Posted by Salas /  05.06.2013

globewpeoplejpg.jpgAustin ISD Title I Parent Meeting
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
5:30-7 p.m.
Ridgetop Elementary School
5005 Caswell Ave

The Austin Independent School District will host a meeting for parents of children attending Title I schools on Tuesday, June 11, 5:30-7 p.m. at Ridgetop Elementary School, 5005 Caswell Avenue, Austin , TX 78751.

Parents are encouraged to attend and provide input about the services and resources available their child’s school. Federal Title I funds are available to schools with high percentages of students in low-income households to support and improve student success. Parents play a vital role in determining what services may be provided.

A light dinner will be served. 
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Posted by Salas /  11.12.2012

Garcia Middle School Principal Manuel Ornelas (second from left) and Parent Support Specialist Terry Russell (second from right) welcome Andy Roddick Foundation staff to the school

Through his foundation, former ternnis champion Andy Roddick's pledge of giving back will be making a difference for the LBJ vertical team of schools. The foundation announced plans to build a tennis and learning center in the neighborhood!

The Garcia Middle School community welcomed staff from the foundation at an event held to gauge community needs. Over 100 parents and students joined the festivities. Included was District 1 Austin ISD Board of Trustee Cheryl Bradley.

Kudos to Garcia Middle School Principal Manuel Ornelas and Parent Support Specialist Terry Russell for pulling off such a great event.

For more on the Andy Roddick Foundation, go to the web site at
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Posted by Salas /  05.12.2012

Wooten Elementary School Hosts Annual
Partners In Education Lunch

With all kinds of turkey, dressing, potatoes, green beans, pie and other goodies, Wooten Elementary School celebrated and thanked the school's partners at their annual Partners In Education Luncheon on Friday, November 16th.

Over 60 partners - businesses, agencies, community volunteers and parents - joined Wooten staff for a lively Thanksgiving feast spiced very nicely by the music talents of Wooten students.

Kudos to Wooten Principal Ron Bolek and event coordinator/Parent Support Specialist Bernardo Martinez and the rest of the Wooten family for developing one of the largest partner programs in AISD!

And this is one way to do it!

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Posted by Salas /  09.10.2012

Austin's beautiful outdoor weather will not be wasted at Galindo Elementary School! Galindo Parents - the PTA and others - banded together to create the beautiful Galindo Outdoor Classroom for teachers and students.
The Galindo team of teachers, parents and even some alumni made it all happen: the PTA raised funds for the project; community members washed and stained the concrete; teachers and parents created a mosiac wall; a parent built 13 desks; and teachers and parents painted them.

Galindo teachers can now use the space for classes, conferences and even breaks.
Kudos to the Galindo community and thanks to Parent Support Specialist Diana Mayo.

Great job!
Pictured: Galindo ES PTA parents
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Posted by Salas /  03.10.2012

wcparentreadingjpg.jpgLots o' learnin' ...

going on at Walnut Creek Elementary School - especially with the help of the school's parents in its Parent Reading Program.

Every third Thursday, parents volunteer to read to students in the classroom. The goal of the program is to develop early reading skills and to foster parent involvement.
Congratulations to Parent Support Specialist Mycah Arellano and Ms. Tekisha Scott for developing the program and working with the parents.

Great job!
Click on the videos below for parent interviews about the program.
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Posted by Salas /  11.09.2012

Mendez FRC Director Leonore Vargas leads the Dove Community School Alliance meeting of over 50 partners, September 7, 2012.

Austin ISD's Family Resource Centers (FRC) have been gearing all summer to hit the ground running in 2012-13. The centers at Burnet, Dobie, Martin, Mendez and Webb middle schools, and Reagan Early College High school serve to provide families with direct service, referrals and information on community services that include:

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Access to Health Care
  • Social Connections
  • Education

Families from any school community may seek support from the Family Resource Centers.

For the 2011-12 school year, the FRC highlights include:
- Over 3,900 students received support services
- Over 1,300 family members received support
- Over 2,900 referrals were made to partners/service providers
- FRC social workers provided more than 2,100 contact hours of service

The 2012-13 school year has started with a bang at the FRCs:
- A new Family Resource Center has opened at Burnet Middle School.
- The Mendez FRC welcomed over 50 partners to its Dove Springs Community School Alliance serving families in the 78744 zip code.
- The Martin FRC coordinated a community walk on Saturday, September 8. Martin and FRC staff - including over 30 teachers - made contact with 112 students' families.
- The Webb FRC, with partners AISD Dept. of School, Family & Community Ed, and the Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas, is providing free daytime Adult ESL classes at Webb Middle School.
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Posted by Salas /  02.08.2012

mnakkulaparentworkshopjuly26jpg.jpgParent Workshop Presented by
Co-Author of Understanding Youth
“Sometimes, children lie ... and it’s not necessarily a moral flaw!” With this and more, educator and author Dr. Michael Nakkula helped ease the worry of some 90 parents and staff at the “Understanding Your Middle School Child” Parent Workshops held July 26 at Mendez Middle School and on July 27 at the Gus Garcia Recreation Center across from Dobie Middle School.

Responding to a parent’s question, Dr.  Nakkula explained that a middle school-aged child’s sudden lying  may be a function of their brain growth: they are developing new cognitive skills, experimenting and pushing boundaries - all a natural procees. He did not suggest letting them getting away with it, just understand it.

The major goal of the workshops was to offer parents insight into transitions their children make from elementary to middle school. Dr. Nakkula and the parents discussed how:

•Teens explore, experiment and push the boundaries
•Independence does not mean separation
•Parents “being there” matters

The Mendez MS workshop included breakout sessions coordinated by The Austin Project and  SafePlace for parents on ”Love and Logic” and Building Healthy Relationships with Your Teen, and a session for new 6th graders on bullying.

One parent’s son refused to attend the workshop, telling his mom “Why go? Nothing’s gonna change for me”.  Sharing this with the group, she asked how she could change this. Other parents offered suggestions while Dr. Nakkula reassured her, noting she was changing it by being there, and encouraged her to continue “being present”.

About the Presenter
Dr. Michael J. Nakkula is co-author (with Dr. Eric Toshalis) of Understanding Youth: Adolescent Development for Educators. He is  professor and Chair of Applied Psychology - Human Development at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.

Understanding Your Middle School Child
Parent Workshops

June 26, 2012
Mendez Middle School
54 Parents
41 Students
20 Austin ISD staff and partners
30+ children in child care

June 27, 2012
Gus Garcia Recreation Center
24 parents
10 Austin ISD staff

Sponsored by
Austin Independent School District
Parent Support Office
Middle School Office
Mendez Family Resource Center

In partnership with
The Austin Project
Boys & Girls Club of the Austin Area
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Posted by Salas /  02.08.2012

idea_pta_planningjune25jpg.jpgExcellent Start to a School Community!
Locked doors, blaring alarms, poor lighting, scarcity of chairs and heat could not beat the enthusiasm of over 100 families gathered to talk about their roles and a PTA at Austin ISD’s new in-district charter school, IDEA Allan. By the end of the night, ten parents had been elected officers and plans for parent involvement were outlined on large paper stuck to the walls. The June 25th meeting was an excellent start to building school community.

Recruiting Parents
Meeting parents at the school’s registration for students on June 11 and 12, IDEA Allan staff and select AISD Parent Support Specialists (PSS) recruited parents to the meeting. PSSs  Mia Kuehn from Travis Heights ES, Cynthia Vasquez from Zavala ES and Martin MS, and T.A. Vasquez from Ridgetop ES made over 250 phone calls to parents, reminding them of the meeting and the importance of their role at IDEA Allan. About 45 parents committed to attend; more than 125 showed up.

What They Did
Austin Council of PTAs (ACPTA) President Monica Sanchez and Vice-President Cindy Anderson guided parents through a discussion on the role and importance of a PTA. Those interested in being officers were given an overview of duties for each position. Other parents worked in groups to plan parent engagement and wish lists. At the end, PTA officer elections were held. Elected were two “Co-Presidents” (one bilingual, the other with experience in non-profit operations), three Vice-Presidents, treasurers and co-secretaries. “We hate to turn away parents who want to serve” said ACPTA’s Cindy Anderson of the multiple officer setup. The mixture of English-speaking and Spanish-speaking officers could serve the IDEA Allan PTA well.

The IDEA Allan PTA was officially formed.
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Posted by Salas /  18.04.2012

galindotejano_013b2.jpgWith great parents and talented students, the Galindo Elementary School community showed their "Tejano Star" power at the State of Texas "NosotrosTejanos" Tejano Monument parade on Saturday, March 31 in downtown Austin.

Over 30 Galindo parents participated in building the school's parade float: building the platform and rails, making over 700 flowers and decorating the float. The Galindo Ballet Folklorico student group then led the way, dancing all throughout the parade. Even principal Donna Linn joined in, dressing as the school's namesake Emma Galindo.

Joining Galindo parents and students on the float was Austin ISD Trustee Sam Guzman and Austin ISD Chief Schools Officer Dr. Paul Cruz.

Galindo Parent Support Specialist and parade organizer Diana Mayo exclaimed "My parents and students make me so pround!"
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