Hornet Herald

News and notes for the week of January 24th, 2022

A - Week!

Courtyard Lunch Assignments for the week of 1/24/2022

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Principal's Message to Hornet Families for the week of 1/24/2022

Great evening fantastic families,

We are now entering our 4th week of the Spring semester and our scholars have been in such great spirits. It’s great to see them being so responsible with masking requirements and social distancing where possible. It was too cold to enjoy courtyard seating some days this week, but we found an alternative for our scholars wanting a more isolated lunch. We moved courtyard lunch to the Gym Foyer and the scholars enjoyed the space. Despite all the obstacles coming our way, we will still find ways to create GREAT learning experiences for our scholars. Our teachers are also showing up with positive energy as well and staying focused on teaching and learning. There are pictures later in the newsletter of teachers dialed in on instruction and making sure our scholars are learning. This week we will have our first COVID Vaccine clinic of the Spring semester afterschool, Hornet Boys’ Basketball vs O'Henry, and our rescheduled Campus Advisory Committee Meeting. There is also information below regarding steps Austin ISD is taking to assure we keep high quality substitutes in our classrooms when teachers are not available. We also have a busy week of interviewing ahead of us as we continue to search for GREAT candidates to fill our vacancies. Thank you all for choosing Austin ISD and Kealing Middle School as your child's primary educator. You are greatly appreciated!

#BEGREATmentality #ProgressNotPerfection

PTA Corner!

Hornet Families,

Happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who attended the PTA membership meeting on Thursday morning. The next meeting will be on February 3rd at 8 am on zoom.

With the additional outdoor seating purchased by the PTA, our kids have more outdoor eating options at lunchtime. This requires extra adults to supervise! If you can spare an hour or two once a week, it would be greatly appreciated. If you'd like to help, you can let us know your availability here: https://forms.gle/KFPkc7UVLU5dbuhe6 Thank you!

At our December PTA meeting, the student council presented a proposal to give the teachers stipends if they host an after school club. The PTA executive board decided to use the extracurricular budget funds to pay each teacher $100/semester to host a club. We know it's not a significant amount of money, but it's available in the budget and it's at least a small token of gratitude for taking on the extra work.

Our fundraising goals are below where we would like them to be in order to do all the projects we were hoping to this year. Keep an eye out for more information about fundraising.

Not a Kealing PTA member, yet? Click the link below to join Kealing PTA.


Happy Holidays!

The Kealing PTA Executive Board

2021-2022 Initiatives and Goals

Instructional Initiatives

1.) Daily Formative Assessment

2.) Literacy in Every Classroom

3.) Standards Aligned Instruction

4.) Progress Monitoring

Academic Goal

Utilizing an array of assessments (MAP- Measure of Academic Progress, SCA - AISD Short Course Assessment, and STAAR - State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness), the percentage of each demographic/special group of students performing at the meets level in Math & English will increase by at least 5% - 10% from August 17th, 2021 to May 27th,2022.

Social Goal

- TBA (we are still working on this but planning to look at the types of counseling visits our students are requesting)

KMS Safety Protocols as of 1/23/2021

All Day

Mask wearing is mandatory

Before School

All staff, students, and visitors are encouraged to self screen for COVID 19 symptoms before entering into a campus or other Austin ISD Facilities each day


- We will maintain outdoor markers to social distance


- we will encourage moving halls where students are encourage to not stop while transitioning to classes

- staggered release


- We are seating/desks at least 3 feet apart when feasible

- Each classroom has a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration unit

- Personal Protective Equipment will be available in each room

- Plexiglass dividers available

- Additional outdoor seating (2 outdoor classrooms & the courtyard if teachers plan to use)

Breakfast & Lunch

- Assigned seating

- Students are allowed to eat lunch both inside the cafeteria and outside in the courtyard

- Plexiglass accordian dividers

-Volunteer lunch monitors

- The courtyard comfortably seats 4 classes, which is from 25% - 100% of the lunch capacity for each lunch period.


- we will have staggered dismissal where scholars will be dismissed by areas of the building to reduce traffic.

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K.M.S. Community Positive Cases Update Letters

Please click to see the most update Positive Case Updates pertaining to our campus. Our most recent letter went out January 13th, 2022.

Upcoming Dates

Monday - January 24th - A Day (1st - 4th Periods)

Tuesday - January 25th - B Day (5th - 8th Periods)

Wednesday - January 26th - A Day (1st - 4th Periods)

COVID Vaccine Clinic - Kealing Cafeteria, 4p - 8p

Thursday - January 27th - B Day (5th - 8th Periods)

CAC Meeting - 3:15p - 4:15p virtual

Kealing Boys Basketball vs O'Henry Middle School @ 6p & 7p

Friday - January 28th - A Day (1st - 4th Periods)

Next Week

2/1 - February Principal's Coffee @ 8am, location-tbd

2/5 - Kealing Girls Soccer vs Murchison, @ 9a at Murchison Middle School

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This Past Week on Campus


Credit By Exam (CBE)

Credit by Exams (CBEs) offer appropriate, reliable placement or credit for students in grades K-12. The exams are designed by curriculum experts and aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Students may choose to take the exams for credit recovery or acceleration.

With approval from AISD, students in grades K-12 seeking placement credit in a subject area in which they have not received prior instruction may earn credit by passing these exams with a grade of 80% or above.

A variety of subjects are available for acceleration or credit recovery, including the high school STAAR end-of-course (EOC) subjects (Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II, US History, and Languages Other Than English).

If you are interested in your student taking a CBE, the deadline to sign-up for the third administration is January 21, 2022. Please email Mr. Estes, timothy.estes@austinisd.org if interested.

COVID-19 Protection Drive

Throughout the month of December NJHS held a winter wear drive, and was able to collect over 200 clothing items. These items were used to create a winter closet for the Kealing Community. We were able to help so many families and community members only because of YOU! Now, we are looking to expand our service past the school community and into the greater Austin area.

- Our next student-selected service project is a COVID-19 Protection Drive in which we are asking the Kealing Community to donate PPE and other related items to unhoused Austin community members.
- We need disposable masks (preferably surgical masks, KN95s, or N95s), hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes.
- The drive will run from February 1st through the 28th.
- Drop off items at Ms. Chambers’ room (116)

All Call for Supplies

Hello community! Thank you so much for showing up for Kealing time and time again! Be it your time, your talent, or your treasure--we appreciate you! Supplies are running low again and many of y'all know we basically do not have a supply budget as we previously had. Additionally, we are working hard to welcome refugee students to our campus. Their teachers providing resources to engage them and make them feel supported, so we have included several books and language acquisition resources to the Amazon wish list. I cannot express how much we appreciate you all. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/B7BQHNMLAOP?ref_=wl_share

National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Induction Info

NJHS is a national organization for middle school students. Our purpose is to promote the values of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship within a school.

- ALL 7th and 8th graders eligible to join NJHS will be added to a blend course called “Kealing NJHS *CANDIDATES*”. To be considered eligible to join NJHS, you need an 85 or higher semester 1 average for all 4 cores + LOTE. (If you are already a NJHS member, you do not need to rejoin.)

- ALL information regarding what being a NJHS member means and how to join is available on the blend course.

- The FIRM DEADLINE to turn in your eligibility forms is Friday, February 4th. (The only exception to this is if a student is absent that day or misses multiple days that week.)

- If you have any questions about the blend course, or think you may have accidentally been missed, contact Ms. Chambers at rhiannon.chambers@austinisd.org

Akins ECHS is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Akins Academy Presentation with Q & A session

Time: Jan 24, 2022 06:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 864 6648 5903

Passcode: 793082

KMS is looking for substitutes

The details: We've increased the base rate of substitute teacher pay for all levels. For example, degreed substitutes can now earn between $140 and $200 per day for filling a teacher assignment. We’ve also added compensation for supporting campuses when Austin-Travis County is in Stages 4 and 5.

  • We also expanded our eligibility requirements so that people with fewer than 60 college credit hours are eligible to work in elementary or middle schools.

  • Hopefully, we’ll get back to normal soon. In the meantime, if you know someone who would excel in a substitute role in AISD, point them to our website and encourage them to apply online.

CCCN Resources and Events

  • TCiNN Workshop - Intro to Project WET: learn all about the water based curriculum Project WET with their sampler workshop on January 22 at 10:00am CT. This workshop will provide you with activities you can do in your classroom to discuss all aspects of water education. The workshop will feature 2 hours of pre-work online and two hours at your closest Project WET Coordinator site. Texas Children in Nature Network (TCiNN) will let you know individually where you will be doing the second portion of the training.
  • Bike Maintenance 101 with Yellow Bike Project - learn basic bike maintenance with Yellow Bike Project volunteer mechanics on Sun, Jan 30. During this class, participants will learn about maintaining tires, tubes, brakes, cables, bearings, and drivetrains to help ensure safe and pleasant rides. City of Austin employees have free entry.
  • Arts + Culture on the Butler Trail - The Trail Foundation is currently accepting applications from artists, designers, and creatives who live in Austin or have lived experience in the city, and who identify as traditionally non-white (Black, Chicano, Hispanic, Latino, Asian American, Indigenous). This call is for (but not limited to) visual, literary, spoken word, music, sound design, performance, dance, textile, and environmental arts backgrounds; designers in the fields of environmental, fashion, graphic, industrial, and similar design fields; as well as people who practice creative cultural traditions. Three creatives will be paid to collaborate on the design and installation of floating wetlands on Lady Bird Lake in spring 2022, incorporating artistic components and ecological function to the project. Applications are due February 4, 2022.

    • Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem Networking Form - the first networking forum of 2022 for the Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem will be on Thu, Feb 3 from 4:00-5:30pm CT. This network includes collaborators across Austin and Texas focused on STEM education. You can see the full list of participant organizations at this link.


    • Zilker Park Vision Plan Virtual Community Meeting #4 - the project team will share initial park concepts to improve mobility, transportation, programming, environmental features, historical resources, and much more. To develop these concepts, the Parks & Recreation Dept. used feedback collected from more than 6,500 community members to shape possible plans, and the department is eager to review various ideas and possibilities with community members. The meeting is designed to be interactive and will include live polling, Q&A, and discussion. ASL & Spanish interpretation will be provided.
    • It's My Park Day! Spring 2022 - the next community-wide It's My Park Day! event will be on Saturday, March 5th. If you have a group ready for some park cleanup or a maintenance project, be sure to sign up by January 28th.

Julia Hill (she/her)

Program Coordinator – Cities Connecting Children to Nature

City of Austin | Parks & Recreation Department | Park Planning Division

+1 512-974-9466 | julia.hill@austintexas.gov


Summer Youth Employment Program Brochure

SYEP is offering summer employment opportunities to young people 14-17 years of age as well as young people with a disability up to the age of 22. Employment opportunities include 100 hours of paid learning/work experience.

PTA Membership

Kealing prides itself on fostering a supportive & caring community, and one way it does that is through the Parent-Teacher Association. The PTA comprises families, teachers, administrators, students, and community members dedicated to enriching every student learning experience.

Your PTA membership makes Kealing a great community and unique learning environment. While our memberships number is at an impressive 486 members, we are 150 members short of the Texas PTA 3-year-high award. Let's finish this year with the largest PTA that Kealing has ever seen!!

To join the Kealing PTA hive, click the link below:

If you have Kealing PTA membership questions, please email Shannan Riemer, vpmembership@kealingpta.org.

Why Join PTA? Watch this video to learn more about why you should join the Kealing PTA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzGtGcYdEFs

Please contact Kealing membership VP, Shannan Riemer, vpmembership@kealingpta.org, with any membership questions, comments, or concerns.

Yearbook Recognition Ads are Available! Pre-Order Your Yearbook Today!

Hello Hornets Community! Yearbook recognition ads are currently available through the Josten's website (www.jostens.com > search Kealing)! Recognition Ads a great way for parents, families and friends to commemorate student achievements and important milestones. Limited ads are available so be sure to secure your space now! Recognition and Personalized Yearbook Ads start as low as $35!

How To Order Guide (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1b6bv9eEqfKqLAyzyyYIIeYCaz3_e_xXY/view?usp=sharing)

Community Donations

Thank you for all your generous contributions to our campus! We appreciate you and all the many ways you show up for our Kealing Community. We have started a Community Donates spreadsheet in order to repurpose household items to our campus. There are two ways to contribute--1. Drop off the requested item to the front office labeled with the requesting teacher's name. 2. If you have item(s) to offer that might have a second life on our campus, please add a description to the spreadsheet. Teachers can then go in and claim the item. HERE is a link to the spreadsheet. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IOK7cMk99UZtIQcClIWNQ8Wgc3_nBQ0tBrj7amKXLro/edit?usp=sharing

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