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Travis Heights Elementary School PTA > District News > Thursday’s Thunderword 11/04/2021

Thursday’s Thunderword 11/04/2021


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 Update


With the return of events in 2022, we are really in need of not only parent volunteers, but specifically parents from lower grades (K through 3rd). We have a big group of parents that have some experience that will be graduating in May and taking all that institutional knowledge with them. Most have agreed to “do it one more time”, but would really like to be mentoring someone that they can pass the torch to. If you are a parent of a Thunderbird in the lower grades, please reach out and get involved before all of our experience advances to Middle School.

Express your interest by emailing:

  • Events we want to do:
  • Parent Tours (on Campus)
  • Young Writers Workshop
  • Campus Beautification
  • Shamrock Dance (specifically 4th grade parents)
  • ***NEW*** Spring Carnival (we will likely go back to Fall for 22-23, but we gotta get our Carnival on!!!)
  • Steam Day
  • Family Fun and Fitness Day

Hopefully, you can make some time to help us get Travis Heights back to normal and to ensure some of our favorite traditions continue on.

Merrideth Jiles, PTA President


Congratulations, Ms. Luz Alvarez-Sims!

Fourth grade dual-language teacher, Ms. 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 being recognized for her hard work and dedication! What an amazing accomplishment!


Thank you parents!

The Halloween Boo bags were a hit! Students were so happy to receive them at the end of the day last Friday. Thank you parents for all of your donations to make this possible!



Character Pumpkin Patch Contest

Congratulations to Mr. Valdez’s classes for receiving the most votes in the character pumpkin patch contest. Their Elephant and Piggie pumpkins from the popular book series by Mo Willems were easily recognizable by many students. As their prize, they received their very own Elephant and Piggie stuffies for their classroom. And a giant kudos to all the Kinder and Pre-K teachers that participated. Mrs. Harris can’t wait to see what next year’s pumpkin patch brings!


All Together/ Todos Juntos- AISD Family Academy

In celebration of National Parental Involvement Day, Austin ISD presents the free 2021 Virtual Family Academy Todos Juntos – All Together Event November 16-18.

The free academy will feature 12 live Zoom sessions around various topics such as the following:

  • Mental Health Supports and Building a Community of Care
  • Early Childhood Strategies
  • Afghan Women Wellness
  • Special Education and 504 Supports, including Dyslexia, Inclusion, ARDs
  • Elementary and Secondary Multilingual Programs
  • Advanced Academics Supports
  • Early College Programs

Please visit the newsletter for more information on sessions and registration.

Please see attached flyers: English Spanish

Please contact the AISD Parent Engagement Support Office at 512-414-0726 for more information.


Prospective Parent ToursProspective Parent Tours

Travis Heights Elementary is a proud community supported In-District Charter School. Our current families are the best way to share great news about our school. We have exciting events coming up that we would love for you to invite your friends, neighbors, or coworkers to attend and learn more about THES. No RSVP is needed to attend any of these events. Prospective parents should bring a photo ID and are welcome to bring their child.

November 12: Tour at 8:30 am
December 10: Tour at 8:30 am
January 14: Tour at 8:30 am
January 18: Tour only at 5:30 pm


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


Cafeteria Menus

Please see the link below to find out how to get the meal menu for each day.

  • AISD will provide free meals for all students through June 2022.
  • Meals are free for all students regardless of income, or without any application or documentation.
  • At AISD, we encourage all students to take advantage of free school meals!


Attention 5th Grade!

  • 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, 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!


Free Coats For Kids

Austin ISD students who qualify for free and reduced lunch services can receive a free coat by filling out the form below. No documentation is needed. The form will close on Friday, Nov. 12. Coats will be delivered to students at their campus before winter break.

If you need help with filling out the form, please email your campus parent support specialist
or email the Coats for Kids AISD Support Team with any questions at

Los estudiantes de Austin ISD que califican para los servicios de almuerzo gratuito y reducido pueden recibir un abrigo gratuito llenando el formulario de abajo. No se necesita ninguna documentación. El formulario se cerrará el viernes 12 de noviembre. Los abrigos serán entregados a los estudiantes en su escuela antes de las vacaciones de invierno.

Si necesita ayuda para llenar el formulario, por favor envíe un correo electrónico a su especialista de apoyo a los padres del campus o envíe un correo electrónico al equipo de apoyo de Coats for Kids AISD con cualquier pregunta a




Science Festival 2022

The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival is one of Texas’ largest regional science fairs with about 3,000 students from 3rd through 12th grade. It encourages and rewards innovative student research and provides scientists, engineers and other professionals a chance to volunteer in the community. The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival serves students from Central Texas whose projects won at their schools’ science fairs. The deadline for submissions is January 27, 2022. For more information please visit

Winning Junior/Senior Division projects advance to the Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Best of Fair Senior Division projects advance directly to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.


Let’s Talk AISD Communication Platform

Let’s Talk is a district online tool that takes your district questions and feedback and sends it directly to the appropriate staff members for follow up.
You can also send a TEXT to Let’s Talk at 512-886-6434 or call the Family Support Line at 512-414-9187


Good Use App

We’ve partnered with Good Use, an app that helps us give what we no longer use within the community. It’s an opportunity for us to demonstrate our generosity with each other and strengthen our community. How it works

  1. Create an account via via your phone or computer
  2. Post something to give away
  3. Someone from within the community will request your item
  4. Arrange for them to pick up the item
  5. Feel good about helping someone!

Good Use has created a private page for Travis Height Elementary families so that we can connect with each other. To access the Travis Heights Elementary School Good Use Group click here:

If you sign up by Nov 15 and post something to give away, you’ll be entered to win one of three $100 gift cards.


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.


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.


Gifted and Talented Nominations: K-2nd Grades

Open October 25- November 5
Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to be screened for Gifted and Talented (GT) and Talent Explore (TE) in Austin ISD through a nomination and screening process. All campuses in Austin ISD provide screening, identification, and services for Gifted and Talented students.

Additionally, students screened for Gifted and Talented who are not identified for GT services are automatically considered for Talent Explore. Talent Explore identification is for high ability students who do not qualify for Gifted and Talented but demonstrate the potential to perform at high levels when grouped with Gifted and Talented students. Students may be identified through the screening process in one or more of the following areas:

  • GT STEM (science and mathematics),
  • GT Humanities (language arts and social studies),
  • Talent Explore STEM (science and mathematics), or
  • Talent Explore Humanities (language arts and social studies).

If you’d like your child to be considered for the GT program, please fill out the following online referral form. Paper copies are also available in the front office.

English and Spanish referral form

There will be a GT information session during the Coffee Chat on Friday 10/22 and our GT coordinator/librarian Mrs. Harris will be available to answer any questions. You can also e-mail her at for help as well.


Up & Coming

11 Kealing Showcase
12 Prospective Parent Tour (8:30 am)
16-18 AISD Virtual Family Academy
22-26 Thanksgiving Break

10 Prospective Parent Tour (8:30 am)
20 Winter Break Begins

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