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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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Principal Brewster says “Welcome back, Mathews!”

August 2017

Dear Wonderful Mathews Community,

Welcome back to school! The staff and I are so excited to begin the next century of teaching and learning at Mathews. Here, all students and families are welcomed and supported. It is our continued goal to ensure that our beautifully diverse community is celebrated and that school is a safe and nurturing place for all. The staff and I have been busy preparing for the year, and we are so looking forward to having our students stream through the hallways and fill the classrooms with their smiles and enthusiasm.

This year, the theme for our work is centered around Mathews Superheroes. The staff and I are strengthening our skills so we can better help our students discover and grow their own super powers. We are committed to providing a rich and relevant education for our students and will continue to build on our project based learning and opportunities to Make, experiment, and travel outside our walls on field trips and build community through assemblies. Our community will read, explore and discover together all year. We’ll weave in the six core skills that have always been a part of what we do and are now embraced by all of Austin ISD: Collaboration, Communication, Connection, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Proficiency. We’ll also continue to incorporate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in all we do in order to help our students regulate emotions, solve problems, be culturally proficient, and build strong relationships. Our focus with SEL this year is the culturally proficiency lens. As a staff, we are diving into the work of Zaretta Hammond, studying her book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, which pulls in neuroscience research to help us reach all of our students. We’re fortunate to be able to use materials created for us by Dr. Hammond for this study. I’m truly excited about this work and the application of it in our classrooms.

As with every year, there are new and talented people joining the Mathews team. Please help me in welcoming everyone to our community. Sandra Velazquez is our new librarian. Erica Lish, Chau Tran, and Amy Skoczen have come on board to teach first grade when Sharon Briceno and Suzie Plyler moved to second grade. Kelly Bach joined our third grade team when Claudia Neal moved to preK. Ashika Ganguly is our new fifth grade science and math teacher, taking over for Diana McGuire who is now on the third grade team. Jud Thomas is now teaching math and science in sixth grade, Austin Leach will be our new sixth grade orchestra teacher, and Glen Weideman, who took over last spring, is now officially our sixth grade band teacher.

We are all eagerly looking forward to school on Monday morning. Here’s to an amazing year with a super community!

All the best,
Grace Martino-Brewster

Welcome Back to School – 2017-2018 (PDF)

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New to Mathews: Made-to-Order Salads!

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.30.53 AM NEW FOR 2016!!

Delicious made-to-order salads are available on Mondays and Thursdays.  The type of salad rotates every two weeks by type:Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.30.44 AM

  • Chef’s salad
  • Asian  salad
  • Fiesta salad
  • Mediterranean salad

Mrs. Brewster says.I have enjoyed both the Fiesta and the Mediterranean salads and they are yummy and can be made with or without meat.” Principal Approved!!

These salads are the same price as normal school lunch and will only be continued if students and teachers choose them for lunch. Give ’em a try!



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Vertical Team Night @ House Park this Friday.

Hey Mathews!

Join the Austin High community at House Park to experience a Friday night full of
football, band, cheer, & dance!

When: November 6th, 2015  @ 7:30pm (Arrive by 6:30pm at the AHS ticket booth.)

  • Students wearing their school shirt will get in for FREE!
  • First 100 students will receive a FREE t-shirt!
  • Experience what it will be like to be a Maroon at Senior Night Celebration!
  • Be part of the Spirit Tunnel and run out with the Football Team!

Arrive by 6:30pm at the AHS ticket booth. Parents planning to stay and attend the game will need to purchase a game ticket at the ticket booth. ($8 for adults). Students need to have a parent in attendance at all times.

Vertical Team House Park 11.6

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Principal Brewster says, “Welcome Back!”

Mathews Principal, Grace Brewster
Mathews Principal, Grace Brewster

Dear Wonderful Mathews Community,

Welcome back to school!  We are truly delighted to work with our students and you this year.  The teachers, staff, and I have eagerly been preparing for this week and are so excited to have our students walking the halls and filling the classrooms with the happy voices of learning.  We’ve had an amazing first couple of days and I anticipate the rest of the year being just as magnificent.

Together, the Mathews staff form a great team.  Many are familiar to the broader community, but we do have some new staff members this year; thank you to everyone who has already embraced them as an integral part of our Mathews family.  This year we are joined by Ms. Suzie Plyler in first grade, by Ms. Sicily Bua and Ms. Monica Vallejo in second grade and by Ms. Diana McGuire in 5th grade.  Ms. Jennifer Guerin is our new art teacher, Mr. Jud Thomas is our new librarian and Ms. Robin English is our new counselor.  I’m also pleased to announce that Ms. Elise Martens has accepted a part time position, coming back to serve as our Learning Support Facilitator, working with students and teachers proactively on needed supports.  Go team!

Like last year, our goals as a school are framed by the following tenets that we feel are essential to ensuring each child has the best year possible.  Together we will continue to look through a strength-based lens and focus on:

  • Providing a safe and nurturing environment for all
  • Providing all students with rigorous and engaging instruction
  • Integrating technology into our instruction and practices
  • Communicating openly with all stakeholders

Speaking of communication, if you haven’t had the opportunity to check out our revamped website, I encourage you to do so.  The website has a ton of information about our school, is a great place to connect with the community and learn about upcoming events.  You can find us at , on twitter @mathews360, and on Facebook as well.

  • Mathews Cafeteria also doubles as our school's stage! Photo by Jessica Klima

Again, welcome back – we’re so glad you’re here at Mathews.  Please let us know if you ever have any questions, concerns, or ideas for improvement.  Thank you for the honor of working with your children.  It’s going to be a fantastic year!

All the best,

Grace Martino-Brewster