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Principal Brewster says “Welcome back, Mathews!”

Dear Wonderful Mathews Community,

Happy Back to School! The staff and I are eagerly awaiting August 20th, when our students fill the hallways and classrooms on the first day of school; we can’t wait to see our returning kids and to warmly greet our new students! At Mathews, we are committed to welcoming all of our students and families into our beautifully diverse community and creating a safe space for each student to learn and grow.

This year, we will frame our work around the ancient art of weaving, which has roots in many cultures. Our goal is to weave together academic learning (including Bridges, our new math program), social emotional learning, Making, design thinking, diversity and creativity into the fabric of our vibrant learning community. All of us who enter the building have unique strengths, skills, interests, and experiences. This is a beautiful thing. When we weave these individual strands together, the result is powerful. Weaving allows us to combine unique pieces together in an intricate pattern while never losing sight of the individual fibers that represent who we are and what our students are learning. I am so looking forward to watching this fabric unfold throughout the year and to seeing how each person contributes to the beauty of a year full of learning and growth.

We will continue to build our community with our 3rd annual school-wide read aloud, assemblies, special academic days like the Most Magnificent Day of STEAM and special events like Octoberama, Fine Arts Night, and International Festival, to name just a few. This year, I am thrilled to announce a new way for us to build connections between grade level classes and across grade level teams. As I met with various students last year to ask them what we could do to make Mathews an even more amazing place to learn, a recurring theme came to light. Our students loved it when we planned ways for them to learn with others across the school. Out of these discussions, our new House System was born! Without giving too much away, (we want our kids to hear about it first) we will have three amazing houses and every student and staff member will be a part of one. I am enthusiastically looking forward to the big reveal when the students return.

Every year, we are joined not just by new families, but by new staff members as well. I love the energy these talented folks bring to the campus. Please help me in cheering on the following staff who are joining our school or moving to a new position: Max Ferguson is our new Assistant Principal and he’s already hit the ground running! Chad Rackowitz and Amy Skoczen have joined our 2nd grade team. Cindy Lopez, an experienced educator, will be taking over 3rd grade math. Melanie Zabludowski made the jump to 4th grade Reading and Health and Kirstie Osten will now be teaching Writing and Social Studies. Faye Holland is our new 5th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher and Sydney De la Garza is teaching 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies. We round things off with Jane Reichle who will be working with us as a teaching assistant. Together with the rest of the staff, we have a strong and dedicated team to serve our students.

New and Important! This year the tardy bell rings at 7:40 am so set your alarms five minutes earlier. Here’s to a fantastic year celebrating the strength and beauty we’ll create when we weave our unique stands together.

All the best,

Grace Martino-Brewster

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Important Information About New Procedures & Safety

The New Raptor System:

Here at Mathews we do everything in our power to keep our students safe. One of the tools that helps us do so is our visitor management system using the Raptor software. This year Austin ISD has upgraded the system and hardware which means the following changes for our school:

  • All parents and other visitors need to get their IDs scanned or rescanned, even if you were previously in the system. We appreciate your patience as we accomplish this tedious task. If you would like to get a head start on the process and save time in the future, please come by the office before school starts to have your ID scanned. *Those new to the school should know that this is different than the copy of your ID that was made for your student’s records.
  • Student Tardies: Teachers will no longer mark tardies in the classroom. All students who do not arrive with enough time to make it to their seats by 7:40 am must come to the office for a tardy pass. As usual, an adult must accompany students to sign in or out. If you have extenuating circumstances that keep you from entering the school, please call and we will help in any way we can.
  • Signing Students In and Out of School: To better protect their privacy, the Raptor system will now be used to sign out students who need to leave campus during the school day and to sign them back in when they return. This replaces the old Sign-Out/Sign-In Binder.
  • Late Pick-up: On the rare occasion that a child is picked up from school late, the parent or guardian must come in to the office to sign the child out using the Raptor System.

Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we implement these new procedures. We look forward to seeing you all at Sneak-A-Peek on Thursday August 16th!

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Back to School Important Dates!

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events!

Thursday August 16th – 3:15pm-4:00pm – New Parent Orientation – New to the Mathews Community? Come learn more about this unique and wonderful school and how you can be an active part of your child’s learning.

Thursday August 16th – 4:00pm-5:00pmSneak-a-Peek – Come by Mathews to meet your teacher and check out your classroom.

Monday August 2oth – 7:40am-2:57pmFirst Day of School – Reminder the bell schedule has changed and the tardy bell has moved up to 7:40am!

Monday August 2oth – 7:45am-8:15amCheers & Tears – For Kinder parents, a place to gather and share the joys of starting school. Coffee will be served in the library.

Tuesday September 11th –  5:30pm-6:30pm – Back to School Night – For Kinder through 2nd grade families.  Childcare will be provided.  This date is tentative and subject to change.

Wednesday September 12th – 5:30pm-6:30pm – Back to School Night – For 3rd through 6th grade families.  Childcare will NOT be provided.  This date is tentative and subject to change.

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2018 Hall of Honor

Please join Mathews Elementary and the Mathews Friends for Excellence for the 2018 Hall of Honor to celebrate three extraordinary parent alumni and volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the Mathews community.

2018 Hall of Honor Inductees:

  • Mary Camille Baughman
  • Susan Diane Tyler Bell
  • Marcelino A. “Tony” Estrada

Induction ceremony in the cafeteria with reception following in the library.

All are welcome! We look forward to sharing with you in celebration of these honorees and the
continuing traditions of the Mathews community they’ve helped build.

Click here for more info and to RSVP:
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