Cougar Courier

September 24, 2022

Big Day for Athletics Today vs. Dexter Southfield


Today is a big day for our fall athletics teams as we host five home varsity contests against Dexter Southfield, including the season opener for football and the home opener for field hockey. Come out and support the teams! If you can't be there, follow the Athletics Department on Twitter for live in game updates, or watch the games via livestream. Good luck to all our teams competing today!


Busy Friday Highlights Successful Spirit Week

The Cheer Team did their part in bringing energy to Friday's Pep Rally.


To help us get ready for the big day today vs. Dexter Southfield, this past week we celebrated Spirit Week, complete with themed dress down days and fun activities for both staff and students. We had dress themes including Austin Prep branded gear (Monday), a monochrome theme (Wednesday), and class colors for the pep rally (Friday). Students also decorated pumpkins and had a great Faculty vs. Seniors Volleyball Game at Community Meeting on Friday. 

To participate in Spirit Week, students made a $20 donation to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Austin Prep raised over $15,000 to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment, with a commitment to no child being denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay. This student-driven initiative promoted unitas and caritas by generating a strong sense of community and directed our efforts to benefit children and families in need, and we are very proud of our students for supporting this great organization.


Join us for our Fall Open House!

Green Key Ambassadors Sophia Collins '25, Kayla Gallagher '25, and Fiona Hyland '25 at a recent school fair.


The Office of Admissions is hosting the annual Fall Open House on Sunday, October 23rd from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. for future students interested in grades 6 - 11. Guests should pre-register for the open house on the Austin Prep Admissions page. 

We are looking for Parent Volunteers to staff our registration tables and to help welcome prospective families. If you are interested, please contact Mr. Ryan Patrie, Director of Admissions.

Open House visitors will have the opportunity to meet Middle and Upper School faculty, school leaders, coaches, and take tours of our campus with Green Key Student Ambassadors.

Some of our best referrals come from current Austin Prep parents. We would be most grateful if you spread the word to those in your community about the Open House event and your own Austin Prep experience. It was great to see so many current families visit with us and Austin Prep Green Key Ambassadors at the recent Reading and North Reading Town days and school fairs!

More Open House


Won't be able to participate at Open House but want everyone in your hometown to know you are a part of the Austin Prep community? Help us advertise the Austin Prep Open House by proudly displaying a yard sign at your home. Students are welcome to pick up a yard sign in the Admissions Office from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. any day next week. Signs are available with or without a stake. We appreciate your support!


Vaccination Clinic Available to Community Members October 5th

In our ongoing effort to keep our community healthy and safe, we are pleased to be able to offer you a convenient vaccination clinic on campus on October 5th, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Osco Drug Pharmacy will once again be able to provide various vaccinations for the entire community. Along with the flu vaccine, there will be COVID, Pneumonia, shingles and Tetanus vaccinations available.

The clinic will take place in the Gathering Room. Students may attend the clinic without a parent present, but must have a signed consent form and a copy of their health insurance card. Click here for the consent form, and click here for more information about the flu vaccine. To schedule an appointment, click here.


Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Continues


Austin Prep looks forward to celebrating diverse cultures, starting with Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th to October 15th. During this time, we will recognize the contributions, achievements and influence of Hispanic Americans on the history and culture of the United States. This month is significant as it includes the date of independence for many Hispanic countries. 

Throughout the month we will provide students with opportunities to embrace and celebrate Hispanic culture. Upcoming activities include:

September 28th - Creating Hispanic Heritage Month Flags and Art 
Location: Art Room
Time: 2:45 - 4:00 p.m.
During this activity, students will have the opportunity to draw, color, or design a Hispanic Flag or artwork that reflects a Hispanic nationality. During this activity, students will be educated on Hispanic flags' differences and similarities. Snacks featured in Hispanic communities will be provided for students who are participating. Select artwork from the day will be on display on the Mission and Inclusion wall. 
October 5th - Learn How to Salsa Dance 
Location: Dance Room 
Time: 2:45 - 4:00 p.m.
Are you a good dancer? Do you love to dance? Well, come learn how to Salsa. On October 5th, students will have the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and learn how to Salsa dance. During this activity, students will learn about the origin of Salsa dancing and the importance it brings to the Hispanic community and culture. Snacks will be provided for students who are participating. 
October 19th - Remembering the Day of the Dead
Location: Art Room / Gathering Room 
Time: 2:45 - 5:00 p.m.
The day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday where families are able to connect with family and friends who have moved on to eternal life. Students will be educated on the importance of the day of the dead and will be able to create and design their own sugar skulls that will be dedicated to someone in their family who has moved on to eternal life. After decorating their skulls, students will proceed down to the Gathering Room where they will watch the movie “Coco." Students will have the option to keep their skulls or display them on the Mission and Inclusion wall. Snacks will be provided for students who are participating in the event. 
Partnering with SAGE Dining 
Through the collaboration of Sage Dining and the Office of Mission and Inclusion, we will be spotlighting three different countries within the Hispanic communities. On September 29th, Sage Dining will be offering cuisine from Cuba. On October 6th, Sage Dining will be offering cuisine from Argentina, and on October 11th, Sage Dining will be offering cuisine from Chile. These cuisines will be a chance for students to learn about Hispanic culture and identity.

For more information, contact Mr. Jaycob Morales, Coordinator of Community Engagement and Inclusion, and be on the lookout for more information around campus, here in the Cougar Courier and on social media.


Updates from the Office of College Counseling

Save the Date: College Testing Day to take place October 12th.

An admissions representative from Boston College visited with Austin Prep students on Thursday.


Austin Prep will host its annual testing day on Wednesday, October 12th.  All 9th graders will take the PSAT 8/9 and all 10th and 11th graders will take the PSAT/NMSQT.  The SAT will also be given to any 12th graders who signed up in advance.

All testing will begin at 8:00 am.  Students will be dismissed from school for the day once their testing is complete.  The PSAT 8/9 will conclude around 11:00 am, the PSAT/NMSQT will conclude around 11:30 am and the SAT will conclude around 12:00 pm.  A light lunch will be provided for any students who need to remain on campus. 

More detailed information about test day procedures will be sent directly to students in early October.

Every fall, Austin Prep welcomes college admissions representatives to meet our students and share more about their institutions.  This is a great opportunity to connect with college admissions representatives and learn more about various schools in the U.S. and abroad.  Often the admissions representatives who visit are the ones that read the applications from our Austin Prep students.

Upcoming College Visits (week of September 26)

Important notes regarding the visits:

  • Seniors and juniors are welcome to attend.  Seniors should sign up in Naviance.  Juniors should sign up via the form posted in the Class of 2024 Google Classroom.

  • All meetings are held in the College Counseling Office, unless otherwise noted.

  • Please get permission from your teacher or advisor to attend.

  • If you are unable to attend the meeting but are interested in connecting with a college, ask your college counselor for the contact information of the admissions representative who visited.

Special Middle School Programming also on October 12th

As noted above, on Wednesday, October 12th, our Upper School students will be taking the PSAT exam.
Our sixth and seventh grade students will join us on campus that day for a structured morning of activities. Our eighth grade students will be traveling with faculty off campus for a field trip. These leadership and experiential opportunities stem from our Middle School Strategic Plan and are initiatives sponsored by the Middle School Office and the Office of Student Life.

Students will arrive at the normal morning drop-off and proceed to Meelia Hall at 8:00 a.m. Students will be dismissed with an early release from Meelia Hall at 1:00 p.m.. Additional details for the day will be distributed soon. We are looking forward to a great morning of leadership and educational activities with our students.


RCPS Leads Discussion Around Harmful Effects of Vaping

A reminder to have discussions with your children about unhealthy choices and good decision making.

Cooper the Comfort Dog joined the RCPS Team on Thursday night.


This week we welcomed Reading Coalition for Prevention and Support (RCPS, formally RCASA) to facilitate discussions around the harmful effects of vaping.  Erica McNamara and Krystal Mellonakos-Garay were joined by School Resource Officers Brian Lewis and Eric Vatcher, and Special Officer Cooper the Comfort Dog. The RCPS team works closely with surrounding schools, understands the realities of adolescent substance use, and is well-versed in the facts and realities about adolescent substance abuse. In addition to the parent presentations, RCPS educators and school resource officers will be joining Middle School classes later this fall to facilitate discussions around the harmful effects of vaping. 

This year our Health and Wellness Counselors will be joining advisory and engaging students in Health and Wellness lessons including healthy habits, stress reduction, and social media awareness. We know that these efforts in school often spark conversations at home. Throughout the year, we will be offering workshops for parents on these important topics. We know that if we can raise awareness about student health and teach them to take care of one another, we can make strides in keeping kids safe.

Related to this, you may have seen media reports regarding the latest Tik Tok challenge encouraging people to cook chicken using the cough syrup NyQuill. While we have confidence in Austin Prep students to exemplify veritasunitas, and caritas in their lives, we also know that students need positive reinforcement and reminders from time to time that poor decision-making and unhealthy choices can have serious consequences. In general, participating in Tik Tok challenges is not aligned with our values. Austin Prep has zero tolerance for any student who participates in social media challenges – or any other behavior – that has a harmful effect on our community or any person in it, including themselves.  We appreciate your partnership in guiding our students together, and as always, we encourage you to get in touch with us if you have any questions or if there are further resources we can share with you.


Take a Look Back at Convocation Mass

Austin Prep’s annual Convocation Liturgy was extra special this year, as the Mass kicked-off a year of festivities to celebrate a milestone in our history: our 60th Anniversary. Take a look back at what was a memorable day for our school community.