Pony Express, Sep. 18-22
Dear O. Henry Families and Community,
We are in the heart of the semester and there is no slowing down. This is the most exciting part of the fall semester. Students kicked off their ACES enrichment classes this week and are already having a blast. Author Jason Reynolds visited and shared his voice, his writing, and his passion with our students and a gentle reminder to “own your story now.” Our football and volleyball teams continue to grow athletically and on the scoreboard. This week students will celebrate all things O. Henry with our 2nd annual Lip Dub filming Thursday during ACES. It is a great time to be a Mustang.
Gear up for Round Up! OHMS biggest fundraising event is just around the corner as the two week countdown approaches. All of the proceeds for this PTA sponsored event go straight back to the school and your student this school year. Volunteers and sponsors are still needed and this is a great way to show your support for the ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE you have come to rely and trust O. Henry offers your student.
Please find time this week to review the AISD Bond Package information included in the newsletter. I want to ensure all of our O. Henry community has a chance to be informed, attend an information session, and visit the district web-site to make an informed decision.
Finally, as O. Henry plans for future course offerings, I will be offering an opportunity for students and parents to serve on a task force. We will visit local areas schools, share information with our leadership team and parent community, and design future core academic and elective course offerings for the 2018-2019 school year. This work will get kicked off in October. If you or your child is interested in serving as a delegate, please let me know.
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.
Make it a great week,
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 email@example.com.
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.
LIP DUB 2018: O.Henry will be filming our annual Lip Dub video on Thursday, September 21 during ACES. Students are encouraged to dress up in costume (to match their ACES classes) or in school colors.
Next week’s SEL will be centered around school spirit and pride, as the entire school participates in the Lip Dub filming. This will take place on Thursday, the 21st. Many students will be wearing their O.Henry gear or an O.Henry uniform. Go Mustangs!
Jason Reynolds Writing Contest
The O. Henry Writing Project is having a writing contest for the students who attended the Jason Reynolds author visit this week. Simply respond to the prompt in 500 words or less: What did Jason Reynold’s visit mean to you?
Essays, poems, personal narratives, or any other form of writing is acceptable as long it responds to the prompt. Submissions are due Friday, September 29th at 4 pm. Winning response will receive Austin Spurs tickets and other prizes to be announced. More information at ohwp.weebly.com/blog.
All Student Council applications were due Friday, September 15th. Students will vote for their candidates during ACES Thursday, September 21st, and Friday, September 22nd.
LAST CALL for SPRING BREAK 2018
The Spring Break trip to Washington D.C. and New York City is still enrolling travelers, but the deadline to sign up is the end of this month! The trip is open to all O.Henry students and their parents. The cost is $2,238 for students, and it is all-inclusive (airfare, bus transportation, hotels, a broadway show, and more). Sign up today at www.efexploreamerica.com/1935333wb. Email Mr. Shack at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
AISD Bond Open House- see additional section for more BOND news below
Tuesday, October 3 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Austin High School Cafeteria
Interested in how the bond will affect O. Henry and Austin High? AISD is hosting a come-and-go open house to provide information and answer questions about the 2017 Bond Election for AISD Prop 1. Presentations will be at 5:45 and 6:45. This meeting will specifically address schools in the Austin High vertical team, including O. Henry. Childcare, light refreshments and presentations in Spanish are available. For more information visit aisdfuture.com. Early voting begins October 23.
AISD BOND UPDATE AND INFORMATION
McCallum – Sept 26
Austin High – October 3
Crockett October 5
OTHER events: SEE FLIER – English / Spanish
Austin ISD is hosting a series of informational open houses to learn more about the 2017 Bond and how it could affect each campus.
Meetings are designed in a come-and-go format, with presentations on the bond at 5:45 p.m. and at 6:45 p.m.
Open houses are designed to be geographically convenient but not geographically exclusive; all are welcome at every meeting, and information about all Austin ISD schools and facilities will be available. A districtwide open house will be 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, with presentations at 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. The full schedule can be found at https://www.austinisd.org/bond/meetings
Child care, light refreshments and simultaneous Spanish presentations will take place at all meetings.
For campus-specific information, please visit our bond projects page and choose a school from one of the dropdown menus.
Early voting is Oct. 23–Nov. 3, and Election Day is Nov. 7.Library News
Monday, September 18 is International Read an eBook Day. Whether you’re an avid eBook reader, or have never read an eBook (or digital audiobook), Monday is the perfect time to try one out. Borrow one of your favorite books or something completely new to discover the joys of digital reading.
O. Henry offers hundreds of eBooks and digital audiobooks in a variety of subjects. Get started on Overdrive now at: https://austin.libraryreserve.com/10/45/en/SignIn2.htm?branchid=697&URL=Default.htm
For complete instructions, go to: http://www.ohenrylibrary.com/
For Overdrive, first download the free app. All you need is to select Austin ISD, then O. Henry, then your Student ID (no S), and everyone’s password is: ohenry. Just select “I am 13 or younger,” even if you’re not to expedite the process.
You can also try out our new free digital service: MackinVIA at: https://www.mackinvia.com/Enter It’s also uses a free app. Directions are also on the library website if you scroll down on the right-hand column of the homepage.
I’m available to help any student in the library. Once I lead students through the process, they catch on quickly. The check out time limit is three weeks for any digital item. Students may also place holds on items that are already checked out.
Together, let’s break a record Monday for the number of eBook checkouts at our school. We hope you’ll join us and readers around the world in celebrating Read an eBook Day! Share what you’re reading with #eBookLove for a chance to win a Kobo Aura One from OverDrive.
Thanks. And thanks to all who bought Jason Reynolds books. He was amazing!
O. Henry Middle School Librarian
AISD Marching Band Jamboree – Tuesday, September 19
All O. Henry Band students and families are invited to attend the AISD’s 45th annual Marching Band Jamboree at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, September 19 at Burger Stadium (3200 Jones Road Austin, TX). Middle school students will receive free admission if they wear their band shirt. O. Henry and Clint Small middle school students will sit in the stands near the Austin High Maroon Band. Although we won’t be performing, students will receive credit extra for attending this event. We look forward to seeing you there. Admission is $3 for parents and free for children under 12
Austin HS 8th Grade Band Night – Friday, September 22
On Friday, September 22 all 8th grade band members will perform (in the stands) at the Austin High vs. Anderson HS football game at House Park. Students need to arrive at House Park by 6:30 PM wearing the red mustang band t-shirt with jeans. There is no bus transportation for this game. Students also need to bring their instrument, lyre, and flip folder with pep music. This event is required for all 8th graders. 7th graders are welcome to attend and perform with us for extra credit. Students are free to leave after watching the half time show. We hope you can join us for an exciting evening of music, fun, and football.
Performance at O. Henry Round-Up – Friday, September 29
Pep Band will perform at Round Up on Friday evening. Pep Band consists of all members of the 2nd period Wind Ensemble plus any Symphonic Band students who attended any part of summer band. The attire for this performance is the red Mustang Band t-shirt and jeans (blue or black is fine for this performance). Students are welcome to stay after school and wait in the band hall from 3:40 – 5:30 PM. They will need to bring a wire music stand from home if they don’t have a lyre and flip folder for their instrument. Our performance will begin promptly at 6:00 PM on the front lawn of the school. We will be finished by 6:20 PM. After the performance students are encouraged to stay and enjoy the rest of Round Up.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
Adult Mentors Needed
We are looking for adult mentors for students who are in need of another caring, supportive adult in their life. For parents who are interested in mentoring one of our O. Henry students, your commitment would be once a week for 30 minutes during the student’s lunch time. We have some students who need adult support and positive role models in their life, due to various reasons (family situations, social issues, etc.) and you could be someone in their life to make their middle school experience a better one! If you are interested please sign up at: http://www.austinpartners.org/mentor
If you have further questions please feel to contact Amy Turner at 414-7107.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month
This month at O. Henry we are recognizing National Suicide Prevention Month. We want all O. Henry students to be safe and to know the signs and steps they should take if they are worried about themselves or someone else. Attached is information for parents to help understand and know how to support our kids. Our counselors work closely with the kids to make sure they know to let an adult know if they are ever worried about themselves or someone else.
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 (email@example.com).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 theatre 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.ACES/SEL Corner
Next week’s SEL will be centered around school spirit and pride, as the entire school participates in the Lip Dub filming. This will take place on Thursday, the 21st. Many students will be wearing their O.Henry gear or an O.Henry uniform. Go Mustangs!PTA NEWS
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.