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Travis Heights Elementary School > PTA > Greetings Thunderbirds! eFolder – 8/12/2020

Greetings Thunderbirds! eFolder – 8/12/2020

HAPPY WEDNESDAY, THUNDERBIRDS!
We look forward to welcoming back our students, staff, and families as we all return to learn remotely on September 8th! The last day of school will be pushed back to June 3, 2021 — the new school calendar is being written and will be shared soon. Student schedules are also being developed and will be shared ASAP. We will follow a Monday through Thursday schedule. Fridays are reserved for online activity planning, preparation, and student independent work completion. Teachers will check in with students individually on Fridays, as needed.

If your child does not have access to the technology necessary to participate in remote learning, there will be an option to access on-campus learning (details are forthcoming). If you do not have the necessary technology and would prefer your student to learn from home, AISD can provide an alternative such as paper instructional packets. You can also make technology requests on the AISD parent portal. Please see the instructions further down in this note. 

Beginning on October 5th, all families will have a choice between on-campus learning or continued remote learning. During the weeks of October 5th through October 30th, campuses will phase-in all students who have chosen to return for on-campus teaching and learning. This plan could change based on the local health conditions at that time. However you choose for your children to learn, we are looking forward to welcoming students and families back to school!

Check out the detailed “Open for Learning” plan provided by Austin ISD.
AISD Reopening Overview

 

MEET YOUR TEACHER
August 31 – September 4
Look for a special invitation and more information next week to virtually meet your teacher very soon! 

 

TECHNOLOGY UPDATES
Pre-K through 2nd Grade
Families can request technology using the “Technology Distribution” tile in the parent cloud or they can complete the paper forms (below) and return them to the campus for staff to process (please call ahead at 512.414.4495). All Austin ISD students in PreK through second grade will be eligible to receive an iPad for school use that can be picked up or delivered to your home. Students must return the iPad when they finish second grade or withdraw from Austin ISD.

THES pickup for iPads will be at Crockett on:
8/20 2pm – 7pm
8/21 7:30am – 1:30pm
8/24 7:30am – 1:30pm

3rd through 12th Grade
All Austin ISD students in grades 3-12 are eligible to receive one Austin ISD Chromebook for use while they are enrolled in AISD. Students must return the Chromebook when they graduate or withdraw from Austin ISD. Families can request technology using the “Technology Distribution” tile in the parent cloud or they can complete the paper forms (below) and return them to the campus for staff to process (please call ahead at 512.414.4495).

The distribution will be in several phases, and exact dates are not yet available. Even though students will not receive Chromebooks until early or mid-fall, please complete the form now. When your Chromebook is available for pickup or delivery, you will be notified through the phone number and/or email you provide. 

General Information for All Families
If you have a computer or iPad at home for your student, you are not required to receive one from Austin ISD. However, there are many benefits to doing so. District devices will come prepared with the software your student needs for school. Teachers can remotely change settings on Austin ISD devices to make it easier for your students to access their learning materials. District devices can be updated and software can be maintained remotely. They also come with a warranty for free repairs through the district, as well as insurance for accidental damage. They come in a durable, protective case, appropriate for their particular grade. Austin ISD computers have Internet filtering in place to ensure your student’s safety online. If you need help accessing WiFi/Internet AISD can help. 

CLICK HERE FOR FAQS AND MORE INFO or visit austinisd.org/technology

THIS VIDEO shows you how to use the technology request form located in the parent portal. 

DeviceRequest – English (paper form)
DeviceRequest – Spanish (paper form)

 

TELEMEDICINE SERVICES
AISD wants to make sure that our community is safe and healthy! That is why AISD is offering Telemedicine services for our students and their families. Telemedicine will be available in campus health rooms this school year through our partnership with Virtual Care for Families. Services include rapid COVID-19 tests, as well as a test for strep throat and the flu. While students will not be back on campus until at least September, families should know about the service so they can choose to opt-in while enrolling if interested.

If your student has been opted in and is in need of care, they can quickly be seen by a pediatrician through a secure, two-way video conference call. Doctors are able to diagnose patients virtually as well as send a prescription to a pharmacy of the family’s choosing, when appropriate. It is like a visit to the doctor’s office without leaving school. As a reminder, if your child is feeling unwell before school, please keep them home.

Parents wishing to use this service must consent through the online registration process for the 2020-21 school year through my.austinisd.org.

For more information on AISD and Telemedicine please visit https://www.austinisd.org/student-health/telehealth

 

A NOTE FROM THES PTA PRESIDENT + UPCOMING EVENT DATES

Greetings Thunderbirds,

Another week passes, but this time with more information. With the delay of school (which we anticipated) we have now set some dates for the coming school year. Please know that we really tried to wait until we had some more solid information. That’s not to say that there won’t be any changes. My gut says there almost certainly will be. We have heard of other schools putting out schedules and other information that they later had to retract and we didn’t want to do that. Guidelines laid out by the District this week are the clearest so far and really helped us to get a grasp on what’s to come. 

First, I have had several people reach out and ask how they can help teachers. The best way to do that is to support your PTA. Last year, we earmarked money for COVID-19 response, but maybe not enough. We are already looking to purchase supplies like touchless thermometers, face shields (for the littles), and other items to help keep everyone safe. One of the roles of PTA is to act as a conduit for funds from the community to the school. A donation to PTA is a donation to the school and the teachers. More info can be found here: https://www.travisheightselementary.com/support-thes/

Second, I have heard from many of you requesting more communication. You are heard. Now that we have a better picture of the timeline, look for more opportunities to communicate with both school administration and PTA. A few opportunities are outlined below but know that you can always reach out to ptapresident@travisheightselementary.com. Please just allow me some time to respond. 

Here are some important dates and times for what’s ahead:

August 18th: Teachers will be returning to THES for the first time. Please keep in mind that no parents will be allowed on campus, for now.  

August 19th, 9am: Principal Navarro and PTA will be hosting a Zoom meeting to inform parents of the THES Reopening Plan — what does a day look like, and hopefully answer some questions. As we expect a large turnout, this meeting will mostly be a presentation. If time allows, we will try to answer questions. Look for more info on the meeting through Class Dojo.  There will be other meetings in the near future and we will be recording and posting this meeting for those that cannot attend. 

August 24th: Parent Connection Zoom with PTA (date may change, we will inform ASAP). This will be a chance to talk with other parents and your PTA Board with questions, and just to get to know one another.

August 26, 4pm: Another Parent Connection Zoom meeting with Principal Navarro, for those that could not make the first and for any updates.

August 31st through September 4th: Meet the Teacher. Exact details are still being worked out, but likely this will start with a Zoom meeting with all parents where the teacher will introduce themself. Then, there will be a personal follow up meeting with each student’s parents later that week. 

There are some other events and “Surprises” coming up around that time, but more details need to be worked out before we post.  

Finally, I want to acknowledge how difficult it has been to try to plan your lives without information. I do respect our administration for not just putting every rumor or speculation out there. I can say, for my family, it would be even worse if we had to cancel Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C, because we were now on to Plan D. The current situation is the most reliable and stable information we have had, enough so that we are putting it out to you.  Please be patient and understanding if changes have to happen. THES Administration, staff, teachers, and PTA are doing all we can to make sure that all of our families can learn and live in a safe way in these very uncertain times. 

Stay safe Thunderbirds and I look forward to “seeing” you all soon. 

Merrideth Jiles
PTA President

Thunderbirds united,
faithful, strong, and true.
Thunderbirds united,
good at all we do.
Boys and girls together,
Cheerful, brave, and bright!
Here’s to the red!
Here’s to the white!
Here’s to Travis Heights!

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