Pony Express

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER OF O. HENRY MIDDLE SCHOOL

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What is Happening This Week!

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

This week: A, B, A, B, B


Tuesday, May 4: Let's Get Connected- 9:00 a.m.--O. Henry Front Lawn

Thursday, May 6: 8th Grade Science STAAR

Friday, May 7: 8th Grade Social Studies STAAR

Tuesday, May 11th- Let's Get Connected-VIRTUAL session via Zoom


Newsletter Sections

  • Art In Action
  • Registration for 21-22 Now Open
  • NEW-- Virtual Academic Coaching
  • Counseling Corner-High School Drop Deadlines, Important Information on Course Verification sheets, Apply for Breakthrough.
  • Athletics News- FCA, AHS Summer Basketball Camp, 8th grade- Swim Team Tryouts
  • Yearbook Pictures- Update
  • PTA-
  • UPDATE---Let's Get Connected Coffee-- In Person- May 4th
  • Volunteers Needed
  • Mustang Mall
  • 8th Grade Parents- AHS Parent PTA meeting
  • Mustang Council- Campus Advisory Council
  • RAVE Recognition-This is a great way to say THANK YOU to a TEACHER this week
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QUICK UPDATES

QUICK UPDATES

  • O. Henry MS will be providing free breakfast and lunch for the entire school year. On campus learners may also bring a lunch from home including food that can be cooked in our cafeteria microwaves. We will not be able to accept food from an outside delivery or a parent dropping off a lunch from a restaurant.
  • Please send your student to school with a re-usable water bottle. While our drinking fountains are closed, our re-fillable water bottle stations all around school are ready for water bottles! We do have cups available in the office if someone forgets their water bottle.
  • ABSENCE AND ATTENDANCE: If your child is marked absent, yet you know they were logged in for Remote Learning, it takes three school days (11:59pm on the third school day) for Blend to update attendance. At that time it will record the Remote Learning attendance from three school days prior. If after three days, the attendance has not corrected, please have your child reach out to their teacher. There is no credit recovery for attendance this semester, thus no disciplinary action being taken.

    However students should keep up with their assigned work, for their grades and credit.

    Thank you,

    Mr. Tierney

    OHMS Attendance

  • Students that are 16 years and up are now eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine! This is just one of many. Please keep reading eh Pony Express, as we will update when teenagers under 16 will be eligible for the vaccine.

    https://www.austinregionalclinic.com/services/covid-19-vaccine

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It's time for AISD Online Registration:

It's time for AISD Online Registration:

- All AISD RETURNING and NEW students must register online for the AISD SY 2021-22 school year through the AISD Portal: https://portal.austinisd.org

- Forgot your password? Call the AISD Family Support Line: 512-414-9187,

Need more help call your school and the Parent Support Specialist.
- Parent Guide to AISD Online Registration

VIRTUAL ACADEMIC COACHING

The O. Henry PTA is excited to share information about a new program where families support families with parent/community member volunteer-led, free, VIRTUAL ACADEMIC COACHING for students! This program will provide students nominated by their family or teacher with access to one-on-one virtual support with navigating BLEND, managing schedules, turning in missing assignments and coaching on executive functioning tools and applicable assistive technologies to help them reach their academic goals. This program is supported by O. Henry parents and community members for O. Henry students! Even with just a few weeks left in the year we would love to connect with volunteers and students now to provide year-end support and build out the program for the upcoming 2021/2022 school year!

Interested in learning more? Please read our FAQ!

Interested in volunteering? Please complete this volunteer form!


Interested in nominating your student? Please complete this student nomination form!

ART IN ACTION

COUNSELING CORNER

High School Drop Deadline

The deadline to drop spring semester and yearlong High School credit classes (except Algebra 1) will be at 12pm on Friday, May 14th. If you are concerned about your child's grades and are considering dropping or have already decided you would like to drop the high school credit course, please contact your child's teacher.


Art 1 - Jenny.Parker@austinisd.org

French 1 - Rebecca.Harrison@austinisd.org

French 2 - Rebecca.Harrison@austinisd.org

Fundamentals of Computer Science - Jenna.Justice@austinisd.org

Geometry - Megan.Aguilar.austinisd.org

Health - Lisa.Lindberg@austinisd.org

Keyboarding - Dell.Mann@austinisd.org

Principles of Business, Marketing, Finance - Dell.Mann@austinisd.org

Project Lead The Way: DM/AR - Jerrod.Wolfe@austinisd.org

Spanish 1 - Jeanette.Mirandasantiago@austinisd.org or Francisco.Munoz@austinisd.org

Spanish 2 - Jeanette.Mirandasantiago@austinisd.org or Francisco.Munoz@austinisd.org

Spanish for Spanish Speakers 3A - Jeanette.Mirandasantiago@austinisd.org

Spanish for Spanish Speakers 3B - Jeanette.Mirandasantiago@austinisd.org

AP Spanish 4 - Kevin.Gillion@austinisd.org

Web Design - Jenna.Justice@austinisd.org

Yearbook (Graphic Design) - Gerard.Castillo@austinisd.org

Important Scheduling Information 2021-2022

Important Scheduling Information 2021-2022

Current 6th and 7th grade parents will receive course verification sheets for the 2021-2022 school year via email sometime next week (most likely Wednesday). Please review the selections with your child and if there are any changes, email your grade level counselor by Friday, May 7th. It is important that you review these carefully because we cannot make “change of mind” course requests in August. If you have no changes, there is no need to email your counselor. Please contact your grade level counselor with any questions or concerns.

Apply to Breakthrough- Support your child being successful in their future! Still recruiting 6th graders!

Apply to Breakthrough- Support your child being successful in their future! Still recruiting 6th graders!


The Breakthrough Program is for students who will the first ones in their family to graduate college and want the support to be successful during the school year and get amazing opportunities during the summer....FOR FREE!


Breakthrough creates a path to and through college for students who will become the first in their families to earn a college degree. During the school year, Breakthrough advisers serve each student, 24/7, as their go-to, knowledgeable, personal advocate and champion. These advisors, work one-on-one with students through middle school, high school, and college. New students have their first Breakthrough experience at an academically rigorous Middle School Summer program held on the University of Texas at Austin Campus...once again, for free!


The middle school Summer Program helps combat summer learning loss, a leading contributor to the achievement gap. Teachers are exceptional and diverse high school and college students. With a 1:6 teacher-student ratio, their summer program consists of extended learning, comprehensive advising, and leadership experiences, helps younger students experience breakthroughs in academics and confidence while the older students discover potential as educators and leaders.




Application links- Applications due May 14th

For English: https://breakthrough.tfaforms.net/306494?tfa_4268=tfa_5600

Para español haga clic https://breakthrough.tfaforms.net/306494?tfa_4268=tfa_4269

Breakthrough website: https://breakthroughctx.org/

Students can see Ms. Turner for more questions.
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Summer Opportunities for Students/Families

Summer Opportunities for Students/Families

Please see below for some programs/summer camps your child can get involved with this summer to support their social and emotional health!


https://mailchi.mp/c9d03db98e92/art-therapy-groups-and-summer-camp-guide?e=46d9801e81

Middle School Process Group
Wednesday- 4:15 - 5:30 pm. Facilitated by Wanda
Wednesday- 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm. Facilitated by Twana
Tuesdays- 4:30 pm- 5:45 pm. Facilitated by Danielle

Navigating middle school can be especially stressful, and trying to do so in a pandemic is even more difficult. The focus of these groups continues to be skill building and making a place where the teens can support and give empathy to each other. Your teen will learn new communication skills, as we work through anxiety reduction strategies, getting connected in this disconnected time, friendship, and getting used to online education.

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ATHLETICS NEWS

FCA

We would like to cordially invite you to participate in the O.Henry Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)! FCA is a nationally recognized student club that focuses on impacting the world for Jesus Christ. This is a time for fellowship... and fun (yippee!) At O.Henry, we are not limited to just athletes. All are welcome to join!


You may ask yourself... well, that sounds great and all, but how do I get involved? We’re glad you asked! Please check out the info below. More opportunities to come!


Who? all students are welcome

What? “Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Students at O.Henry”!

When? Wednesday mornings @7:30am FCA ZOOM link here

Where? Zoom for now but hopefully in person in the near future

Why? FCA focuses on serving local communities around the globe by engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes to unite, inspire and change the world through the gospel.


Interested in being a student leader? Please contact Coach McKey or Coach Richter, we’d love to have you.


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Summer Camp-- Austin High School Basketball Camp

When: June 28 – July 1

Where: Small Middle School gym

Who: Boys and Girls entering 3rd – 5th grades 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Boys and Girls entering 6th – 9th grades 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Cost $100 per camper


The Austin High Basketball Camp will focus on teaching the fundamentals of basketball and will provide campers the opportunity to improve and have fun with the game. Each camper will receive individual as well as group instruction from professional coaches. Coach Brad Ingram, head boys basketball coach at Austin High, will be the Camp Director. All equipment will be provided. Students will need to bring their own water bottle.

Sign up online at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfI2AXbNcpoAvgQIcS-SKnkh2owOX_TIYkmqaDhCyvcUj2png/viewform?usp=sf_link and pay at https://austinisd.schoolcashonline.com/ (search for Austin High Basketball Camp)


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8th Graders going to Austin High School--SWIM TEAM TRYOUTS

We have three dates available for TRYOUTS


(1) Thursday, April 22

(2) Thursday, April 29

(3) Thursday, May 6


These will all start promptly at 7:15am and should be over before 8:00am. This will give the kids time to get to school or home in time for their first class of the day. These tryouts will take place at the pool where we train, the Austin Swim Club on Southwest Parkway. Swimmers should arrive by 7:00 with their suits already on and have a mask on as they enter the facility. Parents will not be allowed into the facility/on the pool deck during the tryout (per Austin Swim Club policy), but they are welcome to watch from outside the fence. If you have any further questions about the tryout process, check out: https://www.austinhighswimming.com/tryouts

YEARBOOK AND SCHOOL PHOTOS- UPDATES

YES! THERE WILL BE A YEARBOOK!!!

O. HENRY 2020-2021 YEARBOOK*

Order your OHMS Yearbook for $45 here: https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1077713/O.-Henry-Middle-School/


Yearbook Pictures:

We are still accepting yearbook pictures from distance learners at the following link:

https://images.jostens.com/416174356

Additionally: We will have a Photo Studio in Mr. Castillo’s classroom**. The O.Henry Studio will be available on Thursdays from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Sign-up link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C48AEAD2EA6FFC34-ohenry1


All distance learners or any student that has transitioned to on campus learning are welcome to sign up.

  • Pictures from 2019-2020 school year will be added in the yearbook if a photo is not available.

[*To include Spring sports and activities we will distribute the yearbooks in the fall.]

[**Room 603 is located outside of the main building by the Tennis Courts on Wayside Drive.]

The Mustang Council, O. Henry's Campus Advisory Council (CAC), is looking for new parent and community members for the next school year!

The Mustang Council, O. Henry's Campus Advisory Council (CAC), is looking for new parent and community members for the next school year!


The Mustang Council is made up of parents, teachers, support staff, and community members who are interested in improving the educational opportunities for all at O. Henry. This advisory committee meets once a month with Principal Malott to discuss current issues and provide input on campus-level decisions. We provide guidance on important school topics including:


  • Planning (Campus Improvement Plan)
  • Budgeting
  • Curriculum
  • Staff Development
  • Staffing Patterns
  • School Organization


Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month immediately after school. If you would like to serve on the Mustang Council (a 2-year commitment is requested), please submit a CAC membership application (available on the AISD CAC website below) to co-chairs Sharon Albrecht (salbrecht78703@yahoo.com) or Jennifer Boltz (jennifer.boltz@austinisd.org). Submissions should be received by May 7.


More information regarding the CAC protocol and processes can be found on the AISD website pages:

AISD CAC Overview: http://www.austinisd.org/advisory-bodies/cac

AISD CAC Resources/Training: http://www.austinisd.org/advisory-bodies/cac/additional-resources

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GET CONNECTED COFFEE- Tuesday, May 4th

If you know of any new families that will be attending OHMS next year, please encourage them to attend our Get Connected Coffee on Tuesday, May 4th at 9am. This will be a great opportunity for new and current parents to get to know one another and become more familiar with O. Henry. We encourage our current parents to attend as well since this has been a very unusual year and we haven’t been able to meet as often as we would like.


We will meet IN PERSON on the front lawn at O. Henry Middle School.


May 11th-- Get Connected Virtual in the Mustang Zoom Room

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Thank you to those of you that have volunteered in the office! The office is happy to welcome two parents per shift so grab a friend and come on in! Please check out the volunteer calendar (Office Volunteer Schedule) and let Tim Tierney know when you would like to volunteer

(times are adjustable and any amount of time is appreciated).

SPIRIT SHOP---Mustang Mall Now Open

We are excited to announce that starting Tuesday, May 4th, the Mustang Mall will be open

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s during lunch for the rest of the school year! There will be some fun new merchandise to buy as well as OHMS t-shirts and sweatshirts!

THANK YOU!

  • Lee’s Meat Market for generously discounting lunch given to all of the teachers/staff on Thursday from the PTA!
  • Shannon Grethel for organizing teacher/staff lunch!
  • Karen Cotter for the idea, development and execution of our new Virtual Academic Coaching program!! Be sure and check it out! Virtual Academic Coaching

The front office is getting a makeover!

The front office is getting a makeover!

If you have a gently used, neutral tone or navy sofa that is 70-78” in length or a side chair that is playful, fun and soft, please contact sherrilldeering@yahoo.com.

The teacher’s lounge is also in need of a new refrigerator!

The Stephen F. Austin High School PTSA invites you to our GET CONNECTED General Meeting

The Stephen F. Austin High School PTSA invites you to our GET CONNECTED General Meeting


Tuesday, May 18th 6:00 pm

https://austinisd-org.zoom.us/j/99731632413?pwd=QWlWWk5NMVpIa3NyS29TbjExNHFrUT09 Meeting ID: 997 3163 2413 Passcode: 859505


We welcome parents of incoming 9 th graders, parents of 9th graders who did not have a normal freshman year, and ANY current AHS parents who want to learn more about what to expect and how to get more involved during the 2021-2022 school year.

• Learn ways to get involved and how to find information on our websites

• Learn about summer camps and summer assignments

• Learn about important dates for Back to School

• Have your questions answered by staff & current parents

We look forward to Getting You Connected to AHS! Send your questions in advance to president.austinhighschoolptsa@gmail.com

RAVE: Recognizing All Valuable Employees

Parents, are you looking for a way to give back to teachers and staff at O. Henry Middle School?


RAVE: Recognizing All Valuable Employees

Let's send some sparkly gratitude to our faculty & staff this holiday season with an AISD RAVE submission!

  • Does your student have a favorite teacher?
  • Has someone at O. Henry (or any other AISD School) gone above and beyond for you and your family?
  • Do you want to support teachers and let everyone (Teacher, Principal, AISD District) know about it?

All of our faculty and staff have gone above and beyond this semester. The best free, easy, sparkly way to show our gratitude is via the RAVE form on the AISD website (link below.) It only takes a couple of minutes to complete!


This form is received by AISD administration. RAVE submissions mean a lot to teachers and staff. It's equivalent to a virtual hug! And, there's never been a better time to remind the Superintendent how indispensable they all are.


Please submit a RAVE for any teacher or staff member (current or from school years past.)

Maybe send one or two a day! You do need the first and last name of the employee you wish to RAVE about. Those can be sourced on O. Henry's Staff Directory :

https://www.austinisd.org/schools/ohenry/directory


Flooding AISD administration with positive feedback will make an important and lasting impact. Let's make this holiday season sparkle a little extra with RAVES!


RAVE: Recognizing All Valuable Employees

https://www.austinisd.org/hr/customer-service/rave


Thank you!