PTO Principal Update

March 16th, 2015

"At Austin Elementary, we are driven to unlock the passion and cultivate the uniqueness inherent in every learner." - Austin's Guiding Purpose

Boosterthon Kick-Off

Our 2015 Boosterthon campaign kicked off with a bang today! The PTO has partnered with Boosterthon for the past couple of years to bring character and fitness to our school community while also raising funds that support our PTO initiatives.

For the next several days, our learners will take part in lunchtime team "huddles" with the Boosterthon team to promote this year's theme... Community

The campaign will culminate with our Fun Run Day on March 25th. Our Mustangs will participate in a school wide run to promote fitness and gather pledges that go back to the PTO to support countless campus events/improvements. We invite you to join us for the run!

8:15 - K & 1st
9:15 - 2nd & 3rd
10:15 - 4th & 5th

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At our October meeting, I shared with you some information regarding a grant that Austin has received from the district for a Blended Learning Pilot. Here is a quick recap of the facts...

  • 10 educators volunteered to participate
  • 2 educators each in 1st-5th grade
  • Each educator received a teacher laptop and 10 student MacBooks. An Apple TV for each pilot educator has been ordered as well.
  • Our goal... Partner our educational expertise and experience with these new devices to design experiences that are engaging and customized and that address our content standards in a real-world way.

Since that October introduction, our educators have explored countless resources (Blend Space, Brain Pop, Google Classroom, Educanon) that are allowing them to provide differentiated activities and lessons for learners based on their instructional level and interests. Check out some of the Tweets below for a window into their instruction, and follow our learning on Twitter with #AustinBlends.

What's Happening in the Legislature?

The latest education "hot topic" in the Legislature is another one that can have a big impact on us and our school. It has to do with how public schools are rated and how that rating impacts the school, staff, and neighborhood. The latest proposal would change our current rating system to a new system based on an A-F rating.

Check out the 2 articles below. The first gives a great overview of the bill. The second provides a general legislative overview and more details on how the proposed rating system would be used to evaluate staff and influence pay.

Whatever your stance on these issues, I encourage you to please reach out to your Rep/Senator and let your views be known!

EduLege Update

Midway through the post there is a section "Drawing the line..." that goes in depth on the proposed rating system.

Testing Season

Testing (STAAR) season is upon us. Please see below for the dates.

  • Mon, March 30th - 4th Grade Writing (Day 1)
  • Tues, March 31st - 4th Grade Writing (Day 2) / 5th Grade Reading
  • Mon, April 20th - 5th Grade Math
  • Tues, April 21st - 3rd & 4th Grade Math
  • Wed, April 22nd - 3rd & 4th Grade Reading / 5th Grade Science

How can you help your kids do their best? Make sure they get a good night's sleep, have a healthy breakfast, and positively encourage them to try their hardest.

To maintain test security and provide our learners with the fewest interruptions, Austin Elementary is closed to visitors each testing day.

4th/5th Grade iPad Rollout

Throughout this week, 4th & 5th grade parents will receive information from both the Technology Department and me walking them through the process of our iPad rollout. Information will come to the email address listed in your Portal, so please check your junk/spam folder if you are not received communications!

Also, I invite you to join us for Coffee & Conversation (details below). This is a parent info session that will allow you ask questions, receive assistance in signing up your child, and hear more about the vision for this initiative and the safety supports being put in place for our learners.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or your child's teacher with questions!

This is an exciting time to be an Austin Mustang!

Coffee & Conversation

Friday, March 27th, 8:30am

161 South Moore Road

Coppell, TX

Come learn more about our 1:1 iPad initiative for our 4th & 5th grade learners.

3rd Grade Parents, you are invited to join us as well to get a "preview" for your learner next year.

Connect With Austin!