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Travis Heights Elementary School PTA > Principal's News > Thursday’s Thunderword! 09/23/2021

Thursday’s Thunderword! 09/23/2021


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 will be having our first General PTA Meeting of the 21-22 School Year on Thursday, September 30th at 6pm.  Zoom link will be sent out via Class Dojo, for security reasons.  Please plan to attend and see what’s going on with your THES PTA.

Tables update:  Imagine our surprise, as we are working on the last of the twelve tables PTA ordered, an AISD truck and trailer pull up with 10 more wooden picnic tables!  It was quite a hoot.  Awesome because  we now have 22 tables available for our Thunderbirds. They are all out and MOSTLY ready to go.  I know some classes have already snacked and eaten on them.  

***CALL FOR HELP***  The new wooden tables are a little rough and will need some sanding in a few areas to be ready for full time use.  I am setting up a sign up for people to volunteer.  I will not be available most of these days, but I have instructions on the sign up page. All the info you need can be found here:  or you can reach out to me at  

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


Thunderbird Pride

Thunderbird Pride began this past Friday, Sept. 17th from 1:00-2:00pm and will be held every Friday after that. This is another way we will recognize and celebrate our students for their academic achievements and for demonstrating SEL/ROCKS (Responsible, Organized, Considerate, Kind, Scholars) skills.

Teachers will nominate two students each week. One student will be recognized for academic achievement and the other for demonstrating SEL/ROCKS skills. The teacher will present students with the Thunderbird certificate indicating the achievement.

On Fridays, teachers will send Thunderbird Pride students to the office to be recognized by our administration team. The admin team will celebrate the students by reading their certificates, adding their signature, and inviting students to choose a prize from the table. 

Congratulate your Thunderbirds if they come home with a Thunderbird Pride certificate on Friday!


Hispanic Heritage Virtual Talent Show

Click on the image for a detailed view.


Gifted & Talented Information 

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 was held on Monday, September 20 via Zoom. Please watch the recording on our YouTube channel.

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 closes this 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
September 24th at 8:00 am.

Join Principal Navarro, counselors, and librarian for our monthly coffee and campus update. 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 make 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.  Tips to help you actively recharge and will also highlight healthy habits that can go a long way toward helping during this transitory period.

THES is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

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 each and every instructional day!


Shout out to your Travis Heights Team!      

Did one of our own deliver for YOU?

Teacher and Employee well-being as essential to our overall success as a school. 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 team who take the extra steps to provide equitable and exceptional experiences for our students, families, staff, and community members. 

Submit a digital Rave online ! The District shares all positive Rave submissions with each employee and their Principal or Supervisor. 

Please spread the word about Raves with your community.


Basic Needs Assistance

For basic needs assistance like food and clothes and diapers, please submit the request form in the link below. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact the Parent Support specialist Ms. Jasim at 512-841-0855 or email at


Long Range Planning Committees

Austin ISD is now accepting applications to serve on the Austin ISD Long-range Planning Committees! The LPCs will be made up of parents, community members, students and district staff who will help the district develop long-range plans and a prioritized list of recommended projects in each of these areas: 

  • Academics and Career & Technical Education
  • Athletics 
  • Visual & Performing Arts
  • Facilities
  • Safety, Security & Resiliency
  • Transportation, Food Service & Maintenance
  • Technology  

These plans will ultimately help determine which improvements and new facilities are included in our next bond. 

Please fill out the online application no later than 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 19. For more information, visit


Facility Assessment and Ed Specs Update Feedback Form

Help us envision our AISD future! The district’s draft facility assessment reports and Educational Specification updates are ready for your feedback! 

Check out our school’s report by visiting and fill out the feedback form no later than Sunday, Sept. 26

Visit to learn more about how these documents fit into the district’s long-range planning process—which will help determine which improvements and new facilities are included in our next bond!


Lunch Outside

We want to give a big shout out to PTA and parent donations!!!

Thanks to the generous donations from parents and community members we have purchased and assembled picnic tables to support eating lunch outside. Two large fans have been purchased to help keep everyone cool outside. AISD has provided 10 more picnic tables to accommodate more students eating outside. We are excited to start eating outside ASAP. We are making adjustments to schedules to allow an easy flow during lunch. Teachers will take advantage of using the area for outside learning when tables are not being used. Starting Monday, September 27 most if not all classrooms will have lunch outside to create a safer environment for all of our Thunderbirds. 


Coordinated School Health (CSH) Events

Please see the following dates to plan for the district Coordinated School Health (CSH) events. Your CSH Chair will be sent additional information to support these events, which will include announcements and activities to share with your students, and families. CSH

September 20th – 24th
CSH Kick-Off Week (Sponsored by the Health and PE Department)

September 20th
Marathon Kids Kick-Off Day

October 25th – 29th
Love Your Brain Week (Sponsored by the Counselors)


Healthy Snacks Only

We will continue to encourage our students to eat healthy at school.

Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value will not be allowed for snacks during the day. This includes candy, soda, and chips. We will share healthy snack options with families and students. Please privately remind students and remind families of our snack expectations if they bring a snack that is an FMNV.

A quick and healthy option readily available are the fruit options provided with our BIC. We will continue to inform and share ideas with our families.


Please DO NOT use Teacher Parking Lots

There are two parking lots reserved for faculty and staff at the north and south ends of the school.  Please DO NOT enter, park, drop off or pick up during the hours of 7:00am and 5:00pm.  Doing so impedes staff from getting to their duty spot on time and creates havoc when there is a lack of spaces.  Club Cadet families must park on Alameda and use the sidewalks to walk your child to class.  Thank you for respecting the rules that are in place to best serve all families. 


PTA Membership

Let’s support our PTA! If you have not signed up, please consider doing so at


Up & Coming

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

For holidays and district-wide events you can view the AISD calendar here: