All Around Allen

A monthly newsletter for the Allen ISD community

December 2021

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COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures for 2022

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As we enter the cold and flu season and continue to monitor COVID-19, we wanted to provide you with an update on our district health and safety protocols.


Allen ISD thanks all students, families, and staff for following the safety and mitigation strategies that have been in place since the beginning of the school year. Through these measures, Allen ISD has been able to keep all its campuses and individual classrooms open for learning. The district will continue its enhanced health and safety protocols when we return from the holiday break, which include:


COVID Dashboard


At the beginning of the school year, some parents requested that Allen ISD maintain an online dashboard through the end of December (up until the point when all school-age children had the opportunity to receive a full vaccine). Although publishing a dashboard of active COVID cases is not required by state or federal guidelines, Allen ISD will continue to update its daily dashboard to support students, families, and staff. The dashboard is available at: https://bit.ly/3IiLXQE.


Notification Procedures Related to COVID-19


Allen ISD will continue to send notifications to all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a classroom or extracurricular or after-school program cohort if lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported on campus. The notifications vary by grade level, and an explanation of when the notifications are sent and who receives them is located in the Health and Safety Measures document (linked at the bottom of this article).


COVID-19 Absences


Allen ISD will continue its practice of identifying absences due to lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive cases and close-contact quarantine as "excused."


Face Coverings


Masks and face coverings will remain optional for students, staff, and visitors during the spring semester.


Sanitation and Cleaning Protocols


Allen ISD will continue its enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, which include, but are not limited to:


  • Daily disinfection of campus and district facilities, including an emphasis on high touch surfaces.
  • Classrooms that have had an individual with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 will receive enhanced disinfection per industry standards.
  • Hand sanitizer provided in each classroom, entrances, and throughout common spaces.
  • HVAC upgrades to support indoor air quality.
  • Sanitizing and handwashing practices in all areas of the kitchen and serving area.
  • All school buses will have hand sanitizer dispensers located in the stairwells for use when loading/unloading, and all buses will be sanitized and wiped down daily.


Health Screenings


Staff, students, and visitors are asked to please continue monitoring their daily health conditions, and please do not send children to school if they exhibit symptoms of infectious disease.


Full List of Health and Safety Measures


To view the comprehensive Health and Safety Measures document for the 2021-2022 school year, please visit https://bit.ly/HealthAndSafety2122.

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News & Notes from the School Board Meeting

The Allen ISD Board of Trustees held its regular board meeting on Nov. 29 at the AISD Professional Learning and Auxiliary Services (PLAS) building. Below is an overview of the meeting:


Susan Oligner Appointed to Place 2 on Board


The Allen ISD Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Susan Olinger to fill the vacant Place 2 seat. Olinger has indicated that she will not run for office, therefore, the seat will be open to community members who wish to run for office during the May 2022 election. Olinger will be sworn in at the Dec. 13 Board meeting.


Olinger previously served on the Board of Trustees from 2012-2018. While on the Board, she served as the Board Vice President.


“The Board of Trustees greatly appreciates Susan’s willingness to support Allen ISD until the next election cycle,” said Amy Gnadt, Allen ISD Board of Trustees President. “Susan’s previous experience as a Trustee will provide a seamless transition for the Board until a new community member is elected in May of 2022.”


The window to file for election for the Board of Trustees opens on Jan. 19, 2022, and closes on Feb. 18, 2022. Election Day is May 7, 2022.


Board Updates Policy on Public Participation at Board Meetings


The Board of Trustees approved an update to policy BED (LOCAL) in order to be more intentional and add clarity and transparency to the public participation portion of Board meetings. A majority of the updates in this policy were already in place in Allen ISD, but have now been clarified in policy. A few of the updates include:


  • Definitions of Public Testimony and Public Comment: Public Testimony means a person who wishes to comment regarding an item on the agenda posted with notice of any open meeting of the Board. Public Comment means a person who wishes to comment on matter related to the District’s business other than Public Testimony.
  • Public Testimony (related to an agenda item) can occur at any open meeting of the Board. Public Comment (unrelated to an agenda item) shall only occur at the Board's regular monthly meetings.
  • Timing: Individuals who wish to address the Board may have a maximum of three minutes to do so, or six minutes if translation services are required. The presiding officer of the Board may make adjustments to the timing for effective meeting management, however each person will be provided at least one minute to make their address to the Board.
  • Registration: Individuals who wish to address the Board must turn in a registration card to the Chief Communications Officer no later than 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Registration cards will be available at the meeting.


Board Approves Purchase of Technology Backup System


The Board approved the purchase of a technology backup system using funds from Proposition A of the 2020 bond election. The Cohesity Back Up and Disaster Recovery Solution is an essential component of the cybersecurity framework that Allen ISD has planned to implement this year. The solution will significantly harden the district technology infrastructure defenses by effectively adding an important layer of protection for local systems. The total expenditure for the system is $229,400.


Upcoming Meetings


The Board of Trustees will meet again on the following schedule:


  • Regular Meeting: Dec. 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the PLAS Building
  • Workshop Meeting: Jan 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the PLAS Building
  • Regular Meeting: Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the PLAS Building
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Campus Corner - Allen High School Participates in Inaugural Eagle Give Day

Allen High School: Eagle Give Day

Allen High School launched its inaugural campus-wide Eagle Give Day on Friday, November 19, 2021. All Allen High School students had the opportunity to use one of their class periods to participate in a service opportunity and provide donations to support their community.


Service projects included opportunities to write letters to service men and women, organize toiletries for ACO, make sandwiches for the homeless and create mindfulness posters for Allen ISD elementary schools.


A quick summary of the made/donated items includes:


  • 3 Full-Size Plarned Mattresses Created
  • 125 Pet Toys & Pet Beds Made for Allen Animal Shelter
  • 134 Encouraging Posters Designed for AHS Elementaries
  • 250 Letters Written to Troops
  • 600 Busy Bags Created for Children in the Hospital
  • 1,000 Lunch Bags Decorated for the Homeless
  • 4,000 Pom-Poms Prepped for Art Installation at Allen Library
  • 9,000 Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches Made for the Homeless
  • 14,466 Items Donated to Allen Community Outreach


Eagle Give Day was the last day in the ongoing Donation Wars that took place on Allen High School’s campus as a competition between the classes of 2022, 2023 and 2024 to see who could donate the highest number of toiletries, peanut butter, jelly, ziploc bags and plastic grocery bags.


The total summary for the Donation Wars includes:


  • 4,555 items donated by Seniors
  • 3,179 items donated by Juniors
  • 2,246 items donated by Sophomores
  • 4,486 items donated by Staff


“As we enter a season of thanksgiving, we wanted to allow our students the opportunity to give back to our community,” said Matt Russell, Allen High School Principal. “We have great partnerships with local charities and by dedicating a whole day to service, we can make a huge impact on the day-to-day operations of these non-profits. Our student body has rallied around this project and are excited to send their donations back into the community and make a difference to our neighbors this holiday season.”

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Allen ISD Announces Plan to Preserve Extracurricular Facilities

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Beginning on January 3, 2022, Allen ISD will restrict access to its tennis courts and track and field facilities for students during school-related activities. The decision is being made to prolong the lifespan of its extracurricular competition surfaces, as the proposed repair and replacement projects at these facilities have been unsuccessful in past bond propositions.


“Allen ISD strives to serve as a community partner and open these facilities to all taxpayers, but at the end of the day our students will always come first,” said Deputy Superintendent Daniel Pitcock. “Without the passage of a bond election, we unfortunately do not have the capacity for large-scale capital repairs that are needed at our tracks, fields, and tennis courts. Therefore, we must ensure that we maximize the existing facilities for our students.”


The district plans to address critical areas of damage and will perform basic patch-and-repair maintenance where necessary. These repairs, however, will not address the long-term needs of the facilities.


The following facilities will be available for students during school-related activities only, beginning on January 3:


• Allen High School Tennis Complex

• Allen High School Track and Field Stadium (located at Greenville and Rivercrest)


Outside organizations may continue to rent the Track and Field Stadium. Renting and leasing can assist Allen ISD in funding small repairs, but the revenue is not substantial enough to cover large-scale capital projects. For more information, please visit Allen ISD’s Facility Rental webpage at www.allenisd.org/facilityrental.


The district will continue to allow public access to its fenced-in playground areas at its elementary schools following 5:30 p.m. on weeknights and all day on the weekend. The playgrounds are closed to the public during the school day and during after-school care hours.

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SOAR Magazine is Back!

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SOAR Magazine, the Allen ISD bi-annual publication, is back! The Fall issue is live and features highlights from our alumni, a partnership between the STEAM center and the Theatre Department, and a chance to watch Mrs. Lois Lindsey teach a lesson by scanning a QR code.


https://issuu.com/allenisdcommunications/docs/soarmagazinefall21

Special Thanks to our SOAR Magazine District Supporters

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This Thursday: Allen ISD Board Academy

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Are you interested in learning more about serving on the Allen ISD Board of Trustees? The annual Allen ISD Board Academy is designed for anyone considering public service on the Board of Trustees as well as those that would like to learn more about local school district governance.


School Board members will explain the roles and responsibilities of serving on the Board, review the state-required training requirements, and discuss the difference between Board oversight and day-to-day operations of the district. Information will also be shared on the guidelines, logistics, and timelines to run for a Board seat.


The 2021 AISD Board Academy will be held on Thursday, Dec. 9 from 4-6 p.m. at the Professional Learning and Auxiliary Services building (610 E. Bethany Dr., Allen, TX 75002). Registration is required and is available now at https://forms.gle/dbMHgSAsKpPhq3Ym7.

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Finance Department Wins Budget Excellence Award

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Allen Independent School District was presented with the Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) from the Association of School Business Officials International for the 2021-2022 budget year. The MBA is given to school districts that display excellence in the preparation and issuance of their budgets.


“Allen ISD’s Finance Department strives to present budgetary and financial information in a way that is transparent and easily accessible to our community, and this award confirms that goal,” Superintendent Dr. Robin Bullock said. “I am proud of the Finance Department for being good stewards of our taxpayers’ money and their commitment to fiscal integrity.”


Allen has participated in the MBA application process for 17 years. By participating in the program, districts demonstrate a commitment to upholding nationally recognized budget presentation standards.


Participants submit their applications and budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA Criteria Checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents. Districts that successfully demonstrate they have met the necessary program requirements may earn the MBA.
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Ereckson Student Places 1st in North Texas Poetry Competition

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12-year-old Aidan Morris, a student at Ereckson, was awarded first place in the 2nd Annual NTPA Invitation Theatre and Speech Tournament on Nov. 6 in Plano Texas. The competition was open to public, private, individual, and homeschool students currently in grades 6-8 in the North Texas region.


Aidan is a 7th grader at Ereckson Middle School who attended Mary Evans Elementary School from third through sixth grade. He is a native of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, and moved to Allen in 2018 with his family. He is a member of the Ereckson Orchestra where he plays the cello, and a member of the Environmental Club. In 2020 he represented Evans Elementary at the District's UIL Spelling Competition and placed 2nd Overall for 5th Graders in the Allen ISD. He was also a member of the 2020 Allen ISD Honor Choir.


Although Aidan registered as an independent participant, there are two Allen ISD teachers that he would love to recognize for the impact that they have had on his education and development.


He would love to recognize his English teacher Mrs. Ondria Gadd who teaches him Advanced English at Ereckson. She is a phenomenal teacher who fuels his passion for the written and spoken word. Aidan would also love to recognize his fourth grade English Language Arts teacher Mrs. Sandra Schneider at Evans Elementary who has left an indelible mark on him and made his dream of meeting one of his favorite authors Jeff Kinney come true.

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Calling All Students! The Eagle Minute Video Returns

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The Allen ISD Communication department is looking for opportunities to highlight our exceptional students, but we need your assistance! We are looking for new nominations for the Eagle Minute video series. The videos will be approximately two minutes in length.


Can you help us identify unique students who excel in different areas, either inside or outside of the classroom? Stories can focus on academics, community service, or extracurricular – anything unique and interesting.


Examples could include:


· A student who spends his free time tutoring students with special needs

· A student who has been recognized for a unique skill, like equestrian training or skateboarding

· A student who has created/coded her own video game

· A student who has won awards in the arts, like photography or music


If you know of an interesting student that would be a great subject for our video series, please submit the student’s name, grade level, and some background information on why they might make a good subject. We plan to have this be an ongoing series, so feel free to submit multiple students.


Nominate a student now at: The Eagle Minute Submission Form

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Public Viewing of State Adopted Materials Being Considered for Prekindergarten

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The State Board of Education (SBOE) uses a proclamation to call for new instructional materials. The proclamation identifies the subject areas scheduled for review. Part of Proclamation 2021 includes the adoption of Prekindergarten instructional materials in English and Spanish.


The Allen Independent School District community will have the opportunity to review the Prekindergarten instructional materials in English and Spanish being considered for adoption. The materials will be available for review at the Allen ISD Administration Building, 612 E. Bethany Dr., Allen, Texas 75002, on December 6-10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


A review of instructional materials will also be available for physical education and health education in grades K-12 during the Spring of 2022. Details on the time and location for the material review for each of these content areas will be posted on the Allen ISD website at a later date.

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Learn about the Transitions Program in Latest Podcast Episode

Are you caught up on the Allen Voices Podcast? Each month, Allen ISD releases a new episode that focuses on telling the stories of the district that promote student opportunities and learning.


The November episode is focused on the Transitions Program through the Special Services Department and features a program-specific highlight on how we help to prepare the students in Special Services for their next steps after graduating from Allen ISD.


Allen Voices can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever you prefer to download audio content. Episodes can also be streamed through our district website: Allen Voices

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Allen Alumni: We Want to Hear from You!

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Over the past 100+ years, we have had some incredible students graduate from Allen ISD. We want to know what some of our former Allen Eagles are doing these days.


Are you, or someone you know, a graduate of Allen High School? Maybe you have recently been named to the advisory board for a charity, or perhaps you finished your doctoral degree. We want to celebrate you!


Please fill out the linked google form for a chance to be featured by the Communications Department in a future publication.


https://forms.gle/THkHmvCxmAQixECP6

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Allen ISD Celebrates Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2021
Allen ISD celebrated our servicemen and women in our district during the week of Nov. 9- 13 in honor of Veterans Day. We are thankful for our community and appreciate each of our campuses finding unique and special ways to celebrate our Veterans.
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Looking to Join the Allen ISD Family? We're Hiring!

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Allen ISD still has a few positions that we are trying to fill for the 2021-2022 school year. Come join our district and make a positive impact in our students' lives every day. We are actively looking for applicants in the following positions:


  • Crossing Guards
  • Substitute Teachers
  • Kids Club Staff
  • Student Nutrition
  • Transportation



To apply for one of these roles, and to view open positions at any time, please visit our human resources website: https://www.allenisd.org/Page/209

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Upcoming Events in Allen ISD

District Events:

  • Dec. 9: Allen ISD Board Academy (Professional Learning and Auxiliary Services Facility) 4 p.m.
  • Dec. 9: Orchestra: AHS/LFC Winter Concert (LFC Auditorium) 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 10: Ereckson Middle School 6th Grade Choir (Villages of Fairview) 9:30 a.m.
  • Dec. 13: AHS Symphonic Midwest Sendoff Concert (AHS PAC) 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 13: Curtis Middle School 6th Grade Choir Winter Concert (LFC Auditorium) 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 13: Board of Trustees Regular Meeting (PLAS Building) 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 14: Elementary Choir Cluster Winter Concert (AHS PAC) 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 17: Student Early Release
  • Dec. 20 – Jan. 4: Winter Break



Athletic Schedules:

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