The Cub Hub

Notes from the Den | Volume 1: Issue 1 - Aug. 10, 2020

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Principal's Message

Welcome to our inaugural issue of the Bear Creek Elementary newsletter that we are affectionately calling The Cub Hub. This will be our main form of communication moving forward. Barring unforeseen events, it will be published each Monday and will provide important campus and district level information. Each grade level/department will also have their newsletters linked within, making this an inclusive one stop source for all your Bear Creek news.

Our social media accounts will no longer be a go to source for information. However, we do hope to use them as a source of inspiration as we highlight the positive happenings on and around campus. The newsletter will be sent out via School Messenger and then posted on our website. The website will serve as the main point of information. We are always happy to answer questions via phone and email, but we hope that you take some time to familiarize yourself with the website once the school year begins (it is still under construction). My hope is you will find many answers within the contents.

If I need to get something out in quick fashion I will use School Messenger to send an email and text to the email and phone number that is listed as the primary contact for your child.

Teachers will be expected to provide you with timely class updates using either email or BLEND.

I hope this very simple communication plan will be clear and efficient while providing you with the information you need in a timely manner.

I look forward to virtually connecting with our campus community as we gear up for the new school year.

Thank you for your support!

David Crissey

Proud Principal of Bear Creek Elementary

Presentation from 8/7 Bear Creek Chat

Please click on the link below for our slide deck. We hovered at 100 people all night. I was able to obtain access to an account that allows 500 participants so we will no longer run into that problem again. I am sorry that some of you were unable to join and participate.

Remote Learning | Schedule: DRAFT

Please see the remote learning draft schedule below. If you have questions, please shoot me an email or join our Q & A session on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. (see event below for more information.)

We tried to be as consistent as possible across grade levels. Because our special areas (art, music, and PE) have to be synchronous, we had to spread them throughout the day as we would if we were on campus. Because there are different blocks for those special areas, the schedule cannot be the same for each grade level.

Please note that based on TEA guidelines the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students have the same amount of synchronous instructional minutes and pre-k and kindergarten have the same amount of synchronous instructional minutes.

Also note that all grade level teachers will be in lock step with schedules and assignments. The schedule and these instructional expectations have been created intentionally to accommodate the multiple learning pods that are being formed to help the community distribute the logistical load of remote learning.

* Download the PDF for the clearest view of the schedule.

Remote Learning | Workshop Model

We will be using a workshop model for our instructional blocks. Each one starts with a whole group mini lesson which is labeled as “Live Synchronous Instruction.” After the synchronous instructional block the teacher will stay on the Zoom call for an additional 10 minutes to provide support to any students/parents that need it. This is labeled “Live Workshop.” Then students have “Asynchronous Workshop” time which provides teachers the time to meet in small groups and/or provide one on one support to students. This is also time for students to work on assignments. The "Asynchronous Workshop" time is managed by the teacher and he/she will provide the information needed to understand your child's time commitments.

Remote Learning | Office Hours

These will become our (collective) best friend. Office hours will be live for at least the first three weeks to provide upfront support at the start of the school year. They can be individual by teacher or by grade level where the team splits the duty. These will be standing Zoom meetings. Your child's teacher will follow up with details at the start of school.

Administration and counselors will also host live office hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday to support families.

Please note there are no office hours on Wednesdays.

Remote Learning | Special Areas

Specials (art, music, and PE) will be taught weekly with one 30 minute synchronous and one asynchronous lesson per week in each special area.

Remote Learning | Attendance

A student will be counted present as long as the student engages on that day in the following ways:

  • Daily progress in BLEND
  • Daily progress via teacher–student interaction
  • Daily completion and submission of assignments from student to teacher

In order to be counted present students need to be active participants in our remote learning program.

SEL Resources For Teachers

Dear Amazing Educators:

Thank you for all your hard work so far this year to build community and offer support to your students and their families. You are a beacon of hope for so many.

Below are important resources to access to support your work this year.

  1. SEL Tile in Portal: You can find a live, updated list of resources by accessing the SEL tile in the AISD Portal found here (and visual demonstration below).

  1. Check out the Morning Meeting Lesson Plans for you found here (and in the SEL Tile):
  2. Share bilingual, asynchronous SEL activities with your families found here (and in the SEL Tile) Asynchronous Elementary SEL Activities- To Print
  3. Practice a zillion different ways to be Mindful with our new Mindful AISD found here (and in the SEL Tile)
  4. Check out this screencast with more information about accessing Second Step lessons online.
  5. Explore more remote relationship building ideas here.

Looking for SEL Professional Learning? The following SEL Blend courses are currently available in Blend linked HCP courses:

1. SEL 101 Working to Create Equitable Schools (HCP #95564)

2. Understanding & Implementing the Three Signature SEL Practices (HCP #95562)

3. Effective Teacher Language (HCP #95221)

4. Peace Areas and Peace Paths (HCP #95222)

5. The Road to Equity is Paved with emotions (HCP #95539)

6. Mindfulness 101 in Blend (HCP#95664)

7. Morning Meetings (HCP #95641) Live starting September 4

8. Self-Aware SEL (HCP #95494 Live starting September 10

Additionally, we wanted you all to know that this year the SEL Department (SEL Team, plus CP&I team plus Families as Partners) is focused on,

Equity-Centered SEL defined as:

A process whereby students and teachers build strong, lasting, and respectful relationships founded on the application of similarities and differences, learn to critically examine the root causes of inequity, and develop collaborative solutions to community and social problems.
-(CASEL, Transformative SEL)

Student Enrollment Data

This data is current as of August 10, 2020. We have seats for 522 students. After enrolling Pre-K, we will be roughly 120 students over initial projections for the school year.

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Family Pulse Survey Data

This data is current as of August 7, 2020. Two hundred and twelve families have completed the survey.

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Technology Rollout/Distribution

iPads for pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students appear to be onboard to be ready for pickup the first week of school. Chromebooks appear to be delayed.

Once I have a better sense of timing I will address this issue specifically.


AISD is excited to announce the release of our AISD mobile app! The app provides a central place for AISD news, quicklinks, and message notifications. Download it from your preferred app store.

PTA Paw Prints

Hello Bear Creek families!

The Bear Creek Elementary PTA is up and running and ready for a great inaugural year. While the 2020-21 school year may not look like "normal" school, I know we can all come together with creativity and enthusiasm to support our incredible new school and build community together as Bear Creek Cubs.

We have some exciting virtual upcoming events planned, as well as Spirit Sales where we will be selling Bear Creek t-shirts and other fun merchandise. Be sure to follow us on Facebook at Bear Creek Elementary PTA to keep up with all the latest announcements and PTA news.

Save the Date

  • PTA Membership Drive begins Monday August 17th

  • Bear Creek PTA General Membership Meeting-- Tuesday September 29th

Whether online or in person, I am looking forward to a fantastic year together serving Bear Creek Elementary!


Melissa Pardue

PTA President

Bear Creek Elementary PTA

Bear Creek Q & A

Thursday, Aug. 13th, 4:30pm

This is an online event.

Please join me for an informal Q & A on Thursday afternoon. Come with questions. The intent is not to present but to allow time for questions as we move forward.

Meeting ID: 968 4594 1763

Passcode: 5mYhV1