Bear Bulletin

October 11, 2021

October 13th is PSAT day for 8th Graders. Please arrive to SBMS prior to 8:35 a.m. to get settled.

Topics Included in this Newsletter

  • Note from Mrs. Spencer
  • Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
  • PSAT for 8th Graders on October 13th
  • Technology Reminders
  • PTA Reflections Contest
  • SBMS Title I Meeting & Parent Involvement Policies
  • Naviance College & Career Readiness
  • 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

Thank You, SBEF, and Congrats to SBMS Grant Winners!

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Congrats to Sara Boyle, SBMS Journalism Teacher, and our SBMS 8th Grade Math Department for being awarded Spring Branch Education Foundation grants for projects they submittted! Ms. Boyle submitted a request to fund a group of journalism students to participate in a virtual journalism conference and our 8th Grade Math team of Ms. Cullum, Mr. Priest and Ms. Webb Harkey submitted a request for math binders for each of their students. Well done, Bears!
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Message from Mrs. Spencer

Happy Monday, Bears!


I hope this finds you well and that you enjoyed a lovely extended weekend. We had a great day of planning and learning at SBMS as a faculty on Friday. I am so grateful for the time we had to collectively come together and conduct deep planning for subsequent units of instruction. It was a very productive day! A few things:


  • Child Nutrition Services Menu Changes: Please be patient with our cafeteria staff as they may have to offer different items than in the published menus as they are experiencing supply chain issues like many industries. While they have still been able to offer nutritionally sound menus, they recognize and apologize for changes to what children may have planned and gotten excited about in terms of meal at school.
  • Please No Food Delivery for Students: Please do not send Door Dash or other food delivery services to SBMS to deliver your child's lunches. We can accept them from parents, but some of the vendors are leaving them outside of the office or unable to tell us where to deliver the food, which bogs down the office. We will not accept food delivery moving forward.
  • $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

Stefanie.spencer@springbranchisd.com

Mark Your Calendars, Bears!

Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:

  • October 12th and 13th: School Picture Day for Students
  • October 13th: 8th Grade PSAT
  • October 14th and 15th: Early Release for Elementary Students
  • 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.


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

Technology Reminders

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.

4. Students need to be mindful of the Responsible Use Policy (English/Spanish) and SBMS' Go Guardian features that allow staff to monitor the use of 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.)

PSAT for 8th Graders Occurs Wednesday, October 13th

This year, all 8th graders will have the opportunity to take the PSAT 8/9 test on Wednesday, October 13th.


Procedures in Place for PSAT 8/9 Assessment

  • 8th Graders will start the day in a specially assigned testing classroom. Once testing is complete, they will complete the day on their regular schedule. Students were notified of room assignments on Thursday, October 7th.
  • Students in 6th and 7th grade will remain on their regular schedule.
  • Bells will be shut off for all other students during the day and passing periods will be silent to ensure a quiet testing environment for our 8th grade testers.
  • Transportation will run normal routes.


The PSAT Test will serve as a baseline for subsequent PSAT and SAT testing that will continue through high school. Because this is a baseline, no special accommodations will be given to any student regardless of programming status (504, SPED, STAT, Dyslexia Services, and/or ESL). This means that each student will participate in all three timed tests without extra time or reading assistance. In high school, parents will be able to contact The College Board directly to apply for accommodations based on individual student needs.


The PSAT 8/9 will only be offered on Wednesday, October 13. There are NO Make-Up Sessions for the PSAT 8/9. If your student arrives after 9 a.m., they will NOT take the PSAT 8/9. The next opportunity for testing will be in high school. If you have any questions regarding the PSAT 8/9 administration, please contact Mr. Whittenton at 713-251-4400 or by email at (sam.whittenton@springbranchisd.com).

SBMS Kindness: This Principal is PROUD of Our Kids!

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Recently, our students participated in an opportunity to honor staff and students who have demonstrated kindness to them. Our Bear Pride Team reviewed all of the student and teacher submissions and have some fun plans to recognize students for their kindness. Additionally they gave a presentation of the submissions kids had made about staff to our faculty on Friday. I have to say that we hear so many hard things out there in society, but our kids are fabulous. The joy our staff had in viewing what kids had written was palpable in the room- kindness displayed in full force to the staff working to support them and love them every day! Their words of kindness made such an impact! Below is the cover of the presentation so you can see how it started.


This is part of our effort to focus on character traits aligned to the SBISD T24 Core Characterstics by month shown above. We have just concluded the Respect, Empathy and Kindness traits and are now working towards Responsibility (hence the focus on our planners- keep reinforcing those, parents!). We hope to tailor our BPT work towards each of these characteristics so that at each of the next steps of their lives, students possess the traits to be successful, persevere and be kind in all that they do.

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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.!

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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: emily.sperandio@genlp.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.


Spelling Bee

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 (aaryn.silva@springbranchisd.com) 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.


Aaryn Silva

Librarian

Spring Branch Middle School

Each year, we host an annual Title 1 Parent presentation to go over the tenets of being a Title 1 school, the benefits, present out data, school goals, parent involvement policies and compact and our campus improvement plan. You may review the video of our presentation by clicking here or read through the slide deck by clicking here. All of our parent involvement policies, compacts and the presentation are housed within that folder.

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 clinics. Persons will need to need to return for their second shots as noted in the schedule:


Third Clinic: 1st dose Saturday, October 16, and 2nd dose Saturday, November 6.
  • Hollibrook Elementary School, 3602 Hollister Street, Houston) 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Pine Shadows Elementary School, 9900 Neuens Road, Houston, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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, sara.boyle@springbranchisd.com. Contact Sara Boyle, sara.boyle@springbranchisd.com 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


Sara Boyle

Journalism Teacher, Yearbook and Newspaper Adviser

Spring Branch Middle School

Skyward Family Access: A Helpful Tool for Secondary Students and Families!

Skyward (Family Access) is a password-protected site that provides both parents and students access to course grades, homework, attendance,and other data. Parents and students can login to the Family Access Portal from their schools website or from the homepage of the SBISD District website. There is also an app currently available through the Apple, Amazon and Google app stores and is compatible with Apple and Android mobile devices. Click here for several videos and guides on how to utilize this tool.

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.

Mercedes.mulvey@springbranchisd.com

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

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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: