Bear Bulletin

December 12, 2021

Reminder: Early Release Days Wed-Fri (12:30 p.m.)!

Topics Included in this Newsletter

  • Note from Mrs. Spencer
  • Mark Your Calendars, Bears!
  • SBMS Yearbook PRICE CHANGE coming soon!
  • SBMS School-wide Spelling Bee Contest
  • SBMS Dress Code Reminders
  • SBMS Finals Schedule
  • Conoco Math Teacher Award Opportunity
  • Student Personal Device Reminders and Request
  • 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,


5 more alarm clocks, Bears! We can do this!


Thank you all for your support of our SBMS Bear community this semester. We have had a semester full of fun and student success on the field, court, performance hall and in classrooms. While there have been challenges this year, I am so proud of the gains our students are making and the work our staff is doing to support students academic and socio-emotionally.


I hope your students shared the team building activities we have been doing as of late in our Bear Pride Time advisory. I have joined in a time or two and while I can't profess to be a great balloon passer, I can say it was fun getting to enjoy the moment with kids and teachers. Many thanks to our Bear Pride Time committee of SBMS staff who are working to build comaraderie, find the fun and encourage kids to take ownership and pride in their schoolwork.


My hope for each of you is that you enjoy a lovely winter break filled with a return of customs and traditions your family holds dear. Enjoy your children; we certainly do. It is our pleasure to see them grow before our eyes and prepare for high school.


Please note that I have updated the file with a simplified finals schedule. Reminder that Early Release days occur Wednesday- Friday. Students will be released at 12:30 p.m. each of those days. Regular attendance rules apply for each of the days next week, please note. A few other things:


General Reminders:

  • 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 schoolers are not the most helpful and informative, but it might be worth trying. Over the course of the last week or so, we have seen an increase in parents and kids not on the same page on where they need to be after school. This is frightening for all. 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 the 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 classroomom 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.


End of Semester Schedules/Information:


  • End of Semester Finals Schedule: You may access the schedule here. I have added a simplified version to the folder for finals, if that proves helpful.
  • 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.


Happy Holidays, All! My next Bear Bulletin will be sent January 2, 2022!

Stefanie

Mark Your Calendars, Bears!

Mark your calendars for a few events, Bears:


  • SBISD End of Semester Early Dismissal: Wednesday, December 15th- Friday, December 17th at 12:30 p.m.
  • Parent U: Promoting Healthy and Safe Relationships Online and In Person: February 17th from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom.
  • Next SBMS Bear Bulletin: January 2nd, 2022!


    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 Schoolwide Spelling Bee!

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    This year, we had 15 students participate in the SBMS spelling bee. Congratulations to our winner, 8th grade Katherine O’Brien and our runner-up, Charlotte Cagle (7th grade)! Both will represent SBMS at the district bee in February.

    Participating in a school spelling bee is a huge accomplishment! The following students also participated in the bee and we are so proud of all their hard work:


    Blaire Ludeke (6th grade)

    Jillian Slot (7th grade)

    Joy Bryant (7th grade)

    Ryan Gross(7th grade)

    Sophia Do (7th grade)

    Joshua Scimemi (7th grade)

    Grace Martin (7th grade)

    Arelia Henahan (7th grade)

    John Guzman (8th grade)

    Wiley Andrews (8th grade)

    James Simmons (8th grade)

    Nathan Vuu (8th grade)

    Madeleine Ross (8th grade)


    The spelling bee would also not be possible without support from the SBMS staff, including John Sullivan, Kayley Looney and Paul Colquitt, who served as judges, and Amy Bruce, Phil Edmond, Sheri Engelmann, Zitlalik Mendez, Javier Aurelio, and Danielle Custer, who all helped with set-up. A final thank you goes to Jennifer Fuller, our PTA committee chair.


    Aaryn Silva

    SBMS Librarian

    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.

    *I have added simplified scheduled to the link below if you need to print one. Additionally, I posted to Family Access and Student Skyward Access that same schedule.


    This link will take you to an amended schedule for the last week of the fall semester. During that week, seventh and eighth graders will take a final in all subject areas with few exceptions. Sixth graders will take their PSAs (Priority Standards Assessments) in reading, math and science. They may have unit or regular tests in their other subjects, as well. In the spring, all students in grades six, seven and eight will take finals in most classes.


    Please note that on days where there are no finals posted, students will be completing work, submitting missing assignments and making sure their semesters are closed out in regards to their grade levels. Attendance is collected every day that week, so attendance expectations are the same for each day.

    Conoco Math Teacher of the Month

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    Spring Branch ISD, and Spring Branch Middle in particular, has the best teachers in the world! Do you love your math teacher? Nominate that teacher for the Conoco Phillips Teacher of the Month Award by Dec. 15. Through a partnership with the Houston Astros, teachers can win amazing prizes.
    https://bit.ly/3xBSHUN

    Social Media Safety Request from SBMS

    Each spring, we regularly see an increase in issues related to student social media interactions. Unfortunately, the increase in concerns has begun early. It would be helpful if every parent could review their child's cell phone and social media applications for the following:


    • Ask your child to delete or stop subscribing to fake SBMS accounts (Instagram, maybe elsewhere) where content is unacceptable, unkind or dramatizing.
    • Ensure that their accounts are set to private so no one you or they do not know can access their accounts.
    • Ensure your children know every single person they are following and have connected with- some of our children haven't realized the need to decline friend requests from strangers. They may need assistance detecting fake accounts.
    • Review their DMs (direct messages) in their instagram and their group texts on their cell phones. You do not want them to be part of messaging that cover unkind or inappropriate content.
    • Ensure your child is not sharing an account or password with others.
    • Review their pictures, as well.


    We would strongly prefer that they receive this guidance from you at home so they can come to school ready to learn, free from the hurt feelings some of this is generating and the consequences that could result. It is important that students know that their technology footprint can hinder their options for admission into colleges, the military and possible job opportunities. There could be consequences at SBMS if their participation in something disrupts instruction or can be considered inappropriate or along the lines of bullying or harassment.


    Conversations like this are difficult but necessary. They may not wish for you to review their phone, but doing so can prevent issues and actually help them make better choices. It is sometimes helpful to kids when they can say to a friend that they cannot participate in something because their parents monitor them. It is a nice excuse for them to have in their back pocket.

    Per the SBISD StrongStart Healthy and Safety Plan, students and staff members, who are unvaccinated, and return from international travel are required

    to:

    • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND staff and students are required to stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
    • Parents/guardians report absences to the campus following district/campus guidelines;
    • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms

    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

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    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.

    SBMS 2021-22 Yearbook! PRICE CHANGE JAN 31st!

    Hi SBMS Bears!

    Yearbooks are now on sale for $60! Buy one here or go to tinyurl.com/sbmsyearbook to buy your book before the price increases on Jan. 1! 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 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 (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