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A weekly newsletter - April 17, 2020
A message from Ameka Hunt, Principal of PHS
Greetings Panther Families,
I sincerely hope this message finds you well as we have received an executive order from Governor Abbott to close all schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This is not what we envision for our school year, especially for the class of 2020, but we must prioritize students’ safety and wellbeing, and do what is best for our community to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In accordance with Governor Abbott’s order, PFISD campuses will close for the remainder of this academic school year, and offer classes remotely. I have included the letter from Dr. Killian outlining the grading guidelines. Additionally, teachers have remote office hours to assist students who need additional support. Teacher remote office hours are published under the staff tab of the PHS website, or you can click here. Additionally, we have resources available to support our families during this difficult time.
TRANSLATION – TRADUCCIÓN
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District update from Dr. Killian - Remote Learning, Grading, GPA/Class Ranking for Seniors
Earlier today, Governor Greg Abbott announced an executive order to close all schools in the state of Texas for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Pflugerville ISD, along with all other districts in the state, will comply with this executive order and continue our remote learning that is currently in place for the rest of the school year. Although our buildings remain closed, students will continue to receive instruction and assignments through our Remote Learning platform.
We know this news will be difficult for many of our students and staff to take in. Our students want to return to school and see their friends and classmates. Please know that our teachers are missing their students just as much. When we are able to return to school, we will be one big Pfamily together in one place, but for now, we must be together in spirit while remaining apart.
This closure through the end of the school year is not how our seniors envisioned their last year of high school, and we are especially heartbroken for them. The district wants to provide our seniors with the experience of walking across the stage and receiving their diploma. We have not yet postponed our graduation ceremonies currently scheduled for May 30; however, we have secured Aug. 4 as a back-up date with the Frank Erwin Center for graduation. In addition to the back-up date, we are also exploring other options to provide our seniors with a graduation experience, including potential virtual options and other venues such as The Pfield, as we do not know what orders our city and county will be under this Summer.
Just as we have transitioned from our brick and mortar buildings to our homes, this unprecedented situation has also caused us to reconsider and transition our grading policies, regulations, and guidelines to fit our new reality. After much discussion and careful thought, our Board of Trustees approved adjusted grading guidelines and policies for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We believe these new guidelines will allow us to measure a students' mastery of the district curriculum, provide timely and meaningful feedback to students and parents, and allow for multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery of learning while at home.
A detailed outline of our COVID-19 grading guidelines can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_1EQXrcM_Vq-DpZW25nERzY3hoapxpyRcsJydp1_8yM/edit?usp=sharing. This outline will also be shared on our Remote Learning Website and the district's Coronavirus webpage.
Highlights of the COVID-19 Grading Guidelines include:
- PK-8 grade assignments/4th 9-weeks/semester grades will be evaluated using a Pass (P) or Incomplete (I) system.
- 9-12 (including middle school courses that issue high school credits) assignments/4th 9-weeks/semester grades will receive numerical grades; grades below a 70 will earn an Incomplete (I).
- The calculation of the grade point average and class rank for the classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, [and 2024 (note: for current eighth-graders taking high school-level courses, e.g., algebra)], will not include grades from the 2020 Spring semester.
- For graduating Seniors, final GPA and class rank will be determined using final semester grades from Fall 2019.
Again, there are more details outlined in the complete COVID-19 grading guidelines linked above. Please reach out to your campus Principals with questions or if you need support implementing these guidelines.
Please continue to monitor our website for further information and updates, www.pfisd.net/coronavirus.
I am proud of each and every one of our students and teachers for how they have handled our transition to remote learning. Whether you are using online resources or our paper packets that are available, our Pfamily has not let learning stop through all this change. We are all in this together as one big Pfamily and we will continue to passionately serve in the best interest of students in PfISD.
In the best interest of students,
Dr. Douglas Killian
Attention Seniors - Graduation Information
Senior students should be completing assignments in Google Classroom or Credit Recovery, if they are enrolled in a credit recovery class. Please reach out to counselors if you have any questions about credits.
As soon as we have final information about graduation we will send it through email, remind, and the website.
We will be setting up distribution for caps and gowns, and other items ordered for graduation as we receive them.
Please email Crystal.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific questions.
We'd love to help you...
Attention all students and parents:
We know you have many questions in regards to the remainder of the school year and we want to answer your questions in a timely manner. In order to do so, please communicate with the following as it pertains to your student:
12th Grade Assistant Principal: Crystal Keck - Crystal.Keck@pfisd.net
Asst Principal for Grades 9-11 Student's Last Name: A - Go: Argie Flores -
Assistant Principal for Grades 9-11 Student's Last Name: Gr - Pal: Sara Dardeau -
Assistant Principal for Grades 9-11 Student's Last Name: Pam - Z: Dr. Cristobal Saldana -
Counselor Student's Last Name: A - D: Christina Powell - Christina.Powell@pfisd.net
Counselor Student's Last Name: E - J: Lindsay Saylor-Carroll - Lindsay.Saylorcarroll@pfisd.net
Counselor Student's Last Name: K - O: Mark Canales - Mark.Canales@pfisd.net
Lead/Counselor Student's Last Name: P - R: Sarah Cable - Sarah.Cable@pfisd.net
Counselor Student's Last Name: S - Z: Geminesse Scott - Geminesse.Scott@pfisd.net
College/Career Counselor: Nicholas Howell - Nicholas.Howell@pfisd.net
SPED Coordinator: Valorie Salcido - Valorie.Salcido@pfisd.net
ARD Facilitator: Crystal Beck - Crystal.Beck@pfisd.net
LSSP: Becky Luquire - Rebecca.Luquire@pfisd.net
504 Coordinator: Margaret Wofford - Margaret.Wofford@pfisd.net
Social Worker: Ana Bowie - Ana.Bowie@pfisd.net
Lisa Wernli featured in Austin American Statesman
Our English Department Chair, Lisa Wernli, was featured in an article about remote learning on the front page of today's Austin American Statesman. Check it out here:
Way to go, Mrs. Wernli!
From our Department Chairs
Hello parents and students,
We wanted to take a moment and thank all the students and parents who are working alongside of us in distance learning. It truly has been an adventure. And while at times we can all become frustrated or disheartened, we must remember we are all doing what we can. We must celebrate the successes!
On a final note, we have started simple grading this week. Please do not let this process cause additional stress for students. Teachers will be available via email and Google to assist students with any questions they have on assignments and grades. Activities will continue to consist of reading and writing to practice and build strong literacy skills. Should parents or students want an extension of teacher assigned activities, reading, journal writing, or watching the news are all viable options.
Together in education,
English Department Chair
The Spanish, French and German teachers are missing their students! A big shout out to Senora Dyess' 1st period Spanish 2 who has 100% of the class turning in lessons. Way to rep, chicos! 3rd period is right behind them with 95%. (If you are that 5% not working, get 'er done.)
As you have heard, we begin putting grades into Skyward this week. As always, it will be one grade per week, so get that work submitted! We are reading some great responses to what life is like in quarantineland. Not to add to your workload, but we all should journal a bit to share in the future what life was like during this unprecedented time. We will get through this and be stronger. Hang in!
LOTE Department Chair
Science teachers will begin actively collecting grades this week and updating gradebooks by the end of next week. If your student is in need of technology, please make sure you go to www.pfisd.net and complete the appropriate form (see the March 31 post).
Science teachers are communicating with students regularly through Google Classroom, so check with your student to make sure they are going to Google Classroom to complete their work. If your student is in an AP class, they need to go to MyAP and check that their e-mail address on that website is correct. That e-mail address is where they will receive their exam information.
Science Department Chair
National Honor Society Applicants
Normally, this is the time of year our sophomores and juniors begin the process of applying to join the Lamar Chapter of the National Honor Society here at Pflugerville High School. With the official move to finishing the semester through remote learning, the Faculty Council has agreed to allow us to postpone our normal application window until the fall of 2020. We want to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to apply and be considered so those applications will be available at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Please look for more information regarding the application process with your back to school information.
Emotional and Social Learning from our Social Worker
There are so many things as a parent that we are responsible for teaching our kids, life skills should be on the top of that list. It is on us when our children graduate from high school not knowing basic life skills. Check out 39 Life Skills every child should know before they turn 18.
Ana Bowie, LMSW
Pflugerville High School
School Social Worker
Why is Water So Important? Also - 100 Body Challenge
From Diana Martz, Dance/PE Coach
Why Is Water So Important for Our Bodies?
Water is the true essence of life. In order for your body to operate at its maximum efficiency, you need to ensure that you stay well hydrated by drinking water and consuming moisture-rich foods. Water is used to flush out toxins, regulate body temperature, improve brain function, lubricate joints etc, and aids in digestion and nutrient absorbing. Drinking a sufficient amount of water keeps your skin and hair looking its best, helps prevent disease and illness, aids in weight loss and improves your overall health and well-being.
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day?
In order to get – and stay – in optimal health, you need to ensure that you drink enough water each day. Most people feel thirsty on a regular basis, ensuring that they intake an adequate amount of liquid, but others do not feel thirst reliably. Pay special attention to how much water you are consuming to ensure that your body is prompting you to drink enough.
The NHS recommends that a good guide for water intake (including all non-caffeinated fluids) is 6-8 250 mL glasses of water per day. A good rule of thumb is to drink ½ your weight in ounces per day. Increase the amount if you exercise or drink alcohol.
This might sound like an alarming amount of water to consume, but remember that we tend to get around 20-30% of our daily water intake from the food we eat. We also tend to drink tea, coffee, and other liquids. If you are living in a hot climate, or if you exercise extensively, you will need to increase your water intake.
If you do not consume enough water, you will become dehydrated. One of the easiest ways to assess your hydration levels is to inspect the color of your urine. If it is dark, you are likely dehydrated – ideally, it should be pale yellow or clear. Sometimes dehydration can cause hunger, dizziness, weakness, headache and lethargy. Drink more water!!!!
100 body challenge
Break this up into sets—however you need to complete
25 x 4
20 x 5
Add weights if you want
100 pop squats (jump to squat, jump together—like a squatting jumping jack)
100 MT Climbers --total(plank with running legs)
100 reverse lunges--total
100 Push-ups-modify as needed
100 Jumping Jacks
PHS College and Career Updates
From Mr. Nick Howell, our College and Career Counselor:
PFISD Virtual College Visits (All Students) – We have now set up Virtual College Visits for any High School student within PFISD. During these visits, College/University Admission Representatives will provide information regarding admission, financial aid and scholarships, housing, student life, and other great information about their institution. Please sign up for the presentation you would like to see by visiting this website. We will send reminders and the link to join the virtual meeting as we get closer to the actual presentation. All PFISD students are welcome
Financial Aid Presentation (All Families) – Mr. Navarro-Jusino (Weiss HS College and Career Advisor) will be hosting a Financial Aid presentation on April 22nd from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. Any PFISD High School student and family is welcome to attend this virtual session on Financial Aid and Scholarships. Families are required to sign up by visiting this Google Form. It can also be found by visiting this website. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please reach out to Mr. Howell.
Financial Aid (Seniors) – If your family situation has changed since filing the FAFSA, I encourage you to contact your Financial Aid Office for a special circumstance form. If you need assistance, please reach out to Mr. Howell. Please accept all gift aid given to you at any college. Colleges reserve the right to take that gift aid away at any time. It is not binding!
Reporting Financial Aid & Scholarships – Please send all Financial Aid & Scholarship awards to Mr. Howell via email. This will allow us to CELEBRATE you and track how great the class of 2020 is doing with Gift Aid. It also allows Mr. Howell to help you better understand what the award package means.
Final High School Transcript (Seniors) – If you are being asked for a Final High School Transcript from a University or College. Please disregard that message. It will not affect your ability to enroll at that college or university. Pflugerville ISD will send Final High School transcripts to your chosen college after graduation. If a college or university is insistent, please email Mr. Howell.
Virtual One-One Meetings – Many of you have reached out to meet one-on-one with Mr. Howell. Please continue to set up an appointment by visiting http://www.calendly.com/phscollegeandcareer. You may also call Mr. Howell at (512) 763-2415 during the time our school building is closed.
College and Career Advisor
Pflugerville High School
1301 W. Pecan Street
Pflugerville, TX 78660
Phone: (512) 763-2415 (This number will reach me during school closure)
RM #: A-103
PHS CEEB Code: 445500
There's an app for that! Download the PHS app today
Dear PHS Parents,
The School Info App for Pflugerville High School is a great way to stay connected and informed. Notifications are sent in real time for ever-changing situations. Be in the know—download the app today!
Click on the attached QR code or this link: http://siap.ps/eaedd6, or search for Pflugerville High School in the app store. Be sure to allow notifications so you get all the notifications and news feeds to keep current with what’s happening at PHS.
Remote Learning Website
Please see the PFISD Remote Learning website for recommended learning resources for core contents in all grade levels. The district Paper-Based Instruction learning packets will also be available on this website for access and download.
Don’t miss out on campus news. Click “Follow Ameka Hunt” at the top or bottom of this page to subscribe to the weekly newsletter.
Let's Talk! with Pflugerville ISD
Our district is committed to engaging all stakeholders to support the education of our students. Strong relationships with staff, students, families and community members help us best meet the needs of all students and ensure their success.
We invite you to send us questions, concerns, suggestions, and/or compliments. Once you click on a topic below and make a submission through Let’s Talk!, the school district employee who can best address your comment will be notified. If you request a response, you will hear back from us in a timely manner.
Click here to connect to our District webpage and get answers to your questions.
BrightBytes – survey for ALL students and parents
Dear Pflugerville High School Campus Community,
We are partnering with BrightBytes, an educational research organization, to learn more about you and your students’ technology access and use for learning.
The goal of this project is to gather data on technology access, skills, and your school’s technology environment, in order to understand the connection between technology use and student achievement.
Our data collection window is set to run from March 30 - May 27, 2020.
Each school is assigned three unique Technology and Learning Questionnaires. There is one designed for teachers and administrators; one designed for students, and one designed for parents.
Your questionnaire links are listed below:
Your participation and support is important to us and will make the difference between having a complete understanding of our school’s technology use versus a limited one.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Victor Valdez, Chief Technology Officer
Kathryn Ives, Director Integration Services