Bear Bulletin

August 22, 2021

Topics Included in this Newsletter

  • Note from Mrs. Spencer
  • Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
  • SBMS Transportation Information
  • SBMS and MHS School Zone Hours Change- PLEASE READ
  • SBISD Credit by Exams (CBE)
  • SBMS Back to School Assemblies and SBISD Code of Conduct
  • Information from Nurse Mulvey for 6th Grade Parents
  • SBMS Yearbook Information
  • SBMS PTA Information for 2021-2022
  • MySchool Bucks Information

Message from Mrs. Spencer

We did it! Thank you to all Bears, parent and child, who completed their first week of back to school! After school monsoons, heat waves and the frantic acquisition of all things back to school were challenges we overcame successfully! As we approach week two, here are few reminders:

  • Grade Level Principals: At the middle school level, the Assistant Principal for your child's grade level is effectively the principal of that mini-school/grade level. It is important to build a relationship with that principal and get to know him or her. They will be working with your children for the three years your children will attend SBMS. While I am the building principal, please allow these Grade Level Principals to help you should you need assistance first. If you have concerns remaining after talking with them, you may reach out to me as the building principal. Please note that I may redirect you back to them if you do not honor the process. Our grade level principals are Steve Barry (6th), Megan Watson (7th) and Maya Franchi (8th)
  • SBMS PTA: Please consider joining our SBMS PTA. They will be hosting Grade Level Coffees later this month and into September for PTA members. They are hosted at a PTA member's home rather than the school, so please look for publication from the PTA.
  • Chromebook Paperwork: We will be doing a call-out asking for completed Chromebook paperwork for those families who have not submitted one or both documents (Reasonable Use Policy and Device Loaner Agreement). We do not want any child to not have a device, so please address this requirement if you are called.
  • MAP Testing: Each year, SBISD administers the MAP assessment to students at least twice a year. We will begin the fall administration soon. Students need to bring their fully charged devices and do their best on the assessments. Results guide us on growth made by students and strengths and opportunities for teachers to use in planning. Testing will occur in each subject area classroom on the following dates: Language Arts: 8/31 and 9/1; Math: 9/7 and 9/8; Science: 9/9 and 9/10.
  • 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.

Have a great rest of your Sunday! The work continues tomorrow!

Stefanie Spencer, Principal

Mark Your Calendars, Bears!

Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:

  • PTA General Meeting: August 25th at 11:30 a.m. at SBMS or via Zoom if you would prefer. See the PTA newsletter being sent later today for the link.
  • PTA Grade Level Parent Coffees: Join the PTA and get details on the location for our Parent Coffees hosted at 9 a.m. on the following dates: September 2nd for 6th Grade, September 3rd for 7th Grade and August 31st for 8th Grade.
  • Labor Day Holiday: Please note that there is a school holiday for staff and students on September 6th.
  • September 23rd at 6 p.m.: Back to School Night for SBMS: Travel your child's schedule and learn about what they will be learning this school year and hear tips for success from your child's teacher. Join us at the end of the evening for a meet and greet for new and returning families- meet the moms and dads of your student's new friends and meet some new friends for yourself, as well! Stay tuned for further details!

SBMS Transportation Information

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Thank you for your assistance with morning drop off and afternoon pick up processes and procedures. If you were not able to review the SBMS Bear Bulletin- Transportation Edition newsletter, you may click here to review it. Your adhering to the processes helps us ensure the safety of your children and an efficient pick up or drop off process.

Please note that the SBISD Police Department asked me to pass along a few messages to you:

1. Please refrain from picking up your children along the feeder/service road of I-10. Doing so places you and your children in harm's way. Traffic is clearing fairly quickly now. Please coordinate with your child to pick up from SBMS.

2. IF you are waiting for your child to walk to your waiting car in the neighborhood near SBMS, please pull your car as far right as you to allow traffic to flow freely. We have observed parents parked too far out into the street in a manner that would prohibit access to the area by emergency personnel (ambulance or fire truck). Please do not block driveways and demonstrate courtesy to families who live there.

Final reminder: As you drop off and pick up, please pull your car as far forward to the end of the curb in front of SBMS as you can. It may seem simpler to pick up your child in a different location along the front, but pulling forward maximizes how many kids we can load at a time and keeps things flowing more efficiently rather than disjointedly.

Thank you for attending to the above and the contents of the newsletter.

SBISD administers CBEs 4 times per year, once each quarter (Jan-Mar, Apr-June, July-Sept, and Oct-Dec). Fall and spring administrations are held on campuses. All tests are administered online (except math for grade 6 AAC). All CBE test selections must be verified by the school counselor prior to registration. School counselor/staff are responsible for including any approved test accommodations for students.

Key Information:

  • The registration deadline for parents for the fall CBE administration is September 1.
  • The fall administration window is Sept. 27 – Oct. 7.
  • All credit by exams will administered on campus.
  • Students are allowed up to three hours to complete each test, although some may finish in less time.
  • Parents of students taking grade 1 or 2 CBEs have the option to request oral administration.
  • Chrome books are supported for all online credit by exams.
  • Parents of all registered students will be notified by counselor or designee with the specific details of their child’s test appointment.
  • Elementary and middle school students testing successfully for math acceleration or grade level advancement in the fall will have their course schedules adjusted accordingly upon successful completion of CBE.
  • Additional information about Credit by Exam can be found on the district website:

School Zone Speed Limit Change- Please Read!

Effective Wednesday, August 25th, school zones for both Memorial High School and Spring Branch Middle School will be modified to read 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.. The change allows for the adjusted middle school hours and consistency between the two schools in light of their close proximity. The Hedwig City Council indicated this change would occur Wednesday, August 25th and posted for the public through their newspaper and website. We appreciate their efforts to ensure the safety of our students and acknowledging consistency in zones for residents is helpful, too. Please note that morning hours remain the same.

SBMS Back to School Assemblies and SBISD Code of Conduct

As is our tradition, Back to School Assemblies were held Thursday, August 19th for each grade level at SBMS. These assemblies go through procedures, processes and expectations for each student at our school. This year was the best year ever in regards to student engagement and attitudes. Each grade level principal, counselor and I left each assembly so excited for this year because of their positive attitudes and engagement!

Slide decks for each of the grade level presentations may be reviewed by clicking on the links below. Please note we placed particular emphasis on the following:

  • Students being judicious in their personal and school technology use,
  • Students' understanding the notion that group think (acting as a group without thinking for themselves) can create issues for them
  • The importance of understanding, reporting and avoiding acts of bullying, both online and in person;
  • SBMS Dress Code, including the expectation that hoods, caps and hats are not worn in the building at any time before, during or after school.

Back to School Assembly Slide Decks:

We will be sharing these with students via their ItsLearning courses so that they have them in their possession. Please also note that the SBISD Code of Conduct (English/Spanish) is accessible for your viewing. It is a helpful document to read and review with your children. They are at a point in their lives where they should take ownership of their behaviors and the expectations to which they must adhere.

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.

SBMS 2021-22 Yearbook!

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Yearbooks are now on sale for $55! Buy one here or go to . Below is the list of yearbook deadlines. Buy your book ASAP before the price increases on Friday, October 1!

Also, if you have any great photos that could go in the yearbook (the staff needs good photos from the summer AND first day/week of school pics!) 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, Contact Sara Boyle, with any other questions about the yearbook!

October 1, 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

Thank you!

Sara Boyle

Journalism Teacher, Yearbook and Newspaper Adviser

Spring Branch Middle School

Buy a 2021/2022 yearbook here!

A Word from the SBMS PTA

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The PTA welcomes you to back to school and hope you were able to access the big form and acquire spirit gear during back to school! As the year progresses, please note that the PTA website is and will be updated regularly to help share information. Please 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:

MySchoolBucks: A Convenient Online Payment Solution

Spring Branch Middle School will be using MySchoolBucks (MSB), a convenient online payment solution, in the 2021-2022 school year to streamline processes and make providing resources for resources easier for individual families. Parents can submit fees for athletics, choir, band, chromebook insurance and other fees that are collected throughout the year through this tool. This same tool is being utilized at many of our campuses, including Memorial High School.

The Optional Technology Coverage charge is now live and ready for you to pay on the MySchoolBucks application.

Directions for Setting Up Your MySchoolBucks: (You may do this on your phone or on your computer)

1. Go to

2. Select Sign Up for Free.

3. Complete all fields in the form and select Create Account.

4. Select Continue to Add a Student. This is an important steps as it links your account to your respective school. Here is a helpful video: How To Add a Student

5. In the add student form, please select your child's school, first name, last name, birthdate and student ID (SBISD lunch number without the sb in front).

6. Select Find a Student. In the next screen, please validate that the child listed is correct. If correct, select Add Student.

7. On the next screen, you may either Add Another Student or Finish.

8. Once you receive word that our items are added to the store, you will be able to wander around and select the items you need for purchase!

Questions or you encounter difficulty? Please contact Stefanie Spencer (

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