December 1, 2023 Monthly Message

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December 1, 2023

Dear AHISD Families-

December is a busy month filled with festive events for our families, friends, and school community. I am grateful to celebrate this holiday season with all of you in Alamo Heights ISD. There are many opportunities to get into the holiday spirit with our talented Fine Arts students. Winter concerts are scheduled for these next two weeks at our campuses and are open to the community. We invite you to join us! 

Academic Updates

We recently learned that Alamo Heights High School has been recognized as a Gold Level Advanced Placement Honor Roll High School! Only six percent of eligible schools earned this Gold level recognition based on criteria that reflects a commitment to increasing college-going culture, opportunities for students to earn college credit, and efforts to maximize college readiness.

In a previous message, I highlighted the achievements of the Class of 2023 in earning Advanced Placement Scholar recognition. AP Scholar awards recognize students who have demonstrated both a depth and breadth of knowledge and whose work has shown college-level mastery across multiple disciplines. Academic accomplishments like these remain a top shared priority within our community and demonstrate our commitment to academic rigor. I continue to be so proud of the accomplishments of our Alamo Heights High School students! 

Fall Feedback School Climate Survey Results 2023

Each fall, we survey students in grades 3-12. The survey includes questions about school climate and safety, positive relationships and belonging, instructional practice, and rigorous expectations. This was the sixth consecutive year that the District utilized this survey.

Administrators and Trustees had a first look at the results in November. Over the coming months, campus staff will work with students to create actionable goals in response to the survey results. We are now sharing a direct link with our families and community to District level results HERE.

Insight #1- Overall, student sentiment regarding school climate is more positive in 2023 than in the previous two years.

Insight #2- Students feel like they have positive relationships with their teachers. About 80% of students described their relationships with teachers as “positive” or “very positive”

Insight #3- When asked what their schools do really well, the most frequent themes were about positive school culture, teachers, and safety.

Community Based Accountability

AHISD earned a Superior Rating in the state’s school financial accountability rating system, known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) this year.

FIRST ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.

This rating underscores AHISD’s fiscal responsibility with all state, local, and bond funds. Despite the challenges of the recapture of local AHISD revenue to the state budget, we continue to prioritize classroom instruction, staff compensation and provide well-funded programs for all of our students.

Bond Update

Construction planning for Project #1 of our Bond 2023 projects is underway and we are committed to sharing regular updates about the design, planning, and construction phases during this exciting time for our district. Later this month, we will launch a 2023 Bond Updates website as a resource for our community.

District staff and Trustees continue to work with architects from LPA Design Studios and Bartlett Cocke General Contractors in planning for Bond 2023 Project One construction which will begin in May 2024, and will start with new construction at Alamo Heights High School.

Campus staff and leaders were involved in more than 10 meetings during the conceptual design process this fall, providing input on needs for more collaborative spaces, a design focused on teaching and learning, increased square footage, and additional outdoor learning spaces.

The new high school schematic design will be shared at the January 2024 Board Meeting. Construction at AHHS is expected to last from May 2024 until August 2026. Project One also includes the relocation of the Excel Academy and Connects program to the current AHISD Central Office and the construction of a new Central Office/Learning Center for our school community.

Project Two includes the Robbins campus, Cambridge, Woodridge, and Plant Services and Project Three includes Howard and the Junior School. The timeline for these projects will be posted on the 2023 Bond Updates website within the next couple weeks.

Teacher Recognition

There’s no place like AHISD because of the excellence in our teaching staff! Please help me congratulate the five AHISD campus teachers of the year- Sarah Holmes, Alamo Heights HS; John Sheppard, The Junior School; Kevin Criss, Cambridge; Megan Janak, Woodridge; and Anna Duce, Howard ECC.

We look forward to celebrating these outstanding teachers in the coming months. In January we will announce our 2024 District Teacher of the Year who will go on to compete at the region level. I’m so proud of all five of our nominees and am grateful they choose to share their talents and their hearts with us here in AHISD.

Sending all our AHISD families heartfelt wishes for a wonderful holiday this month-
May all of the blessings of the season be yours!

Mules up!

Dana Bashara Signature

Dr. Dana Bashara

Photo of the Month:

Football Playoffs
Congratulations to our varsity football team on a tremendous season. We celebrate their success and thank our coaches and student athletes for their hard work. We had outstanding support for two playoff games at the Alamodome during the Thanksgiving Break and I'm grateful for our band, cheerleaders, Spurs, athletic trainers, JROTC, and fans.


Opt-In for School Text Messages: AHISD utilizes the School Messenger system to communicate important information to families through email, text, and/or phone calls. If any contact information has changed over the summer, like phone numbers or email addresses, families should contact their campus office to update in our student information system. In order to receive text messages, which the district sends only in emergencies, families must opt in to this service. Here's how to sign up for text messages. Those who have previously opted in do not have to complete again.

Kindergarten Registration: Kindergarten registration for the 2024-25 school year opens on January 15, 2024. To introduce parents and children to the school, Howard Early Childhood Center is hosting Kinder Preview events beginning in January. Visit our website for the schedule and to register to attend a Kinder Preview. Please share with your family, friends, and neighbors who will have five-year-olds next year.

Grand-Mule/Senior Mule Event: Calling our “Grand-Mules & Senior Mules” to visit our district and learn from Dr. Bashara, district leaders, and students about our AHISD Profile of a Learner. Participants will hear about the educational experience in AHISD that highlights many of our innovative programs and practices. Those participants who are residents of AHISD and are 65 years old and older will receive their Gold Card for free admission to all athletic and fine arts events! We’ll conclude our morning together with a tour of a few classrooms to see learning in action. Attend Thursday, March 21, 2024 from 9:30 - 11:00 AM.  Please email [email protected] to reserve your spot!

If you see something, say something! We ask all AHISD families to commit to having ongoing conversations with students about safety and security and to encourage the reporting of any concerns to a trusted adult on campus. Families can also report safety concerns on our website by clicking Students / Parents and then Safety Concerns.

Please stay connected with all things AHISD by visiting Heights Happenings and also following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Upcoming Events

Athletic Events

Visit Rank One for all sporting events.

Master Calendar Events

Monday, December 4 - AHHS Orchestra Christmas Concert - 7:00 PM - Location: AH High School Auditorium
Tuesday, December 5 - AHHS Band Christmas Concert - 6:30 PM - Location AH High School Auditorium
Wednesday, December 6 - AHJS Orchestra Winter Concert - 6:30 PM - Location: AH Junior School Auditorium
Thursday, December 7 - Woodridge Folklorico Heights Fall Recital - 5:00 - 6:30 PM - Location: The Suzanne & Jimmy Goudge Auditorium, Woodridge Elementary
Thursday, December 7 - Junior School Lifetouch Picture Retake - 8:00 - 2:00 PM - Location: Auditorium, Alamo Heights Junior School
Saturday, December 9 - AHHS Choir Winter Wonderland - 6:00 PM - Location: AH High School
Monday, December 11 - AHJS Beginners Band Holiday Concert - 7:00 PM - Location: AH Junior School Auditorium
Monday, December 11 - AHJS Advanced Band Holiday Concert - 7:30 PM - Location: AH Junior School Auditorium
Tuesday December 12 - Howard Team 1 Winter Concert - 9:30 AM - Location: Howard ECC Gym
Tuesday December 12 - Howard Team 4 Winter Concert - 1:00 PM - Location: Howard ECC Gym
Tuesday, December 12 - Cambridge 4th Strings Holiday Concert - 5:30 - 6:30 PM - Location: The Evelyn Phillips Auditorium, Cambridge Elementary
Tuesday, December 12- AHJS Choir Winter Concert - 7:00 PM - Location: AH Junior School Auditorium
Wednesday, December 13 - Howard Team 3 Winter Concert - 9:30 AM - Location: Howard ECC Gym
Wednesday, December 13 - Howard Team 2 Winter Concert - 1:00 PM - Location: Howard ECC Gym
Wednesday, December 13 - Regular Board Meeting - 6:00-9:00 PM - Location: Central Office Board Room
Wednesday, December 13 - Woodridge 4th/5th Strings Holiday Concert - 5:30 - 6:30 PM - Location: Location: The Suzanne & Jimmy Goudge Auditorium, Woodridge Elementary
Thursday, December 14 - Cambridge Holiday Concert (4th & 5th grade Strings) - 5:20 PM - Location: AH High School Auditorium
Thursday, December 14 - Woodridge Holiday Concert (4th & 5th grade Strings) - 7:00 PM - Location: AH High School Auditorium
Friday, December 15 - Secondary Early Release
Junior School: 12:45 PM
High School: 12:45 PM
Monday, December 18 - Monday, January 1 - Winter Break
Tuesday, January 2 - Student Holiday

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