Community Letter from Principal Harrison

August 13, 2021

 

Dear Anderson students and community,

As we are diligently preparing for students returning to in-person classes next week, there are several pieces of information that I want to share.

Last night we had a Back to School Parent Information Zoom session that was well attended and covered many topics. We recorded that meeting and will post it to share with those who weren’t able to attend. The meeting went longer than an hour so the file may be too large to post without some editing or posting in two segments.

What will the first day of school on Tuesday August 17th look like?

Masks are required for all students, staff and visitors at Anderson High School. We believe everyone masking up will give us the best chance for “a normal school year”. Please explain to your student that masking protects those around us as well as the individual wearing the mask. https://www.austinisd.org/announcements/2021/08/09/masks-mandated-austin-isd-en-espanol

Students will report to Alphabetical Homerooms based on their last name. We will meet the Alpha Homerooms only on the first day of the semester. While our system is not set up to send Alpha Homeroom assignments to students individually, we can give the student ID number breakdown with the Alpha Homeroom Teacher Name and Room number: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xzxCxNdU2MO8HF3EBHO4NSeJ9YjbpVEc2gokxhBFAUU/edit#gid=0

In addition, the rosters for each room will be printed by grade level and posted on the first floor near the main entry. Parent volunteers will be on hand in addition to Anderson staff to ensure students are able to find their Alpha Home Room assignment easily.

Your child’s schedule may be visible in the AISD Student Portal as early as this weekend. Please know that this schedule IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE as we are still leveling classes and making changes in schedules that students and parents have requested. Our goal is to have students begin the first day in his/her respective CORRECT SCHEDULE. Counselors and administrators will work through the weekend to get all requests processed and correct schedules printed for students to pick up in Alpha Homeroom. The student schedules picked up in Alpha Homeroom are the official student schedule.

Tuesday, August 17th is actually a B day so students will attend periods 5-8.

Also, during Alpha Homeroom students will be given information about lunch. Please share and discuss this information with your child to ensure he/she knows what to do. AISD Food Service has announced for the 2021-22 school year all student meals (breakfast and lunch) are free (regardless of Free and/or Reduced Lunch Application completion and filing status). This is the standard meal with a protein, 2 vegetables and 2 fruits with milk. If students want “anything extra” (cookie, pizza slice, frozen yogurt, etc.), those items must be purchased. However, AISD Food Service will not accept any cash transactions. All funds must come from an online school lunch account. https://www.schoolcafe.com/austinisd https://www.austinisd.org/announcements/2021/04/22/aisd-provide-free-meals-all-students-2021-22-school-year-en-espanol free meals for all 2021-22 school year

If you have a schoolcafe.com account already from the past few years, the accounts are still active. I tried it out this week and funds from more than 2 years ago were still there. If not, it is super easy to set up an account and put money in the account for your student. If you need help with this site you can call 512-414-0251 for assistance or email: schoolcafe@austinisd.org

Lunch at Anderson is from 12:40-1:25 for all students. As per AISD Policy, seniors are permitted to leave campus at lunch provided they return on time for afternoon classes. Students remaining on campus for lunch (everyone grades 9-11) are to choose (designation of selected lunch area by students in Alpha Homeroom on 8/17/2021) one of five areas to eat lunch.

Cafeteria – indoors with designated table assignment for students and accordion style table dividers

Cafeteria Courtyard – outdoors with picnic tables, covered pavilion, shaded areas, ping pong tables and Nacho Average Food Truck (Cima Serena side).

Gym Courtyard – outdoors with picnic tables, shaded areas, bench seating (Steck Ave. side)

Outdoor Basketball court – outdoors (by the tennis courts in student parking lot) limited seating and shaded areas

Athletic Field Bleachers – Outdoors bleacher seating near the Baseball field and Calhoon Field.

We are asking students to designate lunch locations by the week as we are required to keep track of who is where during lunch. The indoor seating requires a seating chart in the event we need to contact trace. Students will check in using a QR code for the table where they sit. This will help us keep track. However, we want students to have the option to change lunch locations as the year progresses. The outdoor areas will have adult supervision (parent volunteers are helping Anderson staff the first week) and a QR code to check in upon arrival. Teachers are guaranteed a duty free lunch, so staff available for lunch supervision is limited. We also acknowledge that some students need to move around at lunch, socialize, relax, etc. Please make sure your student knows that they will have to “check in” at lunch in the area they choose, and that they can change their lunch area as we move through to the next week.

Student meals and food items will be available in 2 lines (spaced apart) in the Cafeteria and from the Nacho Average Food Truck in the outdoor Cafeteria Courtyard. We are concerned about students crowding together at the beginning of lunch to get their meal/food items. We will suggest students approach the food lines spaced apart and possibly waiting for the initial rush to subside. Students have a

full 45 minutes to eat so there is ample time. Further if you are able to pack your child’s lunch instead of relying on the school meals, that would help reduce crowding at the food distribution sites.

Encourage your student to bring a water bottle. All the water fountains are closed off due to Covid. We do have water bottle filling stations throughout the building, and we want students to stay hydrated. Teachers will allow students to have water bottles in classrooms.

If your student has an AISD issued Chromebook, please have him/her bring the device to school on August 17th fully charged and ready to go. If your student uses a personal device, please bring that device as well. If your AISD Chromebook is not working or needs repair, please go to the Library and see Ms. Shelbi Counts, Librarian. Ms. Counts will be on campus and available on Monday, August 16th for device repairs and exchanges as well as before school and during lunch on classes begin.

Please see Karen Fyffe, School Nurse, regarding immunization update documentation, prescription medications that are administered at school, asthma, severe allergies, diabetes, seizures or any other health condition that the school should be aware of. It is especially important that the nurse has correct contact information for students in the event of a health emergency. You can reach Ms. Fyffe via phone at 512-414-7904 or email her: karen.fyffe@austinisd.org

The Anderson Attendance Office contact is Clarisa Quinonez. Parent notes to excuse student absences should be signed by the parent/guardian and turned into the Attendance Office in the Main Office within 48 hours of the absence. You can also email the “parent note” to: clarisa.quinonez@austinisd.org

Emailing Ms. Quinonez is the best way to ensure that the documentation is received and entered into your child’s attendance record. If you need a Permit to Leave during the school day, emailing Ms. Q is a great option. You can reach the Attendance Office at: 512-414-7909.

While Austin and Travis County at in Stage 5/4 for Public Health and Safety, we ask for no food deliveries (you or your student ordering food delivery). As explained above, lunch is a time when all available adults are outdoors and in the cafeteria supervising students. We do not have capacity to ensure that a food delivery gets to the correct person. Your cooperation in this is greatly appreciated. Adult staff in the building have been asked to abide by this restriction as well during this difficult time. Once the public health officials loosen safety guidelines, we will reconsider.

After the August 17th (first day of school) we will have Homeroom (attached to 2nd period) on A days (Monday and Wednesday and every other Friday) from 10:40-11:05 am. Homeroom is where we deliver Social Emotional Learning lessons, provide BLEND orientation and training, survey students, hold community circles to discuss important issues, etc. On B days (Tuesday and Thursday and every other Friday) we have FIT (Flexible Instructional Time). Normally, students would use this 25 minutes to report to one of their teachers for tutoring, enrichment, retaking a test or quiz, conferencing with a teacher, etc. However, while we are in Stage 5/4 students will report to 6th period from 10:40-11:05 am and conduct FIT virtually. This is to reduce exposures and unnecessary student movement. Once the safety restrictions loosen, we will resume in-person FIT for students with their respective teachers.