Updates from the Principal

Dear families and community,

As we begin another week, I must compliment our kindergarten students. They are inquisitive, eager, and excited about learning! I love seeing how much they have grown in just 4 weeks! Way to go Kindergarten teachers, and parents for supporting our young learners as they adjust to a new learning environment. I would also like to send a huge thank you to our current Watch Dogs- we appreciate you! Wednesday morning is our annual Breakfast with Dads and I look forward to seeing all dads and father figures on campus for this event. During breakfast, please take the time to join the WatchD.O.G. Dads program- our students need your presence on campus! Last, but certainly not least, 5th grade teachers and I would love to see you at the PTA sponsored Spirit Night at Mama Fu’s Asian House tomorrow!


Adventure Dash
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the generous Spicewood families who donated to our Adventure Dash fundraiser – we raised $50,044 and the students had a lot of fun in the process! Since we reached our goal, Ms. Cruz and I have volunteered to be in a dunking booth at our Spring Carnival! The money raised is going towards supporting PTA’s many programs and events, like Field Trips, STEAM Day, Literacy Library, Spicewood’s IB/PYP program, Class Parties, Math Pentathlon, the Teaching Garden, and much, much more. Thank you again for your support.


Growing Through Professional Learning Communities
The IB program encourages us to support students to become actively responsible for their own learning and to provide evidence of student learning over time across the curriculum. During professional development last Wednesday, teachers were able to participate in break out in sessions and explore using digital portfolios to document and provide evidence of student learning over time. We look forward to students sharing their digital portfolios with you during spring conferences!


IB PYP 101

(This portion of Ms. Page’s newsletter this week is contributed by Mrs. Vance, PYP Coordinator and Mrs. Lough, first grade teacher.)

Taking action is one of the five essential elements of the Primary Years Program. When students take action, they reflect and make connections to the knowledge and experiences they have acquired and apply them to everyday life. Students at Spicewood Elementary are empowered and encouraged to be active learners, taking action to make our school, community and world a better place.

This week, we’re sharing the action students are taking in just one classroom (although there is so much to see all around the building!) to give you a closer look at how the PYP program helps to shape the whole child. In first grade, students are learning about relationships in their Who We Are unit of Inquiry. In this unit, students learn more about themselves as active students in all subject areas (math, writing, reading, and science), take a closer look at relationships and traits of characters in stories, and how numbers are related in math (ex: ways to solve word problems or even and numbers). This week we’ve asked, Ms. Lough, one of our first grade teachers, to share the ways she’s seen action in her classroom.

“During our morning meeting, many students shared ways they are taking action to impact their relationships in positive ways. We also had students share posters they made at home or during free choice about being open minded to differences in others. This led to our whole class deciding to make posters to put around the school to share with the Spicewood community about being caring, open-minded and reflective in our relationships. In addition, they also came up with the idea to make ‘Kind Boxes’ that hold caring notes for people to grab when they have a dipped bucket and are feeling sad. It was awesome to see them feeling empowered by their learning and understanding and taking action as a community in creative ways. Go Firsties! We look forward to hanging the posters and setting out the boxes next week.” — Ms. Lough

Way to go first graders! We can’t wait to see your posters around the school reminding and reinforcing our school vision, Spicewood aspires to be a community of caring innovative globally-minded citizens who take action.

This Friday, September 21st, is International Day of Peace, a day recognized around the world to promote and focus on a global mindset of peace. Our campus will be focused on this goal all week and we invite you to take action as well and talk to your child about this day. We’ll be sharing how our students are taking action this week on our social media pages. Be sure to check those out!


Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up
When using the queue in front of the school, only the right lane should be used to pick up and/or drop off a student. Please do not drop off students in the left lane.  Also, the queue is a no parking zone during morning drop off and afternoon pickup.
Golf carts must also follow the same rules as cars and should not park in the staff parking lot or cut through cars waiting in line to park in non designated parking areas. Clarification: Tin Cup has designated parking areas, and stop and go drop off. You can also make a right onto Olsen Drive. I originally stated in last weeks update that you could not- I apologize for the confusion.
Please see map below to determine designated places for parking, stop and go drop off, and traffic flow.


Adventure Dash Fundraiser Rewards For Students
We are so proud of of students for reaching their Adventure Dash Fundraiser Milestones! Each predetermined amount raised during the fundraiser has allowed students to participate in the following activities:
Tuesday – Wear your favorite Hat Day
Wednesday – Crazy Hair Day!
Thursday – Human Sundae (Congratulations Mrs. Corbett’s class for raising the greatest dollar amount $3,048.50! They have earned to opportunity to turn Ms. Cruz into a human sundae on Thursday at 2:20)
Friday-Silly Dress-Up Day for Teachers & Funny Costumes for Ms. Cruz and Ms. Page  AND  Ms. Cruz eats a BUG!

Bond 2018
Visit the RRISD Bond 2018 website to learn more about the Bond election on November 6, 2018. Here is the list of projects specific to Spicewood Elementary. 

1st Spirit Night of the Year at Mama Fu’s hosted by PTA
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 18th, is our first Spirit Night of the year! Skip the stress of cooking dinner and join other Spicewood families at Mama Fu’s Asian House (11301 Lakeline Blvd, Ste. 300) for lunch or dinner. Mention Spicewood Elementary at checkout and part of the sales proceeds will be donated back to the school!

Dine-in, takeout, delivery, catering, and gift card purchases are ALL eligible for donation, all day long from 11am – 9pm! All 5th grade teachers and Ms. Page will be there for part of the night.
The 5th grade class with the highest attendance will get to keep Woody till the next Spirit night!!

Math Superstars
Math Superstars is a completely optional program for your child (K-4), if they love problem solving or want additional math practice. This is not a classroom or a teacher-led program. If you chose to participate, you will print a worksheet every week from the PTA website. The worksheets are graded by a classroom volunteer, not the teacher, and returned to the students. The graders offer positive comments and are committed to cheering on the students for trying. They provide feedback to help each student understand the desired answers. The spirit of this program is to be fun while providing additional math exposure!
Please visit this link to sign-up your child for the program. Math Superstars 2018 Sign-up Deadline to signup is September 19th, 2018. Please email Math Superstars Chair, Payal Agarwal with any questions spicewoodptams@gmail.com

WatchD.O.G.S Breakfast with Dads
WatchDOGS (Dads of Great Students) is a nationally recognized program that has brought fathers and father figures into school classrooms and hallways across the country. There are two primary goals of the WATCHD.O.G. program.
To provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school safety and security.
To be positive and active role models in our children’s schools.
Who Are the WatchDOGS?
WatchDOGS are fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, uncles, and other father-figures who volunteer at least one time per school year.
What Can WatchDOGS Dads Do?
Watchdog Dads may read to classes, work on flash cards with students, patrol school entrances and hallways, assist with traffic flow or complete tasks requested by classroom teachers. The mere presence of a WATCHDOG Dad offers an additional level of security at the school!
For more information on joining the WatchDOGS, please attend our annual event, Breakfast with Dads, on Wednesday, September 19th in the Spicewood cafeteria from 7:00 – 7:45am.
Please contact the WatchDOGS Chair Patrick Hall at gettingslower@sbcglobal.net.

Destination Imagination
Parents, please come over for Destination Imagination (DI) Club 2018-2019 Information Session on September 20th at 6 pm at Spicewood Elementary School, room 102.  DI is an International K-12 STEM based learning and innovation program, and students participate in tournaments based on the challenge topic they choose. Please visit club home page or reach out to club Chair Ziyu Huang with any questions.

Scholastic Ocean Adventures Book Fair – Volunteers Needed
Dive into a great book at this year’s Ocean Adventures Scholastic Book Fair. This underwater awesomeness will begin on Monday, September 24, through Friday, September 28 from 7:30am – 4:00pm. It takes many volunteers to make the Book Fair a success and we need your help! Please visit the online Sign Up Genius (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0a4aa8a72dabff2-scholastic1) to sign up for a short 2 hour shift. Thank you and we can’t wait to see you at the Book Fair.

Volunteers Needed For the Flu Clinic, September 24th
The Flu Clinic will be be held on Monday, September 24th 7:45-10:45am. The nurse is seeking volunteers to help the clinic run smoothly (helping the students stay organized and escorting them back to class). Openings are 7:45-9:15 or 9:15-10:45, or any time you are able to give. Please contact Anne McWilliams, Volunteer Coordinator at spicewoodptavolunteer@gmail.com to sign up!

K.I.S.S. Cookout Volunteers Needed!
The annual K.I.S.S. (Kids Invite Someone Special) Cookout is coming up on Friday, September 28th during your child’s lunchtime. We need volunteers in order to make this a fun and successful event! Below is the link to sign up to volunteer, we appreciate any time you are able to give! K.I.S.S. Cookout Volunteer Sign Up Questions? Email Liz Chudej, K.I.S.S. Cookout Coordinator at lizchudej@gmail.com

REFLECTIONS Creativity Contest
This PTA-sponsored program allows your child to come up with her or his own way to express this year’s theme: Heroes Around Me. Children can enter as many pieces as they’d like across six categories (literature, visual arts, photography, film production, dance choreography, and musical composition). Your child does not have to be an accomplished artist or expert writer to enter. It’s all about a child’s interpretation and expression of the theme. The deadline for submitting entries is Friday, October 26, 2018. For more information, including rules and entry forms, check out the Spicewood PTA Reflections website. Please email Sharon Gu with any questions.


Tuesday, September 18
5:00PM-8:00PM Spirit Night @ Mama Fu’s (5th grade & Ms. Page will be in attendance)

Wednesday, September 19
7:00AM-7:40AM Breakfast with Dads
(All dads and father figures are invited to join us for Breakfast with Dads in the cafeteria!)

Monday, September 24 – Friday, September 28
Book Fair

Thursday, September 27
6:00PM-7:00PM 5th grade Music Program

Friday, September 28
KISS Cookout
(Kids Invite Someone Special is an opportunity for our students to have lunch with someone dear to them. Please check with your child’s teacher for their lunch time)

Monday, October 8
No School – Student Holiday

Tuesday, October 9
No School – Student Led Conferences (Be sure to schedule a time with your child’s teacher)

Wednesday, October 10
Fall Picture Day

Saturday, October 13
8:00AM – 11:00AM  Fall Garden Work Day

Monday, October 15
8:00AM – 8:30AM Principal’s Pride (K-2)
6:00PM – 6:30PM Math Night at Canyon Vista Middle School

Tuesday, October 16
8:00AM – 8:30AM Principal’s Pride (3-5)

Thursday, October 18
5:00PM-5:30PM – 2018 Bond Informational Presentation
5:30PM-6:00PM – IB information Night (Play Based Learning)
6:00PM -7:00PM – PTA General Meeting #2

Have a wonderful week!



Teyan Page
Proud Principal