December 5, 2022 | Monthly Message

Letterhead for the Superintendent with Logo

December 5, 2022

December Superintendent Message

Alamo Heights ISD Families -  

December is a busy month filled with festive events for our families, friends, and school community. I am grateful to celebrate this holiday season with all of you in Alamo Heights ISD. There are many opportunities to get into the holiday spirit with our talented Fine Arts students. Winter concerts are scheduled for these next two weeks at our campuses and are open to the community. We invite you to join us!


Fall Feedback School Climate Survey Results 2022

Each fall, we survey students in grades 3-12.  The survey includes questions about school climate and safety, positive relationships and belonging, and rigorous expectations. In addition, this year’s survey included questions about homework, school activities, and course selection (JS/HS only). This was the fifth consecutive year that the District utilized this survey. Survey questions were included in Monday Mail before the survey window and can also be viewed HERE

Administrators, District Educational Advisory Council (DEAC), and Trustees had a first look at the results in November. Over the coming months, campus staff will work with students to create actionable goals in response to the survey results. We are now sharing a direct link with our families and community to District level results HERE. 

Insight #1- Overall, there was an increase in favorable responses on all campus survey topics. While this is certainly a celebration, we will continue to watch these results to know if the increase in favorable responses is a positive trend or if results are inflated because of comparisons to the last two years with pandemic restrictions. 

Insight #2- Students feel like they are held to rigorous academic expectations. About 80% of students reported that their teachers held them to “quite high” or “extremely high” expectations. 

Insight #3- When asked what their schools do really well, the most frequent theme was about a positive school culture. 

  • AHHS- One thing Alamo Heights does really well is community events. This school district comes together like no other—pep rallies between all campuses, sporting events, parades, etc.
  • AHJS- I really love that when it’s passing periods teachers stand outside their door to greet the students. JS is making everyone BE AMAZING!!!!!!!!
  • Woodridge Elementary- Woodridge feels very safe and I feel like I’m a part of my school’s family.
  • Cambridge Elementary- I love my school. The atmosphere and school events really make me feel like I WANT to go to school, like I’m gonna have a fun day! 

Online Survey Seeks Feedback from Recent Graduates

We ask for feedback from our current students twice each year. This year we are launching our AHISD Recent Alumni Survey to individuals who graduated within the past five years. The survey is an opportunity for AHISD’s newest alumni to share their feedback on the quality of their high school education and post-graduation activities. Responses play an important role in improving our course offerings and ensuring that all our AHISD students are well-prepared for their post-graduation life. The survey is also an opportunity to let our recent graduates know that their feedback matters and to share that we’re here to support them during the post-graduation transition. Once a Mule, Always a Mule!

If you have children who have graduated within the past five years, please share the link below and the QR code and encourage them to complete the 5-minute survey. 

Recent Graduate Survey Link

Safety and Security

Each month, I continue to provide you with updates on our efforts to strengthen safety and security in AHISD. Our new School Resource Officer, Ruthilen Robles, officially joined us in November. Please welcome Officer Robles when you meet her at Cambridge, Woodridge, and Howard. We also continue to move forward with the implementation of the Centegix Crisis Alert badges for all our employees. Installation of the equipment will start soon, and we’re hopeful that we’ll be up and running with this system by the end of January. Additionally, this month we will share a video with families focused on reunification which is the process of releasing students to their parents in an orderly fashion after an event to account for all students and to maintain order. We continue to stress that in the event of an actual emergency, it is important for parents to refrain from coming to our campuses and to follow the directions in the emergency communication.

Teacher Recognition

Later this week we will formally recognize two award-winning state teachers with presentations on their campuses. Lisa Barry, Woodridge, won the Julius Glickman Educational Leadership Award and Jan Takac, AHHS, won the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award from Humanities Texas. They are so deserving of this recognition! 

Additionally, please help me congratulate the five AHISD campus teachers of the year- Ben Keenan, Alamo Heights HS; John “Charley” Gilbert, The Junior School; Courtney Crane, Cambridge; Felicia Pendleton, Woodridge; and Michele Johnson, Howard ECC. We look forward to celebrating these outstanding teachers in the coming months. In January we will announce our 2023 District Teacher of the Year. 

Thank you for sharing your child/children with us in AHISD, it is an amazing blessing to serve this community. I wish you and your families a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. See you in 2023! 

Mules up!

Dr. Dana Bashara

Twitter:  @BasharaDana 

Photo of the Month:

Our AHHS and AHJS Choirs kicked off the holiday season on Saturday with their amazing Winter Wonderland concert outdoors in the area around the Oaks.  Guests were treated to the beautiful sounds of the season!


-Legislative Lunch and Learn: Last week, we hosted a School Finance & Legislative Lunch and Learn with the Texas School Coalition. Coalition Executive Director Christy Rome presented an overview of public education funding and what to expect in 2023. Her full presentation and our AHISD Legislative Priorities can be found on our website. We look forward to partnering with our AHISD community to advocate for the needs of the District during the upcoming legislative session which begins in January.

-Kindergarten Registration: Kindergarten registration for the 2023-24 school year opens on January 17, 2023. To introduce parents and children to the school, Howard Early Childhood Center is hosting Kinder Preview events beginning in January. Visit our website for the schedule and to register to attend a Kinder Preview. Please share with your family, friends, and neighbors who will have five-year-olds next year. 

-Grand-Mule/Senior Mule Event: Calling our “Grand-Mules & Senior Mules” to visit our district and learn from Dr. Bashara, district leaders, and students about our AHISD Profile of a Learner. Participants will hear about the educational experience in AHISD that highlights many of our innovative programs and practices.  Those participants 65 years old and older will receive their Gold Card for free admission to all athletic and fine arts events! We’ll conclude our morning together with a tour of a few classrooms to see learning in action. Choose to attend one of the two events that best fits your schedule: Wednesday, January 4, 2023, and Thursday, March 30, 2023.  Please email [email protected] to reserve your spot!

-Chats with Cat:  Cat Widder, District Wellness Coordinator, is hosting “Chat with Cat.” She will discuss topics of interest at your home or a location of your choice. You select the date and time and invite participants to attend. Email Cat for more information [email protected] and check out the December Wellness link for more details.

-Opt-In for School Text Messages: AHISD utilizes the School Messenger system to communicate important information to families through email, text, and/or phone calls. If any contact information has changed over the summer, like phone numbers or email addresses, families should contact their campus office to update our student information system. In order to receive text messages, which the district sends only in emergencies, families must opt-in to this service. Here's how to sign up for text messages. Those who have previously opted in do not have to complete it again.

-If you see something, say something! We ask all AHISD families to commit to having ongoing conversations with students about safety and security and to encourage the reporting of any concerns to a trusted adult on campus.  Families can also report safety concerns on our website by clicking Students / Parents and then Safety Concerns.

-Please stay connected with all things AHISD by visiting Heights Happenings and also following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Also, I invite you to follow @WeGoPublic to support this organization that promotes the amazing benefits of our Bexar County Public Schools!

December One-Month Glance:  

Below are upcoming events, throughout the district, during the month of December. 

Athletic Events

Visit Rank One for all sporting events

Master Calendar Events 

  • Monday, December 5th, (6:30 PM) High School Band Holiday Concert, Alamo Heights High School Auditorium
  • Tuesday, December 6th, (7:00 PM) High School Orchestra Concert, Alamo Heights High School Auditorium
  • Thursday, December 8th (10 AM & 6 PM) Woodridge Singers and Ritmo Concert, Woodridge Elementary
  • Thursday, December 8th (6:30 PM) Cambridge 4th Grade Musical, Cambridge Elementary
  • Thursday, December 8th, (6:30-8:30 PM) High School Choir Concert, Alamo Heights High School Auditorium
  • Monday, December 12th, (6:30 PM) Junior School Band Concert - Beginners, Alamo Heights Junior School Auditorium
  • Monday, December 12th, (7:30 PM) Junior School Band Concert - Advanced, Alamo Heights Junior School Auditorium
  • Tuesday, December 13th, (5:30 PM) Cambridge Strings Concert, Cambridge Elementary
  • Tuesday, December 13th, (7:00 PM) Junior School Choir Concert, Alamo Heights Junior School Auditorium
  • Wednesday, December 14th, (5:30 PM & 6:30 PM) Woodridge Strings Concert, Woodridge Elementary
  • Wednesday, December 14th, (6:30 PM) Junior School Orchestra Concert, Alamo Heights Junior School Auditorium
  • Thursday, December 15th, (6:00 PM) Regular Board Meeting, Central Office Board Room
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