Well, here we are with an “ice day” on the last day of the first month of 2023! Time for another blog post to update you on what has been going on and what is in the works!

We had a delightful PFLASA meeting on January 13th, our first week back, which included a visit from AISD District 2 Trustee Ofelia Zapata. She is eager to hear from parents about what concerns them, so please reach out to her if there is anything you want to share. She is also conducting a series of meetings at schools in her district, which she calls “Lead with Love for our Community and Education” meetings. These are hosted as a way to engage and share information, events and news with District 2 parents & community members. Upcoming meetings are planned for February 14th at Langford Elementary School and March 8th at Blazier Elementary School. You can connect with Trustee Zapata at 512 699-0809.

Our second PFLASA meeting of 2023 (last Friday) was also remarkable for at least two reasons. First, we had Academy Director Andy Paulson talk to us about new student applications (how many have been received, where things are, etc). We really enjoyed the visit! Secondly, and not so positively, the room was FREEZING!!! We all huddled in our coats throughout the meeting. We have asked for help in this regard, so hopefully, if you come to our next meeting on Feb 10th, it won’t feel like you have arrived at the North Pole!

On February 11th, we have our New Parent Coffee, an annual event organized and run by PFLASA, which allows parents of newly accepted students to come and pose any and all questions to parents of current students. No administration or faculty are present. No question is silly or off limits. If you would like to lend your insider knowledge about PFLASA to new parents who may be wondering if the school is a good fit——there are still plenty of spaces available on the volunteer sign up. You know where to go! All of our sign ups are posted at https://www.lasahighschool.org/signups.

This event comes on the heels of months of work by staff and volunteers (mentoring, recruiting events like Showcase, pushing out information about applications, evaluating and scoring applications, and so on). Acceptance letters will be mailed out and acceptances posted online by Monday February 6. Families then have about 10 days to accept; the deadline to declare commitment to attending LASA is Feb. 17th. Once that decision has been made, those families whose students are LASA-bound will come in for Choice Sheets on March 4th.

With all this focus on the new students who will soon grace our halls, it might seem like not much is going on with our Seniors. But not so! Co-chairs Elise Su and Nalini Kumar and their team of volunteers have been hard at work planning LASA Senior Salute——the special evening of tribute and fun that traditionally happens the night before graduation and at which LASA students receive their Magnet Endorsement. This year, it will be May 31st. More details will be announced soon!

Our Project Graduation volunteer team has also been busy, lining up activities, initiating the grant application that provides some extra funding for the event and much more. This group, led by co-chairs Maria Elena Ramon and Pete Gallego, will be looking for some lead volunteers for specific activities in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled if you want to get in on the action! Project Graduation, an all night alcohol-free and drug-free party for Seniors on the night of graduation, is a blast. It will be held (again) at the East Communities YMCA , which is a fantastic venue for an event like this——with a pool and lots of space to accommodate all kinds of fun activities! They also give us a super deal to rent the facility. With these events and other Spring celebrations, there is much excitement to be had, as Seniors and their families look forward to the grand finale of all their hard work and, we hope, their fun-filled days at LASA High School.

Meanwhile, we have not forgotten the students in between. The process is underway to hire tutors for Biology and at least one additional Physics tutor. We also continue to think about and gather information regarding how to make the tutoring program as effective as possible. Please stay tuned for updates there. Also, if you would like to help as a parent volunteer with the Tutoring/Study Groups committee (not providing tutoring, but helping with program management and administration), please give me a shout!

Stay warm! Be well! There is still a lot of illness going around. Speaking of staying well, our awesome Wellness committee chair, Nina Miller, has a bunch of things planned for parents this Spring, so be on the look out for those announcements soon.

In February, we make special efforts to appreciate our counselors, resource officers/security monitors and our cafeteria staff. We have parent volunteers who have planned specific activities for all of them, but we can all take the opportunity to think about how these professionals support our students and express our appreciation in our own way!

In my next post, I hope to have some updates on tutoring. I also plan to share some information about Parent Class Representatives (what do they do?), which you may not know much about unless you are one! What are the topics you would like to know more about? Reach me with questions or comments at president at pflasa dot org.