Dear Families and Community,
I am sure many of our students spent the weekend adding the last few details to their science fair project, and know they are eager to share their work. I hope you are able to attend the viewing of all projects on Wednesday. Also, make sure students come dressed to impress on Thursday -all grade levels will be taking their class and individual spring photos. Last but not least, STEAM day is on Friday. It’s not to late to join us as a volunteer- see below for the link to register.
3rd Grade First Lego League Team Advances
This past December, a team of 3rd grade students participated in the First Lego League Jr. expo. They received the Research and Discovery award and are moving on to represent Spicewood at the world festival in Houston! Only 60 teams out of 20,000 teams worldwide made it to the world festival. This is truly an outstanding accomplishment. Way to go awesome Panthers!!
This portion of Ms. Page’s newsletter is contributed by our PYP Coordinator, Jessica Vance.
Many people think that Action is easy to define. It is something you do, right? But Action is much more than that. Action is a part of who we are. If we want to change the world we need to start with changing ourselves. But sometimes change is hard. How do we make changes to the way we think so we can help the world?
If we want children to make a difference in the world we need to help them personalize the action they take, and understand that it is not just a mandate from their teachers and parents, but a life long mindset they develop. All of our teachers want their students to take action that makes a difference to and in the world. In order for this to occur, Spicewood teachers provide scaffolded learning experiences that help students gain the skills (including how to collaborate and how to focus on solving challenges) and knowledge to take sustained and meaningful action. One of fifth grade teachers, Ms. Schuster, uses a class reward system to challenge her students to problems or areas of need around campus and take action to make it better. Some of their actions include planning, advertising and collecting canned food for our local Austin food pantry, helping a Kindergarten student better enjoy recess while he was in a wheelchair recovering from a broken leg injury, planning and leading a 5th grade rally to raise awareness of gun violence at schools, and leading the charge for a 5th grade fun run on the track to raise awareness for breast cancer. Their actions are always driven by the students, Ms. Schuster simply provides the space for reflection and collaborative conversation between her students.
This week, Ms. Schuster reached out to me and let me know her class had chosen to help out in the kindergarten classrooms providing one on one reading support to students, helping with classrooms activities and other tasks in the classroom. We’re so proud of our 5th grade Panthers and their call to action to bring our school vision to life. What a great opportunity for our students to live and model IB!
How can you support action in your own home?
- Ask your child about what they are learning in their units of inquiry. Their learning can spark some great things!
- Encourage your child to take ACTION. Encourage your children to understand that the way they act really does affect the way others feel. They can make a difference in the lives of others.
- MODEL IT! Take a moment to reflect one current events or other news related issues and take action as a family.
- Don’t forget to follow us on social media #SWESAction to check out more ways our students are taking action every day!
THIS WEEK’S NEWS
2019 STEAM Day Needs Volunteers!
We will be hosting our PTA sponsored event, STEAM Day, on Friday, February 1st. This unique day gives our students to explore the areas of STEAM- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math with hands on activities, career exploration and outside vendor presentations. Our students will be thinkers, risk takers and open-minded as they solve engineering design challenges, code drones to fly, and take a trip to the stars with our pop up planetarium, BUT we need your help to make this day a success! Please take a look at our volunteer sign up to donate some of your time to help support our teachers and students. Sign ups range from as little as one hour to the entire day! We thank you in advance for your time and support for this great program.
Join PTA (Parent Teacher Association)!
We are so close to achieving the Platinum Award! Spicewood Elementary PTA currently has 750 Members (88% representation of our student body). Help us reach our goal of 100% representation and join today. Together we CAN back the future!! Thank you for supporting Spicewood PTA.
2019-2020 PTA Executive Board Nominations
The PTA is currently working to fill our executive board positions for next year. Becoming a board member is an excellent way to get to know more Spicewood parents and staff members while providing an invaluable service to our school.
Our PTA can be no more effective than its leadership. We’re asking that you consider stepping up and giving back to PTA, and Spicewood, by getting more involved! It is critical for parents to volunteer so that PTA can continue to grow and accomplish more good work for Spicewood.
If you are interested in any of the positions, please throw your name in the hat for one (or more!) of the board positions through our online PTA Executive Board Nomination Form.
For more detailed information regarding the positions that comprise the PTA Executive Board along with brief descriptions of each role, please visit this page.
Science fair Volunteers
We are looking for volunteers to help with the science fair. 2 hour shifts are available for all days. If you would like to volunteer, please signup by visiting
If you have any questions or would like to help with the science fair, contact Manisha Gupta at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please participate in the 2019 Family Climate Survey
Parents, please take a few moments to participate in the 2019 Family Climate Survey today. Each day staff, students and volunteers at Spicewood Elementary work hard to ensure academic programs and the campus environment meet the needs of all children. You are a critical part of our success! The survey will only be available for a short time, please participate today.
Adopt the Teaching Garden
Thank you to all of the families and groups who have signed up to take care of our Teaching Garden this year! But we still have some openings! Please consider adopting the garden for a week.
This is a great opportunity for your family to be a part of this special addition to our school. It also allows you and your family a more personal, hands-on experience in the garden. Your weekly responsibilities will include: watering, weeding and maintaining the garden. As a reward for volunteering, you will be able to harvest some of the vegetables/herbs that are ready for picking and enjoy them at home! To sign up, please visit this page
Attention All Parents of 5th Grade Students
Now that we have entered the spring semester, the preparation for our students’ transition to middle school begins! Please see below for information and important dates regarding choice sheets, parent information night and instrument selections for students choosing band or orchestra as their elective. You are also encouraged to see Mrs. Kentopp’s Counseling website for additional information.
February 8th Choice Sheets will be due back
March 12th Parent information session for CVMS
6:00-7:00pm (CVMS gym)
March 30th Band instrument testing
8:00am-4:00pm (Band Hall)
One World, One Night
Would you like a chance to travel the world without buying a plane ticket? What would be better than to give our students and their families a passport to cultures around the world? Please join us for One World One Night on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Spicewood Elementary.
At the festival you will find tables hosted by fellow Spicewood parents sharing their cultures by exhibiting artifacts and traditional clothing, teaching crafts and games and providing culinary samples. Last spring the event featured Korea, China, Israel, Ethiopia, Philippines, India, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Italy, Peru, France, Bahamas, India, China, Ethiopia, Korea and Iran. This year we will also feature Taiwan! Each year the number of countries grow and we encourage all cultures at Spicewood Elementary to consider participating in this “One World One Night” Festival. It is a great way to introduce our students to cultures from around the world and embrace the IB education.
This event can not be possible without your participation, if you would like further information or are interested in participating in this event, please do not hesitate to email us at Spicewoodoneworldonenight@gmail.com.
Spicewood’s Spring Carnival
Mark your calendars! Carnival will be held on Friday, April 12th from 4-8pm and we will have food trucks, inflatables, a rock wall, petting zoo, carnival games, cake walk, and face painting!
DATES TO REMEMBER
Wednesday, January 30
5:00PM – 7:00PM – Science Fair Viewing
Thursday, January 31
Friday, February 1
Tuesday, February 5
5:00PM – 8:00 PM Spirit Night at MOD Pizza (11521 N Ranch Road 620, #450)
5:00pm – 800pm
Thursday, February 14
Valentine’s Day Parties
Monday, February 18
President’s Day – No School
Tuesday, February 19
District Professional Development for Staff- No School
Thursday, February 21
6:00PM General PTA Meeting #4
Wednesday, February 26
5:30PM – 7:30PM One World, One Night
Monday, March 4
8:00AM – 8:30AM Principals’ Pride (K-2)
Monday, March 4 – Thursday March 7
1st Grade Music Performance During Class
Tuesday, March 5
5:00PM – 8:00PM Spirit Night at Moonies Burgers
Wednesday, March 6
8:00AM – 8:30AM Principals’ Pride (3-5)
Wednesday, March 13
9:00AM – 2:00PM Kindergarten Round Up
Monday, March 18- Friday, March 22
Spring Break – No School
Have a great week!