The MAC Monthly (or Daily, really)

Campus Update 3.26.20

Big picture

Message From the Principal

Dear McCallum Family,


I hope this newsletter finds you all healthy and safe. It seems that the situation we are in is rapidly evolving, so I wanted to send another update with what I know to this point:



  • School closure has been extended to April 13 to match city ordinance. This simply refers to the closing of the building, in that we will not have classes on campus. Online learning for students is still set to begin April 6th.


  • Dr. Cruz has stated that we should prepare ourselves for school closure to possibly last longer.


  • Prom has been rescheduled for May 9th. I hope, hope, hope we can make it happen. I will keep you posted on any news.


  • We are not allowed to access campus for any reason at this time. I realize there are items that need to be retrieved, but we cannot do this until the city lifts the shelter order.


  • Students taking AP, OnRamps, and/or dual credit classes - the overseeing entities of these classes (College Board, UT, and ACC, respectively) can/have their own policies for how they proceed. Students need to make sure they are in contact with their teachers/professors to stay current on this information. Also, students in these classes need to fill out THIS FORM to let us know current technology capabilities.


  • Students taking DELTA courses need to continue working on those credits! You can/should work on these right now!


  • More detailed information will be coming out about grading (previous assignments and future) in the coming days. These policies require district approval, so it takes some time. I'm expecting to be able to push this information by early next week.


  • Everyone's health and safety remains the number one priority. Please take care of yourselves!


Once again, the McCallum faculty is dedicated to working with all of our students in order to ensure their success. Thank you for your continued patience with us as we work through new normal.


We are in this together. #GoKnights #MACstrong


Sincerely,


Mrs. Hosack

Principal Hosack Provides Another Update Through 'The Shield'

A new podcast is out! On Wednesday, March 25th, McCallum students Julia Kay Smith and Stella Shenkman once again interviewed Principal Brandi Hosack about the latest information regarding school closures and what's ahead.


The interview was published online in McCallum’s award-winning student newspaper, The Shield. CLICK HERE to access the article which includes a link to the podcast.

Graduation Cap & Gown Order Update:

Hello MAC seniors and parents,


First off we want to let you know how much our hearts are breaking over the way the class of 2020's senior year is turning out. Unfortunately we can't fight a global pandemic, but it makes us all sad to think of how it particularly impacts our Seniors. At this time we are hopeful for a return to normalcy, but we can't be sure how long that will take. We can tell you the school board and Dr. Cruz have not made a decision about graduation. I personally look forward to graduation every year. I love seeing the look of pride and joy on each of students' faces. Graduation is a major milestone in every person's life and we hope to have our 67th graduation ceremony later this year.


We wanted to take a minute to update you on items you ordered from Herff Jones for graduation. We have spoken to Darren Masur, our Herff Jones representative, and he is ready to make a delivery once the restrictions are lifted. We will work with Darren and his team to establish a delivery system for items that were ordered. More than likely this will be done with as little contact between the Herff Jones team and the families. Darren let us know his team did a contact less delivery last week for another school, so they have familiarity with this procedure.


Unfortunately, there are still too many unknowns for us to accurately forecast the rest of this semester. For now focus on taking care of one and another. Stay healthy and please stay home unless you absolutely need to go out.


We will get through this together!!!


Andy Baxa

Assistant Principal

CHOICE SHEETS

Students/Parents:


We are having to do Choice Sheet entry via a google doc submission form. All rising 10th-12th graders need to fill it out. It only takes 5-10 minutes!


https://forms.gle/j7CG3NHN6sJr44Pg9


Stay Safe- MAC STRONG!


-Mr. Reyes

Message from the Counselors


Dear Students and Parents:


We hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy.


We miss seeing our students very much and want to be sure you know how to reach us if you need anything.


For the most up-to-date information, please check our counselor website at www.maccounselors.com. There, you can find information concerning scheduling, choice sheets, AP information, college, upcoming ZOOM sessions and much more.


Students and parents please email your counselor with any questions. We will get back to you as soon as we can.


A-Cn – Loren Croom – loren.croom@austinisd.org

Co-Hd – Shelley Goldstein – shelley.goldstein@austinisd.org

He-Me – Daniela Galvan – Daniela.galvanortiz@austinisd.org

Mi-Sd – Cristela Garcia – cristela.garcia@austinisd.org

Se-z – Mickey Folger – mickey.folger@austinisd.org

College – Nancy Nitardy – nancy.nitardy@austinisd.org

Special Education – Julie Rigby – julie.rigby@austinisd.org


If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, Integral Care has a 24/7 Crisis Helpline at 512-472-HELP (4357). You can also Text TX to 741741 to connect to Crisis Text Line. The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 crisis support via text.


For a mental health emergency, please call 911 and ask for a wellness check.


Thank you and Go Knights!

VOE Update

According to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) website “Verification of Enrollment is currently waived until further notice due to COVID-19”. We don’t know how long they will still be issuing permits or giving driving tests (rumor is that was shutting down eminently) so if you are considering doing this, we would suggest moving on it quickly.

Spectrum and Comcast are offering free WIFI for K-12 students

Spectrum is offering free Wi-Fi and broadband access up to 100 MBPS to any household with K-12 and/or college students that doesn’t already have Spectrum. Installation fees will be waived for these households, and anyone wishing to enroll will need to call 1-844-488-8395.


Comcast is expanding a service they already offer for low-income families called Internet Essentials. The service, which is normally $9.95 a month, will be free for new customers for 60 days and is 25 MBPS. People hoping to sign up for the services can call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

Student Meals During School Closures

Starting March 23, meals will be available Monday-Friday. Curbside meals will be offered at more than 15 sites. Austin ISD school buses will deliver meals throughout the community at more than 50 locations. Sites were chosen based on 50 percent or more students receiving meal benefits.


Curbside meal sites, open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, are listed below. Families are advised to stay in their cars and not enter buildings during meal pick up. Families do not need to be in a car to get the meals. Families who come by walking/biking/transit will still be able to receive food outside the campuses. For more information: https://www.austinisd.org/coronavirus/meals

Virtual Care for kids partners with AISD

Virtual Care for Kids has agreed to waive all co-pays for all AISD telemedicine visits. In addition students with Medicaid will receive free care.


If you wish to utilize this service please register your child at: https://urgentcarekids.com/aisd/


To see a provider please visit: https://urgentcarekids.com/pediatric-telemedicine-for-kids/

Vida Clinic - Mental Health Resources

Our school based mental health partner, Vida Clinic, is offering teletherapy services to the Austin ISD community beginning Wednesday, Mar. 18. These services will allow adults and students to access quality mental health services right from their own homes. To learn more or schedule services, contact our Vida Clinic Care Team at 512-518-2209 or by email at vidacare@vidaclinic.org.

Integral Care

Additionally, if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, Integral Care has a 24/7 Crisis Helpline at 512-472-HELP (4357). You can also Text TX to 741741 to connect to Crisis Text Line. Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 crisis support via text. Integral Care is also working with NAMI Central Texas to make sure the community has resources available during this challenging time. They will be posting helpful tools on their website this weekend, including tips and tools for managing stress and how to talk to your children about this uncertain time.

Talking to your children about COVID-19/Coronavirus

Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.

Make yourself available to listen and to talk.

  • Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.

Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.

  • Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.

Provide information that is honest and accurate.

  • Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
  • Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.

Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff. (e.g., increased handwashing, cancellation of events or activities)
  • Get children into a handwashing habit.
    • Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.


Facts about COVID-19 for discussions with children


Try to keep information simple and remind them that health and school officials are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.


What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is the short name for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is a new virus. Doctors and scientists are still learning about it.
  • Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick. Scientists and doctors think that most people will be ok, especially kids, but some people might get pretty sick.
  • Doctors and health experts are working hard to help people stay healthy.

What can I do so that I don’t get COVID-19?

  • You can practice healthy habits at home, school, and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19:
    • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it in the trash right away.
    • Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose, and eyes. This will help keep germs out of your body.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Follow these five steps—wet, lather (make bubbles), scrub (rub together), rinse and dry. You can sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
    • Keep things clean. Older children can help adults at home and school clean the things we touch the most, like desks, doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls. (Note for adults: you can find more information about cleaning and disinfecting on CDC’s website.)
    • If you feel sick, stay home. Just like you don’t want to get other people’s germs in your body, other people don’t want to get your germs either.

Resources:

Austin ISD

Austin ISD Crisis Support Fund
Telehealth Options for Families
Board Resolution - Emergency COVID-19 March 13, 2020

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC on COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
CDC on COVID-19 in Texas: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
CDC Confirmed Cases of COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Videos

CDC Handwashing Videos (English/Spanish)

The City of Austin

City of Austin COVID-19: http://austintexas.gov/article/cdc-updates-coronavirus
City of Austin COVID-19 FAQ: http://www.austintexas.gov/COVID19