May 25, 2020
Good afternoon, Wonderful Mathews Community! We've arrived at the last week of a very different kind of school year. I thought the 2017-2018 year that started with a solar eclipse and ended with a hurricane was one to remember but I must say that this year tops even that in the memory books. I don't think I'll ever forget the abrupt loss of the school experience that began the day before spring break or the way the start of the year and the lively House sorting ceremonies now feels like it took place eons ago instead of months. As is true to this great community, however, I've been so inspired by the caring and support that have come from this - from families who shared their appreciation for the difficult work the teachers were asked to do, to those of you offered technical support and ideas, to those of you who reached out to offer to help others in need, to the ways we found to stay connected and more, I am so grateful for all of you!
This final week of school is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of our students because they have definitely grown academically and socially emotionally. I can only imagine how much they have physically grown in these last two months! Each of the teachers has planned special ways to connect with our students this week and honor their work and growth. This week should be a lot of fun, sprinkled in with some sadness that we're not together in person. I take solace in the fact that we are always together in spirit! And, as a way to bring some joy and closure to the year, we are also hosting a Drive By Goodbye for our students on Thursday and Friday. We'll honor our 6th grade students with a virtual promotion ceremony and drive by goodbye on Thursday. I'm looking forward to seeing the kids, even from a distance! Then, on Friday, we'll say goodbye to the other grade levels too. :)
What does a Drive By Goodbye look like? The teachers and staff will stand on the sidewalk in front of Mathews, practicing good social distancing and wearing masks. Families who'd like to participate will load up the car and drive by so we can wave and share our love with you! Important to know: Everyone MUST stay in the car and wave or say hi from there. We want to make sure we're all being as safe as possible so please help by preparing your children that they won't be able to get out to say hi or grab a hug, as much as we all wish we could. Thank you! The times for each grade level are listed waaaay down below in the Week at a Glance section.
Speaking of celebration, the staff and I wanted to make sure each of our students know we celebrate them for who they are and put together a little video for them below:
The end of school is a bittersweet time as we always say goodbye to staff, students, and families who are moving on to new schools and adventures. For our staff, we would have hosted celebrations of their work, much like we do for the students, and allow everyone a chance to wish them well. That's just not possible this year but we plan to hold a 2019-2020 Mathews Reunion as soon as it's safe to do so. In the meantime, I want to let you know who is leaving Mathews this year and who will be joining the Mathews family. I am always sad to see any of our people go while simultaneously feeling very fortunate to have had the chance to know and work with them. I am also so pleased to be able to fill our positions with incredibly talented folks. In the Goodbye and Hello section below, we'll honor those who are moving on and share a video of the 2020-2021 staff saying hi (with the exception of one retirement that was decided after the video had been made). :)
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the Mathews Messenger. In addition to the staff news, I've also included an update on planning for next year and the summer reading options. Thank you all for being a part of our community and for the very real honor of teaching and supporting your children. To our students and families who won't be returning, know that you will take a piece of our hearts with you and you will always be a part of our Mathews family!
Please continue to stay safe and healthy over the summer months until we see you again!
*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.
Robin English, Counselor
Becky King, Kindergarten Teacher
Steve Outlaw, PE Coach
Margaret Herrmann, Learning Lab Teacher
Elizabeth Oyervides, PreK Teacher
Erica Lish, 1st Grade Teacher
Alex Lyons, 6th Grade Teacher
Mary McKenna, Music and Journalism Teacher
Please help me in welcoming the educators who will join our Mathews family next year!
- Stephanie Reyna, Counselor
- Casey Pence, Kindergarten Teacher
- Vincent Vermillion, Learning Lab Teacher
- Erica Mathews, 1st Grade Teacher
- Sarah Halbach, 4th Grade Teacher
- Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann) Shira, 5th Grade Teacher
- Micaela Campos, Music Teacher (and Mathews alumni!)
Planning for the 2020-2021 School Year
- the learner experience
- acceleration and enrichment (WIN - What I Need)
- positive behavior supports and social emotional learning
- celebrating and connecting our community.
Each of these working groups is looking through the lens of Cultural Relevancy, MakerEd, and the Whole Child. They are considering what school would look like in a traditional model (all students in school), a virtual model, and a hybrid model (some students in the building, some virtual), which are the same scenarios the district is planning for as well.
In all of the district and school scenarios, safety is the top priority and consideration for our students and staff. We are looking at transportation, social distancing, school supplies, special areas, bathrooms, furniture and more. While we do not know what the 2020-2021 school year will look like just yet, we're anticipating more information towards the end of June that will hopefully allow us to finalize critical details. As of right now, the district is using the already adopted school calendar for next year; this calendar looks almost identical to the 2019-2020 school calendar and has us starting late August and ending in May. What school looks like for our students may be very different than it has in the past but we're committed to making the experience a positive and enriching one for all.
As with everything right now, things may change between now and August. I'm sure the district will be communicating new information and I will also make sure to keep our community informed as I get updates for the new school year.
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: http://www.5bookdive.org/about.html
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!
It's Registration Time!
Please go online to my.austinisd.org 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.
Every Wednesday, we'll update our Electronic Wednesday Folder on the school website.
You can find uploaded information on our fantastic website here: https://www.mathews360.com/wednesday-folder/
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! :) https://www.amazon.com/?&tag=mathe360-20
The Week at a Glance
Monday, May 25th
- Memorial Day Holiday for students and staff
Tuesday, May 26th
- Final Week of School - Reflection and Celebration
Thursday, May 28th
- Last Official Day of School!
- Virtual Promotion Ceremony for 6th Grade at 10:00 am on Zoom
- Drive By Goodbye for 6th Grade Students at 1:00 pm in front of Mathews :)
Friday, May 29th
- Drive By Goodbyes for 3rd Grade at 8:30 am
- Drive By Goodbye for 4th Grade at 9:00 am
- Drive By Goodbye for 1st Grade at 10:00 am
- Drive By Goodbye for PreK at 11:00 am
- Drive By Goodbye for 2nd Grade at 1:00 pm
- Drive By Goodbye for 5th Grade at 2:00 pm
- Drive By Goodbye for Kindergarten at 3:00 pm