Bear Bulletin

August 29, 2021

Topics Included in this Newsletter

  • Note from Mrs. Spencer
  • Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
  • Have Questions About COVID-19? Memorial Partners Can Help!
  • SBMS Transportation Information
  • SBISD Credit by Exams (CBE)
  • SBMS Back to School Assemblies and SBISD Code of Conduct
  • Information from Nurse Mulvey for 6th Grade Parents
  • SBMS Yearbook Information
  • SBMS PTA Information for 2021-2022

Message from Mrs. Spencer

Two weeks of school down, Bears! I hope that you have enjoyed a lovely start to school and the logistics of all things school and life have been begun to take shape and settle. A respite in the form of a three day weekend is around the corner; you can do it, Bears!


As we settle into this third week of school, I have posted reminders below and information in subsequent articles that I hope prove helpful to you. In addition to that content, I just want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our families, students and community members for their heart, hard work, commitment and patience they have extended to us as we have begun the 2021-2022 school year. As your campus principal, I recognize the challenging times in which you are living and raising a family. We all have different opinions, circumstances and journeys where we might be enjoying a level of peace despite all that is going on in the world or experiencing the hardest moments we have known to date. Our kids are growing up in these challenging, divisive circumstances and our staff is called to help guide you and your families through that process but are experiencing it themselves, too. My hope and perhaps not-so-simple request from each of you, and myself, is that we work together as constructively and positively as we can and we keep the focus on working together for our kids.


What does that mean? You might receive a call from Ms. Mulvey (our fabulous school nurse) this year indicating your child isn't feeling well. Beyond COVID-19, there are a variety of regular illnesses out there that students are encountering. Please be kind to her when you get that call. We know we have working parents who need not miss work and that any illness right now brings up fears that it may be COVID-19. You may agree or disagree with the current protocols. Please be kind. She will share recommendations because she cares deeply about our students and as the nurse on campus, she must. Please partner with your child's medical practitioner and determine whether or not you will act on those recommendations or not, but in your interactions with Ms. Mulvey and the front office staff, please appreciate the difficulty of their role and be kind. You might get a call about missing chromebook paperwork. We can help you solve it. There might be an issue (insert any topic) that needs resolution. Let us know and we will work with you to either better communicate, guide or help you solve it.


Not only will this extension of patience and grace ensure healthy relationships within our community, but it models for our kids that we can do hard things, disagree vehemently but appropriately and be our best selves despite it all.


We also know that the stress of the world around us is impacting families, but also students. If you, your family or your child are in need of some support, please reach out to any administrator or counselor at SBMS and we will locate resources for you. If you have no idea who to reach out to, you are always welcome to reach out to me and I will get you connected to someone who can help: stefanie.spencer@springbranchisd.com.


  • Labor Day Holiday: Don't forget that Monday, September 6th is a holiday for students and staff. Enjoy the three day weekend- have some fun and get some rest..
  • Chromebook Paperwork: We still have students whose families have not completed the Loaner Device Agreement form and Reasonable Use Policies required for student use of chromebooks. Please note that students who do not have this paperwork on file may not receive a device or their currently deployed device may cease working. Students missing this paperwork were given hard copies of the forms last week during device deployment, or the week prior. Please look for a call out from SBISD if your child is one of the students missing their paperwork. We would like every student to be able to access instructional content and resources on technology.


Have a great rest of your Sunday! The work continues tomorrow!


Stefanie Spencer, Principal

Stefanie.spencer@springbranchisd.com

Mark Your Calendars, Bears!

Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:


  • PTA Grade Level Parent Coffees: Join the PTA and get details on the location for our Parent Coffees hosted at 9 a.m. on the following dates: September 2nd for 6th Grade, September 3rd for 7th Grade and August 31st for 8th Grade.
  • MAP Testing: Each year, SBISD administers the MAP assessment to students at least twice a year. We will begin the fall administration soon. Students need to bring their fully charged devices and do their best on the assessments. Results guide us on growth made by students and strengths and opportunities for teachers to use in planning. Testing will occur in each subject area classroom on the following dates: Language Arts: 8/31 and 9/1; Math: 9/7 and 9/8; Science: 9/9 and 9/10.
  • Labor Day Holiday: Please note that there is a school holiday for staff and students on September 6th.
  • September 23rd at 6 p.m.: Back to School Night for SBMS: Travel your child's schedule and learn about what they will be learning this school year and hear tips for success from your child's teacher. Join us at the end of the evening for a meet and greet for new and returning families- meet the moms and dads of your student's new friends and meet some new friends for yourself, as well! Stay tuned for further details!


Additional calendar tools:

  • SBMS Google Calendars: SBMS uses a few calendars to help parents stay informed on events at school. The SBMS Public Calendar covers all academic and band/fine arts activities. The SBMS Athletics Activities Calendar covers the different athletic games we offer throughout the year. Please note neither calendar is up to date as of yet. Once game schedules are set by the district and other dates finalized by SBMS in relationship to Fine Arts, we will post these to the calendar.

Do you have questions about COVID-19 for our partners at Memorial Hermann? Ask them below and then join us on September 1 at 6pm. If you haven't already, register for the information meeting with the following link - https://conta.cc/3yhpa1i. Our panelists will do their best to answer your questions. Zoom link and password will be sent upon registration.


You may submit your questions here. Participants will do their best to answer your questions.

Para familias de habla hispana: ¿Tiene preguntas sobre el COVID-19? ¡Nuestros socios de Memorial Hermann tienen respuestas!

SBMS Transportation Information

In addition to the reminders sent out last week- please do not park or wait for your child in the church parking lot on Gaylord between Echo and Piney Point. The MHS Marching Band practices there and the additional traffic poses hazards for them. Please carpool or ask your child to wait out front a few minutes more until traffic dissipates to allow you to avoid this area as a a pick up option. As a reminder, the previous messaging is below if you need a refresher or missed the last newsletter:


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Thank you for your assistance with morning drop off and afternoon pick up processes and procedures. If you were not able to review the SBMS Bear Bulletin- Transportation Edition newsletter, you may click here to review it. Your adhering to the processes helps us ensure the safety of your children and an efficient pick up or drop off process.


Please note that the SBISD Police Department asked me to pass along a few messages to you:

1. Please refrain from picking up your children along the feeder/service road of I-10. Doing so places you and your children in harm's way. Traffic is clearing fairly quickly now. Please coordinate with your child to pick up from SBMS.

2. IF you are waiting for your child to walk to your waiting car in the neighborhood near SBMS, please pull your car as far right as you to allow traffic to flow freely. We have observed parents parked too far out into the street in a manner that would prohibit access to the area by emergency personnel (ambulance or fire truck). Please do not block driveways and demonstrate courtesy to families who live there.


Final reminder: As you drop off and pick up, please pull your car as far forward to the end of the curb in front of SBMS as you can. It may seem simpler to pick up your child in a different location along the front, but pulling forward maximizes how many kids we can load at a time and keeps things flowing more efficiently rather than disjointedly.

Thank you for attending to the above and the contents of the newsletter.


SBISD administers CBEs 4 times per year, once each quarter (Jan-Mar, Apr-June, July-Sept, and Oct-Dec). Fall and spring administrations are held on campuses. All tests are administered online (except math for grade 6 AAC). All CBE test selections must be verified by the school counselor prior to registration. School counselor/staff are responsible for including any approved test accommodations for students.


Key Information:

  • The registration deadline for parents for the fall CBE administration is September 1.
  • The fall administration window is Sept. 27 – Oct. 7.
  • All credit by exams will administered on campus.
  • Students are allowed up to three hours to complete each test, although some may finish in less time.
  • Parents of students taking grade 1 or 2 CBEs have the option to request oral administration.
  • Chrome books are supported for all online credit by exams.
  • Parents of all registered students will be notified by counselor or designee with the specific details of their child’s test appointment.
  • Elementary and middle school students testing successfully for math acceleration or grade level advancement in the fall will have their course schedules adjusted accordingly upon successful completion of CBE.
  • Additional information about Credit by Exam can be found on the district website: https://www.springbranchisd.com/about/departments/academic-performance/assessment-compliance/credit-by-exam.

6th Grade Parents: A Word From Nurse Mulvey

6th grade Parents:


If your child gets any new vaccines this school year please turn in a copy to the nurse. This will help prevent any delay in enrollment for 7th grade.

Mercedes.mulvey@springbranchisd.com

All volunteers must register online through the SBISD website every year and pass a criminal background check. Volunteers approved during the previous school year may volunteer through September 30 of the current school year. At that time, the system will reset and all volunteers must re-register before being allowed on campus. We strongly encourage all volunteers to register between July 1 and September 30.


Please allow 8-10 days for the criminal background check process to occur. Volunteers who provide a valid email address on their application will receive an automatic notification if approved to begin your service. Once you receive this e-mail, please either contact the program or campus where you want to provide support. A list of those contacts can be found here.

All volunteers must bring a valid, government issued photo ID when they visit or volunteer on campus to have it scanned into the Raptor6 system. Each time you are on campus thereafter, SBISD requires volunteers and visitors to check-in at the front office and wear a Raptor6 issued name badge.


Thank you for recognizing that the safety of our schools, our students and our volunteers is of the utmost importance!


By applying to be an SBISD volunteer, you agree to abide by the SBISD Volunteer Ethics and Guidelines.

SBMS 2021-22 Yearbook!

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Yearbooks are now on sale for $55! Buy one here or go to tinyurl.com/sbmsyearbook . Below is the list of yearbook deadlines. Buy your book ASAP before the price increases on Friday, October 1!

Also, if you have any great photos that could go in the yearbook (the staff needs good photos from the summer AND first day/week of school pics!) the yearbook staff would love those as well. You can upload photos for the yearbook staff using the Balfour Imageshare app on your phone. Instructions to log in can be found on the flyer. Note: the project number is 209143 and there is NO upload code. You may also send any photos for the yearbook staff to Sara Boyle, sara.boyle@springbranchisd.com. Contact Sara Boyle, sara.boyle@springbranchisd.com with any other questions about the yearbook!


October 1, 2021: Yearbook price increases to $60

January 1, 2022: Yearbook price increases to $65

January 31, 2022: Last day to buy and complete an AD/TRIBUTE for your student

March 4, 2022: Last day to PERSONALIZE yearbook (name stamp, activity icon)

March 15, 2022: Last day to send in yearbook photos for inclusion


Thank you!

Sara Boyle

Journalism Teacher, Yearbook and Newspaper Adviser

Spring Branch Middle School

Buy a 2021/2022 yearbook here!

A Word from the SBMS PTA

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The PTA welcomes you to back to school and hope you were able to access the big form and acquire spirit gear during back to school! As the year progresses, please note that the PTA website is https://sbmspta.membershiptoolkit.com/ and will be updated regularly to help share information. Please also follow us on Instagram and Facebook at Spring Branch Middle School PTA.


If you have any questions or want to get involved, below are the PTA Executive Board contact details:


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