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Travis Heights Elementary School PTA > Monthly Principal Letter > Thursday’s ThunderWord! 10/07/2021

Thursday’s ThunderWord! 10/07/2021


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 Membership

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Outdoor Lunch 

Our students began having lunch outdoors this week! They have done a great job with this transition and are enjoying the nice weather! Thank you again to our amazing PTA for the picnic table donations and for all the parents that volunteered to put tables together and sand the wooden tables! This is what a family looks like. Our community came together to make this possible! Thank you so much! 


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 greater 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!!


Like and visit our Travis Heights Heights Elementary Official Facebook Page!
Check here for the latest updates and parent resources.


Custodian Appreciation & Food Service Workers Appreciation Week!

This week we are celebrating our wonderful custodians, Mr. King and Ms. Tovar! They work so hard to make our school safe, clean, and tidy and are an integral part of our community! Show them some love by giving them a shout out, card, or treat! 

Next week, Oct. 11-15th, will be Food Service Workers Appreciation Week! Our cafeteria staff prepare delicious meals for our students and staff with love, and always serve it with a smile! Also, show them some gratitude with shout out, cards, or treats! 


Parent Teacher Conferences

Monday, October 11
This year, our district conference days are Fall: October 11 and Spring: February 21

Teachers are reaching out to parents to communicate and schedule conferences with all homeroom students.  There will be no school for students on October 11th. 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. 


Fall Picture Day—Smile Pretty 🙂

Thursday, October 21st
Your teacher will be sending home pre-printed envelope order forms. 


Flu Shots

October 19th
Don’t let the flu knock you out of school! Free flu vaccinations are being offered at THES to all students. If you’d like your child to get a flu shot, please complete the attached consent form and return it to the school by that date. If you need a paper copy, stop by the office.

English Consent Form and/or Spanish Consent Form


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

Did you know that each year, THES works with our amazing community to bring holiday joy to the Thunderbird families who need it most? Through OPERATION THUNDERJOY, our Parent Support Specialist collects wishlists while parent volunteers find donors for hundreds of clothes, shoes, and gifts and make sure they’re appropriately wrapped, tagged and delivered.



Each year ThunderJoy selects 50 families to sponsor for the holiday. In past years, items such as clothes, shoes, large grocery gift cards, beloved toys, bikes… even necessities such as prescription glasses, beds, A/C units and extermination services were donated. Students may be nominated through a teacher or THES staff or families may request to be sponsored. Nominations and requests do not automatically mean acceptance. The team must review selections. To better serve more families, we will select families who have not received assistance in the past.

If you have any questions about donations or would like to volunteer to assist with Operation ThunderJoy, please contact

If your family or one you know is in need of significant assistance and would like to be considered for the ThunderJoy program, contact Travis Heights Parent Support Specialist Sura Jasim 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.



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. 


Brain Power

The Parent Engagement Support Office in partnership with the Austin ISD Brain Lab Team is offering a virtual workshop series to families around the Neurosequential Model in Education, or NME. 

Due to the collective trauma caused by the pandemic as well as the unprecedented rise in mental health issues, we want to make sure families are equipped with an understanding of the brain, as well as how to support their child at home.  Sessions will be offered both in English and Spanish with interpretation services provided upon request. 

Brain Power (English)

Brain Power (Spanish)


Equity Action Plan

Over the course of a year (2019–2020), the AISD Office of Equity met with over 1,500 staff, students, and community for a series of information gathering sessions. The goal for these sessions was to hear staff, student, and community concerns; what they thought about equity in our district practices; and to find areas where we as the district could adjust to be more equitable.

The Equity Action Plan is available in nine languages for your review. 



Updated “Proud to be Hispanic” Talent Show Info

Austin ISD celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with the 2021 Virtual Talent Show “Proud to be Hispanic”. There are new categories: Class Performance (with a prize of $300 for a Taco Party) and Join the fiesta, an open category that allows entries not related to the four initial categories –Singing, Music, Dancing and Art (drawing or painting)-or do not involve Hispanic Culture.

Students can submit their videos or pictures via until October 15. Voting ends on October 22. More than $2,000 in prizes will be awarded in a virtual ceremony on October 27. Please see our flyers.

This virtual talent show allows our students to participate safely from home and with the support of their family. Accepted submissions are being posted on 



2022 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Awards

Humanities Texas is immensely thankful for the hard work of amazing teachers across Texas! We look forward to recognizing outstanding K–12 teachers with our 2022 Outstanding Teaching Awards. We encourage you to nominate a deserving teacher in your school or community today! 

In 2022, Humanities Texas will present a total of fifteen awards in three different categories: 

  • Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award: This award recognizes exemplary contributions of teachers of humanities subjects in Texas elementary, middle, and high schools. (12 recipients) 
  • Linden Heck Howell Outstanding Teaching of Texas History Award: This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the teaching of Texas history at the primary and secondary levels. This award was established in memory of Ms. Howell, former chair of the Humanities Texas Board of Directors, as a lasting tribute to her service to the organization and her commitment to the study of Texas history. (1 recipient) 
  • Award for Outstanding Early-Career Teaching: This award recognizes exemplary contributions of early-career humanities teachers in Texas who have completed three or fewer years of teaching. (2 recipients) 

Humanities Texas will select one of the fifteen recipients who demonstrates exceptional leadership in the educational field to receive the Julius Glickman Educational Leadership Award. The award honors Humanities Texas board member Julius Glickman for his extraordinary leadership of our organization and many others.   All award winners will receive a $5,000 prize, with an additional $500 for their schools to purchase humanities-based instructional materials. 

To nominate a teacher, please complete the online nomination form available on the Humanities Texas website. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, December 10, 2021


Neighborhood Pumpkin Patch

SoCo Pumpkin Patch_Flyer2021


National School Lunch Week (NSLW)

Texas Department of Agriculture Theme: Feed Your Creativity with a Healthy School Lunch

NSLW is a great opportunity to remind parents and students that school meals are free for everyone this school year, regardless of household income. 

On one day during NSLW, cafes will offer a free sample of baked apples, prepared with Farm to School Texas-grown apples.  

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Austin Ed Fund 

Austin ISD’s non-profit education foundation — will host the 7th annual Inspire the Future Event on October 19 from 12:00-1:00 pm. This year’s event will be virtual. Please join us as we celebrate the impact of community support and watch an interview between AISD Superintendent Dr. Elizalde and Evan Smith, CEO & co-founder of The Texas Tribune. As always, we will feature the amazing and talented work that our Austin ISD students, teachers, staff and families are doing every day.

Please register today to reserve your spot!


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


Austin ISD Online Family Resources Guide 2021-22

The Parent Engagement Support Office within the Student Enrollment and Advocacy Department created an online resource guide to support AISD families, students, educators, or partners looking for resources for their student, family, or school. 

Our community can use this online guide to find and explore community and AISD resources: food, housing, legal, financial, transportation, after-school programs, community centers, and learning resources including ESL and GED services, computer literacy, cultural enrichment, and family literacy.

For additional information, please contact the AISD Parent Engagement Support Office at 512-414-0726.


AISD Long-Range Planning Data Deep-Dive

Join us as AISD hosts a data webinar for the Long-range planning process from 6–6:45 p.m. (English) and 7–7:45 p.m. (Spanish) Tuesday, Oct. 12. 

Austin ISD is beginning conversations about long-range planning which will determine which improvements and new facilities are included in the next AISD bond. The first step in that process is to analyze data about students, neighborhoods and facilities to better understand where we have the most critical needs. 

Come learn how we’re using data to identify which voices we need to hear from first to ensure we are centering equity in our planning process by following our Equity by Design model.

(English) 6–6:45 p.m. 
Register via zoom:

(Spanish) 7–7:45 p.m.
Register via zoom:


Up & Coming

October-National Bullying Prevention Month
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: