Pony Express


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Episode 5


Week's Schedule:

MON-- no school

B, A, B, A** Friday is an A Day



Newsletter Sections

  • Student Celebrations
  • Homecoming Week Activities-- see flyer and dance information
  • Art in Action
  • Athletic News-- Boys Soccer Tryouts
  • Counseling Corner-- Questions about schedule changes and grades, Brain Power Series, Race Talks, Service Learning Day
  • House Bill 4545-- Accelerated Instruction and Small Group Tutorials
  • Flu Clinic- Family Information and consent forms-November 8th
  • Mustang Council--Next meeting Tuesday, October 12th 2 at 4:15 in the library
  • PTA NEWS- PTA Meeting October 19th, Student Reflections Contest, Membership Welcome, School Store, Thank You's, PTA Facebook Page
  • Progress and Report Card Dates
  • RAVE
  • Shop and Support
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Yearbook Orders


8th grade SUPER STARS

Congratulations to our 8th Grade Super Stars

Laura Dedeian, Michael Friday, Abraham Hernanddez-Acosta, Evan Lasater, Ella Minne, Zane Ohanion, Aidan Qualls, Patrick Rodriguez-Morales, Joshua Sotello, George Washington,

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coming soon


Coming soon
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School Dance-- Friday, October 15th-- Homecoming Week

Friday, October 15th

7-9 p.m.

Cost $10 for dance, $5 for concessions

We will be hosting our first campus dance of the school year this Friday. This outdoor dance will be in our back courtyard near the track.


  • The dance is open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade O. Henry Students. No outside student guests.
  • There is no "In and Out"--Once a student arrives at the dance we will keep them in the supervised area until the dance is over. Should you need to pick up your student earlier than 9:00 or they wish to leave early, please plan on picking up your child at our dance entrance. Thank you for keeping our Mustangs safe.
  • Students will continue to wear their masks except when eating and drinking in our food court area.
  • Students will be dropped off and picked up on the Expostion Side of the campus. Pick up will be no later than 9:20 p.m. to ensure your student may attend future events.
  • Financial assistance is available in our counseling center.

Art In Action


Boys Soccer Tryouts

October 26th and 27th after school from 4:00 to 5:15.

Practices will be every Tuesday and Wednesday for B team and Wednesday and Thursday for A Team.

O. Henry Boys Soccer Interest

Please fill out the information below if your child is interested in playing soccer this year for O. Henry. We have an A Team and a B Team. Our tryouts are October 26th and October 27th. Everyone will make the team, but tryouts will determine if it is A Team or B Team. Thanks!

- Coach Gray and Coach Mellerski

Please fill out the Google Survey so we can contact your and your student in advance

Counseling Corner

Questions about schedule changes and grades

Thank you so much for your patience the past few weeks as we finalized the schedule changes due to campus leveling. We know that the end of the 1st grading cycle is quickly approaching and many of you are checking for updated grades and missing work. Please know that if your child changed teachers there are some additional steps that must be taken by the teacher to individually update each child's grade, both in Blend and in Self-Serve. Our teachers are working to make sure these are updated in time for report cards. Please continue to check grades and, if you have reached out to your child's teacher, know that they will follow up when they have updated their gradebook with the prior teacher's grades.

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HB4545: Accelerated Instruction, and Small Groups Tutorials

TEA has passed a new House Bill in response to the learning disruptions of the 2020-2021 school year.

We will have two information sessions via ZOOM for general questions and answers of our campus plan.

Tuesday, October 26th from 6-7:00 pm

Friday, October 29th from 8:30-9:00 am

Here are some quick facts:

  • If your student did not pass the STAAR Assessment in Math or Reading, campuses will now provide 30 minutes of Accelerated Instruction once a week for the remainder of the school year.
  • If your student did not take the STAAR tests, h/she is also required to receive lessons/tutorials in both English and Math.
  • If your student did not take the STARR tests last year, h/she will not need to participate in Accelerated Instruction if they passed the beginning of the year (BOY) MAPS Growth test.
  • If your student did not take the STAAR Assessments and did not meet the score in the BOY MAPS Growth tests, then h/she will need to participate in Accelerated Instruction.

We will be notifying families about Accelerated Instruction via email and letter. The letter will ask for your permission to opt out of the 3:1 Student to Teacher Ratio TEA originally attached to HB4545.

With your permission, O. Henry will be able to service more students at a time and will not need to pull from electives, have to offer Saturday School, after-school tutorials, or summer school.

Please email me with any questions or concerns at marlo.malott@austinisd.org.

Race Talks

Race Talks are conversations co-hosted by various members of the Austin ISD Race Equity Council, Equity Office, Parent Engagement Support Office, Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness Office, Austin Council of PTA, and Families as Partners.
The next talk will be October 19th at 7pm and you can register here.

Service Learning Day-- November 6th

  • November 6- It's My Park Day-- Work Day at O. Henry Middle School--Join us at O. Henry MS for It's My Park Day! Date: November 6th, 2021 from 9am-12pm Location: O. Henry Middle School front entrance and courtyards. Austin Parks Foundation typically hosts these events twice per year with volunteer opportunities all over the city. Consider joining us at O. Henry 11/6 to beautify our school gardens! Snacks and a t-shirt are included with your registration. Basic equipment and gloves will be provided. Registration begins October 4th. A sign-up link for students, parents, and O. Henry community will be sent in next week's Pony Express. This event will be limited to 25 volunteers.

FLU CLINIC-- Forms due October 29th, Clinic November 8

AISD has partnered with Health Heroes America (HHA) to provide flu vaccines to students at all AISD campuses. With schools filled with our learners, we want to avoid a severe flu season while combating COVID-19. Stay healthy and safe-

Get your flu shot at O. Henry Middle School on November 8th (Tentative Date). All Consent Forms must be received by October 29, 2021.

English Flu Clinic Parent Letter; English consent form

Spanish Flu Clinic Parent Letter; Spanish consent form

Example- Consent Form

Flu Clinic FAQs

Who can participate? These clinics are for AISD students only.

Incomplete forms will not be accepted and that student will not be able to receive a shot. Here is an example of the consent form with required fields highlighted.

Are only on-campus students allowed to register? No, remote learners will be allowed to register at their ‘home’ campus, unless there is an extenuating circumstance accepted by the host campus. (i.e. Mom has an in-person student at Murchison MS and a remote student at Doss ES. She drops off the student at Murchison every morning, and would like to bring her remote learner from Doss to that flu clinic for convenience.) Remote learners should arrive within the first 30 minutes of their clinic’s projected start time. This will help to avoid delays at other scheduled clinics on that date.

If it is open to all, can parents with kids at multiple campuses bring their registered students to one campus for the shots? ​No. In-person learners are required to attend the flu clinic at their ‘home’ campus.

Will the clinics be outside or inside?​ They will be inside the school at the front entrance. Holding the clinic inside the entrance prevents people from having contact with many. Masks will be required, and social distancing will be followed.

Why must forms be returned 5 business days before the clinic date? This time frame gives the designee and/or school nurse time to review the forms to make sure they are complete, and to obtain missing information if necessary.

O. Henry Campus Advisory Council (CAC)-- Mustang Council

Our next CAC meeting will be this Tuesday, November 9th from 4:15-5:15. 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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We are brightening up the office at 0. Henry. The teachers lounge could use a new refrigerator. If anyone has one they can donate they would greatly appreciate it. Please contact Jenny Mason at 512-775-1322 with details


Join us on Oct 19th at 9am for our General PTA meeting held over zoom. We'll learn more about Communication Through the Middle School Years from Tara Sen Pitt, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate. Tara works with adolescents, mothers and survivors of trauma and will be discussing ways to confidently communicate with your middle schoolers and talk about social media platforms. With the latest trends and concerns this will be a helpful conversation to explore together. For more information visit tarasenpitt.com.


Share your student's artistic talents with us! We are accepting submissions for the Reflections art program, and this year’s theme is “I will change the world by . . .” You can see the winning entries from last year's contest here: Texas PTA’s albums | Flickr

Students may submit as many entries as they like in any and all of the 6 categories: visual arts, photography, music composition, literature, film production, and dance choreography. Selected entries from Barton Hills will advance to the district-wide contest and possibly onto the state level. We will highlight chosen entries in our PTA newsletter. For more information and links to the entry forms visit: https://www.txpta.org/reflections-participation

Students should submit entries and entry forms to the front office by Monday, October 25. If you have questions, email Laura Van Slyke at laura@vanslyke.net

Virtual Academic Coaching Program

This program is supported by O. Henry parents and community members for O. Henry students!


Interested in learning more? Please read our FAQ!
Interested in volunteering? Please complete this volunteer form!
Interested in nominating your student? Please complete this student nomination form!

Family and Community involvement is what makes a school GREAT!

There is a role for EVERY parent at O. Henry and we encourage you to participate at the level that best suits you and your family.

Volunteer Interest Forms

Volunteer at O. Henry! There are lots of opportunities to help. To find all the options, see the form at www.ohenrypta.org/volunteer . We will reach out with more details after you note your interest.

We need Secret Pals for our teachers! Our goal is to connect every staff member that wants to participate with a parent Secret Pal so that the great people who run our school and teach/coach/advise our students feel our love and appreciation. Sign up using the link below to adopt one (or more!) of our awesome staff members. The secret pals are anonymous until your reveal at the end of the school year. We suggest four small gifts throughout the year. Once you sign up, more information will come your way about your secret pal. Sign up today - it’s a super fun way to support our staff!

SignUp: https://signup.com/go/aJLzzZp (you do not need to register an account to sign up)

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Join the O.Henry PTA and help support building our community through programs that promote student achievement, creativity and inclusiveness. Simply go here to sign up. Thank you to our current 209 new members! Our goal is to get to 275 members, the deadline to join is November 5, 2021!

Families of O. Henry Mustangs: Mimi Fernandez, Sarah Spreitzer McCalla, Betsy Gonzalez, Karen Cotter, April Alejandro, Vera Muniz, Christine Napierkowski, Germaine Curry, Randi Bell, Nikki McCormick, Vic Ramirez, Laura Pigford, Delaine Teeple, Kate Fyda, Michelle Lee, Lauren Whalen, Erin Dempsey, Marisa Owen, Lisa Womack, Patrick Yonnone, Meredith Ansel, Sandra Frellsen, Kristen Day, Adam Koransky, Hallie Duncan, Acia Moody, Amy Salinas, Natalie Maloney, Jennifer Pac, Shannon Grethel, Carrie Williams, Charity Poage, Jessica Archer, Susannah Stinson, Clee Upchurch, Katie Lucio, Tina Donahoo, Cameron Tierney, Susan Horridge, Ann Pizer, Kathryn Atherton, Kit Purdy, Stephanie Teague, Martha Mangum, Rosa Theofanis, Elisabeth Anderson, Rachel Elder, Katie Mastovich, Rasha Madkour, Jyll Vertuno, Jennifer Skloss, Heather Davis, Ashley Beard, Randi Shade, Jennifer Banda, Shannon Pounds, Lauren Simmons, Melanie Dow, Emilie Salvagio, Sedric Pinkney, Elise Bridges, Lauren Sicarelli, Melissa Stangle, Kristie Buscaglio, Jennifer Shirk, Suzanne Perez, Jessica Manning-Acebo, Gloria Williamson, Kristen Jaros, Karen Kegg, Ashley Blumoff, Christina Dittmar, Christy Merritt, Jenny Mason, Emily Mika, Nicci Fowler, Elena McGinnis, Sherrill Deering, Kim McKnight, Jennifer Vogt, Carrie and Will Murchison, Tara Reid, Monica Smith, Caron and Matt Hutchison, Brandy and Ryan Fons, Jana Boderman, Deanna Brittain, Brooke Ward, Julie Butler, Jennifer Holland, Marie Evans, Nichole Henderson, Katherine Lieberknecht, Mary Miles Temple, Carolyn Bryant, Sean Peterson, Andrea Scarborough, Allison Crutchfield, Liz McGuire, Darcy Albee, Kelly Y, Jeff Achtermann, Christine Yonge, Heather Chesney, Angelica Tagle, Sommer Maxwell, Tiffany Hofbauer, Laura Van Slyke, Jennifer McCloskey, Sara Diamond, Kristin Galindo, Jeri Lynn Ingram, Sarah Rock, Lindsey Hanna, Veronica Macon, Marjann Cooper, Nicole Nugent, Shaheen Hussaini, Stacy Mozisek, Stacey Rodrigues, Jennifer Davis, Christopher Sileo, Aaron Mitchamore, Kelly Stouse, Lorna Lewis, Bonnie Pham, Alex Meyers, Ami Wallace, John Boardman, Nicole Nykaza, Stephen Walls, Candace E Myers, Yoshiko Loftis, Veronica Macon, Courtney Duesing, Regan Lenehan, Jamie Flynn, Mohan Balachandran, Ashley Stiegler

Teacher/Staff: Jennifer Boltz, Michael Shackelford, Macie Cohen, Sharon Stockbauer, Teresa Zardiackas, Duane Devereaux, Brittany McCulloch, Michael Jurkovic, Frank Munoz, Jessica Dillenberger, Tim Tierney, Marlinn Conway, Casi Cook, Amber Bass Patterson, Marlo Malott, Serena McMillon, Jean Ligtvoet, Chris Reuter, Clare Haugen, Rachel Price, Ryan Richter, Crystal Gaffney, Dawn Davis, Suzanne Hoelzel, David McKey, Heidi Shellhorn, CristinaTorres, Alexis Smith

O. Henry PTA Appreciates

Thank you to Suzanne Perez for organizing and recognizing our custodial staff for National Custodial Day!

RAVE about an O. Henry Staff Member

Would you like to recognize an O. Henry Staff member? Use the AISD RAVE form to give them a shout out.

Progress Report and Report Card Dates

AISD is now on a 9 week grading calendar. For the first semester, the following dates are important for students and families to know. All assignment grades can be found in the Student and Parent Portal.

Progress 1: August 17-September 3

Progress 2: August 17-September 24-- Finalize on Monday, September 26th-

Student progress reports are a snap shot in time and the most accurate grade report can be found in the Student and Parent Portal. Schedule changes due to to leveling last week may cause a delay in grade migration last week.

1st 9 weeks: August 17-October 15

Progress 3: October 18-November 5

Progress 4: October 18-December 3

2nd 9 weeks: October 18-December 17


Donating to O. Henry Middle School’s PTA is as simple as doing your normal shopping! That’s right, there are a number of stores that have wonderful contribution programs and all you have to do is designate or inform them that you would like to participate in their school contribution program.

Randalls, through their Good Neighbor Program, will contribute 1% of your grocery bill every time you use your Remarkable Card when you designate O. Henry Middle School (# 713) as your charity of choice on the Good Neighbor Program form. Please see the link below to print and turn in your Good Neighbor Program form.

Randalls’ Good Neighbor Program Form

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization selected by customers. Click here to start supporting O. Henry through AmazonSmile

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