Cougar PRIDE Families,
It’s going to be another great week at Casis! We had some great conversation in last week’s Administrators’ Coffee Chat with parents. Another Coffee Chat with Casis Administration will occur in February. See you then! The month of January has just flown by and February is here. This week, we will celebrate the 100th day of school (1/31/24) and in the month of February, we look forward to our annual Author’s Visit event and Spring Conferences. As we continue our work together this second semester, there is still much to learn, to do, and to look forward to. We will also continue to focus on student learning growth and enrichment opportunities, as well as on safe and secure practices. Please see important information for the week below.
LATEST SCHOOL NEWS
STAFF UPDATE & NEWS
We are sad to announce that Mary Hernandez recently resigned from her position as our School Registrar and Attendance Clerk. Ms. Hernandez and her husband made the difficult decision to move out of the area for both financial and professional reasons. We wish Ms. Hernandez the very best, as she did a fine job in her roles as School Registrar and Attendance Clerk.
We’d like to welcome Kesha Fabry to Casis, who will be our new School Registrar and Attendance Clerk, beginning this week. Ms. Fabry is moving from the recent field of Professional Health Care and also has a strong administrative background as a former Paralegal and Administrative Assistant. We’re excited to have Kesha join our Clerical Team, as her positive energy, caring demeanor, and detail-oriented skills will make her a perfect fit for our learning community. Please welcome Kesha Fabry to our Cougar PRIDE family!
PROSPECTIVE PARENT TOURS
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 next tour of this school year will take place on Wednesday, January 31 at 9am – 10am. Can’t wait to show these potential new families our amazing school community!
SPRING PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES
Elementary Parent Conference Day is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 9. At Casis Elementary, these important meetings will be scheduled between Monday, February 5 – Thursday, February 29. Conferences scheduled in the Spring may be traditional (parent-teacher), student-led, or optional, based on the grade level and student progress/performance concerns. No matter the format, Teachers will still share information about student progress/performance for all students. During this window, please know that conferences may be requested by either the Teacher or Parents. Parents can then expect the ‘3rd 9-Weeks Report Cards’ to be available in their Parent Portal by Wednesday, April 3.
NEWS FROM THE PRINCIPAL
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.
LOST & FOUND REMINDER
As the winter months are upon us, we anticipate a higher loss of winter items at school, like coats, gloves, hats, and other layer apparel. 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, Morgan Gaddis 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 January is Self Talk. Self-Talk is talking to yourself in a quiet voice or in your head. Using self-talk helps you stay focused and manage strong feelings.
The Equity word for the month of January is Connection. We are all connected in our school community. We can strengthen our relationships and connections by communicating with each other and build upon our strengths. As we come back from Winter Break, this is a great time for us to reconnect as a class and school family.
Following is a resources sheet for the month of January that will help support these two important concepts, both at school and at home. JANUARY RESOURCES SHEET
- January –School Board Recognition Month
- Tues., Jan. 30 – Korematsu Day
- Wed., Jan. 31 – 100th Day of School
- Wed., Jan. 31 – Prospective Parent Tour at 9am
- February – National African American Heritage Month
- February – Career and Technical Education Month
- Mon., Feb. 5 – Fri., Feb. 9 – School Counselor Appreciation Week
- Tues., Feb. 6 – CAC Meeting at 3:30pm (Community Room)
- Thurs., Feb. 8 – Casis’ Author Visit Day!
- Fri., Feb. 9 – Spring Conference Day (Student Holiday)
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.