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Travis Heights Elementary School PTA > Monthly Principal Letter > Thursday’s ThunderWord! 10/14/2021

Thursday’s ThunderWord! 10/14/2021


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.  October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Our focus during this time is to promote safety, kindness, and respect. Our bullying lessons and interventions focus on the importance of accepting differences. We encourage students to see differences as learning opportunities. When we can listen, understand, and accept others, we deepen our capacity for empathy, wisdom, and kindness. This aids in other leadership skills such as conflict resolution, self-awareness, and the ability to empower others. We are all better when we grow together.


Red Ribbon Week:  October 25-29

The last week of October is also Red Ribbon Week: October 25 – 29, 2021. This is a time when we encourage students to commit to loving their brains and choose a drug free life. There will be an Optional Classroom Poster Contest: Each teacher can opt in to participate in the annual Red Ribbon Week Contest. Classrooms will work together to create a poster. The theme is “Love Your Brain” and we will be encouraging students to make healthy choices and turn their back on drugs. 

PTA Membership

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



Art Contest — I will change the world…

Every year students in Pre-K through Grade 12 create original works of art in response to an annual PTA Reflections theme. The 2021–2022 Reflections theme is “I Will Change the World By.” Interested students can submit their completed works of art in one or all of the available arts categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts, or Special Artist. The Special Artist Division is designed for students who identify as having a disability and may receive services under IDEA or ADA: Section 504 may enter the Special Artist Division or grade division most closely aligned to their functional abilities. The Special Artist Division welcomes all grades and abilities and offers non-artistic accommodations for students to participate fully in PTA Reflections. Reflections eligibility requirements can be found at


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.


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


Attention 5th Grade!

  • 5th Grade will be participating in virtual visits on October 21, 2021 
  • 5th Grade will go to Lively for an in person visit on November 12, 2021 
  • Applications for middle school are now open: 
  • The deadline for submission of applications is January 7, 2022 
  • Please take a look at your students choices on the AISD website: School Choice | Austin ISD

Kealing Magnet Event Flyer: 

Kealing Parent Information Nights are virtual and families must sign up to receive a zoom link (Spanish translation available)

Thursday, October 21, 2021
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Thursday, November 4, 2021
6:00 – 7:00 PM

Kealing Showcase is an annual in-person event for families to tour the campus, visit with staff and students, and learn about the innovative curriculum Kealing has to offer. (Spanish translation available)

Thursday, November 11, 2021
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Kealing MS Courtyard Entrance (Pennsylvania Ave)
No Sign Up Required – Come and Explore at Your Leisure!


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.

Register Here

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


Congratulations, Luz Alvarez-Sims!

Luz Alvarez-Sims was named “Maestra Bilingüe del Año” (Bilingual teacher of the Year) by the Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE)!  We are so proud and honored to have one of our own Travis Heights family members be recognized for her hard work and dedication.  What an amazing accomplishment!



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.


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. 



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


Up & Coming

Close up , colorful pushpins on calendar

18-22 America’s Safe Schools Week/ Transportation Appreciation Week
21 Fall Pictures
21 Faculty Meeting @3:30 pm cafeteria
22 Coffee Chat @8 am
25-29 Red Ribbon Week & Love Your Brain Week (Sponsored by the Counselors)
28 T.ILT Meeting @3:30 library
29 Storybook Character Parade (start thinking about your character)

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