Cougar Courier

Greetings from Dr. Garcia!

August 15, 2020

Hello, Cougars! Thank you for a great first week back. I appreciate your patience with technology as we begin the year with eLearning. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any concerns. We continue to troubleshoot and make adjustments along the way.

Our partial day schedule will continue August 17th-21st with a special focus on building relationships, getting to know scholars and teaching routines and expectations. Additionally, our kindergarten and French Immersion scholars will begin school on Monday, August 17th. Everyone will log on at 9:00 am Monday morning.

We will transition to a longer schedule beginning August 24th. We know parents have concerns about screen time so we are planning a variety of activities that scholars can do that give them a break from the Chromebook. Some of those activities will include the textbooks, novels and resources that will be available for pick up on Thursday and Friday this week. If you are unable to make those days, please arrange an alternative day to pick them up from the office.

While nothing can replace the joy, energy and smiles of in person learning, I have loved saying hi to scholars during their live meetings. We will continue to navigate different ways to build community and to keep the Cougar spirit alive.


Dr. Garcia

Textbook/Resource Pick-Up Days

We will be having textbooks/resource pick-up days on August 20th and 21st from 8:00-5:30 pm. Families will enter Door 18 and we are asking that families limit the number of people coming in to two. Please maintain social distancing and wear a mask.

Families with the last name A-M will come on August 20th (if you have a conflict with this day, you can come on the 21st).

Families with the last name N-Z will come on August 21st. (If you have a conflict with this day, you can come on the 20th).

Blast from the Past

Welcome to Mr. Castillo!

We are excited to welcome Mr. Ivan Castillo to Clay International Academy. He will be our Aspiring Leader.

My name is Ivan Castillo and I will be your Aspiring Leader for the academic year. As an Aspiring Leader, I take part in the District’s principal pipeline program that focuses on preparing aspiring principals. I am someone who believes in building relationships in the community, equity and fairness, and being a positive role model for our students. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Indiana University South Bend and my M.S.Ed in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Indiana University – Bloomington in May 2020. During my undergraduate years, I spent most of my time volunteering at La Casa de Amistad, which had an impact on my decision to continue serving and advocating for students in my community. I taught English at Washington high school after graduation but have spent the last two years as a member of the Aspiring leader principal pipeline program at Lincoln Elementary School. I believe that all of my experiences, the guidance and lessons from my mentors, and my professional development training have properly equipped me to step up and serve as the Aspiring Leader at Clay International Academy.

When I’m not inside a school, I’m usually outside on the soccer field. I am starting my second year as head coach for the men’s soccer team at Washington high school, so I like to thank them for keeping me in shape and reminding me that being in your late 20’s is not old. I am proud to be part of #TeamSouthBend and am excited for the opportunity to serve the Clay International Academy community!

Fall Sports

Fall sports are available for scholars in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. We are looking for more scholars to join our soccer (boys and girls), football and cross country teams. All scholars must be registered on Eventlink and have all of the forms completed before they can practice. Questions about athletics can be directed to Tracy Matlock at Ms. Matlock also created a Google Classroom titled "Athletics 2020-2021". The class code is xq2xtpt. Please visit the following link to register: Once you are registered on Eventlink, you will have access to the fall sports practice and event schedules.

CIA Gear

Big picture

Virtual Orientation Video

We have created a Virtual Orientation video that introduces Clay International Academy to our new families.

On August 20th, teachers will be having a virtual open house so you can learn more about how their class runs. The Virtual Open House will be from 4:30-6:00 pm. Teachers are taking part in a variety of ways and will be contacting parents and scholars about how to access their individual events.

Virtual Orientation Video

Meal Sites

Beginning the week of August 17th, an alternating meal distribution schedule will be in place. Meals will be distributed from noon to 2 p.m. A map of the sites is here.

  • Washington High School: Monday through Thursday

  • Kennedy Academy: Monday/Wednesday

  • Madison STEAM Academy: Monday/Wednesday

  • Marquette Montessori Academy: Monday/Wednesday

  • Monroe Elementary School: Monday/Wednesday

  • Rise Up Academy: Monday/Wednesday

  • Swanson Traditional School: Monday/Wednesday

  • Tarkington Elementary School: Monday/Wednesday

  • Coquillard Elementary School: Tuesday/Thursday

  • Darden Elementary School: Tuesday/Thursday

  • Harrison Elementary School: Tuesday/Thursday

  • LaSalle Academy: Tuesday/Thursday

  • Lincoln Elementary School: Tuesday/Thursday

  • Muessel Elementary School: Tuesday/Thursday

  • Nuner Fine Arts Academy: Tuesday/Thursday

Strategic Plan

Please remember to take the District's strategic planning survey, which is available on our website. No matter what your role is in our district, whether parent, teacher, staff, or student, your voice is truly essential as we plan our future.