Austin Discovery School

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"The Hoot" :: Weekly Newsletter » Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 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

Dates to Remember

Oct 23 - Individual Picture Day
Oct 23-26 - Barefoot Books Fair
Oct 26 - Science Fair Work Day
Oct 27 - Parents' Night Out
Nov 3 - Dia de los Muertos
Nov 4 - PTO Full Moon Festival
Individual Picture Day will be next Monday, October 23rd. Picture forms were sent home today, and are also available at the end of this newsletter.  Every child will be photographed, regardless of whether or not they have an order form with them on Monday, because thepictures will be used in the yearbook! Retakes and make-up pictures will be taken December 7th.
From the ADS Art Teachers

Every child at ADS is an artist and we’re excited to partner with Art to Remember to celebrate your child’s creativity! This program creates an opportunity for you to purchase a variety of keepsakes featuring your child’s artwork. This week, students were sent home with a personalized order form. Orders can be placed online or by completing and returning the form to school. A portion of each purchase will be used to enhance our ADS Art program and all orders need to be placed by Wednesday, October 25

Amelia / (K-2 students)
Alejandro / (3-8 students) 
Parents' Night Out is back!  Let us watch your kids so that you can enjoy a night out onthe town.  It is from 6-10:30pm on some Friday nights.  We serve pizza for dinner and play games until we settle in to watch a movie!

We're currently registering for 2 upcoming dates: October 27 & December 8.  You can register here.  You do NOT have to be in AfterCare to attend a Parent's Night Out!  We also allow siblings of ADS students who are at least 4 years old.

We hope to see you soon!
ADS Essentials News

We will be celebrating Fall Into theArts this November 13-17.  This is a celebration of arts integration in all areas of our daily lives and was started last year as a new celebration on our new campus.  Essentials teachers have a few areas of need as we prepare for this awesome week of arts:
  • any water-based paints and stains, as well as water or oil-based sealers so that themiddle school students can refinish all of the campus picnic tables.  They can be partial cans---use this as an opportunity to clean out your garage!
  • Paint brushes and drop cloths
  • any and all natural materials for Thora's planned outside art activities
  • if you are an artistic sort, we invite you to touch base with your child's teacher to see if you can schedule a lecture or show-and-tell with the class during that week.  Last year we had lots of parents, grandparents, and friends who came to do workshops with classes, and it was incredibly appreciated!
From the PTO

The Pumpkin Patch  If you're into pumpkin carving, we hope you'll stop by our pumpkin patch to purchase your gourd this season!  All gourds are just $5 each and help raise funds for our amazing school!  We will open each day after school from 2:30-3:30 p.m.  If you are dying to have a pumpkin but can't make it during those times, see Deborah or Josy in the front office. Please bring exact change!  Help us get each and every gourd to a good home - stop by and see us!!

Dia de los Muertos  We need donations of sugar, meringue powder, and tissue paper to make our Dia de los Muertos celebration what it should be.  Items (and cash donations) can be dropped off at the front office for this school-wide celebration.

Full Moon Festival - Save theDate!! Saturday, November 4th at 2 pm  Feeling The Need to Volunteer?  The ADS PTO has just the right space for you!  If you're into fall fun and festivalin', please consider signing up for an hour or two when you bring your family to this awesome event.  We'll have bouncy houses, obstacle courses, fortune tellers, hay rides, and chicken poop bingo, just to name a few!  Click thelink below to sign up to volunteer with us.  It promises to be a real hoot 
Hoot Outs in our community this week go to:
  • Ms. Bettany, for letting us listen to fun music!
  • I like everyone at this school, especially Ruby. - Eliza
  • Ms. Rhonda, for reading out loud to us!
  • Tim Rigdon, for being so responsive and dependable. - Deborah
From Leigh Moss, Head of School

Want to see your giving story featured in next week's newsletter - with recognition to your family, or anonymously? Share your giving story today!

Have you ever given to an ADS annual campaign?  Have you contributed to this year's 100 Partners in 100 Days campaign?  Do you and your family volunteer at ADS community or PTO events throughout the year?  From now until #GivingTuesday on November 28th we will be featuring current and alumni ADS stories of giving.  Share your story today and we will recognize you in next week's Hoot either by name or anonymously!  Let's hear your giving story!

Attendance Update

Every 6 weeks, ADS submits attendance data to theTexas Education Agency to secure funding for theschool.  The end of our first 6 week cycle ended on September 29th.  At that time we averaged just over 95% attendance rate, which is a great place to be.  

As we are heading into the traditional 'flu season' we want to make sure everyone continues to be vigilant about hand washing, coughing or sneezing into tissues, covering our mouths, and keeping students at home who have not been fever-, vomit-, and diarrhea-free for 24 hours. 

We very much need to maintain that 95% attendance average (or higher) as our school depends on these funds to help support our school.  More than funding, when students are at school consistently, they havethe maximum opportunity to learn, be a part of theschool and classroom community, and get all that they can from their year!  

Our Assistant Principal, Amity Taylor, is sending out attendance notices every month for students who have 3 or more absences that month to remind families about the importance of school attendance.  Additionally, cumulative attendances and tardies will be reported on your child's first trimester progress report that will go home right before Thanksgiving break.  At that time, we will at the end of our 2nd six week period and I'll report again to compare our attendance average to the first 6 weeks to see how we did.  

News from Ms. Elizabeth, your Librarian

Next week is the Barefoot Books Fair in thelibrary.  Eve Panzer not only sells the amazingly beautiful Barefoot Books, but also books from smaller, diverse publishers.  Shop Monday 10/23 from 2:30-4pm, Tuesday and Wednesday 10/24 & 10/25 from 7:30-8:30am and 2-4pm, and Thursday 10/26 from 7:30-8:30am.

Today the 7th and 8th graders participated in a writing workshop with local author Nikki Loftin, as part of the Project WISE (Writers in Schools for Enrichment) program administered by theWriters' League of Texas and the City of Austin's Cultural Arts Core Funding Program.  We have participated in this program for the last ten years or more and are always blessed to have local writers work with us.

Join me next Tuesday in the library for a pumpkin decorating party -decorate a pumpkin or gourd to look like a book character.  You can even come dressed as a book character if you want!  We will have some pumpkins available, but it is probably safest to BYOP!

There will be another Science Fair Work Day next Thursday 10/26 from 3-4pm in the library.  Please email me by next Wednesday if your child will attend and I will pick them up from their class.
It is almost time for the ADS Holiday Bazaar!  Donations of craft supplies and/or finished crafts will be gratefully accepted soon!  Look for great ideas to start popping up on the ADS Families Facebook page and feel free to e-mail Alicia Fiedler ( with questions.  

A little owl told me….by Kelly McRee

I had the pleasure this week of interviewing Jackie Smith, one of our amazing 2nd grade teachers!  Jackie teaches the Peaceful Parakeets in the Cedar Elm tree house.  This is Jackie’s first year at ADS. Welcome, Jackie!

What is your favorite classroom ritual or routine that fosters classroom community? Journal prompt sharing with community circle

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Why?  Maldives - Kandolhu Island: tranquil, secluded, beautiful beach, snorkeling

What is it that you do that gives you the most satisfaction?  Helping animals that need homes or compassion, feeding the homeless, volunteering my time to help others

Share a happy childhood memory. Playing peek-a-boo with my grandma 2 weeks before she passed away

What is the most important quality to you in a relationship with someone else?  How and why is it important to you?  Trust: without it there is no base to build upon. Empathy/Compassion can not happen until there is a bond and understanding - these would be my next qualities. All of these qualities are important to me because I live my life being compassionate and giving trust to others. I have a hard time with someone who can not be empathetic to others. I am so in tune and sensitive that seeing another person overcome with selfishness or lack of empathy hurts me emotionally.

What are you grateful for in your life right now? Time: tomorrow could never come, so I live knowing that each day is a gift to be cherished.

If you had an unexpected free day and could do anything you wished, what would you do? Go to Barton Springs Pool, relax, swim, meditate...

What is a favorite memory that you have of time spent in nature?Going to a creek, listening to the waterfall and reading a book

Who inspires you? My mom: she has such a strong spirit even through turmoils

What’s the last book that you couldn’t put down? Guided Mindfulness Meditation

Social/Emotional Program Mindfulness, by Kelly McRee       

Dear Beloved Parents,


This is a great blog from Dr. Laura Markham.  Check out her website for some true parent wisdom at

"The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children." --  Elaine Heffner

Should you strategically ignore mouthy behavior from a toddler or a tween? I don't think so. When kids express irritability towards us -- often called "back talk" -- they're trying to tell us something, and if we don't listen, they just escalate.

But that doesn't mean you "crack down" with discipline, either, because that erodes your relationship with your child and makes disrespectful behavior even more likely in the future.

Your goal is to invite constructive communication while you calmly re-establish the standard for respect.  To do that, you need to keep the connection with the child warm, even while you point out their hurtful tone. Here's your three step strategy.

1. Monitor your own language and model respect and kindness as you interact with your child.  If you find yourself criticizing or yelling, bite your tongue. That models something you don't want to teach. If you need to set limits, wait until you can speak calmly and respectfully.

2. Strengthen your relationship with your child by looking for every opportunity to positively connect.  Kids think twice about hurting the feelings of parents they feel connected to.  Be sure you spend at least 15 minutes alone with each child every day, giving them your focused, positive attention.

3. If your child speaks hurtfully to you, calmly confront the behavior and re-set a clear expectation for respectful behavior while staying connected to your child:  "Ouch! That tone of voice hurts. You must be upset to speak to me that way.  You know I don't speak to you in that tone.  You can tell e what you're upset about without attacking me. What's going on?"  

Or, if you know already, "I hear that you're very angry at me right now.  I hear how much you wish I would say yes to what you're wanting. Let's talk about this when we're both more calm."

Notice that we're teaching kids how to be in relationship with another person.  If we ignore their disrespect, we do them no favors.  If we react disrespectfully to their rudeness, we perpetuate thebehavior. The secret?  They learn their behavior from us.