School Matters

April 2021

Welcome to School Matters, your official source for award winning news coverage from the Lake Travis Independent School District Office of Communications, Media & Community Relations. Questions or concerns regarding any of the content in this publication should be addressed to info@ltisdschools.org.

Holly Morris-Kuentz named Superintendent lone finalist at Dripping Springs ISD

Lake Travis Superintendent Paul Norton is pleased to announce that Deputy Superintendent Holly Morris-Kuentz has been named the lone finalist for Superintendent of the Dripping Springs Independent School District. The announcement was made Tuesday, April 13 by the DSISD school board during a special called meeting. Pending final board approval, Dr. Morris-Kuentz will begin her tenure at Dripping Springs in May 2021.


During her 12-year tenure at Lake Travis ISD, Dr. Morris-Kuentz has served in numerous capacities within Curriculum and Instruction, Human Resources, and Administration.


“It is an honor to be selected as superintendent finalist for Dripping Springs ISD,” said Dr. Morris-Kuentz. “My family and I are grateful for the amazing 12 years in Lake Travis ISD. Thank you to our friends, colleagues and community for the wonderful camaraderie and experiences we have shared. We leave here with a great deal of love and affection for our Cavalier family. I look forward to working with the Dripping Springs school board, parents, students, staff and the community on a shared vision of providing the very best educational experiences for all students.”


"From before my first day in LTISD, Holly has been great to me and helping me transition to this district," said Mr. Norton. "On behalf of our school board and the entire Lake Travis ISD family, I want to thank her for her contributions and service to our staff, students, parents and community. I am so proud of her and all she has accomplished as part of the LT family and all she will accomplish with her team in DSISD. I ask the Lake Travis community to help me congratulate Dr. Morris-Kuentz and wish her the very best in her new role leading Dripping Springs ISD."

2020-2021 Campus Teachers of the Year announced

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Lake Travis ISD officials announced the 2020-2021 Campus Teachers of the Year with virtual and in-person surprise visits between March 30 - April 1.


LTISD Superintendent Paul Norton, along with district senior staff and campus principals, delivered the good news to each honoree in front of their peers during individual school staff meetings. Lake Travis ISD is proud to honor these outstanding educators:


  • Lake Travis High School - Lisa Minck (Special Services)
  • Bee Cave Middle School - Aaron Forgey (Art)
  • Hudson Bend Middle School - Kendall Sealy (7th Grade History)
  • Lake Travis Middle School - Sue Arminio (Special Education)
  • Bee Cave Elementary - Diana Martin (Kindergarten)
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School - MaryAnne Malicki (5th Grade)
  • Lake Travis Elementary School - Bridgett DeLong (5th Grade)
  • Lakeway Elementary School - Minka Judson (Physical Education)
  • Rough Hollow Elementary - Erin Tristan (5th Grade)
  • Serene Hills Elementary School - Elizabeth Terrell (Kindergarten)
  • West Cypress Hills Elementary - Linda Holt (2nd Grade)


Each Campus Teacher of the Year received a framed certificate of appreciation and a custom Yeti tumbler. Additionally, the Lake Travis Education Foundation partnered with local businesses who provided gift cards courtesy of the Hill Country Galleria and the Lake Travis Chick-Fil-A.


From this group, a District elementary and secondary Teacher of the Year will be selected. The two honorees will then be considered for the regional/state Texas Teacher of the Year program.

STAAR testing continues after initial technical issues

After statewide connectivity issues postponed the online administration of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) on April 6, Lake Travis ISD has modified its testing calendar accordingly. Parents and guardians are encouraged to review the table below carefully as some testing dates may have changed:

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District updates COVID protocols

Lake Travis ISD has updated its Return to School Protocols for COVID-19.


Originally released on July 29, 2020, the document currently reflects changes prompted by updated guidance from several entities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Austin Public Health.


Key updated content includes:


  • Individuals are presumed infectious two days prior to symptom onset to 10 days after symptom onset. In the case of asymptomatic individuals who are test-confirmed with COVID-19, the infectious period is defined as two days prior to the confirming test and continuing for 10 days following the confirming test.

  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months do not need to quarantine or get tested again as a close contact as long as they do not develop symptoms.

  • An exposed individual who is fully vaccinated (at least two weeks have passed since receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or of a single-dose vaccine) does not need to quarantine as a close contact as long as they do not develop symptoms.


The conditions surrounding the pandemic are continually evolving. Our plans will be evaluated and updated as needed to comply and adapt to any new orders, guidelines or mandates issued by governmental and/or health authorities.

Superintendent provides economic forecast at annual chamber luncheon

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Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton was one of four guest speakers at the 2021 Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce Economic Forecast Luncheon. The annual event provides attendees with first hand information about growth and development in the South Lake Travis area. Held March 24 at The Hills of Lakeway Clubhouse, Mr. Norton provided an overview of recent school construction, enrollment projections, and the 87th Texas Legislative Session. The full recording is available on the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce YouTube channel.

Early voting in Lake Tavis school board trustee election begins April 19

In Texas, local school board members are elected by the registered voters within specific school district boundaries. The Lake Travis Independent School District is one of approximately 1,040 public school systems in Texas and its board members are elected at-large. This means each board member—or trustee—represents the entire school district rather than single-member positions that represent a sub-portion of the district. Each trustee is elected to serve without compensation for overlapping terms of three years each.


Current terms for Place 1 and Place 2 on the Lake Travis ISD Board of Trustees will expire in May 2021. Voting dates and local polling centers are listed below:


Early Voting: Monday, April 19 - Tuesday, April 27


Election Day: Saturday, May 1


For more information about all May 1 elections, visit the Travis County Elections Office website.

Remote students in grades 3-8 required to complete physical fitness assessment

The Texas Education Agency requires school districts to assess the physical fitness levels of students in grades 3-8 and submit data on certain measures to the state each year. TEA has not removed the requirement for remote learners during the current 2020-2021 school year. Therefore, schools must make a good faith effort to collect physical fitness data from remote learners with the help of their parents, if needed.


Please note, this communication is intended for remote students only. If your child is attending school in-person, he/she will take the assessment with their PE teacher at school.


Parents of remote students in grades 3-8 should use the Google Form linked here to submit their child's data (to the extent possible) by no later than Friday, May 7, 2021. You may contact your child's campus PE teacher directly with any questions or concerns.

District celebrates National Occupational Therapy Month

National Occupational Therapy Month 2021

With the theme “Passion. Purpose. Possibility,” Lake Travis ISD joins the American Occupational Therapy Association to celebrate April as National Occupational Therapy Month in recognition of the critical role OTs play in both school and clinical settings.


"School-based OTs support academic achievement and social participation by promoting occupation within school routines including recess, classroom, and cafeteria time," said Lake Travis ISD Superintendent of Schools Paul Norton. "They utilize strategies for health and wellbeing of students and prepare them for college, career, and community integration."


The following Occupational Therapists serve students across our district:


  • Bee Cave Elementary School, Hudson Bend Middle School - Quina Brown
  • Lake Travis High School, Lake Travis Middle School, Rough Hollow Elementary - Cat Daniel
  • Lake Travis Elementary School, Bee Cave Middle School - Jessica Leung
  • Serene Hills Elementary School, Lakeway Elementary School - Jenna Olney
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School, West Cypress Hills Elementary School - Johann Salas

LTEF 2021 UnGala FunGala: Be a Kid for the Kids - save the date

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The Lake Travis Education Foundation will host a one-of-a-kind "UnGala, FunGala," an in-person and virtual fundraising event available to the entire Lake Travis community.


"For the first time, the entire community can attend the LTEF Gala from the comfort of their own living rooms through virtual watch parties," said LTEF Executive Director Katie Kauffman. "Host your friends and family, and join us to support and celebrate our Lake Travis schools. Although this year has been like no other, the needs in our schools remain. Let’s come together to support our students and teachers of Lake Travis."


Visit the LTEF website for more information.

District celebrates April 5-9 as National Assistant Principals Week

National Assistant Principals Week 2021

Lake Travis ISD joins the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) to celebrate April 5-9, 2021 as National Assistant Principals Week.


The following men and women serve students across our district as assistant principals:


  • Bee Cave Elementary School - Ashley Nauta
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School - Mak El Hassan
  • Lake Travis Elementary School - Lizeth Thompson
  • Lakeway Elementary School - Amy Sharp, Ed.D.
  • Rough Hollow Elementary School - Vanessa Randels
  • Serene Hills Elementary School - ShaCrista Rideaux-Glasper
  • West Cypress Hills Elementary School - Leanna Pesta, Ed.D.
  • Bee Cave Middle School - Tres Ellis and Laura Keogh
  • Hudson Bend Middle School - Debbie Garringer and Karen Reich
  • Lake Travis Middle School - Rachel Foreman and Keitha St. Clair
  • Lake Travis High School - Joseph Green, Ed.D. (Associate Principal), Zach Freed, Darnell Horton, Ed.D., Angela Hrapchak, Roy Hudson, Sherri Remore and Brianne Walker

Prekindergarten, Kindergarten Round Up underway

LTISD Kinder RoundUp 2021 - English

It's time to saddle up for Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Round Up!


Round Up kicks off annual registration for incoming Prekindergarten and Kindergarten students new to the Lake Travis school district. This year, PK and Kinder enrollment is completely virtual for each of our seven elementary school campuses.


Learn more about our programs and begin the enrollment process online at https://www.ltisdschools.org/roundup.

District celebrates April 5-9 as National Library Week

National Library Week 2021

With the theme “Welcome to Your Library,” Lake Travis ISD joins the American Library Association to celebrate April 5-9, 2021 as National Library Week in recognition of our school librarians and their unique contributions to public education.


A total of 11 elementary and secondary school library media specialists, and one librarian aide, provide services to more than 11,100 students across our district:


  • Bee Cave Elementary School - Michelle Cheeney
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School - Deborah Foster
  • Lakeway Elementary School - Brekka Larrew
  • Lake Travis Elementary School - Nicholle Halprin
  • Rough Hollow Elementary School - Mindy Laird
  • Serene Hills Elementary - Helen Dawkins
  • West Cypress Hills Elementary School - Cathy Seidenberger
  • Bee Cave Middle School - Andrea Heckler
  • Hudson Bend Middle School - Caitlin Hooker
  • Lake Travis Middle School - Lori Kelley
  • Lake Travis High School - Elizabeth Stearns
  • Lake Travis High School - Rosalie Galliver

The Lake Travis School Health Advisory Council presents "Wellness Watch - Spring 2021"

Lake Travis ISD’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)—a group appointed by the school board—is comprised of parents from each campus, students from Lake Travis High School, members of the community, and employees of the district. SHACs assist districts in ensuring that local community values are reflected in health education instruction. Additionally, SHACs play an important role in strengthening the connection between health and learning.


The LTISD SHAC recently launched its newsletter, "Wellness Watch - Spring 2021."

Summer Squires registration opens April 16

Online registration for LTISD 2021 Summer Squires opens at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 16. Registration will be ongoing pending space availability.


For more information visit https://www.ltisdschools.org/summersquires.

Registration for summer camp is open

Summer is fast approaching, and Lake Travis ISD is offering fun and engaging summer camps. Choose from a variety of camps featuring STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), sports, games, fine arts, and special interest.


Registration is now open. Visit www.ltisdschools.org/summercamp for more information.

LTHS student-athlete signs letter of intent

On March 25, Lake Travis High School student-athlete Price Janecek signed a letter of intent to participate in track and field at the University of North Texas.
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Did You Know?

Since 2017, Lake Travis ISD has saved 7,852,631 sheets of paper—or 942 trees—by using Peachjar e-flyers.

Lake Travis Independent School District

The Lake Travis Independent School District is a 6A district located about 25 minutes west of Austin, Texas. Established in 1981, Lake Travis ISD is a fast growth district comprised of 11 campuses serving more than 11,000 students.