Cougar PRIDE Families,
It’s going to be another great week at Casis! I hope that everyone had a restful and enjoyable Fall Break. I, for one, was so very thankful for the week off. As we close out the month of November, December promises to be a month of more fall semester activities that will focus on student learning growth and enrichment opportunities, as well as on safe and secure practices. We look forward to our first ‘Prospective Parent Tour’ this week, as well as a flurry of more activities that will quicken the time before the next upcoming Winter Break. Please see important information for the week below.
LATEST SCHOOL & PTA NEWS
HUMAN SEXUALITY & RESPONSIBILITY (HSR) CURRICULUM
In accordance with Austin ISD Board Policy EHAA, the Human Sexuality and Responsibility (HSR) curriculum will be taught this fall semester during science class for K – 5 students. There are 3 – 5 available lessons at each grade level. This curriculum has been established to provide information and skill development for students, so that they may reach their highest potential for physical, emotional, mental and social health. All information regarding the HSR policy, grade level lesson overviews, family resources, and more can be found on the HSR website:
NEWS FROM THE PRINCIPAL
FALL PROSPECTIVE PARENT TOUR 2023-2024
Prospective Parent Tours are great opportunities for families to get to learn about our school culture and programming, as well as take a tour of our new facility and amazing outdoor learning spaces. School Administration and PTA Leadership will lead these adult only tours. We look forward to sharing and showing all of the things that make Casis Elementary such a stellar educational choice for their children. The first tour of this school year will take place on Wednesday, November 29 at 9am – 10am. Can’t wait to show these potential new families our amazing school community!
NEW ENROLLMENT SYSTEM NOW OPEN
AISD has moved to a new unified enrollment system for families interested in their neighborhood school, transfer schools, application-based programs, or Pre-Kindergarten. The move to this new “Enroll Austin” system is meant to make enrollment more accessible and equitable by providing a more streamlined platform all in one place. Registration will be split into two periods: (1) Priority Registration Period (Nov. 8, 2023 – Feb. 6, 2024) and (2) General Registration Period (April, 2024 – Summer, 2024). Visit www.austinisd.org/enroll to access the enrollment application or go to portal.austinisd.org and find the “Enroll Austin” tile. If families have questions, please go to the Find Your Seat Call Center at (512) 414-SEAT (7328) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the weekday. Want to learn more? Please explore the Enroll Austin FAQs.
FALL LOST & FOUND REMINDERS
As we go into the colder months of November and December, we anticipate that even more school items will be lost and left at school. Families should be sure that all student items are labeled, labeled, labeled (First & Last Name), so that it is much easier to reunite those items with the students. Students should be encouraged to regularly check the Lost & Found Bins that are located in the front and back of our school. During morning drop-offs or lunch-visits, Parents are encouraged to regularly check for lost items as well. Casis Parents, Michele Karp and Mary Polan, are our ‘Lost & Found Coordinators’ and we truly appreciate their support and leadership in this area. Thanks in advance to everyone for your cooperation and vigilance.
FAMILY LEARNING AND ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS
AISD’s Special Education, Section 504, and Dyslexia Departments are sponsoring Empower Hour Sessions for families throughout the 2023 – 2024 school year. These one-hour sessions are designed to provide valuable information, resources, and support to families on various topics. Both virtual and in-person sessions are available. We hope that families will avail themselves of these community learning and engagement opportunities.
SEL & EQUITY PRACTICES
In Austin ISD and at Casis Elementary, we believe that Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is at the heart of equity-centered systems and structures. Our goal is to use and grow our social and emotional skills, while creating brave, respectful, collaborative spaces that support all students, staff, families and communities throughout our district and in our learning community. Throughout the school year, we will teach specific skills-building strategies to our students, in order to develop important character traits, like respect, empathy, compassion, and friendships. Mindfulness strategies and principles will also be a common core of this instruction as well. Administration, Teachers, and Support Staff will all be working with students throughout the school year to develop a strong social/emotional foundation, that includes building a lens of fairness and equity for all, no matter the differences among us.
The SEL word for the month of November/December is Friend. A friend is a person you like and enjoy spending time with. You can be a good friend by listening with attention, having empathy, showing compassion, and considering your friend’s perspective.
The Equity word for the month of November/December is Ally. One way to be a good friend is to be an ally. The word ally means to unite. When people unite against a wrong they see in their community, they become allies. There are lots of different ways to be an ally. When an ally sees or hears something unjust, they can: speak up in the moment, get help from a caring adult, talk to the person in private or sometimes walk away.
Following is a resources sheet for the months of November/December that will help support these two important concepts, both at school and at home. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER RESOURCES SHEET
November – Native American Heritage Month
Wed., Nov. 29 – Fall Prospective Parent Tour at 9am
Mon., Dec. 4 – Fri., Dec. 8 – AISD Special Education Staff Appreciation Week
Thurs., Dec. 7 – Fri., Dec. 8 – Casis Science Fair Activities
Wed., Dec. 20 – Last Day of Fall Semester
Thurs., Dec. 21 – Fri., Dec. 22 – Staff PLED Days (Student Holiday)
Mon., Dec. 25 – Fri., Jan. 5 – Winter Break (School Holiday)
January – School Board Recognition Month
Mon., Jan. 8 – Staff Development Day (Student Holiday)
Tues., Jan. 9 – School Resumes
Mon., Jan. 15 – School Holiday (MLK Day)
TRAFFIC SAFETY PROCEDURES
Please adhere to the guidelines in your particular arrival/dismissal area (Front Circle Drive or North Parking Lot). See Arrival & Dismissal Plan here. We continually ask for your patience and cooperation in exercising safe practices in your area.
Additionally, please see the following reminders/updates:
- Walkers should use crosswalks at all times.
- Bikers should park bikes at bike racks and walk bikes through crosswalks.
- Drivers should ALWAYS be aware of our foot and bike traffic.
- Drivers should consider TURNING OFF ENGINES when not moving forward.
- Avoid Parking in the Casis Village, if conducting school business.
- Front Circle Drive & Hillview areavailable for parent parking during the day.
- The North Parking Lot is designated for staff parking only.
- Vehicles using the North Parking Lot during arrival and dismissal (3rd – 5th) should be aware of all walkers who are using the parking lot crosswalks.
- Vehicles cued on Northwood for Circle Drive afternoon pick-up should remain in one moving line to avoid double-parking.
- Vehicles who need to enter the North Parking Lot for morning/afternoon drop-offs/pick-ups of 3rd – 5th graders may safely by-pass the ‘Circle Drive’ vehicles to enter the parking lot.
We ask that everyone exercise extra caution and patience. Adherence will help to maintain safety for all. We truly appreciate everyone’s compliance with the above requests.