Monday, October 14, 2013

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community, 

It feels quite unusual to start the Monday morning without greeting my children and waving at parents outside with a cup of coffee in my left hand. I hope all children and families are enjoying the long weekend although I secretly wish that students are missing their teachers and the fun they experience via learning at Spicewood. :) Meanwhile, all staff are spending the day without children to continue our life long journey of improving ourselves as educators. 

There is a wealth of information I've outlined below. Please be sure to spend just a few minutes to read through and mark important dates/events on your calendar because we LOVE seeing you all at Spicewood!

Meet the Faces of Spicewood
Please be sure to take a moment to meet our wonderful staff: Mrs. Devan Moline (3rd Grade Teacher); Mrs. Debbie Copeland (Office Specialist); and Mrs. Michelle Sacksteder (1st Grade Teacher). I will feature two more employees this week so STAY TUNED! :) 

We're calling all parents and community members to join the Spicewood Parent Teacher Association (PTA). We have reached approximately 550 members for this year, including 100% participation from our wonderful staff. In order for us to be considered to have reached 100% participation for the school, we need about 200 more members. Though we love every PTA member to volunteer, it is certainly not required of members to volunteer upon acquiring the membership. Membership invitation extends to not just one adult per household but to both parents, grandparents and community members for $7.50 per person. Please visit our PTA Website and scroll down to PTA Membership portion to join our PTA online. You can also download the Membership Form here to fill out and turn it into your child's teacher with a check payable to Spicewood PTA. Partnership between parents and teachers is a critical component that impacts all children's learning at Spicewood ES. Involved parents and community understand the challenges schools face and become part of the solution. We need your support! 

School Starts at 7:45AM
It is so very important that our students are in the classroom by 7:45AM each morning. There is a lot that teachers do with our students between 7:45AM-8:00AM in order to maximize learning opportunities. Please make sure students arrive at school early enough to be in their learning environment before the tardy bell at 7:45AM. After first 9-week, I plan to generate a report with student names with excessive tardies and make a personal phone call home. 

WatchDOGS Friday
This Friday, October 18th is a designated WatchDOGS Friday. Please be sure to sign up to volunteer throughout the day. We appreciate your time devoted to helping our children and staff at Spicewood. Sign-up sheets are available on our WatchDOGS website

Peer Mediation
Peer Mediation is now available at Spicewood! Students have the opportunity to work to resolve conflicts in a peaceful way with the help of trained fifth grade Peer Mediators. If a student requests a mediation, our Peer Mediators use a scripted, structured process to end disputes by allowing students in conflict to come up with an agreement in which both students win. Spicewood uses the Peers Making Peace program which is a research-based, educator created program that has been utilized at Spicewood for several years. Peer Mediation has been shown to help make schools a safer place to learn, increase academic performance, and reduce disciplinary referrals. Please view the official flyer in the eFolder for more information. 

STARS Mentor
Are you interested in making a positive difference in the life of a child at Spicewood ES? If so, you may be interested in becoming a STARS Mentor at Spicewood. If you're interested in volunteering as a Spicewood mentor, please contact Tracy Boler at 512-464-6177. You can also sign up for mentor training or find more information about the STARS Mentor program by visiting the STAR Mentor information page found at this linkAfter you've signed up for the training, please contact Sara Hougham, 512-428-3609 or to let us know you've volunteered! For more information, please view  the official flyer located in the   eFolder.

What Is an IB Education- IB Parent Information Night
All parents are encouraged to attend the IB Parent Information Night on Thursday, October 24 at 6:00PM in the library. It'll be a 30-minute information session right before the PTA Membership Meeting. Our IB Coordinator, Ms. Marvel, will share information on IB Primary Years Program in general, including learner profile, action cycle and IB continuum. See the invitation in the Friday eFolder. 

Red Ribbon Week 2013: October 21-25th
Spicewood is focused on healthy and safe choices during Red Ribbon Week 2013, October 21-25th. Please mark your calendars for Spicewood Red Ribbon Week events- don't forget to join in the fun with your Red Ribbon Week pride! 

  • Monday, October 21- Be PRINCIPLED and Rally in Red Against Drugs- Wear as much red as you can
  • Tuesday, October 22- Be KNOWLEDGEABLE and Turn your BACK on Drugs- Wear shirts backwards
  • Wednesday, October 23- Be a THINKER thinking your Future is So Bright with Drugs Out of Sight- Wear neon colors
  • Thursday, October 24Be a COMMUNICATOR sharing You Can Be Anything You Want to Be If You’re Drug Free- Dress as your favorite career
  • Friday, October 25- Live a BALANCED life and Tip Your Hat to a Healthy You- Wear a hat to school

Spicewood Principals' Pride
We will be celebrating the success of our students as we invite our parents to join us at the Princpals' Pride. On Monday, October 28, we will be celebrating with Kindergarten through 2nd grade students from 8-8:30AM in the cafeteria. On Tuesday, October 29, we will be recognizing 3rd through 5th grade students. You will receive a prior written notice from your child(ren)'s teacher(s). We would love to have you with us! 

Spicewood Annual Silent Auction
Please mark your calendar for our annual Silent Auction! It'll take place on Friday, November 15 at Balcones Country Club. This year's theme is "Roaring Back to the '20s." The auction raises significant funds for many programs at our school- field trips, cultural arts/enrichment, IB PYP program, technology purchases, classroom supplies and teacher training- just to name a few! Tickets are on sale for $20/person. For more information, please visit our PTA website.

5th Annual Spicewood Chess Tournament 
Registration is now open! The tournament will take place on Saturday, November 16 and is projected to be one of the largest scholastic tournaments of the year. If your child is planning to attend, please register as soon as possible. Depending on turnout, spaces may be limited. This year's tournament is open to all elementary students. There will be a special section for kinder/1st graders. Only requirement for beginner students is that they must know how to checkmate. For more information, please visit our website


Tuesday, October 22
3:00-5:00PM   Fall Fun Run & Healthy Lifestyles Fair
Wear your favorite hero shirt and join the Fall Fun Run & Healthy Lifestyles Fair at Spicewood ES! Ride your bike on over and lace up your super hero shoes! There will be obstacle course, bike safety, wellness booth, fitness demos, healthy snacks, prizes, music and much more! Entry fee is 1 canned good per participant. For more information, please view the official flyer.

Thursday, October 24
6:00-6:30PM   What Is an IB Education- IB Parent Information Night
6:30- TBA        PTA Membership Meeting

Please join us in the library.

Monday, October 28
8:00-8:30AM  Principals' Pride- Kindergarten, 1st Grade & 2nd Grade
Please join us in the cafeteria. 

Tuesday, October 29
8:00-8:30AM  Principals' Pride- 3rd Grade, 4th Grade & 5th Grade
Please join us in the cafeteria. 

Wednesday, October 30
Early Release Day for Elementary and Middle School
Last Day for Spicewood Fall Conferences

All students will be dismissed at 12:45PM. Please plan accordingly. 

Friday, November 1 - Friday, Novembem 15
Round Rock Fall 2013 Annual Canned Food Drive
Please help our local food pantry by donating canned & non-perishable food. You can send the canned goods to school with your child(ren) starting on Friday, November 1. For more information, please view the official flyer

Friday, November 15
6:00-11:00PM   Spicewood Annual Silent Auction 
At Balcones Country Club

Saturday, November 16
9:00AM-5:30PM   5th Annual Spicewood Chess Tournament 

Thursday, November 21
5:30-8:30PM A Night of Pastabilities- Westwood HS Silent Auction
Westwood HS Class of 2015 would like to cordinally invite the community to "A Night of Pastabilities." It is a spaghetti dinner and silent auction to help fund the Westwood Jr/Sr Prom. For more information, please visit Westwood HS website.