Monday, August 21, 2017

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members,

We are excited to see all of our students and parents this afternoon at Meet the Teacher! Our teachers have been working hard in their classrooms to be ready to receive our students. I can't wait to fill our halls and classrooms with our students!  



Celebrations

Spicewood Leadership Wins Another Round of 60K Innovative Schools Grant
Last school year Spicewood Leadership won a 50K Innovative Schools Grant to transform our old science lab into the new and innovative Inquiry Lab. We won another round of 60K Innovative Schools Grant and I'm pleased to share the overview of our grant proposal below.

Spicewood is an IB world school implementing the Primary Years Programme (PYP). Our program focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer and is defined by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance. Inquiry based learning is at the heart of the IB framework and to that end we would like to extend the creative learning that started in our Inquiry Lab (Cycle 1 grant of 50K last school year) on campus into our Atrium area by further creating additional flexible learning space for students and teachers that will foster creativity and innovation. Based on teacher feedback on Cycle 1 grant, teachers would like more accessibility to the resources by creating Mobile 3D Printer Carts and adding classroom assigned iPads, which will continue and expand the innovative learning school-wide. In order to facilitate this vision, we will need to purchase technology for the Atrium space that promotes flexible, multipurpose, collaborative and explorative learning experiences with a one-year Innovation Learning Assistant position who will organize materials, facilitate activities, work collaboratively with the PYP Coordinator and teams to best integrate the learning in the most meaningful way. We will need to purchase additional technology devices such as additional 3D printers, mobile carts, and iPads. We will provide staff training on the Kagan Cooperative Learning structures which will allow for increased student interaction, truly putting the inquiry into the hands of the learners. Teachers will learn how to best facilitate conversations amongst the students, in turn shifting their role to facilitator of innovative learning.

Spicewood Earns ALL Academic Distinction Designations Again!
Congratulations to the Spicewood community for earning ALL Academic Distinction Designations released by Texas Education Agency! We are one of the two schools that earned all possible distinctions in the district and one of the 3 schools amongst all surrounding school districts. We are so proud of our students, teachers/staff, parents and community members!  



This Week's News


Meet the Teacher Event
Kindergarten Orientation is today from 2:00 – 2:45PM. Parents and students will begin their visit in the cafeteria and then proceed to the classrooms after introductions. Spicewood’s Meet the Teacher Event for all students in 1st-5th grades will also be today from 2:30- 3:15PM.  During this event, students and parents can go to their teacher’s classroom, meet their teacher, drop off their school supplies, collect their “First Day Packet of Information,” and review bus routes provided. 

Important Message from Nurse Sam
Our new nurse Sam Kim RN wants to remind families that today is a good day to bring in medications needed for school, like Epi-pens, inhalers, and any daily medications prescribed by your MD.  RRISD has a new policy that the medication permission slip needs to be completed by the MD before you bring in your medications.  We cannot administer any prescription medications without permission from the MD.  If you have any questions, please call the Spicewood Clinic at (512) 428-3607.  

Kinder Kleenex on Tuesday
Parents of kindergarten students are invited to join the leadership in the library on Tuesday at 8AM after drop-off. We will be here as moral support and to ease your mind by answering to any questions you may have. :) 

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/guardians, the 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
Transportation will continue on with the Bus Permit Request procedure this school year. 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 our school 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.

School Supplies
Please bring your child(ren)'s school supplies to our Meet the Teacher event on Monday, August 21 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 22. School supplies list is available on our school website(School supplies purchased through PTA will have been delivered directly to classrooms.)

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 7:40AM

For the first 2 weeks of school (August 22-September 1, 2017), parents are allowed to walk their child(ren) all the way to their classrooms. Starting on Tuesday, September 5, 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 via parent note to teacher on the first day of school. Kindergarten students will be out in the portico at 2:50PM with their homeroom teachers. All other students will be exiting to the portico area starting at 2:55PM. If you plan to drive through the circle drive during pick-up, 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, sometimes students are grabbed by parents out of class line as the class is in the process of heading outside or while teachers are tending to other students. This prevents teachers from knowing by whom students are picked up and creates much anxiety. Please wait until students arrive at the portico area and make sure to acknowledge child's teacher, either by making an eye contact or speaking with them briefly, as you pick up your student. We want to ensure safety of each child by making sure students are dismissed properly to parents/guardians, not strangers. Once you pick up your child(ren), we ask that everyone clears out of the front entrance area. We'd like to keep the front portico area circulating at all times to alleviate congestion. 

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/pick-up. Part of Olson Drive is also available for Stop-and-Go Drop-off in the morning. 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 all drivers please drive slow and alerted at all times during the drop-off & pick-up time. [See the attached picture]















Please Do Not Use Staff Parking Lot
Parents and/or students are not allowed to walk or drive through the staff parking lot at all times to ensure safety. All golf carts must follow the same expectations as other vehicles. 

Lunch Account- Message from Food Services
You can visit our school cafeteria or give the money to your student to pay with either cash or check.  The cafeteria staff will apply the funds provided directly into your students meal fund account.  If paying by check, please make it payable to RRISD Food Service, include your driver’s license number, phone number and add your student’s name and school ID number to the memo field of the check.

Or you can pay online with a credit card, debit card or draft from your checking account via   payment transaction service.  A transaction fee of $1.95 per transaction will be applied.  Visit MySchoolBucks.com online or download their app on your smart phone.

Accounts through MySchoolBucks are free.  There is only a fee to perform an online money transaction. Transactions made through the school cafeteria are free of charge and will be able to be managed at no cost through MySchoolBucks.  Other features such as low balance notifications, access to your student’s cafeteria meal history and managing accounts for multiple students are free. 

For returning students, parents can access the online payment system, MySchoolBucks   and use 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. 

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://roundrockisd.org/departments/food-services/freereduced-price-meals/ 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.

Breakfast Available in the Cafeteria
Breakfast will be available for purchase for $1.35 this school year. Breakfast line is open from 7:25-7:40AM in the cafeteria. Students who qualify to receive Free/Reduced Meals will be able to eat breakfast at no cost. 


Meal Prices
Federal regulations require a minimum $.10 lunch meal price increase every year until our meal price matches the government reimbursement rate that we receive for free students. Therefore, meal prices for the coming year are as follows:
Elementary Paid Breakfast       $1.35               Elementary Paid Lunch            $2.70

Secondary Paid Breakfast        $1.35               Secondary Paid Lunch             $2.95

All Reduced Breakfast              $0.30               All Reduced Lunch                   $0.40

Adult Breakfast                         $2.25               Adult Lunch                              $3.60

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 the principal’s secretary, Courtney Torres. 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. Her email address is 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 21
Meet the Teachers 
2:00-2:45PM   Kindergarten [Cafeteria]
2:30-3:15PM   1st-5th Grade [Classrooms]

Tuesday, August 22
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 4
Labor Day
NO SCHOOL

Thursday, September 7
Spicewood Open House
5:00-5:30PM   Kinder & 1st Grade
5:30-6:00PM   2nd & 3rd Grade
6:00-6:30PM   4th & 5th Grade
5:00-6:00PM   Specials, Spanish, ITS, IB Coordinator in the library

Monday, September 11- Friday, September 15
Adventure Dash Run Fundraiser
More information TBA.

Wednesday, September 20
7:00-7:40AM   Breakfast with Dads
We call for all dads and father figures to come join us at the Breakfast with Dads in the cafeteria. Students will be able to eat yummy breakfast with dads in the library and be released to their classrooms at 7:40AM. 

Thursday, September 21
IB PYP Parent Information Night + PTA General Meeting #1
More information TBA


Monday, September 25- Friday, September 29
Spicewood Annual Book Fair

Friday, September 29
Kids Invite Someone Special (K.I.S.S.) Cook-Out
During grade level lunch hours.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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. Please note that throughout the first week of school, traffic during drop-off/pick-up is extremely heavy. Please plan accordingly to arrive on time. I can't wait to see everyone soon! 



Back-to-School

Change in school Hours
In order to end the school year in May, instead of June, the district is adding 5 minutes to each instructional day. This will change the dismissal time from 2:50PM to 2:55PM. School will continue to start at 7:40AM, the same as last school year. Official school hours are 7:40AM-2:55PM

Meet the Teacher Event
Kindergarten Orientation is on Monday, August 21 from 2:00 – 2:45PM. Parents and students will begin their visit in the cafeteria and then proceed to the classrooms after introductions. Spicewood’s Meet the Teacher Event for all students in 1st-5th grades will also be on Monday, August 21 from 2:30- 3:15PM.  During this event, students and parents can go to their teacher’s classroom, meet their teacher, drop off their school supplies, collect their “First Day Packet of Information,” and review bus routes provided. 

Class Assignment
Students will receive a postcard from their teacher during the week of August 14. All post cards will be mailed out in the afternoon of August 14. 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 18 at 3PM. 

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/guardians, the 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
Transportation will continue on with the Bus Permit Request procedure this school year. 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 our school 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.

School Supplies
Please bring your child(ren)'s school supplies to our Meet the Teacher event on Monday, August 21 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 22. School supplies list is available on our school website(School supplies purchased through PTA will have been delivered directly to classrooms.)

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 7:40AM

For the first 2 weeks of school (August 22-September 1, 2017), parents are allowed to walk their child(ren) all the way to their classrooms. Starting on Tuesday, September 5, 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 via parent note to teacher on the first day of school. Kindergarten students will be out in the portico at 2:50PM with their homeroom teachers. All other students will be exiting to the portico area starting at 2:55PM. If you plan to drive through the circle drive during pick-up, 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, sometimes students are grabbed by parents out of class line as the class is in the process of heading outside or while teachers are tending to other students. This prevents teachers from knowing by whom students are picked up and creates much anxiety. Please wait until students arrive at the portico area and make sure to acknowledge child's teacher, either by making an eye contact or speaking with them briefly, as you pick up your student. We want to ensure safety of each child by making sure students are dismissed properly to parents/guardians, not strangers. Once you pick up your child(ren), we ask that everyone clears out of the front entrance area. We'd like to keep the front portico area circulating at all times to alleviate congestion. 

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/pick-up. Part of Olson Drive is also available for Stop-and-Go Drop-off in the morning. 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 all drivers please drive slow and alerted at all times during the drop-off & pick-up time. [See the attached picture]















Please Do Not Use Staff Parking Lot
Parents and/or students are not allowed to walk or drive through the staff parking lot at all times to ensure safety. All golf carts must follow the same expectations as other vehicles. 

Lunch Account- Message from Food Services
You can visit our school cafeteria or give the money to your student to pay with either cash or check.  The cafeteria staff will apply the funds provided directly into your students meal fund account.  If paying by check, please make it payable to RRISD Food Service, include your driver’s license number, phone number and add your student’s name and school ID number to the memo field of the check.

Or you can pay online with a credit card, debit card or draft from your checking account via   payment transaction service.  A transaction fee of $1.95 per transaction will be applied.  Visit MySchoolBucks.com online or download their app on your smart phone.

Accounts through MySchoolBucks are free.  There is only a fee to perform an online money transaction. Transactions made through the school cafeteria are free of charge and will be able to be managed at no cost through MySchoolBucks.  Other features such as low balance notifications, access to your student’s cafeteria meal history and managing accounts for multiple students are free. 

For returning students, parents can access the online payment system, MySchoolBucks   and use 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. 

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://roundrockisd.org/departments/food-services/freereduced-price-meals/ 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.

Breakfast Available in the Cafeteria
Breakfast will be available for purchase for $1.35 this school year. Breakfast line is open from 7:25-7:40AM in the cafeteria. Students who qualify to receive Free/Reduced Meals will be able to eat breakfast at no cost. 


Meal Prices
Federal regulations require a minimum $.10 lunch meal price increase every year until our meal price matches the government reimbursement rate that we receive for free students. Therefore, meal prices for the coming year are as follows:
Elementary Paid Breakfast       $1.35               Elementary Paid Lunch            $2.70

Secondary Paid Breakfast        $1.35               Secondary Paid Lunch             $2.95

All Reduced Breakfast              $0.30               All Reduced Lunch                   $0.40

Adult Breakfast                         $2.25               Adult Lunch                              $3.60

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 the principal’s secretary, Courtney Torres. 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. Her email address is 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!

Week of August 14
Students will receive a postcard from their teacher in mail. 

Friday, August 18
3:00PM Class List will be posted at the main entrance.

Monday, August 21
Meet the Teachers 
2:00-2:45PM   Kindergarten [Cafeteria]
2:30-3:15PM   1st-5th Grade [Classrooms]

Tuesday, August 22
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 4
Labor Day
NO SCHOOL

Thursday, September 7
Spicewood Open House
5:00-5:30PM   Kinder & 1st Grade
5:30-6:00PM   2nd & 3rd Grade
6:00-6:30PM   4th & 5th Grade
5:00-6:00PM   Specials, Spanish, ITS, IB Coordinator in the library

Monday, September 11- Friday, September 15
Adventure Dash Run Fundraiser
More information TBA.

Wednesday, September 20
7:00-7:40AM   Breakfast with Dads
We call for all dads and father figures to come join us at the Breakfast with Dads in the cafeteria. Students will be able to eat yummy breakfast with dads in the library and be released to their classrooms at 7:40AM. 

Thursday, September 21
IB PYP Parent Information Night + PTA General Meeting #1
More information TBA


Monday, September 25- Friday, September 29
Spicewood Annual Book Fair

Friday, September 29
Kids Invite Someone Special (K.I.S.S.) Cook-Out
During grade level lunch hours.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year!

Dear Parents and Families of Spicewood,

Greetings!

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! I hope everyone had a fantastic summer and is ready to embark on another school year full of fun, rigorous learning and community building! As I begin my fifth year at Spicewood, I have been reflecting on what an amazing school community Spicewood has been. I would like to thank all the parents and community members for their continuous support as partners in education. It is also with great pleasure to announce that Spicewood has won a 60K Innovative Schools Grant yet again to expand our inquiry learning into the atrium area as well as throughout the school building. This grant also allows us to bring in Kagan Cooperative Learning training in August when teachers return, which will help empower student voice by implementing structures for cooperative learning in the classrooms. Spicewood will continue to be a team of dedicated educators and professionals committed to high achievement and success beyond academics for all students.

We say farewell to our retiring teachers: Mrs. Peggy Powers (TAG Specialist) and Mrs. Julie Jacobs (2nd). Mrs. Sara Hougham (Counselor) will be joining Canyon Creek ES. Mrs. Susan Albright (5th) will be teaching science at Pearson Ranch MS. We also say farewell to Mrs. Nancy Kenny (1st) and Mrs. Della Robinson (5th) as they take on personal transitions in life. They will truly be missed. As we see off our beloved teachers and staff, we welcome a handful of teachers and staff members to the Panther family. They surely have big shoes to fill; however, I have utmost confidence in each individual that we have welcomed and that Spicewood will continue to be a place where all stakeholders seek excellence beyond academics for all students. Please join me in welcoming these exceptional educators!

Kindergarten
Brenda Elder-Mrs. Elder is a former Spicewood Elementary IB teacher that is returning to us as a kindergarten teacher.  A graduate of Texas State University, she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in reading. Her 20 years of educational experience have come from teaching in Round Rock ISD and various surrounding school districts. She has taught kindergarten for six years, 1st grade for nine years, 2nd grade for two years and Reading Recovery for two years as well as assisting in intervention for a year.  She crafts opportunities of exploring and promoting independence in her students as they acquire knowledge and the love for learning. She shares her busy life with her husband of 23 years, two daughters, both in college, and her three Labrador retrievers.

First Grade
Kendall Lough-Mrs. Lough moved here with her husband from their home state of Colorado. She has 9 years of teaching experience. All nine years she was a first grade teacher at an IB PYP school in Denver. She has a clear understanding of the IB Primary Years Program after implementing it for nine years and attending six IB trainings. After receiving a graduate level Early Literacy Certificate, she was her school’s Early Literacy Specialist last year. She is passionate about teaching and believes there is nothing better than watching students make discoveries, think, learn and take action. She is excited to be a part of the Spicewood team!

Jennifer Stavrou - Ms. Stavrou grew up on the east coast and has been living in Texas for just over a year. She graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Mathematics. After graduation, Ms. Stavrou taught Kindergarten for nine years at two different New Jersey elementary schools. Ms. Stavrou is a mom to two amazing seven-year-olds. She and her children love giving back to their community! They are avid volunteers in the area and have helped the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lift Brigade (a charity that helps pediatric cancer patients), and local animal shelters. Ms. Stavrou loves inspiring learning and believes that every child has the potential to do amazing things. She is thrilled to be a part of the Spicewood Elementary family!

School Nurse (RN)
Samnoun Kim (RN, BSN)- [Nurse Kim’s not related to Principal at all, nor has she known her before the interview.]
Nurse Sam comes with one and a half years experience as a substitute nurse in Round Rock ISD and Leander ISD. Before moving to Austin in 2013, she had her internship at Medical-Surgical Unit in Sacred Heart Hospital and also at an Internal Medicine Doctor's office in Allentown, PA. While transferring her RN license from PA to TX, she completed School Nurse Preceptorship at Cedar Creek Elementary School in Eanes ISD. She graduated as Cum Laude at Cedar Crest College Nursing Department and received BSN degree. She completed two semesters of Family Nurse Practitioner Program at DeSales University, Center Valley, PA. She is currently living with her loving and supporting husband, 8 years old daughter, and 6 months old puppy. To avoid confusion between her and the principal who shares the same last name, she’ll be referring herself as Nurse Sam for all stakeholders.

School Counselor
Molly Kentopp- After teaching for six years in Grisham's IB Middle Years Programme, Mrs. Kentopp decided to pursue a Master’s in Professional Counseling at Texas State University. She holds both a Generalist and a Special Education K-12 Certification, and will use her teaching experience to provide a differentiated and engaging school counseling curriculum. Mrs. Kentopp has spent the past year seeing child and adolescent clients at the Texas State Counseling Clinic, as well as working as a volunteer counselor at Phoenix Center Camp with children who have experienced trauma. Mrs. Kentopp will use her experience working at an RRISD IB school to integrate the IB philosophy and curriculum into Spicewood’s school counseling program, and work with the school community to ensure all students are reaching their highest potential. Mrs. Kentopp lives in Austin with her husband and two energetic toddlers- Ellis (3 years) and Leon (15 months).

Educational Assistant- Intervention
Kristin Martinez- Mrs. Martinez has been a preschool lead teacher for a few years. She has a passion for young school aged children. Her caring mind and love truly stood out during the interview process.

That was a long introduction, but a very necessary one! Kudos to all who will be joining the Panther family for making it through the grueling interview process!

We also have several grade level assignment changes per teacher requests and for their professional growth.

Ms. Jo Williams (4th grade last year) will start serving as a TAG Specialist next school year.
Mrs. Amy Mitchell (regular 5th grade last year) will be taking over the 5th Grade TAG class position that Mrs. Albright has been in.
Mrs. Jenni Redick (Kinder last year) expressed a wish to join the 2nd grade team so she'll be joining them next school year.
Mrs. Cortney Sanchez (1st grade last year) expressed a wish to explore a different grade level next year so she'll be joining the 4th grade team.
Mrs. Jaime Pierce (1st grade last year) also expressed a strong desire to teach in an intermediate grade level to expand her professional realm so she’ll also be joining the 4th grade team.

My priorities this school year will focus on 1) continuing to build relationships and partnership with all stakeholders; 2) expanding opportunities for innovation and creativity for all students; 3) continuing to promote Growth Mindset for all students beyond academics.

Please note that students in K - 5 will be receiving a postcard during the week of August 14 that will inform them who their new teacher will be. Kindergarten Orientation is on Monday, August 21 from 2:00 – 2:45PM. Parents and students will begin their visit in the cafeteria and then travel to the classrooms after introductions. Spicewood’s Meet the Teacher Event for all students in 1st-5th grades will also be on Monday, August 21 from 2:30- 3:15PM.  During this event, students and parents can go to their teacher’s classroom, meet their teacher, drop off their school supplies, collect their “First Day Packet of Information,” and review bus routes provided. (School supplies purchased through PTA will have been delivered directly to classrooms.)    

We look forward to a great first day of school on Tuesday, August 22, 2017!

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!

Respectfully,


Jiae Kim
Proud Principal

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members, 

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend and was able to honor the Memorial Day for those who served our country in the most courageous way. It's hard for me to believe that the last week of school is already upon us. 5th Grade students will have a Promotion Ceremony tomorrow morning at 8AM. All our classes will have end-of-year parties on Thursday as we say farewell to the 2016-2017 school year! 


Celebrations

5th Grade Exhibition
5th grade students did an amazing job speaking of their passion and inspiring our visitors on Wednesday at the PYP Exhibition. We're so proud of their hard work in efforts to impact the world! 

Westwood & McNeil HS Senior Walk at Spicewood
Big thanks to our former Spicewood Panthers who are graduating seniors that came and walked our halls last Friday to inspire our students! Congratulations! We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Field Day
Thanks to all the parents that volunteered! Our students had an awesome day filled with fun physical activities last Friday! Big thanks to our PE Teachers- Coach Berry, Coach Robertson and Coach Marshall- for organizing and coordinating everything to make this day a memorable one for our students! 


IB PYP 101

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

After several weeks of inquiry, mentor meetings, and project construction, our 5th grade Exhibition came to a culmination last Wednesday. Our students once again shared heartfelt messages of inspiration to our community, inspiring them to take ACTION and make changes (both big and small) in our world. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this entire school community event (parents, teachers, students, and community members)! 







This Week's News

Back to School Updates
I'll be sending out Back to School Updates towards the end of the summer break so please stay tuned. For those of you moving up to Canyon Vista or out of our attendance zone, you'll still receive my updates until our system rolls over late August. I do not have access to remove anyone from the list. You may unsubscribe yourself by clicking "Unsubscribe" on the bottom of my email update. 

Medication Pick Up-Message from Nurse
If your child has medication in the Nurse's clinic, please pick up the medication by the end of the school day on June 1, 2017. Medication will not be sent home with a student and no medication will be left in the clinic over the summer. Medication left will be disposed of properly.

Order Your School Supplies- Message from PTA
To order school supplies for the 2017/2018 school year.  
  
1. Go to https://www.educationalproducts.com/Shoppacks 
2. Enter school ID: SPI001 
3. Follow the directions to complete your order. 
4. Keep your online email confirmation as your receipt. 

(IMPORTANT: You may need to check your junk folder for email receipt, if you DON'T get an email, you didn't place the order correctly). School supplies will be delivered to your child's classroom prior to the first day of school. You only have until JUNE 16, 2017 to place your order, so don't wait! For questions, please email Kirsty Pilon at kirstypilon@yahoo.com. 

Message from Counselor about Free Opportunity
On July 29th at Seton Williamson there will be various FREE services offered to ALL individuals. There will be no questions asked about insurance, residency, address, etc.; all the individuals will need to provide is their name. This is available to everyone regardless of age or where they live. Services will be available for infants, toddlers, kids, teens, elderly care, prenatal, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, asthma, ANY health need an individual may have and it's all FREE. 


Even though this is a one-day event, the individuals that attend will get FREE screenings for whatever they may need and be connected to community resources for long-term care. Here is a link for highlights from the Kyle event in Jan.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


Wednesday, May 31
8:00AM   5th Grade Promotion Ceremony
Cafeteria

Thursday, June 1
Last Day of School 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members, 

We have yet another BUSY week ahead of us! We'll kick off the week with Principals' Pride Award ceremonies this morning and tomorrow. On Wednesday, our 5th grade students will be hosting an IB PYP Exhibition from 8:30-10am. On Friday, we'll start the morning by honoring graduating Westwood High School Seniors who have attended Spicewood ES during the annual Senior Walk.  All students then will dive into the Field Day activities. I know we still need VOLUNTEERS! :) It's a day full of fun and physical activities and we cannot do it without your help! 

Please note that we are not to park or utilize Hope Church parking lot this Thursday & Friday. 


Celebrations

Teacher of the Year & Paraprofessional of the Year
Big congratulations to our Teacher of the Year, Ms. Lauren Morrison (Kindergarten) and the Paraprofessional of the Year, Mrs. Maria Pruitt (Library Assistant)!!

5th Grade Promotion Class Gift to Spicewood ES- Sun Dial
If you have a minute sometime this week, I'd like you to check out our garden area. Our fifth grade parents, students and teachers have worked hard to build a Sun Dial that adds onto our outdoor learning space! It truly looks amazing! We're still in the process of finalizing the last touch ups so please do not step on any pieces but you can certainly enjoy viewing them. Special thanks goes to Mrs. Shivani Save-Langer & Mr. Himanshu Save for designing, planning and building this beautiful outdoor space. Big thanks goes to Mrs. Stephanie Engels, Angie Dubroca, and Nicole Shine for countless hours of working with our 5th grade students last Tuesday! Thanks to all the parents and families that came out last Saturday to lay the ground! 
Student Places in Top 20 at US Super Nationals Chess Tournament
A 5th grade student at Spicewood, Raghav A., placed in top 20 and won a trophy at US Super Nationals Chess held in Nashville, Tennessee from May 12 to May 14 .
The national level tournament had over 5000 participants from all over US .Raghav had 300 participants in his group and only top 20 were given trophy. We're so proud of his achievement! 


IB PYP 101

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


The purpose of conferences is to share information between teachers, students, and parents. As a PYP school, we promote and encourage students to take ownership over their learning in a variety of ways. One of the ways that Spicewood Elementary facilitates this is through student-led conferences. Students are continually to reflecting on their learning, setting goals, and celebrating in their accomplishments throughout the year, however, student-led conferences offer a unique time for the student and parent to sit down together and share in the PYP journey.

In a student-led conference, the students are responsible for leading the conference, and also take responsibility for their learning by sharing the process with their parents. Prior to this conference, students discuss and reflect on different work samples with their teachers and peers. With guidance and support from their teacher, students select artifacts that represent the growth and process he/she has made throughout the year, reflecting on the significance of each item for their conference time, organizing materials, and practicing for the big day! 

This past week, our students invited their families into their classrooms to share their learning throughout the year. These conferences included sharing of the PYP student portfolio, digital products in their Google Drive (green screen videos, movies, video reflections, music performances, QR code links, etc.), as well as contributions from our Specials areas (music, art, PE, and Spanish). Our students enjoyed showing their parents the progress they've made this year in math, science, as well as the growth they've made related to the Learner Profile attributes





Thank you to all of the families who were able attend and celebrate with us. We appreciate your support and hope you enjoyed your time with your child! Your child's Google Drive is always available to be viewed at home so be sure to check out their creativity and hard work at home too!
    This Week's News

    Farewell Message from Counselor, Mrs. Hougham
    Spicewood Family,

    I wanted to let you know how much I have loved being a part of the Spicewood family for the past five years as your school counselor. We have amazing students, families, and staff in our community, which has made me love coming to work each day. 

    The counseling position at Canyon Creek, a campus with almost half the number of students as Spicewood, opened up recently, and I felt I had to give it a chance in order to have a healthier work-life balance. After recently interviewing, I have accepted the job as their school counselor, beginning next school year. 

    I will miss our students, families, and staff so much, and I will always remember my five years serving as your counselor with a smile. 

    Do Not Park at Hope Church Thursday & Friday
    The church has asked our school community to refrain from using their parking lot this Thursday & Friday due to their own special events. Please honor their gracious partnership & respect their request.
     

    Medication Pick Up-Message from Nurse
    If your child has medication in the Nurse's clinic, please pick up the medication by the end of the school day on June 1, 2017. Medication will not be sent home with a student and no medication will be left in the clinic over the summer. Medication left will be disposed of properly.

    Principals' Pride Today & Tomorrow
    We'll be holding Principals' Pride ceremonies this morning (K-2nd) and tomorrow morning (3rd-5th) at 8AM. If your child is being recognized, please join us to celebrate!

    5th Grade PYP Exhibition
    Our 5th grade students have been working tirelessly for a few months to showcase their Exhibition production. The PYP exhibition represents a unique and significant opportunity for our students to exhibit the attributes of the IB learner profile developed throughout their engagement with the PYP. All of our 5th grade students carry out an extended, in-depth, collaborative project, which involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems. We'd love to have you join us on this special occasion- celebration of learning- this Wednesday from 8:30-10AM!

    WWHS Senior Walk at Spicewood
    Former Spicewood Panthers that are graduating seniors at Westwood HS will be here for the annual Senior Walk in their graduation regalia on Friday, May 26 from 8-8:20AM. If you know any graduating Seniors that went to Spicewood or ones that did not attend any feeder pattern elementary schools, they're all invited to participate in the Senior Walk this Friday. They'll need to report to the front entrance portico area by 8AM this Friday. 

    Field Day Needs Volunteers!
    Field Day is coming up on Friday, May 26. This is a day that many of our students look forward to all year long. With that said, we can't possibly do this without our parent volunteers. Please sign up here to volunteer to make a difference! 

    Field Day Information- Message from PE Teachers
    To ensure a successful day for all we wanted to share 3 important things to remember.

    1. Apply sunscreen before leaving home. Bring extra to re-apply if needed.
    2. Allow your child to bring a hat, water bottle.
    3. Students will participate in stations that include water and will get wet.

    Students are allowed to wear a bathing suit. Please also send them with a towel,(preferably not a nice one as many have been lost) plastic bag for wet clothes and a dry change of clothes for afterwards.

     Girls must wear a one piece with shorts over their swimsuit. If wearing 2-piece (bikini,       tankini) swimsuit, please wear a shirt over. 
     Boys must wear a t-shirt with swim trunks.
     No open toe shoes please

    Order Your School Supplies- Message from PTA

    To order school supplies for the 2017/2018 school year.  
      
    1. Go to https://www.educationalproducts.com/Shoppacks 
    2. Enter school ID: SPI001 
    3. Follow the directions to complete your order. 
    4. Keep your online email confirmation as your receipt. 

    (IMPORTANT: You may need to check your junk folder for email receipt, if you DON'T get an email, you didn't place the order correctly). School supplies will be delivered to your child's classroom prior to the first day of school. You only have until JUNE 16, 2017 to place your order, so don't wait! For questions, please email Kirsty Pilon at kirstypilon@yahoo.com. 

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

    Monday, May 22
    8:00AM   K-2nd Grade Principals' Pride

    Tuesday, May 23
    8:00AM   3rd-5th Grade Principals' Pride

    Wednesday, May 24
    8:30-10:00AM   5th Grade PYP Exhibition

    Thursday, May 25- Friday, May 26
    NO PARKING AT HOPE CHURCH

    Friday, May 26
    Field Day (RESCHEDULED)
    8:00AM   Westwood HS Senior Walk at Spicewood


    Monday, May 29
    Student & Staff Holiday- NO SCHOOL

    Wednesday, May 31
    8:00AM   5th Grade Promotion Ceremony
    Cafeteria

    Thursday, June 1
    Last Day of School