Pony Express, Sep. 5-8



The O. Henry community educates the whole child: academically, socially, emotionally, physically, and artistically.

Principal’s Corner

Dear O. Henry Families and Community,

It is hard to believe we are getting ready to start our third full week of school. Our newsletter this week is full of reminders, happenings and ways to stay involved with the O. Henry Community.

Tuesday evening we will open our doors for Back to School Night from 5:30-7:45 pm. This is a great opportunity to see all of our teaching staff and meet your child’s teachers. Share your time and talent by joining our wonderfully supportive and involved PTA, volunteer for Round Up, and support our clubs and organizations with O. Henry Swag.

Many of our students and families have asked this week about efforts to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey. As we partner with Austin Pets Alive and Yeti Coolers, I hope you will find ways in wish you might give your time, your talent, or your treasure to this much needed cause. We have shared needed items and additional information in our newsletter this week.

Our SEL lessons focus on kindness and compassion, but it is a different feeling entirely when students have family and community members in need. Our student body is ready to help those in need and we thank you in advance for your support and donations. Donations can be dropped off at our front office. O. Henry will also be hosting a benefit and community event on Monday, September 11th from 6-9 p.m. with GoLoveNow, open to the entire Austin community. Please see our attached flyer for more information.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any kudos or any concerns you may have. We are here to make your child’s experience at O. Henry the very best.

See you on Tuesday night,
Marlo Malott

Back to School Night, Tuesday, Sept. 5:
5:30-6:00 Information on PTA, clubs, activities
6:00-6:25 PTA Meeting, Introduction to Faculty, Principal’s Message
6:30-7:45 Classroom Visits

Quick News

Picture order forms have been sent home with students. Picture day is Tuesday, September 5th! Students will be getting their photo taken during their history class and should bring the order form with them that day. Extra order forms can be picked up in the front office. If your student misses picture day, do not worry – picture re-takes are on Monday, October 16th.

Required Agendas are now on sale during lunch time in the Mustang Mall for $8.00.

The lunch calendar and online account for the cafeteria has changed this year. Please set your student up on SchoolCafé.com. Once you do that, any balance from last year should show up in the account, if you have problems contact Delfina Perez (delfina.perez@austinisd.org) or 512-414-0251.

From our school nurse, Melody DeMaris, RN: Important information regarding MEDICATIONS AT SCHOOL is attached here: Administration of Medication at School.

If your student is interested in getting involved with Student Council, have him/her pick up an application from Ms. Cross (107) or Ms. McCulloch (201). Applications are due Friday, September 8th to Ms. Cross. Click here for further details.

Cheerleading Fundraiser: The cheerleaders are raising money to go compete at Regionals at Texas State and Nationals at Disney World, and we need your help! We will be creating programs for all A and B Football games, and we are looking for sponsors to be featured on each of the programs.

The suggested sponsorship is $50 which gets your name or your company’s name featured on that week’s program as well as your name or your logo on the back of that week’s program. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring a game, please contact Coach Shack at michael.shackelford@austinisd.org. The fundraiser will end on September 10.

Homework Club

O.Henry Homework Club will be starting Monday, September 11th

This year we will be offering homework club before and after school. After school homework club will be held Monday-Thursday from 3:45pm-4:45pm in the library. Morning homework club will be held Tuesday-Thursday from 7:45am-8:15am in the DLL next to the library.

Students who are eligible to ride the late bus will be provided with a wristband to ride the bus if they attend after school homework club. Homework club provides the opportunity for students to work on their homework on campus with the support of a school staff member. Students will have access to computers during homework club to complete assignments requiring computer use. Homework club will also be utilized for credit recovery and attendance recovery this school year. If you have any questions about homework club please email Mr. Brunner (travis.brunner@austinisd.org).

Counselors Corner

O. Henry College and Career Day – We need you!

Attention all parents- You are invited to participate in one of the most exciting school events of the year! O. Henry Middle School is hosting the 9th Annual College & Career Day on Friday, October 20th from 8:00am -11:45am.

We would like to invite you to participate in a booth at our school, representing your career as a potential career choice to our students. You would host a booth with other participants in your field of work. You will be interacting with individual students, and will not be asked to present to a large group. We will provide a table for your booth unless you have one of your own that you like to use. It is not required that you bring anything but yourself, but students do enjoy seeing tangible things that represent your career.

Our students really benefit from meeting and learning from our members of our community! Also, if you have any colleagues, friends or family members that may be willing to participate, please forward this link to them. For those of you who have not had your arm twisted yet, we hope you will consider volunteering a small amount of time. This is a great opportunity to give back to your community, get a glimpse of our future, and interact with our amazing students. Please follow the link to learn more about the event and to sign up: http://ohenrycounselors.weebly.com/college-and-career-day-2017.html

Round Up!

Friday, September 29th from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Support OHMS at this fun family event featuring sports booths, games, food trucks, raffles and a middle school dance. For everything you need to know, visit the OHMS website.
How can you help? Read on …

Proceeds from Round Up fund the Teacher Wish List and enhance the learning experience for every student during this school year. Round Up depends on sponsorships from families and community partners! Please visit the sponsorships page on the website to help out. The deadline for sign and banner recognition is Friday, September 22 and all donations will be listed on the website. Any amount helps!

Volunteers make Round Up possible! There are many opportunities to help including supervising game booths, chaperoning the dance, working drink stations and providing supplies. Please sign up for a shift if you are able by visiting SignUp.com or emailing Kim Reaves at kbreaves13@gmail.com.

Be a Mane Man (or Woman)
OHMS Mane Men volunteers are needed to string lights outside and in the gym, arrange tables & chairs and hang signage. Sign up here or email Arturo Monsivais at arturo_monsivais@dell.com to help.

Buy Tickets
Kids will need tickets ($5 for a card with 10 tickets) or a wristband ($25 for all-access) to participate in the booths and games at Round Up. They will be for sale at the event, but you can bypass long lines and order in advance by pre-ordering online. The deadline to pre-order is Saturday, September 23. Dance wristbands will be sold separately. Questions? Email Angie Wagner at anghwag@gmail.com.


This week in ACES …

6th Grade:
This week’s lesson is a continuation of last week’s lesson on “Growing Your Brain”. Once students understand that their brains are constantly growing and changing based on how they use them, this lesson helps them put that information into effective practice by emphasizing the key, research-based approaches of focusing on good strategies, getting help from others, and working hard.

At Home …
Tell your child that hard work is necessary to learn new things, but the focus cannot be on hard work alone. Teach your child good learning strategies and the importance of getting help from others. Have your child list the names of teachers/staff/peers they can ask for help while at school.

7th Grade:
This week’s lesson teaches students that making mistakes and learning from those mistakes can actually make you smarter!

At Home …
Parents, the more often students are reminded that making mistakes is a key part of getting smarter, the less likely they are to feel ashamed of mistakes and seek to avoid challenging schoolwork. Share examples of mistakes you have made and discuss with your child how you grew and learned from your mistakes.

8th Grade:
This week’s lesson is all about Labels and Stereotypes. By the end of this lesson, students should be able to recognize what labels are and how they can change. Students will also analyze the affects labels can have on people.

At Home …
Have a discussion about the labels and stereotypes we see everyday through the media. How can this be harmful or helpful?

Library News

Author Visit:
Thanks to the generosity of BookPeople and to O. Henry families/staff who buy signed copies, we are excited to announce our first author visit of the year: Jason Reynolds on Tuesday, September 12 at 2 pm in the O. Henry Cafe. He will be talking up the second book in his Track series: Patina. The first novel in the series, Ghost, was a 2016 National Book Award finalist.

Jason is a New York Times bestselling author, a National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. His debut novel, When I Was the Greatest, was followed by Boy in the Black Suit and All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); As Brave As You; Jump Anyway; and the first two books in the Track series, Ghost and Patina.

The new book he’ll be promoting, Patina, received an excellent review in the NY Times on Sunday, August 27. The review of Patina is part two: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/books/review/jason-reynolds-patina-track-teams.html?_r=0

We are selling many of his books at great prices, as some are in paperback. Print out the attached order form or go directly to the link to purchase your copies online: https://bookpeopleschools.squarespace.com/ohenry

The O. Henry library is proud to offer 24-hour service through our digital downloads. We have two platforms this year: Overdrive and MackinVIA. Go to the O. Henry Library website for directions on how to access these materials. Digital audio books are especially helpful in developing literacy skills for struggling readers and for those with learning differences or stuck on long commutes. http://www.ohenrylibrary.com

O. Henry Middle School Charity Drive

Animal Specific Donations- Partnering with Austin Pets Alive

  • Donated (not loaned) Medium and Large Wire Dog Crates
  • Sheets (can be used)
  • Bath and Beach Towels (can be used)
  • Aluminum Food Bowls
  • Styrofoam Bowls
  • Dog and Cat food (meat is listed as 1st ingredient)
  • Wet canned cat food
  • Litter (clumping and non-clumping)
  • Aluminum Baking Pans for litter boxes
  • Cleaning Supplies: trash bags, bleach, paper towels, dog poop bags, Clorox wipes, sponges, hand brooms/dust pans, litter scoopers, mops, mop buckets, and push brooms.
  • Leashes (all sizes, flat)
  • Martingale collars (all sizes)

Supplies needed for Coastal Area- Partnering with Yeti Coolers
Immediate Need for On-site Clean Up

  • Tarps
  • Bottle bleanch
  • Clorax Wipes
  • Leather work gloves
  • N-95 Respirators
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Black trash bags (25-50 gallon)
  • Fix-a-flat kits


  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Tooth paste and tooth brushes
  • Soaps and Shampoos


  • Formula
  • Canned Foods and Can Openers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned chicken breast or tuna
  • Canned low sodium vegetables
  • Canned fruit in its own juice
  • Dry pinto beans
  • Non-fat milk powder
  • 100% whole grain cereal

From Michelle Wallis, Exec. Director of Office of Innovation and Development: How our community can also help Hurricane Harvey evacuees

Hurricane Harvey – How You Can Help in Austin

Austin Ed Fund Harvey Relief Fund
Austin ISD welcomes children impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
For community members who would like to support the needs of evacuees enrolling in Austin ISD, please give to the Austin Ed Fund’s Harvey Relief Fund. Funds will provide school supplies and support for students enrolling in Austin ISD campuses.
Make a gift to the Austin Ed Fund Harvey Relief Fund here. Full link is https://edbacker.com/c/hurricane-harvey-relief-fund.

Please also consider a gift to the greater relief efforts by making a financial contribution to one of the following organizations:
American Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey
Houston ISD Foundation – support for Houston teachers and students http://www.houstonisd.org/Page/164281

Austin Ed Fund’s campaign will provide school supplies, clothing, basic needs and financial support to allow them to fully participate in our schools. Austin ISD’s Project Help program will coordinate this program. Project Help is an existing program that coordinates service and support for homeless or displaced students.

Austin ISD is enrolling children impacted by Hurricane Harvey that have evacuated to Austin. The number of enrollees expected is unknown, but we are preparing for the possibility of thousands of students.

For more information on making a financial contributions, please contact Milli Christner at milli.christner@austinisd.org or 512-414-4860.


Show your support- Join PTA today!
OHMS PTA Matters! Please join the O.Henry PTA by October 31st. It’s all online and it’s easy here: https://ohenrypta.org/join-the-pta/

Our work matters to O.Henry teachers, students and families. Among other initiatives, the PTA supports the “Teacher Wish List” program that puts items directly in the classroom and benefits all OHMS students. SmartMusic for orchestra, sheep hearts for science, Nooks for language arts, and plants, seeds and fertilizer for enrichment.

These are just a few of the items found on past Wish Lists, and this year Principal Marlo Malott is encouraging teachers to “think big!”

Volunteer Opportunities- OFFICE
Can you volunteer a few of hours a month, a few times a month, or even every week? By volunteering in the front office, we save the expense of hiring an employee for this position and save the school approximately $30,000 per year that we can put back into our children’s classrooms. As well, it is a GREAT way to get to know the faculty and staff and learn about all of the activities happening at O’Henry.

Parents are needed answering the phone, signing in students, verifying parent ID’s when they come to pick up for appointments, etc.. Shifts are typically 2 hours and you can sign up for as few or as many as you like. Every little bit is a huge help to our Front Office Staff that work so diligently on behalf of our students. Some of our past volunteers have already signed up (they liked it so much!). Can we count on you to chip in a few hours as well? Elizabeth Kalbacher, OHMS parent (AND AHS PTSA President!) had this to say when I asked previous years’ volunteers to help again this year: “I love working the office shift. That’s how I got to know the ins-and-outs at O. Henry and Austin High my first time around!!”

You can see the available slots here.

Please email me if you would like to take a volunteer slot. Note the volunteer shift number and time you would like (or times!) in your email. I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for your consideration in filling this need for our school.

Susanna Thomas
OHMS Parent Office Volunteer Coordinator

Mustang Mall Volunteers
We are looking for volunteers for Mustang Mall!

Mustang Mall is a kiosk in the lunchroom where we sell school supplies and other novelties. This is an easy, low stress, once-a-month commitment of an hour and a half during the school’s lunch periods, 11:40 AM to 1:10 PM. Volunteering at the mall is 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 have a limited number of openings for lunch shifts so 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. To volunteer, complete the information at this link, Mustang Mall Volunteer Form. We will contact volunteers by email after we finalize a schedule and will have training once school starts for those new to the mall.

If you have any questions, regarding Mustang Mall, please contact Karen Mauldin, kjmauldin@gmail.com or Jami Knause, at jamiculver@yahoo.com.

© 2011-2017 O. Henry Middle School
2610 West 10th Street, Austin, TX 78703 / 512-414-3229