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    GENERAL FAQs

    • When will Austin Middle School teachers begin teaching their courses remotely?

      • Beginning Monday, March 23, every teacher will begin teaching their course remotely. This includes core teachers, electives, Fine Arts, and PE/Athletics. If the student does not have a device or internet access, they will be given instructions for picking up paper materials on campus on Wednesdays.

    • What is the communication plan?

      • The campus will continue to send out a weekly parent newsletter, The Spear, with a weekly schedule and hotlinks broken down by grade level. Teachers will post assignments in Canvas or Google classrooms. Teachers will be emailing every student by Monday, March 23.

    • My child doesn't have a computer and/or internet access. - or - My child only has their phone to access assignments. What should I do?

      • We will provide paper packets to students based on the response to our Tech Survey. Families will be contacted by the student’s first-period teacher to verify that the student is able to receive instruction remotely as needed. If the student does not have a device or internet access, they will be given instructions for picking up materials on campus on Wednesdays.

    • Where can find information about free wifi?

      • Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity internet subscribers. Download the "Xfinity WiFi" app that will allow you to join one of the available hotspots for internet access! Click the link to see available "xfinitywifi" availability. https://hotspots.wifi.comcast.com/mobile/

        Comcast is offering two months free for new subscribers: https://www.internetessentials.com/

    • Can my child check out a computer from Austin Middle School?

      • No. If the student does not have a suitable device or internet access, they will be given instructions for picking up paper materials on campus on Wednesdays.

    • How will teachers monitor student progress?

      • Student proficiency will be assessed through a variety of formative and summative assessments. Teachers will be entering “major grades” for project-based learning and online assessments. We will be utilizing online STAAR practice tests and released exams for some summative assessments.

    • Will grades be recorded?

      • Grades will be recorded weekly in Skyward. 

    • Galveston ISD Secondary Grading Guidelines for AT HOME Learning

      • Galveston ISD recognizes the importance of providing feedback to students and the role progress monitoring plays in assessing student learning. Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, the District will amend the grading guidelines where appropriate to adjust for circumstances related to At Home Learning.

      • For the 4th nine-weeks (Beginning March 31, 2020), Galveston ISD will record a minimum of one grade or maximum of two grades per teacher/subject per week for TEKS based courses. In order to receive a passing grade for the 4th nine weeks, students are expected to complete all assignments fully according to the specified instructions, and submit each assignment and meet grade-level standards. A student's final grade in a course is the determination of the classroom teacher and must be based upon performance on assignments and assessments designed to evaluate students' mastery of the TEKS.

      • All grades will be weighed equally for the fourth nine weeks.

      • Students have until May 22 to submit missing assignments. Teachers will schedule parent/guardian conferences for any student who is struggling, failing, or not completing assignments. Progress Reports are sent to parents/guardians of struggling students at the end of four weeks of the nine weeks grading period. It is required that parents/guardians must be contacted by the time it becomes apparent that failure is possible. During the COVID 19 Stay-at-Home Order for students who are failing, telephone or electronic contact with parents/guardians should be made and recorded in the electronic logs of contacts and attempted contacts with parents/guardians. For parents/guardians and students who are difficult to reach, principals can solicit the help of the District Attendance Officer to contact those families.

      • If students submit less than the minimum number of grades (8), teachers will make every effort to contact families. If teachers assign more than the maximum number of grades, teachers may drop the lowest grades as long as students have the minimum number. A grade of incomplete will be assigned to the student until May 22 at which time all incompletes will be converted to zero (0). Teachers must have documentation showing contact efforts to connect with parents/guardians of students who are failing or who are in jeopardy of failing.

      • PROMOTION: In grades 5 - 8 promotion to the next grade level shall be based on an overall average of 70 on a scale of 100 based on course-level, grade-level standards (essential knowledge and skills) for language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

      • The 90% minimum attendance requirement has been waived for any course taken in the spring semester of the 2019-2020 school year.

    • How do I see my child's report card?

      • Due to campus closures because of COVID-19, report cards will be published in Skyward Student/Family access accounts instead of being physically mailed home. Parents may access the 3rd nine weeks report cards starting Thursday, April 2, by logging in to their Family Access account here. Once you have logged in, you will find the report card under the link called PORTFOLIO.

      • A link to Skyward Student/Family access is under the Parent tab at gisd.org.  If you are unable to log in or are not set up for Family Access, please contact the campus registrar. For Austin Middle School, this is Cynthia Foley. Her email address is cynthiafoley@gisd.org.

      • Be aware that during this time, report cards will not be printed. Parents without internet or mobile access should contact Cynthia Foley to obtain the report card via email or arrange a physical copy to be mailed.

    • I was planning to buy my child(ren) a Chromebook anyway, and this seems like the perfect time. What are the specs of the Chromebooks used at AMS?

      • Chromebooks start at around $250. This is a link to one that has specs similar to what AMS uses on campus.

    • Is there a set schedule for lessons each day? Do my kids needs to log in at a certain time to view a lecture, etc.?

      • Student assignments and due dates will be given through the Spear newsletter. Please check the newsletter each Sunday to see if there are any scheduled lectures for your child. Also note, it is the intention that any lecture posted will be available later for students to watch the recording if they are not able to attend during the scheduled time. 

      • After hearing input from students, parents, and teachers, we realized that our 8th Grade students taking HS-credit courses were not following the same timelines as their HS counterparts. Therefore, we are moving our campus weekly deadline to 11:59 PM Sundays to align with Ball HS.

    • Will Austin Middle School administer the STAAR test this year?

      • Gov. Greg Abbott waived the STAAR testing requirement for 2019-2020. AMS will not administer the STAAR test. We will be utilizing online STAAR practice tests and released exams for some summative assessments.

    • How can my child connect with his/her teachers for questions and help?

      • Austin MS teachers will hold virtual office hours weekly where students can connect with them in Canvas Conference or quick reply email. Check the Spear class sections for connection times/days. Canvas messaging and email are available options outside the virtual office hours.

     

    BAND FAQs

    • How can I turn in my band fundraiser money?

      • Band fundraiser needs to be turned in on Monday, March 23rd from 11am-1pm.

    • When can I pick up my instrument or music?

      • Items can be picked up from the band room on Monday, March 23rd from 11am-1pm.

    • What does the closing mean for band UIL concert and sightreading contest?

      • Currently, all UIL events are postponed until they can be rescheduled. This does not mean that they are canceled. When we return to school they will set up new dates for the contest. Please continue to practice your contest pieces.

    • Am I required to practice while we are out of school?

      • Yes, students should be practicing at least 5 hours a week to make sure they do not fall behind.

     

    8th GRADE COURSE SELECTION & ENROLLMENT  

    • For current 8th graders that will be attending BHS for 2020-2021, Counselors from Ball High will be contacting you by emailing the link to the BHS Course Selection forms using the email provided during the Schools of Choice application process. Please be on the lookout for that email beginning the week of April 20th.

    • All AMS 8th graders, please review the PowerPoint Rising 9th Grade Course Selection Video linked here. This presentation is from the Ball High Counseling Department and is meant to answer any questions you may have regarding your class placement at Ball High Next year. It can also be found on the BHS Counseling Page under the “Welcome to 9th Grade” tab.  

    • Any student who did not register for a community or has any other questions related to BHS course selection, please direct them toward Mrs. Tiffany Vaiani at tiffanyvaiani@gisd.org