Monday, March 27, 2017

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members, 

Good morning! 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 may have altered lunch schedules for the two testing days so please check with your child's teacher, if you're interested in eating lunch with her/him.


IB PYP 101

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

"The important thing is to not stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing" 

-Albert Einstein

As a PYP school, we pride ourselves on an approach to learning that keeps in mind what is best for students, always providing learning experiences and opportunities that coincide with a child's natural curiosity. We believe in student agency to empower students to take control over their own learning, in turn making learning here at Spicewood more meaningful for them. 

With spring underway, this provides the perfect platform for students to further investigate the world around them. At the time of year many of our grade levels are in their Sharing the Planet unit of Inquiry. Within the unit, students inquire more about resources, living things, and communities. "Step inside" a few of the classrooms below to see just some examples our students use the inquiry process on our campus. 

First grade students working on inventing something to help save one of Earth's precious resources. Using the engineering process, students are encouraged to ask questions, make mistakes, and celebrate successes!

Fourth grade students utilize our new Teaching Garden to some first hand exploration about structures and functions of living things. The Teaching Garden provides a unique space for students to investigate cycles and communities.

Students and teachers use the natural world around us to support their learning. Here, students use their prior knowledge and new observations to construct definitions and define their learning. 


Students in Kindergarten are currently investigating habitats. Here they found a caterpillar on the playground and discuss what it needs in order to survive. Students will take their observations back to their classroom to extend and make connections to their learning.


Ways you can continue to support an inquiry based approach at home:
  • Ask and model questioning! Try using sentences that start such as, "I wonder how...." , "What makes you say that?, or "What would happen if...".
  • 3 Rules to Spark Learning  
  • The importance of play and impact on learning, children, and adults
      This Week's News


      STAAR Testing Days- Tuesday, March 28 & Wednesday, March 29

      Spicewood does NOT close down campus for visitors on STAAR Testing days. The rest of the school will follow their regular instructional schedule as usual with an exception of altered lunch schedule for a few grade levels. 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. The district offers free breakfast on the days of STAAR Testing to all students (7:20-7:40AM). 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

      Panther Choir Concert This Thursday
      Spicewood Panther Choir will be hosting a concert this Thursday at 6PM in the cafeteria. Please come join us and enjoy their performance. 

      Effective Parent/Child Communication Workshop- FREE
      Austin Child Guidance Center is hosting a free parent workshop on Effective Parent/Child Communication. The workshop will be presented by Amy Pezzotti, LPC, RPT on Tuesday, March 28th from 6-7:30PM at Austin Child Guidance Center and is free of cost. Parents will have the chance to learn about the impact of modeling healthy communication skills with their children and skills to enhance communication with their children. Free childcare is available to children 2 years old and older. You may register by contacting Sara Walters at swalters@austinchildguidance.org or 512-451-2242 (Please let Sara Walters know how many children you plan to bring when you register).

      Save the Date - Gallery Night & Final PTA General Membership Meeting
      Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 6, at 6:00pm for Spicewood Family Gallery Night as well as the final PTA General Membership Meeting of the the 2016-2017 school year. See you there!

      Save the Date - Spring Carnival

      This year the Spring Carnival will be held on Friday, April 21, from 4-8pm! Volunteers are needed for this fun family event for our kids. For more information please contact Carnival co-chairs:  Anne McWilliams (Annemcwilliams@gmail.com) or Manuela Haist (Mhaist@austin.rr.com).

      2017 CVMS Mustang Orientation for 5th grade Students & Parents
      Parents and students are invited to an informative evening regarding becoming a middle school, Mustang family. Please note this meeting is different from the meeting held in February. The purpose of that meeting was to inform parents and students of the various elective courses offered. The purpose of this meeting is to hear directly from current 6th grade students about life as a Mustang! In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet some staff, our PTA Executive Board, and tour the school building. We hope you are able to join us on Tuesday, April 11 at 6PM in our gym. 

      2017-2018 Canyon Vista PTA Board- for 5th Grade Parents
      The PTA nominating committee is in full swing looking to fill open positions for next year's PTA board. Please consider getting involved with PTA. There are several positions that are "one event and done" and several that can be managed from your home computer! We are looking to fill the Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer positions. So if you are interested in getting involved with our awesome PTA and want to work with our wonderful Principal and amazing teachers and staff than please reach out to us! Nominating Committee Chair: Kathleen King, secretary@cvmspta.org
      Positions we are also looking to fill are:
      ·         Art Volunteers - minimum volunteer requirement
      ·         Clothes Closet - minimum volunteer requirement
      ·         Club Liaison - minimum volunteer requirement
      ·         Legislative Rep - minimum volunteer requirement
      ·         Super Days Supplies/Planners - Busy in July/August

      ·         T-shirt Coordinator - Busy in July/August/September


      MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

      Tuesday, March 28
      STAAR 4th Grade Writing
      STAAR 5th Grade Math

      Wednesday, March 29
      STAAR 5th Grade Reading 

      Thursday, March 30
      6:00PM   Panther Choir Concert

      Wednesday, April 5
      12:00PM   Early Release Day

      Thursday, April 6
      6:00PM   Family Gallery Night + Final PTA General Membership Meeting

      Tuesday, April 11
      6:00PM   CVMS 5th Grade Mustang Orientation 
      CVMS Gym (Only for current 5th grade students and parents)

      Wednesday, April 12
      5:00-8:00PM   5th Grade Spirit Night at MOD Pizza hosted by PTA

      Thursday, April 13
      6:00PM   Kindergarten Music Concert
      Cafeteria

      Friday, April 14
      Student & Staff Holiday- NO SCHOOL

      Monday, April 17- Friday, April 21
      Sharing the Planet Week
      More information TBA

      Tuesday, April 18
      10:50-11:45AM   Kinder Round-Up Event: Meet the Specials Teacher Option 1

      Wednesday, April 19
      10:50-11:45AM   Kinder Round-Up Event: Meet the Specials Teacher Option 2

      Friday, April 21
      WatchDOGS Friday

      Annual Spring Carnival
      More information TBA

      Monday, May 1- Friday, May 5
      Teacher Appreciation Week

      Friday, May 5
      WatchDOGS Friday

      Monday, May 8
      STAAR 3rd & 4th Grade Math

      Tuesday, May 9
      STAAR 3rd & 4th Grade Reading

      Wednesday, May 10
      STAAR 5th Grade Science

      Tuesday, May 16
      5:00-8:00PM   Kindergarten Spirit Night at Phil's Ice House hosted by PTA

      Wednesday, May 17
      12:45-1:45PM   Kindergarten Round-Up Event: Snack & Story Time Option 1

      Thursday, May 18
      12:45-1:45PM   Kindergarten Round-Up Event: Snack & Story Time Option 2

      Friday, May 19
      Field Day






      Monday, March 20, 2017

      Updates from the Principal

      Dear families and community members, 

      Welcome back, everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed the well-deserved Spring Break with their loved ones! Now that we're all well-rested, we've got a fast and furious ride ahead of us with many spring events happening! We start with Principals' Pride this morning and Coffee with Principal for Incoming Kinder parents on Thursday. Next week our 4th and 5th grade students will take STAAR assessments to show mastery of knowledge and skills they have acquired this school year so far. Spicewood does NOT shut down campus on STAAR testing days; we operate just as any other school days. If you plan to come visit and have lunch with your child on STAAR testing days, please check with your child's teacher on altered lunch schedule. 

      Celebrations

      2017 Texas State Scholastic Chess Championship
      One of our very own Spicewood Panthers, Jacob L., competed and placed first in the tournament mentioned in the subject line in Dallas, TX. There were approximately 500 students from different cities of Texas competed in the tournament and Jacob won the first place of K-1 section on Sunday, March 5. Congratulations!
      STEAM Day 
      Spicewood had a wonderful day full of activities that involved Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics on Friday, March 10. Thanks to all the presenters and volunteers that made this day a huge success for our students! 





      IB PYP 101

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

      Stay tuned for next week!

        This Week's News

        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!

        Kinder Round-Up Event: Coffee with Spicewood Principal, Jiae Kim
        If you have an incoming kindergartner for 2017-18, we invite you to get to know our wonderful principal, Ms. Kim, at our next Kinder Round-Up event. Be sure to bring your questions! This event is intended for adults; however, if you need to bring little ones, we will have coloring books available. We will meet in the Spicewood Library on Thursday, March 23, from 8 to 9 am. Please RSVP for this event on the Kinder Round-Up Events page

        2017 CVMS Mustang Orientation for 5th grade Students & Parents

        Parents and students are invited to an informative evening regarding becoming a middle school, Mustang family. Please note this meeting is different from the meeting held in February. The purpose of that meeting was to inform parents and students of the various elective courses offered. The purpose of this meeting is to hear directly from current 6th grade students about life as a Mustang! In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet some staff, our PTA Executive Board, and tour the school building. We hope you are able to join us on Tuesday, April 11 at 6PM in our gym. 

        Free Summer Camp
        The Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps has opened a world of possibilities to the youth of Central Texas by providing free week long summer camps to students who qualify for free and reduced priced lunch. Note that campers must qualify for the Texas public school free and reduced lunch program to be eligible to attend summer camp.The Zilker Park camp is located inside Zilker Park near Barton Springs Pool; it serves campers 7 – 11 years of age. The camp program, under the supervision of experienced counselors, offers activities such as swimming in Barton Springs or Deep Eddy pool, fishing, canoeing, handicrafts, nature study, hikes, games, and a ropes course with a variety of elements including a team wall, and trust fall. Transportation to camp and three meals a day is included.

        2017 CAMP REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE. 



        MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

        Monday, March 20
        8:00AM   K-2 Principals' Pride

        Tuesday, March 21
        8:00AM 3rd-5th Principals' Pride

        Thursday, March 23
        8:00-9:00AM   Kinder Round Up Event: Coffee with Principal 
        [Limited only to incoming kindergarten parents]
        Library

        Tuesday, March 28
        STAAR 4th Grade Writing
        STAAR 5th Grade Math

        Wednesday, March 29
        STAAR 5th Grade Reading 

        Wednesday, April 5
        12:00PM   Early Release Day

        Thursday, April 6
        6:00PM   Family Gallery Night + Final PTA General Membership Meeting

        Tuesday, April 11
        6:00PM   CVMS 5th Grade Mustang Orientation 
        CVMS Gym (Only for current 5th grade students and parents)

        Wednesday, April 12
        5:00-8:00PM   5th Grade Spirit Night at MOD Pizza hosted by PTA

        Thursday, April 13
        6:00PM   Kindergarten Music Concert
        Cafeteria

        Friday, April 14
        Student & Staff Holiday- NO SCHOOL

        Monday, April 17- Friday, April 21
        Sharing the Planet Week
        More information TBA

        Tuesday, April 18
        10:50-11:45AM   Kinder Round-Up Event: Meet the Specials Teacher Option 1

        Wednesday, April 19
        10:50-11:45AM   Kinder Round-Up Event: Meet the Specials Teacher Option 2

        Friday, April 21
        WatchDOGS Friday

        Annual Spring Carnival
        More information TBA

        Monday, March 6, 2017

        Updates from the Principal

        Dear families and community members, 

        We had another successful session of Parent Math Education Night, this time on Multiplication and Division Strategies, last Thursday. The presentation is available in our Friday Folder. This time Mr. Little and Mr. Joyce linked videos for each strategies to be more helpful to parents. This week is a BIG WEEK as we'll be hosting the annual Kindergarten Round-Up on Wednesday and STEAM Day on Friday before we head out to enjoy Spring Break. Oh, don't forget the 2nd grade concert this Wednesday as well! We hope to see many of you on Wednesday and Friday! 

        Celebrations

        Team Immortals Advances to the First LEGO League World Championship
        Four Spicewood students are part of Robotics Team Immortals that is advancing to the First LEGO League World Championship. Team Immortals won second Championship award at the regional FLL tournament on Saturday, February 25. They will move on to compete at World Championship in April (18th-22nd) which will be held in Houston. Congratulations to Bela J., Aanchal S., Eesha S., and Siyona A.!
        Parent Math Education Night Part II on Multiplication and Division Strategies
        Once again, we had a great turn out at the second round of Parent Math Education Night last Thursday. Mr. Joyce and Mr. Little made the session extremely informative and interactive. If you missed it, please take some time to review through the presentation. For each strategy, there is a linked video to show you how to use the strategy. Our parents in attendance were blown away by the conceptual way of problem solving!


        IB PYP 101

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

        We're wrapping up last week February with a recap of all of the ways that our campus took action and celebrated International Mother Language Day (February 21st) throughout the month. 
        • Students created Mother Tongue videos to share more about their cultures through language
        • Learned how to say "thank you" and "goodbye" in multiple languages
        • 4th Graders read poems to their classmates in their Mother Langauge
        • Traveled around the world during One World, One Night PTA sponsored event
        • Classes kept track of the different languages spoken using world maps
        • Checked out and read books from our library's own Mother Tongue section
          This Week's News

          Kindergarten Round Up This Wednesday!
          The RRISD kick-off to Kinder Round-Up is on Wednesday, March 8 from 9:00am to 2:00pm.  Please bring your incoming kindergarten student if possible! They will have the opportunity to tour the kindergarten classrooms and meet a teacher. Please visit the RRISD's Kindergarten Round Up website to find helpful information about what you'll need to bring to Round-Up. Registration is now open on the RRISD Enrollment and Registration website so you can begin the registration process in the comfort of your own home. Information on additional future Spicewood Round-Up events can be found on the Kinder Round Up Events page.

          2nd Grade Music Concert
          Our 2nd grade students have been practicing to put on a concert for all to see! Please come join us this Wednesday at 6pm in the cafeteria!

          STEAM Day Volunteers Needed This Friday!!
          Volunteer to help make Spicewood's Inaugural STEAM Day an unforgettable day for Spicewood students! The Spicewood STEAM Day will be held on Friday, March 10th 2017.   Our activities for the day include art, coding, engineering challenges, garden activities, math games, and live Nepris expert chats. Contact Sabari Raja sabari@nepris.com for more information and please indicate your interest on the Online Volunteer Sign-Up Page 

          STEAM Day Needs NEWSPAPER!
          Please send any newspaper & recyclables you have at home to school with your child(ren). There will be a box at the front entrance where they can drop off as they come in. Thank you!

          2017-18 PTA Executive Board Nominations Open through March 6
          PTA is still accepting nominations for the 2017-18 Executive Board. To learn more about the process or any specific position, please read the President's Blog.  To nominate yourself or someone else for any position, please complete the Nomination Form. The Nominating Committee will interview all nominees, and will publish their report listing the PTA nominated candidates on March 30th.  The following week, we will hold a vote for all elected positions at our general membership meeting.  Anyone wishing to nominate themselves or another person not nominated by our committee may do so at the meeting.  The nominees must be present to be nominated from the floor (to ensure that they are willing and able to serve). Nominees selected by our committee are also encouraged to attend.  The new board will immediately begin working with the current board to ensure a smooth transition.  However, their official duties won't begin until July 1st.  Questions?  Feel free to email Carole at spicewoodpresident@gmail.com

          Taste of Asia hosted by Westwood HS

          Westwood HS Second Annual Doggy Dash
          Westwood HS is hosting the second annual Doggy Dash 5K on Saturday, March 4. Please see the attached flyer for more information. 

          Free Summer Camp
          The Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps has opened a world of possibilities to the youth of Central Texas by providing free week long summer camps to students who qualify for free and reduced priced lunch. Note that campers must qualify for the Texas public school free and reduced lunch program to be eligible to attend summer camp.The Zilker Park camp is located inside Zilker Park near Barton Springs Pool; it serves campers 7 – 11 years of age. The camp program, under the supervision of experienced counselors, offers activities such as swimming in Barton Springs or Deep Eddy pool, fishing, canoeing, handicrafts, nature study, hikes, games, and a ropes course with a variety of elements including a team wall, and trust fall. Transportation to camp and three meals a day is included.

          2017 CAMP REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE. 



          MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


          Wednesday, March 8
          9:00AM-2:00PM     Kinder Round-Up
          6:00PM                   2nd Grade Music Concert

          Thursday, March 9
          5th Grade Civil Reenactment 

          Friday, March 10
          STEAM Day

          Monday, March 13- Friday, March 17
          No School - Spring Break

          Monday, March 20
          8:00AM   K-2 Principals' Pride

          Tuesday, March 21
          8:00AM 3rd-5th Principals' Pride

          Thursday, March 23
          8:00-9:00AM   Kinder Round Up Event: Coffee with Principal 
          [Limited only to incoming kindergarten parents]
          Library

          Tuesday, March 28
          STAAR 4th Grade Writing
          STAAR 5th Grade Math

          Wednesday, March 29
          STAAR 5th Grade Reading 

          Wednesday, April 5
          12:00PM   Early Release Day

          Thursday, April 6
          6:00PM   Family Gallery Night + Final PTA General Membership Meeting