Austin Discovery School

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"The Hoot" :: Weekly Newsletter » Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017



Please contact administrators via e-mail to schedule meetings as needed.

Amity Taylor, Assistant Principal
Becky Mien, Student Services Director
Kelly McRee, Social Emotional Program Director
Leigh Moss, Head of School
Lydie Jessin, Business Manager
Taylor Young, Operations Manage

From Leigh Moss, Head of School

Back to School Night

Thursday, September 7 from 4:30-6:30 pm

Join us for an evening to learn more about your child's classroom routines; year-long learning objectives; and ways to volunteer, communicate, and conference.  Classroom schedules for presentations vary, so please see communication from your child's teachers for more details!
Back to School Night will also be a great opportunity to visit your child's Specials / Essentials teacher's classrooms to see what is planned for the year in Art, Music, PE, EcoWellness, and Theater.  

At 5:30 pm and again at 6 pm, please join me and the rest of the administrative team in the Library to hear more about campus improvement, state-wide assessment data from the 2015-2016 school year, and fundraising goals for 2017-2018.

ADS Families Give a Hoot!

Whether your're volunteering in the classroom or as part of a school-wide event, contributing to our annual fund or getting involved with the PTO, ADS families give a hoot about supporting our school and community.  Please take a few minutes to inform us how you want to get involved this year! 

Take the short survey today!
Hoot Outs in our community this week go to:
  • The PTO, for all the amazing snacks on Wednesday! - grateful ADS staff
  • All you generous parents who have donated essentials to the front office already, without even being asked!  We have plenty of healthy snacks for hungry kids and coffee for staff - thanks to you!  We will always appreciate more copy paper and bandaids. - Deborah & Josy
Early Release Wednesdays

Any child who is not signed up for an Arts & Movement Class or Early AfterCare and is left in the care of AfterCare Staff on any upcoming Wednesday will be charged a $25 not-in-aftercare fee.  Please make arrangements to pick up your children at 1:50 pm EVERY Wednesday.

Parents of kids enrolled in Arts & Movement classes:  While you can find your way to the instructor's room if you wish to collect your children, at the end of their class they will be brought to the cafeteria.  So you can easily wait for them there instead of walking all around campus trying to find them.


Jennette Everett
AfterCare Director
Austin Discovery School
News from Ms. Elizabeth, your Librarian

Welcome to another great year of library programming!  Please be sure to check out the Events page on the Library page (click the Departments drop down menu on the school webpage) to see all the fun we have planned.
  • This year kindergarten and 5th-8th grade classes will visit weekly for a 30 minute library time and 2nd-4th will visit every other week for one hour.  Generally there will be a lesson followed by check out time.  The general scope and sequence can be found on my webpage.
  • Kindergartners may have one book checked out at a time.  Parents are more than welcome to attend the library time with their student or visit before/after school.  Parents may check out as many library books as they want!
  • Students in all other grades may have two "pleasure reading" books checked out at a time.  They may also have other books checked out for class book clubs, research projects, etc.
  • Battle of the Books is a middle school program in it's 5th year at ADS.  We meet in the library every Monday from 3:15-4:45 and prepare for the Battle of the Books competition on 3/1/18 against other Texas middle schools.  The competition is based on the Texas Library Association's Lone Star list and we read the books, discuss, play games, and EAT.  Lots of fun, high energy, and we'd love your kids!  Books are available in the library.  Send your student to the first meeting on 9/11 and see what they think.
  • Follow me on Twitter @ADSlibrary, keep an eye on my school webpage, and feel free to email me at

Dates to Remember

Sep 1 - PTO Coffee Chat
Sep 4 - Labor Day Holiday
Sep 7 - Back to School Night
Sep 8 - PTO Skate Party
We are still enrolling for this school year in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades! Encourage your friends and neighbors to email if they are interested in enrolling!
Interested in traffic flow and parking on campus?  Please check out the information on our website here.  It is always chaotic for the first couple of weeks of school, but we expect that just as in past years, it will settle down soon!  
STAAR score sheets for the 2016-17 school year are available for pick up at the front office.
Interested in substitute teaching at ADS during the coming year? Get the process started now!  ADS needs you!  E-mail Vice Principal Amity Taylor for more
From the PTO

First Friday Coffee Chat - Sep 1st

Please join us for caffeine and camaraderie as we kick off the 2017-18 school year!  It takes a village to make our school the wonderful gem that it is, and we want you to join us as we begin our fundraising support of the school.  Please come for a cup of coffee and stay for the friendships!  We look forward to seeing you next Friday morning.

Skate Party - Sep 8th

Ready to skate for a cause?  Join us on Friday the 8th at 6pm to have fun and raise money for our amazing school!  This is a great way to spend exuberant weekend energy and give back!  Please come and be a part of this fun-filled evening.  As they say in the biz, "All Skate"!!!  See you there!!

Room Parents

Would you like to fulfill your 20 hours of volunteering by becoming a room parent?  Please let the PTO know!! You can send a quick email to and we'll tell you everything you need to know.  We need at least one room parent (and preferable two or more) for each classroom and for the essentials, so if this is the avenue for you, please reach out and we'll get you started!  Thanks everyone!

There have been a few reported cases of lice at ADS this week, including students in Christie & Suzanne's first grade and Laura's third/fourth grade classes.

To break the cycle of lice, every louse and every single nit (egg) must be physically removed from the hair shaft.  No commercially-available product can relieve you of the burden of picking every single nit out of your child's hair to get rid of lice. Many parents think they have finished the job only to have lice "reappear" 2 weeks later, when eggs they did not previously remove hatch.   Stop by the front office if you are unsure what you are looking at on your child's head. 

Social/Emotional Program Mindfulness, by Kelly McRee       

Dear Amazing Families,

I want to share with you an amazing resource that is coming to Austin to speak!  Dr. Tina Bryson, who wrote The Whole Brain Child and No Drama Discipline with Dr. Dan Siegel. They have a new book coming out in January 2018 called The YES brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in your Child.  This is a not too miss opportunity!  She is coming to speak on Friday, November 3rd from 6:30-8:30 for only $50.  Tickets will go fast so please get your ticket today at this link:

Here’s the highlights from their most recent book:  The Whole Brain Child

Refrigerator Sheet: The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson


Survive AND thrive: Watch for ways to take the difficult parenting moments when you’re simply trying to survive, and turn them into opportunities for your children to thrive.

Integration for Health and success: The brain performs at its best when its different parts work together in a coordinated and balanced way. An integrated brain results in improved decision-making, better control of body and emotions, fuller self-understanding, stronger relationships, and success in school.

The River of Well-being: The more integrated our kids are, the more they can remain in the river of well-being, avoiding the bank of chaos on one side, and the bank of rigidity on the other.

Chapter 1: Integrating the Left and Right Brain

Left + right = clarity and understanding: Help your kids use both the logical left brain and the emotional right brain so they can live balanced, meaningful, and creative lives full of connected relationships.

What You Can Do: Helping your child work from both sides of the brain

Connect and Redirect: When your child is upset, connect first emotionally, right brain to right brain. Then, once your child is more in control and receptive, bring in the left-brain lessons and discipline.

Name it to Tame It: When big, right-brain emotions are raging out of control, help your kids tell the story about what’s upsetting them. In doing so, they’ll use their left brain to make sense of their experience and feel more in control.

Chapter 2: Integrating the Upstairs Brain and the Downstairs Brain

Be patient with the upstairs brain: Unlike the primitive downstairs brain, which is intact at birth, the sophisticated upstairs brain is “under construction” during childhood and adolescence. Plus, it’s especially vulnerable to being “hi-jacked” by the downstairs brain, especially in high-emotion situations. So don’t expect your children to make good decisions all the time, or to remain in control of their emotions and actions.

What You Can Do: Helping develop and integrate your child’s upstairs brain

Engage, don’t enrage: In high-stress situations, engage your child’s upstairs brain, rather than triggering the downstairs brain. Don’t immediately play the “Because I said so!” card. Instead, appeal to your child’s higher-order thinking skills. Ask questions, ask for alternatives, even negotiate.

Use it or lose it: Provide lots of opportunities to exercise the upstairs brain so it can be strong and integrated with the downstairs brain and the body. Play “what would you do?” games and present them with dilemmas. Avoid rescuing them from difficult decisions.

Move it or lose it: When a child has lost touch with his upstairs brain, a powerful way to help him regain balance is to have him move his body.

Chapter 3: Integrating Memory

Make the implicit explicit: Help your kids make their implicit memories explicit, so that past experiences don’t affect them in debilitating ways. By narrating past events they can look at what’s happened and make good, intentional decisions about how to handle those memories.

What You Can Do: Helping your child integrate implicit and explicit memories.

Use the remote of the mind: After a painful event, a child may be reluctant to narrate what happened. The internal remote lets her pause, rewind, and fast-forward a story as she tells it, so she can maintain control over how much of it she views.

Remember to remember: Help your kids exercise their memory by giving them lots of practice at remembering. In the car, at the dinner table, wherever: help your kids talk about their experiences, so they can integrate their implicit and explicit memories.

Chapter 4: Integrating the Many Parts of Myself

The Wheel of awareness: Sometimes our kids get stuck on one particular point on the rim of their wheel of awareness, and lose sight of the many other parts of themselves. We need to give them mindsight, so they can be aware of what’s happening in their own mind. Then they can choose where they focus their attention, integrating the different aspects of themselves and gaining more control over how they feel.

What You Can Do: Introducing your child to the wheel of awareness

Let the clouds of emotion roll by: Remind kids that feelings come and go. Fear and frustration and loneliness are temporary states, not enduring traits.

SIFT: Help your children pay attention to the Sensations, Images, Feelings, and Thoughts within them. They can’t understand and change their inner experiences until they are first aware of what’s going on inside.

Exercise mindsight: Mindsight practices teach children to calm themselves and focus their attention where they want.

Chapter 5: Integrating Self and Other

Wired for “we”: Watch for ways to capitalize on the brain’s built-in capacity for social interaction, especially by being intentional about creating positive mental models of relationships. Parents and other important caregivers create children’s expectations about relationships that will affect and guide them throughout their lives. Help them develop mindsight, which offers them insight into themselves as individuals and empathy for and connection with those around them.

What You Can Do: Helping your child integrate self and other

Enjoy each other: Build fun into the family, so that your kids enjoy positive and satisfying experiences with the people they’re with the most.

Connect through conflict: Try not to view conflict as merely an obstacle to avoid. Instead, use it as an opportunity to teach your kids essential relationship skills, like seeing other people’s perspectives, reading nonverbal cues, and making amends.