Hornet Herald

News and notes for the week of March 28th, 2022

B Week!

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Click here to complete the family survey for 2021-2022

We would like to hear from as many community members as possible so please complete the survey and also encourage at least one other community member to do the same. The feedback is valuable and survey closes April 8th, 2022.

Courtyard Lunch Assignments for the week of 3/28/2022

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Thank you for joining us for another great service day! Many thanks to our amazing coordinators of this event - Angie Bealko & Catherine Bergman!

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Special Welcome to our new family Members!

Farrah De La Croix (Deh-Lah-Qwah) - Magnet Director

I am excited to return to the city of Austin, Austin ISD, and serve the Kealing community as the Magnet Director. I recently completed eight years as an assistant principal in both Dallas ISD (7 yrs.) and Red Oak ISD (1 yr.). Previously, I worked in Fort Bend ISD as a campus improvement/data specialist and Title I Coordinator and in Houston ISD as a high school science instructional coordinator. Beforehand, I co-piloted the first Pre-AP program at Greiner Middle School (Dallas ISD) and taught Pre-AP 7th and 8th-grade science for five years.

Prior to my career in education, I was a real estate agent licensed in Texas during my senior year of high school. I left the family business of real estate in 2012 to focus solely on education leadership and improving student outcomes.

Some of my educational interests include teacher quality, student agency, advanced academics, leadership capacity building, equity issues, and the collaborative instructional planning process (all things PLC).

Outside of educational pursuits and work, I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, singing jazz, reading (non-fiction), tennis (spectator), creating art, exploring interior design, anything about education law or art law, juicing vegetables (green juice), photography, oceanography, architecture, and art museums.

Kyla Brandenburg - ELA 7 Teacher

My name is Kyla Brandenberg, and I cannot wait to begin teaching at Kealing! I received my Bachelor's degree in Education from Iowa State University, and I am extremely passionate about ELA and reading. Working with students to explore texts and improve their writing were a few of the biggest reasons I chose to go into teaching. In my free time, I enjoy reading, weightlifting, and exploring Austin!

Principal's Message to Hornet Families for the week of 3/28/2022

Great evening fantastic families,

We have lots of information in this newsletter so I will keep my message short. We were excited to welcome everyone back last week and it was a GREAT one. We observed sizeable increases for most students on the short cycle assessments which shows our scholars are growing and students' social skills are becoming observably better. This past week we had our second March Principal's Coffee and had a chance to finalize a few new additions to our family. We completed the hiring for our Magnet Director, Parent Support Specialist, and English Language Arts 7 teacher. This upcoming week we look forward to opening our Spring Athletics season with a tennis match at Small Middle School on Wednesday and a track meet at Small Middle School on Thursday. Friday will be a student holiday, so students are not required to come. Our campus instructional coaches and administrators have collaboratively planned a day of learning and service for our staff for Friday. Thank you for choosing Kealing Middle School and Austin ISD, feel free to reach out to me directly for any reason at all: jerald.wilson@austinisd.org

Action Plan Status Updates

This Past Week

  • Conducted the additional March Principal's Coffee in person. We had over 20 members to attend in person. We discussed the status of the action plan and current status of vacancies on our campus. Here's a recap: March 22nd Principal's Coffee Recap.
  • Conducted 1 more exit surveys for teachers who have left this year. (not completely done yet)
  • Reviewed 3/11 Campus Bi Weekly Climate Survey results. Details were discussed at the March 22nd Principal's coffee and shared in the recap notes.
  • Panorama 3rd party campus climate survey was distributed to the staff March 31st. Panorama safeguards the privacy of respondents, keeping their responses


  • We have successfully hired for both ELA & Science vacancies that were created this semester and completed the hiring process for the Magnet Director & Parent Support Specialist Positions. Campus vacancy status can be viewed here: KMS Vacancies.

  • We distributed our first round of Kealing Awards to teachers and staff, pictures and reasons are below in the newsletter.

This Upcoming Week

  • Conduct more exit surveys from former teachers
  • Conduct more stop and chats with teachers and staff members
  • 4/1 Campus Biweekly Climate Survey
  • 4/1 Collaborative staff development & service day

Adjusted Budget Time Line

Budgeting decisions will be shared with CAC prior to the 4/15 signature deadline(likely by April 1st)

4/15 - CAC signature Sheets due

PTA Corner!

Hornet Parents,

This is the time of year when the weeks seem to fly by. There are some events coming up in the next month. The last secret pals gift drop of the year is on April 19 and 20. The next PTA meeting is April 7th at 8 am on zoom. In addition to some events for students coming up (movie night, spring fling dance) we are also planning a PTA hosted social event for parents. Keep your eyes open for details.

We are looking for parents who would be interested in serving on the PTA executive board next year, as well as to run committees. If you would be interested, please send an email to Beth at president@kealingpta.org.

2022 - 2023 Budget concerns, suggestions, and questions

Please click on this button to share your questions, concerns, or suggestions for the 2022-2023 KMS Budget

KMS Safety Protocols as of 3/27/2021

Before School

All staff, students, and visitors are encouraged to self screen for COVID 19 symptoms before entering into a campus or other Austin ISD Facilities each day


- We will maintain outdoor markers to social distance


- we will encourage moving halls where students are encourage to not stop while transitioning to classes

- Hornet Passes are available for students with anxiety about being in large groups


- We are seating/desks at least 3 feet apart when feasible

- Each classroom has a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration unit

- Personal Protective Equipment will be available in each room

- Plexiglass dividers available

- Additional outdoor seating (2 outdoor classrooms & the courtyard if teachers plan to use)

Breakfast & Lunch

- Students are allowed to eat lunch both inside the cafeteria and outside in the courtyard

- Dividers are available if a student prefers to use at lunch (we are taking down the plexiglass dividers)

- The courtyard comfortably seats 4 classes, which is from 25% - 100% of the lunch capacity for each lunch period.


- we will have staggered dismissal where scholars will be dismissed by areas of the building to reduce traffic.


- Masks are optional

- assigned seating for lunches is a discontinued practice

- We are no longer using the staggered transitions

- no more assigned seating during lunches

- we no longer use the accordian plexiglass dividers (student may use a divider if the student prefers)

Upcoming Dates

Monday -March 28th - B Day (5th - 8th Periods)

Tuesday - March 29th - A Day (1st - 4th Periods)

Wednesday - March 30th- B Day (5th - 8th Periods)

Tennis match @ Small Middle School @ 6p

Thursday - March 31st - A Day (1st - 4th Periods)

Track & Field Meet @ Small Middle @ 6p

Friday - April 1- Student Holiday

- Students will not attend

- Staff Development & Service Day

Next Week -A Week

4/2 - Black Youth Day at University of Texas at Austin

4/2 - Food Truck competition in Kealing Community

4/5 - New Bell Schedule Begins

Please click here to submit Hornet Herald entries

Entries must be submitted by Thursdays weekly to be included in the upcoming week's communication.

This Past Week on Campus !

Special thanks to PTA for Sponsoring our First Round of Kealing it Awards!


Updating Bell Schedule starting April 5th, 2022


  • More transition time between lunches to properly clean and prepare space for students

  • Alleviate traffic jam of students going to lunch and those returning to class from lunch

  • Adjust to new custodian duty schedule effective April 5th

Kealing Spring Fling Dance | Friday, April 22nd

It's time to dance! Kealing Student Council will be hosting a spring fling dance on Friday, April 22nd. Please be on the lookout for donation requests and chaperone sign-ups as it will take our Kealing community to make this event a success!
Tickets will be $5 and open to all Kealing students--Kealing students only.
Tickets in the form of wristbands will be sold the day of the dance during all lunches.

8th Grade Party T-Shirt Designs Wanted!

It is time to design the t-shirt for the 8th grade party, and we would like your 8th grader's input by MARCH 31st!!

From Ms Jarowski, below:

"Can you come up with an awesome design that everyone will want to wear? Be sure to include:
-Wording on both the FRONT and BACK of the shirt
-Any design(s), drawing(s), symbol(s)
-Colors for both the lettering and image(s)
-T-shirt color ideas
Please submit your t-shirt design online via the form link https://docs.google.com/.../1FAIpQLScT6.../viewform... (can be found in your Advisory tile) OR e-mail your design to keri.jaworski@austinisd.org.

We will vote on the favorite design and the winning artist will receive a special prize! T-shirt designs due March 31st!"

The link above will only work for students; login and submissions will go through their AISD account for monitoring purposes.

Questions regarding the t-shirt design or party? Please go to the Social Groups area on Konstella and join the 8th Grade Party group for conversation there (as per usual, please DO NOT message all of 8th grade - Konstella discussions should always take place in a Social Group so that school-wide and grade-wide announcements from PTA such as this remain high signal, and notifications do not become overwhelming).

Further party details also forthcoming, so please standby for those, too! Thanks!!

Kealing 20-21 Yearbook

Kealing Middle School 20-21 Yearbook Wins the GOLD CROWN in Columbia Scholastic Press Awards. Congratulations to Kristen Scott and the 20-21 Yearbook Staff.
"The Crown Awards honor top student publications chosen from CSPA’s members. Crowns are selected for overall excellence in a head-to-head comparison. Student publishing in news, magazine, yearbook or digital (online) formats are all-eligible. During Crown consideration, publications are judged on their excellence as shown by their design, photography, concept, coverage and writing. A total of 817 publications were eligible for judging."

Kealing Middle School Yearbook, the Vespa, is the only publication in AISD to win GOLD CROWN recognition.

Black Youth Day at the University of Texas at Austin

Black Youth Day is a daylong event for students (grades 8-11) to learn about engineering through hands-on activities led and taught by students within their own community. Hosted by the National Society of Black Engineers UT Chapter and the Cockrell School of Engineering's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office and held on the UT Austin campus, Black Youth Day aims to promote engineering where it hasn't been promoted before in a way that allows participants to see others with the same identity, hoping to show students that they have a community within a Predominantly White Institution (PWI).

The event is geared for high school students in the greater Austin area in grades 8-11 who are interested in the field of engineering. We want students to start thinking about their futures now and show those who come from underrepresented populations have a supporting community within the Cockrell School. Activities include a panel of Black engineers and UT students, geocaching and scavenger hunt, and hands-on experiments and activities.

More information and registration is located on this link: https://cockrell.utexas.edu/events/dei-events/black-youth-day#

Also, lunch will be provided for participants. 😊

Food truck competition in the community!

KMS Amazon Wish List

Please click here to support our Amazon Wishlist

Kealing Algebra 2 Fundraiser

Please help our Algebra 2 class raise money for our end of year project! We are making a dynamic art installation in the school and need some funding! This art installation will be an exciting addition to our school and will demonstrate the creativity and individuality of the Kealing students. All donations are appreciated and every dollar counts!

Link to the GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/kealing-algebra-2-end-of-year-project-funding?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1

All Call for Supplies

Hello community! Thank you so much for showing up for Kealing time and time again! Be it your time, your talent, or your treasure--we appreciate you! Supplies are running low again and many of y'all know we basically do not have a supply budget as we previously had. Additionally, we are working hard to welcome refugee students to our campus. Their teachers providing resources to engage them and make them feel supported, so we have included several books and language acquisition resources to the Amazon wish list. I cannot express how much we appreciate you all. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/B7BQHNMLAOP?ref_=wl_share
Summer Youth Employment Program Brochure

SYEP is offering summer employment opportunities to young people 14-17 years of age as well as young people with a disability up to the age of 22. Employment opportunities include 100 hours of paid learning/work experience.

Yearbook Recognition Ads are Available! Pre-Order Your Yearbook Today!

Hello Hornets Community! Yearbook recognition ads are currently available through the Josten's website (www.jostens.com > search Kealing)! Recognition Ads a great way for parents, families and friends to commemorate student achievements and important milestones. Limited ads are available so be sure to secure your space now! Recognition and Personalized Yearbook Ads start as low as $35!

How To Order Guide (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1b6bv9eEqfKqLAyzyyYIIeYCaz3_e_xXY/view?usp=sharing)

Community Donations

Thank you for all your generous contributions to our campus! We appreciate you and all the many ways you show up for our Kealing Community. We have started a Community Donates spreadsheet in order to repurpose household items to our campus. There are two ways to contribute--1. Drop off the requested item to the front office labeled with the requesting teacher's name. 2. If you have item(s) to offer that might have a second life on our campus, please add a description to the spreadsheet. Teachers can then go in and claim the item. HERE is a link to the spreadsheet. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IOK7cMk99UZtIQcClIWNQ8Wgc3_nBQ0tBrj7amKXLro/edit?usp=sharing

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