Pony Express – Week of May 29
End of the Year Message
Dear Parents and Friends of O. Henry Middle School,
Any given day, one may walk on this campus and feel the energy and passion of what it means to be an O. Henry student. It is sweat. It is tears. It is laughter and celebration—all necessary for growth in middle school. We come to the end of another incredible, and incredibly busy school year here at O. Henry. And what a year it has been! I am so proud to be able to serve the wonderful students here and the entire O. Henry community – I really do have the best job in the world and, on a daily basis, this is reinforced to me. Thank you for all you do to make coming to work such a pleasure for all of us who are privileged to work here.
Academically, this has been a stellar year. We obviously still await the results of our external examinations. I do not intend to repeat the details of everything I have written in my previous letters to you, about the many facets of life in our Mustang family. Suffice it to say that it is always busy, and our children are always inspiring. Over the past weeks we have seen this once again in so many ways.
This week students and staff will have the chance to celebrate their hard work with grade level field trips, 8th grade promotion ceremony, and Mustang Day. The HUGE support our parents and friends of O. Henry give to our school is second to none, making it possible to host end of the year events and celebrations. Thank you to all who continue to make this possible.
We have many summer camps and enrichment listed this week. Also you will find opportunities for volunteering this week or in the near future. Please also keep an eye on our website for up-to-date news on transition camps, back to school events, and open house. We will be busy this summer preparing for another stellar year for our students.
To our students – It is they who make our dreams a reality and, whatever we ask an O. Henry student to do, they always seem to do more, and with their commitment and pride in what they do. To those who are leaving us to go to pastures new, we wish them everything they could hope for – they have left their mark on O. Henry and the school is a better place because they were here. For those who are with us next year, I hope they have a superb summer holiday and I look forward so much to seeing them all again at the end of August.
So, as I come to the end of a longer letter than I originally intended to write, I extend my grateful thanks to the entire O. Henry community for the way you continue to support us, our teachers and our students. I also wish you all an excellent summer, wherever you may be, and I look forward to many more years ahead.
With very best wishes,
O. Henry Middle School
Model United Nations (Model UN) Results
Congratulations to our O. Henry student diplomats who recently participated in the annual Model UN conference on the UT campus, where high school and middle school students gathered to address global issues related to the environment, the refugee crisis, and peace and security.
The Model UN conference, coordinated by the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), and hosted by the UT History Department, is an intellectually fun program in which area middle school teams (grades 6-8 combined) simulate the workings of the United Nations.
Three O. Henry students won Best Delegate awards for their outstanding performance at the conference: Zada Cook, Jadah Clem and Axel Hibbert.
Other successful participants were: Dashiell Byrne, Daniel Cady, Nate Castellanos, Olivia Dalley, Izzy Gogliotti, Jack Hawes, Willow Jordan, Jacob Keiser, Lena Kozyrev, Camp Odom, and Ainsley Vantreck.
GRADE LEVEL FIELD TRIP UPDATES~ MAY 31ST
Upcoming 6th grade field trip to Deep Eddy on May 31st:
Students will report to their ACES classes.
We will be leaving O. Henry around 10:00 a.m. and returning by 3:00 p.m. Students will need to bring their lunch to school that day. They will also need $2 to get in. Please understand that this is a school event and your child is our responsibility. If it is necessary for you to pick up your child while we are at Deep Eddy, you must first drive to O. Henry, check them out, get a check out slip and then give the slip to Mrs. Loewe at Deep Eddy in order for your child to be allowed to leave.
Parent volunteers needed for 6th grade field trip to Deep Eddy:
We need some parents who can help chaperone and supervise students at Deep Eddy. You would walk with your assigned class from O. Henry. At Deep Eddy, you would just help keep an eye on kids to make sure they are acting responsibly. If you are interested in helping us out, please email email@example.com.
Field Trip to Main Event on Wednesday, May 31st
Students will report to their ACES classes in the morning.
Field trip forms and a fee of $32.00 need to be turned into 7th grade science teachers as soon as possible. Scholarship forms are also available through science teachers. Thank you!!! Please contact your child’s science teacher for questions.
8th Grade Class Trip: Schlitterbahn 2017
Students going on the trip should report to their assigned bus at 8:25am (students not going on the field trip will report to the library). They can wear their swimsuits, but they should have an appropriate cover-up for the bus ride. Students should bring sunscreen, towels, and a change of clothes. Students can bring spending money for snacks, lockers, and souvenirs if they want. Lunch is included in the field-trip cost. We will be back at school between 5:00 and 5:30; please be on time to pick up your students (there will be no late buses on this day). Please email Mr. Shack at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
June 1st–Last Day of School- MUSTANG Day and 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony
The tradition continues with Mustang Day on the last day of school.
Last Day of School Lunches!!
The last day of school is quickly approaching and we just wanted to make sure all parents knew when their child’s lunch time is in case you are bringing them their lunch that day:
-6th graders will eat lunch from 11:15-11:45
-7th graders will eat lunch from 12:00-12:30
-8th graders will have a special catered lunch from 11:30-12:30 on the front lawn
From our Attendance Office:
A reminder to parents that the last day of school is a full day and school is out at regular 3:40 pm, even for 8th graders. Parents that are taking their child to an appointment or out of town, need to sign them out in the office. Parents are not allowed to sign out other kids, other than their own.
8th grade Promotion
8th Grade Recognition Assembly & Lunch – Thursday, June 1, 2017
Parents and family are invited to the O. Henry main gym at 10:00 a.m.to celebrate our graduates.
Please arrive after 9:00 a.m. to get your seats so we can start on time; space will be limited (we have 342 students!). All eligible students will be recognized by name and will get to “walk the stage” to get their certificates. The ceremony lasts around 75 minutes.
Most students dress up for the event and we do waive our policy on strapless or spaghetti strap dresses. Lunch will be provided for them outside – students only. Afterwards, our 8th graders will have a day full of Mustang Day activities, with regular dismissal at 3:40pm.
8th GRADE PARENTS:
Parents of 8th graders….congratulations!!! We have reached our goal of raising $10,000!!! Many, many thanks to our generous donors listed below! The 8th Grade Class of 2017 will be giving a very nice gift to O. Henry in honor of their happy times while here!
If you will please also join me in thanking JEN KOLERICH for chairing our fantastic 8th Grade Dance!! From the over 300 beach ball invitations down the 8th grade hall, to the many photo back drops, lights, balloons and decorations galore, what a special night to remember for our children!
Melissa Abel, Diana Alvarado, Wendy and Steve Anderson, Jeff and Molly Austin, Brenda & Michael Avila, Audrey Bailey, Charlotte Benson, Heather Bishop, Monica Boulton, Brinkman Family, Kevin & Cindy Brackmeyer, Anna Bryan-Borja, Carolyn Bryant, Kelley Burkett, Christopher Campana, Andrée & Javier Cantu, Patrick and Michelle Carlson, Ana Isabel Carrasco-Ruiz, Carmen Castaneda, Glenn Chase, Amy Chichester, Ali & Sam Clare, Debbie Collins, Chanta Costa, Kristen Crosnoe, Amy Dach, Terry Dempsey, Happiness Edwards, Christy Emshwiller, Kim Everett, Lorena Flores, Develyn Forrest, Jennifer Foucher, Kelly Friedman, Bradley Gardner, Jennifer Garrido, Beth Glasheen, Marla Gostisha, Joanne Grigsby, Nancy Guerra, Rosie Hagan, Chastity Hodges, Jill Ivie, Sheryl Jett, Mark Kaderli, Dana and Jeff Kocurek, Jen Kolerich, Tammie Lanier, Lee Latimer, Jennifer Lavoie, Linda Lessner, Shelly Leyden, Kate Lowery, Betelhem Makonnen, Sara Marler, Ellen Canas Mason, Jaclyn & John McAlmon, Suzanne McGinnis, Brenda Mendoza, Daniel & Julia Mercado, Kerri Monroe, Helen Monsivais & Family, Francis Morris, Lee Morrison, Kelley and Jeff Mucci, Siham Naseef, Theresa Nguyen, Monique Norman, Lisa O’Neill, Melissa Orts, Bo & Kathy Overstreet, Keenan Overton, Cristina Phillips, Joanne Pike, Stephanie Pither, Chris Pjecha, John and Stephanie Polakowski, Brad and Liz Powell, Brandy Reimers, Leigh and Ben Richards, Carolyn Richards-Chacon, Vickie Riojas, Cassandra Rodriguez, Jane Sharpe, Asmaa Sifuentes, Jessica Sjolseth, Krista Slade, Brannon Smith, Anna Zetchus Smith, Tiffany and Russell Smith, Joyce Spears, Veronika Stevens, Tom Stewart, Mimsie Sumner-Cavalier, Denise Thompson,Natalie & Terry Tocker, Michelle Traudt, Audrey Trujillo Family, Angie Wagner, Courtney Waldren, Christina Weaver, Casie Wenmohs, Hilary Whitfield, Kathleen Woodhouse, Christine Yonge, Cacki Young
O. Henry Summer Math Camp
Get ready for the new school year! Come join O Henry math teachers and other incoming 6th grade Advanced math students for a week of math…
Students who fail to return their books or pay for lost ones will not be able to attend end-of-the-year field trips and activities this week. Please make sure your child is cleared. Thanks.
Summer reading is around the corner, and even though the physical library is closed, we offer three ways for students to check out books online for FREE: Overdrive, MackinVia, and MyOn. For instructions, go to the home page of the O. Henry Library website: http://www.ohenrylibrary.com
In addition, all Austin ISD students are challenged to read at least FIVE books over the summer. There are two lists your kids may choose from to get ideas. Still, please know that we believe in free choice for all of our students as it leads to the habit of lifelong reading. Here are the middle school and high school lists. Many of our students may want to choose off the high school list.
PTA SUPPORTS OUR MUSTANGS
SAVE THE DATE
O. Henry Round Up Carnival 2017
Friday, September 29th
5:30pm to 8:30pm
Round up your friends and family for a fun evening of booths, games, tasty food & middle school dance! More information coming in August…
AUSTIN PTA MENTORS
The Austin Council of PTAs is creating a mentoring program. O. Henry’s parent volunteers have a wealth of knowledge, earned by working with other parents and schools. We are looking for people to share that knowledge with PTAs that are just getting started, or PTAs that are working to expand what they do.
Please consider sharing your experience and skills to help another school grow stronger! If you think you might be interested, please complete an online interest form to let us know more about what you have to share and how you would like to share it.
Spring Break 2018: Washington D.C. and New York City
It is not too late to sign up for next year’s Spring Break Trip! Current 5th-8th graders and their parents are allowed to sign up! Information, Cost, and Sign-ups can be found at http://www.efexploreamerica.com/tour-website/1935333WB.
Please email Mr. Shack at email@example.com if you have any questions!
BOND Update- Input and support
We want to make sure that as many folks as possible understand what will be included in the bond for O. Henry and have the opportunity for feedback.
AISD_Bond Planning_Austin HS Vertical Team Combined_FINAL may 16.pdf
Academic Excellence Fund
Since 2011 our O. Henry community has rallied to support staffing for the upcoming school year through the Save Our Teachers campaign. Over the years the contributions to the spring fundraiser have declined while our fall Round Up fundraising has grown. We have been asked by our families and community to consider consolidating our fundraising efforts. We think this is the right time to make this change.
If your financial plans for this spring included a donation to Save Our Teachers, we urge you to still make this contribution to support our newly broadened emphasis on Academic Excellence at O. Henry. All spring contributions will be credited towards 2017 Round Up. To donate, please click here.
Mustang Mall Volunteers
We are looking for new volunteers for Mustang Mall!
Mustang Mall is a kiosk in the lunchroom where we sell school supplies and little trinkets, scented erasers, perfumed hand sanitizer, locks, mechanical pencils and much more.
We have a limited number of openings for lunch shifts. This is a once-a-month commitment of an hour and a half (11:40 AM to 1:10 PM depending on lunch schedule next year), where you and another volunteer work at the kiosk. It’s a fun opportunity to see your child and his or her friends at lunch. (Incoming sixth grade parents, this can be a great way to see how your child is doing.)
We will fill the lunch shifts on a first-come, first-serve basis, so please submit your information as soon as possible if you would like to volunteer.
Next fall, we are also going to open Mustang Mall more often during breakfast. The breakfast volunteer commitment is once a month from Sept – Dec, from 7:45 AM to 8:10 AM, when the cafeteria is open for breakfast. We have more availability for breakfast shifts than for lunch so if you don’t get a lunch shift you might consider working one morning a month. This is quick volunteer gig and could be a fun time where your child and their friends can come buy supplies from you.
If you would like to volunteer, please use this link, Mustang Mall Volunteer Form, complete the information on the form and submit. Please indicate whether you are interested in lunch or breakfast, and include any notes regarding schedule conflicts. We will contact volunteers by email over the summer after we finalize a schedule and will have training in August for those new to the mall.
Austin High School Volunteer Opportunities
As the 2016-2017 school year winds down, we are busy getting ready for the 2017-2018 school year, and we need your help. Can you volunteer a few hours a month, a few times a month or even every week? This is a great way to get to know the inner workings of Austin High and it helps bridge the budget gap that prevents the hiring of additional employees. I invite you to join our volunteer team in working in the School Office at one (or both) volunteer positions
Attendance Office Volunteer
Work alongside our fantastic attendance clerk Patty Ballin to sign students in and out, fill out tardy passes, and help with filing. The Attendance Office is always busy and these volunteers are of the utmost importance, in high demand and much appreciated by staff and faculty.
Volunteering in the Attendance Office at Austin High is a great way to get to know your child’s school better, gain insight into how it runs, and get to the know the faculty and staff who work with and mentor our children daily.
Phone Duty Volunteer – in the Main Office
Work in the main office answering and directing phone calls. This is a new opportunity for the 2017-2018 school year.
The shift times are either 8:30am -11:15am, 11:15am-2pm or 2pm-4:20pm. Volunteer monthly, weekly, whatever works with your schedule! We also need substitute volunteers to fill in when someone can’t make their shift. Also, if you have occasional time to volunteer, but can’t commit to a shift, we still can use your help. Please, stop by anytime between 8:30 -4:20 and help out in either attendance or phones in the main office. Weekly (usually on Sunday afternoons), I send out an email reminding everyone of their upcoming shift as well as listing the shifts that need substitutes for the upcoming week.
If you are interested in helping, we have a 30-minute training during any of the shifts training alongside a previous volunteer (marked on the schedule with an asterisk). After that you are ready to go! If you ever have any questions, Patty Ballin and Linda Garcia will be there to help you out.
If you would like to volunteer with attendance, please, check out our schedule of available slots with this link
If you would like to help with answering phones, please, check out this link.
If you find a spot you’d like (or more than one) email to let me know and I will sign you up! Remember, substitute volunteers and drop-ins are also welcome.
Thank you for your consideration,
Thank you in advance for participating in providing input about O. Henry Middle School. This is an exciting time as we embark on preparing our students for college and 21st century careers.