There's so much happening at this time of year, but it is never too busy to say THANKS! I want to highlight some special Travis community members who have gone above and beyond this school year. This list is by no means exhaustive and the one thing I am certain of is that I missing more than a few someones - in a family like ours, every single person offers greatness in ways little and large on a regular basis. Travis is the special place it is in no small part due to the volunteer sweat equity of our community. That work will continue next school year, so stay tuned in August for ways you can make a difference, whether you have 5 minutes at home in the evenings or several hours during the school day. There's a place for everyone in the Travis family! -- Jenny Teague, PTA President
Mondo appreciation to each of the following volunteers for all they've done in both official and non-official roles to advocate and provide educational and engaging opportunities for our students and families. We saw you, and we give thanks!
Susan Reese - Garden 1 assistance
Charlsie Idol - Spirit Store order fulfillment
Melanie Gehman - Reading & Math Partners coordinator
Kristie Belding - chief Carnival hallway decorator
Mayte Sanchez - School Toolbox & Box Tops coordinator
Rosemary Chavez & Kristian Borden - Yearbook Editors
Karen Wilshire - Amazon Smile/Kroger Rewards, membership record-keeping
Laura Hipps, Catherine Callaway, Fred Lindler & Randi Montgomery - Silver Rocket Editors
JR Davis & Mark Sternfels - technology assistance
Shelly Anello, Bridgett Davis, Jennifer Teague - Shared Decision Making Committee parent reps
Sarah Elsmurati - Robotics Team volunteer
Carnival Committee - Alina Schrom, Lee Banchetti, Michelle Grant, Angela Halsyamani, Aimee Parsons, Jill Royle, Erin Silva & Christina Wilkerson
Auction Committee - Phil Teague, Masha Phillips, Jenn Danburg, Amanda Tchakarov, Jessica Taylor
Odyssey of the Mind coaches
Marathon Kids running coaches
Hospitality Committee members, including Margaret Hickl, Caroline Johnston, Kristian Borden
Travis Foundation Board Members
Room Parents, Garden Parents, and Science Lab Parents
Auction and Carnival sponsors & donors
Auction Sign up Party hosts
Math & Reading Partner volunteers
Classroom assistance volunteers
PTA event, Spirit Store, and Concessions volunteers
And our 2019 Volunteer of the Year is Beth Lousteau! Beth was nominated by several PTA board members for her willingness to serve and her cheerfulness when doing so. Beth volunteered for almost every. single. event. in some way. What a Trav-inspiration!
If you have or know of an incoming kindergartner, mark your calendars for Saturday, June 8 from 9-11am, AND Saturday, August 17 from 9-11am. Join PTA on the Travis playground as we share some cool snacks and meet new kinder friends! Contact Erin Bain, PTA VP of Parent Involvement, with any questions.
Travis Elementary PTA just received another check for $335 for Kroger Rewards. Thanks to you and your hungry families for linking your Kroger Rewards card and supporting Travis!
When you link your Kroger Rewards card to Travis Elementary, your purchases earn donations to our school every time you shop. If you haven’t signed up yet, click HERE to enroll, using the code XS553 to link your rewards card to Travis Elementary.
As a reminder, please be sure to check the lost and found before the school year ends and items are sent off for donation. You might be surprised at what you find there!
HB 281, which would have had negative consequences for PTA, died last week in the House Calendars Committee, so it did not reach debate by the full House. If you reached out to your representatives regarding this bill, a big THANK YOU! The Senate had a version of this bill, SB 29, which was fast-tracked through the House last week. After much debate and proposed amendments, the Senate voted down the bill. Thank you to our volunteers and friends for supporting PTA by voicing concern over this bill and its companion legislation to your elected officials.
HB3 (School finance bill) and STAAR: Per HB 3, the STAAR test would be turned into mini-tests for each subject area. Tests would be administered in a 3-4 week window. Individual tests would be no longer than 45 minutes long—combined they MUST be shorter than the current STAAR subject test for the area.
Reading test would be renamed “Language Arts” (LA) with writing for grades 3-8. (Currently there are standalone tests for grades 4 and 7, and these would be eliminated). Due to this change, the LA test would be shorter than Reading/Writing combined, but longer than Reading test alone. Rep Huberty added an amendment to HB 3 to not eliminate the “Approaches Grade Level” standard for passing STAAR.
Over the next five years all STAAR testing would be administered online. This would allow for immediate results for most students. There will be a pilot to test assessments other than STAAR.
-- Julie O’Sullivan and Ruby Powers, PTA Legislative Co-Chairs
Don’t forget that when you shop at smile.amazon.com, your purchases can earn money for Travis PTA. We received a quarterly donation of $131.24 thanks to Amazon shoppers who support our school. Thank you to each and every family who participates in the AmazonSmile program!
Not registered yet? It’s easy! Just click HERE and shop as usual. As your packages roll in, so will the donations to Travis. Happy shopping!
Girls and boys entering K – 5 this Fall are eligible to join Cub Scouts now! Register this spring to participate in fun Pack events and camp this summer. Make new friends and meet other members before the new school year begins.
Contact Chris Sunstrom, Cubmaster or Jason Lewis, New Member Coordinator for information about your daughter or son joining Cub Scout Pack 30. Already a Cub Scout? Don’t miss Twilight Camp! Email Dawn Diamond for more information or register HERE.
As the school year nears its end, be sure to head over to the Travis PTA Facebook page and click “Like” to stay up-to-date over the summer. We also share extra news and fun info there on the regular. Hope to “see” you there!
The final meeting of the 2018-19 Shared Decision-Making Committee (SDMC) is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15. If you have feedback, concerns, or praise that you would like addressed at the meeting, you may send a note to SDMC@travispta.org or drop a written note in the box at the school’s front desk. You may choose to remain anonymous in either instance if you wish. Please submit any notes by 3pm today, May 14 to ensure inclusion in the meeting. All notes are read aloud and discussed at the meeting, ensuring that relevant issues are addressed. Bringing information or concerns to this committee is one way to see action taken on the matters that matter most to you!
Join Travis PTA this Thursday, May 16, from 7:15 to 8:30am in the library as we thank all our volunteers, donors, and sponsors with a special breakfast honoring YOUR collective superpowers. This is a fun time to catch up with your Travis family and share some successes from the concluding school year. Beginning at 7:45, PTA will host the final general meeting of the year. The 2019–20 budget will be proposed for adoption, and updates and exciting developments for the next school year will be shared. We hope to see you there!
Happy teachers mean happy students, so let's honor our Travis teaching heroes by helping them add some sparkle to the teacher lounge. The Staff Hospitality Team is working hard to refresh the lounge with some much-needed updates. They've compiled an Amazon wishlist HERE to help breathe new life into the lounge. If you would like to purchase an item from the list, it will be sent directly to the school and make its way home to the lounge. And don't forget to make your purchase through your Amazon Smile link supporting Travis PTA - that's a double dose of help!
Two beloved teachers and members of the Travis Family, Shari Burke and Michelle Richburg, are retiring at the end of the year. Please join us for a community reception to honor and say goodbye to them both this Thursday, May 16, from 3:00-5:00pm in the Multipurpose Room.
If you'd like to contribute to Mrs. Burke's retirement gift, you may send payment to Stacey Saunders via Venmo or Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you'd like to contribute to Mrs. Richburg's retirement gift, you may Venmo or PayPal Beth Lousteau (email@example.com - please indicate “Richburg” in the notes). Thanks to both of these amazing ladies for organizing these gifts on behalf of our community!
Calling all Silver Rocket fans! Please join us at Kaboom Books (3116 Houston Avenue) on Sunday, May 19, at 2pm for Silver Rocket’s launch party, celebrating all artists and poets.
Did you know that Travis PTA fully underwrites all Silver Rocket printing costs, enabling every student and staff member to receive their own copy of this special publication? That’s your PTA dollars at work!
Get outside, enjoy the cooler weather, and help us keep the playground clean for our little Tigers! If you are looking for a way to help out that doesn't require much of a time commitment and lets you work outside, then this is for you. Grab a friend or two and spend about 30 minutes walking around the playground picking up trash. We’ll even provide the gloves and trash bags! This is also a perfect service project for our Girl Scout/Cub Scout troops. Click here to sign up.
Travis is part of the Crayola ColorCycle and The Crayon Initiative! Bring in ANY plastic markers (dry erase and highlighters included) and ALL your broken/unwanted crayons for our final collection of the year. Markers will be shipped back to Crayola to be recycled. Crayons will be shipped to The Crayon Initiative, melted down into new crayons, and given to children in various hospitals.
Our World Wear Project shoe donation program will take your family's gently used shoes (no holes, peeling or tears please). Donated shoes will be sent to people in developing countries who would otherwise not be able to afford them, plus Travis receives some funds, too. We are starting box six of our shoe donation and we are so close to filling it up. Help us break the school record! The donation box is located in the front hallway by the Community Room until May 31.
Designated ColorCycle, Crayon Initiative, and World Wear Project donation boxes will also be available at Dinner in the Garden on May 23. Contact PTA Environmental Chair Derby Stevens with any questions.
We are down to the final three weeks of the session, as we wait for our legislators to pass a bill that addresses many of the important concerns facing Texas public schools. It’s critical we lobby our lawmakers on the joint education committee to pass HB 3!
On May 6, the Senate voted 26-2 on HB 3, which would increase student funding, grant teachers and librarians a $5,000 pay raise, and fund full day pre-k for low-income students. However, the bill in its current form would not increase sales tax to lower school district property taxes - the Texas House and Senate will have to compromise on their significant differences over the bill before it can be signed into law. The two key differences? How to offer teachers pay raises and property tax relief.
HB 3 also restores the G/T allotment (via an amendment made by Sen. Jane Nelson). There were major differences from the House bill regarding this, and accordingly, the chambers appointed members to negotiate the final provisions of the bill.
This conference committee will begin meeting this or next week and will likely conclude by the end of next week. Please take the time to contact the conference committee members (linked above) and show your support for the G/T allotment being included in the final bill. You can also call your own State Representative and Senator to make sure they pass HB 3 once the final provisions are negotiated by the committee.
Find your elected officials HERE. Call your representative via their Austin number, found HERE. If you don’t get your representative on the line, leave your name, details and a prepared pitch on voicemail or with a staffer. Here is a sample script:
“Hello, my name is _____, and my zip code is ______. I am calling to ask [Senator/Rep] ___________ to support HB 3 including the GT allotment amendment. This matters to me greatly because ______. Thank you for your time.”
We want to thank everyone who ordered a yearbook and let you know that yearbooks have arrived and will be sent home by the end of this week. It’s not too late to order your yearbook for home shipment. Order HERE (passcode: 1013463209432855).
We also want to thank all the 5th grade students who submitted artwork for the Travis yearbook cover. We had so many wonderful submissions, making it a really difficult decision for our judges. Congratulations to Catie Giesen for being this year's yearbook cover winner! Here's to being a Travis Tiger, where we are not just friends, but family.
-Travis Yearbook Staff