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! 


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! 


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

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.