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AISD Newsletters in Text Only Format

  • February Newsletter – February 1, 2024

    Enrollment Crossroads
    Over the past few months, we have been having conversations with parents and the larger community as we carefully consider options to respond to the declining enrollment. In November, we shared that the district is at a crossroads. Amarillo ISD’s enrollment has dropped by about 4,000 students over the last decade because of a decline in the birth rate in AISD zip codes and a population decrease in Potter County, where most AISD schools are located. As the school board weighs options and considers decisions on the next best steps for the District, we hope to make this complex issue easier for the community to evaluate with us and join the conversation. View the PDF at for more information.

    MORE- Getting Ahead with Advanced Academics
    It’s that time of year when middle and high school students begin selecting their courses for the next school year. With exclusive opportunities from fine arts to JROTC programs, AISD offers so much More. That includes more ways to get ahead. In fact, our Advanced Academics courses start earlier–in middle school–with Pre-AP classes. It’s a path that takes students even farther in high school with specialized diplomas, AP and dual credit programs. Here’s a breakdown of all the ways to get ahead in middle and high school with Advanced Academics. 

    • Advanced Placement (AP): Get on the Pre-AP track in middle school and then earn college credit in high school with AP classes.
    • Dual Credit: Students are enrolled in both high school and Amarillo College courses at the same time, earning college credit from their high school classroom.
    • UT OnRamps: Students are enrolled in both high school and college courses at the same time.They earn college credit in their high school classroom and generate a transcript from the University of Texas at Austin.
    • For even more insight into our Advanced Academics choices, check out our Stuff You Should Know video at and then talk to a school counselor to get plugged in for next school year.

    Tops in Texas!
    Ten Amarillo ISD students are among the state’s top musicians and will perform later this month in San Antonio. These students were selected to be members of one of the Texas All-State Bands, Choirs and Orchestras after an exhaustive competition process that begins with more than 70,000 students. All-State is the highest recognition for Texas high school music students. Only the top 2.6% of musicians who initially audition become All-State musicians. They’ll perform on February 10 at the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Concerts in San Antonio. 


    • Ashlyn Barton - Tascosa High School

    • Jaxon Denniston -  Tascosa High School


    • Quan Nguyen - Amarillo High School


    • Tristan Ard - Amarillo High School

    • Kimberly Coe - Tascosa High School

    • Kailin Noble - Tascosa High School

    • Emmalynn Reilly - Amarillo High School

    • Ryken Tucker - Amarillo High School

    • Elanna Weber - Amarillo High School

    • Elizabeth Worsham - Amarillo  High School

    Science Superstars
    Bonham Middle School is sending a team of science superstars to the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C. in April. The Bonham team placed first at the Pantex Regional Science Bowl. High School teams will compete later this month. 

    Spell-a-brating Super Spellers
    What a spell-a-bration for the dozens of superstar spellers representing their schools at the Happy State Bank Potter County Spelling Bee. Bonham Middle School's Jayden Zheng is now a two-time winner, having spelled the final word--crustaceans--correctly. Jayden started an un-bee-lievable journey at the Potter County bee last year, spelling his way into the 8th round of competition at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

    Stories: Blythe
    “I think that when we teach a child to read, we’re saying that you as a person are important.” Don’t miss our latest Stories episode featuring teacher Blythe Chapman. It’s so good we made it a two-part story.

    In Case you Missed It…

    Conversation Starter: “I love being your Mom/Dad/Grandparent, etc. because…”

    Encouraging words are one of the best gifts we can give our kids. Try this sweet sentence with your little love this month.

    Totally Awesome, Absolutely Real Reviews
    Here’s What You’re Saying About AISD: “Both my kids have never been happier and more helped than in this school. They came from a school in another state that didn’t see them as individuals and did not value them as people. Here, they can thrive and be the best they can be all thanks to the teachers and associates at the school.” – AISD Elementary Parent

    Calendar Highlights

    • February 7 - School Counselor Appreciation Day
    • February 14 - Valentine’s Day
    • February 16 - Student & Staff Holiday
    • February 19 - Student Holiday/Staff Work Day
    • February 22 - Bus Driver Appreciation
    • February 29 - AmTech Career Fair, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


  • December/January Newsletter – December 5, 2023

    Warm & Fuzzy
    We’re all about the warm and fuzzy this month and next, from working to keep our schools warm and safe during any winter weather, to impressive performances and sweet stories that will give you all the fuzzy feels. Read on.

    Winter Weather Procedures: There’s Snow Time Like the Present for this reminder…
    We know it’s coming. Probably. Our official snow patrol is on standby for those days when decisions must be made about school closings or delays. Here’s what to expect this season.

    By the time our community wakes up to a winter wonderland, District leaders have already driven the streets of Amarillo at the earliest hours to assess road and campus conditions and to consult with the National Weather Service for precise forecast information. Maintenance and custodial staff at each campus are working to prepare the main entrance and interior sidewalks.

    We’ll let parents know of school closings or delays by 6 a.m. If we’re open and you need a little extra drive time that morning, we understand. No tardies on days with inclement weather.

    AISD’s Winter Weather 1 - 2 - 3

    1. We make the call for AISD by 6 a.m.

    2. Check-in for announcements

    • ParentSquare notification





    1. You make the best call for your family

    …for Merry Melodies  

    Cheerful Performances abound across the District this month. Our fine arts students are the gifts that keep on giving with a variety of performances to get you in the fa-la-la-liday spirit, from the legendary Living Christmas Tree at Austin Middle School to the tradition of the Tascosa Pops concert. Check out our Fine Arts Calendar for dates and times (Opens in a new window).

    …Joyful Giving
    We’re proudly giving back throughout the holiday season, too. From socks to toys, canned foods and gifts galore, community service is a big focus for students and staff. Here are a couple of projects that caught our eye.

    Gifts are piling up in the Extended School Day program office where the staff spearheaded an “angel tree” style program to benefit AISD students. They have their own application system for AISD angels needing to be “adopted.” This is the fifth year for the program. Staff at the Rod Schroder Education Support Center are behind most of the adoptions. Thanks to them, 60 AISD students will receive gifts.

    The Student Council at Amarillo High School celebrated an incredible 91 years of hosting a canned food drive for the Amarillo Children’s Home. This year they collected $21,000 in cans and donations, representing about $10 worth of food donated per AHS student!

    …And Heart Warming Stories
    New from Season 3 of AISD’s Regional Emmy-Winning Series Stories: 

    • When a problem becomes an opportunity–this is Brad’s Story.

    • Don’t miss this preview of Blythe’s Story, coming soon from AISD Stories!

    Watch Brad’s Story and others on our Stories video playlist (Opens in new window).

    More in Amarillo ISD = MORE Exclusive Opportunities You’ll Only Find Here:

    • Orchestra beginning in 5th grade

    • Advanced Academics starting early in middle school with Pre-AP, plus IB, OnRamps & more in high school

    • Dance

    • Swim Team

    • Comprehensive JROTC

    • AmTech Career Academy

    • Thrive Scholarship

    • Watch-

    Don’t miss the important conversation about enrollment. We have a video and information on our website at (Opens in a new window).

    Our community is changing and so are we. But through it all, we’re still pioneers. Watch our new video Living Legends: Pioneers (Opens in a new window).

    They’re creepy and they’re kooky, but Tascosa’s performance of The Addams Family Musical was neat! Check out this quick video on Instagram (Opens in a new window).

    Happier Ever After: This George Washington Carver Elementary Academy original production left us saying Bravo! Take a look on Instagram (Opens in new window).

    InSync Conversation Starter: Holiday Hits
    “Let’s make a list of things we want to do together over the break.” (Movies to watch, food to make, places to go, gifts to create, playlists…)

    Totally Awesome, Absolutely Real Reviews: Here’s What You’re Saying About AISD
    “I love my school and it feels like home to me.” – AISD student

    Calendar Highlights

    • December 5 - Living Christmas Tree (Austin Middle School, 7 p.m.)
    • December 5-8 - End Of Course High School Retesting
    • December 7 - Tascosa Pops Concert (Amarillo Civic Center)
    • December 15 - Student Early Release
    • December 18 - January 3 - Student & Staff Holiday
    • January 1 - School Board Recognition Month
    • January 4-5 - Student Holiday/Staff Work Day
    • January 8 - School Resumes for Students
    • January 9 - Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
    • January 15 - Student Holiday & Staff Work Day
    • January 25, 26, 27 - Sandie Revue Performances (Amarillo High School)
  • November Newsletter – November 2, 2023

    For The Record: The Enrollment Conversation
    Our city is changing and so are we. Because of drops in local birth rates and a population decrease in Potter County, our enrollment is declining. Students aren’t leaving AISD for other school districts; there are simply fewer school-age children in AISD than there once were. The data paints a clear picture of what is happening and why. Our school board and district administration have been studying the issue closely and considering our best next steps. Our latest For the Record video breaks it down for you, and you can view the video on YouTube at

    Learn more about enrollment on our website at

    Competitive BBQ Heats Up
    We doubt any team’s practice smells as good as AmTech’s competition barbecue team. High school competitive barbecue is a growing “sport” in Texas (there’s also a freshman team at Amarillo High), and AmTech’s crew, “Route 66 Smoke” is a serious contender. They’ve already qualified for the state competition in the spring and November 9-11 they’re one of ten teams headed to the invitation-only World Food Championships at Fair Park in Dallas. Team leader and AmTech senior Malakai Milan already cooks the best chicken in the state and has the trophy to prove it. We caught up with Malakai for AISD’s Stories series.

    View the Facebook post at

    Good Things Are Happening Here: More Champions in Team Tennis & Cross Country
    Fall sports are wrapping up, and for some AISD athletes, that means a trip to State. Amarillo High’s tennis team just returned from the UIL team tennis state tournament as semi-finalists. And this week, cross-country athletes Parker Maybin from Amarillo High and Abdirisak Saidgurhan from Palo Duro High will represent their schools and the District as they compete in the state cross-country meet.

    More in Amarillo ISD = MORE Exclusive Opportunities You’ll Only Find Here:

    • Orchestra beginning in 5th grade

    • Advanced Academics starting early in middle school with Pre-AP, plus IB, OnRamps & more in high school

    • Dance

    • Swim Team

    • Comprehensive JROTC

    • AmTech Career Academy

    • Thrive Scholarship

    Watch the video at

    In Case You Missed It…
    Take a trip back in time with the alumni who wrote the Bivins Elementary school song.View the Facebook post at

    There’s More to music. Watch Breanna’s Story on YouTube at

    Getting InSync With Your Kiddo
    Want a better answer? Ask a better question. InSync has your back with some after-school questions to help you get to the good part. Try asking... “Who went out of their way to do something kind for you today?”

    Totally Awesome, Absolutely Real Reviews
    Here’s What You’re Saying About AISD: “Both of my kids who are 4th and 5th graders have never been happier and more helped. They came from another school district that didn’t see them as individuals. Here they are able to thrive and be the best they can and that is all thanks to their teachers.” - Elementary Parent

    Calendar Highlights 
    Nov. 3 - End of six weeks

    Nov. 4 - AISD Invitational Swim Meet

    Nov. 7 - Election Day 

    Nov. 8 - School Psychologist Appreciation Day

    Nov. 17 - Fall Substitute Appreciation Day

    Nov. 22-24 - Student & Staff Holiday

  • October Newsletter - October 3, 2023

    National Merit Milestone!
    We’re celebrating the tremendous milestone of 100+ National Merit scholars from Amarillo ISD over the past 10 years. In September, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation named its 2024 Semifinalists and Commended scholars, selected from a pool of about 1.3 million students nationwide. AISD is the only area school district to consistently produce National Merit Scholars, year after year. This year, three AISD seniors are National Merit semifinalists and four others received the National Merit Commended designation. These seven students are among the highest score earners on the PSAT test in Texas. The process for selecting National Merit Scholars starts all over again this month. On October 11, high school sophomores and juniors across AISD will take the PSAT during the school day. By taking the test, high school juniors enter the National Merit program and scholars from their class will be revealed in September of next year. Meanwhile, this year’s National Merit Semifinalists will submit a detailed scholarship application for the next phase of the competition and will learn if they are selected as finalists in February.

    2024 National Merit Semifinalists
    Amarillo High School:

    • Garrett Saied

    • Nathaniel Wright

    • Allison Wu

    2024 National Merit Commended Scholars
    Amarillo High School:

    • Adam Bursi

    • Luke Lusby

    • Pranav Nambiar

    Tascosa High School:

    • Jordan Howard

    There’s Always More Happening in AISD
    We wrapped up September by bringing the heat to AISD with some big-time competitions. This past weekend, AmTech hosted the Regional High School BBQ Cookoff. Fires lit at 5 a.m. on Saturday with 17 high school teams from around the state including AmTech’s own pitmasters creating beans, chicken, ribs, brisket and, of course, dessert for some lucky judges.

    Also on Saturday, high school bands from across the area fired up the field at Dick Bivins Stadium for the annual High Plains Marching Festival. The contest is an opportunity for bands to perform their 2023 UIL marching show for judges and gain valuable feedback they can put into play before the UIL Band Contest which is coming up on October 14.

    More in Amarillo ISD = MORE Exclusive Opportunities You’ll Only Find Here:

    • Orchestra beginning in 5th grade

    • Advanced Academics starting early in middle school with Pre-AP, plus IB, OnRamps & more in high school

    • Dance

    • Swim Team

    • Comprehensive JROTC

    • AmTech Career Academy

    • Thrive Scholarship

    See how much More there is in AISD on YouTube at

    It’s HoCo Szn
    We made the rounds over on Instagram. View homecoming photos on the AISD Instagram account at 

    Getting InSync With Your Kiddo
    “What did you read today?” Your child is reading or being read to every day at school. So be sure to ask what they are reading and let the conversation flow from there.

    Totally Awesome, Absolutely Real Reviews
    Here’s What You’re Saying About AISD

    “From academics to arts to athletics, both our kids have been wildly successful. We are transfers into the district and we are grateful because I’m completely confident there is not another middle school in Amarillo or Canyon that compares.” – Middle School Parent

    Stories, Season 3
    “Music should never stop. It should move forward, just like time.” Amarillo ISD’s regional Emmy-winning video series “Stories” is back for a third season. We’re kicking it off with Breanna’s Story. Be prepared, it’s kind of deep. View it on YouTube at

    Calendar Highlights

    Oct. 2 - School Custodian Day

    Oct. 6 - Student & Staff Holiday

    Oct. 9 - Student Holiday & Staff Work Day

    Oct. 11 - PSAT Day

    Oct. 23 - Red Ribbon Week

    Oct. 27 - Occupational Therapist Day

    View our calendars on our District website at

  • September Newsletter - September 1, 2023

    MORE To See This Football Season!
    Back to school also means back to the gridiron, and we’re not just talking about the return of the fabled Friday Night Lights. Of course, Friday nights are spent watching Amarillo, Caprock, Palo Duro or Tascosa at Dick Bivins Stadium. But Saturdays are looking pretty legendary too, with 11 Amarillo ISD graduates on the rosters of NCAA Division 1 college football teams. MORE in AISD means more student-athletes taking their game to the next level. This fall, we can’t wait to see our current athletes in action on Thursday and Friday nights and then tune in on Saturday to hopefully catch a glimpse of these grads:


    • Mason Graham – #87 New Mexico State University

    • Luke Laminack – #99 Texas Christian University

    • Jameson Garcia – #8 University of the Incarnate Word

    • Erik Gray – #55 Stephen F. Austin State University

    • Davin Lemmons – #18 Stephen F. Austin State University

    • Cole Lemons – #89 Stephen F. Austin State University


    • Tayden Barnes – #17 New Mexico State University

    • Avion Carter – #98 Texas Christian University

    • King Doerue – #23 University of California-Berkeley

    • Major Everhart – #22 Texas Christian University

    • Joseph Plunk – #31 Texas Tech

    • Darius Sanders – #32 University of the Incarnate Word

    BizTown is Open for Business!
    This week, a ribbon cutting marked the official opening of JA BizTown at AmTech Career Academy. JA BizTown is the hub where commerce and the classroom collide. This fully functional, immersive experience for elementary students is a collaboration between Junior Achievement of the High Plains and numerous local businesses that sponsor “storefronts.” Students spend the day taking what they learn in school and putting it to work in BizTown, running banks, managing restaurants, writing checks, voting for mayor and more. View the BizTown post at (Opens in new window).

    Attendance Matters, Maybe Even More Than You Realize.
    Did you know a student who misses two days of school a month will miss around 30 hours of math instruction over the school year? If that pace continues, that student will miss a full year of school by graduation. We admit Ferris Bueller was pretty funny, but when attendance becomes a chronic problem, the challenges it creates for students–and teachers and parents–are real. We legitimately enjoy seeing your student’s face every day, so here are some simple steps to start the school year off right:

    1. Make Attendance a Priority. See that your child comes to school every day.

    2. Start conversations. Show your child that their education is important to you by asking questions and learning about what’s going on in school.

    3. Keep the communication lines open. Reach out to the school and your child’s teachers throughout the year and find out what you can do at home to support your student.

    Good Things Are Happening Here.
    There are always more choices and more cool things happening at AmTech Career Academy, and this year, there are even more students! 2,667 students are enrolled this fall, which includes the school’s largest senior class. 537 seniors will spend part of their school day at AmTech, but 25 of them have chosen to fill their entire school day with AmTech classes. That means more interns, more professional certifications and more college and career prep happening in AISD.

    More in Amarillo ISD = more fine arts, more advanced academics, more certifications…We could go on and on, and we do over on our social media where there’s–you guessed it– even MORE to see. See it here at (Opens in new window).

    Getting InSync With Your Kiddo
    You: "How was school today?"

    Child: "Good."

    You: "Good."

    Repeat 'til the end of time. OR Try asking a different question! InSync has your back with some after-school questions to help you get to the good part. Try asking: "What’s something funny that happened today?"

    Totally Awesome, Absolutely Real Reviews. Here’s What You’re Saying About AISD.
    “We transfer into AISD. We love the culture and climate of this school.” - Elementary Parent

    Check Out These Stories.
    AISD has several intriguing alumni links to NASA Space Program and we were excited to see this Back-to-School message from Holly Ridings.


    We’re with the band!


    “I’ll get you there and I’ll get you back safely.” Meet the AISD motorcoach driver with a 32-year record of safety in our latest Short Stories series.


    AISD grad wins top award among nearly 1,000 Navy recruits!


    Calendar Highlights for September.

    • Sept 4 - Labor Day (student & staff holiday)
    • Sept 8 - Physical Therapist Appreciation Day
    • Sept 12 - Caprock Homecoming Parade
    • Sept 13 - Tascosa Homecoming Parade
    • Sept 14 @ 7pm - Caprock Homecoming
    • Sept 15 @ 7pm - Tascosa Homecoming
    • Sept 18 - Palo Duro Homecoming Parade
    • Sept 21 - IT Professional Appreciation Day
    • Sept 22 - End of 1st Six Weeks
    • Sept 22 @ 7pm - Palo Duro Homecoming
    • Sept 25 - Amarillo High Homecoming Parade
    • Sept 29 @ 7pm - Amarillo High Homecoming

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