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Hornet Herald - August 27, 2017

posted Aug 27, 2017, 12:39 PM by KMS Hornets   [ updated Aug 27, 2017, 12:39 PM ]
Hello Kealing Families,

I cannot imagine a more exciting start to the school year. We took about 1200 students outside to witness the eclipse on the first day of school and ended the week stacking sand bags just in case Harvey decided to send us more than we could handle. Mr. Chavez found the start of the 2017-2018 school year to be meme-worthy and our science department is convinced that this will be their year! In addition to the unconventional events, we had the usual fanfare of watching and helping students find their classes. By the end of the week, the majority of the students had the hang of it so hopefully they are all ready for the start of official tardy marks this week. I hope things were as smooth and interesting for you at home!

This year we will have Advisory daily to incorporate more frequent opportunities for brain breaks, community building, guidance counseling, and a host of other activities designed to address the social and emotional needs of our students. The first was primarily focused on students getting to know each other and becoming familiar with campus systems.You are welcome to take a look at the weekly Advisory activities online by choosing “Advisory” from the Student Life tab on the website.

I am sure some of you are wondering where the links to the teacher websites have gone. Austin ISD has adopted an online learning platform known as BLEND, which will be the primary tool for sharing course information for Kealing staff. It is a modified version of CANVAS, which is a system currently used by The University of Texas and a number of other colleges and universities. The parent interface is not yet active but should be up and running during the second semester. I encourage you to have your student log in to the CLOUD to show you the system in the meantime. You can also learn more by taking a look at last week's Advisory lesson or by coming to the principal's coffee in a few weeks.

This year, based on the recommendation of our staff, we will be instituting a Thursday and Friday Homework Hiatus once per grading cycle to encourage our students to recharge with time that is focused away from school. During the Homework Hiatus, scheduled office hours and after school practices will be held but students will not be given new homework assignments. Instead of completing homework assignments or studying, we are encouraging our students to
 take some time to relax with friends or family. Our teachers will take an email break too. 

Mark your calendar for the first KMAG meeting on August 31, Back To School Night on September 5, and the first PTA Meeting on September 7. We hope to see you all on campus for one of these events.


Kenisha Coburn

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

  • 8/31 - KMAG Meeting 7:30a Library
  • 8/31 - Volleyball vs. Lamar (7th Home)
  • 8/31 - 9/1 - Homework Hiatus
  • 9/4 - No School
  • 9/5 - Back to School Night
  • 9/7 - PTA Meeting 8:15a Library

Kealing Broadcast Television is a student developed news program that airs every Tuesday through Advisory.  This year's news team is learning the tricks of the trade and will be broadcasting in about four weeks. We'll post the news in the Student Life section and in Hornet Herald every week once it's up and running.

During the 2016-2017 School Year, we had a strong group of Kealing PTA Business Supporters! We are now kicking off the program for the 2017-2018 school year.

Click here to find out more about the Kealing Business Supporters Program!

Teacher Assistant/Office Aide & Elective Change Information
TA and Office Aide applications will be available until the end of the day 8/22 in the PROGRAM OFFICE. They are due, asap. The last day TA/OA applications will accepted will be 8/31.

Student must be in 7th or 8th grade to be a TA or Office Aide. Students will give up one of their electives in order to become a TA or office aide. TA's assist teachers in organization, possibly grading and any other task a teacher needs help with. An office aide runs errands for the office; like walking passes to classes to retrieve students and making deliveries to classrooms. TA's & Office Aides must be responsible and have little to no discipline issues.

Elective change forms will be available on Monday, August 28th and will be due 8/31. Only lateral elective changes will be made. For example, if you want to change your 3rd period you must look for an elective available during 3rd period. On the 28th, there will be a posters by the main hallway detailing which elective has space available. Remember, there must be space in a class in order for a student to be put in the class.

Please also note that some electives have prerequisites that a student must meet to be enrolled in the class. NO Yearlong elective   requests to be removed will be honored. 

We try our best to honor the elective requests in the order which they are received. We will be making changes until September 8th and we will notify you if we were unable to fulfill your request.

Think Tank Begins
As a reminder, all students must be picked up at 2:47 pm unless they are participating in an after-school, supervised activity on campus. Think Tank begins this week and opens at 3:30 pm for those who are on campus due to after school events. All Think Tank students must be picked up by 5:00 pm or prepared to take a late bus. 

Kealing Clubs
The Kealing Club List is here, under the Student Life tab on the Kealing website. We will update this list as the year progresses and new clubs are added. 

School Garden Workday 
Saturday September 2nd
Students and families, please join us on Saturday, September 2 from 9-11 am in the Kealing school garden. We'll be prepping beds to grow vegetables, herbs, and lettuce and adding plants to our butterfly garden. This is a great opportunity to make new friends, learn more about gardening, and earn service hours. The whole family is welcome to attend! Snacks and tools will be provided. Bring water, a hat, and wear sunscreen.   

Calling All Runners
Kealing now has a Cross Country Club and we want you to join! It is available for grades 6-8 (6th graders run as part of the Run Club).  Our goal for the club is to give our Kealing students the opportunity to improve their fitness,  set personal goals and achieve them, compete with their friends for Kealing Middle School, and learn to love the sport of running.

Middle school cross country races are 2 miles and the Run Club events for 6th graders will be various distances. We will train/compete 2-3 times a week.  The time commitment is not much and will not prevent kids from playing another sport or joining another club. Practices are held Tuesday and Thursday after school from 3-4:15 with an occasional optional Sunday morning run. Meets will be held on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings and are not mandatory.  

For more information, please see the Kealing Cross Country Club website or email the Club Coach, Matt Kleiman or the Club Sponsor, Shannon Jones

PTA Membership
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]

2017-2018 Join and PAY ONLINE now >>


Download 2017-2018 Membership Paper Form: 

The Kealing PTA
 supports the education and success of all children at Kealing Middle School.  Here's a look at how your membership and donation to the PTA made a difference at Kealing last year: 
  • Technology: purchased 30 Chromebooks, 60 headphones, a 3-D printer, 10 iPad minis
  • Teachers:  provided a supplies grant for EVERY teacher (shared program w/ KMAG), sent 3 teachers to SXSW-Edu, sent  2 academy teachers to national conferences , and organized multiple Teacher Appreciation days
  • Fine Arts: sponsored a grant for orchestra instrument purchases
  • Programs & Events:  30th anniversary party, 8th grade celebration, School Partnerships, Young Scientists Club
  • School Grounds: grounds improvement days, Monarch Heroes garden grant, Bright Green Futures grant for courtyard natives planting, built deck and ramp around garden shed
  • Community Engagement: launched Business Supporter program building connections w/ surrounding community.
PTA Membership, Donation, Business Sponsorship, and Corporate Matching are all ways you can help!

Kealing Spirit Wear is here!
Check out our Spirit Store  for Kealing Hornet hoodies, t-shirts, baseball shirts, stickers, and other goodies. Look for the Spirit Wear table at Back-To-School Night on September 5th; online orders also accepted (your child will need to pick up the items during lunch in the cafeteria).

KMAG Welcome Meeting
Thursday, Aug. 31st at 7:30a
Kealing Library! 

Welcome (back) to Kealing!! Want to get involved with helping to ensure your child’s experience at Kealing remains special? You’re off to a good start! All Kealing families are members of the Kealing Magnet Advisory Group. KMAG consists of families working with the administration to assist and support Kealing by providing financial and volunteer resources to promote academic excellence, classroom enrichment and diverse academic extracurricular activities. KMAG also works closely with the PTA to address the needs of the larger Kealing Community. 

Please mark Thursday August 31st at 7:30 am on your calendar for a brief welcome meeting. We will introduce this year's board, discuss the 2017-18 budget, look for volunteers (all are welcome!) and answer any questions you might have. THANK YOU for making your Kealing Community great! See our website for more information.

KMAG Back to School Fundraiser 
KMAG will be hosting a fundraiser through BookPeople September 1 through September 17. Buy your student’s required reading books and stock up on fall reading for yourself and your family while contributing to KMAG! Required reading lists for the new school year will be coming home with your student at the end of this week. BookPeople will donate 20% of all sales during the fundraiser period to KMAG (flyer must be presented at time of purchase). If you have any questions, please contact Kristen Bridgeman
. Thanks for your support of this wonderful program!


MacTheatre presents Catch Me if You Can
This big-hearted musical adventure is based on an astonishing real-life story of being young, in love … and in deep, deep trouble! 
September 28-October 1 & October 5-8, 2017 Tickets may be purchased in advance at Student tickets are $7; adults are $16, and seniors are $12. 

Please note: Although Catch Me If You Can is not a classic "family show," there is nothing objectionable in the script and songs, and the musical's peppy vibe will appeal to school-age kids.