PfISD Pfamily Pflyer
Weekly Parent / Guardian Update May 5, 2023
In This Edition
- Upcoming Events & Holidays
- PACE Pfun Run
- Pfifth Grade Pfitness Challenge Pfestival
HHS FFA Plant Sale
Pflugerville Connect Transit Development Plan
- Updates on PfISD School Lunch Charge Policy
- 2023-2028 District of Innovation Plan Approval
- Proposed changes to Texas A-F Accountability Ratings
- Employment Corner
- Staff Shout Outs
- CTE Corner
Upcoming Events & Holidays
Mental Health Awareness Month
Asian-Pacific Heritage Month
May 9: SHAC Meeting / Board Workshop
May 10: School Nurse Day
May 12: School Communicators Day
May 18: Board Meeting / Speech Language Pathologist Day
May 25: Early Release / Last Day of School
May 26: Student Holiday / Staff Planning & Prep
May 29: Student Staff Holiday / Memorial Day
PACE Pfun Run
Join us for the PACE High School Pfun Run!
When? May 13
Where? Pfluger Park
Time? 9 Am - 12 Pm (Please arrive 15 - 20 minutes before the start time!)
Registration fee : $30 per runner
If you have any other questions please contact: Mike.Harvey@pfisd.net
Pfifth Grade Pfitness Challenge Pfestival
Join us on Friday, May 12th from 6pm-8pm for the Pfifth Grade Pfitness Challenge Pfestival, hosted by the PfISD Physical Education Department at The Pfield!
This is a fantastic opportunity for 5th graders to visit The Pfield with their families, meet and interact with other 5th graders from across the district, and even connect with middle and high school coaches and athletes.
Don't miss out on this exciting come-and-go event, where the kids can participate in a variety of activities organized by the Elementary Physical Education teachers or their campus representative!
HHS FFA Plant Sale
Join the Hendrickson High School FFA at their Annual Plant Sale!
When? May 11-12 from 8 Am - 5 Pm
May 13 from 8 Am - 12 Pm
Where? HHS Green House located next to the Agriculture Building at the back of the school
Payment? Cash or Check made out to HHS FFA (Prices for plants are pending)
Please view the flyer for a list of the plants you can be expecting!
Pflugerville Connect Transit Development Plan
The City of Pflugerville seeks public input on local and regional transit needs
The City of Pflugerville is in the early stages of Pflugerville Connect, a study that will result in a five-year transit plan. The study will review the community’s demographics, travel patterns and future growth.
Public input is also a vital part of the study. The City of Pflugerville invites residents, employees and visitors to share their thoughts on transit needs and priorities.
Visit pflugervilleconnect.com to learn more about the study and provide input by taking a brief survey.
Pflugerville Connect is expected to be completed in late 2023.
Updates on PfISD School Lunch Charge Policy
(beginning April 17, 2023)
As we shared with Staff and Families in the past few weeks, due to a large balance of unpaid lunch charges owed to PfISD (more than $180,000 at this time), PfISD has reinstituted a pre-COVID policy of substituting the main entrée for those students who currently owe more than $6 on their lunch account. We have received several questions and seen social media content raising questions about the policy, and we wanted to share more information with our staff and parents.
We know that good nutrition is a cornerstone of a student's well-being, and although the entrée is substituted for a sandwich, the students are allowed to keep all sides included with the regular lunch meal. District and Aramark staff have reached out to families to attempt to set up a payment plan and have the families complete the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Application, which would reduce or eliminate the cost for these students to eat lunch. We will continue these efforts.
We have a balance deficit of over $180,000 due to unpaid lunches –ten times the previous norm. The district was fortunate enough to leverage federal funding and offer several years of free lunch options for students due to Covid. Unfortunately, those federal funds have decreased or ended. We began informing families last summer that the free lunches were no longer available for students for the 23-24 school year. Pflugerville ISD has been lucky to be one of the few districts still offering free breakfast to all students.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees school lunches, school districts must pay for any outstanding school lunch balances from their general fund at the end of the school year. We must redirect funds away from students' programs and teachers' resources to meet this federal payment requirement. In Pre-Covid years, the district could expect to see a negative lunch balance of $16,000 - $18,000 at the end of the year. This year, we increased our budget for unpaid meal accounts to $30,000K in anticipation of growing needs within our district. Additionally, PfISD has not raised meal prices in 5 years. Since 2011, the USDA has mandated price increases for school lunches; however, districts with positive fund balances can opt out and NOT increase the price of school lunches, which PfISD has done.
MySchoolBucks (Lunch Payment System)
PfISD uses MySchoolBucks as its payment processing system for school lunches. This is a preferred system used by many school districts in our area, and is one of the largest providers of this type of payment system.
Any parent or guardian can place funds on their child's account via MySchoolBucks. The $2.75 surcharge by the vendor is per transaction, whether you put $5 on a student's account or $5,000. We have tried negotiating surcharges for MySchoolBucks in the past but have yet to be able to reduce their fees.
To enroll in My SchoolBucks and pay for lunch meals online:
- Go to www.MySchoolBucks.com and register for a free account.
- You will receive a confirmation email with a link to activate your account.
- Add your students using their school name and student ID (Just the number, no "s" needed before the numbers).
- Make a payment to your student's accounts with your credit/debit card (there is a $2.75 charge per transaction) or echeck.
A program fee may apply. You will have the opportunity to review any fees and cancel if you choose before you are charged.
If you have any questions, contact MySchoolBucks directly:
- Visit myschoolbucks.com and click on Help/FAQ's
Parents can also pay for their child's lunches via check or cash. Checks can be made out to Pflugerville ISD. Payment can be sent with a student to give to cafeteria workers, parents may bring the deposit to the school cafeteria, or they can deliver it to the Aramark office (Pflugerville IS Food and Child Nutrition Services Office, 1401C W. Pecan St., Pflugerville, TX 78660)
Board Agenda Item
Food service funds can only be spent on food service-related items. Costs can include the percentage of square feet of a campus used for food services (kitchen, servery, dining room) applied to utilities; cafeteria FFE including tables; and kitchen equipment.
The items on the board agenda reflect food service items needed to sustain the program. Many items are original pieces of equipment at respective schools for which the district and Aramark are diligent in maintaining. They are replaced as they are obsolete, have obsolete or costly parts, or are a safety concern. Without a food service fund, these would be paid for by general fund.
Limiting A La Carte items
Parents have always had the ability to limit their child's account and choices. There are instructions on the district's website under Food Services, or you can complete this form and email it to email@example.com
A La Carte Item Prices
Regarding the pricing of a la carte items, PfISD prices are already significantly lower in comparison to a local drive-thru coffee shop; PfISD found the following-
- PfISD Otis Spunkmeyer muffins ($1.55) vs. coffee shop "muffin top" ($4.55)
- PfISD 12 oz coffee (when sold) ($1.95) vs. coffee shop ($3.10)
- PfISD 12 oz latte (when sold) ($3.25) vs. coffee shop ($5.45)
- PfISD Large cookie ($1.25) vs. coffee shop ($3.95)
- *To note- USDA requires specific sizes and nutrients deemed healthy via SMART SNACK initiatives.
Regarding the contract with Aramark
- Aramark purchases all the food and staffs the labor at their cost.
- Aramark can only take annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) for each annual renewal of a five-year contract. In the last three years, the timing and the rate of CPI versus actual inflation have not been equivalent. CPI has not kept up with the cost of food/ inflation.
- If food cost or labor wage leveling occurs, Aramark incurs that, not PfISD.
- Aramark absorbs the cost of a replaced meal. A replaced entrée is the price of two entrees (the discarded one and the sandwich).
2023-2028 District of Innovation Plan Approval
2023-2028 District of Innovation Plan Approval
The Board of Trustees considered and approved our 2023-2028 District of Innovation Plan. This plan will provide flexibility for our district across seven different policies, and district departments are now refining and aligning practices and procedures within the approved innovation areas
Did you know that Pflugerville ISD has great opportunities for Nurses (RNs) on campus and Licensed Electricians? If you or anyone you know is skilled in these areas please consider joining the PfISD Pfamily!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING PFISD STAFF MEMBERS FOR EVERYTHING THEY DO FOR OUR STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY!
Mrs. Riley of Murchison 4th grade teacher (via Anon): Mrs. Riley is so nice and such a great teacher. She is the reason I make good grades. I’m so lucky she’s my teacher because she is such a great teacher.
Bijal Patel of Mott Elementary (via Connie Hirjak D.): She is my ideal instructor. I have never experienced such sincerity and concern from an instructor. Mrs. Patel goes way above and beyond. She sends messages to us on Sunday to remind us of events for the week, she notifies us of important messages from the school and from the nurse constantly. I would be so lost without the daily updates I receive from Mrs. Patel. Mrs. Patel is so easy to approach and talk with. She is always asking how she can help make learning for the children easier. Mrs. Patel updates us on things to work on at home and keeps my kiddo motivated to learn. We will miss her.
Melanie Silva of Murchison 1st grade (via Vanessa V.): Mrs. Silva is a phenomenal teacher who goes above and beyond to make learning engaging and fun for her students. We are so lucky that she taught our son.
Solidaire Hilton of Windermere EDP (via Christie C.): Ms. Solidaire is always smiling and has such a great bond with her EDP kids! They all love her and we parents love her, too! I know my child is in good hands after school and that warms my heart. Thank you, Solidaire and the entire EDP at Windermere Elementary!
Mr.Irving Martinez of River Oaks 3rd Grade Bilingual (via Frannie S.): Mr.Martínez has worked very hard this year encouraging his students to work on both their English and Spanish. Mr.Martínez is a teacher who truly values biliteracy. My son’s reading and writing has improved in both languages! Thank you for all your hard work with the kids this year!
Cynthia Sadler of River Oaks 3rd Grade Bilingual (via Frannie S.): Ms.Sadler has been such a wonderful teacher for my son. He has loved learning math from her all year long. She is very kind and loving and teaches the students great strategies to solve math problems. We are so grateful for everything Ms.Sadler has done to make this year special!
Mr. Medina & Ms. Hamman of Weiss English Department (via Ms. Lofthouse): I’ve subbed a lot, and the Weiss English teachers always have sub plans and organized classes. They also help each other out, especially Mr. Medina and Ms. Hamman. Thank you for a well-run department!
Mrs. Mary Katherine Higgins of Murchison Elementary school (via Sam & Michelle H.): My boy couldn’t speak English when he first entered the school. He felt so nervous that he couldn’t even go to the restroom. Mrs.Higgins helped him patiently.
Now my boy loves Murchison Elementary school and all the teachers especially Mrs. Higgins.
Thank you very much, Mrs. Higgins!!
Jerissa Krasnonosenkikh of Murchison Elementary (via Ecleamus R.): Ms. K did an amazing job coaching Math Pentathlon Division II (2-3 graders). As a first year coach, she had a lot to ramp up on and did so with a great attitude and willingness to solicit help where needed. I know parents like myself were very grateful for her facilitating this opportunity to expand our pentathletes’ math abilities through fun games.
Mrs Stephanie sloan of Riojas Elementary (via Halima ): Mrs Sloan is the best teacher. She is very kind and takes care of my kid , every single thing. One of my favorites was ever time the class made party , she sent my kids photos to me. She’s a wonderful teacher . My two girls love her so much.
Mrs. Sweeny of Mott Elementary (via Shantel): Mrs. Sweeny has been a phenomenal teacher for my daughter this year. She keeps parents informed and goes the extra mile to ensure kids are seen. She encouraged my daughter to step outside of her comfort zone and become part of a UIL team this year. Though my daughter was nervous, Mrs. Sweeny was an exceptional coach, leader, and comforter through it all. These qualities show up all the time in her teaching, especially in my daughter. Thank you Mrs. Sweeny for setting such a great example with your generous heart while setting high expectations for your class, and achieving those goals. My daughter's confidence has grown, and her joy radiates when she talks about school. Keep it up!
Maria Hinojosa of Riojas Elementary (via Shantel ): Ms. Hinojosa took my kindergartener this year after some big changes that happened right before school started. She saw the strengths in my daughter and allowed her to build on those strengths day after day in the classroom. Her confidence with school has blossomed, she has made great friends, and I can commend Ms. Hinojosa for setting up a loving and structured classroom where my daughters could grow this way. You were very very missed, and we are so thankful you came back ready to finish the year strong with your little learners. Thank you for taking the time to love our girl, honor her hard work, and make this year so very special.
Ms. Mccrary of Mott Elementary (via Anon ): Ms. Mccrary became my son's teacher right around Christmas time. My son has learned and grown so much in her class. He is becoming more responsible, and she really goes out of her way to notice that growth. It is wonderful as a mom to see my son's face light up as he says things like, "I accomplished all my goals today!" or "I got my work turned in today!" These things seem so small, but they are feats that seem so LARGE to my son. She notices them, and celebrates him when those goals are met. Thank you Ms. Mccrary for your passion in teaching and for going out of your way to "see" my son.
David Lindman of Park Crest Middle School (via Tiffany W.): What can I say about Mr. Lindman! He greets every day with a smile on his face. He greets every child with a joke, a laugh, a fist bump. He greets us parents with kindness and joy. He makes the start of our day brighter. He knows how to communicate with the children to pull out a grin from even the shyest student. I miss him the days we are running late. He is a blessing to our students, staff, parents and school.
Mrs Margaret Olivarez of Copperfield Elementary-4th grade Bilingual (via Marissa L.): Mrs. Margaret Olivarez is an amazing teacher. She doesn’t just teach she prepares our children for the road ahead. She has inspired present and former students to become teachers and great leaders in their community . Mrs Olivarez gives her students every reason to dream big and tells them they can achieve anything in life with hard work. She is truly an inspiration for our community and we are very lucky to have her at Copperfield
NAMM Best Communities for Music Education
For the third year in a row, The NAMM Foundation has named Pflugerville ISD as one of the Best Communities for Music Education. Congratulations to our students, teachers, and community for this great achievement!
The Family and Community Services program prepares students for careers in Community Health Work, Social Work, Counseling, Nutrition, and more. In the Lifetime Nutrition and Wellness course at Weiss High School (next year called Applied Nutrition and Dietetics) students participate in a Bake for Good program sponsored by King Arthur Baking Company. The company donates supplies and the class bakes a bread recipe, one loaf to keep and one loaf to share as an act of kindness. This year the students baked scratch whole wheat bread and shared the bounty with the School Resource Officers, Custodians, and a Special Education Essential Academics class at Weiss High School. The bread deliveries included peach, strawberry, and blueberry jam the class made. The class also made cinnamon buns for the nursing staff and a family of a WHS student currently in the hospital.
In addition to the Family and Community Services program of study, in which students participate in community service to earn the Community Health Worker certification, HHS, PHS, and WHS will introduce a Health and Wellness program of study in 2023-2024. This program will train students for careers in nutrition and dietetics, with industry certification in nutrition.
The goal of all CTE programs is to help students develop employability and leadership skills as they build academic and technical skills in high-demand, high-wage career fields. Thank you Ms. Harmon for integrating all of these valuable lessons in your classes!