AIS Friday Flash

Friday, September 3, 2021

August School Spirit Night

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to Phil's & Amy's or picked up food to go this week for our first Spirit Night of the year. We had a great turnout and are excited to report that Phil's & Amy's are generously donating 20% of sales equaling over $889 to our school! Thank you to Phil's Icehouse and Amy's Icecream for your ongoing partnership and to each of you for your participation. Stay tuned for details about our upcoming September Spirit Night.


Virtual Back to School Nights

We had a great time sharing our school with our families virtually for our Back to School Nights this week. We hope you enjoyed meeting your child(ren)'s teaching teams and we look forward to a fantastic rest of the year. If any of you missed the events, please reach out to your teaching teams via their group email and they can share the class presentation slides with you. Here is the presentation from Jacques. (Note, you may need to load Adobe Acrobat to view the slideshow).


Have a Safe and Healthy Labor Day Weekend

A Message from Jacques Weber, Head of School

It’s hard to believe that we are already at Labor Day! I wish our entire community —teachers, students, and their families—a safe, fun, and relaxing three-day weekend. Please remember to take health and safety precautions during the long weekend, which includes good hand hygiene, masking, and physical distancing. COVID-19 new hospital admission rates in Austin are currently trending downward and our combined community efforts will help to keep this trend moving in the right direction. I look forward to seeing everyone again on Tuesday of next week!


Updated COVID-19 Guidance

Based on evolving guidance from Austin Public Health, AIS will make the following two adjustments to our current COVID protocols:

  1. Household-Based Close Contact. If an AIS lives with someone who has tested positive for COVID, then they must stay at home for the required quarantine period. If, at the time of household exposure, the student was not wearing a mask, then the required quarantine period is 14 days; these days are considered excused absences. For students who were masked at the time of exposure, are fully vaccinated, or who have tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 within the past three months, a full, 14-day quarantine may not be required. For questions or additional guidance in those cases, please contact Jacques to discuss required quarantine timelines.
  2. Updated Return-to-School Form. The Texas Medical Association has updated their COVID-19 Physician Letter for Students. When visiting your child’s pediatrician, please take a copy of this form with you and ask them to complete all fields. Of particular importance is the “Earliest date this student may return to school” line. Without this information, we will require families to return to their child’s pediatrician to seek a clearly stated return-to-school date.


Post-Travel COVID Procedures: International and Domestic

Please be advised that the CDC recently revised post-travel health guidance for both international travel and domestic travel. This guidance breaks down information for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people and includes details about testing and isolation requirements. If you have plans to travel domestically or internationally and have any questions about how these protocols may apply to your particular situation, please feel free to reach out to Jacques for more information. As a reminder, all COVID-related absences are considered excused absences. Thank you for your continued vigilance to support the health and safety of our community!


MAP Assessments Begin-Mon., 9/13

Austin International School uses the Northwest Education Association's (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth assessment to track individual student growth during their time at AIS. Students in Kindergarten and up complete assessments three times per year, after which student growth data is shared with teachers and families. MAP Growth data points are important in identifying areas of strength and areas of focus for each student. As such, MAP forms an important part of the work that we do to support individualized student learning at AIS. The first round of MAP assessments will begin on September 13th. Stay tuned for more details regarding testing dates by class and review this video here for more information.


Middle School Retreat-Mon.- Wed., 9/13 - 9/15

Also coming up fast for our Middle Schoolers is the Middle School retreat at The Outdoor School in Marble Falls from September 13-15. For three amazing days, our students will experience Team Building, a pirate ship rope course, climbing walls with ziplines, a compass course, battle canoes, and even archery and fishing! At night? Just as fun! The camp will guide us in learning astronomy and about the stars while we sit around the campfire and eat S'mores and other snacks. It's going to be a great time for our students to not only have fun but to learn and to bond with each other. Hope they're excited to go!


Virtual Room Parent Coffee-Wed., 9/15 9:00 - 10:00 am

Becoming a Room Parent is a great way to be involved with other AIS parents while supporting your child(ren)'s teachers and the school. Join us with this link for a virtual Room Parent Coffee to learn what it entails. The signup is live if you would like to participate and be a semester room parent.


Board Retreat - Sat., 9/25

The AIS Governing Board of Directors will have their annual retreat virtually on Saturday, September 25th. All other board meetings include an open session where our community members are invited and encouraged to attend, however, our Annual Retreat is closed to the public. We invite you to mark your calendar for future meetings, learn more about our board members, or review our past minutes under the About/Board Governance section of our website.


Medical Forms Due-Thur., 9/30

Please be reminded that as per Texas law, all wellness check forms and immunization records are due by September 30, 2021. There is no exception to this requirement. Students who do not have the required documentation on file will be excluded from school until appropriate documentation is submitted.

  • Wellness Check Form: A student wellness check must be completed every year, without exception. The wellness check form must indicate the date of the exam (i.e., not simply the date the form was signed) and wellness checks must have taken place within the last calendar year. If a wellness check is scheduled to take place after the previous wellness check has expired, please inform the school in writing (reception@austinis.org) of the upcoming wellness check date.
  • Immunization records: All vaccine requirements are listed on our school’s website. This information includes which vaccines are required, the documentation that must be on file, and information about exemptions, if appropriate. Texas Administrative Code §97.66(a) requires our school to exclude students are not in compliance with the vaccine requirements.

We thank you for your support to ensure that your children’s records comply with the laws of the State of Texas. If you have any questions about these requirements, please do not hesitate to contact Jacques at your convenience.


Get Ready to Sign-up for École des Loisirs!

Keep an eye out in next week’s Friday Flash for full details about signing-up for the École des Loisirs (EDL) annual French book subscription. This year, EDL has curated another set of amazing titles for students of all grade levels—for both native and non-native speakers of French. Subscriptions cost between $62 and $70 for the entire school year. That’s less than $9 per book! And for every 10 EDL subscriptions organized through the school, EDL will send us a set of 8 brand new French titles for our AIS Library. Our goal this year will be to hit 80 subscriptions so that can add 64 new titles for our students to enjoy!


September Student Birthdays

Happy Birthday, bon anniversaire, and feliz cumpleanos to the following students with September birthdays: Regina F., Noble S., Emmett T., Lydia D., Madeleine S., Tayz S., Raphael B., William W., Abigail W., Eva O., Sebas M., Jacob N., Oliver N., Isabella C., Aria Z., Mark B., Jolene B., Liam D., Nicolas P., Emma T., & Dafna F.


Save the dates

Mark these important upcoming dates on your calendars.

  • 9/2 Cycles 3 & 4 Back to School Night
  • 9/6 Labor Day/No School
  • 9/13 MAP Assessments Begin
  • 9/15 Virtual Room Parent Coffee
  • 9/25 AIS Board Retreat
  • 9/30 AIS Medical Forms Due
  • 10/4-10/8 Fall Break/Fall Camp
  • 10/12 Middle School Night
  • 10/14 PTO Coffee
  • 10/15 Middle School Shadow Day