Monday, December 1, 2014

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members,

I hope everyone enjoyed the long break! We are excited to have our students back and continue the rigorous learning as we finish up the fall semester. Spicewood appreciates all parental support and involvement! 


Robotics Club
Students participating in the Robotics Club are gearing up for a competition coming up in mid December. We are thankful for Mr. Ortiz and Mrs. Haney as they volunteer their valuable time to help our children as co-sponsors of the club. We're also thankful for all the parent volunteers! 

IB PYP 101

Units of Inquiry
What are Units of Inquiry? In PYP, there are six transdisciplinary themes that allow the opportunity to incorporate global issues into the curriculum, which also covers all required TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills). What are these six themes or six Units of Inquiry that our students explore throughout the school year? 

  • Who we are—an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
  • Where we are in place and time—an inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
  • How we express ourselves—an inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
  • How the world works—an inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
  • How we organize ourselves—an inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
  • Sharing the planet—an inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution. 

The written curriculum: What do we want to learn? Retrieved from

Each grade level explores through the six Units of Inquiry in different ways by covering different grade level specific TEKS and beyond. Here's a visual example of How The World Works Unit of Inquiry variations by grade level at Spicewood. 

I have heard some parent concerns regarding IB not covering all TEKS like non-IB schools do. I want to reassure you that Spicewood not only covers all TEKS required by the state of Texas but also goes above and beyond to provide in-depth opportunities for inquiry, critical thinking, student-driven learning experiences that allow our learners to incorporate global perspectives and international mindedness. ALL students at Spicewood benefit from IB and are enriched each and every day. 

This Week's News

Portico Area During Dismissal
Please keep the main pathway to the portico area open and clear for students to get to their designated seating areas during dismissal. It's difficult for our students to walk through when the pathway is congested. Thank you for understanding and your support. 

Early Release This Wednesday
It will be an Early Release Day this Wednesday. All students will be dismissed at 12:45PM. Please plan accordingly in advance. 

Picture Re-Take This Wednesday
Any students who were absent on Picture Day or who wish to re-take the photo will be allowed for a re-take this Wednesday. 

No Wellness Wednesday in December

Wellness Wednesdays are on hiatus in December. We will see you next year when we resume on Wednesday, January 14, 2015.

Lego Robotics Club - Volunteers Needed
The Lego Robotics Club is in need of parent volunteers to help students prepare for their upcoming competition in the First Lego League Challenge on Saturday, December 13. Parent volunteers are crucial in helping students amplify their robotics learning and prepare for competition. Lego Robotics meets every Thursday and Friday after school from 3-5pm. For more information, please visit Mr. Ortiz’s Robotic’s Club website. To sign up as a volunteer, or if you have questions, please email Mr. Ortiz ( or Julie Haney (

Science Fair
The Spicewood Science Fair will be held Monday, January 26- Thursday, January 29, 2015. All 4th and 5th graders are required to participate. K-3rd graders are highly encouraged. A Parent Information meeting will be held on Thursday, December 11 at 6:30PM in the library. (Please join us at Taco Cabana- Spirit Night for dinner then come! :) For all the details visit the Science Fair page on the PTA web site.

No School on Friday, December 19
Parents, please mark it on your calendar that there will be no school for students on Friday, December 19. The last day of school for students before Winter Break is Thursday, December 18. 

LIKE us on Facebook and stay connected! 


Wednesday, December 3
Picture Re-Take
NO Wellness Wednesday
12:45PM   Early Release

Friday, December 5
WatchDOGS Friday

Monday, December 8- Friday, December 12
Computer Science Education Week
More information TBA

Thursday, December 11
5:00-8:00PM   Spirit Night hosted by PTA @ Taco Cabana
3rd grade teachers, Mrs. Teal, Mrs. Dielmann, Mrs. Skagen & Mrs. Page will be there for part of the night.

6:30PM   Science Fair Parent Information Night
In the library

Monday, December 15
8:00AM   Principals' Pride Kinder-2nd Grade

Tuesday, December 16
8:00AM   Principals' Pride 3rd-5th Grade

Wednesday, December 17- Thursday, December 18
No Parking at Hope Church Parking Lot

Thursday, December 18
Last Day of Fall Semester

Friday, December 19