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Hornet Herald - August 25, 2019

posted Aug 25, 2019, 7:09 PM by KMS Hornets
Hey Hornets!

We expected a great start last week and that's certainly what we had. The students are getting the hang of the lunch schedule and by Friday most were successfully getting to classes before the tardy bell. We'll still be helping plenty this week but were excited to see the students confidently moving through the building. The adjective I would use to describe the first week is joyful. I visited classrooms filled with excited students who were ready to learn and teachers who were thrilled to be a part of the Kealing Family. This is my fifth year at Kealing and a start has never felt better. 

This week it will be full steam ahead with the start of Think Tank. This supervised space will be open to students from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm. Students who attend Think Tank must first participate in a scheduled after school event like office hours or a club. Otherwise, all students should have a plan to be leave the building at dismissal. We are almost done updated office hours on the staff directory so take a look if you are helping your child plan!

The much-anticipated elective change forms will be available to students tomorrow. Please read the form thoroughly to help your student apply only for eligible changes. The form along with the list of available courses by class period will be posted on the Kealing website by 4:30 pm tomorrow so visit to take a look. Our goal is to complete these final schedule changes by this Friday so that teachers can dive more deeply into the elective courses starting next week.

Those of you who are returning parents may have heard your students speak about changes to cell phone use on campus. This fall all 8th graders will be receiving Chromebooks so we will have more than enough technology to meet the academic needs we have on campus. This has allowed us to make Kealing a cell-free zone and students are not able to use cell phones during the school day for any reason. For the past few years we have permitted cell phone use for academic purposes and found this to be a lot to manage for students and staff. We are excited about the changes! Music will play during lunch and many of our teachers are developing class playlists since many of our students use their devices for this purpose. As always, feel free to call the campus if you need to reach your student during the school day. We will gladly deliver a message!

You student should have started bringing school supplies to class by now and some are wondering what to do with the community supplies (tissue, wipes, sanitizer). These should be dropped off with Advisory teachers anytime in the next few weeks. We will corral them in central locations so that teachers can grab them as needed throughout the year. If your student has other questions about supply lists, encourage them to speak with their teachers. 

Mark your calendar for Back to School Night. This is an opportunity to meet your student's teachers and learn about what they will experience this year in each class. Click here to check out the schedule. Part of the fun is getting to class before the bell so we encourage you not to bring your child. It makes the challenge more fun and having a tour guide is a party foul! Maps will be provided and schedules will be available for pick up in Advisory classrooms. We encourage you to bring your student's schedule just in case you arrive late in the program.

Tomorrow we are back at it. Here are a few reminders for the morning commute:
  • We prefer parents to drop off in the back lot on Salina near the Theater and Gym. The parking lot is moving smoothly and it the most safe place for students to jump out of the car.
  • You may drop off on Pennsylvania or Leona. Staff will be there to direct you. The ultimate goal is for students to use sidewalks and crosswalks. Don't drop in the middle lane! 
  • Be ready to drop and roll when you arrive. The faster your student exits, the faster the traffic will flow.
That's all for this week. If you weren't here for the PTA meeting last week, I hope to see you soon!

Kind regards,

Kenisha Coburn

Check the website calendar for the most up to date information.

  • Aug 23-Sept 8 - KMAG BookPeople Fundraiser
  • Aug 27 - VBall Parent Mtg, 6p Cafeteria
  • Aug 29 - First KMAG meeting, 7:30a, Library
  • Sept 2: Labor Day - NO SCHOOL
  • Sept 3: Back To School Night, 6p-8p
  • Sept 12 & 13: Homework Hiatus
Homework Hiatus - Mark your calendars
Homework Hiatus dates are here! Each year we block off a weekend that is reserved for rest and fun for our students and staff. This means that no homework assignments will be assigned and no assignments will be due the following Monday or Tuesday. We hope you mark your calendars and plan to enjoy these brain breaks with your families! 
  • 9/12 & 13
  • 10/24 & 25
  • 11/21 & 22 (Thanksgiving Break)
  • 1/16 & 17 (MLK Jr. weekend) 
  • 2/20 & 21 
  • 4/30 & 5/1
Advisory - The coming week in Advisory is all about meeting each other and building community. Next up is Safety Week and we will review all safety drills with our students during Advisory. We will post upcoming themes and activities on the Advisory website so feel free to follow along! The specific safety drill schedule will not be posted but please plan to discuss this with your student during the week of September 3.

Attention: 7 grade parents - Shot Records
Please turn in shot records showing proof of Tdap and MCV vaccinations to the school nurse as soon as possible. If a student does not have these shots by 9/6/2019, they will be sent home from school until proof of vaccination is given to the nurse. 

Kealing Cross Country and Hornet Run Club
Welcome Running Hornets! Kealing Cross Country and Hornet Run Club is back and excited to start our 2019 Fall Season. Kealing Cross Country is a club open to 7th and 8th graders and Hornet Run Club is open to 6th graders. We welcome runners of ALL running levels and experiences. Our season officially begins the first week of school and runs through October. We practice Tuesdays and Thursdays after school from 3:00-4:30pm. At the meets, on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings, our runners race two miles at different parks around Austin. If you have a Kealing student who is interested in joining our club please check out our website or feel free to contact our new coach and teacher sponsor Shannon Jones at
2019-2020 Kealing PTA Board
Please welcome the incoming members of our PTA board. Their contact info, along with contact info for our standing committee leaders, is on our website:
  • President, Para Agboga
  • Treasurer, Adrienne Longenecker
  • Secretary, Kim Hernandez O'Driscoll
  • VP Parent Education, Debbie Rose
  • VP Fundraising, Rachel Tice
  • VP Membership, Amanda Yang
  • VP Teacher Appreciation, Open
  • Parliamentarian, Kareema Ali
  • Historian, Jayne Rosso
  • CAC Representative, Kelly Mikelson
  • ACPTA Rep Magnet, Qian Wu
We look forward to working with you and other members of the Kealing Community this year to support the success of all children at Kealing!

Tue., Sept. 3, 6pm. Back-to-School Night. Before you head to your child’s classrooms, stop by the PTA table to purchase Spirit Wear, meet your PTA leaders, and learn more about ways to get involved at the school.

Reflections has been a staple arts program in many schools for 50 years. Through the efforts of our Local PTAs, millions of students have found a creative outlet in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography, and visual arts.

With positive recognition as the focus of this program, rather than competition, students of all ages and abilities can experience the benefits of creative expression and help in finding their own voice in telling their unique story.

This year’s theme is “Look Within” and the deadline will be the end of October.
 See for the guidelines and rules.

Express your artistic talent and tell us what's within reach through Reflections!

Why Join the PTA?
Why PTA?    
Because every child needs a voice
Our Mission: to make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.

We will advocate for all children and public education and inspire and engage other parents to be involved. 

Please join us to ensure that supporting out schools is about the work of parents, educators and community members coming together to back the future of every child.

To help ensure Texas PTA has a strong advocacy voice, please join the PTA  at

Volunteer Opportunities
Business Supporter Program
The PTA is now offering local businesses ways to support the school and receive recognition at Kealing. For more information, check out the Business Supporter link on our website: If you are interested in helping out with this important initiative please complete our volunteer interest form at

Membership and Hospitality
Do you like meeting new people? Do you like you bake? Or can you help pick up early morning coffee donations? If yes to any of the above, we hope you will consider signing up to help out with the PTA's fall membership drive and back-to-school events in August and September. Please complete our volunteer interest form at

Spirit Wear Sales
Volunteers are needed to help sell t-shirts and other spirit wear items at lunch and other school events. Can you volunteer for a shift or two? Contact

Join the PTA Today!

PTA Membership & Donation
All Kealing parents, guardians, teachers, staff, and community members are encouraged to join the Kealing PTA. 
  • $10 Individual (one membership), 
  • $19 Family (two memberships)
  • [Membership scholarships available]
Download 2019-2020 Membership Paper Form:  ENGLISH  | SPANISH 
2019-2020 Kealing Magnet Advisory Group (KMAG) Board

Please welcome the 2019-2020 KMAG Board:

Co-Chair: Tara Huntress
Co-Chair: Will Scott
Co-Treasurer: Becky Casares
Co-Treasurer: Rosie Truelove
Secretary: Nancy Bachschmid
KMAG Meetings
Please join us for the first KMAG meeting of the year on Thursday, August 29th! KMAG (Kealing Magnet Advisory Group) meetings are open to everyone, and generally discuss topics relevant to the Magnet program. All KMAG meetings are from 7:30am to 8:30am and are usually in the library. 

For more information about KMAG, or to make a donation to KMAG to help support the Magnet program, please visit our website at

Save the dates for all of our KMAG meetings:
  • 8/29
  • 9/12
  • 10/17
  • 11/14
  • 12/12
  • 1/16
  • 2/20
  • 4/9
  • 5/7

KMAG BookPeople Fundraiser 
August 23 -September 8 
BookPeople 603 North Lamar Blvd Austin, TX 78703

Please consider buying your student's required/choice books at BookPeople between 8/23 and 9/8. If you provide a printed out copy of this flyer to the cashier at BookPeople, KMAG will receive 20% back on ALL of  your purchases (required reading and everything else!). Why not support KMAG and an Austin original local business at the same time?

BookPeople has a nice display/table of all the Kealing books on the 2nd floor. 

Thank you for supporting the Magnet Program!

This is easy.

1. Is your kid a student at Kealing Middle School?
2. Is your kid a student in the magnet program?
3. BONUS: Want Kealing gear?
Now, for those of you that are new to Kealing, YES, we have two parent organizations: PTA and KMAG at Kealing. This is not an either/or situation - you need to know/participate in both. See questions above. They both have meeting dates. They both need volunteers. They WORK WELL TOGETHER to support all of our students and faculty/staff.

Kealing PTA is our parent organization that not only advocates for all Kealing students (including yours and mine), they support our teachers and staff, support our communities, support basically everything that has to do with Kealing and public education. Support your student by joining the PTA. Yes, it is a 501 c3, non-profit organization.

KMAG is our parent organization that supports the magnet program. There is no funding for programs like this in the public school arena so KMAG exists to help basically fund the exceptional education that our magnet program provides. KMAG also helps with all things magnet - shadowing, recruiting, etc. Think of it as a "booster" club. Support your student by donating to our annual no-hassle fundraiser. And yes, it is a 501 c3, non-profit organization. Your donations are tax-deductible. Check to see if your employer matches!

Do #1 and #2 for sure, today. 
Thank you!