Austin Discovery School

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"The Hoot" :: Weekly Newsletter » Thursday, October 11, 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018



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

Amity Taylor, Assistant Principal
Deborah Freeman,Registrar & Office Manager
Kelly McRee, Social Emotional Program Director
Leigh Moss, Head of School
Lydie Jessin,Business & HR Manager
Maria Martinez,Student Services Director
Taylor Young, Operations Manager

Dates to Remember

Oct 13  Fall Fest, 2-6 pm
Oct 22  Picture Day
Nov 2   PTO Coffee Chat (8 am)
Thank you, Fantastic Fox parents, for snacks yesterday after school!  Hoot hoot! - ADS staff
From the ADS PTO
We are still welcoming volunteers for our FallFest this Saturday, Oct 13.  Please sign up at the link below.  There is also a need for baked goods, pies, caramel apples, etc --- all things you can do in advance if you are out of town and can't volunteer in person!  Sign up with this link

Pre-Sale Ticket Packages for the FallFest will start in the courtyard on Tuesday, Oct 9 and continue after school every day.  Buy your tickets early for a discount!
From the Front Office 
The Fantastic Fox, Sneaky Cheetah, Flossing Ferret, and LaLa Lizard classrooms all have a few cases of lice.  Beware and be vigilant!  The only way to get rid of lice is to physically remove each and every adult and nit.  No product will do it for you.

Have you paid your child's $50 enrichment fee for this year? Every contribution helps provide essential materials for classrooms, supports enrichment and project-based learning throughout the school, covers insurance for student laptops, and provides for consumable supplies for our essentials classes (art, music, PE, library, and ecowellness).   Please remit check or cash to the front office ASAP!  

Picture Day is Monday, October 22nd!  Paper order forms will be sent home next week, and there is a picture of the form (for those of you who want to order online now!).
Beginning-of-year conferences have begun and will continue until November 16th.  If you have not yet scheduled a time to meet with your child's teachers to discuss progress, please reach out to them!  All ADS employees have an e-mail address with the format 'first initial last name'
From Leigh Moss, Head of School

We are so excited about our new partnership with CoinUp, a revolutionary mobile donation app! CoinUp lets you donate your “spare change” to charity by virtually rounding up your everyday debit/credit card purchases. Set a monthly limit and at the end of the month your spare change is automatically sent to us! Now when you go out to eat, fill up the tank, or go shopping, you’ll also be helping to support ADS!

So far 17 ADS community members have signed up to be a part of CoinUp to help support ADS.  By the 100th day of school (that's January 31st) we're aiming for 100 new partners!  Help us reach our goal by joining CoinUp today.

Our wonderful 3-8 grade art teacher, Alejandro Moreno, is moving on to teach in a high school setting.  Beginning next week, Kelly Moses, who was displaced as a result of the recent 1st & 2nd grade consolidation, will be taking his place as the 3rd-8th grade art teacher for the remainder of this year.  

Library News
Next Thursday 10/18 from 3-4pm is an after school Science Fair work session.  If you would like your child to attend, please email Elizabeth at by Wednesday night.  I will pick up your child from class and bring them back to the library for an open work time.  Please let me know if you will pick them up at 4pm or they go to AfterCare.

The Texas Book Festival is right around the corner on 10/27 and 10/28.  I wait all year for this incredible weekend! Hundreds of authors, all free, music, activities: the most amazing weekend you will spend in Austin.  Some notable children's authors will be there, including Mary Pope Osborne, Jacqueline Woodson, Dan Santat, Minh Le, Yuyi Morales, Sharon Draper, Nathan Hale, Megan McDonald, and Matt de la Pena.

The Essentials team is busily organizing our annual Fall Into the Arts celebration for November 12-16.  If you are involved in the arts field in any way (artist, musician, architect, designer, creator, etc.) and would be interested in speaking to a class or group of classes that week about your craft, please reach out to Elizabeth at
From Taylor Young, Operations Manager
Traffic Reminders:
  • The traffic loop begins at the bottom of the hill and continues as 2 lanes throughout most of campus. Please choose a side to drive on leading past the gardens, to the stop sign, and on past the drop-off zone where it becomes one lane again to exit campus.
  • Please only pick up and drop off students in the designated area on the back side of campus. Your other option is to park in designated parking and walk with your student.
  • Please respect the areas marked as "Staff Parking" and leave these spots open for ADS employees!
  • Pedestrians, for your safety, please use the crosswalks when crossing the road.
Taylor and Tim's Donation Requests:

We need a Pressure Washer, rugged push mower, gas or battery-powered blower, a trimmer/weed eater that can handle tough grass and weeds.  We also really need assorted nuts and bolts, plus drywall and masonry wall anchors. Also, if you or someone you know has experience with small engine repair, we have some lawn equipment that is ill and needs help!

Social/Emotional Program Mindfulness, by Kelly McRee

Dear Beloved Parents,

I am convinced that gratitude and mindfulness for all is truly the key to a happy, satisfied life!  I had the pleasure this week to walk around with filmmakers on the ADS campus to capture our social emotional program and the mindfulness practice that we use around the school.  Pure Edge came out last year to train our staff in mindfulness practices and they are really trying to showcase the importance of SEL in schools!

I loved this blog from Dr. Laura Markham from  

Expressing gratitude works. The moment we start taking things for granted - whether it be our husbands or our health - those things stop making us happy." -- Sonja Lyubomirsky, Happiness Researcher

Researchers have found a concrete way to raise your happiness set point.  Every day -- as you fall asleep at night is a good time -- picture three positive things from your day and soak in how grateful you are for them.  People who do this get happier almost immediately, and stay happier for as long as they continue this practice.

Why does this work?

  • The state of gratitude is very similar to love.  Scientists say it shifts our heart into a more "coherent" (healthier) rhythm. Meditators might say it opens our hearts.

  • Focusing on the positive makes our lives better. No matter how bad things are, there is something to be grateful for. And the better you feel, the more effectively you can respond to any challenge.

  • We program our subconscious to create more of what we're appreciating; when we hold a "picture" in our mind that makes us feel good.

You can use variations of this practice all day long to shift your mood, any time. In fact, you can use it to transform your child's happiness set-point, and even your relationship with your child.

Just find three things you're grateful for about your child. Express them to your child, as specifically as you can.

  • "You worked so hard on must be so proud of yourself!”

  • “Wow! You picked up your toys! I love how orderly this room looks now!"

  • "Thank you for getting your chore done with only one reminder!"

Notice that your child doesn't have to be perfect to deserve your appreciation. The more you appreciate steps in the right direction, the more motivated your child will be to get there.

And notice this doesn't take any extra time out of your day. All it takes is for you to notice anything positive, and express it to your child. In fact, if you really want to see a child blossom, try an avalanche of appreciation. Why stop at three things?

Acknowledge your child throughout the day with as much enthusiasm as you can. Instead of evaluation ("You're my good girl"), be as specific as possible about what she's doing, or about how you feel.

  • "I notice you got your pajamas on all by yourself!"

  • "Thank you for helping your sister with that."

  • "I appreciate how you took care of that."

  • “You two kids figured out how to make that feel fair to everyone all by yourselves!”

  • "I love how you help me find things in the grocery store....It's so much fun to work with you!"

Just express your appreciation as many times as you can, every day for a week, accompanied frequently by an affectionate hug. Watch your child's happiness set point -- and your relationship with your child -- transform.