Austin Discovery School

Austin Family Reader's Poll Favorite 2018
"The Hoot" :: Weekly Newsletter » Thursday, August 30, 2018

Thursday, August 30, 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
Maria MartinezStudent Services Director
Taylor Young, Operations Manager

Dates to Remember

August 31 - PTO Skate Party (6-11 pm)
Sep 13 - Back to School night (4-6 pm)
Sep 15 & 16 - Garden Work Party (9 am-3 pm)
If you are interested in substitute teaching at ADS this year, we want you!  Please e-mail Amity Taylor
From the ADS PTO
The ADS PTO will host a Skate Party at Playland Skate Center (6 -11 pm)
$9 - All Children 3+ & skating adults
$0 - Non-skating adults/children under 3
Price includes Roller Skate Rental and more than 40% of the cost comes directly back to ADS!!! You must say you are with ADS for us to get credit towards our fundraising goal!!  Bring your family, ADS and non-ADS friends, etc!!!!!

The ADS PTO is currently looking for volunteers to be room parents in each classroom.  Please email if you are interested!
Back to School Night will be Thursday, Sep 13, 4-6 pm.  Come hear specifics about your child's classroom, schedule, curriculum, and much more!

Also visit the essentials team during Back to School Night! ADS' active and engaging essentials teachers (Art, Music, Theater, PE, EcoWellness, and Library) want to share with you during Back to School Night!  Stop by the essentials classrooms, say hi and see a little about what they're working on, take a walk through the gardens, and stop by the library.  We're all excited to meet you!

Garden Work Party

Join us for our Fall Garden work party on September 15 & 16

This will be our first big push of the year to ready our school gardens for the Fall planting season! We will also be working on installing our award-winning ‘Discovery Pond’ (thousands of gallons of Discovery). In addition, there will be other campus improvement projects that everyone can get on board with! Sweat, muscles, music, food and straight up community!

The Work days will begin at 9am and last till 3pm both Saturday and Sunday. Come for an hour, come for a day or come for two!

Requests from Deborah & Josy
On behalf of all ADS staff, we would be so grateful for donations of coffee and AA batteries. Thank you so much!  
Library News
Welcome back!  I'm Ms. Elizabeth (Switek) and I'm the ADS Librarian.  Below you'll find some useful library information:
  • Kindergarteners and 7th/8th graders come to the library weekly; I see everyone else every other week.  The library schedule hangs next to my door if you are curious.
  • Students can come to the library before school every day from 7:30-7:45 and they can also ask their teacher to come over during an open class time.  You can also stop by with your child after school on alternate weeks when I am not dismissing students--next week the library will be open after school.
  • Kindergarteners may check out one library book at a time and students in all other grades can check out two.  Some students may have additional books for projects, book groups, etc.  Parents may check out as many books as they want!
  • You can search our OPAC (online public access catalog) at
  • Follow library news and events in this weekly column as well as on Twitter @ADSlibrary and on my webpage at
  • The library has no budget, so I operate on donations and fundraisers.  Our biggest fundraisers are book fairs and the monthly Scholastic catalogs that should have come home with your student this week.  When you buy books the library receives credit to purchase books from those catalogs.  Our school code is GP7DD if you order online at (the easiest way).  You or your child may also return the order form to me with a single check.
  • Battle of the Books for middle school will start next Tuesday, from 3-4 pm in the library.  If your child is interested please encourage them to come!
A little owl told me….by Kelly McRee

I had the pleasure this week of interviewing Justine Ly, who teaches the first and second grade Kind Komodo Dragons with Tad Bertrand in the White Oak treehouse. This is Justine’s first year at ADS.

Describe your favorite vacation.
My ideal vacation would be traveling to an island with clear blue water where I can snorkel, cliff dive, and boogie board.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
The best advice came from my mother. I grew up with a single mother raising five children and I remember her repeatedly saying, “The only way you will be better than me is if you go school.” For my siblings and I, I have seen how gaining an education can open up many opportunities. This is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue a career in education.

What brings you the most joy?
I would have to say food brings me the most joy.

What is your favorite meal or the best meal you have ever had?
My favorite meal is the steak dinner my husband, Forrest, cooks. He reverse sears the steak so it’s perfectly cooked.

What do you do to take care of yourself? 
I often destress by cooking, reading, and meditating.

Tell us about your favorite pet or favorite animal if no pet.
My pupperonis (dogs), Bella and Buddy, are my favorite. What I love about Bella is her independent and protective nature. Buddy, on the other hand, is the opposite. He is definitely a velcro dog who has no sense of personal space, which makes the two of them the best of both worlds.

What are you reading now? 
I am currently reading a fantasy titled The Emperor’s Blade.

What is your secret talent that no one knows about?
My secret talent that no one knows about is that I can balance my body weight on my hands and head.

What is your favorite family tradition or ritual?
My favorite family tradition, which I started with my husband, is making tamales for Christmas.

What is your favorite podcast or what podcast are you currently listening to right now?
My favorite podcast at the moment is “Stuff You Should Know.”

Social/Emotional Program Mindfulness, by Kelly McRee

Dear Beloved Parents,


I want to introduce you to a favorite parenting expert and the author of a great book that I love, Dr. Laura Markham, who wrote Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids. She has an amazing website and an online parenting class. Check out her amazing website at This week I want to share one of her current blog posts.

The Secret to Raising a Resilient Child

Life is full of hard knocks.  What makes some people get up the next morning determined to try again, while others give up?  Resilience.

There's a common misconception that children develop resilience by failing. Actually, children develop resilience by dealing successfully with failure.

When children have the support to get up and try again, they learn they can survive adversity and come out okay.  When a child doesn't have that support, all he learns from failing is that he's the kind of person who fails.

So what kind of support can help your child turn failure into the confidence that no matter what happens, she can handle it?  

1. Your care and understanding. The security of knowing that someone is watching out for him is what allows a child to explore, to risk bumps, disappointment and hurt feelings, and to come out the other side. So don't try to talk her out of her feelings when she doesn't get the part in the play. Instead, empathize with her disappointment and honor her grief. With your support, she'll feel those big emotions and move past them, instead of freezing them inside, which locks in that feeling of failure. She learns from experience that she can tolerate any emotion she feels and come out the other side, and the sun will come up the next day.

2. The experience of solving problems. Manage your own anxiety so you don't make a habit of rescuing your child. Instead, when she gets into a jam, support her in brainstorming possible solutions. If you lecture, teach or solve the problem for her, you're teaching her that she can't solve things herself. Your goal isn't just to solve the problem, but to support your child to feel more capable by giving backup so that she can successfully handle the challenge.

3. Emotional regulation. When kids feel overwhelmed by their emotions, they crumble. By contrast, kids who have better emotional regulation can tolerate the disappointment of losing, or the frustration of practicing as they master their craft. They're more likely to apply themselves, and to overcome setbacks. How can you help your child develop emotional regulation? Accept and allow all emotions, even when you need to limit behavior.

4. The experience of mastery. Developing grit--that quality of pushing through obstacles as we pursue something about which we're passionate--depends on the child working hard to accomplish her own goals, whether that's mastering a jump shot, short story, recipe or camping trip.  Notice that the motivation comes from within, not to please us, so it has to be the child's own interest. Make sure that your child gets plenty of time to initiate and pursue his own passions, which isn't always easy in this age of homework and screen time.

Knowing that someone cares, and is there to help him pick up the pieces, is the foundation of resilience. You can't protect your child from the rain that falls in every life. What you can do is make sure that he knows how to find an umbrella, and has the confidence to make it through the storm. To teach him that, you don't withhold the umbrella and make him stand out in the rain. You provide backup, coaching him repeatedly so he learns how to find or build an umbrella and has the emotional strength to do that, even when the rain pours down.

Now's the time to start practicing. Some day, your child will look back and remember that he's dealt with hard times before, and he came out fine. It's your unwavering love that will get him there.