Gramercy Specialty Clinic PLLC will be the new mental health service provider for the SMHCs.

We have created an electronic student referral form to make it easier to get connected to our SMHCs. This form is intended to be used by (1) parents/guardians wanting to refer/start services for students under their care, (2) for students, ages 18 and older, self-referring for services, and (3) for AISD staff members assisting parent/guardian/student with completion of the referral. If you are interested in seeking services with Gramercy Specialty Clinic, please complete this student referral form.

After submitting the student referral form, Gramercy Specialty Clinic will reach out to the student and/or parent/guardian to share information about their services, gather further information, and schedule an appointment as appropriate. Gramercy will be reaching out to individuals wanting to start services with them after March 1, 2021.

The last day that Vida Clinic will be the service provider for the SMHCs is February 28, 2021. Current clients are continuing to be notified directly by Vida clinic of the following options:

  1. Continue services with Vida Clinic off-campus
  2. Transfer services to the new service provider (Gramercy Specialist Clinic)
  3. Get connected with other mental health resources in the community

Vida Clinic can still be reached at 512-518-2209 or vidacare@vidaclinic.org.

We look forward to continuing to support your student and family. If you have additional questions, please reach out to the Department of Health Services at health@austinisd.org or through Let’s Talk.

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As Mrs. Murray mentioned, February we focused on Black history as a school. This does not mean it is the only time we teach aspects of Black history or discuss Black Americans, however it is a very intentional time for us to come together to do so. I wanted to share a resource that I found fascinating from our CP&I department in the district. I listened to several and learned so much!


Black History in Two Minutes

What is the Black History in Two Minutes (or so) podcast? It’s Black History delivered in short, lively, fact-packed stories accessible to people of all ages and education levels. It’s fast, accurate U.S. history available in free video podcast recordings describing major historical events and introducing less well-known experiences involving Black Americans. The series received two Webby Awards in May 2020: People’s Choice, as well as Education and Discovery. Podcast topics range from recent events to the founding of the United States of America. Heroes of the Civil Rights movement are covered, as are some of the more obscure figures in the fight for equality. Of the over 40 recordings so far, 2-minute topics include:

  • The Double V Campaign of World War II

  • John Lewis: The Fight for the Right to Vote

  • The Birth of Jazz

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Looking for a way to have access to the tools and items we use in school to help students understand math concepts? Braining camp is a website for virtual manipulatives that strives to bring a tactile experience to your home through technology in a more convenient, easy to use way. These tools allow students to manipulate items, which helps make abstract math concepts more concrete. This helps to build student's understanding. This site is accessible through the Austin ISD student portal and will log them in when you launch the site. Braining camp works on any device with no installation and is very user friendly!

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Curbside checkouts, in-person checkouts, and new books on MackinVIA! So many great things are happening at the Baldwin Library! If you are learning at home, make sure to peruse our new selection of digital books available on MackinVIA from the student portal, and how to checkout physical books from the Baldwin Library via curbside. All information about curbside, including an at-home learner request form, is available on the Library BLEND page under the button, “check out or read a book.”


Looking for something fun to do at home? Look no further! The Baldwin Library BLEND course has tons of makerspace challenges, and a March Choice Board that offer tons of great hands-on and virtual activities that students can do from home or in the classroom.

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Looking to learn more about reading development? Check out these awesome podcasts!

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For in- person learning:

Health Screenings:

  • All staff will conduct a self health screen by 7:15 am, including a current temperature check.

  • All staff and students will be required to wear face masks while in the building.

  • All students will be given a temperature check and health screening prior to entering the building. This may be done at home via the Austin ISD app or upon arrival to school. We will have multiple health screening sites during arrival to facilitate students getting to classrooms as quickly as possible. Car riders will be screened at the curb inside their car and bus riders and walkers/bikers will be screened at the entrance.

  • Students who are running a fever or do not pass the screening questions will be taken to the staging room known as the “Bobcat Den” until parents can pick them up.

Once in the Building:

  • All students will report directly to their classrooms. We will have staff available to assist with our younger students and make sure they get to their classrooms safely. Parents will not be able to walk students into the building to their classrooms.

  • Visitors will not be allowed in the building at this time.

  • We are going to do everything we can to make the classroom spaces feel inviting and friendly, even with strict standards.

  • During dismissal, students will remain in their classroom and be called down and escorted individually to their car. Students will all be assigned a number that must be displayed on your dash to facilitate this system. More information will be sent home as the time draws near.

Food Service:

  • Breakfast and lunch will continue to be offered to our students BUT the cafeteria will be closed for students to eat.

  • All meals from the cafeteria will be delivered to the classrooms and eaten there.

  • Please note, we will no longer accept any outside delivery of food to the campus so please make sure your child has his/her/their lunch kit and water bottle with them when they come to school unless eating from the cafeteria. If a student forgets their lunch, one will be provided from the cafeteria.

  • Families may apply for free or reduced meals here: https://www.austinisd.org/nutrition-food-services/applications-payments

  • Families may also deposit funds in their child's meal account at: https://www.schoolcafe.com/

Recess:

  • All students will have an outdoor recess, but social distancing will be required and only a small number of students will be scheduled for play at the same time.

  • At this time the playscape equipment will be closed.

In Case of Illness:

  • We will continue to have full time nursing staff on campus.

  • If a child displays COVID-19 symptoms at school, the school nurse will be consulted and parents contacted. We have created the “Bobcat Den” for students to wait comfortably under adult supervision for pick up.

  • Should a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19, we will conduct contact tracing and inform families who came into contact with that person. The district office will be notified and we will follow health protocols for quarantining. (Please see the AISD reopening guidelines for more detailed information.)