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Weekly Parents/Guardians Update: Oct. 29, 2021

Upcoming Events & Holidays

Below are some important dates and a few others to spark creativity or ideas for fun with your students or family.


  • Oct. 18-22 – National School Bus Safety Week
  • Oct. 23 – UIL 5A Area Marching Contest @ The Pfield
  • Oct. 25-29 – Red Ribbon Week
  • Oct. 29 – Last day of Early Voting
  • Oct. 29 — Free/Reduced Meals Application Deadline
  • October – National Bullying Prevention Month
  • October – National Principals Month
  • October – Dyslexia Awareness Month
  • October – National Book Month
What is a VATRE?

Dear PfISD Parents & Guardians

It’s the last week to early vote in this year’s election. Remember, voting takes place at The Rock Gym.

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The election is to determine if two “golden pennies” in state aid are approved or not. They mean about $7.1 million in additional funding.

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The ballot language will look like this:

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Please remember to get educated on www.pfisd.net/vatre and vote, regardless of what way you decide. Voter turnout in Travis County is low. I recently heard that it’s at about 4 percent.

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Congrats to all four of our high school bands, which performed in the UIL Class 5A Area D Marching Contest this past weekend. PfISD was well represented, with fine performances from each of our schools.


We’d also like to thank the staff members and volunteers who worked the event at The Pfield, as well as the band parents and others who turned out to show their support. The event was well attended.


The Hendrickson High School Marching Band will move onto the state competition, taking place Nov. 1-3 in San Antonio. Kudos to the band directors for working with students to put on an award-winning performance.


I wanted to share a special acknowledgment, concerning the CHS Band. After just missing out on the finals, they could have gone home, to get some much-deserved rest that weekend. Instead, they elected to stay and cheer on their fellow schools. What a real class act! Cougar Band, that’s awesome.
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In sports, it’s early in the school year still but we’ve already got athletes state-bound. The brother-sister duo of Weiss runners Javier and Jitzell Mora-Ortiz each managed top 10 finishes at the regional meet this weekend to qualify for state, and will be joined by Hendrickson runners Cassie Rivera and Antonio Sanchez.


A round of applause for the coaches behind the students. Best of luck at the state cross-country championships next month.


Speaking of championships, let’s recognize our new middle school football district champions, Dessau and Cele! Dessau captured the seventh-grade championship Tuesday at The Pfield, and CMS is your new eighth-grade champion.


In high school volleyball, we’ve got three schools playoff-bound. All our best to them going forward.


Red Ribbon Week continues; I’ve got my crazy socks! Everyone have fun and stay safe out there.


Have a great rest of the week and an awesome weekend.


In the best interest of children,

Douglas Killian, Ph.D.

Proud Superintendent

Passionately Serving

COVID-19 Updates

We have some updates this week regarding COVID-19 as the APH has placed the Austin-Travis County area in Stage 3 of their COVID guidelines. The APH also has a survey for parents of children age 5-11 to gauge interest in getting their children vaccinated when it becomes available. Please see below for these important updates.

Parent COVID Vaccine Survey Age 5-11

With the expected approval soon of the Pfizer vaccine for use in children aged 5-11 years, Austin Public Health (APH) would like your input as they work with community partners to plan vaccine roll out for that age group. If you are a parent or caregiver of a child (or children) aged 5-11 years, please complete the survey linked below by November 5, 2021.

The survey is only intended to capture information for planning purposes, and your personal information will not be shared. The survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete. Thank you!

Survey in English: https://forms.office.com/g/BehhtFsxyJ

Enlace para la encuesta en español: https://forms.office.com/g/Pzs53z9X3J

Other Important Updates & Information

Submissions accepted to name Elementary #23

Pflugerville ISD is now accepting suggestions for the naming of its next elementary school slated to open Fall 2022. Elementary #23 is the last campus approved by voters in 2018 as part of a $332 million bond program and is located in the Villages of Hidden Lake subdivision near Lake Pflugerville.


Community members are invited to submit name suggestions via online surveys. Suggestions may include historical, geographical or community sites; or an individual or family making a significant contribution to public education in the district.


The survey to suggest names for Elementary 23 may be accessed at:

· English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MNGMMCM

· Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MGTPLDL

· Vietnamese: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MBVHC8J


Name suggestions will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12.


Originally planned for opening in Fall 2023, PfISD’s Board of Trustees approved an expedited process for Elementary 23 due to fast growth in the area and moved its opening to 2022. In doing so, the Board approved that the same design build that won approval for Elementary 22, now Jessica Carpenter Elementary, also be used for Elementary 23.


This design features 117,000 square feet of space, including classrooms with double doors, a Maker Space for hands-on STEM activities, a Community Room for educational opportunities and meetings, dedicated outdoor learning spaces and energy efficient LED lighting.

Free/Reduced Application Deadline Approaching

Pflugerville ISD is encouraging all households to complete the 2021-22 school year free and reduced-price meal application. While all USDA meals in Pflugerville ISD are free this school year, it is important to note that several other programs at your campus and in the district, including future meal programs, may be affected if applications are not submitted. Additionally, Pandemic EBIT cards (P-EBIT) subsidies are determined by households qualifying via the F&R application approval. The deadline for reporting campus and district information is Oct. 29.


Application: https://www.pfisd.net/Page/500

District Hotspots

Please be advised that all district hotspots will no longer be in service as of November 1. Contracts for these hotspots were all one-year terms and will not be renewed due to the fact that in-person instruction is now fully being offered by PfISD.


If you were issued a hotspot from the District in order for you to work from home or your child attend classes virtually, please return the hotspot to your respective campus so PfISD Technology can collect the devices. Thank you.

Leadership Pflugerville ISD Program

Apply NOW to serve as an inaugural member of Leadership Pflugerville ISD!


Leadership Pflugerville ISD will give approximately 15 Pflugerville ISD stakeholders the opportunity to take part in an interactive, in-depth monthly learning experience from November through May.


As a member of the Inaugural Leadership Pflugerville ISD class, you will go behind the scenes and learn what it takes to run a public school district with more than 25,000 students and 3,000 employees. During a series of meetings you’ll gain access to District leadership, have the opportunity to ask in-depth questions, and take a deep dive into learning. Session topics will include District operations, finance, curriculum, and other areas of interest.


Learn more and apply HERE! Deadline is Oct. 29.

National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. We want all our students to feel safe at school and thrive in a learning environment that is welcoming to all individuals. There is no place for bullying on our campuses and have measures in place for students, and thanks to PfISD’s “See Something, Say Something” initiative and the Anonymous Alerts system students, teachers and staff have a way to safely and quickly report any instances of bullying they may be aware of.


Anonymous Alerts allows for reporting of any negative activity on campus, including threats against the school, fights, bullying, drugs and more. Students, parents or other school personnel can simply visit the school’s website, click on the PfISD Resources section of the homepage, and choose “Anonymous Alerts.” Or, download the Anonymous Alerts mobile app. Visit our website for more information: http://www.pfisd.net/domain/1727.


Please remind your students that if they see something, they should say something to an adult on their campus. Let’s work together to prevent bullying from having any place on our campuses.

Class of 2022 FAFSA Saturdays, Scholarships & More

The Federal Application for Student Aid, FAFSA, opened for all seniors on October 1. PfISD Postsecondary Readiness encourages seniors to complete the FAFSA form as soon as possible when the application window opens, since there are limited funds available through the federal program and waiting to apply could result in fewer funds being available to students qualifying for financial aid. Our goal is to have all seniors and their parents complete and submit the FAFSA by December 17. Completing the FAFSA allows students to access scholarships, grants, and loans.


Parents and students are encouraged to follow the 8 Steps to Completing the FAFSA form. Our campus College and Career Advisors and Counseling teams are also prepared to assist students:


CHS CCA – Molly Baca

HHS CCA – Leigh Spradlin

PHS CCA – Nicholas Howell

WHS CCA – Vickie Pugh

PACE Counselor: Kim Sanchez


Students can learn more about federal financial aid and complete the FAFSA form by visiting www.studentaid.gov. We will host FAFSA Saturday events to assist students and parents with application completion. Students and parents may attend any FAFSA Saturday or make an appointment with the CCA for assistance during the school day. Register and attend one of our in-district FAFSA Saturdays using the links below.



HHS Class of 2021 graduate Annie Le recommends all students complete the FAFSA. Her video encouraging seniors to complete the FAFSA won the Austin Chamber contest last year.


In 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature established the new requirement for Texas students to complete a financial aid application (or formally opt out) in order to graduate. The State Board of Education (SBOE) adopted rules related to the new requirement in January 2021. Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter B. Graduation Requirements (effective August 1, 2021). Review the District FAFSA Participation Guidelines and learn about opt-out options. This is both a state and district Graduation Requirement.


Class of 2022: Did you know that College Board is awarding potential scholarships simply for completing the FAFSA and other steps in the College search and application process?


The College Board Opportunity Scholarship is giving students a chance to win a $500 scholarship for completing steps in the College Application process. Complete 6 college planning steps for 6 separate chances at $500. When students finish all 6, they will be entered into a drawing for a $40,000 scholarship, but students can still earn money even if they don’t complete them all. To learn more about the six steps and scholarships being awarded by the College Board, please visit: https://opportunity.collegeboard.org/.


Students can get assistance with the FAFSA application process through the College Board as well. The organization offers a free online FAFSA virtual assistant chat feature called Wyattthat can walk you through the application process and help to make sure students don’t miss any steps.


PfISD Postsecondary Readiness also has created a PfISD Senior Checklist with monthly tasks to keep students on track with applying for college admission, financial aid, scholarships and more. The list includes information to help students get started using the new PFISD Postsecondary Readiness platform – SchooLinks. Students log in today to access tools to help you meet your postsecondary goals.


Completing both the FAFSA and a college application are PfISD graduation requirements and both are included on the PfISD Senior Checklist as reminders.


For more information or to get assistance in beginning their college application process, seniors are encouraged to contact the college and career readiness counselors on their respective campuses as well as their school counselor.


Important Class of 2022 Links:

Gifted & Talented Referral Window Open

Referrals are accepted year-round. However, screening takes place once per year beginning in November and concluding at the end of February. To be screened in this window referrals must be completed before the October 29 deadline. Referrals completed after this date will be tested in the following year testing window.


Where do I find the GT Referral form? School counselors have printed copies of the referral form at each campus. The paper form may be submitted to the student's campus counselor who will enter the student into the online GT ID system. Be sure to submit the form by October 29 to be screened during our annual screening process. Note - forms received after this time will be held for the following school year screening process.


GT Referral Form - English

GT Referral Form - Spanish


How can I learn more about GT referrals? More information is on the PFISD website GT Referral page: https://www.pfisd.net/Page/308

Bus Notifications Update

Pflugerville ISD is no longer utilizing SafeStop to provide information on bus stops. For any parents who may have signed up for this service in the past, you may receive incorrect notifications. We ask that you please delete the SafeStop app.


We are in the final stages of the testing phase a similar program called Stop Finder that will replace this previous service. We anticipate this new service will be available that week of October 18, which also starts National School Bus Safety Week.

Athletics Update

Fall sports are approaching their conclusion with state championships and playoffs on the calendar, and PfISD will be well-represented.


We have four runners headed to the UIL Cross Country State Championship after strong showings at the region championship on Monday morning. The Weiss brother-sister tandem of Javier and Jitzell Ortiz-Mora keep the sibling rivalry going as they each head to the state meet. They each won the district championship and advanced to state as individuals with Jitzell finishing sixth in the girls race and Javier crossed seventh for the boys.


Hendrickson also has two runners set to compete at state. Cassie Rivera was 17th at the region championship to qualify as an individual, and Antonio Sanchez was 14th in the boys race to also advance.


The UIL Cross Country Class 5A State Championship is slated for Saturday, Nov. 5 from Old Settlers Park in Round Rock with girls toeing the line at 11:30 a.m. followed by the boys at 12:10 p.m. Class 1A and 3A run earlier in the day. Even numbered classes compete in their respective state championship races on Nov. 6.


PfISD sends three teams to the UIL Volleyball playoffs with Hendrickson, Pflugerville and Weiss all concluding stellar regular seasons on Tuesday.


For the second straight year Hendrickson went undefeated in district play to secure the title and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs. PHS swept Weiss in three tightly-contested sets on Tuesday night to finish second in the district standings and bump Weiss to third.


Hendrickson and PHS must await a tiebreaker match between Lockhart and Ann Richards to determine who their opponent will be in the first round. WHS will play at McCallum. The first round of the playoffs are Monday and Tuesday.


On the gridiron last week, both of our home games came down to the final play of the game. PHS nearly bested 2021 state runner-up Cedar Park, but the Panthers fell 37-32. Connally went toe-to-toe with Bastrop and couldn’t score on the final play, falling 17-15.


Hendrickson defeated Anderson on the road to keep the Hawks’ playoff hopes alive, while Weiss got an important win over Manor to grab sole possession of first place in the district standings heading into the final two weeks of the season.


This week is Senior Night for Connally on Thursday night at The Pfield against East View. It’s Homecoming for Hendrickson as the Hawks host Leander at 7 p.m. Friday. PHS heads to Georgetown on Friday night, and Weiss travels to Cedar Park for another game that could impact the district standings.


Good luck to all our teams and individuals headed to postseason competition and to our football teams as they are in the final stretch of their season.


AND get ready for basketball season! Practices have started and action on the hardwood starts soon!

Marching Band Update

Hendrickson High School Marching Band is headed to state. The Hawks performed their show “The Arch” with precision at the UIL Area 3 Class 5A Marching Contest on Saturday at The Pfield to come away in second place and advance to the state championship.


Hendrickson ranked second after the preliminary round of the area competition with a score of 11 points. They did not receive a ranking lower than three by any of the five judges. In the finals, Hendrickson scored 13 points and trailed McCallum by just three. The Hawks received No. 1 rankings from both judges in the marching category, while McCallum received 1’s from all three music judges, proving to be the difference.


All four PfISD high schools competed in the area contest after receiving Division I ratings at the region contest.


Weiss High School also moved to the finals out of the prelim round and finished fifth overall. Connally High School finished ninth in the prelims, and Pflugerville High was 13th.

Hendrickson moves onto the UIL Class 5A State Championship Marching Contest set for Nov. 1-3 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Class 5A prelims will be held on Nov. 1, with the Hawks slated to perform at 3 p.m. Finals are during the afternoon session on Nov. 2.


Tickets are $20 for single sessions or $35 for double sessions. Class 1A and Class 3A also have their state championships on Nov. 1-3.


For more information on purchasing tickets, a full schedule of performances, Alamodome’s clear bag policy and more, please visit https://www.uiltexas.org/music/marching-band/state.


Good luck to our Hawk Marching Band at State! And check out the video from Principal Garcia giving the band the good news.

Athletics Ticket Sales Online Only

PfISD ticket sales for athletics events will be entirely online this year. Spectators will be provided electronic tickets, and will have the option to print out tickets to be scanned at the gate. Cash transactions will be prohibited on gameday.


The move to electronic ticket sales eliminates the need to exchange and handle cash, and proved to be efficient last year when implemented by PfISD Athletics.


PfISD also is eliminating season ticket sales, as was done last year. Reserved seat tickets will also not be sold this football season. However, certain passes, including Gold Passes, which allow senior citizens free access to athletic and fine arts events, will be accepted.


Spectators will be able to purchase tickets online as early as the Monday before each home game. Tickets will be available at 2021 GameDay Tickets: The Pfield.


PfISD high school varsity teams will each play home games at The Pfield. The district will host 20 home games at The Pfield this year. This week Connally hosts East View on Thursday night. Hendrickson takes on Leander for the Hawks' Homecoming on Friday night.


For the full slate of 2021 season games at The Pfield, see below.

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Please continue to socially distance as much as possible, wash your hands and wear a mask. This school year, we will continue to find learning opportunities and activities to prepare our students for success in and out of the classroom.


Together this Pfamily can do anything, and through the challenges, we are #MovingPforward.


In the best interest of children,
Dr. Douglas Killian

PfISD Superintendent of Schools

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