Monday, May 8, 2017

Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community members, 

Last week was an amazing week full of appreciation and kindness that made our teachers and staff feel so loved and appreciated! I personally received a number of cards and letters that brought me to tears as I read them through. Your kind words and caring actions have lifted up all of us at Spicewood. Thank you for a great reminder of why we do what we do at Spicewood as passionate educators.

This week our 3rd-5th grade students will be taking the State Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). 3rd and 4th grade students will be assessed in the area of Math and Readidng while 5th grade students in Science. If you are a parent of a 3rd-5th grade student, please encourage them by saying they are ready to show their knowledge on the assessments 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.


2016 Texas Honor Roll School
Our school was chosen by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE) as a 2016 Texas Honor Roll recipient. The Texas Honor Roll is part of a national effort known for its extensive and rigorous analysis of student achievement in public schools. Our school stood above other schools in the state because of our success in getting students to grade level achievement and beyond. This year, the Honor Roll includes 727 public K-8 and high schools that are recognized for demonstrating consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. We did not apply for this award (they found us!) and it is a great honor to have been chosen. Thanks to the hard work of the students and teachers here at Spicewood ES, we are being recognized for our achievement. This is a testament to the relentless focus on results that our school has shown over the years and to the hard work of our entire school community. Congratulations!

Destination Imagination- Team Immortals Wins 1st Place Research Award at FIRST Lego League (FLL) World Championship
FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team Immortals representing Central Texas at FLL World Championship in Houston, Texas won the first place research award. Team Immortal’s awareness campaign to save vanishing species brought the plight of “Golden-Cheeked Warbler”, a local endangered bird, to the limelight at a global event. This team consists of fifth-grade students Siyona Agnihotri, Bela Jere, Aanchal Save and Eesha Siram from Round Rock ISD’s Spicewood Elementary and a student from an out-of-District campus. The team won local qualifiers and regional Championship Award to reach the World Championship. We're extremely proud of their achievement!

Math Pentathlon Division 3 CTournament
The Math Pentathlon Division 3 tournament was a great success for the Spicewood Panthers. They showed great mastery of the games, team spirit and most importantly, good sportsmanship. Medal winners are: Ramzi M. (Gold, Hall of Fame); Raghav A. (Gold); Siyona A. (Silver); Sibi R. (Bronze); David L. (Bronze). Congratulations and we're proud!

Family Gallery Night
Thanks to all the families that joined us last Thursday! We had a great turn out and our students were proud to showcase their art work. BIG THANKS to Mrs. Raybourn and Mrs. Deb for all the hard work to make this night a great success. Thanks to all the teachers that have offered help throughout the week.

IB PYP 101

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

As a PYP school, we place student driven action and agency at the forefront to learning so what better way than to have our very own 5th graders design the invitation to their Exhibition! 

Congratulations to our winner, Khoi, and our risk-taking 5th graders who entered the contest. With over twenty different entries ranging from photo collages to watercolor productions, it made deciding on a winner a challenging task! All entries will be displayed on Exhibition day, Wednesday, May 24th. We're looking forward to seeing where our student inquires let them on that day.

Learn more about Exhibition @ Spicewood:
  • What is Exhibition? Watch a parent information session about this unique unit of inquiry
  • Read a previous post about how Exhibition is a whole school effort
This Week's News

STAAR Testing This Week
3rd-5th grade students will be taking STAAR Monday through Wednesday of this week. 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. 

SWES Spring Student Led Conferences
For specific time of the grade level conference, please contact your child's teacher. 
FINAL PTA General Membership Meeting
PTA will be holding the Final General Membership Meeting at 6pm this Thursday, May 11. Next year's PTA Budget Proposal will be presented at this meeting. 

Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast
In honor of Spicewood’s hardworking and dedicated volunteers, the Spicewood staff and administration cordially invite you to a Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on Tuesday, May 16, from 8:00-8:30am in the Spicewood library. Please come mingle and enjoy breakfast goodies in appreciation of your continuous time and support.

Spicewood Kindergarten Round-Up Event: Snack and Story Time

If you have an incoming 2017-2018 kindergartner, please join us for our next Round-Up event! Come enjoy milk and cookies in the cafeteria, then head to the library for a story from our wonderful librarian, Mrs. Laura Reeb. This event is a great way for your child to get a feel for how things work in the cafeteria. The price for cookies is .75 and a carton of milk is .60, for a total of $1.35. YOU MUST BRING EXACT CHANGE! The cafeteria staff is not stocked with extra change since most students pay for their lunches using My School Bucks accounts. If you prefer not to make a snack purchase, please feel free to bring your own snack from home. At 1:15, we will head to the library, where Mrs. Reeb will read a story and answer questions about the library. For your convenience, you and your child may attend this event on either Wednesday, May 17, or Thursday, May 18, from 12:45-1:45 pm. The itinerary is the same for both days, so pick the day that best fits your schedule. To RSVP for this event, please visit the Spicewood Kinder Round-Up page.

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 8
STAAR 3rd & 4th Grade Math

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

Wednesday, May 10
STAAR 5th Grade Science

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

Friday, May 26
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

Thursday, June 1
Last Day of School