Bear Bulletin

November 7, 2021

Topics Included in this Newsletter

  • Note from Mrs. Spencer
  • Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
  • SBISD Thanks Employees Who Are Veterans
  • T-2-4 Readiness Starts Now!
  • SBMS Turkey Grams
  • Secondary Parent U Opportunity
  • 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

Good Morning, SBMS Bears,


I hope this finds you well. We have two weeks of school before we depart for a week for Thanksgiving. I know families, staff and students are ready for some rest and relaxation. As we work towards that respite, please know the following:


  • SBMS Veterans' Day Performance: As a reminder, we will be honoring Veterans' Day this year through viewing student performances of patriotic music rather than hosting our larger ceremony. We are so grateful for our Veterans at SBMS; please extend our gratitude to friends and family in our community who have served our country.
  • End of Semester Finals Schedule: We are finalizing the schedule for our end of semester finals next week. We anticipate publishing the schedule next Sunday, November 14th.
  • End of Semester Early Dismissal: Just a reminder that the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of our last week of our fall semester are Early Release Days for secondary schools. School will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 15th- Friday, December 17th.

Mark Your Calendars, Bears!

Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:


  • SBMS PTA Fundraiser: Raising Cane's on November 10th (Pre-Sold)
  • SBMS Classroom Spelling Bees: November 10th
  • SBMS Veterans' Day Celebration (November 11th): Rather than host large numbers of veterans, family members and guests, SBMS will be honoring Veterans' Day through a presentation of students performing patriotic musical compositions. These pre-recorded performances will be viewed during Bear Pride Time on November 11th.
  • SBISD Thanksgiving Holiday (Student/Staff): November 22nd- November 26th
  • SBISD End of Semester Early Dismissal: Wednesday, December 15th- Friday, December 17th at 12:30 p.m.


    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
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    Before giving their service to the students of Spring Branch ISD, dozens of district employees served the United States in a branch of the military. We are #SBISDProud of our veterans working here now and thank them for adding to the Collective Greatness of the district.


    Click here to read the article SBISD distributed in the weekly Featured News article. They asked some of our veterans how their military experience supports their current work and for any advice they would give students who are considering a branch of service after graduation.
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    Middle school students are typically able to recognize that their academic outcomes are related to their T-2-4 options, but sometimes don't make the connection that their academic and personal habits play a role in those options, as well. You may wish to converse with your students about the following, particularly if they are making a leap to high school (public or private) next school year:


    • Use of Technology: Please discuss the Responsible Use Policy for SBISD and discuss with your child the importance of being responsible in their personal use of technology (computers and cell phones), as well. They should know all of their social media and app connections and be mindful of participating in group texts/chats and other communications. The content of what is discussed on any of those platforms needs to represent the best of who they are. You may revisit the assembly information students were given during our Back to School process this year by clicking on the relevant grade level: 6th Grade, 7th Grade, and 8th Grade. The consequences for poor choices are serious on the school front, but also in terms of college admissions, scholarships and other opportunities in their future.
    • Punctuality to Class: Review Skyward and check on the number of tardies your child has accrued. Being on time is a personal habit that can enhance their academic success and build positive relationships with their teachers.
    • Independent Thinking: If you are observing that your child is able to think and act independently of their peers in social and academic situations, your middle schooler will encounter a much more successful high school experience. Sometimes, this is tied to maturity, self confidence, a drive to feel included, or simply not slowing down to think. Conversations and compliments when you do observe that independent thinking are good places to start. Middle school-ers may not act like they want those conversations with mom and dad, but they truly do. The more you talk about these things outside of the moments where he or she has made a mistake, the more likely he or she will "hear" you.
    • Preparing for the Responsibilities of High School: 7th and 8th graders need to start thinking about high school and the expectations high school teachers and principals will have for them and start practicing things like self advocacy, monitoring their progress, and managing their deadlines independently.


    This link takes you to the T24 Core Characteristics. You may wish to peruse them so you are ready to celebrate the moments your child is demonstrating them or talk through how one can achieve these characteristics deliberately. Every person is able to improve and work towards success; they just need to be intentional, independent thinkers and persistent.

    SBMS Turkey Grams: Send a Message of Gratitude

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    Students have been given time to write a message or messages of gratitude to teachers and staff, but if any families want to join in you are welcome to do so! Simply download this file, print and return to school with your student or email it to me at stefanie.spencer@springbranchisd.com. Please send no later than Monday, November 15th so I can get them to the right staff. You are welcome to use with your families, as well.

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    Join us for a fun evening of rhyming, blending, and manipulating sounds to build phonological awareness with our young readers. We will share plenty of family-friendly ideas and tips to support and engage your young and striving readers at home. This will be conducted via Zoom on November 16th and presented by SBISD’s Humanities, Dyslexia and Multilingual Departments. Register online through these links: English/Spanish.

    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 Wednesday, November 10th 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

    SBMS 2021-22 Yearbook!

    Yearbooks are now on sale for $60! 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!


    The yearbook staff would love your help gathering photos related to the following topics/events for inclusion (we need photos of the highlighted topics the most)

    -Bear Camp

    -Fine arts concerts/shows (band, orchestra, choir, theatre)

    -Dance Club

    -Football

    -Your child dressed up for Red Ribbon Week

    -Honors assemblies

    -Volleyball

    -Halloween

    -Unusual pets


    You can upload photos for the yearbook staff using the Balfour Imageshare app on your phone. 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!


    Upcoming dates:

    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

    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.

    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: