Bear Bulletin

September 19, 2021

Topics Included in this Newsletter

  • Note from Mrs. Spencer
  • Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
  • SBMS Back to School Night: September 23rd
  • Skyward Family Access Resources
  • Unfortunate Tik Tok Development
  • Tutorial Schedule Updated on the SBMS Website!
  • A Word from Our Librarian, Ms. Silva!
  • Need Help Using the SBISD itsLearning Parent Portal?
  • 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 you have had a lovely weekend. As we approach this next week of school, please note the following:


  • Celebrating Our Good Fortune: We are so fortunate to be part of a school district that over the last few difficult years has worked to get kids into school and protect all of the things that make school, school: student learning, socialization, the arts, and athletics. While imperfectly perfect, a note of thanks or encouragement from you or your child to any of their teachers, coaches, assistant principals, counselors, librarian, cafeteria manager and workers, custodians, Superintendent, or any school personnel would make this principal very grateful. Sometimes, myself included, we forget to send a note of thanks when things are going well because we get busy with all the things! Taking the time to do so might encourage the recipient to keep trucking along on our strong start we have had this year!
  • Free and Reduced Lunch Forms: Your child may have brought home a free and reduced lunch form for you to complete. Please know that this does not mean we believe you may qualify but simply that our records show that you have not completed it in the Skyward enrollment verification process or otherwise. Please complete and return as this helps SBISD and SBMS ensure accurate reporting of needs of our school which helps maximize services to our students and community.
  • SBMS Tutorial Schedule: Please see the article below related to the SBMS Tutorial Schedule. Students are welcome and encouraged to attend; please be patient with teachers as we have asked them to monitor themselves for symptoms and stay home when necessary as many of them are parents, too. They will do their best to notify students if they need to be absent.


Stefanie Spencer, Principal

Stefanie.spencer@springbranchisd.com

Mark Your Calendars, Bears!

Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:

  • September 23rd at 5:30 p.m.: Back to School Night for SBMS: Join us in the SBMS Auditorium for a Back to School General PTA Meeting and then travel your child's schedule, learn about what they will be learning this school year and hear tips for success from your child's teacher. Our library is hosting a back to school book fair, as well, so pick up a book or two and support your reader and our school!
  • Parent U FAFSA/TAFSA Orientation: Did you know that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) adopted a requirement for graduation that will require students starting with Class of 2022 to complete and submit either the FAFSA or TASFA applications? Join us to learn about this new requirement, receive a general overview of financial aid and the applications, and how 2020 tax filing connects. Register here.
  • October 8th: Student Holiday/Staff Development Day
  • October 11th: Student and Staff Holiday
  • October 14th and 15th: Early Release for Elementary Students


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

SBMS Back to School Night 2021

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Early this week, your students will be bringing home the above form completed so that you can follow their schedule during our SBMS Back to School Night this Thursday, September 23rd beginning at 5:30 p.m. Our amazing PTA will begin the event with a General PTA meeting and then Mrs. Spencer will provide a brief campus overview for the school year. Once this phase is concluded you may travel the halls, walking the same routes your children walk to class each day (no running, Bears!)! We will make sure our teachers share where they house their syllabi and have copies ready for you to pick up if you need another from the busy back to school paperwork season!


For families who may not be able to attend due to schedule conflicts or do not feel comfortable joining in on the event due to COVID-19, SBMS is offering flexibility and access to the information presented, so please make the choice that best fits your family! Teachers will be posting two things to their itsLearning courses by 5 p.m. on September 21st:


  • Their Back to School Night Presentations
  • A Google form to collect questions ahead of the evening. The most frequently asked questions will be answered that evening!


We hope this offers each family flexibility as we know that schedules were already busy prior to Tropical Storm Nicholas and now may be even further impacted by rescheduled dates and that families may not yet feel comfortable joining in person events. Whatever may the case, make the decision that makes the best sense to you!

A Word from Our Librarian, Ms. Silva

Book Fair
It’s Book Fair time! Book fair will take place all next week (9/20-9/24) during school hours, as well as during Back-to-School night for parents. Find all the details here, including on an online shopping option. We can accept cash, credit, or checks (payable to SBMS). Don’t want to send cash? Try out e-Wallet! This is a digital payment option where you set up an account and add a specific amount of money that your child can access. More info here. The funds from the book fair help us purchase more books for the school library.


While you’re at the book fair, be sure to stop in and see our student art show. Their work is on display in the library and is fantastic!


Aaryn Silva

Librarian

Spring Branch Middle School

Unfortunate Tik Tok Development

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.

Tutoring Opportunities Now Posted to SBMS Website

Tutorial opportunities for students are now posted to the Spring Branch Middle School website. You may click here to locate the tutorials or click under Academics on the Spring Branch Middle School website (https://sbm.springbranchisd.com) to find tutorials. Students must provide a pass to enter the school for tutorials or a hand written note from a parent. This is a time to ask specific questions or receive assistance on specific skills that are topical to the content being presented currently or recent to current instruction and not something students attend regularly to hear presentations. There are no presentations, but time for teachers to help kids who need something specific. To ensure students who need help get the help they need, please do not send students who do not have an academic need at that moment to tutorials.


While teachers will make every effort to notify students of their absences, this year may still be a little difficult in terms of consistency in relationship to tutorials. We do not anticipate issues, but teachers may be absent from time to time for themselves or their families and tutorial schedules affected.


During Back to School night, teachers will share where they have placed their syllabi in each of their sessions.

SBISD has several resources for parents who are new to supporting a child who is using itsLearning. We will have a session on itsLearning for parents during Back to School Night, but in the meantime, you may click on the link below for to get you started:


SBISD District Information on ItsLearning for Parents

ItsLearning Parent Portal Quick Start Guide


If the Quick Start Guide link gives you trouble, I have downloaded the pdf to our google folder for parents. Click here for access.

SBMS 2021-22 Yearbook!

Yearbooks are now on sale for $55! Buy one here or go to tinyurl.com/sbmsyearbook . Below is the list of yearbook deadlines. Buy your book ASAP before the price increases on Friday, October 1st (new price increase date)!


Paper order forms went out to every student in BPT this week. Please let me know if you’d like another paper order form sent home with your student OR you can just visit balfour.com and select Spring Branch Middle.


Also, if you have any great photos that could go in the yearbook (the staff needs good photos from the summer, first day/week of school pics, pictures 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 1: 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


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 welcomes you to back to school and hopes 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 https://sbmspta.membershiptoolkit.com/ 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: