Bear Bulletin

January 2, 2022

Happy New Year! See you back at SBMS on Tuesday, January 4th!

Topics Included in this Newsletter

  • Note from Mrs. Spencer
  • Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
  • Congratulations to SBISD Superintendent, Dr. Jennifer Blaine!
  • SBMS Musical Family Meeting and Auditions
  • SBMS Yearbook: Be Sure to Order ASAP!
  • SBMS Dress Code Reminders
  • Mark Your Calendars for SBISD Parent: Healthy Relationships Online and In-Person!
  • Information from Nurse Mulvey for 6th Grade Parents
  • SBMS PTA Information for 2021-2022

Message from Mrs. Spencer

Good Morning, SBMS Bears,


Happy New Year, Bears! I hope you are all enjoying a peaceful start to 2022. We are eager to see our SBMS Bears back on campus Tuesday, January 4th.


Second semester schedules are viewable tomorrow on Skyward Family Access. Students will also be receiving a hard copy of their schedule in their BPT classroom on Tuesday. Aside from students who have moved into or out of Athletics, students' BPT classes remain the same in the spring.


Please help me welcome two new staff members to SBMS:

  • Justin Loughridge: Justin is one of our new Special Education In Class Support Teachers. An experienced teacher, Justin started the week or two before break and has already started developing relationships with students and learning student needs. This is an additional position for SBMS.
  • Nini Nguyen: Ms. Nguyen is joining our 8th Grade Science team after the departure of Ms. Langlois, whose husband was transferred. Ms. Nguyen had a great experience at Seven Lakes Junior High in Katy ISD and is a brand new teacher. She is eager to get started and we know she will be a great addition to our staff!

As you may have seen in the news, there is a rise of COVID cases nationally and in the Houston area. Our SBISD StrongStart plan remains in effect and is able to be viewed by clicking here. Masks remain optional but are strongly encouraged. There are lots of illnesses circulating (strep, flu, some stomach viruses beyond COVID), so as in years previous to the pandemic, please talk with your doctor and keep your child home if you suspect your child is sick. If you have questions, please reach out to Ms. Mulvey or your pediatrician.


General Reminders:
  • Student Use of Cell Phones: Students are expected to stow their cell phones in caddies at the front of the classroom to prevent distraction from learning. Please remind your child of this expectation and review their devices to ensure that these devices are being utilized in a manner that meets your expectations as a family. From this principal's vantage point, several social media apps have proven themselves unworthy of being in our kids' possessions. Please review group texts, photos and other content of your child's cell phones so that you can ensure he or she isn't exposed to content you wish they weren't, or participating in conversations that may have originated with innocent intentions, but degraded quickly. This review doesn't have to be punitive but can be instructive to your child on how to rise above and develop healthy relationships and boundaries for themselves. While I recognize that your child may not be open to this conversation, they could truly benefit from insight from you on how to handle different conversations or relationships rather than rely on insight from other adolescents or social media stars for healthy conflict resolution and relationship development/maintenance.
  • Coordination of Schedules: Each child was given a planner to use this year. You may wish to spend some time each Sunday asking them to let you know of after school obligations they have (tutoring, performance practices, Early Release Days) in preparation for the week. I know middle school-ers are not the most helpful and informative, but it might be worth trying. We live much faster paced lives than how we grew up- the time spent organizing for the week and using daily reminders may help avoid the panic that one feels when a child doesn't arrive home (but is instead at school without a reminder for mom!).
  • Substitutes: It is much harder to get substitutes for teachers who need to be absent. We have reminded students that having subs on campus is like having guests in your home. As detailed as our teachers are in terms of plans, it might be that students need to be extra patient, helpful and polite. They are always welcome to report to an administrator if a sub doesn't meet our expectations, but we certainly want subs to feel like SBMS is THE school to complete a sub assignment! Please talk with your child about being kind and patient with subs. If you know anyone who may wish to sub and they aren't sure how, they can call 713-464-1511 (SBISD Admin Bldg) for information.


SBMS Tutorial Reminders:

  • The tutorial schedule for SBMS is posted on the website, click here.
  • Each teacher posts their schedule near or on their classroom door. When teachers are absent unexpectedly, other teachers will step in and help. Students should go to one of the teachers on that subject and grade level team and ask who is hosting tutorials in their absence.
  • Students need a handwritten note from a parent or a pass/printed email from a teacher to attend tutorials.


Thank you to the SBMS PTA for the lovely holiday lunch provided to staff the week before school was out. The meal was delicious and the event was very festive. We so appreciate everyone's support of our PTA and the PTAs support of our faculty. We are very lucky to be SBMS Bears!


We are looking forward to a very successful Spring semester! See you soon, Bears!

Stefanie

Mark Your Calendars, Bears!

Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:


  • Parent U: Promoting Healthy and Safe Relationships Online and In Person: February 17th from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom.


    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

    Spring Branch ISD Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Blaine is one of only 19 other superintendents nationwide named as a “Superintendent to Watch” by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), according to an announcement made by the organization.

    NSPRA’s “Superintendents to Watch” program recognizes superintendents with fewer than five years of experience who demonstrate dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication at its core.


    Dr. Blaine is being honored for her innovative and effective use of technology to engage and inform the Spring Branch ISD community, and to expand two-way communication and outreach efforts.


    “I am humbled and honored to be named as a ‘Superintendent to Watch’ and to join 18 other exemplary leaders from around the nation,” Dr. Blaine said. “I wholeheartedly believe that the power of community is what will help Every Child reach their potential and that power begins with communication and trust.”


    When Dr. Blaine was named Spring Branch ISD’s superintendent in 2019, one of her first actions was to announce streamlined key priorities to achieve the district’s T-2-4 goal, which is aimed at every graduate attaining a technical certificate, military training, or a two-year or four-year degree.


    Under her leadership, these key priorities have brought focus and clarity to the district’s work, so that every member of the Spring Branch ISD community feels connected to the success of Every Child.


    To create and maintain trust and seek input and feedback, Dr. Blaine makes it a priority to engage in meaningful two-way communication. With her creation of parent, teacher, and student advisory groups, she can hear direct feedback on various topics to help drive decisions and communications.


    “On behalf of the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees, we are thrilled for Dr. Blaine to receive this honor,” Board President Chris Gonzalez said. “Since becoming superintendent, Dr. Blaine has led with honesty, thoughtfulness, and respect. She exemplifies the Core Values our district is rooted in and her compassion for Every Child, as well as her excellence and transparency in decision-making, set her apart as a leader.”


    Dr. Blaine has worn many hats during her 20-year career with Spring Branch ISD, including serving as an elementary principal, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Associate Superintendent for Administration and Operations, Associate Superintendent for Talent and Operations, taxpayer, parent, and now Superintendent of Schools.


    A 1990 University of Iowa graduate, Dr. Blaine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education with a specialization in reading. She has since earned a master’s degree and a doctorate, respectively, in educational administration and educational leadership, both from Sam Houston State University.


    Connect with Dr. Blaine on Twitter @jennifer_blaine.

    SBMS Spring Musical Family Meeting and Auditions Information!

    The SBMS Theatre and Choir Departments are thrilled to announce the Spring Musical, Oliver Jr!


    Directors are hosting a Family Musical Interest Meeting on Thursday, January 6th at 6 pm in the SBMS Auditorium. We will discuss the details, calendar and requirements for this fun production. We hope to see you there!


    AUDITIONS will be after school from 4-5:30 pm on January 10th, 11th and 13th (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday). A late bus will be available at 4:45 for those needing transportation. Students desiring to be a part of this school-wide musical MUST be present for ALL audition dates. Everyone is invited to participate—you don’t have to be in a choir or theatre class to audition!


    Here is a link to access the audition materials: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/130-2U4BfZ7Si_E0XhYhkD22eRlSwWM3L?usp=sharing

    SBMS 2021-22 Yearbook!

    Hi SBMS Bears!

    Yearbooks are now on sale for $60! Purchasing a yearbook is easy! Simply go to tinyurl.com/sbmsyearbook to buy your book.! So far, we have already sold far more books than last year by this time so we may sell out. Buy early to avoid missing out at the end of the year!


    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!


    The yearbook staff would love your help gathering photos related to the following topics/events for inclusion:

    -Fine arts concerts/shows or your child practicing/rehearsing for them (band, orchestra, choir, theatre)

    -Football

    -Volleyball

    -Basketball

    -Your child dressed up for Red Ribbon Week

    -Honors assemblies

    -Unusual pets

    -Holidays: Thanksgiving break, winter break, Halloween, etc.


    You can upload photos for the yearbook staff using the Balfour Imageshare app on your phone. You will create an account and can upload photos from your camera roll. Note: the project number is 209143 and there is NO upload code. You may also send any photos for the yearbook staff to yearbook adviser Sara Boyle, sara.boyle@springbranchisd.com. Please keep in mind we are trying to include as many students as possible so we are trying to include individual students a max of 3 times in the book!


    Contact Sara Boyle, sara.boyle@springbranchisd.com with any other questions about the yearbook!


    Upcoming dates:

    January 1, 2022: Yearbook price increased 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 (purchase a name stamp or activity icon for your yearbook)

    March 15, 2022: Last day to send in yearbook photos for inclusion in the book

    Spring Branch Middle school does not have a uniform policy like some middle schools, but rather a dress code that allows students some flexibility and choice. These freedoms are a great opportunity to stretch those good decision making muscles, but middle school is a time when parents sometimes have to intervene and help guide good thinking. Please review the SBMS Dress Code policy to ensure your child is dressed according to the expectations of our school. Students who are out of compliance may be held in the front office until a parent can come to school to provide them a change of clothes. Please be mindful that sometimes students are coming to school and bringing separate changes of clothes- you may wish to check in and be sure your child has an understanding of your expectations.


    Below are the most common issues we see that are worth reminding all against:


    Tops:

    • No midriffs should be observed at any time.
    • No camisole/spaghetti strap tops should be worn.


    Bottoms:

    • Jeans must be free from rips and tears. Current fashion does promote both, so we ask that rips and tears are near the knee and below to ensure modesty.
    • Shorts for males and females should be at fingertip length (hands to side with hands extended, shorts should be at least as long as the end of the fingertips).
    • NO pajama pants should be worn at any time.
    • Leggings may be worn with t-shirts or sweatshirts as long as either are fingertip length.


    Shoes:

    • No flip flops or slippers should be worn as they are a fall/trip hazard in busy hallways.


    Hats:

    • No hats or caps may be worn within the building at any time.

    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.


    Aaryn Silva

    Librarian

    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

    A Word from the SBMS PTA

    Big picture

    PTA hosts events that support all students, teachers & staff. The tireless volunteers are constantly working for us all. Our amazing fundraising volunteers are raising money to provide staff appreciation lunches, student social activities and teacher supplies. If you don’t have time to volunteer, no worries, you can join the PTA and support our school without any time commitment. Click here https://sbmspta.membershiptoolkit.com/packet/15401 to join today.