Stephen F. Austin High School

Principal's Message

August 4, 2016

Dear Austin High Parents and Maroons, 

Welcome back to the 2016-17 school year! What an exciting time to be a Maroon. As we prepare for the opening of school, the excitement in our building is at an all-time high. Our faculty and staff have worked diligently this summer to prepare for the opening of school and our PTSA is hard at work building partnerships with the school and the community. With a continued focus on highly engaged learning environments and a commitment to 21st century learning, community engagement, and marketing of our programming and services, Austin High will continue to uphold a strong reputation as one of the top high schools in the nation, where “Everybody is Somebody.”

I am pleased to report several new changes in progress to support our families and students. Flexible Instruction Time (FIT) will start this September as a way for students to gain tutorial and study time within the school day. Your child will report to an advisor between first and second block for the first two weeks of school to learn about the new advisory and FIT time weekly schedules. As we transition to digital updates, the AISD Student and Parent Cloud will become an important part of the way we do business. If you haven’t already updated your information in the Parent Cloud with Online Registration, please refer to the link on the back of this letter.  

This fall, Austin High is proud to offer a new Innovation Lab (iLab) for student use. Two computer lab spaces adjacent to the library are in the process of being converted into an iLab with flexibility in collaborative learning design, areas for presentation/projection, and multiple forms of technology use such as Chromebooks, laptops, and iPads. A full-time staff member will be available to help teachers implement 21st century teaching and learning, assist students with product design, and provide a place for innovative thinking and collaboration.

In addition to the iLab, a new Tech Hub will be available as a technology support center for students and staff. Students will have the opportunity to check out a Chromebook for instructional needs to take home for a week, month, semester, or even a year! A Technology Specialist, housed in the Tech Hub, will support device updates, the AISD Student Cloud, and learning management platforms. Students with technical difficulties on an AISD or personal device will now have a place to go for support! Stop by the new Tech Hub located near the iLab in the front of the library with all of your tech needs.

Did you know Austin High has a College-Career Center (CCC) located on the 2nd floor in the new science wing? In order to ensure all students are College-Career Ready, Austin High will now double the number of CCC staff to three full time College-Career Center counselors. Families will have more access to the college application process, college visits, scholarships, Dual Credit and Early College Start programs, financial aid information, the college admissions process, internship opportunities, and much more.

AISD adopted a new bell schedule for all high schools starting this year. The school day will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. The block schedule and FIT times are attached. Students with off periods 1st block will report to school at 10:30 a.m. In addition to the new bell schedule, designated drop off and pick up locations for parents are attached. Working with the City of Austin, AISD and Austin High have agreed to provide updated drop off and pick up lanes on the west side of campus. Please be aware that in the coming months several parking places on Stephen F. Blvd. directly in front of the visitor’s parking lot will be eliminated to create turn lanes. The improvements were designed to help the flow of traffic during morning and afternoon hours. A map of the improvements is attached. Only buses are allowed on the east side of campus during afternoon pick up. Parents are not allowed to park under the bridge on the east side of campus. During parent pick up on the west side of campus, please help the flow of traffic by pulling forward in both the outside lanes and using only the center lane for continuous flow of traffic. 

*Freshmen parent drop off (first day of school only): please use the east side Cesar Chavez entrance of campus. Student volunteers with “Link Crew” shirts will guide your child to the Performing Arts Center (PAC). We encourage students to ride the bus the first day due to traffic congestion around Austin High. After the first day of school, drop off is not allowed on the east side of campus. 

Friendly reminders:

  • Has your child completed his/her summer assignments yet?  To see a full list of summer assignments, review the Austin High website http://www.austinhighmaroons.org front page under “Summer Information and Summer Assignments.” 
  • Will your child drive a vehicle to school this year? Parking permits are required and students must park in designated student parking areas only. Permits are issued by the secretary in the 2nd floor main office. The student must complete a parking permit application and present both a valid driver's license and proof of insurance (the student's name must be on the proof of insurance).
  • Remember to join the PTSA and contribute to the Excellence Fund! Our PTSA supports classroom enrichment and 21st century school initiatives. See the attached letter with detailed information on how to make a contribution. Show your support by joining the PTSA at www.ahsptsastore.com.
  • Remember to register online through the AISD Parent Cloud at https://www.austinisd.org/technology/parents-guardians/student-registration. Periodic letters and a weekly electronic newsletter will be sent home digitally throughout the school year. Through the AISD Parent Cloud, parents update their email address so the school can send out communications, often specific to your child. The Parent Cloud online registration process has replaced the large stack of paperwork that typically came home with your child at the beginning of the school year, so please use the link above to streamline the process.

Lastly, helping our freshmen transition into a new school is a top priority. We look forward to meeting all new freshmen on August 11th at Maroon Roundup at 9:30 a.m. Link Crew members will lead activities to orient our newest Maroons to our building, serving as mentors and campus leaders to the future class of 2020!

While we honor our newest members to Team Austin High, we also celebrate the graduating class of 2017 with our traditional first day of school activities. All Maroons, including students and staff, want our first week of school to run smoothly, so please remember the agreements listed below. $2000 will be given to the senior class for prom if the seniors abide by the following agreements throughout the first week of school:

  • Seniors will decorate the second floor area the day before school starts.
  • Seniors may participate in morning activities starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 8:50 a.m. in the senior parking lot with the following restrictions:
    • no derogatory words written or said toward the freshman or others, including vehicles;
    • no glitter or permanent markers; 
    • boys can wear overalls with at least one clip fastened with a shirt on or in pockets but a shirt must be worn inside the building; 
    • only seniors allowed in the senior-only parking lot; 
    • no destructive or negative behaviors (like hazing); 
    • no noise makers;
    • no toilet papering trees or destruction of school property;
    • students must report to class on time with no hallway activity that delays or blocks hallways.

Through a focus on relationships built on Trust with a commitment to Equity and engagement leading to Achievement and Mastery for Austin High students, TEAM AUSTIN HIGH will soar! In closing, welcome to the 2016-17 school year in which Maroons are respectful, responsible, ready to learn, and we are always “Loyal Forever.”

Upcoming Important Dates:

  • August 11 - Maroon Roundup, 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. & Freshmen/New Student Parent Camp 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • August 12 - AGS Orientation, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • August 17 - Freshmen/New Student Parent Camp 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • August 22 - First Day of School 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • September 7 - Back to School Night

 

Sincerely,

Amy Taylor
Principal, Austin High School
(512) 414-1250
 “Loyal Forever”
 

Austin High School "Coffee with the Principal" dates and topics for 2016-17:

Date & Time: Location: Topic:
September 23, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
iLab (Library) 21st Century Teaching & Learning at Austin High
November 18, 2016
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Cafe Austin Academies at Austin High (middle school parents invited)
February 3, 2017
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Tutoring Center & College-Career Center Tour College & Career Readiness at Austin High
March 31, 2017
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Cafe Austin 8th to 9th grade transition at Austin High (middle school parents invited)