A Skola » About Me

About Me

I love teaching! Supporting students though middle school is one of the most rewarding adventures ever. 
 
I'm a TBRI Practitioner (you can find more information about that here: https://child.tcu.edu/about-us/tbri/#sthash.IDzcgiDY.dpbs

My favorite past time: Fishing. I'll fish in the sun, in the rain, hot, cold... Anytime, anywhere.

I love the Spurs!

I hail from a small farm town in Iowa where there were more places to tie your horse & buggy than there were parking spots for cars. Its still that way!

I'm a coach at GMS (volleyball, basketball, and track). I grew up playing sports and still love to play.

I'm a pretty cool Aunt. I've got 14 nieces and nephews.

If I'm not at work, I'm probably spending time with my husband (teaches 7th grade math), sons E.E. (2.5 years) & Silas (newborn), and my dogs, Ladybird & Junebug.
 

Recent Posts

Magical Mystery Bus Tour - Transition and Work Program Resources

The AISD Transition Support Services, Parent Engagement Support Office, and the Office of Teaching and Learning‐ Special Education are collaborating to host special education families on a tour of the various Austin ISD transition and work programs that prepare special education students for College, Career, and Life.

**Recommended for families with students ages 13 years old or older**
**Limited to 40 Participants; wheelchair accessible bus available**

Date: Thursday, April 9, 2020
Time: 8:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.
Clifton Career Development School
1519 Coronado Hills Dr., Austin, TX 78752

PTA FLYER ESC 13 Dec 2019 (4)

December 6th, 2019
9:30 AM-2:30 PM
ESC 13-Education Service Center
5701 Springdale Road
Austin, TX 78723
 
Facilitated by: Rosemary Alexander & Cynda Green
 
Hosted by ESC 13 & AISD
Lunch Provided
 
Pathways to Adulthood is a FREE one-day
seminar that will provide families and
professionals with the information and tools
needed to plan for a young adult’s life after
high school. It is open to families whose
children have a disability, chronic illness or
other special healthcare needs and the
professionals who work with them.

School Photo Retakes

Picture retakes will be on Tuesday, October 22 on the stage in the Cafeteria. The photographers will be there during all three lunches. 
 
If students need a flyer/order packet, they can get them from the main office. However, students are strongly encouraged to bring their original packet with them to retakes to speed up the process of re-scanning and replacing their original photos. 
 
Thank you!

This week, 7th Grade Science Quizlet

Hi Parents!
 
Students did a great job with all the different schedules this week! We didn't get to see them as much for Excel, but definitely worked to catch them elsewhere in their schedule, if we could :)
 
I'm popping around to different grade-levels and content areas these days to support staff and students. This last week, I've had the pleasure to hang with 7th grade Science - and, wow, cells are fascinating! We put together a Quizlet for students to study as they prepare for their test next Thursday. They have tons of awesome notes, a review, and, now, this nifty tool to use to as they prep. 
 
 
If you have a 6th grader, I very much enjoyed my time in one of the ELA/Reading classes. Students were working hard on personal narratives and learning how to develop their writing using figurative language. I was really proud of them!
 
Have a great weekend!

This Week, Excel, Changes

Hi!

Lots of things are happening on campus next week! We'll use alternate schedules Monday - Thursday!  Paws for Fun is an end-of-the-six-weeks celebration. Each grade level uses the last period of the day to relax and celebrate. So Monday - Wednesday of next week, GMS will be on a Pep Rally Schedule. All schedules can be found on the GMS website under Campus Info.
 
GMS is so excited that 8th-grade students will be receiving their 1:1 devices next Thursday. Because of this GMS will be on an Alt Schedule that day.
 
Where might this impact our students most? If your child only uses Excel (does not have a separate Study Skills elective) to check planners, get organized, and start/complete homework, please note that we will not see them during these types of days. On days when these alternate schedules are used, the campus utilizes 6th period as to not impact core instructional areas and important electives. Please double check your student has what they need each night for homework. If they have questions, have them check teacher websites and/or email. Feel free to reach out to us, as well! If your student walks or is picked up after school, consider having them join staff for an afternoon checkout prior to heading home (this can be really helpful!)
 
These alternate schedules won't impact all students everyday (even though we'll utilize the schedule for Paws For Fun, only one grade level per day will participate over the three day period, for example); however, it will be a shift from what they're used to and, as the week progresses, they will have had less time with us to help with study/organization/task completion.
 
I just want to give everyone a heads up as we head into the week. 
 
First Six Weeks: check!! Nice work everyone!!
 

Study Skills Info - Meeting for Parents of Students in Study Skills (Special Education Study Skills, only)

Study Skills Information Meeting for Parents
 
When: Thursday, September 12th at 5pm
Where we'll meet: Room 815, the Study Skills Classroom
Who is invited: parents of students enrolled in a Study Skills class (via Special Education; Teachers: Garcia, Conroy, Brisco only)
 
What we'll cover:
Supporting our students is a team effort. At this meeting, we'll discuss ways that The home teammates and the school teammates can support one another when it comes to the organization, planning, and task-management tools used within the Study Skills classes.  How should your student's planner look when they arrive home? Where will you find any completed tasks and/or homework items for the evening? What resources should my student be familiar with when it comes to looking for assignments, checking grades, or asking questions of staff? 
 
We'll take time to look at the unique tools and supports used within the Study Skills class, itself. We'll discuss, as a team, ways that a dependable, structured homework routine can help us strengthen your student's study and organizational skills. We'll also aim to answer any questions you might have about our classes and/or supports.
 
Please RSVP to this event!! by emailing Andrea Skola at andrea.skola@austinisd.org by Wednesday, Sept. 11th.
 
Thank you!!

You made it!! Week One: Complete!

Thank you for your support as we moved though this first week! It was wonderful to see our returning students (a few are proudly taller than I am and like to remind me!); we also enjoyed getting to know our new 6th graders a bit better as we interacted with them in classes and around campus. Its going to be a great year!
 
I hope everyone enjoys a restful weekend. As we move though next week, and classwork and homework begin to increase, you should see organization supports start to lock in. If you have any questions or concerns about what your student is bringing home or you see blank planner pages, etc. please reach out to me so we can problem-solve!
 
Pass along highfives from staff - your kiddos did great!! See you next week!
 

Welcome!! Student/Family Campus Visits for SpEd / Friday 8/16

Hi, everyone! Welcome back! I can't wait to catch up with the students about everyone's summer break! I enjoyed some family time in Colorado (traveling with a toddler and a 5 month old was an adventure!) and completed a few home projects. I'm looking forward to getting back to campus!
 
I wanted to share the times for Special Education Student/Family visits this coming Friday, 8/16. Please see below and let me know if you have any questions. In general, please note that email is always the best way to contact me. I'm rarely at my desk and email is easily accessible wherever I'm working - on campus or off. 
 
**If there is a GMS Special Education Parent Page on social media, please share this information. I know that there are many parents who are not subscribed to my website.**
 
Visit Information for Friday, 8/16:
 
New/Incoming 6th Grade Students: 1pm - 2pm
Returning 7th/8th Grade Students: 2pm - 3pm
 
Location: Library
 
Agenda: Parents, please arrive to the front office. SpEd staff will escort the group to the library. On our way, we'll review important areas (like the cafeteria in the morning and bus arrival locations). Once in the library, we'll introduce staff and cover some FAQs. I'll have examples of organization suggestions we like most - like the single binder system. There'll be time for questions while the students are present. Then, staff will pass out student schedules. Students will walk though their schedules with SpEd staff; parents will stay in the library for additional Q&A related to case managers, ARDs, etc. Once students are done walking, staff will take the group back down and out via the front office. 
 
It's important to note that we're still working on finalizing schedules. My goal is to have completed schedules for the students on Friday; however, please help me by having a conversation with your student about any of the following details that you feel might help them remain flexible regarding their schedules on Friday.
 
* As much as we don't want to, sometimes changes are needed after the first day of school. 
 
* Some of the elective classes students really wanted might not have been possible due to core class (reading/math/etc.) scheduling. This can be disappointing, but we try our hardest to get something the student ranked high/was interested in!
 
* Schedules may have changed since mail/email went out in the spring. In some cases, aspects of our master schedule changed over the summer and shifted class availability. Additionally, there may have been IEP/ARD decisions that were made in May or over the summer that are reflected in these most recent schedules.
 
* We can't make any changes to student schedules on Friday, if you have questions or concerns about the schedule, please send me an email.
 
Please let me know if you have any questions! I look forward to seeing everyone!!
 
 

Have a wonderful summer!!

Happy Summer!!
 
First of all: Congratulations!!! I can't lie, this was a hard group of 8th graders to say goodbye to. To my 8th grade families: Thank You for your collaboration over the past 3 years. It's been wonderful working with each of you. Please don't hesitate to check in and let us know how your high schoolers are doing!!
 
Next: Hello, Summertime!! We've wrapped 2018-2019 and I hope each of you enjoy a fun and restful summer break. Please check in here for updates as we head into next year. Beginning in August, I'll post information related to fall (campus visits, etc.)
 
Campus visits: The campus visits for incoming 6th graders and returning 7/8th grade students will be on Friday, August 16th. They are usually in the afternoon. However, until we return for our development/in-service week, I won't have finalized times to share. My goal, as always, will be to have completed schedules to provide your student so that he/she/they can walk them once or twice with staff prior to the first day of school. Parents, during these walks, will stay with Special Ed staff to review any last minute items or answer any questions you might have.
 
Case managers: Please feel free to email me (advancing 6th graders) or your current case manager (returning students) regarding any questions you have prior to your return. For our returning students: changes to our caseloads do happen - this provides the best possible support for your student. If your case manager changes, this is because the new staff member has better access to the grade-level and/or important skills to help your student succeed during their next chapter of middle school. We're so lucky to have such an amazing team!
 
Thank you, again, families for all your support and collaboration this year. Your students worked hard this year - we hope they're already in summer mode, enjoying some well-earned fun and relaxation!!
 
Please let me know if you have any questions. I'll be out of pocket for a majority of the summer; however, I will occasionally check email. If you don't hear back from me, know that I'll follow up first thing when I return in August.
 
 
Highfives,
Andrea

Thank you for your survey responses!

Hi Parents,
 
Thank you so much to those of you who've taken time to fill out the parent survey (you can find the link in the post below if you haven't done so yet!). Your responses are so helpful - thank you for the both the program highlights AND the lowlights you've shared. I take your feedback very seriously and know that your collaboration is key to our success here at GMS.
 
Case managers will likely email a survey link before the end of the school year as well. Our goal is to hear from as many parents as possible. Thank you, again!!
 
 

Special Education Survey for GMS 2019/2020

Hi Parents!
 
In an effort to continually grow and improve the Special Education program at GMS, I'd like to invite you to share feedback to help guide my progress as I reflect and consider adjustments. I'm so grateful to serve students on a campus with such a high level of parent participation and collaboration. Thank you for taking the time to tell me about your family's experience while working with us!
 
This is an anonymous survey; however, at the end, you are given the option to provide your name.
 
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
 
Link to Survey: