Dear McCallum Families,

Happy Mother’s Day to all our McCallum moms. You are amazing!  I hope you had a wonderful day!  I’m writing this evening with updates on several key issues.

Last Coffee with the Principal:

I’d like to invite you to join me for our last Coffee with the Principal for this school year on Tuesday, May 18 at 9 am.  We will discuss all the things and answer any questions you may have. Here is the Zoom information:

Meeting ID: 929 3255 1520

Passcode: sent via email

Final Exam Waiver Update:

As a reminder, here is a link to the Final Exam Waiver information.

  • 12th Graders – Seniors who qualify for a waiver will automatically receive it. Please communicate with your teacher to determine your status for receiving a final exam waiver.  NOTE: Regardless of final waivers, seniors will need to check in with teachers every school day until graduation as part of their attendance requirement.
  • 9th – 11th Graders – The electronic application to waive exam(s) will be available starting on May 12. All applications are due on May 19 by 4:40 pm. We will post the electronic application on Blend, our website, and will send through email.  We will send the application to parents as a reminder; however, we ask that the application be completed by students so they are fully aware.

In-Person at Mac:

We have seen that most struggling students are doing better if given the opportunity to come to school in-person. The direct access to their teacher is key for many students. Some students are doing just fine academically but are needing the social interaction being at school provides. As always, students who are at home and want to remain home will be supported through the rest of the year. We absolutely respect your decision to learn from home or school. 

As our student numbers have increased with our “Back to Mac” invitation, I wanted to provide an update and answer some frequently asked questions. Many of you have reached out with solid feedback that helps us better serve both in-person and virtual learners.  Thank you for that! I hope these answers can help you.

Q: How many students are on campus?  Are all teachers back?
A: Student numbers have held steady in mid-300s range (just shy of 20% of our student body). Almost every teacher is back on campus with the exception of a couple who are on leave for non-COVID related reasons.

Q: Have you been able to maintain social distancing?
A: We have maintained social distancing to the best of our ability.  Students are in the halls during passing periods, but we ask that they walk on one side of the hall sort of like how a car would drive. We provide reminders about maintaining distance when we see students congregating.

Q: Are there teachers still teaching outdoors?
A: Yes, we still have quite a few teachers set up and teaching outside.

Q: Who do we contact if our student wants to return to campus?
A: There is no need to contact anyone at this point.  Your student can just show up.  If you’d like to contact someone, you can reach out to your student’s Assistant Principal. You can find a list of our assistant principals here: https://mccallumhs.com/facultystaff/administrators/

Q: What does my student need to know about how to prepare for coming back to school?
A: Students will need to download the AISD app to their smartphones and complete the COVID Screen and Go every single morning.  Students without phones will be checked in at the door. Each morning, students arrive to the front of the school in the circle drive on Sunshine Drive, or can be dropped off on the north side of the school, on the Koenig side of school. We have staff at both locations who will complete temperature checks and check that the COVID screening is completed.  Once that occurs, they can head into the building for school. Students should be sure to bring their Chromebook + charger and a water bottle.

Q: Do students need to wear a mask all day?
A: Yes. We have masks available for students who need one.

Q: Can I send my student only on A or B days?
A: Yes, the beauty of this is flexibility.  Your student can pick and choose what days to attend.

Q: Where do students eat lunch?
A: In the cafeteria, classrooms, outside courtyards, hallways, and in the breezeway outside.  The school is open for our students to spread out and find a comfortable place to eat. Students must remain on campus during lunch.

Q: Is class still Zoom in a room?
A: Teachers have become very savvy about teaching to students in the room while projecting Zoom, but the majority of our students are still at home.  Because of this, teachers are still concurrently teaching.

Q: As more students return on campus, will teachers still maintain the rigor and teaching standards for at-home learning?
A: Yes!  We are doing everything we can to maintain equity and integrity for both in-person students and for those learning at home.

Q: It seems like there’s an advantage to testing at home since students have access to materials.  Is this true?
A: We have addressed this concern so that at-school students and virtual learners can test in the same way.

Please reach out if you have any questions. We are almost to the finish line of our most challenging school year. Let’s end strong!

Thank you,

Nicole Griffith
Principal
McCallum High School