October 17, 2021
Topics Included in this Newsletter
- Note from Mrs. Spencer
- Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
- Information for 8th Grade Parents: 4 Year Plans and Course Selection
- Technology Reminders
- PTA Reflections Contest
- SBMS Title I Meeting & Parent Involvement Policies
- SBISD COVID Vaccine Saturdays
- SBISD-Houston Health Department COVID Testing
- Skyward Family Access Information
- Information from Nurse Mulvey for 6th Grade Parents
- SBMS Yearbook Information
- SBMS PTA Information for 2021-2022
Message from Mrs. Spencer
Happy Sunday, Bears!
Hope everyone has enjoyed a nice weekend- the cooler weather is delightful. Congrats to all families involved in the MHS and SHS food drive. It sounds like a tremendous amount of canned food items will be donated to families in need! Football rivalries are so fun and outcomes that serve the community from those rivalries make them even better!
Our NJHS and Bears4Bears Closet Volunteers have been tidying up our Bears4Bears Closet and conducting an inventory of our food, school supplies, clothing, shoes and hygiene items. We will be sending out requests for items that we need in a few weeks. Until that time, thank you to all who have contributed and to our volunteers for their dedication to this worthy project. The Bears4Bears Closet is actively supporting our SBMS Bear Community and even some schools in our feeder pattern or part of SBISD when we have too much inventory on something or there is a specific need! Great work, Bears!
A few things:
- Early Morning Drop Off: Please take care not to drop children off well before the start of their classes (zero hour or the 8:15 opening of the main doors). It is not as light out in the morning as it was once when school began and there are no staff supervising your students before that time frame.
- Tardies, Cell Phones and Hallway Passes: Our kids are doing an awesome job this year and I sincerely appreciate the conversations you are having with your students each time I send out a request- I see an immediate improvement when I do! Please remind your students that they need to report to class in a timely manner, have a hallway bathroom pass (most are yellow or pink depending on the frequency of their use) with them and cell phones should remain in the classroom for the entirety of the class periods. The only students excused from this expectation are those using their devices to track diabetic management or cardiac arrhythmias. Please note that hallway passes are on card stock and can be folded up and placed in pockets to keep students from having to place them on the floor in restrooms.
- Bathroom Maintenance Requests: We have submitted work orders to correct and/or replace bathroom door closures in student restrooms. We have also asked custodians to add checking these on their daily rounds so we are updated when these items are in need of repair. Please ask your students to let us know when they see a door lock nor functioning properly as we would like to get them corrected in a timely manner. Students who are determined to be causing damage to those locks will be subject to disciplinary consequences according to the SBISD Student Code of Conduct.
- No More Clothing Donations to the SBMS Bear Closet, Please: We are so grateful to our SBMS Bear Families for their generosity. At this time, we are at capacity for gently used clothing items. Once our awesome Bears4Bears Committee and NJHS Volunteers sort through all of the items, we will send out a signupgenius to indicate our needs for clothing and food staples. Again, at this time, we are at capacity for clothing donations.
- $25 HEB or Kroger Cards needed: From time to time we have families at SBMS who need a little help with groceries. Our school counselors, CIS and I work closely with these families to provide resources. While our Bear Closet is a GREAT tool in providing non-perishables, a small gift card helps with the procurement of eggs, fresh fruit, etc. We are running low on gift cards and could use a few donations. We are so grateful for the generosity of our families; if you are so inclined please send the cards to my office in the next few weeks, thank you!
- $5 Starbucks Gift Cards: Later this month, we are going to host a faculty meeting of games and a pumpkin decorating contest for staff who want to participate. As a treat for them and others I see going the extra mile for our kids, I would be grateful for the provision of $5 Starbucks gift cards. If you are so inclined, please send a gift card or two to my office. Thank you!
Stefanie Spencer, Principal
Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:
- October 19th: 8th Graders continue their High School Course and Endorsement Selection process during Language Arts classes.
- October 26th-28th: Grade Level Honors Assemblies. Students receiving awards will be notified ahead of the assemblies. 6th Grade is October 26th, 7th is October 27th and 8th is October 28th. Assemblies will be held at 8:40 a.m. in the SBMS Auditorium.
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.
- SBISD Calendar: English/Spanish
9th Grade Course and Endorsement Selection Process
The below information was sent out via Skyward email messaging on October 8th. Just in case you overlooked the email, the content is below:
Dear Parents of 8th Grade Students,
In 7th Grade, students began to explore career and college options. SBMS students took an interest inventory that outlined some possible careers and did some preliminary college research. They were also introduced to endorsements.
Using their data, students in 8th grade will begin the process of choosing courses for High School over the next 4 weeks. Starting Friday, Oct. 15, students will start by selecting their endorsement and pathway during their Science class. They will also select their Science courses for High School as well during this time. This allows open conversation with students and teachers regarding levels and opportunities. Within the weeks following, students will be able to select other core courses and electives through other classes in order to complete their 4 year plan.
Please take time to review this endorsement presentation, as well as log into Naviance to explore their recent assessments. Parents log-in codes were sent out earlier this week. If you have questions, please reach out to your grade-level Counselor. This will allow them to be placed in the appropriate courses in high school.
SBMS Counseling Team
Please remind students of the following:
1. Students should charge their devices each evening in preparation for school the next day.
2. Students should take care not to pick up their chromebooks by the screen and take care when placing things into their backpack so that items aren't forced between the keyboard and screen.
3. Students should fully place their chromebooks into their backpacks rather than walk in hallways or around the school with their devices.
If students encounter an issue with their device, these are your action steps:
1. Ask your student to let their BPT teacher know so they can enter a KACE ticket to request a repair.
2. Encourage your child to see the librarian for any issues they are experiencing.
3. If the issue arises after school, you may contact the SBISD Help Desk at 713-251-8324 (M-F 7 a.m. to pm. to 10 p.m., Saturday/Sunday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
SBISD GT Referral Window Is Open Until October 22nd!
The following information is for parents of all K-11 students: The deadline to refer your child for evaluation in the Spring Branch Gifted and Talented program is Friday, October 22nd. Your child will only be considered for GT services if we receive a completed online referral form (español) from a parent or guardian by October 22nd.
The online referral form (español) form can be found on the SBISD website. If you do not have access to the internet, paper copies are also available from your child’s school counselor and must be submitted to the counselor by October 22, 2021.
If you have any questions about the GT Identification process, please contact the counselor at your child’s school. More information is available on the GT page of our Spring Branch ISD website. Go to www.springbranchisd.com. Click on “Students and Families,” click on “Gifted and Talented.” Contact information for our Advanced Academic Studies team is also found on this page.
PTA Reflections Art Contest Is Open Until October 27th at 4 p.m.!
It is that time of year – the launch of the PTA Reflections 2021-2022 Contest. This year’s theme is “I Will Change the World By…”
Here are the current details:
- Launch date: October 6, 2021
- Deadline: October 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm
- Eligibility and participation rules are available to all at the following website http://www.txpta.org/reflections-participation. Please note that at least one member of the household must be an active PTA member.
Questions: Contact our PTA Reflections Chair, Emily Sperandio: email@example.com
A Word from the SBMS Library
Overdue Library Books
Please remind your students to turn in overdue library books. They receive an email notice each week with a list of overdue books. There is a cart located outside the library entrance for book returns.
The classroom spelling bee will be held on Thursday, November 11 during Bear Pride Time for all students who are interested in participating. Copies of the spelling bee word list are available via email from the librarian, Mrs. Silva (firstname.lastname@example.org) and are also available on ItLearning on the SBMS Library News page; hard copies may be picked up from the library. The top spellers will advance to the school spelling bee on Tuesday, December 7.
Spring Branch Middle School
SBISD COVID Vaccine Saturdays!
Spring Branch ISD will host COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Saturday in October, beginning Oct. 2, for community members and students ages 12 and up.
The events will be held in partnership with the Harris County Health Department, which is scheduled to provide the vaccines and the staff to administer them to community members and eligible students free of charge. All the clinics will be held in the school cafeterias.
Here is the schedule and locations for the remaining clinics. Persons will need to need to return for their second shots as noted in the schedule:
Fourth Clinic: 1st dose Saturday, October 23, and 2nd dose Saturday, November 13.
- Spring Branch Elementary School, 1700 Campbell Road, Houston, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Meadow Wood Elementary School, 14230 Memorial Drive, Houston, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Northbrook Middle School, 3030 Rosefield Drive, Houston, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
SBISD-Houston Health Department COVID Testing
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Harris County Public Health to provide a mobile Covid-19 testing pilot program.
Here are details:
Location: Darrell Tully Stadium (north side of stadium)
Hours: Wednesdays only, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Duration: Pilot will run for the next 4-6 weeks
Type of Test: PCR Test – results typically in 36-48 hours
The mobile testing site is open to SBISD students, staff and families.
Individuals wishing to test at this site should register in advance at this link. Individuals may register in person, depending on availability.
Parents/guardians of minors must complete the attached Informed Consent Form. Copies of the form will also be available at the testing site.
Questions may be directed Harris County Public Health’s Testing Center at 832.927.7575.
SBMS 2021-22 Yearbook!
Happy October! The price of the yearbook will go up on OCTOBER 15! Yearbooks are now on sale for $55! Buy one here or go to tinyurl.com/sbmsyearbook
Tributes/ads for students are also on sale! When buying your yearbook, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the site and you can order a half page, ¼ page, or shoutout ad for your child. Make sure you order and finish designing this ad by JANUARY 31!
****Picture day for SBMS Bears is Oct. 12-13. If your child misses picture day, we will do our best to get your child in the yearbook somewhere else but there is no guarantee of inclusion without a school portrait taken****
If you have any great photos that could go in the yearbook (the staff needs good photos from SBMS athletic/fine arts events, etc.!) 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, email@example.com. Contact Sara Boyle, firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions about the yearbook!
October 15, 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 in the book
Journalism Teacher, Yearbook and Newspaper Adviser
Spring Branch Middle School
Skyward Family Access: A Helpful Tool for Secondary Students and Families!
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.
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.
A Word from the SBMS PTA
The PTA raises money to support the students & staff at SBMS and we couldn’t do any of it without all of our fantastic volunteers and donors. The beginning of school has been busy with socials, school lunches & book fair just to name a few! There are so many things planned for the rest of the school year, please go to our website www.sbmspta.com and check out all the ways to donate or participate. Check back often as we are updating regularly. You can 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:
- President: Stephanie Pancioli (email@example.com)
- VP Long Range Planning: Jen Moss (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- VP Fundraising: Amy Reeves (email@example.com)
- VP Fundraising: Hilary Scarborough (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- VP Communications: Lorena Guilanshah (email@example.com)
- Treasurer: Lyn Greenwood (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Secretary: Molly Ferguson (email@example.com)
- Community Relations: Joy McCormack (Mccormackjoy@hotmail.com)
- Parliamentarian: Kelly Murphy (Kelmurph521@gmail.com)
Missed Last Week's Bear Bulletin?
Please click below by date and you may access previous editions:
- September 12th Bear Bulletin
- September 6th Bear Bulletin
- August 29th Bear Bulletin
- August 22nd Bear Bulletin