Austin Discovery School

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"The Hoot" :: Weekly Newsletter » Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

ADS Newsletter - 3 August 2017
STAAR score sheets for the 2016-17 school year have finally arrived on campus! We will begin distributing them tomorrow - Friday, Aug 4th.  If you would like to pick them up before Meet the Teacher on Aug 18th, you are very welcome to do so. Parents may pick up their children's scores at the front office:

Friday, Aug 4th, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug 8th, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

More office hours will be posted in next Thursday's newsletter, and if you would like to come a different time before next Thursday, send an e-mail to with "STAAR pick up" in the subject line. 
Two (more) opportunities for ADS summer fun!  

Incoming kindergartners have been meeting up this summer at pools around Austin so they can meet new friends before school starts! The last of these playdates will be on Thursday, August 10th at 4 pm at the Bartholomew Splash Pad.  All are welcome!  Contact Barbara Rodus at with any questions.

The ADS Parent Teacher Organization is hosting a popsicle pool party on Saturday, August 12th at 4pm at Ramsey Park. The PTO would love to see you all, especially new-to-ADS families, prior to school starting so we can answer all your questions and help you have a smooth transition into our wonderful school. Please join us - we can't wait to welcome you to our community!

Here are directions to the pool If you need more information or have questions, please email  We hope to see all of you there!

Interested in substitute teaching at ADS during the coming year? Get the process started now!  ADS needs you!  E-mail Vice Principal Amity Taylor for more
School Supplies

If you did not order school supplies for the 2017-18 school year through our online vendor before the June 30th deadline, please visit our school website for the supply list and have fun shopping at the store of your choice!

You are welcome to bring the supplies to Meet the Teacher on August 18th, or to class on the first day of school (August 21st!). Thank you for your support - we truly could not do it without you!
From Sheri Guess, ADS PTO President

Dear ADS Community,

Many of you have participated over the years in a Facebook page called "ADS Families".  It is not an official ADS school-sponsored page, and was started by a group of parents searching for a way to communicate with each other many years ago.

Over the years this page has grown and become intertwined with official communications to our community by ADS administration.  Unfortunately there have been many times when "ADS Families" has contained incorrect information about the school, because any member can post anything. Because this group has not been monitored or managed in any way by ADS staff, there often has been no correction to misinformation.   Also over the years, though this site was started by a group of parents, it has slowly morphed into the PTO's responsibility (meaning that officers are the administrators for the FB group), which we feel is not appropriate.  The ADS PTO and the ADS administration believe communication to ADS parents about our school should be correct, trusted, and vetted. 

To address this situation, on August 14th, the "ADS Families" Facebook page will be deleted.  Instead, there will be an ADS Facebook page managed by school administrators and an ADS PTO Facebook page managed by the PTO.  These will both be official channels of school communication.   We hope that experienced community members will welcome new families to our community and direct them appropriately to either the school's website, the ADS Facebook page, or the ADS PTO Facebook page.  We all want quality information to make it to our entire community.

Of course anyone can create a social media group or page and is quite free to do so.  We have one simple request - please do not use "ADS" or "Austin Discovery School" in the title of any page or group you make.  We have had plenty of feedback about the need for clear communication and this will help us achieve that goal. 

Thank you for your support, and if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me at  See you at the ADS PTO Popsicle Pool Party on August 12th at Ramsey Pool!

Dates to Remember

Aug 10 - Kindergarten playdate
Aug 12 - PTO Popsicle Pool Party

Aug 18 - Meet the Teacher 
Aug 21 - First Day of School



Please contact administrators via e-mail to schedule meetings as needed.

Amity Taylor, Assistant Principal
Becky Mien, Student Services Director
Kelly McRee, Social Emotional Program Director
Leigh Moss, Head of School
Lydie Jessin, Business Manager
Taylor Young, Operations Manager

Mark Your Calendars Now!

Please plan to attend Meet-the-Teacher on Friday, August 18th from 4:30-6:30 p.m.  Come meet teachers, check out classrooms, greet friends old and new, and drop off school supplies!  See you then!
From Leigh Moss, Head of School

Middle School News

Register Your Student for their Elective TODAY if you haven't done so already! Please take a moment to fill out this quick survey to indicate which elective (Guitar, Theater, or Art) your child will take this year.  

Middle School teachers arrived back at school this Tuesday, August 1 to begin excitedly preparing for the new year.  We are finalizing schedules, completing the Middle School Parent / Student Handbook, planning field trips for the year, developing peer- and community-involvement opportunities, and making minor adjustments to plans for Chromebook use, electronic portfolio submissions, and teacher- and student-led conferences.   

We want to share all of this news with you and your student -and what better way to do that than through community!  Join us for light refreshments in the Middle School Building at the Meet the Teacher Middle School Orientation on Friday, August 18th from 4:30-6:30 p.m.  During this time you can expect to:
  • receive your student's schedule,
  • follow an abbreviated schedule to meet your student's teachers,
  • learn how to get access anytime to your student's grades, class, and homework assignments,
  • review expectations and opportunities that are different from our elementary school, and
  • give and receive information on how best to communicate with one another throughout the year.
I know many of you have questions about any changes from last year to this year.  The following minor changes can be confirmed:
  • advisory class will take place from 7:50-8:20 instead of later in the day,
  • guitar will exclusively replace violin as the music elective (art and theater are still available),
  • ALL classes will be 55 minutes, meaning that students will have the same schedule on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
  • Wednesday (early release at 1:50 pm) students will meet for Middle School advisory in the library all together for a weekly assembly, and then attend their grade-level history classes.  Hiking will also take place every Wednesday.
  • An RtI (Response to Intervention) and Enrichment block will take place each day to allow students time to receive additional small group instruction in subjects if needed or to participate in additional enrichment opportunities developed by students and teachers.
  • Students will continue to have either PE or EcoWellness every day.
We expect Middle School enrollment to remain at or around 100 students in grades 6-8. This means that student:teacher ratios will remain around 1:22. Teacher biographies will be available on the ADS website next week.

See you all soon!
1st Day of School Eclipse Celebration
Solar Eclipse Celebration Permission Form

On our first day of school, August 21st, we will get to enjoy a solar eclipse.  While Austin is not in the path of totality, there will be a couple of minutes between 10 am and 2 pm during which the moon will pass between us and the sun.  ADS students will all learn about and plan a classroom activity or project to teach and celebrate this momentous event.  

During the eclipse:
  • your child can come to school with eclipse glasses and gather with others students and staff in the center of the campus to view the eclipse safely,
  • your child can watch the eclipse with a group of students and staff in the cafeteria or library (depending on their age) live-streamed from NASA or,
  • your child can watch NASA's live-stream of the eclipse with a smaller group of students and staff in their classroom.
Please let us know which activity you would like your child to attend.  Anyone without a permission slip will join the groups in the library or cafeteria.  

It will be helpful to talk with your student about these events on the first day.  For additional information on the eclipse,
 see the NASA website. Also, Austin public library branches are giving away free eclipse glasses.  See this link for a list of participating libraries.
Aftercare and Arts & Movement classes

Arts & Movement Classes begin in less than 3 weeks!  If you signed your child up for a class and paid a deposit in June, you should have received an invoice in the last 24 hours for the balance, which is now due.  This remaining balance must be paid in full by the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL (August 21).  If not, the deposit is non-refundable and your child's registration will be void.  We have waiting lists now for most of the classes and no late payments will be accepted.
If you haven't signed up your child, we have a few spots left in a few classes (most classes are sold out).  Otherwise, make sure you sign up for AfterCare if you need child care.  AfterCare enrollment is open and available
All students staying at ADS after 1:50pm on Wednesdays will need to be enrolled in either AfterCare or in an Arts & Movement Class.   
Questions?  Email