Time is flying by and hard to believe it’s already time to send another Principal Update!  I hope you are enjoying the *slight* change in temperature as we move into fall.

You may read the October’s Principal Update below or click here to read in another format.

Go Knights!

Nicole Griffith
McCallum High School

It’s fall, y’all! There are so many great things happening at McCallum. This week is Pink Week – a time when our PALS students deck the halls in shades of pink and plan activities as we honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Be sure to tune into the MacJournalism Instagram page to see all the festivities. This month’s update includes some answers to questions we’ve been getting about procedures and protocols. We’re also looking for some (much needed) parent volunteers to help out at school. It takes a village! Go Knights!

Congratulations to Art Teacher Sara Massey!

Ms. Massey was named the Texas Art Educator Association High School Teacher of the Year!

We are so proud to have her here at McCallum!

Attendance Question

How do I check my student out early for an appointment?

We get this question a lot, so I want to clarify our process. Here is the BEST way to check your student out early.

Step 1: Please send a signed note to school with your student. The note should include the time you need for them to leave class.

Step 2: Your student should bring the signed note to the main office before school (or as soon as possible). Our team will take the note and give your student a pink slip that will allow them to leave class at the right time.

Step 3: When it is time, your student will use the pink slip to leave class. You can meet them at the front of the school (no need to come in).

Step 4: Students can bring doctor’s notes directly to the main office. Ms. Jewell, our amazing attendance clerk, will update the attendance record for the student.

We understand finding a parking space and coming to the main office can be a frustrating process, so we hope Steps 1-4 will make it a bit easier for you. Again, please remind your student to bring the signed note at the beginning of the day.

Seeking Parent Volunteers

Would you like to help out at McCallum? We are looking for parent volunteers to provide support in a couple of areas – the Mac Library and the Main Office. Your help will go a long way to filling in a few gaps where we need some help.

If you are interested in helping out, please fill in this form: Mac Parent Volunteers

Coffee & Tea with Principal Griffith

Thank you to everyone who joined me for the September Morning Coffee and Evening Tea! I enjoy connecting with our families, and it provides valuable feedback for me as a leader. You are invited to join me for either (or both!) of the following October gatherings:

Evening Tea with the Principal:
Wednesday, October 27 at 5:30PM

Morning Coffee with the Principal:
Thursday, October 28 at 9:15AM

Both events will use this Zoom code:

UIL Eligibility Explanation

McCallum follows the guidelines and expectations of the University Scholastic League (UIL). UIL rules state students must maintain passing grades in order to be eligible to participate in UIL activities. This includes athletic, academic,
and fine arts competitions.

There are a lot of stipulations about UIL and the No Pass No Play policy, so I thought I would give a quick overview to help clear up any confusion.

For eligibility, students must have at least a 70 in regular classes and a 60 in advanced classes (NOTE: a 60 is not passing but does count for eligibility for UIL purposes in advanced courses).

Students can LOSE eligibility at these four points in the 2021-22 academic calendar:

  1. 6-weeks Progress Report (this just happened)
  2. First 9-weeks Grading Period (Oct. 15)
  3. End of Semester
  4. Third 9-weeks Grading Period (March 11)

Students can GAIN eligibility at any progress report or grading period. In order to regain eligibility students must be passing all classes (70 for reg, 60 for adv), not just the class that caused the student to lose eligibility.

AISD COVID-19 Guidelines

Please review the AISD COVID-19 Guidelines. Per CDC recommendations individuals who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine if they have had a close contact COVID-19 exposure.

Masks are required in AISD. CDC recommends universal indoor masking of all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools – regardless of vaccine status.

Reasons why students CANNOT come to school

  • Temperature of 100 degrees or greater.
  • Not feeling well in general.
  • 2 or more of the following symptoms that are NOT related to any underlying medical condition-
    • Chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Positive Covid test results.
  • In the last 10 days, an unvaccinated individual has been in close contact or living in the same home with a person who has tested positive for Covid.

Requirements to return to school

  • For symptoms that could be COVID, we need ONE of the following-
    • A negative PCR covid test.
    • A doctor’s note with a diagnosis other than Covid and a note with a safe return to school date.
    • Be out for 10 days since symptoms started, and then be fever-free for more than 24 hours with no fever reducing meds.
  • For unvaccinated persons who were close contacts
    • Must complete the specific quarantine days assigned by AISD Health Director.
    • No paperwork for full quarantine; paperwork required for shorter quarantine.
    • OR- Can test after day 5 from exposure, get negative test results, and then can return after 7 full days from exposure.
  • For positive Covid test
    • No paperwork required but must complete the specific isolation days assigned by AISD Health Director.

AP Exam Registration

It’s time for students to register for AP Exams! If you have a student in an AP class, please see the information linked below to sign up for the exam to earn college credit.

McCallum High AP Registration 2021-2022

Please click HERE for the important steps in how to register.

AISD Long-range Planning Data Deep-Dive

Webinar – October 12 @ 6:00PM

Austin ISD is beginning conversations about long-range planning which will determine which improvements and new facilities are included in the next AISD bond. The first step in this process is to analyze data about students, neighborhoods and facilities to better understand where we have the most critical needs. Come learn how we’re using data to identify which voices we need to hear from first to ensure we are centering equity in our planning process.

Register to attend the Long-range Planning Webinar here.

Recognize Excellent Customer Service

Do you know a McCallum HS staff member who went the extra mile? Submit them for a RAVE (Recognizing All Valuable Employees). We can’t wait to hear about some of our employee’s awesome deeds.


Mac Club Fair

One major indicator of success in high school is involvement. The Student Council is organizing a Club Fair to help clubs recruit members and for students to find their place at Mac. The fair will be held during lunch on October 14. Please encourage your student(s) to attend.

As always, thank you for sharing your students with us. I hope to see you at this month’s coffee or tea!

Go Knights!

Thank you,
Nicole Griffith
Proud Principal
McCallum High School