HELLO FROM THE SUMMER SIDE

Whether it feels like your summer is zipping by or dragging on, know that your PTA is here for you, and on August 26th, as our kids head back to school, we’ll be right there by your side to reassure you or to celebrate with you…and maybe a little bit of both.

The Travis PTA has been busy this summer crafting fun and fabulous 2019-2020 plans. Read on for dates and details, and check out our Facebook page for updates throughout the year. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at president@travispta.org. Also, don’t forget to join the Travis PTA! Our membership link will go live on August 1, 2019.

In other community news, Travis Foundation President Shelly Anello, Mr. Day, and I have already begun working together to refine the roles that the Travis Foundation and the Travis PTA will play in support of the school this fall and beyond. The Travis PTA will maintain our focus on advocacy and volunteering, and we will continue to run community building, family friendly events, like our upcoming Fall Carnival. (Mark your calendars for October 26th and email carnival@travispta.org if you would like to get involved.) The Travis Foundation will take on a primary role in fundraising for Travis and will coordinate our community’s fundraising events geared to parents, including a large FUN spring fundraising event. The school will also continue to do some in-house fundraising, including a Boosterthon Fun Run in early September. I hope that each and every one of these events is a resounding success, as they all support our Travis community.

We look forward to seeing all of you, old friends and new ones, at the end of August!

Tamara Steele, PTA President

 

 

MEET THE TEACHER & WATERMELON SOCIAL

Please join us on Thursday, August 22 from 4-5pm to meet your new teacher and see friends old and new! Head to your classroom first to drop off school supplies and say hello to your teacher. Class assignments will be mailed out a few days beforehand so you’ll know right where to go.

After you see your classroom, please stop by the Multipurpose Room to grab some watermelon, learn more about the Travis PTA, and get a head start on shopping for all your Travis gear at the Spirit Store. We can always use volunteers, so if you can spare 30 minutes to help out PTA during the event, please click HERE. Contact the PTA Hospitality Chair with questions. We can’t wait to welcome you back from summer!

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IMPORTANT REMINDERS: START DATE & SCHOOL SUPPLIES

The first day of school will be here before you know it, so mark your calendars and set your alarms! The school year begins on Monday, August 26. Please click HERE for a list of school supplies by grade level. And remember, School Tool Box conveniently lets you order pre-packaged boxes of supplies. Click HERE to start shopping, and contact Ms. Sanchez with any questions.

 

 

PTA BOO-HOO/YAHOO BACK TO SCHOOL BREAKFAST

Please join us for hugs and tissues (and high fives and cheers) as we send our little ones off to their first day of their 2019-2020 school year. Bring all your mixed feelings to the library on Monday, August 26 from 7:30-8am for coffee, breakfast, and friends. We can’t wait to see you there! For more information and volunteer opportunities, contact PTA Hospitality.

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LET’S STAY IN TOUCH!

Keeping up with everything that goes on during the school year can be overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of ways to deliver the news — and if you’re reading this, you’re already a step ahead! So if you know of an incoming Travis family, please spread the word: Forward this email and encourage them to sign up for Tiger Beat emails at travispta.org/news. You can also follow our PTA Facebook page and check out our website at travispta.org/. Look for an email straight from Mr. Day with all non-PTA school news.

Thanks for subscribing, and enjoy the rest of your summer!

 

 

NEWS FROM HISD

While everyone was out enjoying (hopefully) the summer vacation, the HISD school board was meeting with HISD administration regarding the 2019-20 district budget and how to best provide appropriate raises for teachers and staff. After much discussion and an extra meeting or two, the Board approved the 2019-2020 budget, including adjustments to pay for teachers and staff based on increased funding provided by TX HB3. Details can be found HERE and HERE.

TEA Accountability ratings come out on August 15th. At this time schools are given A-F ratings mainly based on STAAR scores, but also involving a few other factors. There are currently four schools in IR (Improvement Required) status that could trigger sanctions by the state. It is highly likely that at least one of these schools will remain in IR. Sanctions include shutting down IR schools (unlikely) and state takeover of the HISD. Regardless of school accountability outcome HISD could also receive sanctions from the state due to results of an ongoing TEA investigation regarding open meetings act and other violations of the HISD school board. It should be noted that even if all four schools come out of IR for this year, they cannot maintain simply a “passing” D grade. Click HERE for more information on that topic.

Finally, there are four school board trustee districts with elections in November. If you live in the following districts, please make yourself familiar with current trustees and their opponents and vote! Districts with November elections: D-II, D-III, D-IV, and D-VIII. These seats are currently occupied by Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Sergio Lira, Jolanda Jones, and Diana Dávila. Note: Travis is located in District I, but some zoned families reside in D-VIII. Know your district! You can find trustee info and district maps HERE.

- Julie O’Sullivan, Legislative Action Chair

 

 

TRAVIS TREAT TRAIN KICKS OFF IN SEPTEMBER

On Wednesday, September 25, the Treat Train takes off on its first journey of the year through the Travis hallways to deliver carts full of coffee, fruit, and treats to help our amazing teachers get through hump day. If you’d like to help “drive” future Treat Trains, please email hospitality@travispta.org.

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THAT’S A WRAP

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.

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TIME FLIES!

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

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MRS. BURKE'S MEAL TRAIN EXTENDED!

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!

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MISSING SOMETHING?

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.

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BREAKING NEWS FROM AUSTIN: HB 3 PASSES!

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!

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THANKS TO OUR TRAVIS COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS!

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!

 

 

PTA PLAY DATES FOR INCOMING KINDERGARTENERS

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.

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KROGER REWARDS ADD UP TO SUPPORT FOR TRAVIS

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.

 

 

LOST & FOUND

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!

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

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