Pony Express


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In this Edition

NEW featureed items will be in BOLD

  • Mustang News- Episode 3
  • Happening This Week- calendar of events and announcements
  • Counselor Corner-Start with Hello starts on 9/19
  • NEW-- Gifted and Talented Nominations now open
  • Art In Action- Each week we will feature student Art
  • Athletics---Congratulations Cross Country, Mustang Club Spirit Wear, Mustang Club Membership
  • Academics-Tutorial Schedule, Homework Club, History Club, Science Club, Math Club, D&D Club, GSA Club
  • NEW Fine Arts-- Band News and Updates
  • Mustang Council- Campus CAC- next meeting Tuesday, September 27th
  • SAVE THE DATE--ROUND UP 2022-- Our Campus Carnival, School Dance, and Fundraiser
  • PTA News-- PTA Meeting on October 3rd at 6:00, O. Henry Secret Pals,Join PTA, Spirit Store, Become a Volunteer, Virtual Academic Coaching
  • Health and Safety Tip of the Week-Resources from School Resource Officer Auch
  • Other Mustang Resources: Bell Schedule, School Supply Lists for 22-23, AISD Food and Nutrition, AISD Dress Code, COVID Protocols

Tune in weekly for features about the Mustang Nation


Start With Hello Week

Social isolation is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools, and it can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior. Start With Hello Week activities raise awareness and educate students and the community on ways to reduce isolation and increase connectedness. This year O. Henry Counselors and Student Council members are joining forces to bring national Start With Hello Week to our school.

Monday,9/19 A Day-1,2,3,ACES, 4

  • Start with Hello--Hey Day! Everyone is wearing name tags today so we can “say hey” by name.
  • 4:00 UIL Theatre Rehearsals

Tuesday, 9/20--B Day-5,6,7, ACES, 8

  • Start with Hello-Come Say Hello and Get a Treat to Go!
  • Students can stop by to meet their administrators, counselors, and other trusted adults who are always there to support them (and get a treat to take home)

  • Football A Teams-- Lively vs O. Henry @6:00 p.m. @House Park
  • AISD Band Jamboree at Burger Center

Wednesday, 9/21--A Day-1,2,3,ACES, 4

  • Start with Helllo--Wear Green Wednesday---Wear green to show that you want to help promote kindness, inclusion, and connection. And make sure to get your picture taken at lunch on the Hello Wall!
  • A/B Lunch- NJHS Meeting- current 8th grade members
  • Football B Teams-- Murchison vs O. Henry @6:00 p.m. 7th at OHMS, 8th at MMS

Thursday, 9/22--B Day-5,6,7, ACES, 8

  • Start with Hello-Promise Day--Students will commit to one thing they promise to do to help increase connectedness and kindness at O. Henry. Students can also make friendship bracelets at lunch!
  • Volleyball--Murchison vs. OHMS 8th@OHMS, 7th @MMS

Friday, 9/23: C Day-1-8

  • Start with Hello-Keep it Going Friday Check out the posters around school reminding students how to start up a conversation with a new friend.
  • Student Council Fun Friday Theme Day--Fun Hat Day


Round Up and School Dance- Friday, September 30th from 3:50-6:30; School Dance from 5:30-7.

Counselor Corner

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Counselors will be in the classroom the week of September 26th to talk to students about reporting concerns, locating resources to get help, and what happens when a report is made to the counselor. More information for families will be coming soon.

Need to Reach Your Counselor

You can email at ohenry.counselors@austinisd.org

Grading Periods and Progress Reports

Progress 1-- Closes 9/2

Progress 2- Closes 9/23-- student eligibilty check

1st Nine Weeks- closes 10/7-- student eligibilty check on 10/13, lost or gained 10/20

Progress 3- closes 11/4--student eligibilty chek on 11/4, lost or gained 11/11

Progress 4- closes 12/2-student eligibilty chek on 12/2, lost or gained 12/9

2nd Nine Weeks-closes 12/20, lost or gained 1/17

GT Nominations

GT Nominations

The nomination windows for GT identification will be open from September 19th - October 7th for middle school. This will be the only nomination window for this school year. If you are interested in nominating your child for GT services, please first talk with your child’s teacher(s) and complete the attached form. Please note that signing the form gives permission for your child to be tested and screened for the Austin ISD Gifted and Talented Program. Completed nomination forms can be sent to Casi Cook. (casi.cook@austinisd.org)

Parent/Guardian Observation Form

Additionally, if you'd like to learn more information about the GT program:

Advanced Academics will be having a Virtual Gifted and Talented Information Session on Monday September 19, 2022 at 6:00 pm & Tuesday September 20, 2022 at 12:00 pm.

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Cross Country

Cross country season is in full swing! Please come out to support the O. Henry runners at a cross country meet.

Congratulations to the 8th grade boys' team for placing second overall at the Hays HS Invitational last week.

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Mustang Spirit Wear

Show your O. Henry Team Spirit and order your gear. This is another great wear to support our Athletics and show your Mustang Pride. Please order by September 19th.


Below are just some of the many examples to choose from.

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Fine Arts News

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Tuesday, September 20 - AISD Marching Band Jamboree

Please join us on Tuesday, September 20, at the Tony Burger Stadium, 3200 Jones Road, Austin, TX 78745, for the 49th Annual AISD Marching Band Jamboree. It features marching bands from each high school in the district, and showcases their unique styles, talents, and hard work. Performances begin at 6:30 PM. This is an optional enrichment activity for O.Henry Band members and their families. Band members should wear their Mustang Band T-shirt to this event. Tickets are only available online https://gofan.co/app/events/705433?schoolId=TX13111

Complimentary Tickets:

PROMO CODE: jamboree22

Thursday, September 29 - OHMS Band Night at Austin HS game

On Thursday, September 29, all O.Henry 7th and 8th grade band members will perform (in the stands) at the Austin High vs. Bowie HS football game at House Park. Students need to arrive at House Park by 6:30 PM wearing the red mustang band t-shirt with blue or black jeans (or pants). There is no bus transportation for this game. Students must bring their own instrument and pep music. All instrument cases should be kept in your vehicle. We will leave immediately after we watch the half time show. O.Henry Band students will be admitted free with their band shirt; however, admission is $7 for parents and adults. All tickets are sold online at www.gofan.co and usually go live the week of the game. AISD is not accepting any money at the gate. We hope you can join us for an exciting evening of music, fun, and football!

Friday, September 30 - O. Henry Round-Up (3:50 – 6:30)

Members of the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will perform at the O.Henry Round Up on Friday, September 30.We will perform on the front lawn of the school. The attire for this performance is the Red Mustang Band t-shirt. Students may either wear shorts or pants for this event. They may bring clothes to change into after the performance. All band students will report to the band hall during 8th period to get set up. Our performance will begin right after school, and we should be finished by 4:30 PM. Everyone is encouraged to stay after the performance and enjoy the rest of Roundup. We hope to see you there!



Please see the flyers below:

Science Club- 4:00-5:15, Monday in Room 500

History Club-- 4:00-5:15,Wednesday in Room 208

GSA Club- 4:00-5:15, Wednesday in Room 104

Math Club- 4:00-5:15,Thursday in Room 107

Late Bus Passes available from sponsors



Mustang Council meetings are held monthly in the school library and are open to all O. Henry community members. If you would like to speak during an upcoming meeting, please send an email to both co-chairs Paula Cook (paula.cook@austinisd.org) and Suzanne Perez (suzannep@gmail.com) with your name and specific topic of interest at least 14 days prior to the next meeting. You may also submit agenda suggestions, concerns and/or questions via email to the co-chairs which the co-chairs will share during meetings on the behalf of community members.

Our next CAC meeting will be Tuesday, September 27th from 4:00-5:15. If you are interested in speaking to our CAC using our citizen communication time, please email our CAC Co-chairs Paula Cook at paula.cook@austinisd.org or Suzanne Perez at suzannep@gmail.com.

Meeting Agendas and Meeting Minutes can be found on our campus web page.

Citizen Communications is the first item on the agenda and is time set aside for non-members to make comments to the CAC. The co-chairs may limit the time given to individual speakers and will ensure that the districts "Citizens Communication and Visitor Guidelines" are applied. Under these guidelines, except for requests for clarification, dialogue shall not occur between the speaker and the members. If the CAC is interested in hearing more from a speaker, the speaker may be invited to a future meeting and be placed on the agenda. The CAC may also call a special meeting specifically for the purpose of open-dialogue with non-members but it must be posted for discussion on specific topics.

PTA News

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Friday, September 30th

Carnival 3:50-6:30

School Dance 5:30 to 7:00

Round Up is the O. Henry PTA’s MAIN fundraiser and annual school carnival featuring sports booths, games, inflatables, food, raffle prizes and a middle school dance. SAVE THE DATE and mark your calendars to support OHMS at this fun family event at the O. Henry Middle School’s campus. Click HERE to learn more.


We need YOU and EVERY dollar counts!

Round Up depends on sponsorships from families and community partners! Proceeds from Round-Up will be used this school year to fund supplemental department budgets, staff stipends, and supplies to help make our school safe for every student. Please visit the website today to make your donation. The deadline for banner recognition is Monday, September 26th. Don’t let the levels make you think smaller donations don’t matter…whether it’s $5 or $5,000 or any amount in between, we welcome EVERY family to give ANY amount to show their support for our amazing school!


Volunteers make Round Up possible! There are many fun opportunities for you to help including supervising game booths, chaperoning the dance, working drink stations, and providing supplies. Sign-up HERE now to help make the 2021 Mustang Round Up the best ever!


Purchase tickets and wristbands HERE. Preordered tickets and wristbands can be picked up during lunch Tuesday, September 27th through Friday, September 30th (the week of Round Up), or at the Express Rider ticket table the day of the event.


Our annual Round Up carnival on Friday, September 30th from 3:50 to 6:30 and this year we are going back to having a dance in the gym that will be from 5:30 to 7:00.

Our Round Up carnival is our main fundraiser, and your participation will help us outfit classrooms this school year with resources including supplies, technology, assemblies, field trips and cutting-edge equipment. We also cast out a curriculum beyond the textbook standards with hands-on learning, experiments, creative and fine arts, and engineering courses. We could not do any of these best practices without your sponsorship. As you already know, Round-Up is the one time during the school year that PTA asks for money donations, and all money raised will be spent this year. We are looking for an outstanding participation rate this year, so please give what you can. We welcome EVERY family to give ANY amount to show their support for our amazing school. Thank you for sharing your own financial resources and recruiting potential local or global businesses to support our school through these sponsorships.

Visit Round Up Donation Form – O. Henry PTA (ohenrypta.org) to make your donation today!

Our sponsorship chairs for Round up are Margaret Rigby (mpowellrigby@gmail.com) and Anne Campbell (annecampbell7@gmail.com

PTA Meeting, Monday, October 3rd

Learn more about the 2022 AISD Bond! Join us on Monday, October 3rd at 6pm at O. Henry Middle School to hear directly from Lynn Boswell, AISD Trustee for District 5. Learn more about how this bond will support our students, schools and community.

You can visit AISDfuture.com for more information.

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O. HENRY PTA STAFF SECRET PALS: Our goal is to connect every faculty and staff member (who wants to participate) with a parent Secret Pal. The program was designed years ago to show the amazing staff who run our school/teach/coach/advise our students how much we love and appreciate all that they do on a daily basis. Please consider signing up using the link below to adopt one (or more!) of our awesome staff members. If the teacher/staff member you hoped to adopt is already taken, PLEASE consider adopting one of the many teachers/support staff who provides services to our students in special programs, keeps our school clean, runs the front office, and coaches our athletes.

Please sign up for O.Henry Secret Pal!

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on SignUp Genius: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4DADAB2FA02-ohms

OHMS PTA Staff Secret Pals

O. HENRY PTA STAFF SECRET PALS Welcome to the Sign-Up page of O.Henry staff secret pal program. Sign up below to adopt one (or more!) teachers/staff members below. If the teacher/staff member you hoped to adopt is already taken, PLEASE consider adopting one of the many teachers/support staff who provide special education or life skills, keep our school clean and our hallways safe, run the front office, library and coach our athletes. Once you adopt a secret pal, I will email you with details and information about your pal's likes and dislikes to get started. Thank you for your participation and for making our O. Henry faculty and staff feel appreciated.


2. Select the teacher you would like to be a pal to Choose your staff member(s)
3. Submit your name, email, and phone number to sign up!
Note: Sign Up Genius does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

We suggest the following:

  • Your anonymous gifts to your pal(s) can be emailed or dropped off in the school office.
  • Be delivered as frequently as monthly but with a minimum of 4 times a year.
  • You be the judge on what you can spend on gifts. $50 over the course of the year is a suggested amount but some people spend more, while others do mostly homemade gifts, keeping costs to a minimum.

Once you adopt a Secret Pal, I will email you with details and information about your recipient's likes and dislikes to get started. I will email gifting reminders only four times during the school year (November 1, January 10, March 6, and May 1). The May reminder will encourage you to reveal your identity with your last gift. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you may know that is interested in this program.
Thank you for your participation and for making our O. Henry faculty and staff feel our appreciation!

Alana Lilie


The Mustang Mall Card is a favorite with students and parents. Order your student’s card now and they will have the freedom to purchase supplies anytime during the year at the Mall.

Conveniently located in the cafeteria, the Mustang Mall is open during lunch and stocks items including spirit wear, composition books, spiral notebooks, plastic folders, binders, mechanical pencils, erasable pens, highlighters, erasers, pencil sharpeners, pencil cases, locks, index cards, chapstick, hand sanitizer, O. Henry yard sign, seasonal surprises, and more.

The Mall Card is similar to a gift card in that you pre-pay a certain amount and their card is kept on file in the store with a running balance. Purchases are recorded and deducted from the balance.

Questions? Contact Co-Chairs Jenni Shirk or Jenna Silvers.



Thank you to everyone who has joined the O.Henry PTA. We are currently at 140 members!

Jeff Achtermann, April and Arnie Alejandro, Rachel Alton, Lissa Anderson, Christine Henry Andresen, Annessa Baird, Alessandra Beavers, Roberta Benham, Jessie Benkert, Julie Bergstrom, Jennifer Boltz, Luke Borders, Dianne Borges, Carlie Brandt, Curt Burdorf, Julie Butler, Jenny Butterworth, Alex Carrillo, Glenn Chase, Heather Chesney, Ali Clare, Samuel Clare, Marie Coleman, Casi Cook, Paula Cook, Marjann Cooper, Karen Cotter, Amy Cureton, Heather Davis, Mike Davis, Dawn Davis, Sherrill Deering, Alissa Deitz, Erin Dempsey, Michael Dempsey, Melanie Dow, Mollie Duckworth, Erinn Edmonds, Rachel Elder, Courtney Elliott, Kristi English, Marie Evans, Jessica Ewing, Debbie Faludi, Camie Fillpot, April Fox, Sandra Frellsen, Kate Fyda, Crystal Gaffney, Heather Granato, Shannon Grethel, Joanne Grigsby, Lindsay Hadlock, Karen Harrell, Kara Hartl, Leslie Hibbard, Néia Hoffman, Mary Elizabeth Hopkins, Susan Horridge, Caron Hutchison, Angie Kaps-Oberman, Cyndy Karras, Pam Kelly, Kristine Kobs, Sloan Kurak, Holly Lanham, Regan Lenehan, Lorna Lewis, Kathleen Loughlin, Brigid Lynch, Terra Lynch, Veronica Macon, Marlo Malott, Martha Mangum, Jessica Manning-Acebo, Meredith Marks, Nikki McCormick, Payton McIntyre, David McKey, Serena McMillon, Patrick McNally, Christy Merritt, Austin Miller, Dan Moise, Virginia Monger, Abe Moore, Vera Muniz, Frank Munoz, Jennifer Murchison, Christine Napierkowski, Hunter Norris, Alison Orchard, Nicki Payne, Suzanne Perez, Leslie Person, Laura Pigford, Ann Pizer, Sarah Powers, Rachel Price, Josh Pruitt, Vanessa Puig-Williams, Biz Ramberg, Vic Ramirez, Kristen Raven, Jill Rhoden, Ryan Richter, Margaret Rigby, Lis Riley, Amy Salinas, Brooke Salman, Bettina Schmitz, Paul Schuster, Mikki Scott, Jessica Scott, Paula Segura, Signae Seiler, Heidi Shellhorn, Jennifer Shirk,Lauren Sicarelli, Mike Simms, Jennifer Skloss, Anna Smith, Allison Snyder, Melissa Stangle, Ashley Stiegler, Sharon Stockbauer, Becky Stokes,Kelly Stouse, Ashley Stout, Mary Swanhaus, Dana Truxillo, Jamie Turner, Erin Tyrrell, Jyll Vertuno, Jerrod Wolfe, Lisa Womack, Teresa Zardiackas, Robin ZumBerge


Volunteer for O. Henry Middle School


Parent involvement is what makes a school GREAT!

There are many ways to stay involved at OHMS and our school leadership and staff enthusiastically encourage you to be involved.

Opportunities available:

Office Volunteer, Library Volunteer, Fundraiser Event Helpers, Honor Roll Event Planners. 8th Grade Recognition Events, Cultural and Academic Enrichment, Teacher and Staff Appreciation, Teacher/Staff Secret Pals, General Volunteer (e.g. specific appreciation days)

*priorities for volunteers

Please take a moment to complete the Volunteer Interest Form on the OHMS PTA website (ohenrypta.org/volunteer) or simply scan the QR code above. After you submit this form, you will receive additional detailed volunteer information from a PTA committee chair.

Questions to Suzanne Perez at suzannep@gmail.com


The Virtual Academic Coaching program supporting O. Henry students is back! This program provides parent/community member volunteer-led, free, VIRTUAL ACADEMIC COACHING for students!

Students nominated by their family will receive free, after-school or weekend one-on-one virtual support to reach their academic goals. Academic coaching support includes managing schedules, planning and prioritizing school work, turning in missing assignments, coaching on executive functioning skills and more!

This program is supported by O. Henry parents and community members for O. Henry students and we need more volunteers to support more students! Interested in volunteering one hour per week from home or interested in nominating your student for the program?

Learn more here:


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!


Health and Safety Tips

From School Resource Officer Tony Auch

If you did not get the chance to join us at our Principal Coffee , we did not want you to miss these valuable resources.

There were many questions regarding school safety and protocols. These resources also dives into social media, suicide, drills, and mental health issues.

A Parent's Guide to School Safety Toolkit | Texas School Safety Center - Texas State University

The Texas School Safety Center understands that school safety is a primary concern for parents and guardians. A Parent’s Guide to School Safety introduces key school safety topics, highlights relevant Texas laws, and provides specific information that you and your child need to know.


Bullying and Sexting called "Before You Text." This course addresses bullying and sexting, and addresses the legal, social, emotional, educational, and career impact of these activities. Due to the content of this course, this course is recommended only for those 12 years of age and older. The course is designed for children to review but it is also good information for a parent so they can discuss this topic with their child.

Before You Text | Texas School Safety Center - Texas State University

Welcome to the Texas School Safety Center (TXSSC) **Before You Text: Sexting & Bullying Prevention, Education & Intervention Course**. This program may be used in part or its entirety as an educational tool. There is also an accompanying test to demonstrate successful completion of this program. A certificate of successful completion is available for printing.


Mustang Resources


If you find that your Mustang is under the weather and then you learn that it is a positive COVID case, please call our office at 512-414-3229. Our staff can also assist with notifying teachers or helping families navigate the BLEND page for make-up school work.

Your student will be asked to isolate for 5 days before returning to campus. Students should be fever free and improved symptoms. Upon return, students will be required to wear a mask for 5 additional days.

Masks are optional for close contacts and if aysmptomatic, students may remain in school

Dress Code 101

Mustangs and Families should become aware of the AISD Dress Code. Students out of dress code will be asked to come to the office to change or be offered a suitable substitute if they do not have a set of clothes on campus.

Please read below and note the frequent violatons in BOLD as we will ask students starting this week (week 3) who are out of dress code to change.

Austin ISD’s student dress code supports equitable educational access and is written in a manner that does not reinforce stereotypes.

To ensure effective and equitable enforcement of this dress code, school staff shall enforce the dress code consistently and in a manner that does not reinforce or increase marginalization or oppression of any group on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, immigration status, or any other basis prohibited by law, that adversely affects the student.

Students shall be dressed and groomed in a manner that is clean and neat and that will not be a health or safety hazard to themselves or others.

General Guidelines

1. Basic Principle: Certain body parts must be covered for all students at all times.

  • Clothes must be worn in a way such that abdomen, genitals, buttocks, breasts and nipples are fully covered with opaque fabric.
  • All items listed in the “must wear” and “may wear” categories below must meet this basic principle.

2. Students Must Wear*, while following the basic principle of Section 1 above:

  • A shirt (with fabric that touches the waistband in the front, back, and on the sides under the arms), AND
  • Pants/jeans or the equivalent (for example, a skirt, sweatpants, leggings, a dress or shorts), AND
  • Shoes.

3. Students May Wear, as long as these items do not violate Section 1 above:

  • Religious headwear
  • Hats facing straight forward or straight back and must allow the face and ears to be visible to staff and not interfere with the line of sight
  • Hoodie sweatshirts (wearing the hood over head is allowed, but the face and ears must be visible to school staff)
  • Fitted pants, including opaque leggings, yoga pants and “skinny jeans”
  • Ripped jeans, as long as underwear and buttocks are not exposed
  • Tank tops, including spaghetti straps
  • Halter tops
  • Athletic attire

4. Students Cannot Wear:

  • Violent language or images
  • Images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal item or activity). or any other substance prohibited under FNCF(LEGAL)
  • Hate speech, profanity, pornography
  • Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or consistently marginalized groups
  • Any clothing that reveals visible undergarments (waistbands and straps excluded)
  • Swimsuits (except as required in class, field trips, or athletic practice see “Extracurricular Activities”)
  • Accessories that could be considered dangerous or could be used as a weapon
  • Any item that obscures the face or ears (except as a religious observance)

Read the full Dress Code.