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Mac Principal Update

February 2021
Hi Mac Families! 

I hope this finds you well. It's a month into this new spring semester, and what a month it has been!  In spite of all the challenges we face with COVID-19, we have some exciting things happening as well!  We broke ground on our outdoor stage, we administered the PSAT both indoors and outdoors, we honored our Teacher of the Year, we planned our Mac Expo Knight, and more!
Mac Backs Black History Month
This month, we celebrate Black History Month!  Mac Backs Black History, and Mr. Featherstone, along with our Students of Color Alliance, have organized and planned a series of really cool speakers and events for students to enjoy and learn from, even virtually!  

Please see the Black History Month agenda for some of the special activities and events that will occur throughout the month of February.
It's National School Counseling Week!

Has one of our McCallum counselors made a difference for you?  Please consider sending an email to them to let them know how awesome they are:
Teacher of the Year - Chris Purkiss!
McCallum's 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year is Mr. Chris Purkiss!  Mr. Purkiss is our amazing SCORES teacher and also our tennis coach. He is beloved and respected by all, and we are so proud of him!
Coffee with the Principal
Please join us for the next Coffee with the Principal.  We will meet over Zoom and discuss all things McCallum High School.  I hope to see you then!

Friday, February 5 @ 9:00 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 914 0385 2045
Passcode: GoMac
Remainder of Spring Schedule
As of now, our school calendar will look like this:
  • Asynchronous Remote Days
    • Friday, February 26
    • Friday, March 5
    • Friday, April 9
  • Wednesday, March 3 - SAT Testing for Juniors (asynchronous remote for all non-testers)
  • Friday, February 12 and Monday, February 15 - Staff Development Days (NO SCHOOL)
  • March 15 - March 19 - Spring Break (NO SCHOOL)
  • Friday, April 2 - Staff Development (NO SCHOOL)
  • Monday, May 31 - Memorial Day Holiday (NO SCHOOL)
  • Final Exams - May 28, June 1, June 2, June 3

KXAN's News Coverage of our Outdoor Learning Classrooms

Mac made the news! 

PSAT Administration in January - an outdoor testing room!

We will be looking at expanding our outdoor testing options for upcoming tests like the SAT and STAAR for interested students and families (weather pending). The outside PSAT was a big success!
MAC Expo Knight on February 25 at 6:30 pm
We will be welcoming our newest McCallum Knights during our Incoming Freshmen Choice Sheet Night.  Please mark your calendar if you have an 8th grader coming to McCallum next year.
Final Exam Waivers
Good news!  We are moving forward with final exam waivers this spring.  We've been working hard to put together our policies and qualifications regarding the process so look for more information coming VERY soon!
Outdoor Stage Update!
This past weekend we broke ground, excavated and poured the foundation for the stage and retaining wall.  
  • Lowe's is set to deliver materials THIS Friday, February 5
  • Our Community build will happen this weekend - February 6 and 7.  If you want to be part of the build, sign up here: MAC Outdoor Stage Work Days
Frontier Bank has committed $1,500 to the stage, yay!  Our fundraiser has reached >$10,000 (whew - we are so close!) 

Check out the Pics from this weekend ->
Feel free to share...  (cool time lapse of bobcat and concrete pour!)

Weekend details - we are planning 2 four-hour (back to back) shifts on Saturday and Sunday.  Lowe's will bring a small professional crew for the duration.  COVID protocol will be followed upon check-in, social distancing a must, and masks will be worn at all times.

The following groups have already scheduled performances on the stage:
Fine Arts Dance Program
Fine Arts Theatre and Musical Theatre Program
Fine Arts Piano Program
Blue Brigade Dance Team

I can't wait to see all of these wonderful programs perform on our new outdoor stage!
Exciting News for MAC Fine Arts Students!
MAC's Fine Arts visual arts students had 33 submissions earn recognition in the 2021 Scholastic News Awards.  This competition received over 1200 submissions.
  • Gold Key Winner in Printmaking - Congrats to Valentina Paredes - Valentina's work will go on to New York City to be reviewed in the nation Scholastic Art competition.
  • Silver Key Winner in Printmaking - Congrats to Andrea Paredes
  • Silver Key Winner in Photography - Diana Hardage and Joey Miguel
  • Honorable Mention honors in Photography - Nadine Del Gallo, Hana Diamond, Jacob Ernst, and Millicent Ramsey
We are very pleased to announce that 2 MAC BAND members have been named to the TMEA All State Band:  Roan Alonzo (bassoon) and Gavin Owens (alto sax).  This is a huge honor.  Jacob Martinez (trombone) was also named to the TMEA All State Jazz Ensemble.  Jacob is a 4 year All Stater!!!  He was a member of the 5A All State Band his freshman and sophomore years, a member of the 6A Symphony Orchestra his junior year, and now a member of All State Jazz Ensemble his senior year. 

10th Grader Lauren Ryan-Holt was named to the Texas All-State Treble Choir as an Alto 2.  She is the only AISD student to make the All-State Choir this year and continues McCallum's streak of choir all-staters 2 years in a row.  WAY TO GO, LAUREN!

McCallum High School Orchestra had 2 Members have been named to the 2021 TMEA All-State Orchestra. They are Sophomore Thea Krische on Violin and Junior Calder Carey on Bass. 

Luke Lozano has been named to the TMEA All State Orchestra for the second year in a row! Last year, Luke was the first pianist at McCallum since 1994 to be an all-state pianist. At the regional level, only four students from the city of Austin are chosen to move on to the next round to audition for the All State Orchestra. Luke received first chair in the area orchestra which is a big deal in itself! Once the students audition for the all state orchestra, only 7 pianists from the entire state of Texas are chosen. Luke was one of those seven! Please join us in congratulating Luke on this amazing accomplishment! 

Senior Alex Martinez's film The Contemporary Complex won Best Narrative and his film Wired Shut won Best Documentary and Best Short Film at the 512 Film Festival. Wired Shut was also selected for the SXSW film festival.

Parents and Students of 11th grade - SAT on March 3 
We will be offering an optional free of cost SAT Administration (without the Essay) on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 for our McCallum 11th graders. This administration will be IN-PERSON on the McCallum campus. There is no remote online administration available.  

To make sure that you are registered to take the test, please complete this survey: as soon as possible.

Registration will close on Tuesday, February 16th.

You MUST submit this survey by this date in order to be registered for this test. This allows us to accommodate staff and students for the number of students that would like to test in order to continue to abide by safety guidelines and protocols. If this form is not submitted, we will assume you are opting out of taking it. 

On this testing date, we will continue to enforce our safety protocols of requiring masks to be worn at all times, social distancing, complete AISD screener COVID questions, and temperature checks prior to entry. Students will be provided number two pencils and a graphing calculator, but are of course welcomed to bring their own. Snacks will not be permitted to minimize taking off masks while testing, but students are allowed to bring a bottle of water. Other belongings should be left at home. We will try to keep the number of students per room as small as possible, and may be able to offer courtyard testing to those students that are interested.  

Testing will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. and may end until 2:00 p.m. latest. More details will be provided as we get closer to the date for those students that have opted in. 

If you decide to opt-out or cannot make that date, College Board offers multiple opportunities to take the SAT directly through them. The difference would be that there will be a fee for those administrations. Here is the information for how you can register directly through College Board: 

For SAT Test Prep Resources, check out our Counselor Website at: 

If you have questions regarding this SAT administration on March 3rd, please reach out to our McCallum SAT Coordinators: Loren Croom (  and Daniela Romero ( 

For COVID Safety concerns/questions, please contact Assistant Principal Andy Baxa ( 

Presidential Volunteer Service Award
Any student who performs 100 or more hours of volunteer service within the last 12 months is eligible for the The Presidential Volunteer Service Award.  If your child is eligible, the attached log must be completed and submitted within the given deadline - no exceptions can be made with the deadline or the hours.  This award is open to any student grades 9-12.
Stay Informed with MacJournalism
Staying connected can feel challenging, especially at this time, and MacJ will keep you informed.  The two main ways to follow the story here at McCallum are:
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