Principal Allen's Weekly Newsletter

November 4 , 2019

Dear Spicewood Elementary Parents & Community Members,

November is National Gratitude Month! Research shows that practicing daily gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress and drastically improve our overall level of wellbeing! Showing appreciation only takes a few seconds, but the effects can last much longer than that.

I would like to kick off the month of November by saying that I am grateful for my beautiful family, the students and community I serve, and for the incredible teachers I work with. What are you grateful for?

Don't forget that the Parent Information for TAG referral process is this Thursday evening and Silent Auction & Gala is this Friday! Also, be sure to check out Mrs. Kentopp (School Counselor) and Mrs. Oates' (IB Coordinator) contributions to my newsletter this week.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. Allen

Spicewood Elementary Principal


Stopping for Busses

If you approach a school bus and the bus is flashing red lights, you must stop. This includes the buses unloading in front of our school each morning. Do not pass the school bus until the school bus has resumed motion, or red lights are no longer flashing.

Spinal Screening

On Wednesday, a state-mandated spinal screening will be performed to identify students with scoliosis or other spinal curvatures. Spinal screenings will be conducted on 5th grade girls only. If you choose to exempt your student from the screening, please contact the nurse.


Keep Round Rock Warm

Keep Round Rock Warm is a coat distribution project of the Round Rock area. Students who attend RRISD and are on Free or Reduced Lunch qualify for the project.Please contact the nurse for more information.


Installation of Entry Intercom/Camera Devices

The Bond 2018 security project to install entry intercom/camera devices at all schools began at Spicewood last week! The new device will be installed on the exterior wall near the front door's access control card reader. When fully functional, the new intercom will allow front office staff to communicate with visitors before letting them into the school building.

Announcements from the Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

Spicewood Teacher & Staff Birthday Celebration #2

The PTA Teacher/Staff Appreciation Group puts together birthday celebrations for our teachers and staff five times during the school year. We will be celebrating the second birthday celebration event on November 6th, 2019.

These celebrations are held on Wednesday afternoons and coincide with faculty meetings. We ask 10 volunteers to bake sweet treats (cookies, cakes, bread, pies, brownies..whatever you love to make) or make savory treats and bring in and deliver to the office before 2:00pm on the day of the celebration.

Please see the SignUp Genius link below to sign up to help and to read more details about the event. If you can not volunteer for this event, there will be three more birthday celebrations to participate in.

Counselor's Corner


Our Guidance focus for October is conflict resolution. We explored what a conflict is and what actions/words can make conflicts bigger or smaller (Kindergarten), how to have empathy in a conflict (1st grade), what role nonverbal communication plays in a conflict (2nd), what is in and out of our control in a conflict (3rd), how judgement and assumptions can interfere with solving conflicts (4th), and the conflicts that peer pressure can cause (and how to resist peer pressure) (5th). Philosophically, Spicewood teachers and staff approach conflicts as a chance to grow and learn, and as an opportunity to build stronger relationships. We teach students that conflicts can tell us a lot about our needs and wants, and teach us how to be empathetic and accountable to each other.

As parents, we have a deep instinct to protect our children from harm and adversity. It can be hard to resist the urge to “rescue” our children from conflicts or take matters into our own hands, and indeed there are times when adult intervention is necessary (e.g. in cases of physical harm or bullying). Trusting that we learn through conflict and struggle, and giving children time and space to solve their own conflicts is a key part in building resilience in our children. Here is an article I think is helpful for thinking about how to guide children through the conflict resolution process. Additionally, here is an article that has some great insights into how to take the “high road” when conflicts arise between yourself and your children.

Wishing everyone a warm and relaxing weekend!

-Mrs. Kentopp

Notes From Mrs. Oates (IB Coordinator)

As an International Baccalaureate, Primary Years Programme (IB, PYP) World School, we engage in careful, thoughtful, thorough reflection of our programme and practices each year. Once every five years, we take part in a Self-Study and external evaluation, which is a detailed, year-long reflection process ending in a 2 day visit from a team of IB evaluators that will help us to continue to improve as an IB, PYP school and develop an action plan moving forward for the next five year cycle. In January we will have our visit.

We very much value your input and would love to know your thoughts about our Primary Years Programme. Insights from parents and guardians help us to improve learning experiences for students, who are the heart of our work, each and every day.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete this survey. Your feedback will be shared among our staff members, and may be included in the documentation required within our self-study. You can choose to remain anonymous in the survey, however if you have questions you would like to have addressed, or if you would like to be involved in the parent focus group, we ask that you provide your name for purposes of future contact.

Upcoming Campus Events & Dates

Wednesday, November 6

3:00PM -4:00PM Spicewood Open Inquiry Lab

Location: Inquiry Lab

Teacher and Staff Birthday Celebration

Thursday, November 7

6:00PM -7:00 PM Parent Meeting on Referral Process for TAG


Friday, November 8

6:00PM PTA Gala Night & Auction

Location: Balcones Country Club

Monday, November 11

6:00PM - 7:00PM 5th Grade Veteran's Day Performance

Location: Cafeteria

Wednesday, November 20 - Friday, November 22

5th Grade @ Outdoor School

Friday, November 22

Pies for Teacher

Monday, November 25 - Friday, November 29

No School - Fall Break

Wednesday, December 4

Student Pictures Make Up

Thursday, December 5

6:00PM -7:00PM Science Fair Parent Information Night

Location: Library

Monday, December 16

8:00AM - 8:30AM Principal's Pride (K-2)

Location: Cafeteria

Tuesday. December 17

8:00AM-8:30AM Principal's Pride (3-5)

Location: Cafeteria

6:00PM -7:00PM 4th Grade Folk Dance Performance

Location: Cafeteria

Thursday, December 19

Class Parties - Check with your child's teacher for time

Friday, December 20 - Tuesday January 7

Winter Break

Wednesday, January 8

First Day Back for Students

Helpful Attachments

Spicewood Elementary Vision Statement:

Spicewood aspires to be a caring community of innovative, globally minded citizens who take action.

Spicewood aspira a ser una comunidad solidaria de ciudadanos innovadores y de mentalidad global que actúen.