Monday, August 25, 2014

Updates from the Principal: Back-To-School Vol.3

Dear families and community members,

Spicewood is ready for the new school year! We're excited to see you all soon! Please be sure to read through the updates; it contains pertinent information for all parents as we kick off the new school year. 


Celebrations

Partners In Education (PIE) Grant Winners at Spicewood
Two of our Spicewood teachers have won the Excellence in Education Teacher Grants hosted by Partners in Education Foundation. Congratulations to Mrs. April Morley and Mrs. Laura Reeb! Our students will benefit from their exceptional work of grant writing! 


Mrs. Morley won $1,000.00 to purchase digital microscopes!

Mrs. Reeb won $2,000.00 to purchase eBooks online for our students!



This Week's News


Check Bus Route Information
Please check the bus route information on the district website today! Go to RRISD website and click on Bus Routes on the left hand corner. Then click on Find Your Route and enter your address to find out detailed information. Parents, we no longer have the system of using animals to define bus route. You'll have to look for the route number (not a bus number). The Route Number looks like the picture below. 



Please look for the ROUTE NUMBER, not a BUS NUMBER. 


Meet the Teacher Event
We look forward to seeing you all this afternoon at our Meet the Teacher event! I'm sharing the 2014-2015 Campus Map so it's easier for everyone to maneuver their way around the school to find classrooms. Campus Map is posted on our school website under Parent Resource.

YMCA Parents- Back Parking Lot
Parents of YMCA After-School Program, we have lost several parking spaces in the back as we have brought in a new portable. Please be mindful of duration of parking time when picking up your child(ren) from YMCA After-School Program; our teachers usually stay late to work beyond what's required of them. 

Austin Family Magazine: Young Writers Contest
Austin Family Magazine is hosting its annual Young Writers Contest, with short essay entries being accepted August 15 through October 15, 2014. The contest is open to all fourth and fifth grade students attending any public, private, or home school. For detailed information, please visit their official website

Chess Club Registration Open
Chess Club registration is now open on the Chess Club PTA page. Please click here to register your child(ren). 

All information that was communicated previously via Updates from the Principal: Back-To-School Vol. 1&2 is posted on the Spicewood Principal Blog




MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Monday, August 25
Meet the Teachers 
2:00-2:45PM   Kindergarten in the cafeteria
2:30-3:15PM   1st-5th Grade in classrooms

Tuesday, August 26
First Day of School for Students
8:00-8:30AM    Kinder Kleenex
Kindergarten parents are encouraged to join the leadership in the library.  

Thursday, August 28
6:00-7:00PM TAG Parent Open House in Library
This event is only for parents whose child is already identified and placed in TAG Program. There will be a separate information session in November for the parents who are interested in the testing procedure and program framework.

Monday, September 1
Labor Day
NO SCHOOL

Thursday, September 4
Spicewood Grade Level Open House
Kinder & 1st Grade: 5PM
2nd & 3rd Grade: 5:30PM
4th & 5th Grade: 6PM
Different time frames are set to accommodate parents with multiple students in various grade levels. 

Friday, September 12
First Chess Club Meet for Returning Chess Club Members
Library

Wednesday, September 17
7:00-7:45AM   Breakfast with Dads
We call for all dads and father figures to come join us at the Breakfast with Dads. Students will be able to eat yummy breakfast with dads in the library and be released to their classrooms at 7:45AM.

Friday, September 19
Chess Club Meet for Returning & New Chess Club Members

Monday, August 18, 2014

Updates from the Principal: Back-to-School Vol.2

Dear families and community members,

We're just a week away from starting our new school year.Our teachers are already working hard as they prepare their classrooms to receive our students any minute! We already have a lot to celebrate and communicate; I very much appreciate you taking a few minutes to read through this newsletter for helpful information. 
Celebrations

Spicewood Earns Distinction in All Categories
Spicewood along with Laurel Mountain, Pond Springs, Canyon Creek elementary schools, Canyon Vista Middls School and McNeil High School has earned distinction designations in all of the campus achievement categories set by Texas Education Agency for the last school year. Our school joined 400 across the state in earning all eligible distinctions, placing us in the top five percent of the 8,574 schools in Texas! Kudos to our students, parents and teachers for all the amazing work! Congratulations to Spicewood community! 

For further information on how schools were evaluated, please see the attached video clip from TEA. 


Special Thanks
Thank you to C4C and the Spicewood PTA Beautification Committee for donating their time get the school grounds back in shape for the new school year!  They did quite a bit of work, including weeding, mulching and trimming the school flower beds.  C4C is a nonprofit formed by a group of friends (including Spicewood parent, Chad Dubroca) organizing their volunteer activities to positively impact the community and individual lives of those in need.  The organization volunteers for causes large and small focused on giving back in various ways.  Spicewood PTA provided materials.

Also, special thanks to Mrs. Karen Trenk for working on the gagapit in the back of our school to make it more safe and fun for our kids this past weekend! 



This Week's News


Meet the Teacher Event
In preparation of Meet the Teacher event [see Mark Your Calendar section for specific times], I'm sharing the 2014-2015 Campus Map so it's easier for everyone to maneuver their way around the school to find classrooms. Campus Map is posted on our school website under Parent Resource.

e-Newletter Subscription
Our system only allows one email per household to automatically receive school emails. 
For any additional recipients, they can to go RRISD e-News Community Subscription and sign up specifically for Spicewood ES. 



I do want to make a note that the additional recipients will be considered "Community members" in the system, which means, if the school chooses to send an email out just to Spicewood Parents, those community members will not receive the email. It will only be sent to the email address that we have in our system- one that you provided when you registered your child. Updates from the Principal will always be sent to ALL members- teachers, parents and community members. 

Bus Permit- Message from Our Registrar
This year, transportation has implemented a new Bus Permit Request procedure. Any student who will ride a bus that he/she does not normally ride or will get off their bus at a different stop will need to have a Bus Permit completed and submitted to the Spicewood office. You can find the Bus Permit as a link on the right side of the Spicewood website. The permit MUST be submitted in order to add/change bus transportation for your child. If you have any further questions, please contact our registrar at Cindy_Vechan@roundrockisd.org. 

After School Care Options
If you're wondering which day care programs are in partnership with Spicewood, please refer to the "After School Care Options" document posted on our school website under Parent Resource. 

Volunteer Training
If you're interested in volunteering at Spicewood this school year, please refer to the Volunteer Training document on our PTA website. There will be a training session offered at the beginning of the school year by PTA personnel. Date of the training will be communicated in near future. 

Leadership Round Rock ISD 2015: Apply Online
Round Rock ISD is accepting applications for the Leadership Round Rock ISD Class of 2015, a program designed to give those participating an in-depth learning experience about the school district. Participants can apply online. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, August 29 at 5 p.m.

“Leadership Round Rock ISD will give 25 district stakeholders, representing all areas of our 110-square mile district, the opportunity to go behind the scenes and meet the people who are responsible for programs and services,” Community Partnerships Supervisor Michelle Jackson said. “They will be able to see firsthand how Round Rock ISD creates a climate of success for our rapidly growing and diverse student population.”

Class members will meet monthly on the third Tuesday during September through May. The sessions occur 8:30 a.m. to noon with the exception of January and March, when meetings will take place in the evening. In addition to hearing from district leaders, meetings will give participants the opportunity to tour multiple RRISD facilities.


Leadership Round Rock ISD began in 2011. Five community members from each high school feeder pattern (Cedar Ridge, McNeil, Round Rock, Stony Point and Westwood high schools) will be selected to participate in this year’s program.

New Cafeteria Manager
Spicewood welcomes Ms. Andrea Cook as our new Cafeteria Manager to replace Mrs. Pei-Chen Chang who's leaving the position. Ms. Cook is familiar with our campus as she substituted for Mrs. Chang during her personal leave last school year. 

Class Assignment
Students will receive a postcard from their teacher during the week of August 18. Our teachers report back on Tuesday, August 19 and will be mailing them the afternoon of August 19. Class lists will also be posted on the front glass door, sorted by student last names in an alphabetical order by grade level on Friday, August 22 by 9AM. 

School Supplies
Please bring your child(ren)'s school supplies to our Meet the Teacher event next Monday, August 25 so you can drop them off in their homerooms. If you cannot attend the event, you may bring them on the first day of school on Tuesday, August 26. School supplies list is available on our school website as well. 

Student Arrival
School doors open at 7:20AM when staff members are on duty. If students are not in their classroom, students will be counted as tardy starting at 7:45AM. 

For the first 2 weeks of school (August 26-September 5), parents are allowed to walk their child(ren) all the way to their classrooms. Starting on Monday, September 8, parents are asked to drop off their children at the front entrance of the school. 

Student Dismissal
Students should know whether they will be riding a school bus, going to after-school daycare, staying at YMCA in the cafeteria, walking home, or a parent pick-up. Parents will have an opportunity to share this information with homeroom teacher at the Meet the Teacher event or share the information via parent note to teacher on the first day of school. Kindergarten students will be out in the portico at 2:40PM with their homeroom teachers. All other students will be exiting to the portico area starting at 2:45PM. It is very helpful when parents have student's name(s) written/printed on a piece of paper placed on the dashboard of their car during dismissal. 

Drop-Off & Pick-Up Traffic
No cars should be parked in the circle drive at all times during the drop-off & pick-up time. It is only for drive through drop-off. Part of Olson Drive is also available for Stop-and-Go Drop-off. Hope Church is always very gracious in allowing us to use their Northeast parking lot. Please avoid using their circle drive (as shown below) at all times as the church wishes to reserve the usage only for their church members. There's also some street parking available on Tin Cup Dr. and Swan Dr. I respectfully ask that parents and guardians please drive slow and alerted at all times during the drop-off & pick-up time. [See the attached picture]




Lunch Account
For returning students, parents can access the online payment system www.paypams.com and student ID# to make sure students have sufficient amount prior to the first day of school. 

For new students (including kindergarten students), parents will receive a packet on the first day of school which will include student registration form with their student ID#. Using the student ID#, parents can set up an account (very easy!) using the online payment system stated above. 

Parents can also simply send cash or a check with students to hand over to the cafeteria manager. 

Free, Reduced Meal Application
Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free and reduced price meals for their children.  Applications also are available at the administrative office in each school and at the Food Service office located at 16255 Great Oaks Drive, Suite 100 in Round Rock.  To apply for free and reduced price meals, households must fill out an online application at https://www.schoollunchapp.com/District.aspx or a paper application and return it to the school or Food Services office.  Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year.  The information households provide on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and verification of data.  Applications may be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.

Administrator Office Hours
Parents, as most of you already know, I pride myself in spending a lot of time in the classrooms with students and teachers to support instruction. For that very reason, if you happen to stop by or walk in, I would most likely be unavailable to meet with you. If a parent would like to schedule a meeting with the principal and/or assistant principal, I ask that an appointment is made with Mrs. Courtney Torres, the principal’s secretary. Please share with her briefly the topic of discussion when scheduling an appointment so I can gather necessary information prior to our meeting. You can reach her at (512) 428-3602 or via email at Courtney_Torres@roundrockisd.org. You're always always welcome to come see me so please do not hesitate to make an appointment! 




MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Monday, August 25
Meet the Teachers 
2:00-2:45PM   Kindergarten in the cafeteria
2:30-3:15PM   1st-5th Grade in classrooms

Tuesday, August 26
First Day of School for Students
8:00-8:30AM    Kinder Kleenex
Kindergarten parents are encouraged to join the leadership in the library.  

Thursday, August 28
6:00-7:00PM TAG Parent Open House in Library
This event is only for parents whose child is already identified and placed in TAG Program. There will be a separate information session in November for the parents who are interested in the testing procedure and program framework.

Monday, September 1
Labor Day
NO SCHOOL

Thursday, September 4
Spicewood Grade Level Open House
More detailed information to be announced. 

Wednesday, September 17
7:00-7:45AM   Breakfast with Dads
We call for all dads and father figures to come join us at the Breakfast with Dads. Students will be able to eat yummy breakfast with dads in the library and be released to their classrooms at 7:45AM.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Updates from the Principal: Back-to-School

Dear families and community members,

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer! I am including helpful information that will answer some of the questions you might have about the new school year. I can't wait to see everyone in a couple of weeks! 

Class Assignment
Students will receive a postcard from their teacher during the week of August 18. Our teachers report back on Tuesday, August 19 and will be mailing them the afternoon of August 19. Class lists will also be posted on the front glass door, sorted by student last names in an alphabetical order by grade level on Friday, August 22 by 9AM. 

School Supplies
Please bring your child(ren)'s school supplies to our Meet the Teacher event next Monday, August 25 so you can drop them off in their homerooms. If you cannot attend the event, you may bring them on the first day of school on Tuesday, August 26. School supplies list is available on our school website as well. 

Student Arrival
School doors open at 7:20AM when staff members are on duty. If students are not in their classroom, students will be counted as tardy starting at 7:45AM. 

For the first 2 weeks of school (August 26-September 5), parents are allowed to walk their child(ren) all the way to their classrooms. Starting on Monday, September 8, parents are asked to drop off their children at the front entrance of the school. 

Student Dismissal
Students should know whether they will be riding a school bus, going to after-school daycare, staying at YMCA in the cafeteria, walking home, or a parent pick-up. Parents will have an opportunity to share this information with homeroom teacher at the Meet the Teacher event or share the information via parent note to teacher on the first day of school. Kindergarten students will be out in the portico at 2:40PM with their homeroom teachers. All other students will be exiting to the portico area starting at 2:45PM. It is very helpful when parents have student's name(s) written/printed on a piece of paper placed on the dashboard of their car during dismissal. 

Drop-Off & Pick-Up Traffic
No cars should be parked in the circle drive at all times during the drop-off & pick-up time. It is only for drive through drop-off. Part of Olson Drive is also available for Stop-and-Go Drop-off. Hope Church is always very gracious in allowing us to use their Northeast parking lot. Please avoid using their circle drive (as shown below) at all times as the church wishes to reserve the usage only for their church members. There's also some street parking available on Tin Cup Dr. and Swan Dr. I respectfully ask that parents and guardians please drive slow and alerted at all times during the drop-off & pick-up time. [See the attached picture]




Lunch Account
For returning students, parents can access the online payment system www.paypams.com and student ID# to make sure students have sufficient amount prior to the first day of school. 

For new students (including kindergarten students), parents will receive a packet on the first day of school which will include student registration form with their student ID#. Using the student ID#, parents can set up an account (very easy!) using the online payment system stated above. 

Parents can also simply send cash or a check with students to hand over to the cafeteria manager. 

Free, Reduced Meal Application
Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free and reduced price meals for their children.  Applications also are available at the administrative office in each school and at the Food Service office located at 16255 Great Oaks Drive, Suite 100 in Round Rock.  To apply for free and reduced price meals, households must fill out an online application at https://www.schoollunchapp.com/District.aspx or a paper application and return it to the school or Food Services office.  Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year.  The information households provide on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and verification of data.  Applications may be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.

Administrator Office Hours
Parents, as most of you already know, I pride myself in spending a lot of time in the classrooms with students and teachers to support instruction. For that very reason, if you happen to stop by or walk in, I would most likely be unavailable to meet with you. If a parent would like to schedule a meeting with the principal and/or assistant principal, I ask that an appointment is made with Mrs. Courtney Torres, the principal’s secretary. Please share with her briefly the topic of discussion when scheduling an appointment so I can gather necessary information prior to our meeting. You can reach her at (512) 428-3602 or via email at Courtney_Torres@roundrockisd.org. You're always always welcome to come see me so please do not hesitate to make an appointment! 




MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Wednesday, August 13
8:00-9:00AM   Welcome to Spicewood- New Parent Information Session
If you are a new parent to Spicewood, please join us in the school library this Wednesday for a quick information session. 
*This event is only for 1st through 5th grade parents that are New to Spicewood*

Week of August 18
Students will receive a postcard from their teacher in mail. 

Monday, August 25
Meet the Teachers 
2:00-2:45PM   Kindergarten
2:30-3:15PM   1st-5th Grade

Tuesday, August 26
First Day of School for Students
8:00-8:30AM    Kinder Kleenex
Kindergarten parents are encouraged to join the leadership in the library.  

Monday, September 1
Labor Day
NO SCHOOL

Thursday, September 4
Spicewood Open House
More detailed information to be announced. 

Wednesday, September 17
7:00-7:45AM   Breakfast with Dads
We call for all dads and father figures to come join us at the Breakfast with Dads. Students will be able to eat yummy breakfast with dads in the library and be released to their classrooms at 7:45AM. 



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!

Dear Parents and Families of Spicewood,

Greetings!

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! Spicewood is ready to embark on another school year full of fun, rigorous learning and community building! I would like to start the letter by thanking parents and community members for their continuous support as partners in education. Spicewood will continue to be a team of dedicated educators and professionals committed to high achievement and success beyond academics for all students.

We have had a few of our teachers leave Spicewood due to various reasons such as retirement, relocation and new professional opportunities. We say farewell to Miss Johnson (Kinder), Mrs. Elder (Kinder), Miss Coseriu (1st), Miss Dower (2nd), Mrs. Sanders (2nd), Mrs. Pinson (3rd), Mrs. Stading (3rd) and Ms. Stringer (EA-Sp.Ed.). We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

I would like to welcome and introduce our newly joined staff members for the new school year.

Kindergarten
Mrs. Jennifer Redick comes from Meridian IB School where she's taught kindergarten for the last 3 years. She comes with IB Category 1 & 2 training!

Ms. Kellie Keating comes from Temple, TX where she has taught kindergarten for the last 3 years. She attended Boston College and has teaching certifications in Texas and Massachusetts.

1st Grade
Mrs. Ashli Framjee comes from Belton ISD with 2 years of teaching in 4th grade then taught 3 years in 4th grade prior to that in Kileen ISD. She has a strong background in Reading/Writing.

Ms. Cortney Blumberg comes from Harmony School of Science Austin where she's taught 1st grade for the last 3 years. She comes with a strong math and science background. 

Miss Alex Peoples comes from Spicewood where she has been a half-time Educational Assistant in Special Education unit this past semester. She has also student taught in 1st grade in Mrs. Steinburg’s classroom as well as at Callison ES. 

2nd Grade
Miss Ashleigh Gonzales comes from Houston ISD where she taught 1st grade for a year. Prior to that, she has completed the Austin Teacher Program and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching, which provided her various opportunities to student teach in different grade levels.

3rd Grade
Ms. Roxi Owen comes from Chandler Oaks ES- she was on the surplus list as she was the very last hire at COES. Our 3rd grade team interviewed her as she came highly recommended by Chandler Oaks' IB Coordinator as well as the administrators. She has taught elementary level (1st and 4th grade), middle school level, and special education resource and inclusion (at various grade levels). It's great to have her join us as she comes from another IB school in the district. 

Mrs. Ashley Jarmusch comes from Live Oak ES where she worked as an Educational Assistant in Intervention. She has taught all grade levels to provide instruction that meets the needs of struggling students for success. LOES was sad to lose her but we’re excited to have her join us!

Miss Natasha Schulte has recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Texas A&M University. She has completed her student teaching in 3rd grade at Laura Bush ES in Leander ISD. She was one of 5 candidates that we interviewed and truly won the hearts of our interview panel.

Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS)
Ms. Julie Haney has been an ITS in the district for the last 6 years. She’s served at four different campuses- Brushy Creek, Forest North, Berkman and Voigt ES. Prior to that, she was a technology teacher for 8 years in Illinois. She’ll be taking over Mrs. Marvel and Mrs. Ali’s positions. Mrs. Marvel will now be a half-time PYP IB Coordinator at Spicewood and half-time MYP (Middle Years Program) IB Coordinator at Grisham Middle School. 

Ed. Assistant- Special Education
Mrs. Lindsey Merritt comes from Teravista ES where she's served in the exact same position but her allocation was eliminated due to enrollment. She came highly recommended by both principal and her AP but ultimately she won the interview against other great quality candidates. 

Lunch Monitor
Mrs. Ruth Ann Gaede has been serving our campus as a substitute teacher for many of our teachers this year. She's excited to join our campus as a part-time employee. 

Each of our new staff members has gone through a rigorous interview process that involved grade level teachers and administrators. I truly feel blessed to have a team of people that supported the process that allowed us to find highly qualified and super star teachers for the new school year! 

To find out more about our returning staff members, please refer to ‘Meet the Faces of Spicewood’ posts on my Principal’s Blogspot at http://spicewoodprincipal.blogspot.com. Please plan to attend our Meet the Teachers event on Monday, August 25, 2014. [Kindergarten from 2:00-2:45PM in the cafeteria; 1st- 5th grade from 2:30-3:15PM in classrooms]

My priorities this school year will continue to focus on 1) building relationships with all stakeholders; 2) ensuring that quality instruction occurs each and every day in our classrooms; 3) staying kidcentric in all areas beyond academics. As our vision states, Spicewood will continue to "aspire to be a community of caring, global-minded thinkers." 

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!
I cannot wait to see you all on Tuesday, August 26, 2014!

Respectfully,


Jiae Kim

Proud Principal