The Bark: Staff Updates; Lunch Updates; Schedule changes & leveling


September 10th, 2022

In this edition:

  • Staffing Updates
  • Lunch Update
  • Schedule changes & leveling

Upcoming Dates

Monday, Sept 12th - CAC @ 5:00 pm in the Library Library, PTA @ 6:00 pm in the Lamar Library

Tuesday, Sept 13th - Lamar Football vs. Small @ Burger Stadium - 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm

Wednesday, Sept 14th - 6th grade fundraiser at Hat Creek Burger

Thursday, Sept 15th - Volleyball vs. Kealing @ 6:00 pm

Staffing Update


This week we welcomed Ms. Ciera Schmidt as our new 6th and 7th grade ELA teacher. Ms. Schmidt comes to us from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she previously taught ELA. Her first day was on Wednesday, which was also Back To School Night. She stepped right in and is eager to meet parents, collaborate with teachers, and engage with students. We thank Ms. Haupt for getting the year started with our students and providing them with consistency.

Social Studies

Ms. Van Der Hagen, who was serving as the long-term substitute for Texas History and US History has moved to another position in AISD. She had accepted a job over the summer to cover maternity leave for a teacher at another school. Thank you to Ms. Van Der Hagen for her support to start the year.

Ms. Hannah Edgell (, will now serve as long-term substitute. Her background is in Social Studies and she is currently working toward her teaching certificate.

Lunch Update

On Friday, students were allowed to choose their own seats during lunch. We shared with them that this may continue if students cleaned up after themselves, remained in their seats, and demonstrated responsible and respectful behavior. Three of the four lunches did a great job!

Scheduling Updates & Leveling

Every year during Sept/October, staffing allocations are reviewed district-wide based on student enrollment. We recently learned that we lost teaching allocations based on our current enrollment. We were able to absorb most of the positions through unscheduled vacancies.

That said, we must make some adjustments to the master schedule to reduce class sizes in core academic classes. We had a handful of core classes with 40 students in them. In order to reduce these numbers, we had to combine in some areas to create space in others. This results schedule changes for some students.

Our teachers do an amazing job building relationships and community in their classes which makes schedule changes difficult on students. Our teachers support these tough transitions for students by continuing to create welcoming learning environments. Counselors are available to support the social-emotional aspects of change. Thank you for patience and understanding.

Office Hours

Office Hours with teachers are held Tuesdays through Fridays from 7:55 am to 8:15 am. Students may obtain a pass from either the front foyer or their morning location. Be sure to check with your teacher for specific days office hours are held.


Lamar has an amazing community supporting our teachers, staff, and students. Stay tuned for information on how to volunteer in the office, at lunch, or in other ways at Lamar.

If you are interested in volunteering, the first step is completing an application with Austin Partners in Education.

Considering becoming a sub

Want to spend a day with some really cool kids? Become a sub for Austin ISD and pick up jobs at Lamar! Not only are you helping our kiddos, but you are helping teachers and staff too! Often times, there are not enough subs and teachers fill in during their conference periods. By becoming a sub, you are helping the entire Lamar Community!

Become a Sub | Austin ISD

Dropping off "forgotten" items

At this time, we are only able to accept items that students forgot to bring with them between 8:30 am and 11:00 am.

Caught in the act

Caught in the Act, a positive reward system for students who are "caught" doing something good, begins Tuesday, September 6th. Students can earn a Caught in the Act slip for positive behaviors that teachers and staff see in class, in the hall, before and after school, during lunch, etc.

We will draw names for each grade level every Friday, beginning September 9th, and students will receive a prize!

Examples of when to give a Caught in the Act:

  • Helping another student
  • Helping clean up without being asked
  • Reporting suspicious behavior
  • Doing a good deed
  • Turning in a lost item
  • Being polite and respectful
  • Exhibiting leadership skills
  • And many more!

Gifted and Talented Nominations

The Gifted and Talented nomination window is now open. Parent nomination forms can be found here on the Gifted and Talented page. Nomination forms must be emailed to the GT Coordinator,, by October 7th.

GT Referral and Screening Process

All campuses in Austin ISD offer Gifted and Talented screening in grades K-12 based on referrals received by the Campus GT Advocate.

Parents and caregivers can submit their child’s name to the Campus GT Advocate to be considered for the Gifted and Talented program. The Campus GT Advocate can provide more details.

Referral Dates for SY2022-23:

  • September 19-October 7 for grades 3-12

Library Announcements

Here are answers to a few Frequently Asked Questions about the library:

What are our hours? We're open 7:55 to 4:10, except for Fridays, when we close at 4:00 pm.

How many books can kids check out? They can check out two books for up to two weeks. Overdue notices come via student email, so I remind students to check that email.

How often do kids visit the library? ELA classes visit the library once a month; however, kids can seek a pass to visit the library anytime during the hours we're open!

Is there a book club? Yes! The new book will be announced later this month, and our first meeting will be in October. Students must sign up on the Library Blend page to attend (they will click the Donuts + Debrief button when the new book is announced). Otherwise, we may not have enough donuts, and that would be sad.


I have a question! Email me anytime at

Announcements from Teachers

Book Club from Ms. Dietz

Latina girls in grades 6 - 8 are invited to participate in a special Somos Escritoras Book club October 2nd - Nov 5th.

From Lamar Courtesy Fund

Lamar community, want to help our teachers and staff in an easy, fuss-free way? Please donate to our Courtesy Fund!

You’ll be helping sponsor birthday cakes 🍰, flowers for important life events 🌷, and even a meal or two🍴.

As little as $5 goes a long way. Donate now at:

Yearbooks-Past and Present

Yearbooks are ready to be purchased for the 2022-2023 school year!

Fall is the best & cheapest time to buy, Prices go up after winter break.

View the flyers below to see how to purchase your Lamar 22-23 yearbook through an easy online website.

Note: When searching for Lamar, make sure to look for Austin, TX

Shout out Flyer

Online only Flyer

Update: Yearbooks previously purchased for the 2021-2022(LAST YEAR) school year have been distributed this week. If you think you purchased one & your student did not receive it, please email our Advisor Alissa Godina at

Visual Arts

Awesome job artists! Over the first few weeks of school in art class, students were given prompts and guidelines and then given free reign of their drawing skills. This allowed teachers to see where students are in their artistic exploration. Students are also able to demonstrate their particular styles as artists. Drawings with a star were done by artists who had their whole pre-instructional (before instruction drawings) drawing portfolio chosen as above and beyond work. Congratulations to these artists who got to choose between a Lamar Visual Arts T-shirt or hat. Well done everyone!

In addition, congratulations to our Visual Art Major "random hat" drawing winners who attended the first VA major meeting of the year. They won a complete set of Visual Art Supply packs!

Dance Department Donors Choose

We currently service over 350 dance students many of which are in beginning and intermediate dance levels. Currently, beginning and intermediate dancers do not study tap during the year due to the limited number of tap shoes. In order to promote equity within our dance community we are in great need of more tap shoes for our dance shoe library.

Donate Here!

Theatre Arts Social

All students enrolled in a Theatre Arts class are invited to the Ice Cream Social, hosted by the Theatre Booster club.

Join us September 23, after school until 4:30pm in the courtyard.

Help spread The Bark

The Bark is now distributed through AISD's School Messenger. Be sure your settings allow for campus messages. You can check your settings under "My Messages" in the Parent Portal.

Click here for a step by step tutorial.

Secret Pals

Please help us support our Lamar Staff and sign up to be a Secret Pal!

Join us for at Hat Creek Burger Company to support the Lamar Middle School Band

5400 Burnet Rd., Austin TX 78756

Monday, Oct. 17, 5-8pm

Place your receipts in the bucket at the register or the drive-thru and 10% of the sales will go to the band booster. Tell your Friends and neighbors! Thanks for supporting the LMS Band students!