Don't forget to RSVP for the "Cheers to Travis!" event happening this Saturday, January 20th, 5-7pm.

The Board of Directors of  the Travis Foundation invites all Travis parents and teachers to join us for a special opportunity to connect, celebrate our Travis family, honor our teachers
& learn more about the Foundation's mission to support our school's bright future.

RSVP for Cheers to Travis! Kindergarten & 1st Grade event hosted by Kris Sonneborn & Will Whitehead
RSVP for Cheers to Travis! 2nd and 3rd Grade event hosted by Kenny Kurtzman & Jennifer Jordan
RSVP for Cheers to Travis! 4th and 5th Grade event hosted by Traey Hatch & Chris Dray

To learn more about the Travis Foundation, visit



One of our treasured crossing guards, General McKenzie (he serves at the corner of Florence and Highland Streets), is in the hospital after suffering smoke inhalation during a house fire over the winter break. The family anticipates a full recovery, although it is certainly going to take some time. We keep Mr. McKenzie in our thoughts and prayers and wish him well. 

If you’d like to contribute to assist Mr McKenzie and his family, please click here to donate.



Help show our Travis teachers some love by providing them with healthy fruit to snack on during the week. Families take turns to fill the bowl once a week on Wednesdays to help the teachers through hump day. Wednesdays don't work? Another day during the week is great, too! Contact PTA Hospitality to learn more or sign up here.



HISD is implementing new standardized start and dismissal times for the 2018-19 school year. Next year, all elementary schools, including Travis, will run 7:30am to 2:50pm. For more details about HISD's decision, click here.



As you may have noticed, weather and wear have impacted a few items in the playground. "Lake Travis" made an appearance after the recent rain, and efforts are underway to address the drainage and restore it to the dry oasis we all enjoyed! Also, the three-seated bouncer in the southwest corner of the playground gave up the ghost due to a damaged spring, but Mr. Day and Co are already working on a solution for repair or replacement.

Thanks to Administration and to Custodian Mr. Vaquiz for all they do to keep the grounds tidy and safe! If you'd like to help, there's always a shift open for the playground cleanup crew - sign up here!



Please welcome Lenny Avila Garcia to the Travis Family as our new Spanish language instructor. Formerly a university business management professor and administrative manager in Honduras, Ms. Avila has most recently served as an HISD associate teacher and as a Spanish immersion teacher for Language Kids. We are excited to have her join the Travis team!



Please remember to follow these important safety policies when driving around the Travis campus grounds:

• Do not use your cell phone while driving in the car rider line on Florence Street or any other areas around the campus. Distracted driving presents a danger to car riders and pedestrians alike.
• If you are dropping off your child(ren) at the curb in the mornings, please enter the Florence Street car rider drop-off line at the Bayland Avenue intersection. Entering the Florence Street car rider drop-off line at the Highland Street or Omar Street intersections is prohibited by law during morning arrival and afternoon dismissal times. Posted signs indicate this and police will issue tickets to violators.
• Do not pull out of line early or go around the line as this presents a safety hazard. Students should remain in the car until reaching the back-porch curb.
• Please do not park or let your car idle over or within 30 feet of crosswalks (violations prohibited by law). Blocking the crosswalks or idling near them impedes visibility and endangers our walkers.
• For parents parking their cars and walking their child(ren) to the building, please do not park in the bus loading/unloading zone in front of the school on Beauchamp Street or in any other ‘No Parking’ zones around the campus, including the visitor lot off Beauchamp. Cars parked illegally in ‘No Parking’ zones or in handicapped parking spots will be asked to move and/or ticketed.

Contact Mr. Day with any questions or concerns!



During the month of January through the beginning of February, students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade will take part in the state mandated FitnessGram during PE classes. This assessment measures the strength, flexibility and endurance of each student. Please have your child wear TENNIS SHOES and SOCKS to PE so they can safely and successfully take part in this fitness assessment.

For more information click here or contact Mrs. Sipps Dodd.



The Travis Travel Club would like to thank the following donors for their generous contributions towards the 2017-2018 Traveling Tiger Scholarships:

Mr. Warren & Mrs. Christina Cole
The Dray Family
The Hatch Family
The Jordan Family
The Morris & Kurtzman Family
The Sonneborn Family
The Weinstein Family

 Thank you again,
Abby Schultz, Travel Club Sponsor



On my holiday wish list this year is a school where our kids feel safe and loved, where our faculty is supported and treasured, and where our families find community and friendship. Check, check, and check! As we wrap up our fall semester and head into the holiday season, on behalf of PTA, thanks to each of our teachers, administrators, and family volunteers for all you have each contributed in time and treasure to make this a wonderful semester for our Travis community.  A special nod to our PTA board for their leadership. They truly are our school's volunteer rainmakers, often working behind the scenes and always operating with grace and enthusiasm.  If Santa ever needs some extra elves to make the magic happen, I know of some potential recruits!

I'm also delighted to share another extra special wish we as a community were able to grant this holiday season... Thanks to the support of each of you, Travis PTA was able to purchase books from every single teacher’s Scholastic Book Fair wish list. These books go straight to classrooms and into the hands of our students. That’s your PTA dollars at work! 

Tiger Beat will be back with more great info with our first edition of 2018 on January 16, so until then, happy holidays!  -Jenny Teague, PTA President

From Ms. Balderas:

Dear Travis Family,
It is with mixed emotions that I inform you that I have accepted the position of Principal at Scroggins Elementary in Houston ISD. I am excited for this opportunity, but am very sad to leave the place where I have grown and will always call home.
Travis holds a very special place in my heart. It is the place where I learned the English language, where I learned how to read, where my love for math started, and where true friendships were developed. When I became a teacher, I knew I wanted to teach at Travis and was fortunate to have been given that opportunity. These last four and a half years as Assistant Principal have truly been amazing.
As I take on this next challenge, I want to thank you for your support. Travis is an amazing community because of the support of families like yours. I will always cherish the connections and relationships I’ve made with you all. Thank you and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
With gratitude,
Dianna Balderas

Principal’s Corner:

Please join us for a community reception to honor and say good-bye to Ms. Balderas this Wednesday, Dec. 20 from 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Travis Library. A beloved and integral member of our Travis Family and community, she will be terribly missed. If you are unable to attend and want to leave a note or card for her, you are invited to drop those off at the office front desk. We thank Ms. Balderas for her years of dedicated service to Travis and wish her well.
It is with bittersweet feelings that I also inform you that our Spanish instructor, Karen Camacho, will be leaving to take on a new position with Language Kids beginning in January. Her last day at Travis will be on Thursday. Ms. Camacho took on a new position and truly put her stamp on it over the last year-and-a-half, bringing joy and enriching experiences in language and culture for our kiddos. We are happy for her and thank her for her service. A search for her replacement is currently underway.
Finally, as the holidays approach and we wrap up the first half of the year, I want to thank you for your spirit, connectedness, and endless support of our school family. Along with our dedicated teachers and staff, you help shape this unique learning environment for our students and we are grateful to you. I wish your family a joyful holiday season.

Warm wishes,
Mr. Day


The Travis Spirit Store pop-up will be open today (Tuesday) from 3-4:30 pm and Wednesday morning 7:30-8:15am to help you wrap up 2017. Come by and see us! This is your final chance to get the 2017 Travis Holiday ornament.

We are excited to offer our families items that are both fun and useful and are also super excited to introduce new die-cut Travis car stickers! Grab your car sticker this week so that you can spread your Tiger Spirit during your holiday travels.

We also now have bowties. That's right: BOWTIES. Perfect for holiday dress-up.



Each year, the Travis Foundation participates in the annual PTA Auction, offering parents an opportunity to join the fun frenzy of a live auction and contribute to the Foundation's long-term funding goals.  2018 is no exception.  Make plans now to raise your paddle.

For more information about the Travis Foundation and how it supports our school, please visit



Classroom Holiday Parties

Classroom holiday parties take place on Thursday, Dec. 21. Be on the lookout for communication from your child’s teacher and/or room parent(s) for details.

Perfect Attendance Celebrations

A Perfect Attendance Celebration will be held on Thursday, Dec. 21 for students who had perfect attendance during the 1st and/or 2nd nine weeks grading periods. If you missed a day of school, fear not! We will have a celebration for students earning perfect attendance during the 3rd and/or 4th nine weeks grading periods during the week of May 29-June 1.

Silver Rocket

Looking for something for the kids to do over Winter Break? Give them pens, pencils, paints and paper. The Silver Rocket Art + Poetry Book will start collecting submissions of poetry, short prose, and art in any media in January 2018. Look for more news when school commences. Happy Holidays! Questions? Contact Stephanie Yankowsky

Silver Rocket.jpg



It was truly a winter wonderland in the garden in December!  So glad to see all the students frolicking in their outdoor education space.  This is what makes Travis Elementary School so special to me.  As a child, I loved being outdoors and looked forward to it everyday.  How great to be able to do that at school.

This coming week:

1) Eating broccoli/cauliflower pasta.  We have already used Garden Parent Cami Lytle's delicious recipe successfully for four classes. The recipe can also be easily used with cauliflower.  Students are trying new things and making the garden to plate connection!

2) Planting onions.   We have enough onions for each garden to plant a few amidst their other plantings.  So all students can participate, we will plant three types of onions--white, yellow, red.  I will talk to the students as I quickly place the onions and then we can label and all continue to watch as they grow over the next few months. We also have some dill and carrots which can be planted.

3) Making ornaments. I have collected some twigs from the garden which we can use to make outdoor ornaments.  We will need more.  If you would like to make some easy ornaments, please collect sticks/twigs from your own yards before your class' garden day.  We have some purple raffia to use to weave twigs together and students can hang from the trees in the secret garden and citrus garden.  We will continue to do this all week! Feel free to drop collected twigs at the table outside of the garden shed.

- Garden Coordinator Ms. Christina West