Pony Express

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER OF O. HENRY MIDDLE SCHOOL

Week of October 5-11

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IN THIS ISSUE

  • Monday's ACES will be Asynchronous for remote learners.
  • Reopening Plans- October 5th- Reminders
  • Choices for Families- learning preferences survey can be updated
  • Creating Outdoor Learning Spaces-NEW
  • Athletics- Volleyball and Football practice starts Monday, October 5th
  • Counselor Corner- NEW- Great Resources on the Blend Page
  • Mustang Campus Advisory Council- next meeting Wednesday, October 14
  • PTA- Wellness Speakers, Membership and Spirit Shop
  • AISD Helpful Resources--October 12th is now a school day, November 3rd is now a student holiday
  • AISD Trustee Candidate Forum
  • FREE COVID TESTING, COVID-19 Dashboard
  • Campus Bell Schedule

ACES on Monday, October 5th will be Asynchronous

ACES Schedule this week:

Monday, 10/5: Asynchronous for remote learnings, Face-to-Face for on-campus learners

Tuesday, 10/6: Asynchronous

Wednesday, 10/7: Synchronous

Thursday, 10/8: Asynchronous

Friday, 10/9: Synchronous

Re-opening Plans for In-person Learning Start October 5th


If your student is heading to campus this next week or soon here are a few helpful reminders:


  • They must download the AISD COVID Self-Screening App for Apple or Android (aisd app) and have it populated before they enter the door. They will need to show it to HSS monitors either by the busses, in their cars, or near the front door. We will also be able to ask the COVID questions if a student has not prescreened.
  • Masks must be worn at all times and they might want to bring a back-up one just in case. We will have extras should the mask they are wearing become wet or dirty.
  • Bring their school-issued Chromebook and charger to class each day. Students will be transporting these back and forth each day.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle with their name on it. Drinking fountains will not be available but the refill stations will.
  • All students will have free Breakfast and Lunch provided. Students can bring their own lunch if they wish but there will be no microwaves. We cannot accept deliveries.
  • Have them bring a book to read of something to entertain themselves offline. We encourage reading, drawing, and puzzling. Anything to keep them engaged and occupied that doesn’t require a screen.
  • Have them bring some headphones if they have their own pair. Since everyone in the room will be in different classes, it will be easier to focus with headphones.
  • Band and Orchestra: At this time students should keep all musical instruments at home. Students will be able to participate in class with other learning materials and practice their instruments at home as they would do as part of a regular practice routine. We will keep you updated on when the students should bring their instruments to school as we continue to reopen the school.

Choices for Families

As we approach the transition to on-campus learning, we wanted to assure families they will have the flexibility to change their choices throughout the school year.


Both remote off-campus learning and on-campus learning will be offered for the 2020-21 school year, for as long as health conditions allow. After the phase-in period, if a family decides to transition from remote off-campus learning to on-campus learning, they must first communicate with their campus. The request will be accommodated as soon as possible, but not to exceed five school days.

If a family decides to transition from on-campus to remote off-campus learning; a transition period will not be required after parents/guardians communicate their decision with their campus. All teaching and learning models will be adjusted as needed based on guidance from federal, state and local governing bodies and local health conditions.


You can communicate your learning preferences using this Google form: Face to Face Learning. It will send us an email and we will be able to update your choices.

Creating Outdoor Learning Spaces

OHMS PTA is sponsoring setting up 8-10 outdoor learning spaces. We thank them for their generous gift.


We are still in need of a few items for both our classrooms and outdoor spaces:

  • Clorox wipes or any alcohol wipes.***
  • Used or new towels, blankets, or yoga mats (for covering hay bales and students to use while sitting outside for lunch.
  • Used or new camping or sports chairs, small wooden or plastic stools
  • Used or new picnic tables
  • Plexiglass for indoor learning spaces.


We are also looking for connections to community members:

  • fencing material
  • stone material
  • permanent shade covering
  • greenhouses


Email Marlo Malott at marlo.malott@austinisd.org or call 512-414-7100 for more information on how to support the OHMS campus and PTA support for creating more outdoor learning spaces.

ATHLETICS UPDATES

7th and 8th Grade Girls Volleyball

  • All students who have their athletics’ forms are welcome to come up to play volleyball beginning Monday, October 5th. If you have not been cleared yet, please bring what you’re missing. Only girls who have all forms turned in will be able to practice.
  • Volleyball will be held outside on the tennis courts. Our season is only 2 weeks long - October 5th to October 15th. The district is not modifying the schedule due to the late start. Parents are not allowed on campus and we will not be doing evening games.
  • Please drop off students along Norwalk Lane (outside of tennis courts) and wait in your vehicle.
  • Students should have AISD mobile app on their phone with all questions answered prior to arrival so it has a green checkmark on it. This will help with streamlining our check-ins.
  • Students will be temperature checked by the coaching staff. Once cleared, students will give parents the okay to leave (you are welcome to watch/wait from your car but no adults are allowed on campus).
  • Practices will be in the mornings. We will begin check-in at 7:00 am and practice will end at 7:55 am. All students who will be learning virtually at home will need to be picked up no later than 8:00 am.
  • If needed, students should be picked up earlier in order to make it home in time for our 8:25 am ACES start time.

Practice times:

7th grade: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 7:00 - 7:55 a.m.

8th grade: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 4-5 p.m.


What athletes will need each day:


  • You will need a facemask or gaiter each day for practice. Students will be required to wear their mask throughout the practices.
  • A water bottle that will be sufficient for the duration of practice. There will be no water fountain to use.
  • Athletic clothes and knee pads preferred but not required.

ALL girls are welcome! Due to the short season, there will not be tryouts. During practice, we will warm-up, teach the girls basic skills, engage in a variety of drills, and scrimmage.

Our number one goal is to keep your daughter safe and to have fun! We will be sanitizing the balls after each practice. The coaches will constantly reinforce social distancing and make sure that the girls are wearing a mask.

Thank you for your support during these unique times!

7th Grade Boys Football

All students who have all physical forms turned in BEFORE Friday, October 2nd and would like to come up for some cardio conditioning and some football drills and activities are welcome to come up beginning Monday, October 5th.


  1. FOOTBALL--Please drop off students along Exposition Blvd and parents please wait in your vehicle.

  2. Students should have an AISD mobile app on their phone, click on the COVID-19 Screen & Go at the top and answer all questions prior to arrival so it has a green checkmark on it. This will help with streamlining our check-ins.

  3. Students will be temperature checked by the coaching staff. Once cleared, students will give parents the okay to leave (no watching practices from on campus, thank you in advance).



7th Football Practice times:

7th grade: Monday-Thursday 6:45 am - 8 am

8th grade: Monday-Thursday 3:45 pm - 5 pm


Football Practice---What each athlete will need each day:

  1. You will need a facemask or gaiter each day for practice. Students will be required to wear throughout the practices and/or games.

  2. A water bottle that will be sufficient for the duration of practice. There will be no water fountain to use.

  3. Athletic clothes and cleats preferred but not required.



• Medical History Participation Questionnaire (parent and student signature needed)

• Physical Examination Form

Rank One Online Forms (both the UIL forms and Contact Info portions)

2020 AISD Athletics COVID Waiver

Emergency Student Information Card

Counselor Corner

Counselor's Blend Page- Check it out!

We hope you will take some time to check out the Counselor's Blend Page! We have added a few tiles to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 - Oct. 15) and American Indian Heritage Day in Texas (Sept. 25). There will be trivia, fun facts, and even an "at home" art activity you can do as a family! There are also resources for parents, distance learning tips, and fun things to try at home.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Tuesday, September 15th kicked off the month-long celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. O. Henry is excited to celebrate the people, cultures, food, literature, and more with our students and families. There are so many great activities and resources for our students this month.


Our librarian, Ms. Cross will spotlight some books with Hispanic characters and/or authors on the Library Blend page. The Counseling Blend page will also be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with trivia, fun facts, and even an "at home" art activity by our Wellness Counselor, Ms. Montemayor.


Students will also have the opportunity to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month and some of our teachers with ACES lessons and activities. Be on the lookout and join us in the celebration!

Mustang Campus Advisory Council

Our next CAC meeting will be this Wednesday, October 14th 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 Jennifer Boltz at jennifer.boltz@austinisd.org or Sharon Albrecht at salbrecht78703@yahoo.com for meeting Zoom details.


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.

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O. Henry PTA News

Tuesday, October 20th

12 pm (Zoom Link to be sent at later date)


Wanda Montemayor (OHMS Wellness Counselor) and Sherri Patton-Grubb (Austin High Wellness Counselor) will be presenting Quaran-Teens: How to help our teens adjust to digital learning and address their emotional needs. Please join us!


WELCOME!

The OHMS PTA’s goal is to provide opportunities for parents, teachers, students, and the general community to GET CONNECTED.

Everyone benefits when schools and families work together to support learning and we strive to create a welcoming and fun atmosphere for parents to be involved at our school.

Visit ohenrypta.org today to:

  • Check out the PTA Calendar, Programs & Events

  • Donate to O. Henry’s biggest fundraiser—Round-Up

  • Purchase PTA Memberships

  • Learn about Round-Up and Become a Sponsor---Every Dollar Counts!

  • Link your Randall’s Card to OHMS and Use AmazonSmile

  • View O. Henry Spirit Wear – New Merchandise coming soon!

JOIN THE PTA

Your membership in the PTA helps support the many valuable programs and activities that occur throughout the year at OHMS. We are firmly committed to every child’s wellbeing and to improving school performance. Please help support our efforts and join today!


Each membership includes access to the Texas PTA and National PTA, valuable teaching and parenting resources, and PTA member discounts to well-known retailers and service providers. Visit www.txpta.org and www.pta.org for more information.


CLICK TO JOIN O. HENRY PTA NOW!

Deadline for membership is November 2, 2020. Don’t delay – join today!

Thank You

  • Emily Mika for organizing and setting up the PTA Pop-Up Shop on Saturday.
  • All of the families that came out and showed their support by purchasing OMHS spirit wear.
  • Our wonderful parent and student volunteers that helped run the pop-up shop: Michele Murphy, Margaret Wallace, Lauren Whelan, Audrey Chau, Elli Patterson and Kathleen Wallace.
  • Brannon Smith for beautifying our school with new plants and pots for the front entrance.

A Special Thanks to Our New Members


Show your support and join the O. Henry PTA!

https://ohenrypta.org/join-us/

THANK YOU to these members as of October 3rd

Glenn Chase, Nikki McCormick, Emily Mika, Dale Mika, Sherrill Deering, Downs Deering, Hilary Hunt, Randi Bell, Sandra Frellsen, Rasha Madkour, Brannon Smith, Megan Hudgeons, Brandon Hudgeons, Jessica Manning-Acebo, Lynn Boswell, Caron Hutchison, Matthew Hutchison, Ashley Stiegler,Laura Ihrig, Amy Salinas, Frank Salinas, Charity Poage, Kristen Day, Aaron Day, Chris Napierkowski, Megan Turnas, Tammy Cochran, Mary Miles Temple, Kimberly McLaren, Louis Ramos, Randi Shade, Tara Reid, Jim Reid, Jenny Holland, Kaylea Babel, Kelly Stouse, Jessica Ewing, Ann Pizer, Barry Stone, Gloria Williamson, Laura Pigford, Jennifer Johnson, Becky Ohls, Ali Clare, Sam Clare, Lauren Whelan, Matt Whelan, Nancy Nesbitt, Liz McGuire, Michele Murphy, Karen Cotter, Rhoda Brimberry, Michelle Reichenburg, Jason Reichenburg, Catherine Belivaeu, Kelly Shook, Sommer Maxwell, Bobbi Bulmer, Cortney Yeasterwood, Melanie Miller, Jeff Miller, Sylvia Olivier,Christine Ritter, Veronica Macon, Susan Horridge, David Horridge, Elise Bridges, Stephen Walls, Denny Biggs, Jennifer Banda, Leigh Calandruccio, Debbie Collins, Tim Collins, Laurie Worsham,Bill Worsham, Roxanne Jones, Carlie Brandt, Tammy Munoz, Ned Munoz, Jennifer Davis, CleeUpchurch, Leslie Blanton, Elena McGinnis, Kristin Galindo, Christine Yonge, Katie Mastovich, Stefan Mastovich, Rebecca Stokes, Rob Stokes, Jamie Turner, Thomas Turner, Pace Lossen, Karen Kegg, Kristen Jaros, Delaine Teeple, Bryan Teeple, Wendy Lary, Carly Edgar, Christina Biven, David Biven, Rachel Elder, Stephanie Teague, Michelle Nguyen, Jennifer Morey, Rachel Noffke, Andrea Scarborough, Sarah Spreitzer McCalla, Vera Muniz, Laura Van slyke, Scott Van slyke, Laura Scott, Kate Fyda, Patti Hixon, Ami Wallace, Shannon Grethel, Erich Grethel, Jessica Scott, Dianne Bangle, Jenny Mason, Melissa Abel, Marie Evans, Meetesh Karia, Barbara Karia-Marton, Melissa Ramirez, Chris Sileo, Caroline Kazmierski, Kim McKnight, Courtney Elliott, Barbara Bartlett, Suzie Wright, Nichole Henderson, Ross Henderson, Bonnie Pham, Deanna Brittain, Martha Mangum, Matthew Mangum, Cassandra Medrano, Regan Lenehan



And THANK YOU to these OHMS staff members for joining the PTA!

Cami Fillpot, Marlo Malott, Sharon Stockbauer, Michael Shackelford, Mary Hopkins, Duane Devereaux, Marlinn Conway, Cristina Torres, Casi Cook, Dell Mann, Tim Tierney, Jennifer Boltz, Amy Turner, Amanda Jo Strassburg, Chris Rueter, Luke Borders, Wanda Montemayor, Heidi Shellhorn, Jenna Justice, Wes Justice, Dawn Davis

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OHMS Spirit Shop

O. Henry PTA Spirit Shop

Click on this link! https://ohenry-middle-school-pta.square.site/

You may also find the link on the PTA website under "Market".


HOODIES, LONG SLEEVE, SOFT STYLE SHORT SLEEVE, MASKS

ALL PROCEEDS GO DIRECTLY TO THE PTA


NEW DESIGNS ARE HERE!

Looking for a great deal? The 2019 designs are available, now in more sizes! $7.00 each. Receive a FREE OHMS bumper sticker with all orders in September and October. All items can be shipped to your home, or you may pick up your items from a front porch in the Bryker Woods area. Email ohmsspiritshop@gmail.com with any questions

AISD and Middle School Resources

October 12 is a now a school day, November 3 is now a Student Holiday

Nov. 3 Student Holiday

On Monday night, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees approved an update to the 2020-21 school year calendar which changes the Oct. 12 student holiday to Election Day, Nov. 3.

This change was made possible by moving the professional development day, previously scheduled for Monday, Oct. 12, to Tuesday, Nov. 3, federally recognized as Election Day.

Please plan to be in attendance (whether in person or remote) on Oct. 12, and plan to keep your child home Nov. 3. This change will not affect the number of instructional days or the daily instructional time for your child.

Campuses within AISD have traditionally been used as polling sites on this day, increasing the number of people on and around our schools and limiting the use of the school building by students and staff. The student holiday will decrease the number of people on campuses, encourage a lower capacity for a campus and allow for greater social distancing for voters to assist in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Please review the updated Austin ISD 2020-21 school year calendar.

Friendly Reminders

FREE COVID Testing, COVID-19 Dashboard

Free COVID-19 Testing Available in Austin-Travis County


Free testing available for those who:


  • have COVID-19-related symptoms
  • have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • have traveled outside of Austin/Travis County in the last 14 days


Steps:


  1. Click on “take a self-assessment” at: https://www.austintexas.gov/covid-testinfo
  2. If this is your first time to request a test through Austin Public Health (APH), you will have to create an account through the APH website in order to take the assessment. You will see the following:
  3. After you have created and verified your account, you will click on “schedule a test.”
  4. Complete all the information requested to determine if a COVID-19 test is recommended.
  5. If a COVID-19 test is recommended, you will be prompted to enter your zip-code/address to schedule COVID-19 testing at a testing site near you.



To view FREE testing sites provided by APH, go to: Free APH Testing Sites


Find COVID-Related Resources here: https://www.austintexas.gov/department/covid-19-information/covid-19-reso urces


Austin ISD is committed to sharing information about COVID-19 with our staff and community. The Austin ISD COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated by noon each Tuesday, starting the week of Sept. 21. All lab-confirmed positive cases on campuses will be communicated directly to the campus community. Individuals who may have been exposed will be contacted directly and provided information on the next steps, including a quarantine timeline if needed.

AISD District 5 Trustee Candidate Zoom Forum

AISD District 5 Trustee Candidate Zoom Forum

Join families from Austin High Vertical Team schools to virtually meet the 3 candidates running to fill the District 5 Trustee spot on the AISD Board on Tuesday, October 6 from 7-8 pm.

Submit a question before the forum, or just join the Zoom webinar on the 6th to learn a little bit about Lynn Boswell, Jennifer Littlefield, and Piper Stege Nelson.



Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87215601038?pwd=Wmt0RlJqbnVMenR5MWppdWNyRVJaQT09

Passcode: 523039

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