PfISD Employee Express
September 14, 2023
In This Edition
- Upcoming Events & Holidays
- Staff Housing Survey is Now Available!
- PFISD Destination Imagination Info Night
- RtI Mini-Conference
- Supporting Mental Health During Back-to-School
- Update on Compliance Courses
- Learning.com District Digital Citizenship Contest
- Increase in TRS Member Contribution Rate
- Leadership Pflugerville ISD Program
- Fine Arts
- Staff Shout Outs
Upcoming Events & Holidays
Hispanic Heritage Month
Sept. 10 - 16 - National Arts in Education Week
Sept. 19 - National IT Professional Day
Sept. 21 - Board of Trustees Regular Meeting
Staff Housing Survey is Now Available!
We have begun working on the staff housing which was approved in the November 2022 Bond Election.
By state law, the housing proposition provided housing access to teachers only. However, we have requested an informal opinion from our Attorney General to help us better understand their definition of a teacher. While our scope is focused on teacher housing, we are looking for ways to expand the housing option to other employees.
The survey is now available! We are attempting to get a good number of employees to weigh in so please take a few minutes to give us your opinions about what you would like to see in housing options.
Please click the button below to take the survey!
PFISD Destination Imagination Info Night
What is DI?
DI is a premier educational experience designed to build skills and foster creativity outside of the classroom. DI sponsors a creative problem solving tournament for students in kindergarten through 12th grade each February. As students engage and tackle one of an array of open ended problems, they learn teamwork, budgeting, leadership, communication, and adaptability skills while working on a deadline.
Why attend the meeting?
If you have a child who loves being creative, building stuff, working with a team, acting, writing, or taking risks, then DI may be the place for them! Come learn more about the program and how Pflugerville ISD supports teams throughout the district. Participation is open to any student in K-12.
When? Thursday, Sept 14
Time? 6-7 PM
Where? PfISD Board Room : Administration Building, 1401 West Pecan
SAVE THE DATE! On Thursday, October 5th, Campus Educators have another 1/2 day of District Professional Learning & 1/2 Day of Planning & Prep. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.
The focus of the October RtI Mini-Conference will be on supporting ALL students through differentiation. Some departments will conduct separate, departmentalized training in lieu of the RtI Mini Conference and will communicate PD information directly with their teams.
Your Feedback is needed!
Your feedback on this short survey is greatly appreciated and will be considered when designing future District-wide Professional Learning events for PfISD Educators.
This survey will take approximately 3-5 minutes to complete. This survey is anonymous and completely voluntary; your name will not be recorded or linked with your responses. The findings from this assessment will be used to inform and enhance district professional learning to meet your interests and needs. This survey will close on Friday, October 6, 2023.
Supporting Mental Health During Back-to-School
In recent years, we have seen significant increases in depression, anxiety, and youth thinking about suicide. Heading back to school, young students may face more challenges to their mental well-being. Now is an important time to be aware of those challenges and know how to offer support.
Join us on Sept. 18 at noon for a virtual community forum, “Supporting Kids’ Mental Health During Back-to-School,” in partnership with Austin Public Health. Our panel of experts will talk about how to spot a mental health issue, tips for talking to kids about mental health, suicide prevention, and mental health resources.
Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available during the forum.
Update on Compliance Courses
For 2023-2024, all staff will complete Compliance Courses directly on the Vector: SafeSchools website, instead of the PfISD Professional Learning Platform. This allows staff to demonstrate their knowledge with a one-time opportunity to test-out out of SafeSchools courses without watching the full video.
Visit the Professional Learning website for the most updated information regarding Compliance Courses and how to access them this year.
If you continue to receive emails from Vector: SafeSchools that indicate you still need to complete courses which you have already completed this Fall, please forward these emails to PD@pfisd.net. Our Technology Team is actively working with Vector: SafeSchools to resolve these account issues. Per Vector: SafeSchools, be sure you are only logging in with your e# (ClassLinks) and not your PfISD Email Address.
Please direct SafeSchools/Compliance Course questions/concerns to PD@pfisd.net
Learning.com District Digital Citizenship Contest
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires schools teach students appropriate online behavior and cyberbullying awareness and response. Join us in giving PK-12 PfISD students a fun, gamified way to learn the foundational skills to navigate the internet safely and responsibly.
Top schools will win a banner to show off their commitment to digital citizenship! All schools that achieve >80% CIPA Compliance on the district E-Rate report will also earn a
digital citizenship badge!
Students will use Learning.com's Tech Quest lessons at the beginning of the sequence. Once completed, students will appear as compliant on school & district reports. PK-12 students login to ClassLink & Online Learning Resources to get started!
Teachers may refer to the PFISD CIPA for E-Rate Guide.
Increase in TRS Member Contribution Rate
In the 2019 Texas Legislative session, state leaders approved a progressive increase in the TRS
contribution member rate for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Starting with September 1,
2023, the member contribution rate is changing from 8.00% to 8.25%.
- Information regarding the 2019 Legislative Reporting changes, please visit: TRS Information.
Important: The TRS member contribution change will impact your net pay and might change your Federal withholdings.
Leadership Pflugerville ISD Program
Apply NOW to serve as a member of Leadership Pflugerville ISD!
Leadership Pflugerville ISD will give approximately 20 Pflugerville ISD stakeholders the opportunity to participate in an interactive, in-depth monthly learning experience from October through May.
As a member of the Leadership Pflugerville ISD class, you will go behind the scenes and learn what it takes to run a public school district with more than 25,000 students and nearly 4,000 employees. During a series of meetings, you’ll gain access to District leadership, have the opportunity to ask in-depth questions, and take a deep dive into learning. Session topics will include District operations, finance, curriculum, and other areas of interest.
Learn more and apply for Leadership PfISD! Deadline is Sept. 15.
Pflugerville ISD Tax Rate
✅The Voter Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) asks for an additional 7 pennies to be added to the M&O tax rate.
⬇️With the M&O tax decrease of 18 cents due to HB3 compression, and the board decreasing the I&S rate by 4 cents, homeowners will see a 22-cent decrease in their overall PfISD tax rate.
✅If approved, homeowners will still see a 15-cent decrease in their overall PfISD tax rate, and this will result in an additional $10.7 milllion for PfISD.
To read more about VATRE please visit : www.pfisd.net/vatre
Happy National Arts in Education Week! This celebration was passed by Congress in 2010 through House Resolution 275, and it recognizes the transformative power of the arts.
The Pflugerville ISD Fine Arts Department passionately supports our visual arts, music, dance, and theatre programs as they grow students' cognitive, personal, and interpersonal capabilities. The arts help prepare students for college, career, and life!
Staff Shout Outs
We love our PfISD staff members and we know our parents do too! We want to provide an opportunity for our parents to publicly recognize and thank our staff members who serve our students, staff and the community. We have created a Google Form to provide information directly to us to share with our staff as a whole and let you see the difference you are making in a student's life every single day. Please click here for the Google Form.
These Shout Outs will be included in upcoming issues of the Parent and Staff Newsletters. If a Shout Out directly references a student, we will not include the parent name to protect the child's anonymity. If you are recognized in an anonymous Shout Out and want to learn the parent's name, please contact Tamra Spence at email@example.com.
THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING PFISD STAFF MEMBERS FOR EVERYTHING THEY DO FOR OUR STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY!
All of the pegasus teachers of Rowe Lane Elementary (via: Lacey A.)
I just LOVE !!! all of the Pegasus teachers. It’s hard to pick just one! My daughter Harmony raves about them every day when she comes home and enjoys attending school every day. So, I just want to say thank you for teaching, loving, and caring for my child. I appreciate y’all more than you’ll ever know!
Ms Caysha Toepfer of Jessica Carpenter Elementary school (via: Imelda A.)
Ms Toepfer is a wonderful teacher. We have been so lucky to have her as my son’s teacher. She is so amazing with the kids and also very nice to the parents. Her friendly nature makes her so easy to talk to. Please always stay the way you are.
Michelle Beeler of Early Childhood Special Education (pre-k 4) (via: Imelda A.)
Mrs. Beeler has been so kind to our family and has helped us get comfortable with our son being in school. She has been supportive and communicative, and you can truly see she is there for the kids!
Laurie Hart of Windermere Elementary School (via: Anonymous)
Ms. Hart always welcomes us (my son and I) when I drop my son off in the morning with her charming smiles and embraces all the kids as if they were hers. As a father, I have learned so much from Ms. Hart the way she handles the kids, and from the "Know your Teacher" meeting we had. She's indeed spectacular.
Ms. Corner of Pre-k teacher (via: Afra)
Ms. Corner has been amazing with my son Adonis's transition from being home full time to starting school, She has great communication with me as a parent and goes above and beyond to ensure he feels safe and comfortable in class I am extremely grateful to have her as a teacher to my son ❤️
Mrs.Althoff of Rowe lane Elementary (via: Sharon T.)
Mrs. Althoff is the definition of AWESOME! She’s my son’s favorite person on the planet! He is so excited to get up and go to school every morning just so he can “have fun in class”! My heart is so happy that she puts in the extra effort to make sure to have fun and educate little ones. I want her to know she’s so appreciated and I adore her. Thank you for teaching my kiddo and making him love school!
Holly Turnbough of Kelly Lane MS Athletics (via: Anon)
Coach T has been filling the gap of Boys Athletics Coordinator. She is passionately and selflessly giving so much time and effort to plan and communicate almost daily on practice, games and all other logistics. At all hours of the night we see her and staff managing excessive heat, staff shortages and other teams in districts challenges as well. Coach is treating these football boys as her own not as an extra workload and her care shows. If leadership is emulated Coach T is doing talking the talk and walking the walk. Thank you!
Victoria McIlhaney of Hidden Lake ES - Kindergarten (via: Thankful parent)
Ms. McIlhaney has been a wonderful partner as this school year kicks off. My daughter is a very excited spirit who has previously struggled with teachers treating her as a disciplinary issue rather than finding ways to engage that excitement. Instead, Ms. M has leaned into the challenge and created opportunities to grow and bond with my daughter. She communicates well and makes it a priority to partner with us as a true teacher-parents team. We truly appreciate the way she reaches out to us and we are able to tackle challenges together in a way that supports E’s learning and growth.