Back-to-school dates, solar eclipse viewings and 5 other things to know in Northwest Austin this week, Aug. 21-25

As students return to school this week, CodeNEXT and a solar eclipse are just some of the news Northwest Austin residents need to know about. See what else is making headlines below.

1. Most Northwest Austin students return to class this week
Austin ISD resumes classes Aug. 21 and Round Rock ISD returns on Aug. 22. Pflugerville ISD doesn’t resume class until next week, on Aug. 28. For a full list of important dates and times, check out this list of back-to-school dates in the area.

2. Monday is National Senior Citizens Day
In honor of the holiday, the Austin Senior Resource Center hosts a luncheon to celebrate local seniors. The organization also features honorees from each of the six living communities around Austin as outstanding citizens in their areas.

The luncheon will be held at the Norris Conference Center at 11:30 a.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

3. District 7 rolled out a new CodeNEXT webpage
City Council member Leslie Pool announced her staff rolled out a new webpage dedicated to the city’s initiative to rewrite Austin’s Land Development Code. The new page includes information for everyone, including a guide to basic land use concepts, the CodeNEXT proposals and ways to get engaged.

4. There’s a solar eclipse on Monday
This is the first observable eclipse in a high population area since 1999, which occurred in Paris. The eclipse won’t be total in Texas, but Central Texans will still witness a partial eclipse, with the moon covering 65-67 percent of the sun. See which locations in Central Texas plan to have an eclipse viewing party.

5. Course series for caregivers begins this Wednesday
St. Thomas More Catholic Church begins its six-week-long course on caregiving this week. The course intends to focus on the caregiver’s health and helping the attendees develop self-care tools. Pastor Dr. David Lutz and Linda Chambers, R.N., facilitate the course.

The course will run 10:30 a.m.-noon inside the Brennan Auditorium inside the church. To register, contact Jennifer Bibbo at 512-258-1161 or

6. Capital Metro and Project Connect hosts a Transit Game Night on Thursday
The game night encourages participants to put their transit ideas to the test with an app-based game developed by Greenhouse Policy. The game engages players with the same real-world dilemmas transit planners face. Players will compete to win prizes, including Capital Metro transit passes.

The game night runs 6-8 p.m. at  Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin. Participants can register here.

7. Round Rock ISD made changes to its dual language Spanish program
Trustees announced Thursday the district has begun to implement changes to its dual language Spanish program. Pre-K and kindergarten students enrolled in the program will now spend 90 percent of their day in Spanish, to allow them to receive literacy in both English and Spanish. Read more about this new change and other Round Rock ISD updates from the Aug. 17 meeting.


I-35 traffic
State now accepting public input on North Austin I-35 overhaul project

The public now has the ability to review and provide feedback on planning materials for a $400 million I-35 project.

Tents have become a common sight throughout Austin including along Cesar Chavez Street downtown, but with the passage of Proposition B the city may now consider moving unsheltered homeless individuals to designated sites. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Designated campsites for the homeless are back on the table

City staff had previously dismissed developing official camping locations in 2019, but new directives from City Council this week could revive the concept in Austin.

Wag-A-Bag is headquartered in Round Rock. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag-A-Bag to operate under new ownership, name; Austin, TxDOT at odds over I-35 overhaul; and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Austin area.

Stephanie Hayden-Howard will become an assistant city manager in Austin on May 10. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Role changes coming for health officials leading Austin-Travis County COVID-19 efforts

Dr. Desmar Walkes will take over as Austin's next medical director and local health authority as Dr. Mark Escott and Stephanie Hayden-Howard transition to new roles with the city.

Road closure stock image
TxDOT to demolish I-35 ramp in North Austin early Saturday morning

State crews will perform controlled implosions of the northbound I-35 to northbound US 183 flyover between 6-8 a.m. in the morning on May 8 and May 15.

Hand casting ballot stock image
What a potential election recount would look like at Pflugerville ISD

A race to determine a seat on the Pflugerville ISD board of trustees is separated by only 2 votes. What happens if a recount is requested? Read here to find out.

Pflugerville ISD administrative building
Facing possible budget constraints, Pflugerville ISD exploring energy conservation program

District officials are mulling over a program that may save the district more than $2 million in utility costs.

Bohls Middle School rendering
Pflugerville ISD officials working to get off-schedule middle school construction back on track

The contractor on the Bohls Middle School project has requested an extension on the timeline to substantially complete construction.

A pilot Austin Police Department cadet class is now set to commence in June under an updated training regimen and with additional city and community oversight on the APD academy's culture and curriculum. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council votes to restart APD cadet training in June, with framework for ongoing reviews of pilot academy

The Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class will now kick off training next month, with continued oversight of APD's instruction and culture throughout the 34-week academy process.

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Here is what you need to know about COVID-19 in Williamson County

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.