Eagle Update: August 14, 2020

Barton Hills Elementary

Hello BHE Families:

This past week has been busy for our district. Our AISD Board of Trustees officially welcomed Dr. Stephanie Elizalde to Austin ISD as the new Superintendent and Austin ISD released a comprehensive overview of the reopening plans. I encourage you to review the document that addresses specific areas and I've highlighted some in the sections below.

With so much information coming out, here is an outline of some basic need-to-know information about the start of school:

  • The first day of school is now Sept. 8.
  • The first four weeks, from Sept. 8 to Oct. 5, will be remote. If your student needs access to technology, please contact us at 512-414-2013 as soon as possible.
  • The next four weeks, from Oct. 5 to Oct. 30, will be a phase-in period. Families will choose if they prefer on-campus or virtual learning for this period and families who prefer on-campus learning will be phased in. We will continue to base our campus and district operations on the advice of health authorities. It is important to note: even students who choose on-campus instruction may have some days where they are still doing remote learning during this period.
  • Families will choose if they prefer on-campus or remote instruction within two weeks of returning to campuses Oct. 5 via a form that will be sent to your email.
  • While we will send out homeroom classroom assignments the week of September 1st, it is important to note that based on family choices about on-campus or remote instruction there will be some shifting classroom placements and likely teacher sharing of students.
  • Austin ISD families will be able to choose to go back to remote learning based on their individual comfort level.

Because the beginning of the year has been pushed back until September 8th, we're moving the dates for the beginning of year. Events are in the Upcoming Dates section below. Please mark your calendars with the new dates - especially the last student 19-20 Student Belongings pick up on August 21st. Any student materials left after this date are subject to disposal! We simply do not have the space to store the amount of "stuff" that remains.

Finally, I'm sharing with you the DRAFT schedules that we're creating for remote learning. Please keep in mind this is NOT the final schedule; we're still working on a few logistics. You can view the draft schedule immediately below this section. There are a few things to keep in mind as you review the draft schedule. During "Synchronous Learning" times, students will be engaging in lessons and activities with a teacher. While the block of time might be an hour, the time will be broken up into different activities and opportunities for breaks and/or breakout sessions. The idea behind a longer block is to minimize the need to log in and out of multiple zoom meetings. During the time labeled "Asynchronous Learning," when the majority of students will be engaged in self-paced learning opportunities, small groups of students will be scheduled for synchronous learning with a teacher. Prior to school starting, we'll send out a more detailed grade level schedule and throughout the remote learning period, families will get a weekly schedule with small group meeting times. Wednesdays' schedules will be different. Classes will have a short opening synchronous learning opportunity and then the remainder of the day will be asynchronous. This day will allow teachers additional times to meet with small groups, meet with individual students for progress monitoring, goal setting, and providing feedback to students.

Please continue to check for communication from AISD (austinisd.org/covid) and from me as we get closer to the beginning of the year. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

Upcoming Dates

August 21st - Final Student Belongings Pick up from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

September 2nd (at the latest) - Homeroom Welcome letters emailed to parents

September 2nd - 6:30 pm PTA Parent Support Series

September 3 - Drive By Hi (see times below)

AISD Reopening Plan - A few sections of interest

On Campus Safety Procedures

Since the release of the AISD Reopening plan, there have been some updated health and safety guidelines - particularly around the requirement of face masks for students. Please see the important points below:

  • All staff and students of all ages in the district will be required to wear face masks, including those ages 6 and younger. This change was made using information and advice from health officials. The CDC recommends all people 2 years of age and older wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis by doctor approval.
    • Individuals are encouraged to bring their own mask, but will be provided one if they are unable.
  • Screening will be required for all students, staff and visitors prior to arrival on campus and in order to access AISD grounds. This includes temperature checks and answering a series of questions.
    • COVID-19 Screen and Go through the AISD mobile app is available to students, staff and visitors. If an employee, student or visitor cannot access the AISD mobile app, in-person screening stations are available at each campus. All students, staff and visitors that don’t pre-screen will be screened on arrival.
  • Disinfection stations will be provided at every entry point. Sanitizing stations will be available in key locations throughout every campus. Each station will include disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, masks and gloves.
  • AISD’s goal is for students to remain 6 feet apart during the school day. To further prevent the spread of germs, all desks will be turned to face the same direction (rather than facing each other), or have students sit on only one side of tables, spaced apart to ensure distancing.
  • Signs will be put in classrooms to help remind students of social distancing. Marked entrances and exits will also be displayed throughout campuses.
  • If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you must stay home and contact your physician and supervisor/principal immediately.
  • There will be staging rooms that will be used by students who exhibit COVID-19-related symptom during the school day and need to wait to be picked up.

AISD Mobile App

Austin ISD is happy to announce the launch of our mobile app—a new way to stay connected.

The app will allow all AISD students, staff and families to receive notifications from the district and campuses for which they wish to subscribe.

Other helpful tools include a COVID-19 self-screening for users to complete before coming into contact with others or before leaving home for work or school.

The app allows for quick access to:

  • see the calendar for the current school year,
  • links to
    • Parent Cloud
    • Parent Self Serve
    • WheresTheBus
    • School Café,
    • the School Directory, and
    • the latest news.

Locate the free Austin ISD Mobile App in the digital store for your mobile device by searching for Austin ISD.

For questions concerning the new app, call 512–414–9187.

PK- 2nd Grade iPad Apps

Some parents have asked what Apps will potentially be loaded on the AISD offered iPads for PK - 2nd graders. Here is a list of potential apps that will be default Included on Student iPads.

  • ABC Mouse
  • Google Translate
  • Quizlet
  • Brainpop Junior
  • GoNoodle
  • ReadNaturally
  • Live Canvas (BLEND)
  • IXL
  • Seesaw
  • Class Chatter
  • Pix Kid J
  • amf Student (for iPad Seesaw Parent Epic management)
  • ShowMe
  • Google Chrome
  • Khan Academy Kids
  • ToDo math
  • Google Docs
  • Our Story
  • Zoom app
  • Google Drive
  • PBS Kids
  • Google Slides
  • PuppetPals HD


Our PTA is the best! Please check out the link for the latest PTA Newsletter below and sign up to receive them directly:


School Year Calendar

The AISD School Year Calendar has been updated to reflect the new start date of September 8th and additional changes to staff development days.
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