Casey Elementary January News

Lina Villarreal, Principal

Happy New Year 2022

We are looking forward to a fabulous new year. While we know that we are in the midst of another Covid-19 surge with Omicron, our school is committed to keeping students and staff safe. Please review the frequently asked questions below that will clarify procedures.

As AISD urged, the best way you can help protect your child is to get boosted this week, today if possible. Also, if your children are older than 5 they can receive the vaccine. Travis County has no-appointment vaccine clinics going on now, and Austin ISD vaccine clinics will resume Jan. 8. Don’t delay, do this now.

Secondly, get yourself and your children tested Monday or Tuesday before returning to school. You can come to one of our 11 testing hubs starting Jan. 3. You can find the hours, consent form, and a complete list of locations on the district webpage. The closest location to us is Cunningham ES, 2200 Berkeley Ave, Austin, TX 78745.

Finally, when we see you again Wednesday, please make sure to wear a mask. A KN95 mask is best, but if none are available, a surgical mask or well-fitting cloth mask helps too.

Back to School on Jan 5th - Frequently Asked Questions/Answered by AISD

Will school open Jan. 5 as scheduled?


What is being done to manage the Omicron variant?

We’re using the same multi-level approach that has led to having the lowest rate of COVID infections in Central Texas: Wearing masks, social distancing, partitions, advanced ventilation, vaccination and testing opportunities, and constantly collecting and using data in our decisions.

Are you using the new CDC recommendations for isolation?

Yes, we revised our protocols to reflect the new guidance. Any positive individual who is asymptomatic can return after the fifth day of isolation.

What is being done to protect students in the classroom?

We’ve put in measures to protect students in the classroom, including extra ventilation, cleaning and sanitizing high-touch areas, a mask mandate, social distancing when possible, testing opportunities, making it easy for students to wash hands, contact tracing and notifications to families, vaccination opportunities for students 5 and older, and relying on our local/state/federal health experts for further guidance.

What is test-to-stay?

If someone in your student’s class has been exposed to COVID, you will receive a notification. From there, you can choose to have your student stay in school with a mandatory test on the fifth day, or they can stay at home and test on the fifth day at an approved testing facility. If they become symptomatic, they may need to stay home longer than five days.

Can I use a home rapid test?

At-home testing is a great way to have peace of mind, but won’t work for our test-to-stay procedure. If your student tests positive at home, please keep them home per AISD protocol. They may return after the fifth day and as long as they are asymptomatic.

However, for test-to-stay protocol, or if you want to make absolutely certain of the results, please visit one of our 11 testing hubs or any approved testing provider.

Are masks mandatory?

Yes. Masks are mandatory inside all AISD buildings and schools. We recommend wearing an N95 mask if possible or double masking for extra protection. Please make sure the mask fits properly, over the nose and mouth.

Where can we get tested?

Our website is a great source of information, and we have 11 testing hub sites and a mobile van that will be operational Jan. 3. There is no registration required, but you need to fill out a consent form online (use code AISDtest). Filling out the consent form means you’re good for the whole school year. In addition, your school may ask if you want your student pool tested, meaning they’ll get an individual nose swab that will go into a group test. It’s another layered approach we’re taking to keep our classrooms safe.

What protocols are in place to keep students participating in athletics and fine arts safe?

Indoor activities are monitored closely and when students are not participating in vigorous activities they are wearing masks and distancing as much as possible. Outdoor events, per the public health department, do not require extra guidance unless that activity is causing extreme close contact.

PTA President's Corner by Erika Bodoin

Did anyone else really need that break? We hope you had a chance to relax and connect with people who are important to you!

Casey PTA Highlights:

  • Our Winter Fest and Silent Auction was a great success! Not only did we get to have a fantastic event to celebrate our community, we also raised much-needed funds for classrooms and to support Casey programs!

  • Texas PTA (our parent organization) gave us two more awards! We now have the 3 Year High Membership Award for having more members than we have in three years and the Preschool Involvement Award for our two amazing PreK parent board members, Nancy Lopez and Analisa Reyes.

  • Konstella (our private Casey communication app) is up and running! We have 69 registered parents/caregivers. If you’re receiving messages but haven’t registered, please do so and we can keep you informed about events and opportunities at Casey, You can also connect with parents in your class and if you’d like, you can sign up for social groups (and even create your own)! Go to and search for Casey Elementary to register.

  • Our Grade Guardian program is ready to go! There will be four parents/caregivers per grade level to help teachers after school and remotely with things like making copies, creating classroom wish lists, and assisting with communication. We have 9 parents/caregivers signed up so far. If you’re interested, please reach out to Meghan Ruiz at or just sign up on Konstella under Committees.

  • Blazer Tag passes were donated to Casey PTA for students who are returning to Casey this semester after participating in remote learning this year. Look out for the passes in your child’s backpack next week!

Our next PTA meeting will be on January 13th via Zoom at 6pm. Spanish translation will be provided. Please register in advance. We hope to see you there! In the meantime, check out our website or follow us on Instagram.

Important Dates

Jan 5 - Students return, including virtual students.

Jan 10 - 5-8pm: Spirit Night at Bush’s Chicken

Jan 10 - Middle of Year Benchmark MAP Growth Math Administration for Kinder - 5th

Jan 11 - Middle of Year Benchmark MAP Growth Reading Administration for Kinder - 5th

Jan 12 - Middle of Year Benchmark MAP Growth Reading Fluency Administration for 1st Grade

Jan 13 - Principal & PTA Virtual Coffee for Parents & Caregivers 8 a.m. on Zoom

Jan 13 - General PTA Meeting 6 p.m. on Zoom

Jan 17 - MLK Holiday for Students & Staff

Jan 20 - CAC Virtual Meeting on Zoom