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Travis Heights Elementary School > Monthly Principal Letter > Thursday Thunderword 03/03/2022

Thursday Thunderword 03/03/2022

HAPPY THURSDAY, THUNDERBIRDS! 03/03/2022

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.

 

School Closed Friday

Due to changes in the district calendar, there will be No school for staff or students on Friday, March 4th. Have a nice weekend!

 

PTA News

Hey Thunderbirds! Hope this finds you well. A few things to cover this week:

General PTA Meeting and 2nd/3rd Grade Performance LIVE AND IN PERSON!!! Thursday 3/24 at 5:30pm. Please come and join us. I really want to see some old and new faces. Masks required while on school grounds and will be enforced.

If anyone is still interested in volunteering, but wasn’t able to attend our recent meetings, please reach out and I will get you all the info you need! We do have a very special need for a Treasurer for the PTA Board. Basic accounting skills will suffice. We use Quickbooks Online and you will have our outgoing Treasurer on the board (as Secretary) to look to for guidance.

Thunderbirds TOTALLY ROCK!

Merrideth Jiles

 

THES Thrift Sale

Student drawn Thunderbird

Thunderbird Thrift Sale returns!

We are so glad to announce that the Thunderbird Thrift Sale will be returning this year. The sale will be on Saturday April 2nd from 8am-12pm. Look for volunteer signups soon and start saving those items you’d like to donate. This event will happen alongside Campus Beautification and Registration Drive. So much going on!

 

Shamrock Dance

Tonight’s t/he Night! 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!

 

Masks

In light of the sharp decline in COVID-19 cases, the district is anticipating the need to begin considering revisiting our health and safety protocols, which currently include mandatory masking.

We are collecting feedback in this survey until Sunday, March 6 to inform potential changes to our masking policies.

Please note:

  • This is not an election, and the decision to continue or modify the mask mandate will be based on what is best for the health of our students and staff.
  • We are seeking public input because any public health directives, such as a mask mandate, depend upon the public’s acceptance. We need to have a clearer picture of where our staff and families are before we start considering any changes to our policy.
  • We are able to disaggregate the data to determine where the responses are coming from. With any survey about masks, you’re going to get a lot of outside noise. For example, we’re getting dozens of results from Germany. We will be able to eliminate non-local responses.
  • At the same time, we will be able to drill down to see what those in our most vulnerable communities think.

Please share the survey link and the social media posts below with your campus communities.

Mask Survey- Facebook Post

Mask Survey- Tweet

 

Social and Emotional Learning and Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness

Please join the Social and Emotional Learning and Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness ( SEL and CP&I) department, in partnership with the Urban Assembly and SEL4US, to celebrate the third annual International SEL Day on March 11, 2022. This initiative aims to create an annual global campaign to recognize the immense value of social and emotional learning (SEL) and its importance to the academic and social development of young people across the globe. In fact, Mayor Adler has proclaimed March 11 as Austin’s SEL and CP&I Day!

March 11 is a day to #SELebrate the amazing work your campuses are doing year-round. Transformative and culturally proficient SEL is not done in a moment or day; it’s a mindset shift.  Finding Common Ground. Pursuing Common Good.

 

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 raquel.brown@austinisd.org for more information. We are looking for a variety of job representatives.

 

Picture Day Rescheduled
Class Picture Day Rescheduled – April 19, 2022

What is better than picture day in elementary school? Looking at your pictures 20 years later!! Picture day is coming fast and this year individual and class pictures will be taken on the same day! Be sure to have your best look on that day.

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.

Sincerely,
Louie and Ray

 

Access To Healthy Food during Spring Break

With many AISD students living in food-insecure households, access to healthy food may be challenging when the district is closed. Families can use the community resources below to find free meals in their area while AISD offices and schools are closed for Spring Break:

 

AISD is celebrating School Breakfast Week

AISD is celebrating School Breakfast Week March 7-11, 2021. This week provides a great opportunity to remind families that both breakfast and lunch are free for all students this school year.

Elementary School Promotion:
On Friday, March 11, Austin ISD elementary schools will wrap up School Breakfast Week by serving breakfast at lunch. The elementary lunch menu will feature whole wheat pancakes served with turkey or veggie sausage and scratch prepared syrup, potato puffs, chilled strawberries, and milk. With this being the last day before Spring Break, we encourage campuses to build excitement around this day, ideas include “Pancakes and Pajamas.”

Resources:
School Breakfast Week Toolkit – Contains school breakfast information, activity packets, coloring sheets, announcements for all levels, participation chart, and sample social media posts.
General Free School Meals Newsletter/Parent Communications/Graphics:
Elementary School Free School Meals Communications

 

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 https://www.travisheightselementary.com/volunteering/.
Our new volunteer coordinators Anna Roth, anna.m.roth@gmail.com, and Sura Jasim (Parent Support Specialist), sura.jasim@austinisd.org, will be in touch with you.

 

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

 

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:  https://sites.google.com/austinisd.org/austinisdgtstudentshowcase/home

 

Amplify Austin for the Austin Ed Fund

It’s here! Austin Ed Fund will participate in Amplify Austin Day 2022 – the most impactful day of giving in Central Texas. All gifts will directly impact Austin ISD students and teachers by supporting Austin Ed Fund’s teacher grant programs, financial assistance to families, and so much more.

Amplify Austin Day: Wednesday, March 2 at 6:00 pm to Thursday, March 3 at 6:00 pm
Campaign URL: bit.ly/AmplifyAustinEdFund2022

How can you get involved and impact Austin ISD?
1.  Donate to Austin Ed Fund – Make a donation today by clicking the “Donate” button on Austin Ed Fund’s Amplify Campaign. Enter the name of your campus or department in the donation message box. Thanks to a generous gift from Sharon & Akshai Rao, all donations will be matched up to $25,000.

2.  Become a Fundraising Champion – Create a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) fundraising page on behalf of Austin Ed Fund. This will help you appeal to donors within your own network and share your personal story. All donations made to P2P pages will support Austin Ed Fund’s mission. Here’s how to get started.

  • Go to Austin Ed Fund’s Amplify Campaign and click the “Fundraise” button to create and customize a fundraising page with your story. Learn more about Peer to Peer Fundraising. We encourage colleagues to team up to create one page, and then work collaboratively to promote it within your networks.
  • Check out Austin Ed Fund’s Amplify Toolkit for tips on promoting your page.
    P2P fundraisers that raise at least $100 will receive an Austin Ed Fund t-shirt! See additional prizes below.

3. Spread the word – Share Austin Ed Fund’s Amplify Campaign and Toolkit with family, friends, colleagues, and social networks.

 

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 portal.austinisd.org.

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 portal.austinisd.org.

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.*

 

Community Connection: Parent and Student Rights

The AISD Department of Student Support Services invites you to preview and provide feedback on Parent & Student Rights.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/austin-isd-community-connections-student-and-parent-rights-tickets-288603098637

 

Reminders

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: https://www.facebook.com/TravisHeightsES
Follow the PTA on FB: https://www.facebook.com/TravisHeightsElem

Up & Coming

March
3 Shamrock Dance
4 No School
14 Spring Break begins!
24 PTA Meeting
31 THES Career Day
31 Submission Deadline for GT Showcase

For district-wide events you can view the AISD calendar here: https://www.austinisd.org/sites/default/files/dept/calendar/Calendar_2021-2022v3.pdf

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