Bear Bulletin

October 3, 2021

Reminder: No School for Students on October 8th (PD Day for Staff) and October 11th (Student & Staff Holiday).

Topics Included in this Newsletter

  • Note from Mrs. Spencer
  • Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
  • SBMS Title I Meeting & Parent Involvement Policies
  • SBMS Weekly Planners: We Need Your Help!
  • Naviance College & Career Readiness
  • Unfortunate Tik Tok Development
  • 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!


I hope this finds you well. We have made it to October! The school year is progressing nicely. Our Priority Standards assessments occur later this month starting the 12th through the 22nd. Each team is selecting their date and will let students know when those exams will occur. These PSAs will guide teachers on each child's development in relationship to that subject and grade levels priority standards (most critical standards of previously taught curriculum). Please encourage your students to do their best so we can identify who needs support and who is performing well at this time.


We are having such a nice school year, but could use your help with a few things:


  • Tik Tok Development: Unfortunately, the Tik Tok posting that listed challenges for students that included creating chaos and damage to bathrooms now transitions to challenging students to slap a staff member of their school. It is our hope that all SBMS Bears (and all SBISD students) understand that this is absolutely not how we treat staff, but also how seriously we would take behavior of that sort in terms of disciplinary actions. I debated sharing this content with you because I sincerely think our Bears would recognize how hateful that is, but maybe this is a good opportunity to discuss with your student that the entire challenge (and much of social media) needs to be ignored or at least VERY carefully considered. We encourage all parents to review their student's cell phone histories and carefully consider their possession and use of Tik Tok, SnapChat and others in light of the content that these apps are presenting at this time.
  • Hallway Behavior: We are working with students to reduce hallway noise, both loud and silly talking that bothers classrooms in progress, but also a new fad that involves screaming. Middle schoolers are growing at such a rate that impulse control can be an issue, but we need noise levels to be reasonable so instructions can be heard if there were an emergency, classrooms to continue without disruption and others not to be disturbed by screaming. Please discuss this with your children. Group think is fast moving- your conversing with them outside of their time with their peers may plant a seed to think just a bit more in those moments.
  • Please note: Morning Drop-Off and Afternoon Pick Up: Please do NOT drop off or pick up your child in the bus area behind the school or in the Administration Building. Do not enter the street the buses use to enter the bus ramp OR the main entrance to the Administration Building. This is a safety issue. We have alerted the SBISD Police as we are concerned about students walking home in that area and buses are having difficulty traversing the traffic safely in that area.


Stefanie Spencer, Principal

Stefanie.spencer@springbranchisd.com

Mark Your Calendars, Bears!

Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:

  • October 4th-8th: Mrs. Mulvey is conducting scoliosis exams for 7th grade girls and 8th grade boys this week during BPT.
  • October 8th: Student Holiday/Staff Development Day
  • October 11th: Student and Staff Holiday
  • 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
Each year, we host an annual Title I Parent presentation to go over the tenets of being a Title I 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:


Second Clinic: 1st dose Saturday, October 9, and 2nd dose Saturday, October 30.
  • 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.

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 Weekly Planners

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We need your help, Bear Families! Each Monday and Wednesday, your students are given the chance to write their homework assignments, tests and due dates in their weekly planners through Bear Pride Time. Department Chairs will be working through supports and rewards to encourage students taking the time to do this, but reinforcement at home could help! Please encourage your student to write down fun celebrations, family events, sporting events and practices and to do lists in their planners and review them each week with you. IF your child is not recording that information, do not scold, but ask them to find the information in their Bear Pride time course for that week, record it and reward them for following through the next week. We want our students to SEE the work we do as adults to organize ourselves and to know that they need to do this work, too. By being positive, informative and supportive, we hope to embed this critical skill in our Bears.


Ideas:

1. Take the time to share your calendar from work or home to show how you use it- whether it is electronic or paper.

2. Talk through the multiple things you have going on for them and yourselves each week and what would happen if someone didn't organize themselves around it. Just like modeling a think aloud helped new readers, thinking aloud while using a calendar can gradually release students to independence on managing their extracurricular and study time.

3. Give them some responsibility as you meet weekly regarding the calendar. What information can they provide you in this meeting?


This will be painful at first until you have developed your system and your child sees the value. Keep going! Much of parenting is outlasting the struggle in a positive way.


We will work to support BPT teachers to encourage students to take the time to write in their planners, but it never hurts to have a whole team approach, school and home! Again, no need to scold, but instead empower and inform on why the planner helps!


*If your child has lost theirs, they may report to their grade level principal and ask for another copy. It is important enough for them to have one, we are happy to make that accommodation free of charge. Copies beyond the first two will cost $5.

Naviance Comprehensive College & Career Readiness Tool

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NAVIANCE is a comprehensive college and career readiness solution that helps districts and schools align student strengths and interests to post-secondary goals, improving student outcomes and connecting learning to life. Each grade level has specific action items to enhance knowledge in both personal and future goals.


Parent codes will be sent out to families soon. These codes will enable parents to view the assessments that your students have taken that enable them to identify strengths and weaknesses, career interests and personality types. These will then enable them to identify and select endorsements and courses for high school. All grades at SBMS participate in a step or two of Naviance as they make their way to begin high school. Please see this link for the fliers that are coming home to you this week.

Unfortunate Tik Tok Development

Please continue these conversations with your students as there are reports that Tik Tokkers continue to post additional activities through the year. Additional activities include destruction of property and disrespect to school staff. Students engaging in this type of behavior will be punished.


Acts of vandalism by students, including criminal behavior, have been occurring at schools across Spring Branch ISD, across Texas, and the entire nation in recent days. We believe that these incidents are the result of students seeing viral videos that encourage them to destroy school property for fun.


Please know that students who engage in this type of behavior will be punished, and that punishment could include criminal charges.


These students are participating in a social media phenomenon called the “Devious Licks” challenge on the TikTok app.


This destructive activity, which mainly occurs in school bathrooms, is costing schools tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Toilets are being destroyed, soap dispensers stolen or torn apart, bathroom stalls ruined with red dye, fire extinguishers sprayed, along with many other acts of mayhem.


This must stop. I’m asking that you please talk with your children and warn them that the consequences will be severe if they take part in this type of senseless destruction of their own school property. The consequences could range from disciplinary action to fines and felony criminal charges, depending on the activity and the value of the damage.


If your student witnesses any destruction of property, they should notify the administrator on duty immediately. Let’s all work together to be proud of our school and our facilities that are here for the benefit of all our children.

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.

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!


Friday, October 15th: 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

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: