School Matters

January 2022

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

District provides update on COVID protocols

COVID cases in our area continue to surge, resulting in Austin Public Health (APH) raising its Risk-Based Guidelines to Stage 5 on January 6. Since then, we have received guidance and updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), APH, and the Texas Education Agency (TEA).


"The update from TEA does not change current requirements as it pertains to in-person instruction," said Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools. "Our schools must remain open, and we are not approved to provide remote learning districtwide. TEA’s guidance also indicates that districts cannot require staff or students to wear face coverings as per the Governor’s Executive Order (GA-38). However, we strongly encourage mask wearing while inside district facilities."


The District will continue to prioritize safety for sustaining in-person learning and working environments by following current protocols with one change as it pertains to visitors.


"We will suspend having visitors on campus during the school day with the exception of volunteers, scheduled parent meetings, or as otherwise approved by the school," added Mr. Norton. "We will reevaluate allowing visitors on campus as conditions in our community improve."


The District began the installation of air disinfection devices at each campus and department during the holiday break. To date, 171 units has been placed in front office receptionist areas, cafeterias, hallways, weight and locker rooms, all nurses' rooms and various other locations districtwide. The units reduce pathogens that lead to COVID, colds, the common flu, and even gastrointestinal illness, and they also help reduce dust, mold spores, and pollen that trigger asthma and allergies. Additional units which will be installed in other locations throughout the District.


"We strongly encourage our families to continue taking all precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19," urged Mr. Norton. "Anyone who is sick or has COVID-related symptoms must stay home until reentry requirements are met. We will continue to monitor local conditions and provide protocol updates as needed."

District to observe staff/student holiday Jan. 17

As a reminder, Monday, January 17 will be observed as a staff/student holiday (no school) in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Classes will resume Tuesday, January 18.


Be sure to stay up to date with major districtwide events listed in our 2021-2022 Instructional Calendar.

January is School Board Recognition Month

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With the theme ‘Rising Above,’ the Lake Travis Independent School District joins the Texas Association of School Boards and other districts across the state to recognize and thank school trustees for their service throughout January 2022 as part of School Board Recognition Month.


“Our community benefits every day from the tireless work and countless hours contributed by the seven men and women who represent more than 11,000 students and their families,” said Paul Norton, LTISD Superintendent of Schools. “These local volunteers are elected by their constituents and receive no compensation for their work as public servants. During this unprecedented climate of change and challenge, they develop policies and make tough decisions on complex educational and social issues that affect our community.”


Serving on the LTISD School Board are John Aoueille, President; Bob Dorsett, Jr., Vice President; Lauren White, Secretary; and trustees William Beard, Phillip Davis, Kim Flasch, and Jessica Putonti.

District officials will recognize trustees during the regular board meeting January 18. Learn more about our trustees at www.ltisdschools.org/ltboard.

District begins installation of air purifiers at each campus

As an additional measure to help prevent the community spread of COVID-19, Lake Travis ISD has begun to install portable air disinfection devices at each campus. The work started during the 2021 Winter Break. To date, 171 units has been placed in front office receptionist areas, cafeterias, hallways, weight and locker rooms, all nurses' rooms and various other locations districtwide.


The Novaerus 900, which studies have shown to reduce the virus by 98.44% in under 60 minutes, also minimizes pathogens that lead to colds, the common flu, and even gastrointestinal illness, and they also help reduce dust, mold spores, and pollen that trigger asthma and allergies. Additional units which will be installed in other locations throughout the District as supplies become available.


Lake Travis ISD qualified for the 2021-2022 COVID-19 School Health Support Grant provided by Department of State Health Services and the Texas Education Agency. Funding is intended to support school districts in safe, in-person instruction in schools through items aimed at implementation of prevention and mitigation strategies necessary to curtail the spread of the virus. Grant funds in the amount of $424,231 will be used to purchase the air purifying devices.


For more information, visit the Well Air Solutions website.

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Bus routes impacted due to driver shortage, illness; LTE to resume full meal service Jan. 18

Lake Travis ISD has been dealing with a significant bus driver shortage for quite some time. This challenge has been compounded by the current surge of COVID-19 cases in the area. As a result, several bus routes have been temporarily suspended.


"While we would like to provide parents with as much notice as possible to make alternate transportation plans, we may not be made aware of staff illness until the morning of a particular route or routes," said Brad Bailey, LTISD Assistant Superintendent for Operations. "We will notify parents through text and email using SMART tag of impacted routes as soon as we are made aware. We sincerely appreciate your patience, understanding and support as we continue to do everything possible to safely and efficiently meet our demands for student ridership while addressing our driver shortage and illness."


Additionally, between Wednesday, January 12 and Friday, January 14, the district was forced to offer modified breakfast and lunch meals due to cafeteria worker shortage and illness at Lake Travis Elementary School. Breakfast consisted of cereal, fruit, and choice of milk, and lunch included a turkey sandwich, choice of fruit/vegetable, and choice of milk or water. Parents also had the option to send their child to school with a meal from home.


"We will resume our classic hot menu service beginning Tuesday January 18," said Ryan Mikolaycik, LTISD Director of Food and Nutrition Services. "I want to thank our parents for their patience and understanding during these times. We will continue to do everything possible to meet the nutritional needs of our students while addressing our staff shortage and illness."

LTISD Food and Nutrition Services recognized for Fall Farm Fresh Challenge

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced the nutrition team at Lake Travis Independent School District has successfully completed the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) 2021 Fall Farm Fresh Challenge. The Farm Fresh Challenge reflects TDA and its partners’ commitment to introducing Texans to local foods and supporting Texas farmers and ranchers.


LTISD joined schools and childcare providers across Texas to "Eat Local, Teach Local and Be Social" in October 2021. Students at Lake Travis ISD ate local foods, learned about Texas agriculture, and the staff shared their success on social media.


"Texas agriculture has a real impact on students and their daily lives," said Commissioner Miller. "I want to challenge our kids to make healthy lifestyle choices for every meal they eat by filling their plates with locally sourced produce from right here in the Lone Star State.”

Registration for Spring 2022 Enrichment now open

Registration in the LTISD Spring 2022 Community Programs After School Enrichment is currently open.


Course offerings will be in person. Students in grades K-5 may choose from art, STEM, sports, cooking, and other exciting offerings.


Use the following link to enroll: www.ltisdschools.org/enrichment. Please note, regular registration closes January 23. Late enrollment will be accepted January 24-30. However, a $35 late fee will be applied. For more information, contact the LTISD Office of Community Programs at 512-533-6011, or at communityprograms@ltisdschools.org.

Student report cards for Fall 2021 available in Skyward Family Access

Student report cards for the Fall 2021 semester are now available in Skyward Family Access*. In order to view your child’s report card, you must perform the following steps:


1. Login to Skyward Family Access (https://www.ltisdschools.org/Page/3548)

2. Click on the ‘Portfolio’ icon

3. Provide consent

4. Save your consent (top left corner of the window)

5. Download your child’s report card


*Please note, report cards for some students who were enrolled in the District's Temporary Virtual School Option may not be available at this time; Skyward representatives are working to resolve this issue.


For assistance with your Skyward login or password, please contact the Lake Travis ISD Help Desk at skyward@ltisdschools.org.

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH internship program now accepting applications

Project SEARCH prepares young people with disabilities for success in competitive integrated employment. The program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent-living skills to help young people with disabilities make successful transitions to productive adult life. Interns learn workplace soft skills that can transfer across vocational opportunities, as well as self-advocacy and self-determination skills that support and encourage independence.


The video above demonstrates how participation in Project SEARCH helps our students enter the workforce and work toward independence.


If you believe Project SEARCH may be a good fit for your child, please consult with your teacher or case manager to discuss next steps.

LTEF shares "Save the Date" for 2022

The Lake Travis Education Foundation encourages you to mark your calendars for two upcoming fundraising events this spring, The Butterfly Brunch and Gala. The brunch will be held March 4 and the Gala will be held April 23, 2022.


For more information, visit www.LTEducationFoundation.org.

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Austin Symphony Orchestra, Lake Travis High School musicians to perform together

Members of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and students with Lake Travis High School will come together at “A Night with the Austin Symphony Orchestra.” Maestro Peter Bay will conduct the performance with participation by Anna Macias, Director for the Lake Travis High School Orchestra and Richard Hicks, Director for the Lake Travis High School Band. The special concert, brought to you by the City of Lakeway Arts Committee, will take place at 7:00 pm, Saturday, March 26 at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center. Visit www.lakeway-tx.gov for more information and details about the musical selections for the evening.


Tickets are on sale now at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center or online at www.ltisdschools.org/finearts. Ticket prices range from $15 to $50 each.

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Interested in a corporate partnership with LTISD?

Contact our Development & Corporate Relations Department to learn how your organization can partner with Lake Travis ISD and support our schools while increasing exposure for your business.
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Join Superintendent Norton for Friday Facebook Live Jan. 28

Join LTISD Superintendent of Schools Paul Norton for a real-time campus visit at 10:00 am, Friday, January 28 from Bee Cave Middle School. Mr. Norton will share a few district updates while providing you a live look at the school day from the home of the Raiders.

Keeping Connected

Download the LTISD Keeping Connected PDF to learn about the various ways to receive District and campus-level news, emergency notification, and other information.


Stay in the know on the go with our District mobile app for iOS and Android. Follow LTISD on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Learn about Peachjar, the innovative flyer management system that sends District- and school-approved digital flyers directly to parents via email.

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 11,300 students. Lake Travis ISD is the area's largest employer supporting more than 1,400 staff districtwide.