Monday, May 1, 2017

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members, 

This week we'll have another big event of the year, Family Gallery night. Every child's art work will be showcased so please mark it on your calendar and come join us in this big celebration! It's also Teacher Appreciation Week. If you can, please take a moment to thank a teacher. I would like to encourage all parents to also remember our specials teachers, Spanish teachers, Mrs. Vance and Mrs. Haney as well when you share a word of appreciation. When purchasing a gift for your child's teacher or a staff member, please do not exceed the value of $50, including a gift card. 


Cafeteria Sound System & Die Cut Machine purchased by PTA with Auction Proceeds
Spicewood is so thankful and excited to receive two technology updates from our wonderful PTA and parents: 1) Cafeteria now has a completely new sound system installed; 2) our teachers are loving the die cut machine and have already been utilizing in the classrooms. Thank you so much for all who has donated and given to the PTA this school year!
IB PYP 101

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

Our campus has been fortunate to see many new changes this school year. From our new Teaching Garden, to the transformation of our science lab into an Inquiry Lab, our teachers, leadership, students, and PTA have been collaboratively working together throughout the year to create spaces on our campus that support and encourage a inquiry based teaching and learning. Let's take a look!

Our new Inquiry Lab full of new flexible furniture, science materials for investigations, 3D printers, Green Screen for video projects, art supplies, computers and iPads!

Kindergarten Makerspace in our Inquiry Lab. Flexible seating allows students to move throughout the space freely. The Inquiry lab is a creative space for students to engage in some hands on exploration. 
Our Teaching Garden provides a meeting space outdoors for our Kinder/5th Grade buddies to read with one another.
Fourth grade students use the Teaching Garden in their Sharing the Planet unit of inquiry.
The Atrium provides a flexible space for students to be inspired to create art, writing, or in this case learn more about the Design Process by solving real world problems. Some students are working on developing informational signs for our Atrium, providing its visitors with new information about the plants in this unique space.
An example of a bulletin board in a classroom that's rich with text, student questions & connections, and other "snapshots" of learning experiences within a unit of inquiry. Teachers and students collaboratively create these to anchor their learning. 

These flexible learning spaces and intentional structuring of the environment provide our students with opportunities to:

  • make choices and decisions
  • use materials in flexible and imaginative ways
  • initiate inquiry and ask questions
  • work collaboratively with others
  • sustain interest and extend thinking/knowledge
  • develop understanding 
  • become active learners

Next time you're at Spicewood, we invite you to take a closer look at our campus and the spaces we provide for our students to support their inquiry!

This Week's News

Family Gallery Night This Thursday
Please come join us on the night of art celebration as we showcase every child's art piece all around our school building this Thursday from 6-8PM. We'll have different activities for students to participate in for fun as well!

RRISD Bond Election
The Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a Bond Election for May 6, 2017, after extensive community review and feedback evaluating the District’s needs to address Growth, Innovation, and Safety.  Voters are asked to consider three propositions totaling $572.1 million. The proposed bond projects that directly affect Spicewood Elementary School are:
Bond Proposition 1:
  • Electrical – upgrade PA/clock/bell, int/ext lighting: $83,045
  • Fire alarms – replace F/A system: $134,600
  • Flooring and ceiling – replace library flooring: $19,000
  • HVAC replacement: $1,924,900
  • Interior, doors, windows, partitions – replace windows, doors, metal rollups, hardware: $10,500
  • Parking lot resurfacing – replace/resurface paved surfaces: $583,000
  • Playground – equipment, shading, soft ground – replace playground equipment: $97,000
  • Plumbing – replace water heaters, roof drains, and other plumbing fixtures: $105,785
  • Roofing – replace gutters and downspouts: $77,425
  • Total Cost: $3,035,255
The average value home in Round Rock ISD is valued at approximately $290,000 after homestead exemption. The three bond propositions will cost the average homeowner an additional $2.23 per month or $26.74 per year.

Early voting for the Round Rock ISD Bond 2017 package will run from April 24 to May 2 prior to Election Day May 6. Canyon Vista Middle School is a polling site for both early voting on April 29 and 30 and for Election Day on May 6. 

Teacher Appreciation - Gift Policy
Parents, as we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week in a week (5/1-5/5), I wanted to remind you of the district policy that our teachers and staff members are to abide by. 

Employees of the District may accept the following:

o Gifts that are of nominal value given for the purpose of advertising, ceremonial occasions, or official events.
o Infrequent business meals of nominal value.
o Infrequent entertainment or social invitations, provided the entertainment or social invitation is not directed to the District or a select group of area school districts.
o As used in this policy, nominal value is defined as $50 or less from an entity

When purchasing a gift for your child's teacher or a staff member, please do not exceed the value of $50, including a gift card. Class Gift is not allowed. Each parent should be left up to their own to decide how to show appreciation to their child's teacher. 

Teacher Appreciation Week May 1-5 [Message from PTA]
Teachers help us grow in mind, body and soul. Please help us celebrate the amazing teachers and staff at Spicewood Elementary during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 1st through May 5th! Teacher/staff appreciation is more than a chance to “thank the teachers for a great job”. These events also help to remind students and parents of the important role teachers and staff play in our lives. Mark your calendar with the following ways in which we will be celebrating our teachers; more detailed info coming via homeroom parents early next week. 

Monday, May 1st
Parents write an appreciation or "thank you" note to their teacher and their assigned special department.
Have your child bring in a flower (one for your class teacher and one for specials) to create a wonderful bouquet assortment for your teachers.

Tuesday, May 2nd
Have your child bring a gently used book for the classroom library that is appropriate for their grade level.

Wednesday, May 3rd
Have your child bring in a “thank you” note or a special drawing or painting (made by them), one for your class teacher and one for specials.

Thursday, May 4th
Bring a canned food for a person or a can of dog/cat food for a charity organization.

Friday, May 5th
The Spicewood PTA will provide a “Grab-n-Go” breakfast.

SWES Spring Student Led Conferences
Free Workshop for Parents!- Message from Mrs. Hougham, Counselor
Austin Child Guidance Center is hosting a free parent workshop on Internet Safety for Kids and Teens. The workshop will be presented by Stephen Kolar, PhD on Tuesday, May 16th from 6-7:30PM at Austin Child Guidance Center and is free of cost. Parents will learn about general guidelines for online safety. Parents will leave this presentation with knowledge of what cyberbullying is, in addition to learning online safety tips and recommendations for elementary-aged children and adolescents. Free childcare is available to children 2 years old and older. You may register by contacting Sara Walters at or 512-451-2242 (Please let Sara Walters know how many children you plan to bring when you register).

Field Day Needs Volunteers!
Field Day is coming up on Friday, May 19. 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! 


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

Thursday, May 4
6:00PM   Family Gallery Night 

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
National School Nurse's Day

Thursday, May 11
Final PTA General Membership Meeting (Rescheduled from May 4)

Tuesday, May 16
8:00AM   Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast (Invitation to be sent)
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, 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

Monday, May 29
Student & Staff Holiday- NO SCHOOL

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

Thursday, June 1
Last Day of School