AIS Friday Flash

Friday, February 26, 2021

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Middle School Highlights

Our Middle Schoolers are ramping up for Earth Day and launched a T-shirt design contest in their STEAM class. Congratulations to the winner, Quinn Johnson, for his fantastic AIS design, and kudos to all our students for their creativity and earth-consciousness.

In addition, thank you to Christina Aimard for connecting our Middle School students with Kevin Koym who stopped by virtually to discuss entrepreneurship. Kevin Koym explained how he started as an entrepreneur, and how he became successful in helping new entrepreneurs start (or develop) their own companies.

Puzzle and Legos for Maternelle!

If you have any wooden puzzles (with all the pieces!) or Legos that could be donated to the school, please feel free to drop them off under the portico anytime next week during drop-off or pick-up. We will sanitize and disinfect them and incorporate them into our PS, MS, and GS classrooms. Thank you!

EDL Book Orders

Thanks to numerous AIS community subscriptions to the École des Loisirs, Austin International School will be receiving a donation of 48 French books for our library! Titles will be appropriate for all grade levels and age ranges at AIS, including a sizeable donation to our growing Middle School French collection. Merci encore à toutes et à tous !

New Books to Celebrate Black History Month

Each Friday in February 2021, Mr. Jacques has donated six books to the AIS Library in honor of Black History Month. These texts focus on Black history not just in the United States, but the history of the Black diaspora in nations across the globe. Last week, the following titles were donated to the AIS Library: Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly (ages 4-8); Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library (ages 8-12); El color de mis palabras (ages 10-13); Looking for Bongo (ages 3-6); Ellen’s Broom (ages 5-8); Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 (ages 10-17). This week, the following titles have been donated to the AIS Library: Rose (ages 4-8); Bayou Magic (ages 8-12); Max Loves Muñecas! (ages 7-10); The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement (ages 10-14); Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement (ages 10-13); Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art! (ages 7-13). To learn more about these texts and some of the selection criteria, visit this AIS Black History Month Literature webpage.

Unannounced Fire Drill

This morning, AIS conducted our monthly fire drill. Students from all grade levels exited the building safely, quietly, and in record time. Thank you for reinforcing and supporting our efforts to ensure that children exit the building in a quiet and calm manner.

Summer Camp at AIS-Discount Extended to 2/28/21

The discount on KidzToPros summer camps has been extended through the end of February for a $100 discount off all camps if you register by 2/28/21! KidzToPros STEM, Arts, and Sports Camps provide the perfect summer opportunity for your child to continue developing mental and physical skills while learning the values of teamwork and sportsmanship. Their highly skilled staff are committed to delivering safe, fun, and enriching experiences, indoors and outdoors, all summer long!

Register at and enter code FLY100 during checkout to receive a limited time $100 off each camp just for AIS students. Check out the flyer for additional details.

Enrollment for 2021-2022 Opens Next Week

Enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year will open up next week. Be on the lookout then for more details.

MAP Testing Begins Next Week

Due to the winter weather and school closure, the next round of MAP testing was delayed. It will now begin next week. Please be sure that students get a lot of rest and eat a healthy breakfast so that they are ready to do their best!

Head of School Coffee-Thur., 3/4, 9:00 am

Join Mr. Jacques for a community Head of School coffee this Thursday at 9 am. He looks forward to visiting with you all.

AIS 10th Annual Gala-Sat., 3/6, 6:30 pm

Our virtual gala has been moved to next Saturday, March 6th! We look forward to finally celebrating with our community! Stay tuned for an email tomorrow from our Gala committee with more details - plus a link to start pre-bidding on our fantastic silent auction items! I think we all need a little celebration after last week and we look forward to coming together virtually for our 10th annual event in celebration of 20 years of global education at AIS!

Staff In-Service Day/No School-Fri., 3/12

On Friday, March 12th, the campus will be closed to students for a Teacher In-Service day.

Spring Break/School Closed-3/15 through 3/26

We wish you all a safe two-week break. The following week we will have a Distance Learning schedule as outlined in the blurb below. We look forward to seeing those who are cleared to return to campus on Monday, April 5th.

Post Spring Break Distance Learning – 3/29 through 4/2

Please refer to the email sent today regarding the Spring Break travel guidelines for AIS. In order to allow time for our community members to complete quarantine and testing after the Spring Break holiday, AIS will operate in Distance Learning mode at all grade levels from Monday, March 29th through Friday, April 2nd. All community members are expected to be back in Austin and have started quarantine no later than Sunday, March 28th. Please use the included Quarantine and Testing Reference Sheet to help you with your planning. In order for our community to return to campus on Monday, April 5th, AIS community members who have had close contacts or who are presumed to have had close contact (e.g., through airplane travel, attending crowded events, etc.) with COVID-19 must complete quarantine and testing by no later than the following dates:

  • on or before Sunday, March 21st if you had close contact without wearing a mask (regardless of whether or not you will do testing)
  • on or before Thursday, March 25th if you were wearing a mask, are asymptomatic, and you choose not to test
  • on or before Sunday, March 28th if you were wearing a mask, are asymptomatic, and you do choose to test

Please remember that close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of another person for 15+ cumulative minutes during a 24-hour period. Test may be PCR or antigen and individuals may not return to campus before receiving test results. As a reminder, all COVID-related absences are considered excused this year.

2021-2022 School Calendar

During the January 26th meeting of the school’s governing body, the Board of Directors voted to approve the 2021-2022 school calendar, which you will find published on the school’s website. Next year, the school year will begin on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021, and will end on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022.

Questions Regarding Make-Up Days

Thank you to the community members who have sent questions regarding plans for make-up days this year. AIS’s approved 2020-2021 school calendar calls for 172 instructional days, based on a weekly schedule that includes early release on Wednesdays. Due to COVID protocols requiring the full-time supervision of separate cohorts of students, our team elected to extend Wednesdays through 3:15pm this year in order to provide adequate supervision for students. At the same time, this additional 1 hour 25 minutes of instructional time built a bank of 51 additional instructional hours (equivalent to 7¼ school days) to be used for contingency planning in the event of a COVID-related closure, bringing the total instructional days to 179¼. With the continued need for strict COVID protocols this year that impact our ability to hold large events with mixed cohorts of children, we are planning for the traditional End of the Year Performance day (May 28th) and the Field Day (June 2nd) to be converted to full instructional days as well, bringing our total up to 181¼ instructional days for this school year. Though we had considered a COVID-related closure a possibility, we certainly did not anticipate last week’s winter storm! With a total of 7 weather-related cancellations this year, our instructional days are now at 174¼ for this school year, assuming no further closures. Should we drop below the threshold of 172 instructional days, we will look to the make-up days built into our calendar, which are May 3rd and June 10th. Both the health and safety of our entire community and our students’ full engagement in our unique academic program are top priorities. As such, we will continue to monitor academic progress with our teams, and should there be a need to adjust our academic calendar, we will communicate this with you via email. In the meanwhile, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jacques directly.

Save the dates

Mark these important upcoming dates on your calendars.

  • 3/4 Head of School Community Coffee
  • 3/6 10th Annual Gala- New Date!
  • 3/12 No School/Teacher In-Service
  • 3/15-3/26 Spring Break
  • 3/29 - 4/2 Distance Learning
  • 4/1 PTO Community Coffee