AIS Friday Flash

Friday, January 14, 2022

From Mr. Jacques: Thank you for Keeping us Safe and Healthy!

We appreciate your care and commitment to our health and safety protocols as we navigate the omicron wave of the pandemic together. During the first semester of the school year, we received reports of 4 cases of COVID in the community with only 2 having potentially been on campus while contagious. Based on off- and on-campus close contacts, I conducted 32 contact traces last semester. Since last week, I have received reports of 25 COVID cases in the community, with 9 having potentially been on campus while contagious. In the last week and a half, I have conducted 72 contact traces, over 220% more than the entire last semester. Part of our contact tracing requires us to impose isolation and quarantine guidelines on students and staff for a period of 5-10 days. I am pleased to report that to date, none of the close contact quarantines have converted to COVID-positive cases. This is thanks in large part to the work YOU are doing to keep us all safe and healthy—by respecting our protocols, but more importantly, by keeping sick kids home! As a reminder, we are required to send home any students who are showing COVID-symptoms unless cleared by a doctor because those symptoms are attributable to a source other than COVID. We appreciate your support and understanding with these health and safety protocols.

Updated Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines

Austin International School is following the updated guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Austin Public Health, which have established isolation and quarantine periods of 5-10 days. Please familiarize yourself with these updated protocols by reviewing the January 7th Head of School eCommuniqué. If your child is subject to an isolation or quarantine period, you will receive a phone call and a follow-up email with a detailed timeline of next steps before returning.

COVID-19 Testing on Campus

Our school has been hit by the test kit shortage that has been affecting the entire country. We are fortunate to have been awarded a public health grant that will allow for the delivery of tests through new providers in the coming weeks. Our plan is to resume rapid antigen testing on campus and also offer families and staff to participate in regular pooled PCR testing on campus. Once our testing material is back on campus, we will send an eCommuniqué out to families with important details. Thank you for your patience as we work through this process.

AIS Library Relaunch

We have been so excited to see our AIS learners back in the library reading books in French, English, and Spanish! A huge thank you goes to Ms. Susan, our Librarian, and Mr. Jacques, our Head of School, who have worked countless hours to check our inventory, organize our shelves, and catalogue many, many new books. Students in GS through 8th grade are able to check out books each week and bring them home, so check to see what your kids are reading this week. Please also remember to get your library books back on time each week so that you can check out new books. Thank you for your support of our school’s library and for helping to make reading fun and exciting at AIS. Bonne lecture !

Four Square Thank You!

AIS students and staff would like to extend a big thank you to Matt Cooper and Nathan Morgan, who painted a fun Four-Square court in front of the Maternelle playground for our students to use over the holiday break. Thank you for your time and commitment.

Spring ASA Classes Will Start Next Week

We had previously postponed the start of Spring Afterschool Activities due to student, instructor, and staff-related absences. However, they will begin this week, on Tuesday, January 18th. If you have any questions about your registration or schedule, please reach out to Jhino.

MLK Day/ No School - Mon., 1/17

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, AIS will be closed on Monday, January 17th.

MLK Canned Food Drive through Tue., 1/18

As we observe the MLK holiday next week, we look forward to honoring Dr. King's legacy by supporting our community through acts of service. Thanks to all of you who were able to drop off canned food items today. We will be collecting this weekend through Tuesday morning at drop-off. Items will be donated to local food banks and shelters to help those in need. Collection bins will be outside at pick-up and drop-off under the portico and out in front of the school. Needed items include the following. Thank you for your canned donations and support!

  • Canned meats and fish
  • Baby Formula
  • Peanut or other Nut Butters
  • Canned Soups & Stews
  • Canned or Dried Beans
  • Canned Sauces or Tomatoes
  • Dehydrated or Canned Baby Food
  • Whole Grains or Rice
  • Dried Pasta
  • Canned Vegetables

Report Cards Disseminated - Wed., 1/19

Student report cards will be sent out on Wednesday, January 19th via email. You will receive a link to your child’s report, which will be valid for 14 days. We recommend saving a digital copy and printing a copy for your records within two weeks of receiving the link.

Virtual Board Meeting - Tue., 1/25, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

All community members are invited to join the AIS Governing Board for the open session of the Virtual Board of Directors Meeting on Tuesday, 1/25 at 6:30 pm. The open session of the board meeting is structured to enable our volunteer board and the Head of School to conduct school business that requires board involvement. At the end of the open session, there will be approximately ten minutes allocated for public comments, during which members of the AIS community may voice feedback to the board.

January Spirit Night @ Austin Spurs - Thur., 1/27, 7:30 pm

We hope you can join us for our January Spirit Night on Thursday, January 27th at 7:30 pm as the Austin Spurs take on the Sioux Falls Skyforce! AIS will have a group spirit section to watch the game. We strongly encourage AIS members who are fully vaccinated to attend and follow current CDC-recommended guidance regarding COVID-19 protocols. All AIS guests must remain masked in our section unless snacking.

PLUS, as part of our spirit night, AIS students in CM1 and up are invited to perform our AIS school song at the game! So, purchase your tickets for this mini-fundraiser here and join us to cheer on our students. All adults or students/siblings who are not performing are $28. Tickets for AIS students who will be performing will be $14. Performers must be pre-registered here and we need at least 10-15 students to participate. Stay tuned for rehearsal information for our singers. Go Spurs!

MAP Assessments - Mon., 1/31

Austin International School uses the Northwest Education Association's (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth assessment to track individual student growth during their time at AIS. Students in Kindergarten and up complete assessments three times per year, after which student growth data is shared with teachers and families. MAP Growth data points are important in identifying areas of strength and areas of focus for each student. As such, MAP forms an important part of the work that we do to support individualized student learning at AIS. The next session of MAP assessments will begin on Monday, January 31st. Stay tuned for more details regarding testing dates by class and review this video here for more information. Remember to pack healthy snacks and for students to get a good night's sleep on testing days to perform their best.

Virtual February PTO Meeting - Tue., 2/1

On Tuesday, February 1st, please join other members of the Parent Teacher Organization for a virtual meeting at 5:30 pm. We encourage all AIS families to attend.

Virtual Open House - Sat., 2/5

AIS will host a Virtual Open House on Saturday, February 5th to introduce prospective new families to our school. Save the date and stay tuned for more information about how you can help participate.

Save the dates

Mark these important upcoming dates on your calendars.

  • 1/17 MLK Day/No School
  • 1/18 MLK Canned Food Drive ends
  • 1/19 Report Cards Disseminated
  • 1/25 Board Meeting
  • 1/27 Austin Spurs Spirit Night
  • 1/31 MAP Assessments Begin
  • 2/1 February PTO Meeting
  • 2/5 New Year Open House