Monday, April 28, 2014

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members,

It is hard to believe that we're heading into the final month of this school year! This final month of May will be the busiest time of the school year as many events will take place to celebrate the success of our students, recognize parent and community support, and say farewell to our 5th grade students. It, however, does not mean learning stops happening! Our teachers will continue to deliver high quality instruction so students continue to grow in knowledge and skills. So please continue to support us in finishing out the school year strong by sending students to school with readiness to learn and on time. :) 




This Week's News


Meet the Faces of Spicewood
Due to state testing, this was on a hold last week. We will resume this week.

Spicewood’s Sharing the Planet Week
It was Earth Day last Tuesday, April 22 but due to state testing, we weren't able to honor it properly. Our students will be participating in various activities this week in a collective effort to be more green, under the PYP theme of "Sharing the Planet." We will need support from parents and community!

ALL WEEKGarbage free lunch! Let’s help students eliminate the waste created each day at lunch. All week we ask that students try to eat lunch (and snack) in a way that is “garbage free.” This means, composting, bringing food in reusable containers, avoiding plastic silverware, paper napkins etc. This also means taking recyclables home or utilizing Spicewood’s containers. For those students who buy lunch, refrain from taking a whole packet of silverware just for a napkin, and remember to COMPOST after you eat.

All week on broadcast we will discuss:

● Sharing the planet vocabulary and current event of the day

● Students taking action

● Spicewood composting rules and purpose

● Facts about Spicewood’s own recycling program

Monday, April 28- Celebrate Earth Hour all day long! Let’s join the effort to stop climate change and help students conserve energy by turning off the lights! You can also open blinds to utilize natural light, put computers to sleep, unplug things we aren't using etc. More info about Earth Hour.

Tuesday, April 29- Water Conservation Day! Let’s examine our water usage and discuss ways we can use less! This includes trading plastic water bottles for those we can reuse!

Wednesday, April 30- All Earth Day Video Contests entries are due. Winner videos will be played Friday morning during broadcast.

Thursday, May 1- Spare the Air Day! Students will take an online pledge, and then ride/walk/carpool to school today! Green ribbons will be provided to each student who does this. Volunteers will meet students at the front of the school to tie ribbons around their wrist in celebration of their commitment to spare the air!

Friday, May 2- Earth Day Video Contest Winners Announced! WEAR GREEN to show your commitment to the Earth, during Sharing the Planet Week and all year!

5th Grade IB PYP Exhibition
Spicewood's 10th annual 5th Grade Exhibition is the culminating event in our students' PYP education. Please join us on Wednesday, May 7! You can also find new posts about Spicewood's integration of technology and information about the PYP at Spicewood on the Getting IT Right blog and the Spicewood PYP Blog. Check them out and remember that they are best viewed using Google Chrome.

Celebration of Learning- IB Spring Conferences
Please join us as we celebrate your child’s growth through the PYP next Wednesday, May 7. These conferences are held in the classroom and are organized so that you may see your child’s work, view their portfolio, and engage in their learning environment. All conferences are student-led and cannot be rescheduled. Research has shown that when students are involved in their own assessment, they are required to think about their learning and articulate their understandings. We are proud that our students are involved in their own learning and excited that they are the ones to share their progress with you!

Kindergarten will be hosting an Open House for all students between 1:00 and 3:00PM.

1st Grade will be hosting an Afternoon of Expression as a way to celebrate their How We Express Ourselves Unit of Inquiry. It will begin at 1:00 in your child’s classroom. Here you will view their work, view and explore student’s self-expressions, and hear about their recent inquiries. At 1:30 you will share refreshments with your child before heading to Spicewood’s outdoor amphitheater for a live performance of expression!

2nd Grade will host an Open House from 1:00-2:30PM in the classroom. Each child will be given a designated time slot to explore the classroom, share work and interact with their learning environment.  Please see your child’s teacher for more details.

3rd Grade students will either be invited to the classroom from 1:00-2:00pm or 2:00-3:00pm. Please see your invitation more specific information and your scheduled time.

4th Grade families are invited to their child’s classroom between 1:00-2:00. In addition to sharing their recent body of work, students will be choosing one piece of writing to read to share as the culminating activity to their earlier PYP Unit, How We Express Ourselves. 

5th Grade families are invited to the 5th Grade’s Exhibition from 8:30-10:00 am on May 7th. During this time you will explore their Exhibition display and presentation, and also look through your child’s portfolio together in the library. This is a flexible event, and can be done at any time during the Exhibition.

Field Day Volunteers Needed
Parents, we are in a dire need of parent volunteers to make our Field Day on Friday, May 9 successful and safe. If you'd be kind to volunteer this Friday, please contact our PE department as soon as possible: Kimberly Robertson (kimberly_robertson@roundrockisd.org), Bill Berry (bill_berry@roundrockisd.org) and Mindy Ravines (mindy_ravines@roundrockisd.org). Or you can sign up here! We very much appreciate your support!



MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Monday, April 28- Friday, May 2
Sharing the Planet Week

Wednesday, May 7
8:30-10:00AM   5th Grade IB PYP Exhibition

12:45PM   Early Release Day
All students will be dismissed at 12:45PM. 
Please plan accordingly in advance. 

1:00-3:00PM   Celebration of Learning- IB Spring Conference

Friday, May 9
Field Day
We need parent volunteers!

Monday, May 12
Mustang Express for 5th Grade

Monday, April 21, 2014

Update from the Principal- Celebrations Included

Dear families and community members,

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend! As we approach another week of STAAR Testing, you may see your child(ren) becoming nervous or anxious. Although it is important to do well on the state standardized tests, it is more important to care for the state of emotions and minds of our students. Please encourage them by letting them know they're ready.  Campus building is still open to public on the days of testing as described below. 


Celebrations

PTA Membership Drive Recognized at PTA Council Luncheon
Spicewood's Platinum Membership Status was recognized at the district-wide PTA Council Luncheon last Tuesday. Out of the entire school district, we were one of the two schools that achieved this highest level of membership. Big thanks to Mrs. Sandy Parent for her hard work and kudos to all of our staff, teachers, parents and community members for making it possible!

Partner In Education (PIE) Gala Basket Contest
Spicewood was recognized again at the district-wide PTA Council Luncheon for being selected as the Elementary School: Best Gala Basket Winner. We received a $200 check from Partner In Education Foundation as a winning prize! Thanks to Mrs. Carole Callaghan who made our basket as a PTA representative! 



This Week's News


Meet the Faces of Spicewood
Please take a moment to get to know our wonderful staff: Miss Jasmyine Johnson (Kindergarten Teaching Fellow) & Mr. Christian Garcia (Night Custodian)

STAAR Testing Days- Tuesday, 4/22- Thursday, 4/24
We will NOT be closing down the campus for visitors on STAAR Testing days. The rest of the school will follow their regular instructional schedule as usual. If you wish to eat with your child on STAAR Testing days, you can do so but please refer to the adjusted lunch schedule for the three testing days. Per Texas Education Agency guideline, no person, including students, teachers, staff and parents, is allowed to ask questions or hold discussions regarding STAAR with students on the day of STAAR Testing. 

Optional Parent Input Form
Optional Parent Input Form has been placed in the eFolder. I ask that all parents respect the expertise of our staff and leadership and not request a specific teacher for your child. To briefly explain how class lists are made, we first begin with grade level team teachers getting together and placing them in groups for next school year as they know their students and their needs best. Then we come together at a faculty meeting and we go through a refining process again. Leadership then refines the lists several times over the summer based on student services, needs and teachers' certifications/specialties to best serve all of our students. The form is due May 2. 

5th Grade IB PYP Exhibition
Spicewood's 10th annual 5th Grade Exhibition is the culminating event in our students' PYP education. Please join us on Wednesday, May 7! You can also find new posts about Spicewood's integration of technology and information about the PYP at Spicewood on the Getting IT Right blog and the Spicewood PYP Blog. Check them out and remember that they are best viewed using Google Chrome.



MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Tuesday, April 22
STAAR Testing
3rd and 4th Math 

Wednesday, April 23
STAAR Testing
3rd and 4th Grade Reading

Thursday, April 24
STAAR Testing
5th Grade Science

Wednesday, May 7
8:30-10:00AM   5th Grade IB PYP Exhibition

12:45PM   Early Release Day
All students will be dismissed at 12:45PM. 
Please plan accordingly in advance. 

1:00-3:00PM   Spring Conference

Friday, May 9
Field Day

Monday, May 12
Mustang Express for 5th Grade

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Meet the Faces of Spicewood #45: Christian Garcia

Dear blog readers,

Please take a few minutes to get to know one of our night custodians, Mr. Christian Garcia.


This is Mr. Garcia's first year working at Spicewood. He was born in Georgetown, TX and spent his entire life in Leander. He graduated from Leander High School. Mr. Garcia has a fiance and is a brother to two younger siblings. Interesting fact about Mr. Garcia is that he's a professional touring musician and audio engineer outside of being a custodian at our school. He is an independent drummer and currently participates in three different bands. He loves German food and his favorite color is black. He loves any books written by Edgar Allen Poe.

"The staff is very nice and sweet and I like the positive atmosphere here," shared Mr. Garcia. He shares with our students to learn as much as possible.

His job starts in the afternoon once school is out. It is unique in a way that his job starts when our students' day is over. He is a critical part of our school community as he keeps our school presentable for our stakeholders and visitors. We truly appreciate all the work that Mr. Garcia does for us!

Meet the Faces of Spicewood #44: Jasmyine Johnson

Dear blog readers,

Take a moment to get to know one of our great kindergarten teachers, Miss Jasmyine Johnson.


Miss Johnson was born in Madison, WI. After graduating from Texas State University, she was accepted into a Masters Program and was then placed in Round Rock ISD to do her Fellowship as part of the program requirement. Before she began her teaching career, she spent a significant amount of time working at Sea World where she taught children about marine life and conservation. Miss Johnson has 2 sisters and is the oldest of the three. She is extremely proud to say that her dad has served our country for over 20 years! This has sparked a love for traveling for her. She loves ice cream and the color pink. She and her students love all of the Pete the Cat series.

"I love coming to work every day and getting to see 21 smiling faces. My wonderful students really are the best part about working at Spicewood. I have been blessed with the most helpful and supportive group of parents as well!" shared Miss Johnson. She went onto say, "I have been inside of many schools, and have met many teachers, but Spicewood by far has been the friendliest environment." She'd like to tell her students, "You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. Set goals and don't give up until you have reached them. When you do, I promise it'll be the best feeling you've ever had." 

Students were working on research posters collectively when I visited Miss Johnson's class this past week. They brainstormed together to generate a list of contents their group research poster must include. They then broke off into four different student groups to complete their research poster about cheetah.

Students collaboratively working on their research poster



Please do not hesitate to give Miss Johnson kudos for the great job she's been doing!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Updates from the Principal- Celebrations Included

Dear families and community members,

We had a very busy week last week with lots to celebrate! Please celebrate with us as you enjoy all the pictures of our lovely kids and families. 



Celebrations


Jazz Concert for Intermediate Grade Levels
Big thanks to Mr. Steinburg and Mrs. Power for inviting and hosting a great jazz concert performed by Austin Jazz Workshop. The Austin Jazz Workshop is a unique project that brings professional jazz musicians directly into public school classrooms. Our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students along with our teachers enjoyed the live music last Friday afternoon. 


Austin Jazz Workshop


Twilight Carnival
Our annual Spring Carnival was a huge success!!! Many of our parents and teachers volunteered their valuable time to make this event fun and engaging for all our students and families. Special thanks to Mrs. Robyn Steinhauser for coordinating the entire event! We truly appreciate everyone's effort!! It was a beautiful day for a carnival. Please enjoy the pictures.










This Week's News


Meet the Faces of Spicewood
Please take a moment to get to know our wonderful staff: Ms. Jaime Ormont (1st Grade Teacher)

4th Grade Concert
4th grade students will be performing a concert. Students are to arrive by 6:15PM and the concert will begin at 6:30PM on Tuesday, April 15 in the cafeteria. 

Excessive Tardies and Absences Phone Calls
As we just closed out another 9-week learning period, I will be finishing up with making a round of phone calls to parents of students with excessive tardies and unexcused absences this week. It is critical that our students are at school every day and on time, ready to learn and grow in their knowledge. Parent support is truly appreciated. 

Pick-up on Tin Cup
Parents, staff and I have been observing some concerning patterns at the dismissal. Some parents are allowing students to run to the middle of the street on Tin Cup to get into their car, rather than pulling over to the side of the street to let students in. Safety is our first priority and we certainly would not want to see any students get hurt by other cars on the street. Thank you for your support. 

Student & Staff Holiday This Friday
Please be sure to plan accordingly in advance as there will be no school this Friday, April 18. 


STAAR Testing Days- Tuesday, 4/22- Thursday, 4/24
We will not be closing down the campus for visitors on STAAR Testing days. The rest of the school will follow their regular instructional schedule as usual. If you wish to eat with your child on STAAR Testing days, you can do so but please refer to the adjusted lunch schedule for the three testing days. Per Texas Education Agency guideline, no person, including students, teachers, staff and parents, is allowed to ask questions or hold discussions regarding STAAR with students on the day of STAAR Testing. 



MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Tuesday, April 15
6:30-7:00PM   4th Grade Concert
Please join us in the cafeteria. 

Friday, April 18
Staff & Student Holiday
No School
Please plan accordingly in advance. 

Tuesday, April 22
STAAR Testing
3rd and 4th Math 

Wednesday, April 23
STAAR Testing
3rd and 4th Grade Reading

Thursday, April 24
STAAR Testing
5th Grade Science

Wednesday, May 7
12:45PM   Early Release Day
All students will be dismissed at 12:45PM. 
Please plan accordingly in advance. 

Friday, May 9
Field Day

Monday, May 12
Mustang Express for 5th Grade

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meet the Faces of Spicewood #43: Jaime Ormont

We are BACK ON with Meet the Faces of Spicewood!

Please take a moment to get to know one of our fabulous 1st grade teachers, Miss Jaime Ormont.


Miss Ormont was born in Minneapolis, MN but spent most of her childhood in San Antonio and Pennsylvania. She moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas at Austin and became a lifetime Longhorn. :) This is her 3rd year here at Spicewood. She is the youngest of her family and she's a proud aunt to three cute nephews! Miss Ormont, prior to becoming a teacher, coached gymnastics. Her favorite food is chips and salsa. Her favorite colors are teal and lime green. Her favorite book is Press Here authored by Herve Tullet.

"The kids! I love them so much!" shared Miss Ormont when asked about her favorite thing about working at Spicewood. She went on to share that the friendly faculty and staff make it such a great place to be. She'd like to tell our students, "take care of your body and mind. Do everything you can to stay healthy and to learn new things every day." 

When I visited Miss Ormont's first graders, they were sharing different math problem solving strategies under Miss Ormont's guidance. Students were encouraged and applauded for taking different approaches to problem solve. Students then transitioned into their writing time; Miss Ormont took this opportunity to confer with students to assess progress of individuals.


Miss Ormont's classroom has evidence of student learning as well as lots of reference materials for students to turn to all around the room. It's great to see our kids thinking out loud and sharing their learning!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Updates from the Principal-Celebration Included

Dear families and community members,

Thank you for participating in our Parent Climate Survey. We truly appreciate your involvement and feedback as we continue to strive to better serve our stakeholders. We have our spring Carnival coming up this Friday and we look forward to seeing you all there!


Celebration


No Place for Hate Coalition
The 5th grade No Place for Hate Coalition put in a lot of work to put together every student's small "how I can be an upstander" square to make one giant beautiful Spicewood peace sign. This will be displayed in our library for all to see and celebrate.



Elementary Art Exhibition
This years Elementary Art Exhibition Gear Up, Create, Think, Make Art is on display at the Round Rock Performing Arts Center through Tuesday April 8th.  The Hartfield Performing Arts Center will be open to visitors Monday - Friday from 9am - 6pm.  The artist reception and teacher meet and greet will be held Tuesday April 8th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm.  Join us to celebrate our amazing Spicewood artists, and see art from around the district. 

We hope to see you there - Mrs. Raybourn and Mrs. Deb





This Week's News


Meet the Faces of Spicewood
Now that we got the first round of testing out of the way and also my personal life event, I'll resume featuring our employees starting this week. :) Thanks for understanding. 

Excessive Tardies and Absences Phone Calls
As we just closed out another 9-week learning period, I will be making a round of phone calls to parents of students with excessive tardies and unexcused absences for the next two weeks. It is critical that our students are at school every day and on time, ready to learn and grow in their knowledge. Parent support is truly appreciated. 

Welcome to Spicewood- Meet the Specials Teacher
The Welcome to Spicewood Parent Committee will be hosting "Meet the Specials Teacher" this Thursday and Friday from 10:45AM-11:45AM fro incoming kindergarten students and parent. This event is a favorite for the incoming kindergartners and their parents as it gives them the opportunity to tour the school and meet some of the teachers. Due to the popularity of the event, this year we are offering parents the choice of attending one of two days.

The rotation schedule for both days (4/10 & 4/11) is as follows:
10:50 - 11:00 am, Mr. Steinburg - Music in Room 501
11:05 - 11:15 am, Ms. Raybourn - Art in Room 111
11:20 - 11:30 am, Mr. Berry - PE in the Gymnasium
11:35 - 11:45 am, Ms. Teal - Spanish in Room 402

Spirit Night hosted by PTA
Please join us for dinner at Chick-fil-A (off of 620 & 183 by Walmart) this Thursday, April 10 any time between 5PM and 8PM. All of our first grade teachers, Mrs. Page, Mr. Steinburg and Mr. Berry will be there for part of the night. 

Spicewood Spring Carnival
Burning giants, true love, pirates, treachery, heroism and a 6-fingered man! The Spicewood Carnival has it all! Wait, wait, that's the movie we're showing at the end of carnival, "The Princess Bride." 

The Spicewood Elementary Carnival doesn't have any of that. But what it does have:

  • Mechanical Bull
  • Inflatables
  • Raffle 
  • Games
  • UT Soccer Player
  • Kiddie Area
  • Fun, fun and fun!

Bring the family, bring a friend!

The need-to-know:

Friday April 11th, 5pm-8pm
Order your wristband in advance for $25 and get 5 bonus food tickets.
Order your wristband at the door for $30 and no bonus for you (<--treachery!)

Starting around 8 pm we'll be showing "The Princess Bride" which is a timeless comedy that will have your kids saying "inconceivable" although probably not correctly.

If you can't make the carnival, you can still participate in the raffle. If you can make the carnival, you can still participate in the raffle. Basically, you need to participate in the raffle. And here's why:

Grand Prize: Custom Lemonade Stand donated by Top Notch Renovations. Ever seen "Trick My Ride?" If your ride were a lemonade stand, this would have been on that show.
Grand Prize!


2nd: Kindle Fire HD 7" (not tricked out)
3rd: Two one-day passes to Hawaiian Falls
4th: Texadelphia Gift Card

Check out the links below to pre-order raffle tickets and wristbands. Be sure to check your child's Friday folder on April 11th before coming to the carnival. That's where you will find your pre-ordered wristbands and raffle tickets.  If you have questions, please send an email at robyn.steinhauser@att.net.

Pre-order raffle tickets and wristbands in the PTA Store
Parent Volunteer Sign-Up
Sweet Treat Sign-Up
Know a middle or High School Student who would like to volunteer?  Visit the Student Volunteer Sign-Up



MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Thursday, April 10
10:45-11:45AM Meet the Specials Teacher
This event is only for incoming kindergarten students and parent. 

5:00-8:00PM   Spirit Night hosted by PTA
Please join us at Chick-fil-A for dinner!

Friday, April 11
10:45-11:45AM Meet the Specials Teacher
This event is only for incoming kindergarten students and parent.

5:00-8:00PM   Twilight Carnival

Friday, April 18
Staff & Student Holiday
No School
Please plan accordingly in advance. 

Tuesday, April 22
STAAR Testing
3rd and 4th Math 

Wednesday, April 23
STAAR Testing
3rd and 4th Grade Reading

Thursday, April 24
STAAR Testing
5th Grade Science