ADS Thursday Folder- Feb 23rd - Austin Discovery School

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					                                                  ADS Thursday Folder- Apr 18th 2013

                                                                  Our new fundraising goal is $ 8,141. Every little bit
   Dates to Remember:
                                                                  helps; watch our fundraising level rise with our
   -Apr 23rd & 24th STAAR tests (3rd, 4th & 6th                   spring weather!! Donate on our website at
   -Apr 25th 5th grade STAAR Science test                          or leave payment in the lockbox of the front office.

   -May 3rd Coffee Chat                                           Seedlings wanted: Do you have a green thumb? Is
   -May 10th & 17th Early Release Days (12:30)
                                                                  your home garden becoming inundated with
                                                                  volunteer plants? ADS will be having a plant sale
   -May 11th OneFest                                              again this year during OneFest and we need your
                                                  plant donations! If you have baby plants sprouting up in your yard
                                                  or gardens, please repot them into one inch pots and donate them
   Please contact administrators via e-mail to    for sale during the festival. We will also gladly accept seeds if you
   schedule meetings as needed.                   have enough to make seed packets.
   Superintendent (Cinnamon Henley)
                                                  If you have any questions, would like to coordinate bringing them up
   COO/Business Manager (Lydie Jessin)            to school, or need small plastic pots, please contact Elizabeth Switek              at
   Principal (Leigh Moss)                Traffic safety: Parents have reported seeing other parents driving
   Student Services Director (Meg Guion)          over curbs and “off-roading” through our parking lots while children               are nearby, talking on cell phones in the pick-up line, and just this
   Behavioral Program Director (Kelly McRee)      week, two ADS parents drove through the KIPP kids while they were               changing classes. This is NOT SAFE! Please consider safety first.

                                                  From Lydie Jessin, ADS Business Manager
                                                     Our very own Macho Manatees will be hosting a OneFest TASK
PARTY, which is a creative party at which participants use their imagination to interpret different tasks. The Macho
Manatees are looking for a few donated items to help with their TASK PARTY. Please email or drop
off items to any Macho Manatee or the Macho Manatee classroom in bldg 4. Thank you!

confetti                                                       tissue paper
foam balls                                                     large rolls of white paper
markers/paint                                                  aluminum foil
boxes/cardboard                                                costumes & accessories
paper                                                          puzzle pieces
clay                                                           plastic (to break into pieces)
popsicles sticks                                               garbage bags
styrofoam                                                      bungee cords
Tape! - masking, duct                                          egg cartons
                                                  ADS Thursday Folder- Apr 18th 2013

Principal’s Corner, by Leigh Moss
Connect: A Year at Mission Hill Chapter 5

As we continue to explore the connections between this small Boston school and our own, chapters 5 asks, “What is the
relationship between points of entry into a study and engagement?” This video explores year-long, school-wide focuses
of study and the importance of the Arts in education. “The Eye of the Dragon” speaks to Mission Hill’s year-long study
of China. Teachers plan at the beginning of each year with a specific theme in mind. They identify entry points to
classrooms and prerequisite skills that students need prior to having the flexibility and independence to work on a
project. As students research and demonstrate their knowledge of a given topic, they are asked to provide evidence for
how they have come to their conclusions. These ‘jumping off’ points are often based in art or music and thus also ask
students to make connections between their learning and a real world application or interest.

ADS also has a thematic structure or cycle that we use to guide instruction on a school-wide scale. This year we
introduced a new structure for co-teaching and an academic emphasis on professional development for math and
science. Instead of choosing themes that revolve around Social Studies or History, the staff who helped create the 4
year cycle of inquiry for our school made the decision to stick with abstract concepts that would link with place-based
themes. For instance, this year’s theme is “Cause and Effect” and is connected to the study of prairies. ADS sits in the
middle of the Blackland Prairie region. Students and teachers from all grade levels can focus on a theme of “Cause and
Effect” in any subject at any point throughout the year. It is more difficult, they predicted, to connect place value
concepts from math to learning about China or the Prairies.

We will spend lots of time at the beginning of next year at ADS emphasizing and explaining our school-wide theme. Of
particular interest is the article from Edutopia, “The Social and Emotional Benefits of Being Wierdly Creative”. By Arts
integration, schools mean integrating Art, Music, and dramatic expression of ideas. Our school just last year finished
working with the UT Drama for Schools program, and our teachers who worked directly and collaboratively with the
graduate students from this program (or attended the 2 week Summer Institute) integrate drama-based instruction into
their classrooms.

To learn more about theme-based learning or arts integration in schools and how this instruction promotes connections
and points of entry into a topic, you can research the Watch, Read, Listen, Do section after viewing chapter 5.

Charles Bertram’s 2nd grade class: Meet the Magnetic Bulls!

    •   What are 1-2 accomplishments of which your class is particularly proud?
               Our students have developed a true sense of citizenship over the course of the year. These kiddos have
               a genuine compassion for the welfare of their peers. They choose to do the right thing in most
               situations. They do not choose this behavior for incentives or rewards.

                Our students have developed reasoning skills beyond my expectations. Kids this age are only expected
                to be developing abstract thought concepts. However, they are very adept at taking concepts and
                applying them to other learning situations. This skill will serve them well.
                                                   ADS Thursday Folder- Apr 18th 2013
    •   Presently, we are working on…..
                We are working on improving our ability to transfer our brilliant imaginations to a written product
                following spelling and grammar conventions.

    •   Our class is very much looking forward to…
                Our field trip to the UT observatory this Friday night!

    •   One thing that we want the ADS community to know about our class….
                We are very happy to have a place where we can express our individuality and enhance our learning

Behavioral Program Corner, by Kelly McRee
This time of the year, we educators spend a lot of time reflecting on the year with our eye towards the next year. As I
was sitting down to write my behavioral column for this week, I was struck by our ADS motto: Connect, Reflect, and
Change. These words are powerful both here at school and at home.

We know that our quality of life is directly linked to our connections with others. It is our most profound need. The
brain seeks patterns and connections to make sense of our world. We build connection in our classrooms, much like we
do at home. I am reminded of this as a mom as well as an educator. At school, we are trying to create a school family.
A family has a relationship to one another and each person plays an important role in their family. At school, we try to
build on that connection by each student having a job within in the classroom similar to jobs required in families.
Connections are always created and strengthened by rituals both in classrooms and of course, at home. So think about
the ways you create connection in your family through service/rituals by having specific jobs for your child, which
creates a sense of self-esteem and accomplishment because we know that self esteem is built by doing.

One of the hardest things for a child to do is recover after a mistake or a poor choice. When disciplining a child, we need
to teach them how to recover. Our children, most of the time, would choose a different skill or strategy if they had it in
their repertoire to use. By having a chance to go back in time, and/or a space to think “how I could do it differently next
time,” our children are set up to be successful in the future. At school, we use the time machine/equator to be able to
go back and try a different approach instead of the prior choice. We have a safe place if they need time to calm down
before they resolve the conflict. As parents, we need to make sure we have spaces/rituals for our children to help them
learn new skills and strategies.

Of course, our ultimate goal is to help children want to change their behavior and make better choices. We have to
create a climate to foster this change. Family meetings or classroom meetings can be a great venue for children to be
involved in problem-solving and finding solutions to problems. Obviously, the more buy-in they have, the greater their
motivation to change. We also know that positive interactions are what create change - instead of negative
interactions/corrections. So, we focus on an 8:1 positive ratio to create real change. We want our children to feel
confident and armed with strategies for interacting when they are on their own. We want our children to have quality
connections and relationships with others so they can be set up for happy, fulfilled lives.
                                                   ADS Thursday Folder- Apr 18th 2013

This week’s HOOT OUTS go to….
    •   Thora, for clipping our chicken’s wings! Thanks! - Cathy
    •   Amber, for making life fun daily for Science STAAR practice! - Danee
    •   Holly and Christie, for all the fun and creative ways they inspire the class to learn!
    •   Elizabeth, for another successful Read-A-Thon full of fun and exciting reading opportunities!
    •   All the parents, staff, and students who participated in the ADS Read A Thon on Saturday!!


A little owl told me….by Kelly McRee
This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Salwerowicz, one of our amazing sixth grade teachers. This is
Karen’s third year at ADS.

Name a favorite teacher or teachable moment in your life.
   • My high school English teacher, who helped me realize that maybe one of the reasons I procrastinated and
      turned in work I wasn’t proud of was because I was scared to do my best and get criticized.

What book do you remember from childhood that had a lasting impact?
  • I read all 16 or so of the Wizard of Oz books over and over again while listening to the soundtrack from the

What would constitute a “perfect” weekend for you?
  • A perfect weekend for me would consist of camping with my family, as long as there is indoor plumbing, good
      food, and board games.

What is the one thing that people might not know about you?
  • I used to play French Horn and Mellophone, and marched in a Drum and Bugle Corps for seven years in high
       school and college. We practiced for 12 hours every day during the summer, toured the country on busses, and
       slept on gym floors to compete.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
    • I feel grateful to live with people I love, and for buttercream icing.

News from Ms. Elizabeth, your Librarian
The Read-A-Thon was a huge success, thanks to all the kids and parents who participated! We had 52 kids attend from
6-9 pm and they participated in silent reading, open mic, word-related board games, and a highly attended book walk.
35 kids stayed and spent the night…sleeping with the ghosts that inhabit building four. During the event the children
read approximately 5,796 pages! If your child participated, please try to return pledge money in the next few weeks so I
know how much I have to spend on Literature Circle books.

Also, there will be a Passport to Adventure!: a Magic Tree House Live Reading Tour coming to several locations in Austin
next weekend. It will be at Book People on the 27th at 4pm and on the 28th at the HEB on W. Slaughter Lane at noon.
                                                    ADS Thursday Folder- Apr 18th 2013
More information can be found at and at

News from Jenny Arffmann, ADS Art Teacher
When I first began working at ADS in 2006-2007, students were integrating their knowledge of local aquatic ecosystems
into a student centered, arts, literacy and gardening project. The students wrote plays, made puppets and backdrops,
and acted out each of the characters. I loved the energy of it. These plays helped spark my interest in finding
connections across disciplines. In 2011, when I was a participant in the Drama For Schools program, I was exposed to
strategies that continually nurture students’ creative voices, make them agents in their own education, and aid honest
reflection. I am leaving ADS to join the Drama and Theater for Youth and Communities program at UT so that I may
delve more deeply into applied theatre and arts integration.

I will truly miss being a part of such conscientious community. I am always touched by the support and help that I have
received from parents who care so much about their children and the school that educates them. I will miss working
with so many intelligent and compassionate teachers who advocate for their students and are constantly reflecting on
their teaching practice. Most of all I will miss teaching and spending time with the kids. I have never taken it for granted
that they share who they are so freely. The students at ADS are exceptionally creative, smart and unusual, all qualities
that I value greatly. Being a part of this vibrant and loving community has helped me move on to the next chapter of my
life, and I thank you.

News from Kim Hiles, ADS P.E. Teacher
Parents, please remind your children to wear shoes they can run in. Students have PE 2-3/week. Flip flops and boots can
be dangerous when running and we would like to avoid injuries as much as we can. Every year our school must
participate in the Fitnessgram, the state chosen fitness assessment for students. We started last week, and proper
athletic gear is important. We love your students and want them to stay safe. Thank you!!! Check the PE website for

PTO Meeting & Officer Elections: Saturday, April 27th (meeting 9-10 am, work party 10 am-12 noon)

Join us at ADS for the last PTO meeting of this school year, and elect your PTO officers for next year! The format of our
PTO meetings is a 1-hour PTO general meeting that includes PTO business and an update from ADS administration,
followed by a two-hour work project.

We seek input from ADS administration and staff on projects, so we can be sure we're doing work that will most benefit
ADS students and teachers. We'll serve coffee, juice, and hot breakfast and provide child care while you attend the
meeting and the work project. All that, and you're done in time for lunch!

PTO meetings are not staff-supervised. Children must remain with their parents at all times or be in the care of PTO child
care. For safety reasons, children are not permitted unattended in any part of the school.

Seeking 2013-14 PTO Officer Candidates! The PTO is seeking candidates for the following officer positions:
                                                   ADS Thursday Folder- Apr 18th 2013
        • Fundraising Coordinator
        • Events Coordinator
        • Volunteer Coordinator

Please consider getting involved with the PTO as an officer next year. It is a fun and satisfying way to work to help
support the school we all love and depend on. And most PTO officers are busy folks with full-time jobs, so even if you've
got a lot on your plate, it may still be something that can work for you! For full job description, or to learn more about
being a PTO officer, email us at — we'd love to talk with you!

OneFest Committee Meeting
Calling all ADS volunteers! We are looking for a few volunteers to help with our food, arts & crafts, & safety
committees for OneFest.

If you are interested in helping on a committee, please send an email to We will have our one and
only committee meeting directly following the PTO meeting April 27. Attendance is not mandatory, so don’t worry if you
can’t make it. If you are interested in helping with set up/tear down and other day-of-event activities, please sign up at
VolunteerSpot (shifts available). (

OneFest: Saturday, May 11, 2–6 pm at ADS
Tickets: $15-adult • $8-child (Includes entry to the event and access to all inflatable activities)
Visit the ADS website to purchase your tickets. Separate tickets will also be sold at the event for food and other items.

OneFest is almost here…
Mark your calendar May 11…See you there!
Water slides & face paint…Jousting with friends is cool…
And dunk your favorite teacher…While FUN-raising for our school!
Enjoy delicious local food…Listen to music in the shade…
So many fun activities…Great memories will be made!
Springtime family fun for all…Bring your friends & neighbors, too…So they can check out all the buzz…
About our totally awesome school!

This event is not staff-supervised; parents are responsible for supervising their own children and no child can be left
unattended in any part of the school.

OneFest Silent Auction: Calling all ADS Families, Staff, and Friends! The ADS Silent Auction team is reaching out for your
help to make the OneFest Silent Auction a smashing success. This is how you can help:

    •   Donate to your classroom basket. Each class has been assigned a theme and collects items for a classroom
        basket to be auctioned at OneFest. These baskets are always a huge hit at the auction. Please contribute toward
        your themed basket to ensure we collect enough items. Your room parent has the specific details, please
        coordinate with them or contact me if you have questions.
    •   Donate other items for the auction. Please consider asking your family, friends, and colleagues to donate items
        toward the auction. Anything & everything goes! Restaurants, gift cards, hair salons, tattoos, exercise & dance
        classes, crafts, jewelry, tickets to events…sky’s the limit!
                                                    ADS Thursday Folder- Apr 18th 2013
All donations towards OneFest are tax deductible; a donation receipt will be provided to you by the Silent Auction team.
You can drop off your donations at the front office or the Silent Auction team can coordinate pick it up. Please contact
Cristina Rocha at or call 512-934-7310 with any questions. Thank you for your support!

OneFest with the Macho Manatees
Our very own Macho Manatees will be hosting a TASK PARTY! at OneFest. A creative party where you use your
imagination to interpret different tasks. The Macho Manatees are looking for a few donated items to help with their
TASK PARTY. Please email or drop off items to any Macho Manatee or the Macho Manatee
classroom in bldg 4. Thanks!

Donation Request: confetti, foam balls, markers/paint, boxes, cardboard, paper, clay, popsicles sticks, styrofoam, tape,
tissue paper, large rolls of white paper, aluminum foil, costumes & accessories puzzle pieces, plastic (to break into
pieces), garbage bags, bungee cords, egg cartons

If other classes would like to set up a special activity at OneFest, please send an email to

Rally for Public Charter Schools: Texas State Capitol on Wednesday, May 8th (12-3 pm)
You are invited to the State Capitol for the Public Charter School Rally. This rally is a great opportunity for advocates of
charter schools to show our support to their State Senators and Representatives. The Rally will take place on the south
steps of the Texas State Capitol. The rally will be held from 1-2 pm, followed by recognition in the House and Senate
galleries of charter school supporters from 2-3 pm. Please plan on having lunch before the rally or bring a sack lunch
and a blanket (optional) as many rally participants will be participating in a picnic style lunch on the Capitol
grounds starting at noon.

Donations, Supplies, and Help Needed
•   Our shredder recently became an oversized doorstop. We would love a functional shredder!
•   Cathy O’Quinn would love a sack of good quality chicken feed for laying chickens.
•   Volunteer handi-people to repair the fence around the chicken coop.
•   Field Day is coming up! Kim Hiles will need volunteers for 1 hour slots (for various stations) or to help set up and
    take down the equipment. We will also need to borrow a large rope we can use for tug-of-war, water buckets, baby
    pools to rinse feet before sliding, and squirt bottles (like the kind that holds mustard or ketchup). Contact Kim at
                                                       ADS Thursday Folder- Apr 18th 2013
                                               Dear parents of 5th and 6th graders,

                                               Health and Wellness is taught throughout the year at ADS to
                                               students in all grade levels. Additionally, on a Friday in
                                               early May during one of their Specials blocks, we will be
                                               teaching some sensitive Health and Wellness topics to 5th and
                                               6th graders. This should be fun as well as educational! Below
                                               are the topics that will be discussed:

                                                   •  The changes in anatomy that occur during puberty
                                                   •  The role hormones play in human development,
                                                         including menstruation
                                                    • Myths and facts about diseases and disease prevention
                                                      (polio, HIV, TB, etc.)
                                                    • Strategies for refusing to engage in unsafe behaviors
                                                    • Causes and effects associated with poor body image

Students will be separated by gender, and in addition to discussion, will be shown videos. There
is a video for girls and a video for boys, and more information about the videos is available online

Our mission here at ADS is to treat each student as a whole person, and we thank you for
sharing your children’s education with us. We understand and respect that some of the topics we
are required (as a public school) by the State of Texas to cover are topics that some parents
would rather teach their children themselves. If you do not want your child to attend this class,
please fill out the opt-out form below and return the sheet to the front office or your child’s
teachers by Monday, April 29th. There will be alternate activities provided for students whose
parents choose to opt out.

                 Here is the web address for the Texas Health TEKS for Middle School:


  Here is the web address for the Texas Health TEKS for Elementary School (up to 5th Grade):



Student Name___________________________________                                Class: ____________________________

___ My child may NOT participate in the Health and Wellness lessons described above.

_________________________________________________________Parent Signature _______Date

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