AIS Friday Flash

Friday, January 28, 2022

From Mr. Jacques: A Moment to Thank Our AIS Faculty and Staff

Over the last few weeks, our teachers and our administrative team have been pushed well beyond our typical workloads to cover for one another and to keep school open for our kids. Historical staffing shortages have hit schools and entire districts around the country. With a commitment to our school's vision, mission, and values, our team has been hugely superhuman in supporting one another. Please join me in expressing your gratitude to our staff and administrators who have truly gone above and beyond over the past four weeks. It is without equivocation that I say I am truly a proud member of our team!


Rapid Antigen Testing is Back!

Our test suppliers have replenished our stock of rapid antigen tests and should be able to meet our continued demand for rapid antigen tests over the coming months. Students and staff are now able to take rapid tests on campus as needed. For more information about our rapid antigen testing program, please visit our school's website. Be on the lookout for an email from Jacques with more details about how to sign-up to be able to complete rapid antigen testing at school.


Pooled PCR Testing — New Participants Sign up by Jan 31 at 8am!

We are pleased to report that our pooled PCR testing program launched on January 24th was a success! We had 42 participants in the initial round of testing and received negative results for all 42 people the very next day. One of the major advantages of PCR monitoring is that the relative sensitivity of the test will often detect the virus days before a person’s contagious period begins. This is an excellent tool to help us monitor our ongoing health situation at AIS. Remember that sign-ups close each Monday at 8am. Detailed information about our new pooled PCR testing program can be found on our school’s website. Please remember that in order to participate, families must opt-in by completing the online consent form for minor children The access code for our school’s consent form is AUSTINIS. If you have any questions about our pooled PCR testing program, please reach out to Jacques.


MAP Assessments - Mon., 1/31

Austin International School uses the Northwest Education Association's (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth assessment to track individual student growth during their time at AIS. Students in Kindergarten and up complete assessments three times per year, after which student growth data is shared with teachers and families. MAP Growth data points are important in identifying areas of strength and areas of focus for each student. As such, MAP forms an important part of the work that we do to support individualized student learning at AIS. The next session of MAP assessments will begin on Monday, January 31st. Stay tuned for more details regarding testing dates by class and review this video here for more information. Remember to pack healthy snacks and for students to get a good night's sleep on testing days to perform their best.


Celebrating Black History Month at AIS

Each February, we are proud to celebrate Black History Month at Austin International School. During our most recent staff meeting, our faculty members and leadership team focused on the importance of working toward our school's vision of respect and empathy, our mission to honor diversity, and our core value of inclusiveness. This is an essential part of who we are at AIS. Here are a few things that will mark Black History Month in 2022:

  • Each Friday, the AIS Library will receive donations of five new texts in honor of Black History Month and the themes of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI)--but this year, they will all be in French! To learn more about these texts, visit this website. On that same site, you can learn more about JEDI-themed and Black History literature that was added to the library during Black History Month in 2021. Encourage your kids to look them up during library time, or even better yet, bring them home to read with you!
  • Students will spend time in library class to learn more about what Black History Month is and why we celebrate it. They will engage in discussions, read alouds, and some activities. It will be lots of fun!
  • Teachers will be tying in themes from Black History into their lessons at different points during the month. We are excited for students to explore how academics transcends all peoples and cultures!

Black History is an important part of American history, and we are excited to explore important elements of that with our students!


Virtual February PTO Meeting - Tue., 2/1 5:30 pm

On Tuesday, February 1st, please join other members of the Parent Teacher Organization for a virtual meeting at 5:30 pm. We encourage all AIS families to attend.


Virtual PTO Coffee - Thur., 2/3 9:00 am

Please join the Parent Teacher Organization as they host a virtual coffee and mingle on Thursday, February 3rd via this google link. The PTO and the Head of School alternate community coffees on the first Thursday of each month to visit with other AIS families.


Virtual Open House - Sat., 2/5 10:00 - 11:30 am

AIS will host a Virtual Open House on Saturday, February 5th to introduce prospective new families to our school. Join us in welcoming others to our school community.


Re-Enrollment is Here!

Be on the lookout next week for important enrollment and tuition information. Because several of our grades are at capacity, we will be opening up enrollment for returning AIS families first in February before inviting new families to register in March. So, stay tuned and be prepared to act fast to secure your spot(s) for the 22-23 school year.


2022-2023 School Calendar

The 2022-2023 school calendar was approved during the January 25 meeting of the Board of Directors. You can now find a copy of the approved calendar on the school’s website. Be sure to make your calendars for a few key dates! Meet the Teachers will be on Wednesday, August 17 and the first day of school will be Thursday, August 18. The last day of school will be Thursday, August 8, 2023.


Gala Wine Collection - 2/7 thru 2/11

As part of our gala each year, we ask our families who would like to participate to donate 1 bottle of wine for each AIS student to bundle in classroom wine packages. These amazing wine cellars will be auctioned off in our silent auction during our 11th annual event on April 2, 2022. We will begin collecting at morning drive through the week of February 7th.

  • Pick your favorite bottle of wine or bubbly
  • Sign the bottle with a sharpie to include your family name, class, and if you would like, a dedication. Ex: "Cheers! From the Johnson Family-4e"
  • Pass the bottle off at morning drop-off the week of 2/7-2/11
  • Bid away on remarkable wine cellars during our gala!
  • Winners will be able to pick up the wine from campus after the event.


February Spirit Night (& Day) - Mon., 2/7 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

We are excited for our upcoming Spirit Night at Modern Market on Monday, February 7th. Families may dine-in, order via phone or web, and place take-out orders all day from 11 am to 9pm. Modern Market will generously donate 30% of sales back to AIS! So, order lunch for the office, skip cooking dinner, and help support our school with this easy fundraiser. To participate, make sure to follow the instructions for sales to be counted towards AIS.

  1. Book a soft rsvp here (no commitment) in order to secure our event.
  • Dine-in or walk-up for take-out orders at 9828 Great Hills Trail, Ste. 110 Austin, TX 78759 and mention AIS at the register.
  • For phone orders, call 512-400-3677 and mention you are with Austin International School before placing your order.
  • Order online at www.modernmarket.com and enter promo code: "giveback019" in order to track sales to AIS.


Valentine's parties-Mon., 2/14

Valentine's celebrations will take place on Monday, February 14th with students and their classmates. Be on the lookout for more information next week from your teachers and room parents.

  • Students may wear Valentine's Day colors (red, white, pink) clothing to school as part of the celebration.
  • Celebrations will start at 3:00 pm with a regular dismissal at 3:30 pm.


Bourse Deadline Extended - Fri., 2/18

For French families applying for the Bourse scolaire, please be advised that the deadline to submit all material to the school's Admissions Office is now Friday, February 18. Please be sure to submit your complete packet by that date, as the French Consulate General will not accept any applications received after the deadline. If you need any support with the completion of this documentation, please reach out to Jacques.


Check out the latest Edition of The Owl Hour!

Our 8th grader students recently published the latest edition of The Owl Hour, our middle school digital newspaper. In 8th grade Service Learning, students are focused on the theme of safe and strong communities, during which they take a deep dive into the themes of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and how they can make lasting impacts on their communities. The most recent edition of The Owl Hour focuses on these JEDI themes. Some of the articles you will find in this edition include:

  • "Sunny Days Ahead" by Anna C.
  • "Passing the Torch" by Aria Z.
  • "Uniting AIS One Lesson at a Time" by Isabella C. and Aria Z.
  • "The Importance of Inclusive Workplaces" by Matthew J.
  • "Empathy, More Alive than Ever" by Quinn J.
  • Inclusive book suggestions by Lorraine S.


The DELF A2 Test is Back for CE2 through CM2 Students

We are excited to announce that AIS is once again offering the DELF A2 language qualification for our students! The DELF (Diplôme d'études en langue française) is an official and internationally recognized qualification of linguistic proficiency in French. Students in CE2, CM1, and CM2 will be invited to qualify for this examination that will take place in March 2022. The registration fee of $145 covers the cost of exam materials, administration, supervision, and correction. Students will receive an official diploma issued through the French Ministry of Education and France Education International. Families in CE2, CM1, and CM2 should stay tuned for more info coming to your mailboxes soon! In the meanwhile, feel free to learn more about DELF on the France Education International website.


COVID Numbers Waning

We continue to closely monitor the health and biosecurity situation in our community. Despite a marked increase of cases in the weeks following the break, there has been a precipitous decline in the amount of reported cases and close contacts within our school community. Thank you for your continued vigilance and support of our health and safety protocols that have allowed us to keep the health situation in check and--most importantly--keep school open.


APH Vaccine Survey

With the anticipated approval of vaccines for children aged 6 months to 4 years old, Austin Public Health (APH) is seeking input from families that will help them organize vaccine distribution. This survey is now available in the following AIS community languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, and Vietnamese. To learn more about the survey in your language, please follow this link. APH wishes for us to transmit their thanks and gratitude for the time you take to share this important information with them.


Attendance & Health Notifications

If your student absences, tardies, for mid-day arrivals, or early pick-ups, thank you for emailing attendance@austinis.org, reception@austinis.org AND your teaching team email so they are aware of any attendance related issues.

Medical records or updates may be sent to healthalert@austinis.org and any relevant staff. Vaccine records should be sent to records@austinis.org so that their children can be exempted from any quarantines in the event of close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.


Save the dates

Mark these important upcoming dates on your calendars.

  • 1/31 MAP Assessments Begin
  • 2/1 February PTO Meeting
  • 2/3 PTO Virtual Coffee
  • 2/5 New Year Open House
  • 2/7 Spirit Night @ Modern Market
  • 2/7 - 2/11 Gala Wine Collection
  • 2/8 100th Day of School
  • 2/14 Class Valentine's Celebrations
  • 2/18 Bourse Applications Due
  • 3/3 HoS Virtual Coffee
  • 3/4 Spirit Night at Playland Skate Center
  • 3/11 Staff In-Service/No School
  • 3/14-3/25 Spring Break
  • 3/21-3/25 Spring Break Camp
  • 3/31 March Board Meeting
  • 4/2 11th Annual Gala