Austin Discovery School

Austin Family Reader's Poll Favorite 2018
"The Hoot" :: Weekly Newsletter » Thursday, June 7, 2018

Thursday, June 7, 2018



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

Amity Taylor, Assistant Principal
Kelly McRee, Social Emotional Program Director
Leigh Moss, Head of School
Lydie Jessin, Business & HR Manager
Taylor Young, Operations Manage

Dates to Remember

June 8 - Last Day of School (12:30 dismissal)
June 15 - School Supply order deadline
August 20 - First Day of the 18-19 School Year
From the Front Office

Reminder - tomorrow is the last day of school, and students will be released at 12:30 pm. 

We need volunteers to help move classroom furniture next Monday & Tuesday, June 11 & 12 (8 a.m. - noon).  We would love to get this heavy lifting done with a cadre of helping hands in just a few days, rather than for days and days for the rest of the month by ourselves. A truck and trailer would be very helpful as well. Or, if you have a utility trailer we could borrow even if you can't be there, please let us know. Please e-mail Taylor at if you can be there!
From Ms. Elizabeth, your librarian 
  • All library books are due!  If you are not sure what your child has or need to know the cost to replace, please email me at
  • Have a great summer, keep reading and learning!  Hopefully I'll meet up with some of you to talk books at our two summer events: Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Nau's Enfield Drug.  Check the summer reading info on my webpage and follow me on Twitter @ADSlibrary for all the details.
From Jennette Everett, Aftercare Director

AfterCare Enrollment and Arts & Movement class enrollment is now open for the 2018-19 school year.  Sign up early to guarantee your child's spot in the ADS AfterCare program. 
Click here to Enroll!  
Sign up NOW for Arts & Movement classes so all the choices will remain!  We don't want to have to cancel some classes now because of low enrollment and then not have enough choices in August!

Full Time Enrollment will be $13/day.  Part Time Enrollment (selecting specific days) will be $14.50/day.  Drop-In Care is also available for sporadic care for $16-20/day.  See Enrollment Form for more information! 
Hoot Outs this week go to:
  • Jennette, for the most amazing and beautiful yearbook!  It is so beautiful and thanks for all of your hard work!
  • Our amazing staff of dedicated teachers and support personnel!  You deserve a much needed summer break!
  • Our amazing families and students!  We feel so grateful and appreciative of your support!
  • Kelly McRee, for the awesome list of 100 things to do this summer, having book club, and for being a kind soul who is always willing to help out. - Hesperia
  • Deborah and Josy, who keep things running, are quick to smile, and bring sunshine to our community. - Hesperia
  • Taylor, Josy, Deborah, Jennette, Kelly, Amity, and Leigh, for relentless and often "backstage" work throughout the year. - Lydie
  • Jennette (and anyone who helped her) on the fantastic yearbooks! Wow, they are impressive! - Jess
  • Austin Daily Press, for donating 100 hushpuppies to 8th grade graduation! - Holly
  • James Clark, for PIZZA for 8th grade graduation! - Taylor
From Leigh Moss, Head of School

Starting June 13, student STAAR scores will be available for immediate access through the Texas Assessment Portal. STAAR results for the second administration of Grades 5 and 8 should be available next week (the first week of June).  

You will be able to access your child's STAAR results and starting this year there will also be a suite of other resources to support summer learning opportunities.  

To access your child's scores go to and click "Find My Unique Student Access Code"

Next,  it will prompt you to type in your child's first name, Social Security number, and birth date.  After you do this, click "Go."

The access code will appear where you typed your child's name and you can click "Go" again to access your child's STAAR scores.

This method of delivery is different than in years past when your child's individual results were sent to the school some time in June and a mailing of these results was sent to your home.  While the school will still receive your child's individual results in the traditional paper copy format, the online access will allow you to access these results much sooner than in previous years.  If you wish to pick up a paper copy of your child's STAAR scores in lieu of accessing them online, the front office will be open on Tuesday, June 26th, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. for pick up, or you may pick them up in August.  

If you have any questions about how to access your child's scores, please email me directly at

Free Youth Summer Art Program
June 22nd - July 6th, 2018
Conducted by Greater Tomorrow Youth Art Program & UT Austin
Ages: 9-18  Application Deadline: June 20th 
 Join the University of Texas at Austin’s art education professor, Dr. Christopher Adejumo, in a skills development summer art program for artistically gifted youth at the University of Texas at Austin.
  If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact Dr. Christopher Adejumo at or click here for more info.  The application can be found here.

Social/Emotional Program Mindfulness, by Kelly McRee



Dear Beloved Parents,

Thank you so much for entrusting us with your kids!  We have had the most fabulous year! We hope you have the most amazing summer ever and we will be so excited to see you all next year!

With love,


10 Tips to Make This the Best Summer Ever with Your Family

"Summer afternoon...Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language." - Henry James

Summer lives in our imaginations throughout the year because it nourishes our souls. The warmth....the fun...the sheer deliciousness. But mostly, the luxury of time, unbounded by school. Time to explore, to make new friends, to lie on your back and watch the clouds billow. The vivid aliveness and freedom of a child's summers can change her forever.

Does this sound like the summer your child is having? Or is he glued to an electronic screen? Or maybe she just has to get up early for camp, so you can get to work. Or maybe he's gotten so used to constant stimulation that he's complaining he's bored.

You CAN reclaim summer for your family. In fact, you can make this the best summer ever with your kids. It doesn't take travel or a lot of money. And you can do it even if you're working and your kids are in daycamp. All it takes is your time.

That's right, your time. I know that sounds like the one thing you don't have enough of. If you're anything like most parents, you have a long list of things that need to get done and you feel a little (or a lot!) overwhelmed. But it's summer. Your kids won't be kids forever. This is the stuff their childhood memories are made of. As George R.R. Martin says, “Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”

In addition to those lovely experiences that define summer, children also need lazy summer afternoons with not much happening. So finding that sweet spot of "just enough" activity without over-scheduling is the goal.

Why not decide now to make the most of this opportunity to connect with your kids? Here are ten simple tips to make this summer your best summer ever with your family.

1. Set aside some time every day to have fun with your child.

Whether it's running through the sprinkler together on a hot afternoon or counting the stars on a blanket in the backyard before bedtime, do at least one thing each day to connect and have fun. Remember, what matters is always how it FEELS, not how it LOOKS. Your child doesn't need a Martha Stewart activity; just a loving connection with you.

2. Find the "sweet spot" for structure.

Research shows that kids get stressed during the school year from academics, homework, the social scene, and all the activities. They really need time to chill and relax. But they also need structure, meaning they need their day and week to have a shape, so they know what to expect. For instance, every morning after we play, we do errands or pick up the house together for an hour, and after lunch we have reading time together and then quiet time in our rooms. Every afternoon we run through the sprinkler or go to the pool.

3. Commit to de-stressing and just enjoying your life this summer.

Kids pick up our attitudes. If you're stressed, they'll be stressed, and they'll fight with each other and drive you crazy. Even if you have to go to work, can you find a way to dial down your stress for the summer? And if you're lucky enough to be home with the kids, don't you deserve a delicious summer as much as your children do? Your positive attitude will create a relaxed, happy mood in your house.

4. Help your kids develop a healthy relationship with time that includes the important life skill of being comfortable with their own company, without technology. Time is, after all, what life is made of. To help kids learn to reclaim their time, set up a Boredom Buster Jar. For great ideas to put in the jar, and more on why it's good for kids to have a chance to be bored, click here.

5. Encourage your child to try something new this summer.

There's no time like the summer to dabble, experiment, and play with creativity. Maybe she wants to try painting, or self-defense classes, or horseback riding. Maybe he wants to try writing a short story or learn how to throw a frisbee well. New activities encourage brain development and build your child's focus, frustration management and impulse control. For more on nurturing your child's creativity, click here.

6. Strictly limit technology to certain times of the day.

When kids are bored and it's hot outside, screen time has a way of swallowing up all their time. It may be a good babysitter, but we all know that's not what kids need. The more you limit screen time, the better kids get at finding creative things to do with their time -- and the less they bug you to watch TV or play computer games.

7. Institute daily reading time and regular library visits.

Books open the imagination, make time disappear, and give kids a wholesome alternative to screens. (Reading is also very highly correlated with school achievement.) Reading to your child develops a love of stories and books, which is what starts them wanting to read on their own.

8. Be aware that transitions take time.

If your child is starting a summer program or camp with new counselors and kids, you can expect some anxiety. Take time to play with your child in advance, because those belly laughs reduce anxiety and will help them feel less nervous that first day or so. And if your child is just home enjoying some down time, remember that sometimes when kids are released from structure, all those stressed feelings they've been carrying during the school year bubble up and they suddenly get a bit high-strung.  So be aware that you might have a few grumpy days, plan on a few meltdowns, and make sure to build as much roughhousing and laughter as possible into your days.

9. Plan some fantastic family memories, even if you don’t have the money or time to head off on vacation.

Don’t wait. The key is to get out a calendar and schedule the things you really want to do.

Start at dinner tonight by asking everyone what they've loved most about this summer so far. Then ask each person to pick one thing for the whole family to do that will make their summer complete. Set parameters before you start. For instance, no hotel stays, and the total cost of each activity must be under $40 (or whatever your budget is.) Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

  • Buy a badminton set and have a weekend tournament for all your friends and family, complete with a potluck barbecue.

  • Set up a water festival in your backyard that includes dunking, running through sprinklers, a water balloon toss game, a slip ‘n slide, and a water balloon fight. Let your kids invite all their friends, and invite a few of yours, too. Celebrate the end of the day with watermelon.

  • Rent bikes and follow a local bike path you’ve never been on. Stop for ice cream cones.

  • Go camping. Go hiking, catch fireflies, roast marshmallows, sing songs, snuggle on a blanket and watch the fire together.

  • Go tubing. Or canoeing. Or rafting. Be sure to cool off by getting wet.

  • Have a dinner picnic and watch the sunset (bring the bug repellent).

  • Go to the beach and spend the day body surfing. When you get cold, collect shells and use them to decorate your sand castle.

  • Go to bed really early some night when you’re tired, and get up for the sunrise. Bring donuts and coffee.

  • Make homemade ice cream. (You don't need an ice cream maker, just rock salt and plastic bags; there are recipes online.)

  • Buy a mess of crabs and cook them up with some corn on the cob. Let the kids stay up late playing tag as it gets dark.

You get the idea. Encourage your family to come up with their ideal scenarios and make a few of them happen. Be sure to toast the family member who chose the activity, and take lots of pictures.

10. The last week of the summer, print out all your summer photos and make a Summer album.

Have a little family celebration on Labor Day weekend where you look at the album together and talk about everybody's favorite parts of the summer. Remind each other of the things that seemed like disasters at the time but are now funny (every family has some of those!) If you do this every summer, you’ll create precious family heirlooms, not to mention a family tradition that will have your kids bragging about how fantastic summer was in their families….and begging to look at the Summer albums with you every Labor Day, even once they’re teenagers.