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Travis Heights Elementary School PTA > Counselor's Corner > Thursday Thunderword 02/24/2022

Thursday Thunderword 02/24/2022


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.


Hair Love Day this Friday, Feb. 25!

After watching the award-winning short film or reading the book Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and having a class discussion about the story’s themes including empathy and love today, Thursday, THES will have Hair Love Day, tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 25th!

Students and staff are invited to wear their favorite hair style with pride!


Coffee Chat and Principal Update

Join Us on February 25th at 8am for our monthly Coffee Chat and principal update. This month we will be discussing tools for staying calm. With all the things happening in the world it is important to take a moment to recenter and refresh for ourselves and our children.

This is a great time to talk to your children about the type of values that help our community to grow stronger, and how each of us have the responsibility to set goals for ourselves in order to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 974 0839 7150
Passcode: joinus

PTA News

It was a busy week with conferences and such. Look for info soon on the events we are hoping to pull off this Spring and YOUR chance to help out. Stay safe and warm this weekend!
Merrideth Jiles
THES PTA President


Get involved in your THES PTA

Thanks to those that were able to join us for the recent meetings about getting involved with PTA. If you couldn’t make it, but are interested, you can always email me for more info. Email me at

Look for opportunities coming up soon to sign up. One of our most pressing needs right now is a couple of volunteers to help coordinate a Spring Carnival. This involves booking the “equipment’, such as the bounce house and slide.

Other opportunities will be announced here in the Thunderword with a Signup Genius link for you to volunteer.
Thanks and I look forward to seeing you all as we start to reintegrate on campus.


***Campus Beautification POSTPONED****

If it’s not a Global Pandemic, it’s darned old Mother Nature! The forecast for Saturday is cold and wet. Not the best time for working outdoors (trust me, that’s what I do for a living). We are hoping to reschedule for early April and make Campus Beautification part of a big day of events at THES. Keep an eye out here for more info.


Shamrock Dance

Shamrock Dance, a beloved Travis Heights Elementary School tradition, is back! The dance will take place on Thursday, March 3rd 4-6pm and is for current 3rd, 4th, and 5th THES students only. Tickets are $5 each and will be sold by 4th grade teachers during the week of the dance or at the door. 4th grade parents, please help us make the dance happen by donating drinks and snacks and by volunteering at the event. Everyone else, join us on the dance floor!

Nearly all of the volunteer slots have been filled but we still need a few folks to help with clean up, please CLICK HERE to access our signup. You get to do this with me (Merrideth Jiles) and Nurse Louise, so a good time is guaranteed!


Black History Month

We continue our celebration of Black History Month at THES. This week, students have been learning about different historical figures during morning announcements. In addition, we planned the following school-wide activities:

  • On Tuesday, 2-22-22, all classes had a Motown dance party at 2:22 pm!
  • Wednesday- Students learn more about Motown music.
  • Thursday- Students watch the 6 min. short film “Hair Love” or read the book by Matthew A. Cherry.
  • Friday- Hair Love Day! Wear your favorite hair style with pride!


Newcomer Family Welcome and Orientation Event

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, THES hosted our second Newcomer Family Welcome and Orientation Event. Newcomer families received important school information in their native language, were introduced to key staff members, and received resources.

Thank you so much to Rightworks Staffing Inc., SoCo Episcopal Community, and Austin Ridge Bible Church for donating resources for this event and for our newcomer families!

A special shout out to Ms. Faith Boyer, Bilingual Interventionist and Refugee Liaison, and Ms. Sura Jasim, Parent Support Specialist, for organizing another successful event!



Career Day at Travis Heights: PRESENTERS NEEDED

This Spring the counselors and administrators are organizing a Career Day on March 31st from 1:00 – 3:00pm. We need presenters who would be willing to speak to our 4th and 5th graders about their jobs! If you or someone you know is interested in giving a presentation to share some professional wisdom with our students, please email for more information. We are looking for a variety of job representatives.


Counselor’s Corner

Mindful Practices on Campus: A lot of exciting things are happening at Travis Heights Elementary School this spring. Our campus is becoming a wonderland of mindful practices and spaces. A special thanks to Colin Clark for donating Mindfulness books for the Social Emotional Learning of our students.

Every teacher can now utilize this resource for their morning meetings with students. The book has a variety of poses, deep breathing techniques, and social emotional topics to discuss. This new initiative goes hand-in-hand with the renovation of our campus garden spaces. Since the beginning of the school year our Mindfulness Garden Committee has been working to raise money to improve the outdoor learning spaces around campus.

Our 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Bright launched the first DonorsChoose site for our committee in the fall and we reached our goal within one week. This first launch provided us with childrens’ gloves, hand shovels, buckets, and more so that our students can participate in hands-on learning. This week, I am proud to announce the launch of our second DonorsChoose site which will allow us to create a mindful pathway on the campus grounds. If you chip in to help our students, we’ll be incredibly grateful.

A Message from our Health Clinic

Dear Parents,

The nurse’s office will be doing vision and hearing screens in the coming weeks. These are screenings that are mandated by the state. If you have any questions or would like your child to opt out of the screenings, please call the health room at 512.414.3493 and speak with the health room staff. If there is no answer, please feel free to leave a message with your preference. You will be informed if your child does not pass the screenings. If your child passes you will not be notified.

Louie and Ray


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!


Excused Absences during Quarantine

If your child is in quarantine due to COVID, know these absences will be excused. You might be receiving the automated calls and emails from the district because the excused absences must be entered manually. We ask for your patience as we process these absences due to COVID.


Meet Our New Volunteer Coordinators

Interested in volunteering to be a lunch monitor? Or would you rather help with making copies or decorating bulletin boards? If you want to help, we have plenty that needs to be done!

If interested, please follow the process for becoming a Travis Heights Elementary Volunteer by following this link

Our new volunteer coordinators Anna Roth,, and Sura Jasim (Parent Support Specialist),, will be in touch with you.


Live music from Band Aid School of Music during outdoor lunch!

Last week, Band Aid School of Music performed for our students during lunch at the Outdoor Cafe. You may have heard the good news from your kiddo! Many of our students expressed interest in taking lessons and/or joining Band Aid’s national champion band program. You probably know they are in our neighborhood. If you are interested in giving your child a great musical opportunity, all Travis Heights new students will receive a special discount of $70 for the first two months of lessons! To sign up you can visit Band Aid’s enrollment form HERE. For summer camp info (ages 4 and up) click CAMPS.


Fill The Staff Pantry

What helps the day go better… How about a little pick me up for staff? We would like to work toward filling the empty pantry in the lounge with some quick grabs to help keep the energy up throughout the day. Other than a few goldfish in the classroom, our teaching team does not have access to healthy snacks or the ability to go off campus when the need presents. Let’s help out by providing some nutritious and delicious items that staff can enjoy while keeping the day going.

Drop-off items in the marked box at the main entrance.
Individually-wrapped items preferred. Healthy snack and drink ideas:

Nuts Trail mix Microwave popcorn
Dried fruit Protein & granola bars Cup soup
Instant oatmeal Sparkling water Coffee (grounds or cold brew cans)
Chips Chocolate (Of course!) Creamer, sugar, sugar substitutes (stevia, etc.)
Sugar free candy Canned soups, chili, etc. Beef jerky


Plan Proposed to Close Woodland Avenue at I-35

Attention THES families! Due to concern about the possible closing of Woodland at I-35, SRCC invited them to this week’s meeting and they shared several sources to help everyone understand their process:

  • This document gives an overview of all of the proposed changes that are coming.
  • This recording is of a community meeting that was held earlier this year.

One of our parents, Fred DeWorken, is collecting data he will be sharing with TxDOT. If you would like to give input about the closing of Woodland for cars, please take the time to fill out this short survey.


GT Virtual District Showcase

All K-12 GT students will be invited to submit a student project (individual, partner, or group) in one of the following categories: Humanities, STEM, or Creativity. The Spring 2022 theme will be Pathways and Passions. All projects will need to be submitted digitally (either a link to the work or a picture of the final product). The submission window will be open from March 1-31st, 2022. The Virtual Showcase website will open in May. This website has additional details and information.

GT Student Showcase Flyer_Spring 2022


Time to register your returning students!

RETURNING STUDENTS: For families registering students returning to Austin ISD, a Parent Portal account must be created before you can access the online registration system. To create a Parent Portal account, visit

Note: Only parent/guardian contacts are able to use the online registration system. If you have any questions or need assistance with Parent Portal or online registration, please contact your student’s campus or call the Family Support Line at 512-414-9187.

*All returning students who have had a recent change of address should submit proof of residency to the campus when returning to school in August. Please note that additional documentation may be requested by the campus in order to complete enrollment if those documents are not attached electronically during this online registration process. *

NEW STUDENTS: For families registering students new to AISD, a Parent Portal account must be created before you can access the online registration system. To create a Parent Portal account, visit

Note: Only parent/guardian contacts are able to use the online registration system. If you have any questions or need assistance with Parent Portal or Online Registration, please contact your student’s campus or call the Family Support Line at 512-414-9187.

Families registering students new to AISD will need to provide the following documentation at the child’s campus:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s social security card (optional)
  • Child’s immunization records
  • Child’s withdrawal form/last report card (if applicable)
  • Parent/guardian photo ID
  • Proof of guardianship (if applicable)
  • Proof of residency

*All students new to AISD must submit proof of residency to the campus when starting school in August. Please note that additional documentation may be requested by the campus in order to complete enrollment if those documents are not attached electronically during this online registration process.*



To condense the length of our E-folder, some important news has been moved to a page of its own.

Please find out about meals and snacks at THES Meals
You can find our COVID guidelines and testing sites at COVID Updates
Follow the school on FB:
Follow the PTA on FB:


Up & Coming

24 Class Pictures
25 Principal Update & Coffee Chat
25 Hair Love Day

3 Shamrock Dance
4 No School
14 Spring Break begins!
31 Submission Deadline for GT Showcase

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