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Travis Heights Elementary School PTA > District News > Thursday Thunderword 01/27/2022

Thursday Thunderword 01/27/2022


Have an announcement or other great news to share? Please submit your info to the school the week prior to when you’d like to see it in this newsletter.

PTA News – January PTA Meeting

Welcome to 2022 y’all! So far, so …. well . I know recent events are really a kick in the teeth, but let’s try to stay strong and focus on staying safe.

We had hoped to have our first in-person PTA Meeting and performance at the end of January, but have just decided to hold off. No need to risk anyone’s safety at this point. We will be holding a virtual PTA Meeting on Thursday, January 27th at 6pm. Here is the Zoom link-

Topic: Travis Heights Elementary PTA Meeting January 2022
Time: Jan 27, 2022 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 827 0114 1183
Passcode: 623354

Find your local number:

As we all know, Omicron is running rampant throughout the city, including our schools. Let’s all do our part to be safe and reduce the risks to all of Thunderbirds, including staff. Be sure your kiddo has a good mask every day and keep washing those hands and covering those coughs and sneezes. If you haven’t already, please get yourself and your kids vaccinated and boosted. AISD is offering plenty of opportunities. I have also heard that the line at the Travis County Expo Center on weekends is not bad at all.
From all of us at PTA, please stay strong and let us know if we can help. You can reach out to me at

Merrideth Jiles
PTA President


Shoutout to PTA

PTA has purchased a school shirt for every student at Travis Heights. Parents can expect in the next few weeks your child will bring their school t-shirt home. Remember to have your child wear their school t-shirt every Friday to show school spirit and build community among us. Thanks again PTA, Thunderbirds ROCK!


Coffee Chat – January 28, 8am

Happy New Year and welcome back. January is a time for goal setting with kids. This month we will focus on the person that we want to become and the goals we can set in order to get there. Our counseling theme for the beginning of the year is on how to be a peacemaker in the community and in the world. We will be having a Peace Walk at the end of the month to celebrate our differences and instill the value of peace. Our social emotional lessons will discuss the kind of strategies that great peacekeepers have used over the years, and how we can each adapt these strategies in our own lives. This is a great time to talk to your children about the type of values that help our community to grow stronger, and how each of us have the responsibility to set goals for ourselves in order to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 974 0839 7150
Passcode: joinus


Join the Austin ISD Team as a Substitute

Start changing the game for students on your own terms. We’re looking for dedicated educators who can adapt to fit the diverse and shifting needs of our students in both long-term and day-to-day roles. If your preference is to work at THES you are able to select the campus you would like to serve. We offer:

  • Flexible work environments. You work on your schedule.
  • Professional Learning tailored for our substitutes’ growth and development.
  • Hands-on experience and networking in some of the best schools in the nation.

The 2021-22 Substitute Application is now open!


Submit your application and be a part of our growing, innovative team


Austin ISD Budget Talks

Next week, the district will host two opportunities for families and community members to learn about the 2022-23 school year budget. Attendees will learn and be able to ask questions about current budgetary challenges, plans to address these challenges and opportunities to get involved in the campus budgeting process.

Join us to learn about priorities and plans for staffing, programs and departments and how you can get involved in the budgeting process on your campus.

Click on the link to see a flyer:

English flyer Spanish Flyer


COVID Updates

See our website to find the most recent COVID-related information: COVID Updates.


AISD COVID-19 Hub Testing Sites

Students and staff have access to a free rapid antigen testing program through a new partnership with Concentric by Ginkgo.

Why it matters: Research shows that the more people get tested, the safer everyone is from the spread of COVID-19.

You’ll be able to access rapid antigen or PCR tests (when available) at 11 sites across Austin. Currently, PCR tests are unavailable as we are awaiting the shipment to arrive.

  • Students and staff can get a test at will for any reason, whether you’ve been exposed or are just looking for peace of mind.
  • Sites include:
    • Travis ECHS, 1211 E. Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704
    • Northeast ECHS, 7104 Berkman Dr, Austin, TX 78752
    • Akins HS, 10701 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78748
    • Norman-Sims ES, 4001 Tannehill Ln, Austin, TX 78721
    • Pillow ES, 3025 Crosscreek Dr, Austin, TX 78757
    • Kiker ES, 5913 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739
    • Eastside ECHS, 900 Thompson St, Austin, TX 78702
    • Cunningham ES, 2200 Berkeley Ave, Austin, TX 78745
    • Navarro ECHS, 1201 Payton Gin Rd, Austin, TX 78758
    • Blazier Intermediate, 8801 Vertex Blvd, Austin, TX 78747
    • McCallum HS, 5600 Sunshine Dr, Austin, TX 78756
  • Testing will run 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Yes, but: Only individuals with completed consent forms can get a test.

  • This is an opt-in program, so no one will participate if they don’t want to.
    Completing the consent form takes about five minutes on a computer or smartphone.
  • Consent for under 18
  • Consent for ages 18 and older
  • When completing the consent form, use this code: AISDTEST
  • If you have more than one child, please complete the form for each one.

Dive deeper: For more information, visit Concentric by Ginkgo’s website, reach out to our Let’s Talk portal or send a text to 512-886-6434.


Testing at Burger Athletic Complex

Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing by Nomi Health is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday at Burger Athletic Complex (3200 Jones Rd).

Please complete the consent form prior to arriving:

Update – New hours:
Starting Wednesday, Jan. 26, free drive-thru COVID-19 testing by Nomi Health at Burger Athletic Complex will be open 7 a.m.-6 p.m.


Class Picture Day Rescheduled – February 24, 2022



Eating FREE school breakfast + lunch benefits our school!

As we welcome our virtual and returning in-person learners to campus, it is a good opportunity to remind families that meals are free for all students this school year. Students can enjoy free breakfast and lunch, as well as afterschool meals at participating campuses, regardless of household income and without any application or documentation.

At AISD, we encourage all students to dine at school. As a federally funded program, we receive reimbursement for each meal served; the more meals we serve the more funding we have to invest in the quality of our food, maintain local jobs, and support the Texas economy.

Even if a student brings food from home, they can still choose to enjoy a free meal, or select sides to accompany their sandwich. As long as a student selects three different meal components with at least one being a fruit or vegetable (ex. banana, veggie dippers, and milk), it qualifies as a free lunch meal.

AISD menus regularly feature chef prepared, scratch-cooked recipes made in the kitchens at each school using locally grown or produced, sustainably raised, and clean label ingredients

  • Learn more about school meals at Austin ISD.
  • View daily menus, nutritional information, and allergens at
  • Digital versions of the elementary printed menus are posted on the Food Service Campus Toolkit each month.
  • We offer accommodations for documented food allergies or special diets. Families may have their doctor complete a Request for Dietary Accommodation and submit to the school nurse.
  • All schools offer vegetarian and/or vegan options daily. Families may request milk alternatives, gluten free bread, and vegan accommodations by contacting their school’s café manager.


Bell Schedule & Tardies

THES Families! This is a reminder that school starts and the tardy bell rings at 7:40am. Staff will be on duty at each grade level door for students being dropped off until 7:40am. Any student who arrives after 7:41 am will be marked as tardy. Thank you for getting your students here on time so they can get the absolute most out of each and every instructional day!


Attendance Matters!

To receive the maximum benefit from classroom and instructional participation it is important that your child report to school on time each day. The Attendance Matters Webinar has been created by the district to help parents understand the importance of regular attendance. Thank you for taking the time to invest in your child’s success!

School doors open at 7:10 am
School begins promptly at 7:40
Students arriving after 7:41 am will be counted tardy.
PK: 7:40 am – 3:10 pm
K-5th: 7:40 am – 3:10 pm
Office Hours: 7:15 am – 4:00 pm

Please call the school if your child will be absent from school (512) 414-4495.


Lunch Update

Lunch Reminders: Please send your children with appropriate clothing for the weather (jackets, hats, gloves, etc.) We will continue to have lunch outside if the weather permits. We will announce otherwise that morning if we are moving to indoor lunch (same indoor plan as before).

Temperature considerations and proper clothing are as follows:
o Below 60 degrees: jacket or long sleeves recommended
o Below 50 degrees: coat and long pants recommended
o Below 40 degrees: gloves and hats with long pants and coat are necessary

Temperature Guidelines:
Wind Chill Factor 35 to 38 degrees (dry weather):
45 minutes of total exposure to the chill factor
15 minutes inside for re‐warming
Students must be in appropriate clothing with extremities covered

Wind Chill Factor 31 to 34 degrees (dry weather):
30 minutes of total exposure to the chill factor
15 minutes inside for rewarming
Jackets/coats must be worn at all times, extremities covered Wind Chill Factor of Below

30 degrees:
No outside activity


Yes, we still need LUNCH volunteers!

Winter is here and sometimes the weather is too cold to eat outdoors. We are monitoring the weather daily and deciding whether to eat outdoors or indoors every morning. Indoor lunch is mostly held in each classroom with the exception of PK, Kinder, and two 1st grade classes.

Whether lunch is held indoors or outdoors, we are still in need of lunch monitor volunteers! If you are interested, please follow the process for becoming an authorized Travis Heights Elementary Volunteer by following this link before completing this form for lunch monitoring Our Assistant Principal Samantha Barrett will contact you to coordinate scheduling. Thank you!!


Cafeteria Menus

Please see the link below to find out how to get the menu for each day.

AISD will provide free meals for all students through June 2022. Meals are free for all students regardless of income, or without any application or documentation. At AISD, we encourage all students to take advantage of free school meals!


Healthy Snacks Only

We will continue to encourage our students to eat healthy at school.Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value will not be allowed for snacks during the day. This includes candy, soda, and chips. We will share healthy snack options with families and students. Please privately remind students and remind families of our snack expectations if they bring a snack that is an FMNV. A quick and healthy option readily available are the fruit options provided with our BIC. We will continue to inform and share ideas with our families.


Facebook-donateTravis Heights Heights Elementary Official Facebook Page!
Check here for the latest updates and parent resources.


Science Festival 2022

The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival is one of Texas’ largest regional science fairs with about 3,000 students from 3rd through 12th grade. It encourages and rewards innovative student research and provides scientists, engineers and other professionals a chance to volunteer in the community. The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival serves students from Central Texas whose projects won at their schools’ science fairs. The deadline for submissions is January 27, 2022. For more information please visit

Winning Junior/Senior Division projects advance to the Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Best of Fair Senior Division projects advance directly to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.


Shout out to your Travis Heights Team!

Did one of our own deliver for YOU? Teacher and Employee well-being is essential to our overall success as a school. The benefits of expressing gratitude and recognizing staff are limitless. Please join us in prioritizing our RAVE Employee Recognition program!

What is a RAVE?
The RAVE (Recognizing All Valuable Employees) program helps us honor our AISD team who take the extra steps to provide equitable and exceptional experiences for our students, families, staff, and community members.

Submit a digital Rave online! The District shares all positive Rave submissions with each employee and their Principal or Supervisor. Please spread the word about Raves with your community.


Up & Coming

26 PTA Meeting (6 pm)
27 Science Fair Projects due
28 Coffee Chat (8 am)

3 AISD Budget Talks (6 pm)
5 AISD Budget Talks (10:30 am)
21 Parent-Teacher Conferences
24 Class Pictures

For district-wide events you can view the AISD calendar here: