Casis provides several means of communication to help you stay informed about your child’s life at school. In addition to written communications, parents have numerous opportunities to gather information and meet with the faculty and staff on a formal and informal basis. We welcome and encourage parents to volunteer in supporting classrooms and assisting teachers (by appointment), and participating in activities and events. Please do not hesitate to approach your child’s teacher with questions or concerns, in person, by email, or by phone. We appreciate your sensitivity to and consideration of instructional time and teacher schedules when visiting classrooms or making requests for conferences. If, after discussing the issue with your child’s teacher, you still have concerns, you may consult an administrator. The staff at Casis welcomes the opportunity to work together with parents to resolve issues for each child’s benefit.
Principal & PTA Newsletter
In addition to the Friday Folder, a principal’s/PTA newsletter, which includes a calendar of upcoming school events and key campus-wide information, is sent electronically on a weekly basis. The ‘Casis Weekly’ is the primary communication from the school administration and parent body.
The weekly Friday Folder is one of the communication instruments between school and home. This system is designed to improve home/school communication by packaging take-home information together and sending it home on a predictable day. (Occasional notices or reminders may be sent home separately on different days, as needed.) It may contain student work, a teacher newsletter, cafeteria menu, and bulletins and announcements from the PTA and AISD. Please read the information in the Friday Folder carefully, and sign and return the folder with your child the following Monday. If you do not receive a Friday Folder, be sure to ask your child where it is. We are striving to decrease the amount of paper information that comes home and will make great efforts to continue to limit hard copy items sent.
Parent Information Meetings
At Parent Information Meetings (PIMs), Administrators and PTA Leaders conduct a brief presentation about general policies and major events. Parents are then invited to classrooms where teachers talk more specifically about curriculum and classroom/grade level policies and procedures. Check our website and follow other school-wide communication for dates and times for grade level PIMs.
During the school year, the principal holds Coffees to meet with parents on an informal basis. The Coffee is an excellent way to stay current on school happenings, share concerns, and to ask questions you may have about school policies and events. See a list of upcoming Parent & Principal Coffees here.
Communication between parents and teachers is essential for each student’s progress. Formal parent/teacher conferences are held each fall and spring, on or near the dates indicated on the AISD calendar. Your child’s teacher will schedule these conferences with you. At conferences, teachers and parents discuss a child’s strengths and areas of need, and teachers review work portfolios, school-based assessments, and teacher observations. Together, parents and teachers develop action plans for the child and record the plans on a conference summary sheet. In the event that a parent is unable to attend a conference, the parent may request a telephone or video conference at a mutually agreeable time. Please know that morning drop-off or afternoon pick- up are not the best times to discuss serious questions or concerns with the teacher. An agreed upon conference time should be scheduled during the teachers’ designated planning period.
Each teacher prepares a regular newsletter (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), which is shared electronically or in hard copy. Teacher newsletters provide parents with information specific to their child’s class, including the major skills and concepts introduced.
Campus Advisory Council
The purpose of the Campus Advisory Council (CAC) is to involve faculty and staff, parents, and community members in establishing and reviewing the campus’s educational plans, goals, and major classroom instructional programs. It also assists the principal in developing, reviewing,
and revising the Campus Improvement Plan (CIP). CAC members serve two-year terms. The CAC is an advisory group, and the final decision for any CAC recommendation is made by the principal.
All parents are invited to attend CAC meetings. Parents wishing to place an item on the CAC agenda should inform one of the co-chairs at least two weeks prior to a meeting. The meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. Meetings are announced in the principal’s newsletter and minutes are posted in the main entrance area of the school.
Parent Portal (AISD)
In Austin ISD, parents are able to access all their student's educational information in one place: the Parent Portal! The most frequently used applications by parents are: Parent Self Serve, Student Registration, My Messages, and BLEND. Go to https://portal.austinisd.org/ to access the Parent Portal. If you do not have a Parent Portal Account, you can register for one online. The Parent Portal serves as the primary resource for all of the services provided online to our parents. This site gives parents direct access into their child's classroom information, registration to your child's campus, district-wide information and links to other often used services.
Volunteering in the Classroom
Teachers welcome parents into the classroom to read to students (PK & K), assist the teacher with clerical tasks, or offer expertise relating to a specific area of study. Contact your child’s teacher to find out about volunteer opportunities in the classroom. All volunteers who work directly with children are required to complete the APIE volunteer background check process.
Each year, AISD conducts a family survey to measure the school’s effectiveness, as viewed by parents. Parents are asked to give their opinions of the school curriculum, instruction, leadership, facilities, school events, etc. The survey results are reviewed to see where school improvements can be made. We would like all parents to complete the survey. We value and appreciate your input. (Please note that information that identifies specific staff members, students, or parents/guardians is not published in the survey results.)
Electronic Message Board
The electronic message board in front of the school displays dates and times of major events at Casis, as well as other brief notices. The information displayed is managed by the PTA Communications coordinator and approved by the Principal.
Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
The Casis PTA is an essential, highly valued component of the school. Each year, our PTA provides a vast array of services and raises substantial community dollars that enhance Casis’ recognized level of excellence. It is through the energetic and dedicated efforts of our parents, teachers, and staff that the school continually meets students’ needs.
Money generated from PTA fundraisers is used to help fund many programs and needs at Casis. These include technology and innovation, fine arts supplemental programming, after-school enrichment, cultural events and activities, field trips, staff development and appreciation, educational/instructional equipment and supplies, scholarships for numerous events, maintaining the school’s physical appearance and outdoor spaces, and many other educational and motivational programs.
We encourage all parents and teachers to become members of this large and active group. The PTA offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities designed to fit parents’ busy schedules. Some opportunities are for one-time (event based) or throughout the year. Class-level volunteer opportunities are also available via the classroom teacher. Additionally, during the school year, members can contact the PTA Volunteer Coordinator, to offer their time and talents.
The dates and times of PTA meetings are included in our weekly communication and the school calendar. Meeting minutes are posted in the main entrance area of the school.
Casis PTA Website – www.casiselementary.com
The Casis PTA web site contains very helpful information related to school and PTA activities. A calendar is also available to keep the Casis community aware of upcoming happenings and school activities.
The Austin Independent School District calendar, which includes important district-wide dates, such as school holidays and parent-teacher conference days, is distributed at the beginning of each school year. It’s also available on the district website (https://www.austinisd.org/calendar).