I hope you are enjoying this long Labor Day weekend.  I’m busy watching the Longhorns play football, which certainly makes it feel like fall in my house. Please click below to read September’s Principal Update. There is important information there, including the details for this Thursday’s Back to School Knight.

Go Knights!

Nicole Griffith
McCallum High School

You may read the message below, or click here to read in another format.

Greetings from McCallum High School! We are in full swing here at school. Our students and staff are navigating many new experiences and overall doing a great job! I have been especially impressed with the kindness I have seen from students toward each other. I knew McCallum was a special place and these last few weeks have solidified that for me.


Back to School Knight – September 9, 2021

This year we will be holding two options for back to school.  Parents may choose to attend in-person or virtually.  Please do what feels best for you and your family.

IN-PERSON: Our in-person Back to School Knight will begin at 6:00PM in your student’s Round Table Advisory with a recorded community address. After the Round Table, we will ring the bell and go through the schedule from 1st to 8th period. This allows parents to have the opportunity to move from class to class and feel like you are in high school again!

VIRTUAL: Our virtual Back to School Knight will begin at 6:00PM with a Zoom community address. After the address, parents will be able to explore their student’s classrooms through pre-recorded videos by their teachers. You will be familiar with this format if you joined us last year for our virtual Back to School Knight. Here is the Zoom information for our Virtual Back to School Knight:

We are looking forward to having you Back to School!


Round Table and F.I.T. Time Update

I want to provide some clarity around our Round Table and FIT schedule. Round Table and FIT are a dedicated time in our schedule for extra support, guidance, social-emotional learning (SEL) lessons, and tutoring.  Students attend Round Table on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  We (normally) have Flexible Instruction Time (FIT) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Due to COVID, we are holding students in their 5th period class instead of having our regular FIT sessions. We will begin having FIT sessions when the COVID situation becomes safer.

  • Monday: Academic Advisement in Round Table
  • Tuesday: FIT (in 5th period for now)
  • Wednesday: SEL or Mindfulness in Round Table
  • Thursday: FIT (in 5th period for now)
  • Friday: Independent Reading in Round Table



Coffee & Tea with Principal Griffith

One of my goals is to be accessible and available to families with varying work and life schedules. I will be holding monthly morning coffee and monthly evening tea to talk all things McCallum and answer any questions you may need addressed.  For the time being, these will be held virtually. You are invited to join me for either (or both!) of the following:

  • Evening Tea with the Principal: Wednesday, September 22 at 5:30PM
  • Morning Coffee with the Principal: Thursday, September 23 at 9:15AM

Both events will use this Zoom code:



9 Week Grading Cycles

All Austin ISD secondary schools have moved from 6-week grading cycles to 9-week quarterly grading cycles. This gives students and teachers more time and fewer high stakes deadlines.

In high school, the only grades recorded on the official transcript (going to colleges) are the semester grades. Here is the new percentage breakdown of the semester grade:

  • 9-Weeks Grade – 40%
  • 9-Weeks Grade – 40%
  • Final – 20%

The first grading cycle will end on Friday, October 15. There will be two progress reports during each 9-week grading period.


Extra Academic Support for Mac Students

Writing and Science Centers

We are now offering peer-to-peer writing and science help through our well-established Writing Center and brand new Science Center.  These are great opportunities for students to get that extra help they may need from peers who are very eager to help.

Click below for more information:



Reminder: McCallum is a Peanut & Tree Nut Allergy Aware School

  • Do not share food
  • Wash hands after snack and meal times
  • Ask questions if you are unsure of “safe” foods
  • Read ALL ingredient labels

Thank you for helping us provide3 a safe environment for our friends with food allergies.

For questions, please contact the school nurse.

Thank you for sharing your students with us.  It has been so wonderful to see their faces after  all these months apart.  We all went into this work because we love teenagers and the full-of-life approach they bring with them. The transition back has been exciting and certainly challenging for many, but please know we are here to help. I hope to see you at Back to School Knight (either virtually or in-person)!

Thank you,

Nicole Griffith
Proud Principal
McCallum High School