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Ms.  Stacia  Crescenzi
Principal
512-414-6581       Email

Principal's Corner

April 9, 2017

What a week of late nights!  Sorry this message is not coming out at the typically time but sleep won out over typing this morning.

Next week is going to be a crazy one.  Monday and Tuesday are 7th grade Shadow Days.  Wednesday is Culture Day, Thursday is blocking day for the LASA Lip Dub and Friday students do not have school.

7th Grade Shadow Days

We are trying something new with recruiting this semester.  We invited some of the top performing 7th grade students from across AISD middle schools to come spend a day shadowing an upperclassman.  We focused on middle schools that have the lowest application rates to LASA with two goals in mind.  First, we want the 7th grade students to begin to think about their high school options earlier than we have in the past and know that they have choices.  Second, we want to help the middle school students understand how what they are doing right now can help or hurt these future choices.  We want them to recognize that their success on the upcoming STAAR tests matter when it comes to applying to schools of choice.  That the classes they choose and the grades they receive are indications of their goals for high school classes.  We want them to start thinking about the relationships they have made with teachers and what they need to do before asking someone to write them a recommendation next year.  As I write this I realize that there is a third goal as well.  We want these students to know that they will be welcome at LASA.  In some neighborhoods there is a mythology that we (meaning LASA as a community) do not want their children to apply; that they would not be accepted or welcomed if they did.  I want to bust this myth.  And if any group can do that, it’s our students. 

 

Culture Day

LASA’s Diversity Council will be hosting a “Culture Day” on Wednesday, April 12.  During an extended FIT period that will occur on that day (see schedule below), students will be able to choose through the normal FIT portal an event to attend (such as a talk, performance, etc.) that will highlight a specific culture or address an issue related to cultural diversity.  This is truly a student organized event; one that we are hoping will become a tradition.  After the bell schedule, I will list all of the sessions from which students can choose.  Tomorrow during homeroom your student will pick the session that they wish to attend.  You might want to take a few minute today to talk with your kiddo about the sessions and help them know ahead of time the one they would like to pick.  Some sessions are small and will fill up quickly. 

Class Schedule for Culture Day:

Period

Time

Minutes

Split

Time

0A/0B

8:10 - 9:35 AM

85

0A/0B

8:10 - 8:55 AM

1st/5th

9:40 - 11:05 PM

85

1st/5th

9:00 - 10:25 AM

Lunch

11:05 - 11:50 AM

45

0A/0B

10:30 - 11:05 AM

2nd/6th

11:55 - 1:20 PM

85

 

Event

1:20 - 2:20 PM

60

3rd/7th

2:25 - 3:50 PM

85

 

 

Presenter/Guest

Session Title

Description

 

Natassja Gunasena

No Longer "Other": The evolution of mixed race identities in American society

Natassja Gunasena is a doctoral candidate for African and African Disapora Studies at UT that has written Time opinion pieces and blog posts analyzing race in "Avatar the Last Airbender". Come listen to her discuss the historical and contemporary significance of biracial identities in American culture.

 

Billionna Reyes

9 to 5: Minority Women in the Workforce

An up-and-coming actress, Billionna Reyes left behind law school in Guam to pursue performing in Austin. In this session she'll be talking about the experience of leaving behind her community and the culture shifts she's experienced moving to the mainland.

 

Kamran Asdar

Pakistani Politics and Middle Eastern Origins of Inequalities

Kamran Asdar will examine the complex situation within the Middle East and its historical roots.

 

Keffrelyn Brown

Equitable Education

This session revolves around the struggle for equal education throughout our economically and racially diverse country.

 

Victor Cornell

Educate Yourself (on Education)

Cornell, a member of the ACLU of Texas, will come teach the audience how to participate in their school district and be heard. Come to this session if you have a passion for education-based activism!

 

Dance International, Nritya Varsha Dance Academy, Preya Patel, Dance and Drum, Impulso Dace, Monsoon

International Dance Showcase

This session will feature a variety of dances with strong cultural significance such as kathak and salsa. Brief interviews and question sessions will be held in between performances, so be sure to come if you're interested in learning more.

 
 

Lauren Gutterman

Reshaping Tradition

Gone are the days of white picket fences and 2.5 children. Professor Gutterman from UT will discuss the evolution of what's considered an "American family" and how it's gone to destroy all precedent.

 

Trish Smith

Myanmar- Much has changed since Orwell's Burmese Days

Trish Smith will relate her experiences in Myanmar and the evolution of its society within the past few decades.

 

Edmund T. Gordon

Wealth Dynamics in Race and Ethnicity

Featuring UT Professors Dr. Edmund T. Gordon, Dr. Elizabeth Mueller, and Dr. Cary Cordova, this session will examine the impact of race and ethnicity on income through a panel discussion.

 

Elizabeth Mueller

 

Cary Cordova

 

Nueces Mosque

Islam in the Classroom

This session examines the expression of religion within the classroom.

 

Krysta Chacon - LASA ALUMNI

College Campus Diversity

Join LASA alumnus Krysta Chacon in discussing expressions of cultural diversity in college campus life.

 

Billy Harden

African Folktales

Billy Harden will be sharing African folktales and examining their cultural context and importance.

 

Movie Viewing

Documentary: Al Jazeera World Death Of Aleppo

Follows the everyday lives of Aleppo residents living amid the ongoing conflict and destruction.

 

Marc Karch

Education in Taiwan

Mr. Karch will relay his experience in the Taiwanese education system during his immersive experience.

 

Canek Phillips

Broadening Underrepresented Group Participation in STEM Fields (race/gender)

Canek Phillips is a PhD graduate of Purdue's engineering program and will discuss the process of expanding racial and gender diversity within STEM fields.

 

Patrick K Patterson

Racism in Austin

Patrick Patterson is the president of the 100 Black Men of Austin who currently works at UT in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. He served as the LBJ High School principal for four years and worked with several outreach groups in his experience in working with AISD.

 

 

 

LASA Lip Dub

About every other year for the last six years the AVP students have organized our entire student body to create the LASA Lip Dub.  This is an incredibly time consuming experience for Ms.Mokry and nher AVP students, but the final product is usually so quintessentially LASA, that it is truly worth it.  So, on Thursday April 13th, Monday April 17th and Tuesday April 18thwe will follow the same special schedule as listed above.  On Thursday we will use the time for blocking.  All students were allowed to sign up for special areas for their clubs, organizations or friend groups.  If you student did not sign up for a spot, don’t worry, there is a place for everyone and Thursday is the day each student will be shown where to go and what to do.  Then on Monday we will have a dress rehearsal and Tuesday we will shoot the video.  We usually do three or four takes and then the AVP students decide which they like best.  This year’s song is “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers’.

 

Senior Skip Day

Just a reminder for those of you with seniors, Senior Skip Day is NOT an excused absence.  Any senior who is out on Monday will be marked UNX. 

 

FABPAC Update

On Monday night at around 3:17AM the Board of Trustees voted on the FABPAC 20 year district facilities plan.  The plan passed on a 6-3 vote.  This plan calls for LASA to be moved to an independent campus with the intent that it be allowed to grow, remain comprehensive and be located no more than 20miles from any AISD elementary school.  That’s all I know about details for now.  As to process, the next step for the district is to determine what projects, exactly, will be on the first bond and put together the estimated cost of each project.  My understanding is that the board wishes to vote on the bond package in mid June before they break for the summer. With the bond election in November.  As I know more, I will keep you in the loop.

 

Change in front office staffing.

Last week we said a tearful good-bye to Ms. Kelsey Ensz, our front desk receptionist.  Ms. Ensz accepted a position as principal’s secretary/bookkeeper at an elementary school within walking distance of her house in SW Austin.  As much as we understand how wonderful it will be for her family that she work much closer to home, she was an incredible asset to our front office team and will be greatly missed.  Luckily, Ms. Jo Koerth, our library clerk, agreed to come over to the front office and take the receptionist position.  Please welcome her the next time you come to the desk.  Mr. Scotty Castro, one of our best substitute teachers and our go to person any time we need help on a project agreed to come on full-time as our new library clerk.  When you have a chance pop in the library and meet Mr. Castro.  He is going to be great!

 

As a heads-up so you won’t be looking for it, there will be no principal’s message next week.  I am dedicating the entire weekend to my family.  The next principal’s message will come out Sunday April 23rd.