Monday, March 28, 2016

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community,

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, our 4th and 5th grade students will be outpouring what they have learned and mastered on the State Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). 4th grade students will be assessed in the area of Writing while 5th grade students in Reading and Math. If you are a parent of a 4th/5th grade student, please encourage them by saying they are ready to show their knowledge on the assessment and that they'll do great! Without a doubt, I would like them to perform successfully on the state assessments; however, their well-being and healthy emotional state of mind is much more important to me as a principal. STAAR is only a portion of how student performance is measured. It is an assessment, not at all a measure of a student as a whole. Again, Spicewood WILL NOT shut down the campus to visitors. Spicewood will operate as usual. Students will have a different lunch schedule for the two testing days so please check with your child's teacher, if you're interested in eating lunch with her/him. 


Elementary Art Exhibition
Many art pieces of our students have been selected to be showcased at the RRISD Elementary Art Exhibition. We're so proud of their work and effort! We've got some talents in the house. The exhibition is open to the public Monday through Friday March 24 - April 4th from 9AM to 6PM at the Raymond E Hartfield Preforming Arts Center.

IB PYP 101

This portion of Mrs. Kim's letter is contributed by Mrs. Vance, our PYP Coordinator.

"A curriculum designed to equip students for the challenging world of the twenty-first century needs to ensure that students develop as people who take increasing responsibility for their own physical well-being, their own learning, their own relationships with others and their role in the local, national and global community"

In a PYP school, our counselor and PE department are concerned with the well being that is intrinsically linked to all aspects of our students experience here at Spicewood. Whether it be a class lesson from Mrs. Hougham about leaders and bosses or a basketball unit in PE, both sections focus on the physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social health and development of the whole child. The IB philosophy encourages the development of these skills to help support students to understand themselves better, develop and maintain healthy relationships and participate in an active, healthy lifestyles. 

Within the last few weeks, you've probably seen lots of students on campus with multicolored strings strung across their fingers and hands, manipulating them into different shapes and patterns. This year our teachers wanted to take a fresh perspective in PE and introduce a new unit 
giving students an opportunity to further develop memory, attention, and motor and coordination skills. The teachers presented String Magic from Around the Worlda fine motor skill activity that uses story telling and string figures to teach other classroom related concepts and topics.  The different string configurations are uniquely combined with well known African and Native American folktales, allowing the students to explore oral traditions within those cultures, as well as a further investigation of those cultures themselves.  In addition to the story telling, the unit also allows the students to make connections with math concepts, like sequences or geometry lines (parallel, perpendicular, etc.). The transdisciplinary nature of the unit further highlights IB philosophies about teaching across all subject areas. 
At the heart of everything on our campus is the Learner Profile. This unit provides a platform for students to be thinkers as they problem solve the create the different figures, communicators as they collaborate and work with one another to trouble shoot challenging shapes, and risk takers as they persevere when they are not successful on their first try learning the movement skills.  

In addition to the skills obtained and practiced by our students, the PE teachers used this opportunity to fund raise for our upcoming Field Day, a fun activity filled day event that we all look forward to each spring!

Learn more about how schools are using fresh methods and perspectives when it comes to physical activity and how a fit body and mind lead connect to success in an academic setting!

Want to be more involved? How can you support your child at home? Be sure to keep up with our keep up with all things IB related at our PYP Spicewood Blog
This Week's News

Hope Church Parking Guideline Addendum
The parking lot is one-way. Please adhere to the one-way flow of direction when driving in and out of the parking lot. Thank you.

STAAR Testing Days- Tuesday, March 29 & Wednesday, March 30
Spicewood does NOT close 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 contact your child's teacher to refer to the adjusted lunch schedule for the two testing days. Per Texas Education Agency guideline, nobody, including students, teachers, staff and parents, is allowed to ask questions or hold discussions regarding STAAR with students on the day of STAAR Testing on site. 

Round Rock Empty Bowls Student Advisory Board Food Drive

The Round Rock ISD Student Advisory Board is sponsoring a district-wide food drive in conjunction with the 2016 Round Rock Empty Bowls Festival. The drive runs from March 21-April 8, 2016. Most needed items are canned vegetables (corn and green beans are the most popular), canned fruit, canned soup, top ramen, peanut butter•, macaroni ‘n cheese,  canned meat and tuna, pasta - spaghetti, macaroni, rice and pinto beans, cereal, toilet paper, and diapers. 

Message from Art Teachers

Art is in need of newspaper!  Second grade is beginning the paper mache mask project and we would be grateful for your newspaper, paper towel/toilet paper tubes, plastic cups and colored bottle caps.

Elementary Art Exhibition Now Open to Public
The Round Rock Elementary Art Exhibition is now showing at the Raymond E Hartfield Preforming Arts Center celebration Youth Art Month.  The exhibition is open to the public Monday through Friday March 24 - April 4th from 9AM to 6PM.  The RRISD Art Teacher Meet and Greet will be Monday April 4th from 5-7PM.

Spring Carnival Wristbands & Raffle Tickets - Buy Now and Save!
Carnival Wristbands & Raffle Tickets are available for purchase now on the PTA Store page. Buy today and save! Pre-sale Wristband pricing is $25 and includes 5 free food tickets. Pre-sale Raffle Ticket prices are 10 for $10, 25 for $20 and 75 for $50! Pick the prize you want to win! Prizes include Fitbit, GoPro, Drone and more! The Spicewood Carnival is a family event and we invite everyone to join in on the fun! Enjoy a fun filled evening with friends, family and faculty members on April 15th from 4 – 8 pm. Play games, win prizes, enjoy the entertainment and have a good time! Check out the Carnival page for more information including a list of Games, Activities, Attractions and Entertainment. 

Carnival Partnership
We are launching our “Making Tracks to Success Campaign”. This is an opportunity for parents to partner with Spicewood PTA to help offset the cost of carnival and ultimately help generate more funds to benefit our children. The PTA will be selling 5X5” Panther paw stickers for $25 in the PTA store. Your child can decorate the paw and place their name on it, either at home or at the carnival, and proudly place the paw on the front entrance window showing your support for Spicewood. Additional information will be provided with your paw. The making tracks to success campaign will show that each one is unique, but together we can make a difference in our child’s education! 

We are also looking for local businesses that are interested in sponsoring Carnival, either with a cash donation of raffle basket prize. If you would like a unique opportunity to market your business to the local community while supporting Spicewood, please visit the Carnival Partnership page for additional information. If you have any questions regarding parent or business partnerships, please contact Amy Coplen (

Kinder Round-Up Events - Meet the Specials Teachers

Incoming 2016-2017 kindergarten students and their parents/guardians are invited to come tour the school and meet the Specials Teachers. Spicewood’s Art, Music, P.E., & Spanish teachers look forward to meeting your children and answering all your questions. For your convenience, you and your child may attend this event on either Tuesday, April 12, or Wednesday, April 13, from 10:45-11:45 am. The itinerary is the same for both days so pick the day that best fits your schedule. To RSVP to this event, please visit the Spicewood Kinder Round-Up page on the PTA website.

2016-2017 Spicewood PTA Officer Nominations 
Spicewood PTA is currently accepting nominations for all officer positions for the 2016-17 school year.  The officer positions are:  President, Treasurer, Secretary, Parliamentarian,Vice President – Membership, Vice President – Programs, Vice President – Budget Oversight, Vice President - Education Competitions/Clubs, Vice President – Fundraising, Vice President – Communications.  If you would like to learn more, or nominate yourself or someone else, go the Spicewood Elementary PTA Officer Nomination Form.

Westhood HS Hosts ES Baseball Night
Westwood Baseball is hosting Elementary School Baseball Night:  All feeder elementary school students are invited to come out and watch the Varsity Warriors game on Friday, April 15th at 7:00PM. Free choice of candy from the concession stand will be given to the first 20 students. After the game, there will be a photo opportunity with players!


Tuesday, March 29
STAAR 4th Grade Writing
STAAR 5th Grade Math

Wednesday, March 30
STAAR 5th Grade Reading

Friday, April 1
WatchDOGS Friday
Art Volunteers in the Classroom

Wednesday, April 6- Thursday, April 7
No Parking at Hope Church

Thursday, April 7
6:00PM   First Grade Music Concert

Friday, April 8
Art Volunteers in the Classroom

Friday, April 15
4:00-8:00PM   Spring Carnival
APD will be landing a helicopter at 6pm. 

Saturday, April 23
FYI: RRISD Job Fair at Stony Point HS

Thursday, April 28
6:00PM   PTA General Meeting
Election & Panther/Cub Choir Performance