Austin Discovery School

Austin Family Reader's Poll Favorite 2018
"The Hoot" :: Weekly Newsletter » Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018



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

Jan 15 - MLK Jr. Day - no school
Jan 25 - Middle School info session
Jan 26 - Science Fair 
Jan 26 - Middle School Dance
Science Fair Update from Ms. Elizabeth
  • Check out the huge amount of updates sent out in last week's Hoot Newsletter.  Really.  Do it.
  • If you are interested in judging, I need you!  You do not need to be a scientist to judge our fair, you just need an interest in kids and hearing about their projects.  You will receive training from 8-9 a.m.on 1/26 and then judge from 9-10:30 a.m., then meet with the other judges to pick who will go to Regionals from 10:30-noon.  If interested, email me at  I can honestly say that our judges truly enjoy judging and have a great time!
  • Check out the flyer at the end of this newsletter for more details.
Hoot Outs this week go to:
  • Our amazing PTO and families, for always feeding us and taking such good care of us!  We are feelin’ the love and back at ya! - ADS staff
  • The many parents who have generously donated paper, tape, scissors, coffee, and other supplies!  We love you!
If your family enjoyed a fruit tree as a holiday decoration and you plan to donate it to the ADS Ecowellness program for the school's food forest, please bring it in!  We'd like to plant them next week.
From the Front Office

There have been a few cases of flu and strep throatat ADS - 'tis the season in Austin, so be alert!  There are also cases of lice in the Happy Turtle Butterflies' and Amazing Wildcats' classrooms.

Bring in your boxtops!  The PTO is collecting boxtops in the lobby and they become cash for our school! Every boxtop counts.

Claim your lost and found items.  The PTO recently spent a great deal of time and effort cleaning up the lost and found collection by the cafeteria's patio door, and we'd like to see it all GO HOME.  If your child's found items are labeled, we return them! Unlabeled, unclaimed items become up for grabs before someone lugs it all to a charity.  It's not a shopping opportunity yet; please come GET YOUR STUFF!
ADS Operations Wish List!

The ADS Operations department would absolutely love to do some spring cleaning with the following donations:

2 Ryobi lithium batteries (model: OnePlus 18volt)
a gently-used leaf blower (electric is preferable)
new or used reciprocating saw
any other new or used tools
Library News from Ms. Elizabeth
  • Bluebonnet voting will be Monday 1/29 at 8 a.m. in the library.  After the students vote they participate in my long-standing and popular tradition of eating food that appears in the books.
  • Please think about providing food or helping with the serving.  We will have close to 80 kids voting, I think, so that's a lot of food and a lot of help needed!  It's easy to sign up at - just provide your name and email but don't have to create an account or anything.
Calling all 6th-8th graders!!

Join us for the "Stranger Things" Middle School Dance
January 26th, 6 - 9 p.m.
at the ADS Campus
Dinner and Snack Items for Sale
You can drop your kids off for the evening!
Testing of our emergency texting system is complete!  Thanks to those of you who helped me troubleshoot.  Everyone should have received a test text this morning; if not, please email  In the event of an emergency, the system would be used to communicate urgent information!
A little owl told me….by Kelly McRee

I had the pleasure this week of interviewing Susan Weber, one of our amazing Student Services Intervention Staff.  Susan teaches 5th grade and Middle School in the Cottonwood tree house.  This is Susan’s first year on staff at ADS.

What is your favorite classroom ritual or routine that fosters classroom community? When we create our Classroom Constitution at the beginning of the year it allows students to determine what is important to the community and how they will show respect for each other.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Why?  I’d like to go to Antarctica because it’s a place not many people go to.   

Share a happy childhood memory. When I was young my family took a trip to Lake Arrowhead, California, every summer.  We would spend time on the beach, go to the penny arcade, and eat soft serve ice cream.

What is the most important quality to you in a relationship with someone else?  How and why is it important to you?  The most important quality in a relationship is trust.   Trust is the foundation upon which a relationship is built.

What are you grateful for in your life right now? Right now I am grateful for my family as we support each other through a difficult time.

What is a favorite memory that you have of time spent in nature? When I was in college, my friends and I would go hiking and rappelling which was a lot of fun.  We also rappelled down the side of the dorm, which, although frowned upon by the school, was also a lot fun.

What’s the last book that you couldn’t put down? When by Victoria Laurie.

Social/Emotional Mindfulness Program by Kelly McRee


Dear Beloved Parents,

Happy New Year!  I hope you and your family had a wonderful break full of everything you wanted it to be.  As we start the beginning of 2018, I am hoping you will help me with some of my resolutions. Since being a parent is one of my most important roles, I am always interested in reading sage advice and then talking it through with other like-minded parents. I am proposing a book group now that the holiday madness is behind us.  I have been so excited to read The Yes Brain:  How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child by Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson ever since Tina was hear to speak in November.  Please, please email me if you are interested in joining our book or even text me at 512-791-5563.

Here’s another great blog from one of my favorite websites:

10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Parenting, No Resolutions Necessary

Friday, January 05, 2018

Tired of resolutions? Here are 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Parenting, No Resolutions Necessary. Put these on your fridge and read them daily. I guarantee you less drama and more love.

1. Empathize more. Children don't always need to get their way, but they do need to feel understood. Isn't that what we all need? Whatever your child says or does, she has a reason. Even while setting limits, try acknowledging that reason. Instead of "Stop pushing him!" try "You want your brother to move so you can reach the truck. Say 'Move Please.'"

2. Tell them what they CAN do, instead of what they can't. Instead of "Stop playing with the ball in the house!" try "Balls are for outside. Inside, you can throw the stuffed animals into the bathtub."

3. Get them laughing every day. Laughter changes the body chemistry, decreasing stress hormones so kids are more cooperative and sleep better. It also increases bonding hormones, so when you laugh with someone, you strengthen your relationship.

4. Say Yes more often. We're parents, so we have to set limits and say "No," over and over all day long. So when you can say yes, say it. Even when you have to say no, can you say it with "Yes" energy? "YES, it's time to clean up, and YES I will help you and YES we can leave your tower up and YES you can growl about it and YES if we hurry we can read an extra story and YES we can make this fun and YES I adore you and YES how did I get so lucky to be your parent? YES!"

5. Spend "special time" every day with each child. If you want to strengthen and sweeten your relationship with your child, here's your prescription. Just show up and pour your love into your child without controlling him. Parents often tell me that their children react to getting this one-on-one time "like they were missing an essential vitamin." They were. Every child needs this tangible expression of your love.

6. Use your pause button to yell less. How will they learn to regulate their emotions if we don't regulate ours? You're the role model.

7. Turn your screen off when you're with your child.  Many children say their parents' phone is the most important thing in the parent's life. They'll remember for the rest of your life that you turned your phone off when you were with them.

8. Go outside and move with your kids.  Research confirms what your grandmother said. Children really do need daily fresh air, greenery, and movement to de-stress and be their best selves.

9. Allow emotions, limit behavior.  Of course you need to set limits. But when we allow emotions, children learn to manage them faster. Just say "You must be so upset to use that tone of voice. Tell me about it, Sweetie. We can figure this out together." Your child will start calming down before your eyes.

10. Put yourself back on the list. You can only be emotionally generous if you take care of you. I know, that's tough, but it isn't sustainable to leave yourself off the list. Start by getting enough sleep and talking to yourself like someone you love. Monitor your well-being as you go through your day. Every day, do something that increases your level of joy. You'll see your good mood rub off on your child.

Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is your family's best year yet.