The Cub Hub

Volume 2, Issue 1

Message From Mr. Crissey

Hello Team Bear Creek,

Hard to believe it is August but the calendar does not lie!

I know there is quite a bit of concern with our current Covid-19 situation and we as a school system are responding in an effort to provide as many options as possible to take families where they are in regards to comfort levels for their children.

There is a lot of essential information here, so please take some time and read all the news that matters.



Bear Creek Elementary's Purpose Statement

Bear Creek Elementary is an inclusive community who intentionally advocates for a culture of connection through integrity, resiliency, courage, and empathy. We are evolving, curious, and diverse solution seekers, who are deliberately making positive contributions and changes to the local and global community.

The Core Values Of Bear Creek Elementary






Bear Creek Elementary's Guiding Principles

Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content.

Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.

How we teach is as important as what we teach.

How we work together as adults to create a safe, joyful, and inclusive environment is as
important as our individual contribution.

What we know and believe about our students – individually, culturally, developmentally
informs our expectations, reactions, and attitudes about those students.

Partnering with families – knowing them and valuing their contributions is as important as knowing the children we teach.

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Bear Creek Elementary Communication Plan

Our main form of communication is our weekly newsletter The Cub Hub. Barring unforeseen events, it will be published each Monday and will provide important campus and district level information.

Each grade level/department will also have their newsletters linked within, making this an inclusive one stop source for all your Bear Creek news.

Our schoolwide social media accounts will not be used a go-to source for information. However, we do hope to use them as a source of inspiration as we highlight the positive happenings on and around campus.

The newsletter will be sent out via School Messenger and then posted on our website and our social media accounts.

The website will serve as the main point of information. We are always happy to answer questions via phone and email, but we hope that you take some time to familiarize yourself with the website once the school year begins. Our hope is you will find many answers within the contents.

If the school needs to get something out in quick fashion we will use School Messenger to send an email and text to the email and phone number that is listed as the primary contact for your child.

Beyond the required weekly newsletter, each teacher is expected to provide you with timely class updates using either email or SEESAW/BLEND.

We hope this very simple communication plan will be clear and efficient while providing you with the information you need in a timely manner.

Staffing Update #1

Things move very quickly in AISD and the past week and half did not disappoint by providing me with plenty of opportunities to stretch, grow, and PIVOT in ways that I did not consider.

I often joked with AJ by saying "I know you are amazing but just give me two years."

Clearly she was too good (but apparently not that good at following directives) and the Zilker Elementary community snatched her up as their new principal.

I am truly beaming with pride as I write this.

Please wish Ms. Pitts all the best.

Dear Bear Creek Family,

I am writing this letter to you with a heavy heart to let you know I have been selected as the new principal at Zilker Elementary. Though I am looking forward to this new adventure, I am deeply saddened to be leaving the community we established last school year. As I reflect on our year together, I am filled with joy at the relationships I formed with the students and families. You brought me into your community and welcomed me, even while I pestered you with temperature checks and green checks each morning! =)

Though I will no longer be at Bear Creek, I am still part of your Austin ISD family and look forward to staying connected with you all. Bear Creek has a bright future ahead in serving the community and students, I wish you all the best.

A very familiar face for many of us, Mr. Randy Thompson (ironically enough he served for many years as the principal of Zilker Elementary before retiring) will be serving as our substitute assistant principal while we search for a new assistant principal.

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Staffing Update #2

While I am very sad to provide this next update I am equally as happy for her and her family.

Mrs. Sheeran has accepted a position in Dripping Springs to be closer to her family.

I say it all the time to the team that I want them to be happy and put family first and I am so pleased that she will be in a better position to be more present for her family.

We all formed quite the bond during the 2020 - 2021 school year and she will always be a Bear Creek Cub.

I have found an amazing replacement however we need to go through some official red tape before I can announce formally our newest Bear Creek Cub.

Finding this gem was no easy feat, there are many many open positions across the district and the prospects were frankly bleak but our community attracted someone from out of state who only applied to be with us and it will be an absolutely perfect fit.

August Tours

If you are interested in touring the school we are having structured tours, please sign up using these links.

August 2 and August 3

Masks are strongly encouraged.

Bear Creek Elementary Parent Orientation

These meetings are designed for ALL PARENTS to review policies and procedures for the 2021 - 2022 school year. We will take a deep dive into the parent handbook and allow plenty of time for questions.

I feel like it is your responsibility to attend one of these so you are aware of your school and how things are handled.

Each night will begin with a presentation and then the meeting will open into a Q & A. To be clear the presentation each night is the same, I am offering three evenings to accommodate schedules.

These will be done via ZOOM to allow for screen sharing and for ease of access.

Bear Creek Elementary Parent Orientation - Session 1

Monday, Aug. 9th, 6-7pm

This is an online event.

Bear Creek Elementary Parent Orientation

Aug 9, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 951 0314 5203

Passcode: 583312

Bear Creek Elementary Parent Orientation - Session 2

Tuesday, Aug. 10th, 6-7pm

This is an online event.

Bear Creek Elementary Parent Orientation

Aug 10, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 940 2037 7608

Passcode: 739124

Bear Creek Elementary Parent Orientation - Session 3

Wednesday, Aug. 11th, 6-7pm

This is an online event.

Bear Creek Elementary Parent Orientation

Aug 11, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 948 4213 3835

Passcode: 964605

School Supplies

We have set up a one stop shopping opportunity using Yubbler.

This takes you to the main page which is defaulted to Pre-K. You can find the other grade levels off to the side in the form of clickable links labeled by grade level.

COVID-19 Protocals (District Communication)

Austin ISD is ready to start in-person learning August 17, and now there’s a, K–6 virtual option available for families as well.

Level set: The COVID vaccines aren’t approved for children younger than 12, and Austin is approaching Stage 5 protocols, but the Governor’s Executive Order 36 prohibits school districts from mandating masks.

Why it matters: About 5% percent of enrolled families said they’d be interested in a virtual option in the district’s recent survey.

  • “It’s our goal for students to take advantage of our safe and ready schools, but we also heard some of the needs that have been expressed, so we are proud to offer a K-6 virtual option for families that feel they need them,” said Chief of Schools Anthony Mays.
  • "Our plan is to meet all student's needs whenever possible," said Superintendent Stephanie S. Elizalde.

What it will look like: Students will attend class and turn in work over BLEND, the main platform for remote learning used last school year. It’ll include live, synchronous instruction as well as independent, asynchronous learning.

  • Unlike last year, a teacher will only teach either in-person OR virtually this school year. There will be no concurrent teaching.

How to apply: Families can read more on our website and apply. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5.

  • Got more questions? Families may call the Parent Engagement Support Office helpline at 512-414-0726 for English or Spanish support with the application form beginning Monday, August 2 at 9:00 am and continuing through Thursday, August 5 at 6:00 pm.
  • Families may utilize our Let’s Talk communications platform by texting 512-886-6434 or visiting

COVID-19 Protocals (Bear Creek Elementary Communication - Survey Data)

The Bear Creek Elementary results - AISD Safe Return to Learning Survey.

420 students out of 550 are accounted for in the results however not everyone answered all the questions so if my math "does not add up" this is why. This is a 76% return rate thus it is statistically significant meaning we can draw conclusions with confidence.

  • 91 responses indicated a desire for virtual instruction (23%)
  • 293 responses indicated a desire for in-person instruction (76%)
  • 75% indicated their child would be wearing a face mask during the school day
  • 25% indicated that their child would not be wearing a face mask during the school day

COVID-19 Protocals (Bear Creek Elementary Communication - Implications)

All implications are dependent on how many families apply and are accepted for virtual learning. This number will dictate everything and the implications are relatively far reaching.

Class Lists/Teacher Assignments

Because teachers will not be teaching concurrently (meaning they will not have virtual and in-person students simultaneously) I will not be sending out class lists when I had initially wanted.

We will need to wait to get the virtual piece settled prior to making teacher assignments.

This is not a cut and dry process. Our staffing (meaning how many teachers we receive for each grade level) is directly related to how many students we have enrolled. Our classes range from 19-22 students depending on the grade level. I can guarantee class placement will be tricky and could change as students transition back to in-person learning.

Meet The Teacher and In-Person Events

We have not been provided guidance on large events (in fact the district just cancelled the AISD Back to School Bash) so I will not finalize any meet the teacher logistics.

I am working on a plan to have very small numbers of families coming in at regular intervals if that is necessary shift.

Other Miscellaneous Points

We will not have masked and unmasked classrooms.

We have not been given guidance at the school level on outdoor mask use.

We have not been given guidance at the school level on eating in the classroom vs the cafeteria.

We have not been given final guidance at the school level on health screenings and temperature checks.

We have not been given final guidance at the school level about how the virtual learning will be staffed. It will either be staffed by a district pool of virtual teachers or it will be staffed by Bear Creek Elementary teachers. The second scenario makes more logistical sense but again the numbers will drive everything.

We have not been given final guidance at the school level regarding how many virtual applications will be accepted and how that selection process will be managed.

We, at the school level, find out new information simultaneously with the community or an hour before so please know I am not hoarding information. Be sure to check your email on a regular basis for district and school communication.

A Final Word

Hang in there.

We absolutely rocked the 2020 - 2021 school year and we will reach even greater heights during the 2021 - 2022 school year.

We will meet every family where they are and provide the most supportive environment imaginable.

We will do this all safely with the utmost care and concern for your children.

Finally we will do all of this TOGETHER.

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