This is our last issue of Tiger Beat for the 2018-19 school year. Watch your inbox for a special summer edition in July, and know we will be back with all the PTA news you need to know when school starts again in the fall. In the meantime, please follow us on Facebook at fb.me/TravisElemPTA.
I am bursting with pride and gratitude for the amazing work of this year's PTA Board. I have had the privilege of working with four separate boards during my children's time at Travis, and they each shared one very special trait - an absolute dedication to serving our school community with all they had. They truly are superheroes, so please join me in thanking them for sharing their time and talent for free, without reservation, and with a keen sense of efficiency, humor, and grace. They have made all our lives better in ways little and large and quite often unseen, and they've each always done it with a smile. It has truly been my honor to serve alongside them and get to call them each friend.
EXECUTIVE BOARD - Tom Day, Nancy Dingwall, Sarah Gonzales, Melanie Gehman, Veronica Jurado, Kris Sonneborn, Tamara Steele
PROGRAMS TEAM - Lauren Lindsay, Lauren Garcia, Lori Horvilleur, Paul O'Sullivan, Derby Stevens, Rhonda Welch
PARENT INVOLVEMENT TEAM - Erin Bain, Langley Cumbie, Cindy Giesen, Gaby McBride, Julie O'Sullivan, Ruby Powers, Wendy Tull, Marie Wise
FUNDRAISING TEAM - Masha Phillips, Joanna Smith, Shelly Anello, Rebekah Baker, Stephanie Fraske, Alina Schrom, Phil Teague, Ashley Throckmorton
As my term ends on May 31, I hand over the reins to your incoming 2019-20 President, Tamara Steele. Tamara brings a heart for servant leadership to this role in addition to a wealth of knowledge she has developed during her time on four previous boards. I leave you proud of the work that this year's PTA has accomplished, but I am equally excited to see what is to come, as each incoming board brings new energy, enthusiasm, and ideas. While each year the school culture and traditions might take new directions, the one thing that is immovable is the spirit of the Travis community, because that is created by the presence of dedicated administration, talented faculty and staff, and the engagement of each of you and your families. YOU are what makes Travis special.
As a community this year, we have grown as advocates, we have answered calls to help each other, and we have grown wiser about the issues that impact public schools, including teachers and students, and the power we have to effect change. We have laughed and cried and complained and celebrated together, just as any family would. Thank you for allowing me to be part of that family and to lead this organization for the past two years. Know I have always done MY best because our Travis students, staff, and families deserve THE best. But for now, I'm OUTTA TIME. --Jenny Teague, PTA President
The Travis Community answered the call in full force to assist Mrs. Burke with meal drop off as she and her family navigate new life circumstances - thank you! The Meal Train for Mrs. Burke has been extended to July and August, so if you would like to continue to help, or if you didn't get a chance to snag a spot the first time (they went FAST!), sign up HERE. Drop off is directly to Mrs. Burke's home on Tuesdays or Thursdays around 5pm (address in the Meal Train). If you need to contact Mrs. Burke to make other arrangements, email her, and if you have any questions about the Meal Train, contact organizer Jenny Teague. Thank you for helping a fellow Travis family member - there's no community like a Tiger community!
Calling all 2019-20 incoming kindergartners and their families! PTA is sponsoring summer play dates to help introduce you to our school family. Come share a snack and some fun with your new kinder gang! Contact PTA VP Parent Involvement Erin Bain with any questions.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon! If you donated a dish, please remember to pick up your slow cookers in the teacher lounge before the last day of school.
During a press conference last Thursday afternoon (watch it here), Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick, and House Speaker Bonnen shared that public school financing and associated school taxes are changing!
HB 3 is a GO! While the G/T per student allotment will be discontinued, the bill was an overall victory as it transforms school education funding and lowers property tax rates across the state. This means:
The amount a district receives for each student (PUA) increases by about $1,000 per student.
Districts will no longer be funded based on district wealth as measured by property taxes.
Lower school tax rates beginning in 2020.
Individual school tax rate growth capped to 2.5% a year.
District recapture payments to the state reduced by approximately 47%.
Veteran (6+ years of service) teachers, counselors, librarians, and nurses should see an average of $4,000 increase to their compensation package, with additional opportunities for incentive and bonus pay schemes.
The Teacher Retirement System has been reformed to ensure longevity and sustainability so that all teachers can be confident in their pension.
Access to full-day pre-K for low-income students.
Increase to funding allotments for dyslexic students.
AND MORE. Since this is the last Tiger Beat of the school year, we suggest following updates from a reliable source like the Texas Tribune.
What a momentous end to this school year and to a broken school funding system. Thanks to each of you who took the time to be part of the process by contacting their elected representatives. This is a HUGE success for our state!
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!