February 1, 2024 Monthly Message

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February 1, 2024

Dear AHISD Families-

February, often associated with love and kindness, provides us with a time to not only reflect on our achievements but also to celebrate the profound connections that bind our community together. I am always amazed by the extraordinary ways our AHISD families, PTOs and booster clubs support the important efforts taking place across the district. Together, we ensure that February is a month of continued growth, collaboration, and compassion. Your support is the heartbeat of our community, and I am eager to see the achievements ahead of us this semester.

Academic Updates- Class Rank

We are evaluating potential changes to our class rank policy, addressing concerns related to student well-being, educational choices, and the influence on college admissions. This could lead to a recalibration of ranking calculations or a move away from class rank entirely. In light of the evolving college admissions scene, where class rank is increasingly de-emphasized, this shift could potentially empower students to follow their academic passions and partake in elective and extracurricular courses without the stress of class rank implications.

This Sunday, February 4, all AHISD parents will receive a Class Rank Information Sheet and Community Survey via Monday Mail. Please take time to review the information and offer feedback. Your input is invaluable as we shape a policy that not only reflects our district's standards of excellence but also supports our students' growth and success.


At last week’s Board Meeting, our Trustees approved the 2024-25 school year calendar. Please download a copy on our website. Our team works diligently to balance the input from our community with the opportunity to provide our staff members with a calendar that supports their wellness and their work throughout the year. You’ll notice responsiveness to parent input regarding student holidays that provide longer weekend breaks throughout the year. Additionally, we eliminated one of the early release days to promote a more balanced fall quarter for all. We appreciate the staff and community feedback as we developed the calendar.

February Feedback

In Alamo Heights we value our Community-Based Accountability System as a way to measure growth and identify areas of improvement. Community surveys are used as one way to include stakeholder voices and get substantial feedback from our parents/guardians, students, and staff. Your survey input helps to hone priorities and advance our district goal to actualize the AHISD Profile of a Learner.

In October, AHISD surveyed all students in grades 3-12 about rigorous expectations, sense of belonging, school climate and school safety. Key findings resulted in specific improvement on our campuses and student responses are summarized HERE. This February, our community-wide survey, called February Feedback, will launch on February 19. Parents will be asked about school climate, school safety, academic expectations, program effectiveness, and educating the whole child. Teachers will be asked about job satisfaction, school climate, relationships with administrators and parents, and professional learning. Students will be asked to provide direct feedback for each individual teacher they work with. Parents will receive an email with a link to the survey on Feb. 19. The survey will also be available directly from campus home web pages.

We appreciate your thoughtful participation in all our feedback opportunities this month and we look forward to turning your feedback into action in our efforts to continuously improve our services and student experience.

State Schools of Character

I’m proud to share that Cambridge Elementary and Howard Early Childhood Center have been recognized as 2024 State Schools of Character once again! The State School of Character designation is valid for five years and both schools reapplied this year for this recognition. Both schools are now eligible to be considered for the National School of Character designation which will be announced in May.

Bond Construction Website

We’ve launched a Bond 2023 Updates website to keep our community informed with regular updates about the design, planning, and construction of Bond 2023 projects during this exciting time for the district.

At our January Board Meeting, the schematic design for the new AHHS main building was shared. Renderings are posted on the website along with details on the rigorous design process in collaboration with our architects, Board, and AHHS staff this past year. You will also find a Construction Timeline and details on how bond construction will affect all AHISD learners as they progress from grade to grade over the next few years.

Last month we convened the first meeting of our Bond Community Council. The Council is made up of community and staff members representing all areas of AHISD. They will serve as communications ambassadors and a resource to our bond process moving forward.

Register to Vote

This coming Monday, Feb. 5, is the last day to register to vote in the March primary elections. Go to votetexas.gov to register or to check your registration status. This is a critical time in our state for public education. The winner of most seats in the Texas Legislature is determined in the March primaries and not the November general election. Voting is one of the best ways to directly impact the future of our state, our community, and our public schools. Early voting begins on February 20 and lasts until March 1, and Election Day is March 5.

Mules up!
With heartfelt appreciation-
Dana Bashara Signature

Dr. Dana Bashara

Photo of the Month:

At our January Board Meeting, we celebrated our 2024 Campus Teachers of the Year and named our 2024 District Teacher of the Year. Kevin Criss from Cambridge is our District Teacher of the Year and he will now represent us as the AHISD nominee for the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Region 20 Teacher of the Year. I’m so grateful these outstanding educators choose to share their talent with us in AHISD!

Mules Up Group - Campus Teachers of the Year
Pictured left to right: Dr. Bashara; Megan Janak, Woodridge; Kevin Criss, Cambridge; Sarah Holmes, Alamo Heights HS; John Sheppard, The Junior School; Anna Duce, Howard; and David Hornberger, AHISD Board President.


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 is open for the 2024-25 school year. To introduce parents and children to the school, Howard Early Childhood Center is hosting Kinder Preview events. 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 February 5 - February 9 - Counselor Appreciation Week
Monday, February 5 - Junior School Band Winter Concert - 7:00 - 8:00 PM - Location: Alamo Heights High School
Tuesday, February 6 - Junior School Pre-UIL Concert - 7:00 - 8:00 PM - Location: Alamo Heights High School Auditorium
Tuesday, February 6 - Conejito Performance, 3rd Grade - 6:00 PM - Location: The Suzanne and Jimmy Goudge Auditorium, Woodridge Elementary
Wednesday, February 7 - Cambridge PTO General Meeting - 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Cambridge Elementary Auditorium Stage
Friday, February 9 - Elementary Progress Reports
Monday, February 12 - Student Holiday/ Staff Development
Tuesday, February 13 - Junior School PTO General Meeting - 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Alamo Heights Junior School Library
Wednesday, February - 14 - G&P/Committee Meetings - 7:00 - 9:00 AM - Location: Central Office Boardroom
Thursday, February 15 - Secondary Progress Reports
Monday, February 19 - Student Holiday/ Staff Development
Tuesday, February 20 - February 23 - Junior School Spring Book Fair - Location: Alamo Heights Junior School Library
Wednesday, February 21 - Regular Board Meeting - 6:00 PM - Location:Boardroom/Location May Change
Thursday, February 22 - Bus Driver Appreciation Day
Thursday, February 22 - Junior School Orchestra 5th/6th Grade Concert - 6:30 - 7:30 PM - Location: Alamo Heights Junior School Auditorium
Wednesday, February 28 - Junior School 7th/8th Grade Orchestra Pre-UIL Concert - 6:00 - 7:30 PM - Location: Alamo Heights High School Auditorium

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