Kiker Comments November 16, 2021

A Joint Newsletter from the Bernice Kiker Admin Team & PTA

In This Edition...

  • Upcoming Events
  • Attendance Notes
  • Outdoor Learning Areas
  • Thanksgiving Meal Menu
  • End of Virtual Program Timeline
  • Updated Quarantine Protocols
  • Original Art
  • Gorzycki Visit
  • PTA News: Grants, Lost and Found, Veterans Day Recap, Luncheon Recap, Snappy Award
  • AISD News - COVID Testing Hubs, Dual Language, Family Academy
  • November Staff Birthdays
  • Get to Know the Staff
  • Repeated Information (from previous newsletters)
  • Health Room Screenings
  • Quarantine and Ill Person Requirements for Return - UPDATED
  • After School Programs
  • All the Links to Everything You Need

Upcoming Events


5 - 16 Original Art Orders

16 - Drills - Hold, Shelter, Evacuation

22 - 26 - No School, Thanksgiving Break


13 - 8:00 am 5th Grade Parents/Guardians Invited to a Talk With GMS's Dr. Mitchell

17 - Last Day with Students before Winter Break

January 2022

3 - Winter Break

4- PD Day, Staff Only

5 - First Day Back for Students

Attendance Notes

Please send all attendance notes to the front office or email to


New and Updated Outdoor Learning Areas

Last month we received eight new picnic tables from the AISD service center. We currently have enough tables for outdoor eating, so we selected to use the tables to create two outdoor learning areas.

The tables needed preparation to be ready for students and to withstand the weather. A huge thank you to Lindsey Lawley Rerecich and Matt Rerecich for training our volunteers to properly stain/seal the tables. Approximately 20-25 students from Bowie High School's honor society and PALS program worked in shifts over the weekend to finish the tables and set up our new spaces.

In addition to the work on the tables, numerous students weeded our garden beds to prepare them for classes to engage in gardening projects.

We are incredibly grateful to the Rerecich family and James Bowie High School for their time and effort to create learning areas for our campus.

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Menu Update - Thanksgiving Feast on Friday

Please see the image above for the menu change for students and staff on Friday.
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End of AISD's Virtual Program Timeline

December 1 - Kiker receives information on new staff

December 10 -Families of students in the virtual program informed of their new class placement

December 14 - 4:00-5:00 pm

Welcome Back Event for Virtual Students (see below)

January 5 - First Day Back for ALL Students

Virtual students and families are invited to 'Meet the Teacher' on Tuesday, December 14. Say hello to your teachers and visit your classrooms from 4:00-4:30. Take a tour with Mrs. Matheny from 4:30-5:00 (optional).

Changes to Quarantine Procedures

AISD recently updated its Covid protocol for close contact unvaccinated students. Instead of automatically quarantining for 10 days, there are now three options for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people who are in close contact to a positive COVID case.

Why it matters: We’ve done a great job keeping our COVID cases low this year. The better we are at keeping COVID cases low, the more we can stay the course this school year.

Here are the new options for anyone who is unvaccinated or hasn’t reached full vaccine protection (exposed to COVID within the two-week window after a vaccine):

  1. The close contact can quarantine for 10 days and return on the 11th day — this protocol is currently in place.

  2. The close contact can “test to stay” at school or work, meaning they don’t have to quarantine, but they do have to test on day five after the exposure.

    • If it’s negative — Yay! Go back to work/class

    • If it’s positive — 10-day quarantine starts.

  3. The close contact can quarantine for four days and return on day five with a negative rapid or PCR test result.

Testing can take place at our campus testing hub on Day 5 prior to student reporting to class. The Concentric Team can be reached at 512-841-7857 to schedule a test.

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Art Fundraiser - November 5 - 16 It's Not Too Late

Hello, Kiker Families!

The due date for the Original Works orders is approaching quickly! Final orders are due on:

Tuesday - November 16th - Midnight

The late order window is 11/17-12/1.

Orders placed during this time will arrive after the Winter Break.

The Original Works Program is designed to celebrate your child’s creativity, support the Kiker Art Department and offer personalized gifts and keepsakes featuring your child’s very own artwork.

If you have not placed your order, now is the time to do so! Follow the instructions provided on the brochure that was recently sent home.

If you have lost your form, Ms. Swint can help you!

We hope you will take advantage of this special program. For questions or additional information, please contact:

Thank you for supporting our fundraiser

with Original Works!

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5th Grade Families - Meet Dr. Mitchell

Gorzycki Middle School Principal, Dr. Mitchell, has arranged to do a presentation for the parents/guardians of our current 5th graders. Save the date: December 13 at 8:00 am.

PTA News

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We earned it together, now let's spend it together!

PTA Members (including staff, parents, and community members) are invited to apply for PTA funds for projects, services, and ideas benefitting the Kiker community. Please submit your grant applications through this form by December 10. Grant applications will be ranked as a high, medium, or low priority based on the considerations described in the application, then voted on by the PTA Executive Board at its December 12 meeting. Funding decisions will be communicated to applicants on or before December 14, 2021. Requested items or services must align with the Kiker PTA mission "To make every child's potential a reality." Every effort is made by Kiker PTA to be fair and equitable when considering grant applications. While the PTA would like to honor all requests for funds, we give preference to funding requests that will impact as many Kiker students, families and faculty as possible, with consideration given to those that provide a longer-term benefit.

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Lost and Found

With the cooler mornings lots of jackets get left behind! Please remind your child to check the lost and found rack on the way to the cafeteria! It is filling up FAST!!! E-mail with any questions.

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Kiker Salutes our Veterans

Thank you to everyone who submitted a veteran for our wall of honor. Stop by and read their names!
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Thank You for Helping Us Say Thank You!

Our first PTA luncheon of the year was a huge success! The weather was beautiful! On Friday, November 5th, Kiker PTA filled four tables and three coolers full of delicious food and drinks from Cabo Bobs and parent contributions. Lunch looked a little something like this:

~85 big as a brick burritos~

~4 extra, extra large containers of endless chips and queso~

~5 beautiful salads w/ 6 different dressings to choose from~

~5 large fresh fruit platters~

~48 individually wrapped chocolate brownies and 37 churro blondies~

~Enough water bottles and sparkling water for each person to take one of each~

~And there was enough for everyone to come back to get more!

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PTA Snappy Increase Award

Thanks to you, Kiker community, we earned the prestigious Snappy Increase Award from the Texas PTA. Congratulations, team!

PTA Reflections Winners

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Free Covid Testing for Staff and Students - 8:00-2:00 Daily With Completed Consent (QR Code Above)

Starting Nov. 1, students and staff will have access to a free rapid antigen testing program through a new partnership with Concentric by Ginkgo. Kiker is a hub and has Concentric Staff on site in Portable 6B daily. (FYI - there is no classroom on the 6A side of the portable.). The direct line to schedule is 512-841-7857.

Why it matters: Research shows that the more people get tested, the safer everyone is from the spread of COVID-19. You’ll be able to access rapid antigen or PCR tests (when available) at 11 sites across Austin.

  • Students and staff can get a test at will for any reason, whether you’ve been exposed or are just looking for peace of mind.
  • Sites include: Travis, Northeast Akins, Norman-Sims, Pillow, Kiker, Eastside, Cunningham, Navarro, Blazier, McCallum .
  • Testing will run 8 a.m. -2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Yes, but: Only students with completed consent forms can get a test. Consent form via QR code above.

  • This is an opt-in program, so no one will participate if they don’t want to.

Completing the consent form takes about five minutes on a computer or smartphone.

  • When completing the consent form, use this code: AISDTEST
  • If you have more than one child, please complete the form for each one.

Dive deeper: For more information, visit Concentric by Ginkgo’s website, reach out to our Let’s Talk portal or send a text to 512-886-6434.

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National Parental/Family Involvement Day

In celebration of National Parental/Family Involvement Day, Austin ISD presents the free 2021 Family Academy Todos Juntos - All Together Virtual Event November 16-18.

The free academy will feature 12 live Zoom sessions around various topics such as the following:

  • Greetings from Superintendent Elizalde, Chief Casas, Chief Mays, Dr. Dessynie Edwards, and Alejandro Delgado
  • Mental Health Supports and Building a Community of Care
  • Early Childhood Strategies
  • Afghan Women Wellness
  • Special Education and 504 Supports, including Dyslexia
  • Elementary and Secondary Multilingual Programs
  • Advanced Academics Supports
  • Early College Programs

Please click on the following links to register for this AISD event:


Please contact the AISD Parent Engagement Support Office at 512-414-0726 for additional information
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November Birthdays

6 - Mindy Farmer

25 - Candace Cotten

25 - Danielle Swint

Get to Know the Staff

Each week we will feature a few staff members. This week we are featuring some of our Teaching Assistants.
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Repeated Information

Health Office:

On going: Screenings for Acanthosis Nigricans for 1st, 3rd, and 5th Graders

On going: Vision and hearing screenings for Pre-K 4, Kindergarten, Grades 1, 3, and 5, and any new student to Austin ISD.

Questions about Returning to School after Quarantine and/or being Symptomatic-Updated


Day 0 is the last date of exposure.

Day 1 is the first day without exposure.

Day 5 is the 'testing day'

We can accept a rapid test OR a PCR test from any testing facility that provides a paper document or email copy of the results. At home tests are not accepted. Testing from our hub is accepted.

Symptomatic / Ill students or staff:

For a student/staff member who was symptomatic (sent home from school sick or self-reported sick), a negative PCR or a doctor's note is required to return.

Staff or students may request a rapid test via the hub.

After School Programs

After School Enrichment

Did you know our Comets have a variety of after school activities in which to participate? This fall, after school activities will include coding, art, cooking, Spanish, and more. For a full listing, please visit the after school enrichment page on our website to learn more and see the wonderful variety of classes and programs offered!

What's New?

Young Rembrandts Holiday Drawing for Kids

Sticky Fingers - There is still time for the Fall Session!

Printable Lunch Menu - November

Library Volunteers: View Openings by Clicking Here

Email to sign up

A Message From the Cafeteria

At AISD Food Service, our top priority is to ensure all students have access to healthy, tasty meals. The country is dealing with a nationwide food service worker shortage, directly impacting AISD; we currently have over 100 open positions, in addition to managing COVID-19 protocols. Because of this, changes in school meal operations and menus may occur. Please note, any menu changes will not be reflected on or on printed menus.

Bernice Kiker Elementary Administration Team

Cory Matheny - Principal

Alma Chapa Moore - Assistant Principal

Kelly Meyer - Assistant Principal