I hope everyone is enjoying the three day weekend. Hard to believe, but this will be the last principal’s message of the 2017-2018 school year. Underclassmen have two half-days this week while seniors have their last two finals Tuesday morning.
Mistake in last week’s principal’s message – bell schedule
Sorry, I had a couple of typos when I sent the bell schedule out last week. Thanks Amy for catching it! Each class is 95 minutes with a 60 minute lunch (counting the passing period). The times should read
1/5 - 8:15-9:50
2/6 - 9:55-11:30
Lunch 11:30 -12:25
3/7 - 12:30-2:05
4/8 - 2:10-3:45
As you might notice we are adding a little overall time to the schedule next year. Our total time will now match the other high schools in AISD, most of who run on a 9:00 – 4:30 schedule. The extra minutes will allow us not only to build in time so we will not need to make up the first two bad weather days, but also for us to participate in two District of Innovation (DOI) days. We plan to use these in January so that students will not return to school for the spring semester until January 7th. Teachers will return on the 3rd, but will spend that first Thursday and Friday In a specialized professional development conference on campus.
Current 9th-11th grade students will be able to take their chromebooks home over the summer to support their continued education over the long break. Although we are not assigning any specific summer assignments, more about that below, there are some great resources that your kiddo might wish to take advantage of. The Digital Citizenship and Chromebook Support modules in the LASA Everyone:1 course that was pushed out to students when they received their Chromebooks really do have important points for students to know about navigating in a digital world. Yes, I know they believe they know everything about this already, but as many of our seniors and recent alumni are discovering, this is a more perilous terrain than they had thought. Additionally, students looking for some reading material over the summer should check out the MackinVIA program (accessible through the AISD Portal) that provides online access to hundreds of digital books and audiobooks. Similarly, an Austin library card will also allow you to check-out books in a digital format or audiobooks.
I know there is a downside to students being able to keep their chromebooks as well. First of all the students have to keep track of them! If you think your kiddo is not going to use their Chromebook all summer, then put it in an easy to remember safe place starting Wednesday when they get home from school. Remember to charge it throughout the summer. Every two weeks is what we are being advised for the chromebooks we are collecting from seniors. If your student plans to regularly use their Chromebook then all of the same common sense reminders for care and maintenance apply. Keep them charged, clean, away from water and absolutely do not leave them in a hot unconditioned area for any length of time (yes, I mean in a car!).
All seniors have graduation practice on Tuesday. We will start in the theater at 1:00. We recommend that seniors be in the theater by 12:50, so we can start promptly. Students will receive an overview with the details of the ceremony and our expectations. Then they will move to the band hall to line up and practice going through the main parts of the ceremony in the gym. We hope to be done by 3:00. Students will pick up their caps and gown after the graduation practice is complete.
The evening prior to graduation we come together and celebrate our graduates with an event known as Senior Salute. At Senior Salute awards are given, students perform a skit that makes fun of the staff, the staff has a movie they show to entertain the students and all of the soon to be graduates are called on stage to receive their magnet endorsements. It’s a big deal. Students dress up a bit, laugh at themselves and their teachers and go home with a copy of a memory book. This is a really wonderful event that is truly not to be missed. This year Senior Salute will be at Grace Covenant and starts promptly at 7:00.
The Class of 2018 will graduate Wednesday May 30th at 10:00 downtown at the Erwin Center. Details for graduation were sent through Naviance a couple of weeks ago. I can’t encourage you enough to plan to arrive early and take the shuttles from Burger or Delco. Also, please remember that there are new security procedures at the Erwin Center, so please reread the messages sent and plan for the time it will take you to go through security. On Friday, I received the following information from the High School Superintendent’s office.
Project Graduation is the lock-in held the night of graduation. It has two main purposes. The first is to keep our graduates safe. Unfortunately, across the country, graduation night is one of the deadliest with recent graduates hopping from one party to the next. Use of alcohol and drugs tends to increase and car accidents are a major concern. Secondly, Project Graduation gives students a place to meet with their Class one last time as a group. They can hang out in the “casino”, swim in the pool, watch hired acts such as a hypnotist, and wander through rooms with various entertainments in each. There are drawings for prizes throughout the night and students get a chance to reconnect with some of their classmates revisiting their four years before heading off to college. Project Graduation tickets are now on sale for $15 each at http://www.jagnation.net/product/project-graduation-ticket/. They will also be available for $20 (cash or check only) at Senior Salute and graduation practice.
In case your child watches 13 Reasons Why
The second season of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” started recently and, if it runs anything like last year’s initial season, , it will again be popular with some our students. Each episode in this series explores another tragic reason the main character commits suicide. It has graphic depictions of suicide, violence and sexual assault. All of these things are concerning to our counseling and administrative teams. We want to make sure that if your child is watching this show, that you are in the loop and have the information you need to talk with your kiddo about what they are seeing and the thoughts or emotions that watching the show might bring up. The talking points at this link are a great place to start https://www.jedfoundation.org/13-reasons-why-talking-points/ I have also attached a letter and list of resources for AISD’s district counseling department.
A Few Quick Accolades
Texas State Science Olympiad Individual events (seniors are highlighted):
1st Place Finishes
Astronomy – Shubhanga Ballal and Sam Christian
Chemistry Lab – Sarah Chieng and Michael Taleff
Hovercraft – Kevin Black and Abhi Dhir
Microbe Mission – Edward Lee and Prerna Kundalgurki
Mission Possible – Yash Patil, Alec Schultz, Carly Smith
Towers – Carly Smith and Richard Liu
Academic World Quest
Anish Katta, Ojas Ahuja, Harrison Tran, and Evan Hochstein competed at the Academic World Quest national competition in Washington, D.C. and came in 4th in the nation. They were competing against 45 other 4 person teams from all around the country. This is a big accomplishment and we are super proud of these students. In case you aren’t familiar with the competition, Academic World Quest is the flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America that engages more than 4,000 high school students annually across the U.S. to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy. Students answer 100 challenging multiple choice questions, and the placement is based on the number of questions answered correctly. The LASA team scored 77 points. The first place team scored 81 points, 2nd - 79, 3rd - 78, and our team scored 77. Sounds like a nail biter to me!
State Doubles Tennis Champions!
Congratulations to the Aduru brothers, Chaitu (LASA'18) and Vishwa (LASA '20). They won the State Championship in Tennis Boys Doubles. That’s right – State Champions!! This is an amazing accomplishment and we are very proud of both of them. We wish Chaitu good luck as he moves on to play tennis for Case Western Reserve University and Vishwa, we are looking for more incredible tennis from you in the future.
Every year as we move into break, I have some parents ask about assignments or reading lists that the students need to complete over the summer. I know many other schools do this, but it just doesn’t fit what I believe philosophically. As a school, LASA takes nearly every minute of their day from late August through May. We tell them what to read and what to study. For the summer, I want students to have the freedom to read anything they want and to study or investigate any interesting idea that happens to come to their minds. So, no, for students we do not have any summer reading or assignments.
However, if you as a parent want some suggestions for summer reading – I am happy to toss some ideas your way. Here ya go – Enjoy!
- Organizing the Disorganized Child: Simple Strategies to Succeed in School, by Martin L. Kutscher M.D
- Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids - and How to Break the Trance, by Nicholas Kardaras
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
- The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World, by Haemin Sunim
- I'd Listen to My Parents If They'd Just Shut Up: What to Say and Not Say When Parenting Teens, by Anthony Wolf
- Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, by Frank Bruni
- The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, by Jessica Lahey
- Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, by Daniel Siegel
- Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STIs, by Jill Grimes
- Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation, by Simon LeVay
- 101 Mindful Ways to Build Resilience: Cultivate Calm, Clarity, Optimism & Happiness Each Day, by Donald Altman
- The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child, by Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel Siegel
Have a great last few days and a fun and relaxing summer.
Parent Letter 13ReasonsSeason2 Spn.pdf
Parent Letter 05171813ReasonsSeason2.pdf
13 Reasons Why 2 051718MentalHealthResources.pdf