Baldwin Blast

December 2020

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Dear Parents,

Happy Holidays to all of you and congratulations on almost making it through 2020! This year will go down as one of the longest - there is no way you will be able to convince me it had the same number of days as 2019!

I would like to welcome the newest member of our faculty, Mrs. Luana Ikanovic. Mrs. Ikanovic will be replacing Ms. Franklin who is moving back to the midwest. Mrs. Ikanovic is bringing her passion and expertise to our Early Childhood Special Education position and we look forward to her being on staff!

Thank you to all of our families for helping to make our staff feel so appreciated! Your notes of kindness definitely filled our buckets before we left for the break.

In the spirit of giving, we still have families in need this holiday season. If you feel so inclined, please go to our Care and Share sign up and buy a gift for a child. The link for Care and Share can be found here. It takes a village to take care of our own - please join us in spreading kindness to our Baldwin community. A special thank you to Mrs. Willmann, Ms. Alexander, and Mrs. Holley for the coordination of this special project.

As we find ourselves back in another virtual environment, thank you for your flexibility and patience. Although we all knew it could happen, it takes a bit of getting used to for everyone once again. I am hopeful that the schools will be open again beginning the week of December 7th. If you were in person prior to this week, you will return to school in person the week of the 7th. If you would like to make a change in your preference, please contact me so that we can make those changes. We are asking that you give us 5 days notice if you would like to return to campus. We have had several families inquire about returning in person after the winter holidays, and we would love to have you back. Please contact me and we will notify you if there is room in your child’s current classroom as we are still practicing social distancing. Your child is welcome on campus at any time-we just may have to get creative!

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the Celebration of Lights, but would still like to invite all students to dress up in a fashion that represents their culture on Monday, December 7th. It can be a costume, dress, colors, or t-shirt! Let’s be proud of our heritage and share with others.

I know several of our families traveled over the Thanksgiving break. If you are staying home to quarantine due to possible exposure - thank you! If you would like to participate in AISD’s COVID-19 rapid testing, please see their website for more information. Baldwin will not be a test sight, but there are several locations throughout the city. Thank you to everyone for helping to protect each other.

Some of you have asked about additional opportunities for learning. Mrs. Wright, our librarian, has several activities on her BLEND page. This includes stories, extension activities and Maker Space ideas. Please encourage your child to visit her page for more ideas! These are not required activities, but they do enrich your child’s learning experience.

Our last day of the semester will be Friday, December 18th. We will send all devices home with students at the end of day, but have been told that we will start back in person on January 5th for all students. If this changes prior to the break, we will be sure and notify you of those plans.

As always, I am so grateful to work with such a kind and giving community. I am thankful for the opportunity to support your children and be a part of their educational journey. Please enjoy the season and see you in 2021!


Jennifer Murray

Principal, Baldwin Elementary

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  • December 2: Scholastic Book Fair Link Here
  • December 3: Story Time with Mrs. Murray at 7:00 851 9441 2871 PW 1234
  • December 7: Wear a costume that represents your culture!
  • December 10: Principal Meeting for Parents at 5:00 851 9441 2871 PW 1234
  • December 17: Story Time with Mrs. Wright at 7:00 851 9441 2871 PW 1234
  • December 18: Class Winter Celebrations

Spirit Week - December 14th - 18th

Monday – “Light up the Room!” Wear your favorite bright holiday color

Tuesday – “A Little Light Reading” Wear pajamas & school reading time

Wednesday – “Light My Fire” – Warm up in a Sweater

Thursday –” A lightbulb moment was had! Let’s wear plaid!” (or flannel)

Friday – “Trip the Lights Fantastic!” Wear Winter Wear (sing along)

Zoom code: 851 9441 2871

Password: 1234

Please join us via this link for a school wide Zoom. In order to allow all to enter the Zoom, please have each FAMILY join the Zoom link. Students in school will join with their teacher.

Science Fair is here!

Registration is due January 1st, 2021. Click below for more information!
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We made it to December! Thank you so much for sharing your children with us this semester. We have learned so much and we are so proud of the progress each of our students have made. There's still time to participate in Care and Share! Please see the PTA website for more information on how to support our Baldwin community.

Each year we spent a month focusing on safety. These lessons cover personal and cyber safety. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

See below for a message from AVID!

Attention all students and families! Are you interested in learning more about paying for college?

Then attend AVID's District-wide Family Night on Zoom. Tuesday, November 17th is geared towards high schools families and Wednesday, November 18th is geared towards elementary and middle school families. It's never too early to start planning! Both events will via zoom at 6pm, and Spanish translation will be provided! Please pre-register via the links below. If you are unable to pre-register, just join the respective zoom link at the appropriate time. All are welcome to join, you do not need to be in AVID to attend. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, November 17th, 9th-12th grades (with a separate breakout room for seniors)Wednesday, November 18th, Elementary and Middle School Family Night

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I cannot believe the holidays are upon us! Unfortunately, due to the need to return virtual this week, we canceled the “Celebration of Light.” While this would have been a great opportunity to highlight various holidays celebrated at Baldwin as a whole community, I know that our teachers have been, and will continue to incorporate multicultural activities into their lesson plans. We look forward to seeing everyone wearing something that represents their heritage on Monday, December 7th!

When we look to our equity work moving forward in the new year, we know that there are courageous conversations ahead. However, our ultimate goal of creating a learning environment where all children at Baldwin are seen, honored and have equal access to educational opportunities is of the utmost importance. We need to look at all aspects of inequity that may exist at our school whether it be based on race, gender, disabilities, socioeconomic status and/or cultural backgrounds. We will continue to collect data to determine specific areas to address, as well as look at potential barriers and create thoughtful action plans to address those barriers. It is challenging, but exciting work to engage in. We welcome our parents as partners, so please reach out to Tammy Thompson if you would like to join our committee.

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This month we are learning about safety, specifically cyber safety. With students being on computers more than ever before it's important to have conversations about how to stay safe. Click on the links below for parent resources and student videos!
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Happy December and happy book fair! Our Baldwin Book Fair has gone virtual this year. It runs from December 2nd through December 15th. Available books will be showcased in an interactive format, allowing the viewer to engage in the fair as if they were in person. Selecting various books on display will pull up videos and more information about the highlighted book. Proceeds from the book fair help support the Baldwin Library! The best part, the books will be shipped straight to your door! Click the link in this newsletter to start browsing the book fair. Looking for book suggestions? Click on the link to our book fair preview to explore book suggestions for your grade level, teacher wish lists, and this year's book fair flyer.

Do you love to read? Do you love to learn about different holiday traditions? Then this is the activity for you! Attached to this newsletter, you will find a printable, Holiday Reading Tracker. It includes reading challenges along with some festive activities to get you in the spirit for the holiday season. Need help selecting some books for your challenge? Look no further! Check out the Library BLEND course for read alouds that fit many of the tracker's challenges. Have fun and happy holidays!

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Austin ISD and HEB are proud to collaborate once again for the Trail of Lights Essay Contest, which is open to students in grades 3-5! This year’s Trail of Lights will be a drive through experience.

This year’s prompt is as follows:

“Write about something good that happened in 2020, and/or a positive outcome in the challenges of this year.”


  1. The essay contest is open to Austin ISD students in grades 3-5 through Friday, December 4th.

  2. Essays should be no more than 250 words.

  3. Students can submit an illustration with their essay, but it is not a requirement.

  4. Students can submit in languages other than English.

  5. Submitted essays must contain the following and will be uploaded via this Google form.

    • Full name of student

    • Grade

    • Campus name

    • Teacher's full name

    • The name of a primary contact and that person's contact information

  6. The Trail of Lights Foundation Board and representatives from HEB will evaluate the submissions.

Student winners will be awarded with special vehicle passes to the 2020 Drive-thru Trail of Lights, treats and social media recognition

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For in- person learning:

Health Screenings:

  • All staff will conduct a self health screen by 7:15 am, including a current temperature check.

  • All staff and students will be required to wear face masks while in the building.

  • All students will be given a temperature check and health screening prior to entering the building. This may be done at home via the Austin ISD app or upon arrival to school. We will have multiple health screening sites during arrival to facilitate students getting to classrooms as quickly as possible. Car riders will be screened at the curb inside their car and bus riders and walkers/bikers will be screened at the entrance.

  • Students who are running a fever or do not pass the screening questions will be taken to the staging room known as the “Bobcat Den” until parents can pick them up.

Once in the Building:

  • All students will report directly to their classrooms. We will have staff available to assist with our younger students and make sure they get to their classrooms safely. Parents will not be able to walk students into the building to their classrooms.

  • Visitors will not be allowed in the building at this time.

  • We are going to do everything we can to make the classroom spaces feel inviting and friendly, even with strict standards.

  • During dismissal, students will remain in their classroom and be called down and escorted individually to their car. Students will all be assigned a number that must be displayed on your dash to facilitate this system. More information will be sent home as the time draws near.

Food Service:

  • Breakfast and lunch will continue to be offered to our students BUT the cafeteria will be closed for students to eat.

  • All meals from the cafeteria will be delivered to the classrooms and eaten there.

  • Please note, we will no longer accept any outside delivery of food to the campus so please make sure your child has his/her/their lunch kit and water bottle with them when they come to school unless eating from the cafeteria. If a student forgets their lunch, one will be provided from the cafeteria.

  • Families may apply for free or reduced meals here:

  • Families may also deposit funds in their child's meal account at:


  • All students will have an outdoor recess, but social distancing will be required and only a small number of students will be scheduled for play at the same time.

  • At this time the playscape equipment will be closed.

In Case of Illness:

  • We will continue to have full time nursing staff on campus.

  • If a child displays COVID-19 symptoms at school, the school nurse will be consulted and parents contacted. We have created the “Bobcat Den” for students to wait comfortably under adult supervision for pick up.

  • Should a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19, we will conduct contact tracing and inform families who came into contact with that person. The district office will be notified and we will follow health protocols for quarantining. (Please see the AISD reopening guidelines for more detailed information.)