Pony Express, Sep. 11-15
Dear O. Henry Families and Community,
At O. Henry Middle School we believe in creating a community. This is a part of our core values and our belief that strong relationships build a strong community. Tuesday night was proof our O. Henry community is strong. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our PTA and our Back to School night. Full attendance at our PTA meeting, full classrooms, and parent participation validated to our staff the commitment to your child’s education.
If you missed the evening, no worries. As we continue to build and solidify our community, our students and family’s sense of belonging, you will have plenty of opportunities to participate in community building projects together. Our first call to action is getting involved in our PTA. Right around the corner is our biggest and best-ever family fun night: ROUND UP.
On Friday, September 29th O. Henry will host a HUGE family gathering with fun, food, festivities, and families. Please consider giving your time and talent to making this event a success as we need everyone’s help. This is the main fundraiser for O. Henry Middle School and there are ways you can volunteer in our PTA section of the newsletter.
Our community is also pulling together to assist families in need from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. The 7th grade Volleyball team organized a supply drive and students began dropping off items for our Charity Drive. We will continue our Charity Drive this week with a focus on Pet Supplies. We will collect these items through this week and deliver on Friday afternoon to Austin Pets Alive.
You can also attend Go Love Now-A Celebration of Unity and Love event on Monday, September 11th in the O. Henry Gym from 6-9. Check out the link here and at the bottom of our newsletter for more information about collection drive for local needs, free yoga, and guest speakers.
Finally, a way our students and families can support O. Henry is by showing Mustang Pride. Attend a school event this week- there are plenty to choose from Monday- Thursday with Football and Volleyball season in full swing. If you have pictures of our students in action be sure to share them on our Facebook page or Tag us on Twitter @Ohenryms.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any kudos or concerns you may have. We are here to make sure your child’s experience is at O. Henry is the very best.
See you on the field or the court,
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.firstname.lastname@example.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.Library News
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
FREE EBOOKS and digital AUDIO BOOKS!
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
An opportunity for your business to support O. Henry for less than $100!
Each month, teachers will be awarding one student in each grade level the “Mustang Excellence Award” based on leadership, academic achievement, and citizenship. Teachers will join the student and student’s family for dinner at the student’s home to celebrate.
We are looking for 7 local businesses who would be able to purchase the dinner the teachers bring to the student’s home; your business would be recognized on O. Henry’s social media accounts and newsletter as a sponsor. Please email Sarah Tanner at email@example.com if you are interested in supporting O. Henry’s Mustang Excellence Award.
Celebrating our Mighty Mustangs in this week’s staff meeting: Laura Butler, Workhorse; Kristin Smith, AISD Rave; Ginny Monger, Mustang Pride; Angelica Tagle, Magical Horse. Thanks to each of you for making OHMS amazing. #aisdgottalent #aisdgot❤️ #yearofthemustang
Consider a RAVE as a way to share how O. Henry is helping make a difference in your child’s education.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).6th Grade News
Upcoming Field Trips for 6th graders: We have 2 very exciting field trips planned for the fall. The first one will be on Tuesday, October 10th. We are going to the Paramount Theater to see Nobelity Project’s Building Hope: The Story of Mahiga Hope High School. After viewing the film, there will be a live Q&A session streaming through Skype with students in Kenya. Our O.Henry students will have the opportunity to talk to students in Kenya.
For the second field trip, we will be going to the Bob Bullock IMAX Theater to view the 3D film Jerusalem. Students will learn about the historical and cultural interactions of the three monotheistic, Abrahamic, global faiths that all have roots in Jerusalem. After the film, there will be a panel discussion with special guest speakers who will provide diverse perspectives on how these three faiths have shaped world cultures and current geo-political realities. Students will have the opportunity to ask specific questions to these religious leaders. This trip will likely be in December. The date has not yet been confirmed.
We will be sending home information about both of these field trips and asking for each student to bring in $20. This will cover the entrance fees for the Paramount and Bob Bullock IMAX, as well as the bus transportation for both events. We will also be asking for some parent volunteers to chaperone for each of these events. If interested in chaperoning, please email Jan Loewe, email@example.com.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
Did you know our Cross Country Team has 51 Runners this year?
Students ran this past Friday at St. Andrews at our first meet of the season. Our Mustangs ran wild and we had a very nice showing of our speed and agility. Share your favorite pictures with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Ways you can show your Mustang Pride this week:
8th B Team, 7th B Team Football vs Bedichek @ O. Henry
Go Love Now Celebration @ O. Henry Gym 6-9
8th A Team, 7th A Team Football vs. Bedichek @ House Park
8th C Team, 7th C Team Volleyball vs. Bailey @ O. Henry
7th A&B Volleyball @ Bedichek
8th A&B Volleyball @ O. Henry
This week’s pre-game activities for our 7th grade volleyballers included creating Welcome Kits for individuals affected by Harvey. #mustangsgottalent #mustangsgot❤️ #yearofthemustangRound Up!
Friday, September 29th from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Support OHMS at this fun family event featuring sports booths, games, food trucks and a middle school dance. For everything you need to know, visit the OHMS website.
Round Up needs your help!
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 donations 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 by visiting SignUp.com or emailing Kim Reaves at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be a Mane Man (or Woman)
OHMS Mane Men volunteers string lights outside and in the gym, arrange tables & chairs and hang signage. Sign up here or email Arturo Monsivais at email@example.com to help.
Please donate drinks for Round Up now through September 29th! We need cans of Sprite, Coke, Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper and 12- or 16-ounce bottles of water in 6-packs, 12-packs or cases. Please drop off donated drinks in the office and mark them “For Round Up.”
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 bypass lines by pre-ordering online. The deadline to pre-order is Saturday, September 23. Dance wristbands will be sold separately. Questions? Email Angie Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle School Dance
OHMS students are invited to a dance in the gym during Round Up. Dance wristbands are sold SEPARATELY from the all-access wristband the week of Round Up during lunch for $7 and at the door the night of the dance for $10. The dance will have a staggered end time by grade level:
8:10 for 6th graders
8:20 for 7th graders
8:30 for 8th graders
Guests can submit song requests to the DJ here. Questions? Email email@example.com.
This week’s lesson is titled Can Personalities Change? Research shows that believing their own and other people’s personalities are malleable and can change makes a big difference in how students manage the social challenges of middle school. Students who believe personalities can change are less likely to feel bad about themselves and less likely to seek revenge when they have social difficulties with other students.
This week’s lesson is titled Setting Goals. Students can learn how to accomplish things they value by setting appropriate goals and using effective strategies to achieve them. In this lesson, students learn a research-based, developmentally appropriate goal-setting strategy where they practice breaking big goals down into small, simple steps and create IF–THEN plans for how to achieve each small step. Discuss with your child goals that you have for this year. Ask your child to share with you a few of their own goals.
This week’s lesson is titled Mapping Your Goals. Students will create a Mind Map in order to organize goals for different parts of their life. (ex. academics, athletics, social, family, school, spiritual, etc) A mind map is a way for students to capture their thoughts in a visual way. Discuss with your child goals that you have for this year. Ask your child to share with you a few of their own goals.
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!” Take a look at these sweet letters from O. Henry students who directly benefited from your hard work and support.
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 with this link:
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.
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.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
Dog and Cat food (meat is listed as 1st ingredient)
Wet canned cat food
Liter (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 colors (all sizes)
Supplies needed for Coastal Area – Partnering with Yeti Coolers
Immediate Need for On-site Clean Up
Leather work gloves
Black trash bags (25-50 gallon)
Feminine hygiene products
Tooth paste and tooth brushes
Soaps and Shampoos
Canned Foods and Can Openers
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-414-4860.