Mathews Weekly

May 18, 2020

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From Grace

Good afternoon, Wonderful Mathews Community! I hope this Sunday finds all of you happy and well. We're in the home stretch of the 2019-2020 school year and it definitely feels strange and bit melancholic to be wrapping up the year in a virtual setting without our traditional celebrations of growth and hard work that we would normally hold this week and next. I miss the smiling faces, seeing the pride in our students eyes as they showcase their learning, and the fun of being together before breaking for the summer. It feels particularly poignant to be saying goodbye to our friends who are moving on to new adventures after this school year.

With that being said, in true Mathews spirit, I am confident that we'll find new ways to celebrate this year, as there have been amazing moments throughout the past ten months, both before and during COVID-19 emergency remote learning. These moments deserve to be remembered, shared, and cheered. We are a resilient and creative group and I know we're going to collectively remember this year as one for the ages!

Speaking of celebrating, we would have dedicated a Friday morning assembly to saluting our 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year and our Teacher of Promise. The first honor is bestowed on a teacher by her/his peers and is a great sign of respect. Please help me in congratulating this year's Teacher of the Year, Kirstie Osten! The Teacher of Promise is given by administration to a first year teacher who has shown great talent and dedication to the profession. Please help me in congratulating this year's Teacher of Promise, Julianna Ramirez! Both of these teachers represent Mathews as dedicated professionals who care deeply about their students and our school. I am immensely proud of them!

Austin ISD holds an annual event to celebrate our teachers of the year, teachers of promise, and more. This year, SALUTE will be held virtually, on Wednesday, May 20th at 6:30 pm. Everyone is invited to join in and watch and cheer on Kirstie, Julie, and all the gifted people who help make our schools amazing places of learning for our students. I'm attaching the invitation with more information directly below our Teacher of the Year and Teacher of Promise photos.

This is the last week where are teachers will be assigning work for the purpose of progress monitoring for the final quarter of the year. The assignments given through this week and the feedback student work will be used by the teachers to assign a final P or I for reading, math, and wellness. Teachers are being asked to input these scores into our grading system by Friday, May 22nd at 4:00 pm. This will allow us to review the scores and ensure accuracy the following week before ending the school year. As of this moment in time, students will receive a letter indicating their final progress measure for the year; they will not get a traditional end-of-year report card. Should we receive new information this week, I will certainly update you.

Next Sunday will be the final Mathews Messenger of this school year. In that newsletter we'll honor and celebrate our staff who are retiring or moving this year and we'll say hello to new team members who will have the torch passed to them to keep the fire of learning going at Mathews. It will be a bittersweet time for us all. I'll also share the most updated information about school opening options and will continue to keep our community posted on new information throughout the summer as well. Like this week, next week's Messenger will be a a bit of a longer read. :)

Please keep reading and check out the calendar for important updates, news, and information - we'll have a virtual PTA meeting on Thursday and there is new stuff on kindergarten orientation, summer reading options, an invitation to a community meeting at Austin High and more! Many thanks to those of you who have shared your ideas for re-imagining learning at Mathews. If you haven't done so yet, please do share your thoughts with us - the link is in the section below. :)

As always, if you're interested in finding additional resources to use at home, the AISD remote learning site is a good place to start. Please do continue to read district and school communications so you can have the most up-to date information and check out the enrichment section below for links to music, PE, Journalism, P2, and the Counseling Corner.

Please continue to stay safe and healthy! Have a beautiful week, all.

*If you happen to know of a family who isn't getting these weekly email messages, please let them know they can opt in to messages on LivingTree.

2019-2020 Mathews Teacher of the Year

Kirstie Osten, 4th Grade Writing and Social Studies

I love working with the amazing students and staff at Mathews and I love 4th graders!

2019-2020 Mathews Teacher of Promise

Julie Ramirez, 2nd Grade

I teach to instill a sense of pride in every one of my students. I want all children to feel valued for who they are and what they bring to the table. As a teacher, I also have the opportunity to support young learners on their journey towards success— not only academically but in their personal growth as well. Teaching at Mathews is especially near and dear to my heart as I was once a student here. Some of my best childhood memories were made at Mathews and it’s where my love of learning first took root and continues to grow today. It is an honor to be a teacher and to be part of this wonderful school community!
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Important Information

Re-imagining School at Mathews

On top of the lessons our teachers have been preparing during distance learning, our teachers and staff have also been taking this opportunity to re-imagine how school should be as it relates to time, people, and resources. The teams are looking at the learner experience, enrichment and intervention, diversity and connections, and social emotional learning and positive behavior support.

Our families are an important part of our school community and we would love to have your input on what is important to you as we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. Thank you to those of you who have already shared your thoughts. If you haven't please take a minute to capture your ideas here: Re-Imagining School at Mathews Thank you!

AISD Summer Reading Options

It's almost time for summer reading! We want children to experience the joy of reading just for fun! All of our students are encouraged to participate in the 5 Book Dive project. Mackin Via is your one stop platform to fine ebooks, audio books, comics (6th grade +) and more! AISD has also partnered with the Austin Public Library so all students can sign up for an APL card which can be used to check out books and access their online resource.

To find out more about the 5 Book Dive, please open the flyer below or use this link to get information, recommended book lists, and more:

Kindergarten Orientation

Our Kindergarten Orientation moved online this year. To view the presentation or access the FAQ page or to ask a question, please use the links below:

It's Registration Time!

Wondering what to do while staying at home? Now is the time to register your students for the fall! Registration takes place each year and it is very important for us to know who will attend Mathews in the fall. AISD uses our online registration numbers to determine staffing allocations so it's essential to our planning for the 2020-2021 school year.

Please go online to and register your child(ren) today. If you have any questions please contact the office. If you need assistance with registration, call the parent helpline at (512)414-9187.

Austin High Modernization Community Meeting Invitatin

Austin High is hosting a community meeting to learn more about the Phase I modernization of the high school on Thursday, May 21st at 11:00 am and all are invited. For more information, please see the attached flyer below.

Wednesday Folders

Every Wednesday, we'll update our Electronic Wednesday Folder on the school website.

You can find uploaded information on our fantastic website here:

Enrichment Corner

Hi, everyone! Given how much everyone is juggling right now, there is no official challenge for the week, but the padlet is staying up in case you want to drop by, post a pic or say hi! :)
Our Challenge Padlet

Post your challenge pics here! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. :)

Positivity Project - P2

This week, we'll focus on gratitude, the quality of feeling and expressing thankfulness and appreciation. The Positivity Project describes this trait: It is an affirmation that there is goodness in other people and the world, and that we have received that goodness. People with the strength of gratitude have a readiness to show appreciation for kindness and also to return kindness. A leading expert, Robert Emmons, calls gratitude a “relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.”

Gratitude is sometimes resisted, especially in more self-sufficient and independent cultures, due to not wanting to experience a sense of indebtedness. However, gratitude is less about feeling indebted and more about being aware of the consideration, kindness, and generosity of others. It’s also important to note that gratitude is not about ignoring the negative aspects of life; it’s simply being aware of and thankful for what is good.

From Our Health Team

Dear Wonderful Mathews Community,

We hope that this email finds you and your family safe, healthy and well. We hope that you all are coping with our "new normal" that has come with the evolving Covid-19 situation. As a member of the Student Health Services team, we are reaching out to check-in with our school families.

Please know that the Student Health Services staff are working and are available to help you and your family. For any questions or concerns, you may contact us by replying to this email, clicking on the link below, or scanning the QR code below. (Scan the code with the camera on your cell phone.) If you are in need of your child’s medication that is currently at his/her campus, please include that information in your message to us.

For your convenience, below are some helpful AISD and Student Health Services links as well as an attached informative document with resources available within our community. Please keep in mind that since this is a rapidly changing situation, there may be updates to the information within these links.

Again, please let us know how we can help you and your family by sending us an email, or by using the link or QR code above with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Stay safe and healthy!

Thank you,

Your Ascension Seton/ AISD Student Health Service Team

P. S. I miss you! As we're not in the building, please send me an email rather than calling if you need anything at all.

From Ms. English

Please use the buttons below to connect with counseling resources to help families and students navigate our world.

This week is a very special Goodbye/Hello message and I encourage all to check it out! :)

From Coach Outlaw

Check out Coach Outlaw's helpful stay-at home tips for health and fitness! :)

From Ms. McKenna - Music and Journalism!

From Ms. Jennifer

Good to Know

Camp Zilla is Cancelled for Summer 2020

Because of the uncertainty with the COVID-19 crisis, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Zilla Camp for the summer of 2020.

Easy Way to Support our School with Amazon

Did you know that you can support Mathews while you shop on Amazon?

An easy way to contribute to the school without spending any extra funds is through our Amazon Program. When you use the link on our website, Amazon gifts our PTA a percentage of the sales, more than we would get with even their Smile program. So, if you're buying from Amazon already, using this link will help support our school - it's a win, win! :)

The Next Two Weeks at a Glance

Monday, May 18th

  • MFE Meeting on Zoom at 2:00 pm

Wednesday, May 20th

  • AISD's Virtual SALUTE at 6:30 pm

Thursday, May 21st

  • Virtual PTA Meeting at 9:00 am

Saturday, May 23rd

  • Happy Birthday, Sandra Velazquez! :)

Monday, May 25th

  • Memorial Day Holiday for students and staff

Tuesday, May 26th - Thursday, May 28th

  • Final Week of School - Reflection and Celebration

Safe Routes to School Update

Through funding from the 2016 Mobility Bond, the City of Austin Safe Routes to School Program has identified and are planning to fund some improvements near Mathews Elementary to aid in making it safer for our students to walk and bike to school. The barriers being addressed were called out by members of the school community and by the City of Austin consultants who conducted walk audits around our school.

Attached below is a letter that gives more background information and speaks to the location and type of improvements. Everyone is encouraged to visit the new Safe Routes Improvement Projects webpage to stay in the loop with Safe Routes to School. On this webpage, you can learn more about Safe Routes projects that may be coming to your neighborhood and sign up for email updates about the Safe Routes to School program and Safe Routes projects in your Austin City Council District.