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Travis Heights Elementary School PTA > Monthly Principal Letter > Thursday’s Thunderword! 09/16/2021

Thursday’s Thunderword! 09/16/2021


Have an announcement or other great news to share? Please submit your info to the school the week prior to when you’d like to see it in this newsletter.

PTA News

We expect our new picnic tables to be installed and in use within the next few weeks. I can’t begin to thank those that contributed to this initiative. We are still in the process of tallying it all up, but over $16,000 was raised for this cause. In addition to the picnic tables and fans, PTA was able to purchase new filters for all the Air Purifiers we purchased last year. We were also able to get new PA systems for use at the track and in the cafeteria. These are all items that help to keep our little Thunderbirds as safe as possible.

We will be having our first General PTA Meeting of the 21-22 School Year soon. Look for Zoom info to come via Class Dojo.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to join PTA by going to . If you have any questions or feedback for the PTA, please reach out to me at We do still have some open positions for assistance around the school and with the PTA Board. If you’ve got some extra time, please reach out and let’s discuss what you can bring to the PTA.

Thanks Thunderbirds and have a great week.

Merrideth Jiles
PTA President



Marathon Kids (MK) will kick off on Monday, September 20th.

Need Parent Account setup instructions? Check it out here:  Marathon Kids


Hispanic Heritage Virtual Talent Show


Gifted & Talented Parent Information Session
Monday, September 20 from 5:00-6:00pm via Zoom.

Gifted and Talented Nomination Window is Open for Students in 3rd – 5th Grade
Nomination Window Dates: September 13th – September 24th

We are beginning the identification process for the Gifted and Talented (GT) Program at Travis Heights Elementary School for students in grades 3rd – 5th. Parent input, teacher input, an Austin ISD voice and choice assessment, and data on standardized assessments will be used during this process to determine eligibility.

A parent question and answer session will be held on Monday, September 20 from 5:00-6:00pm via Zoom. Here is the Zoom Information:

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 929 0095 7772
Passcode: 201923

To submit a referral form for a student to participate in the identification process of the GT program, please complete the attached Parent Referral Form. The nomination window will be open from Monday, September 13th to Friday, September 24th. No late nominations will be accepted due to the tight deadlines of this process. Please remember that a thorough review of your child’s talents requires time. We thank you in advance for your patience in this process.

For more information about the Austin ISD Gifted and Talented Program, please visit the Austin ISD website


Coffee Chat & Principal Update
Join Principal Navarro, Counselors, and librarian for our monthly coffee and campus updates. This meeting will go over the current status of our reopening, Title One Status, Gifted & Talented nomination process, tips from the counselors and any important Information going forward. There will also be an opportunity for Q & A.

September is about self-care. The beginning of a new school year is full of transitions and stressors which makes self-care a necessary practice. The counseling curriculum this month highlights the importance of self-awareness and knowing when to ask for help – whether we are in or outside of the classroom. Our coffee chat on September 24th will provide a “Back – To – School” toolkit for managing stressors, with tips to help you actively recharge, and will also highlight healthy habits that can go a long way in helping with this transitory period.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 974 0839 7150
Passcode: joinus


Bell Schedule & Tardies
THES Families! This is a reminder that school starts and the tardy bell rings at 7:40am. Staff will be on duty at each grade level door for students being dropped off until 7:40am. Any student who arrives after 7:41 am will be marked as Tardy. Thank you for getting your students here on time so they can get the absolute most out of the instructional day!



Important Paperwork
Parent Compact
Research shows that when parents are involved in schools, students achieve more, attendance is better, grades and test scores are higher and graduation rates increase. Students are also more likely to reach their highest potential for intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth. Family involvement in education is critical for the success of students. To accomplish this, parents, teachers, and students need to work together. We ask that you agree to do this by signing and returning this agreement to your classroom teacher. If you need a paper version please request one from your classroom teacher and one will be provided to you.

THES Parent Handbook
The Parent Handbook has tons of great information in making this year a success such as Arrival & Dismissal, Breakfast in Class (BIC), After School Care, Visitors, Volunteers, Birthdays and more!

The THES Climate & Culture Plan outlines expectations for student behavior, dress code, and positive support systems here. This must be signed by a parent and returned to the school. DOWNLOAD HERE to print, sign, and return. There will also be an opportunity to sign it at Back to School Night.

THES Family/Parent Engagement Policy
The faculty, family/parents, staff, and community members of the Travis Heights Elementary shall develop and agree upon a written policy for parental involvement during the development and review of the campus improvement plan. To accomplish this, parents, teachers, and students need to work together. We ask that you please read and review the THES Family/Parent Engagement Policy. If you need a paper version please request one from your classroom teacher and one will be provided to you. (in folder)

Teacher Certification
As a parent of a student at Travis Heights Elementary, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teachers and teacher assistants who instruct your child. Federal law allows you to ask for certain information about your child’s classroom teachers and requires us to give you this information in a timely manner if you ask for it. Specifically, you have the right to ask for the following information about each of your child’s classroom teaching staff:

  • Whether the State of Texas has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grades and subjects he or she teaches.
  • Whether State of Texas has decided that the teacher can teach in a classroom without being licensed or qualified under state regulations because of special circumstances.
  • The teacher’s college major; whether the teacher has any advanced degrees and, if so, the subject of the degrees.
  • Whether any teachers’ aides or similar paraprofessionals provide services to your child, and if they do, their qualifications.

If you would like to receive any of this information, please call Michelle Amezquita-Navarro at (512) 414-4495. (in folder)


Valuable Employees 
The AISD Office of Human Capital places high value on Teacher and Employee well-being as essential to our overall success as a district. The benefits of expressing gratitude and recognizing staff are limitless. Please join us in prioritizing our RAVE Employee Recognition program!

What is a RAVE?
The RAVE (Recognizing All Valuable Employees) program helps us honor our AISD employees who take the extra steps to provide equitable and exceptional experiences for our students, families, staff, and community members.

What’s new this year?
The all new *Golden Rave* from Dr. Elizalde is an exclusive recognition that provides our Superintendent with an opportunity to personally recognize a deserving staff member.
Each campus Principal will be provided with 12 Silver Rave pins to personally acknowledge a staff member each month. Each Chief and Executive Director will also be provided with a number of pins to acknowledge staff members. Please be on the lookout for this special delivery to your campus/department, and ask your front office staff to share the special Rave envelope with you.
Additionally, anyone can submit a digital Rave online ! We share all positive Rave submissions with each employee and their Principal or Supervisor. Please spread the word about Raves with your school/department community.

Up & Coming
September 20th: Marathon Kids Begins
September 20th: Gifted and Talented Parent Information Session
October 11th: Parent & Teacher Conferences (No School for students)
October 15th: First 9 weeks grading period ends
October 21st – Fall pictures
October 22nd – Coffee Chat
October 25th – Red Ribbon Week Begins