AIS Friday Flash

Friday, August 16, 2019

Big picture

Welcome from the Head of School

¡Hola a todos ! C’est la rentrée ! I hope that all families – returning and new – had a fantastic first week of school. It is always fun to meet new community members and to hear about summer adventures of those who have returned after a few months of relaxation, learning, and of course, a lot of fun! Our team has been hard at work over the summer months to prepare for this new school year and we’re so happy to have our young learners and leaders back on campus and in the classroom with us.

During our upcoming Back to School Night on August 29th, we will gather as a community to hear about some of the big strides we have made over the summer months, as well as what to expect during the 2019-2020 school year. First I will share with you updates about our work towards our strategic plan, including our new status as a fully-accredited independent school, enhancements to our facilities, updates to our community policies, and improvements to our academic programs. Our Principals, Ms. Emily and Ms. Audrey, will also share important information with you before you are invited to classrooms to hear from your child(ren)’s teachers.

At AIS, we are always working toward our vision of creating a world of “global citizens with strong interpersonal skills who will interact positively with people from all cultural backgrounds and adapt to ever-changing global conditions.” We are so excited to have you on this journey with us, and we look forward to a lot of engagement, growth, laughter, and fun in the months ahead! À bientôt !


Welcome to our Friday Flash

For new families, welcome to the first edition of the 2019-2020 Friday Flash. This newsletter is sent out weekly on Friday evenings and serves as an important communication tool for school events, updates, and other important information.

The Flash is sent to the email addresses listed under the correspondence section as submitted with your enrollment. You may update your contact email within ParentsWeb at any time. Please note, work and some other email providers may initially block the email or consider it spam. So, please check your email settings or perhaps provide a personal email to ensure receipt. For questions or assistance, you may email April. Happy Reading!


Update to Principal Roles

Over the past several years, we have worked to grow the structure of our Pedagogical Leadership Team in line with the growth of our evolving academic program. With the completion of the phased growth of our Middle School, we have updated the roles of our two principals, Ms. Audrey Talarico and Ms. Emily Hopkins. The updated titles and contact details for both principals are as follows:

  • Ms. Audrey Talarico
    Lower School Principal (PS through CE2)
    Director of French Academics
    Email: LSprincipal@austinis.org
  • Ms. Emily Hopkins
    Upper School Principal (CM1 through 4e)
    Director of English and Spanish Academics
    Email: USprincipal@austinis.org


Family Handbooks

Please make sure to read the 2019-2020 Family Handbook. It provides valuable school information. You may find it under ParentsWeb or download the Elementary Handbook here and the Middle School Handbook here. To access via Parents Web, login and access the left side menu. It is located under the "School" section and then under Resource Documents. A list of changes and updates from last year's Family Handbook will be shared at our Back to School Night on 8/29. All families must submit a signed handbook acknowledgment form by September 30th to reception along with other school forms due then.


School Schedules

Thanks to all our families for being timely and getting back into your routines so well this week! We have included the daily schedule and hours from the Family Handbook for your review and will provide more details at our Back to School Night.

School Hours

AIS opens at 7:15am and closes at 6:00pm.

Student Check-In & Check-Out

All families must check students in and out daily on the tablets at reception with individualized codes. For new families, stop by reception and we will assist you with codes and instructions.

Class Schedules

  • PS and MS classes start promptly at 8:45 am and pick-up is from 3:25-3:45 pm (Wednesday 2:05- 2:15 pm) in the classrooms. We recommend that students arrive by 8:30 am.
  • GS through CM2 classes start promptly at 8:15 am and pick-up is from 3:25-3:45 pm (Wednesday 2:05- 2:15 pm) in the classroom for GS and in the auditorium for CP-CM2. We recommend that students arrive at school by 8:00 am.
  • For Middle School, classes begin at 8:00 am and end at 3:30 pm. We recommend that students arrive at school by 7:50 am.

Students should be in their seats by the start times listed above, and thank you for arriving prior to allow for the transition to classrooms.

Traffic Flow

In order to ensure efficient arrival and departure procedures, traffic patterns are as follows:

  • Before 9 am, all traffic flows in one direction through the campus.
  • Cars must enter through the Coronet Lane entrance and exit onto Adelphi Lane.
  • At 9 am, the area under the portico is blocked off for the remainder of the school day (until 6 pm).
  • Cars may enter from either entrance direction and park in the east or west parking lots of school.

Thank you for being mindful of safety, for driving slowly, and staying aware of students and others in our parking lots. Please refer to other drop-off and pick-up instructions by grade on pages 20-21 of the Family Handbooks.

Afterschool Care (ASC)

Afterschool Care from is 3:45-6:00 each day for an additional charge. Please click here for additional information about cost. Afterschool Care will be automatically charged to your FACTS account. Students enrolled in an Afterschool Activity are not charged for Afterschool Care prior to the class and up to 15 minutes after the class. However, Afterschool Activity students will be charged the daily ASC rate if they are picked up later than the 15-minute grace period. On Wednesdays, Afterschool Care will be free of charge from 2:05pm-3:25 pm. After 3:25 pm, regular Afterschool Care charges will apply.


Hot Lunch Program

Be on the lookout for our hot lunch September menu soon. For more information about the program, you may contact our Business Manager, Ester.


Pizza Friday Program-Register by Mon, Aug. 19th

You may elect to register for the optional Pizza Friday program. Each Friday, parent volunteers serve cheese pizza to those registered participants. The first Pizza Friday will be August 23rd and is served each week the school is in session until the end of the year. Make sure to round out the Friday meals with a side of fruit or vegetables.

You may sign up by printing this form and dropping it off with your payment at the box in reception no later than Monday, August 19th. Make your payment to AIS PTO via check. We prefer checks for tracking purposes, but you may pay via credit card at New Parent's Night (8/22 from 5:30-7:00 pm.) Don't forget, the sign-up deadline for the year is Monday!


School Calendar Sync

We have input most of the dates for the 2019-2020 school year and events on our school website calendar under the school life section/school calendar page. Did you know you can sync all of these dates directly into your phone, ICAL, Google calendar, or Outlook calendar by clicking on the small calendar icon in the top right calendar? Some special event dates are subject to change and may be updated throughout the year.


New Parents Night-Thur., Aug 22nd, 5:30 - 7:00 pm

We are excited to welcome so many new families to our community. We know you probably have lots of questions! We want to get to know you and share the answers! Join us on Thursday, August 22nd as we introduce you to AIS. The PTO will be on hand as well as other members of the AIS community. Light refreshments will be served.


AIS Spirit Night-Mon., Aug 26, 4:00 - 8:00 pm

Join us for an AIS Spirit Night! Phil's Icehouse at 13265 US-183, Austin, TX 78750 (Lake Creek location) and the adjoining Amy's Icecream are hosting a Spirit Night for AIS. They will generously donate a portion of sales for all customers mentioning Austin International School between 4 - 8 pm at both storefronts (Phil's & Amy's). So come and get your grub on while mingling with other AIS families in support of our school.

The more guests we have, the more they will donate, so help us spread the word and invite your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Guests do not need to attend AIS to help -just mention the school at checkout. To help the restaurants prepare, thank you for RSVPing on our FB event page here. If you are not on Facebook, thank you for emailing April with your headcount.


Back to School Night-Thur., 8/29 6:00 - 8:00 pm

All families should plan on attending our Back to School Night on August 29th. We will give a short presentation in the auditorium, welcome new families, introduce you to members of our faculty and teams, and then parents may break off for classroom sessions. Teachers will provide an overview of the year ahead, discuss classroom needs and expectations, and how you can support your child(ren)'s learning at home. AIS will offer limited childcare with registration on a first-come basis in a future newsletter.


Fall Afterschool Programs-Register by Fri., Aug. 30th

AIS offers some amazing afterschool activities in French, Spanish, and English. Registration is open and available via your Parents Web Account until August 30th. To enroll your student(s) in a class, follow these steps:

  1. Login to your Parents Web account.
  2. Open up the Student Menu on the left side banner.
  3. Click on Course Request.
  4. And select the desired class(es) from the pull-down menus.
  5. When you have selected all your desired classes, scroll to the bottom and hit SAVE.

The deadline to sign up is August 30th, 2019 and the last day to change activities is August 30th, 2019. If you need to drop a class or update your class selection, please email our Afterschool Programs Coordinator, Jhino Medrano, and our Staff Accountant, Sandra Herrera. Payment will be processed through the FACTS/Renweb system and will be due on September 13th, 2019.


Volunteers & Room Parents Needed

We appreciate the support of our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and members of our parent community who give their time to support student learning and school events. You may find volunteer opportunities on our Signup.com 2019-2020 Volunteer page. We will add events and needs throughout the year. Current opportunities include our Bake Sale, Pizza Friday, and upcoming Book Fair in addition to class Room Parents. You may ask the PTO for more details at Back to School Night.

Room Parents help provide support to the class teachers, the school, and the PTO. Duties include organizing class parties with other parents in your classroom, disseminating reminders (from school updates found in the Friday Flash) to the other class parents, reinforcing school and PTO needs, and updating parents with other class information regularly. If you are interested, you may sign-up here or on the sign-up sheets at reception. This year, Theresa Pudenz, mom to MS student Liam, has volunteered to be our Room Parent Coordinator. Thanks Theresa! Be on the lookout for more information from her soon.

The PTO will also host a Room Parent Coffee on September 12th from 8:30 - 9:30 am to share more details about what it means to be a Room Parent and how you can help.


Save the Dates

Please save the date for these upcoming 2019-2020 school year events. More details to come.

  • 8/22 New Parents Night
  • 8/26 AIS Spirit Night at Phil's & Amy's Ice cream Lake Creek
  • 8/29 Back to School Night
  • 9/2 Labor Day-No School
  • 9/5 Coffee with the Head of School
  • 9/5 First AIS Board Mtg (revised date)
  • 9/12 Room Parent Coffee