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Hornet Herald - July 17, 2020

posted Jul 17, 2020, 8:48 PM by KMS Hornets   [ updated Jul 18, 2020, 4:20 AM ]
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Hello Hornet Families,


I hope you are all staying healthy and safe! It’s been a busy week for me at home and at work (at home) but the time has been well spent.


You should have received an announcement from Dr. Cruz indicating that Austin ISD students will participate in 100% remote learning for the first three weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. I am sure that you have a lot of questions that you would like answered about what this will look like for students. Here is what I can share with you so far:

  • We will operate a full-day schedule daily that will include time for 4 hours of synchronous (all together, live) and asynchronous (self-paced) learning.

  • BLEND will be the platform that we use campus-wide.

  • We received some great feedback from families about the spring remote learning period and will be improving pieces of what I consider a very strong start, including: streamlined and consistent BLEND home pages, clearer feedback on progress for students and parents, increased academic depth and complexity, and training for parents to help BLEND be a more effective tool.

I am sure you would like a more detailed picture and can assure you that one is forthcoming. I want to make sure that all of the pieces have been reviewed thoroughly by staff and a subset of parents so that broader communication is clear to everyone. As was the case in the spring, you will be able to join parent webinars as soon as it is all ready to share. In the meantime, know that the Kealing team has been working all summer to improve some skills and acquire others. We have a strong staff and strong community. We will be ready to serve our students well in August.

There will be a number of virtual events as we lead up to the start of the school year. To assist with our planning and management of the virtual platforms, the new student orientations, schedule verification times, and all other events posted on the calendar below will require advance registration. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Registration links will be available in future editions of Hornet Herald.

We have a few new staff members who we will introduce in the coming weeks and we are kicking it off with one very special addition. After years of service at Kealing Middle School, Ms. Dee Gonzales retired at the end of the school year. I am thrilled to introduce Ms. Dianna Perez, the new Kealing Parent Support Specialist. 

Hello! My name is Dianna Perez and I am so excited to be a part of the Kealing Family. I look forward to making new friends and building strong bridges of community amongst the school, the families and the neighborhood. A little about me. I recently graduated from Huston Tillotson University with a degree in Education. I have 25 years in Early Childhood Education and 10 in primary and secondary education. Five of those years in Life Skills as a teacher’s assistant. I am the mother of three children; Gabriel 25, Noah 21 and Bella 17. I am an avid baker and enjoy cooking. In the summer, I teach children ages 7-10 years of age to cook at my home based Camp Chef Kids business. 


Also, after decades serving the Kealing community, David Jarrott has moved on to help build a brand new orchestra program in Hays CISD. We are excited to have Madeline Horrell serve as the Kealing Head Orchestra Director. Ms. Horrell has shown incredible musicianship, instruction, and leadership in a short time at Kealing and she is ready to take our already stellar program to a new place. We have hired a new assistant director and will feature them in the next edition of Hornet Herald.


That is all for this week! We are approaching the beginning of the school year so the regularly scheduled Sunday editions of Hornet Herald will resume on July 26, 2020.


Take care,


Kenisha Coburn

Mark Your Calendars

Below are some important dates for the fall semester. All events will be virtual events.


August 3, 2020 - Preliminary Schedules Available Online

August 5, 2020 

  • New Student Orientation - (9:30 - 11:30 am)

  • New Parent Orientation Option #1 (5:00 pm - 6:15 pm)

August 5, 2020 - Schedule Verification

  • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Last Names Beginning with A – L

  • 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm Last Names Beginning with M – Z

 August 6, 2020 - Schedule Verification

  • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Last Names Beginning with M – Z

  • 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm Last Names Beginning with A – L

August 6, 2020

  • New Parent Orientation Option #1 (8:00 am - 9:15 am)

  • New Student Orientation - (2:00 - 4:00 pm)

August 10, 2020

  • 1 Hour Webinar - What to expect during the first week of school.

    • 10:00 am

    • 2:00 pm

    • 5:00 pm 

    • 6:30 pm (in Spanish)

August 18, 2020 - First Day of School


District of Innovation Days

Each year schools have the option of taking additional days to support professional learning. These are “no school” days for students in addition to the other “no school” days on the Austin ISD calendar

  • Oct 9, 2020 

  • Jan 6, 2021 

  • Feb 12, 2021


Hornet Herald

We have added all new families to our newsletter mailing list. If the Hornet Herald emails are not yet coming to your preferred email, send an email to to be added to the mailing list.

School Supplies

The 2020-2021 school supply lists can be found here. We are glad to partner with EPI to offer prepackaged supply boxes that can be purchased at a reasonable price. Orders can be made between July 20-23 and the site order information and order code will be posted at the top of the KMS website when available on Monday. Families who purchase supplies this way will collect them through a drive through pick-up at Kealing during the first week of the school year. 

We know that some families may need support in acquiring the necessary supplies. Austin ISD will be providing a small number of backpacks since the usual Austin ISD Back to School Bash will not take place this year but we know this will not meet the entirety of the need. If you are willing and able to support a student, we encourage you to purchase an additional supply pack from EPI.


Required Summer Assignments 

All Kealing students have required summer assignments in reading and mathematics. These are critical in mitigating the impact of the COVID slide and helping us start the 2020-2021 school year well. All assignments are available through BLEND or posted online. Click here for information on where to find your specific summer assignments. If you need additional assistance, contact or

Austin ISD Reopening Information Sessions

Austin ISD is hosting two virtual information sessions to help give students, families and staff a stronger sense of what the return to school will look and feel like. Participants will get a look into “a day in the life” of At-Home Distance Learning and On-Campus Face-to-Face Learning. 


We invite our AISD learning communities to join us for the conversation. 

Events will be streamed on Facebook Live with closed captioning and consecutive Spanish interpretation. 

Submit questions in advance through  the padlet app at or during the event.


Topic: At-Home Distance Teaching & Learning

Wednesday, July 22 • 9-10:30 a.m.


Topic: On Campus Face to Face Teaching & Learning and Safety Protocols

Thursday, July 23 • noon-1:30 p.m.

Need to Send Us Some Mail??

Though our campus is not open to visitors, we are still receiving email and USPS mail. Feel free to send necessary documents either way!