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Travis Heights Elementary School PTA > Monthly Principal Letter > Thursday’s Thunderword! 09/30/2021

Thursday’s Thunderword! 09/30/2021


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 PTA Meeting of the year today!  Thursday Sept. 30th at 6pm.

Join the Zoom meeting at:

Meeting ID: 861 9799 0191
Passcode: 645998

Please join us as we talk about what PTA has already accomplished this year and what’s coming up.  

PTA Membership

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


Congratulations, Ms. Shayna Bright!

We are so proud of Shayna for being interviewed for EducationWeek’s article “Here’s How Schools Are Helping Afghan Refugee Students”.  Shayna shares how she fosters a welcoming environment for our refugee students.

Please read it and enjoy!


Proud to be Hispanic Virtual Talent Show

Students are encouraged to participate!

  • Students can submit their videos or pictures.
  • More than $2,000 in prizes will be awarded in a virtual ceremony on October 27.
  • Teachers and staff can also participate as honorary guests (please watch Principal Tania Jedele’s participation from last year.

What: 2021 Virtual Talent Show “Proud to be Hispanic”
Categories:  Singing, Music, Dancing and Art (drawing or painting)
When:  Submission period is from September 15 to October 15 via
Where: Accepted submissions will be posted to

For additional information, please contact Norma Garza Mittanck, Multicultural Outreach coordinator, at or 512-414-0023

Book Character Dress Up Day

Start getting your child’s book character costumes ready!  On Friday, October 29th, we will host an outdoor school-wide Storybook Character Parade.  Teachers, students and staff are encouraged to dress up as their favorite storybook character. Students who are dressed as a Storybook Character will walk in the parade.  Students may choose any character from a book they enjoy following certain guidelines.

To support students’ feelings of safety and security in our building, violent or frightening costumes are not acceptable.  No weapons or dangerous-looking items will be permitted to accompany a costume.  If there is a costume that does not meet the “Acceptable Examples” parents will be called and asked to please come to school and have their child change out of the costume.  Information will be sent out to parents via ThunderWord (the weekly eFolder) and ClassDojo.


Operation ThunderJoy

Operation Thunder Joy is the annual THES holidays assistance program provided by generous parents and community to 50 families in need. This year, the operation is selecting families who have never been nominated in the past years. If you have received assistance in the past, you are not eligible this holiday season. Please contact the parent support specialist to find other holidays assistance resources.

The nomination process will be based on the order the form was submitted and eligibility. Submitting the form does not guarantee the nomination. The nominated families will receive a call prior to the Winter holiday.

Please answer all the questions in the form (see link below). If you have any questions, need help with the application, or would like to donate contact the Parent Support Specialist Sura Jasim at 512-841-0855, or email at


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. Breakfast is served at 7:30 am and instruction begins at 7:40 am. Thank you for getting your students here on time so they can get the absolute most out of each and every instructional day!



The best way to ensure your child does not fall behind academically is ensuring they are at school on time every day

At Travis Heights we want to recognize good and improved attendance! Classes with 100% attendance for the week will earn a POPCORN “party”! This is just the beginning! We will continue to expand our attendance incentive program!


Shout out to your Travis Heights Team!      

Did one of our own deliver for YOU?

Teacher and Employee well-being is 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


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. 


Farm Fresh Challenge

October is National Farm to School Month
To celebrate, AISD will participate in the annual Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Farm Fresh Challenge.  The Challenge allows Food Service to highlight the use of local foods on school menus, as well as helping to create a Farm Fresh generation by connecting students to Texas agriculture and garden-based learning.

AISD’s Local Food Vendor Examples:

  • Beetnik Foods, Austin – Organic chicken meatballs
  • Farm to School Program – Featuring pears, red apples, and oranges in October, sourced from farms throughout Texas
  • Fiesta Tortillas, Austin – Corn & whole wheat flour tortillas, Tortilla chips
  • Lux Bakery, San Antonio – Chia Bars
  • New World Bakery, Kyle – Whole wheat bread, burger/hot dog buns, dinner rolls, muffins
  • Padrino Foods, Irving – Beef tamales, Bean and cheese tamales

Elementary Art Contest:

Food Service will resume their annual elementary art contest, encouraging students to create artwork highlighting Texas agriculture throughout the month.  View contest guidelines here.


October Parent Conference.

District conference days Fall: October 11 and Spring: February 21. Teachers are reaching out to parents to communicate and schedule conferences with all homeroom students. Every child’ s parent will be offered a face-to-face conference. However, if a phone call or Zoom is more convenient please communicate this with the teacher to best meet your needs. 


Request for Parent Volunteers to monitor lunch.

Wow! How fun is this?  Now that we have moved lunch to outdoors we need help to make sure our Thunderbirds stay safe while eating and visiting with friends.  This is a great opportunity to engage with our students.  If you are interested, please follow the process for becoming an authorized Travis Heights Elementary Volunteer and complete this form.  Our Assistant Principal Samantha Barrett will contact you to coordinate scheduling.  Thank you!!


Volunteering at Travis Heights is Easy!

Step 1: Let us know you are interested 
Let us know your interest to be an official Travis Heights Elementary Volunteer!  Currently we are in need of Parent Lunch Monitors.  Complete this form to let us know your availability.

Step 2: Annual Background Check 
All volunteers should request a background check each year. This process can take a couple of weeks, especially at the beginning of the school year, so submit yours early! (Note: Background checks do not check immigration status & information is not shared with other agencies.) 

Annual Background Check
Volunteers should request a background check each year. This process can take a couple of weeks, especially at the beginning of the school year, so submit yours early! (Note: Background checks do not check immigration status & information is not shared with other agencies.)

Instructions for Requesting a Background Check:

  • Go to:
  • Select the Volunteer button
  • Select School Based Volunteer
  • You can choose to make a donation or click through without donating
  • Select Travis Heights Elementary from the school-based volunteers list
  • Choose School volunteer
  • (Information about what the background check looks for is available by clicking the Background Check Guidelines link)
  • Complete the information requested for the background check.

Step 3: Confidentiality Agreement 
In addition to requesting a Background Check, volunteers are also required to sign an AISD Confidentiality Agreement each year. Your child’s teacher has this form. 

Confidentiality Agreement
All volunteers must also sign an AISD Confidentiality Agreement. Pick one up at the office or from your child’s teacher or Download one here English or Spanish.

If you have questions or concerns about the Background Check process or need assistance in completing the online form, please contact the Parent Support Specialist (414-4495) or Volunteer Coordinator:


Up & Coming for October:

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

4th – Custodian and Grounds Appreciation Day

7th – Executive PTA Meeting @3:30 pm Zoom

7th – Thunderboard @4:30-5:45 pm Zoom

8th – Lower grade Assembly @8 am

11th – Indigenous Peoples’ Day

11th-15th – Food Service Appreciation Week

11th – Parent Teacher Conference Day

14th – COHORT Meeting @3:30 pm cafeteria

17th – National Boss’s Day

18th-22nd – America’s Safe Schools Week/ Transportation Appreciation Week

21st – Fall Pictures

21st – Faculty Meeting @3:30 pm cafeteria

22nd – Coffee Chat @8 am

25th-29th – Red Ribbon Week & Love Your Brain Week (Sponsored by the Counselors)

28th – T.ILT Meeting @3:30 library

29th – Storybook Character Parade (start thinking about your character)

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