The Becker Way
Welcome to all our new families and welcome back to all our old friends! See below for the following information and announcements:
- Welcome from Becker Principal Valerie Borchers
- Parent Teacher Association (PTA) President's Welcome Maria Cantu Hexsel
- Connect with Becker
- Volunteer at School and with PTA
- Becker Calendar of Events and PTA Meeting Dates
- Pre-Kindergarten Welcome and Staggered Start Schedule
- Becker Cheer
- United States and Texas Pledges
- School Supplies
- Lunch Money and Process
- After School Care
- Extra-curricular clubs and classes
- Drop-in care programs
Dear Becker Elementary Families,
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! ! We're proud of our school, what we've accomplished together, and excited about starting another year. Among our many accomplishments last year, we continued our model two-way dual language program, earned status as a No Place for Hate school for the sixth year, continued our participation in the Creative Learning Initiative, and continued our Family Field Trips to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community March and Explore UT. We are excited to continue leading the way on these initiatives as we move forward together as the Becker community. Join us for our Back to School Night on September 22, 2016 at 5:30pm in the cafeteria to help us celebrate all we achieved last year and to get inspired about the new school year!
Building a Strong Foundation! The 2016-2017 Becker Elementary theme is "Building a Strong Foundation!" or "Construyendo una base solida!" Our focus will be on continuing to build on existing initiatives and implementing new ones as we continue to define the Becker way to success for all students. Specifically we'll be helping build the foundation for physical health through daily movement; academic health through Dual Language (DL) and enrichment through Gifted and Talented (GT) experiences for all; heart health through Social Emotional Learning (SEL); creative health through Creative Learning Initiative (CLI) and community health through team building and school spirit activities such as our daily morning assembly. Although I list each aspect separately they are all interconnected and together with our Becker Guidelines for Success (Perseverance, Responsibility, Respect) they are all part of the Bobcat identity and lead us on the Becker way to a passion for learning, success, and being college ready!
Academic Achievement Once again, Becker Elementary met the mark on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). We are considered as having "Met All Standards" which is great! We will continue to work hard at providing our students with the best, challenging and relevant instruction that will also show positive results on STAAR without giving in to test prep factory methods. We're achieving at high levels by doing it the Becker way!
Social Emotional Learning ( SEL) All students at Becker participate in social emotional learning lessons weekly in which we teach critical life skills. These lessons build our students' foundation for the habits of mind, knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. An explicit SEL lesson is taught each Tuesday, but the themes are integrated into daily life and activities. We'll have a 30 minute SEL share with parents at our PTA meeting on September 8, so please attend.
Inclusive Welcoming School Last year, Becker teaching staff participated in Welcoming Schools professional development, an anti-bias approach that supports Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in a developmentally appropriate way. Staff engaged in conversations about embracing family diversity, creating gender-inclusive environments, and preventing bias-based bullying and name calling. Research shows that students who experience acceptance at school are more highly motivated, engaged in learning, and committed to school. Our goal, then, is to help create an inclusive environment for all regardless of race, national origin, gender, actual or perceived sexual orientation, religion or ability. This year, we will be adding book titles reflecting this inclusivity from the recommended list of Welcoming Schools books to our library. Keep an eye out for a parent meeting about this soon!
Dual Language We are one of the schools continuing to lead the way in implementing the district's dual language immersion program in Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade. Schools from around the district and state frequently seek out Becker as an observation destination to learn from our skilled staff. Come and learn more about this amazing program in which students from all backgrounds learn both English and Spanish together at one of our upcoming Dual Language Parent Orientation sessions.
Drop-off and Pick-Up Traffic consultant and AISD police report that our procedure for both arrival and dismissal is one of the safest and best organized in the district. Still, it takes time to get over 400 students out of the school and safely into cars, on buses, and onto sidewalks. Please help us keep your children safe following our directions and all posted signs regarding stopping and parking, We are still working on improving our dismissal procedure as we deal with the challenges of increased enrollment (a good challenge) and the congestion at Bouldin and Milton and at Milton and S. 5th. I'm in communication with AISD Campus Police, Austin Police Department, and Capitol Metro. Expect any changes to be shared with you soon. Also, for the safety of your children, please follow the directions of our staff and be patient with your fellow drivers. We will treat all of our families respectfully and insist on the same in return.
Morning Assembly and Tardies We continue to meet in the gym each morning for assembly at 7:30a.m. where we celebrate birthdays, review our Guidelines for Success, and build community and school spirit. We'd love to have all our Bobcats present! Please drop your children off at school by 7:30a.m. each day so they can attend assembly and then be on time for class. Remember students are counted tardy if they are not with the class when the bell rings at 7:45a.m. Although it's not something we enjoy doing, we are required by state law and district policy to file truancy charges when students have excessive tardies (referred to as partial-day absences) and absences. Please communicate with us about any attendance/tardy concerns so that we can provide support, if needed.
School Spirit We continue working hard at building community and school spirit and have made great strides over the past three years. Morning assembly is but one of our venues for this. Bobcats show school spirit by wearing the school t-shirt on Thursdays (new day this year), a college t-shirt to school on Fridays, cheering for other student recognition and classes, and participating in all call and response activities at assembly. Our Becker school t-shirt is available for purchase in the front office at $5 for youth sizes and $7 for most adult sizes. We ask that Bobcats wear this school t-shirt on all field trips.
Back to School Night Please join us for Back to School night in the cafeteria on Thursday , September 22nd from 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. You'll get to meet our awesome staff- many whom you already know plus some amazing new members! You'll also be learning about your children's classrooms, discuss our school's performance last year and learn how to get involved as a parent. I'll also share a little about some of our new initiatives that we're certain you'll be happy to hear. Although we love having our Bobcats around, it's best if they stay at home on this night so that adults can communicate easily about the school year. However, please do not let the inability to find alternate plans for your children keep you from attending.
Identification of Gifted and Talented The Fall identification process for the Gifted and Talented (GT) program at Becker Elementary begins on September 12 and runs through September 23. The process includes three steps-nomination, screening and selection. If you are interested in nominating your Kinder-5th grade child for the GT program, please come by the school office for a parent nomination form and survey starting September 12. These nomination forms need to be returned by September 23 at 3:00pm to the school office. Nomination forms and surveys will not be accepted after this date and time.
Connect! Use Twitter and Facebook to connect with Becker! I have both a Twitter account (@vborchers) you can follow and a Facebook page (Valerie Borchers), you can like (don't worry, I can't see your personal Facebook when you like my page) where I post wonderful news about Becker. You can also follow @ BeckerElem on Twitter for news from our PTA and the Becker Elementary Facebook page, Viva Becker Elementary. We also have a Spanish Facebook group for parents, Papas de la Primaria Becker and an English Facebook Group for parents, Becker AISD. Stay connected with us to get regular doses of good news about our marvelous school!
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 512-414-2019, valerie.borchers [at] austinisd.org. We look forward to working with you and your children this year!
2. Welcome from Parent Teacher Association (PTA) President Maria Cantú Hexsel
Becker Celebrates 80 Years! Thank you for the honor of serving as your PTA President! Our ﬁfth grader (Olivia) has been at Becker since kindergarten, and our youngest (Eva) started kindergarten this year. My husband (Ricardo) and I are pleased to be a part of the Becker Community. On behalf of the PTA Executive Board, we are excited about what is to come! We need the continued support of every family, administrator, and teacher to increase family engagement and provide parent education. We will work hard to identify the needs of our teachers and students, and provide the necessary support and appreciation to our teachers and staﬀ. Please look for opportunities to give of your time, talent and treasure. Look for information on the website, in Thursday folders, and around the school for fundraising, volunteer opportunities for Fall Fest, Box Tops Collection, First Fridays and many more. We need your help! Do not hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns, or ideas at pta.president [at] beckerelementary.com .
In the Real World: check the bulletin board at the courtyard entrance doors in the hallway. Major announcements are also sent home as flyers every Thursday in each student's folder. Many of these announcements are for parents, so please make sure to read the materials that come home with your student on Thursdays to stay up-to-date with Becker events and initiatives!
Becker PTA Email Group: BeckerElem-subscribe [at] yahoogroups.com Parents, teachers, grandparents, and neighbors are all welcome to join! The best way to subscribe is to send an email to beckerelem-subscribe [at] yahoogroups.com. The moderator will approve your membership, and then you'll start receiving the group emails. Once you are a member, you can send an email to the group by addressing it to beckerelem [at] yahoogroups.com you also will get five days before each event on the Becker calendar.
Facebook group: “Becker Elementary School” – Austin, TX https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeckerAISD/
Facebook, grupo en español: “Comunidad de la Primaria Becker” https://www.facebook.com/groups/comunidadbecker/
Facebook community page: "Viva Becker" www.facebook.com/pages/Viva-Becker-Elementary/181497525224312
Twitter: @BeckerElem twitter.com/BeckerElem
We also have our wonderful school counselor's website to explore beckercounselor.weebly.com.
Becker PTA encourages all families to commit to volunteering to support Becker activities and programs.
Read to a class, help a teacher prep materials, chaperone a field trip, water the garden plots, donate some chicken feed, volunteer for a committee, help plan a school event... there's no end to ways you can help. Becker grandparents and neighbors are welcome as well, so spread the word! Visit the volunteer page for more opportunities.
Contact Renee Deeter, PTA VP-Volunteer: If you are interested in volunteering - your name & email will be added to the master “call for volunteers” distribution list. If you are chairing/coordinating an event so it can be set up on the main VolunteerSpot calendar. You will then have “organizer” rights to manage your event. Email reneedeeter [at] gmail.com to get started.
If you are able to translate English to Spanish, contact Julie Thomas (julie [at] loadedguntheory.com) and we'll put you on our translation committee to help make sure that all PTA communications are presented in both English and Spanish. You can participate as much or as little as your schedule allows.
All volunteers (including parents!) should be registered with Austin Partners in Education. This helps the school track volunteer participation, and ensures all volunteers have a current criminal background check to help maintain a safe environment for our children. Go to http://austinpartners.force.com/FindOpportunities, search by school for Becker and follow the instructions. Then take your driver’s license to Alyssa Fuentes in the office for processing through the background check system. Thank you!
The Becker calendar of events is posted on the website: http://www.beckerelementary.com/content/becker-elementary-school-calendars and the current month's calendars will be posted on the bulletin board by the courtyard entrance doors in the hallway. If you join the yahoo group you will also get reminders about events as they approach.
Please mark your calendars for PTA meeting dates (meetings will be located in the cafeteria, library or White House).
Check the Becker Calendar for PTA meetings, events, programs and volunteer opportunities!
Dear Pre-K Parents,
First things first, welcome to our Becker Family! We would like the opportunity to get to know you and your child better, hence we are inviting you to a Family School Visit the day before your Staggered Start begins. Our PreK Team will contact you to inform you which group (A ,B, or C) your child will be in. Families will have a Family School Visit. Each Family School Visit will last 20 minutes; this time will be used to give your child a tour of the classroom so that they will be familiar and comfortable with their new environment on their first day of Staggered Start.
Pre-K Staggered Start is in place to assist students in the transition from home to school. By having only a small number of students attend each day during the first couple days of school, students have the benefit of more individual attention supporting a positive first experience at school.
*Pre-K full day schedule is 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please make arrangements for your child to be picked up at 2 p.m.
Your Becker Pre-Kinder Team
LA ALEGRÍA BECKER!
İBecker, Becker es nuestra escuela!
İLos gatos monteses de Becker realmente reinan!
Estamos aprendiendo todos los días,
Creciendo inteligentes al estilo Becker
İVéanos pasar un buen rato,
Becker, Becker número uno! Viva Becker!
THE BECKER CHEER!
Becker, Becker is our school!
Becker bobcats really rule!
We are learning every day,
Growing smart the Becker way!
Watch us as we have some fun,
Becker, Becker number one! Viva Becker!
Juro lealtad a la bandera de los Estados Unidos de América,
Y a la república que representa, una nación bajo Dios,
Indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
And to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God,
Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all
Honra a la bandera de Tejas;
Te juro lealtad, Tejas, un estado
Bajo Dios, uno e indivisible.
Honor the Texas flag;
I pledge allegiance to thee,
Texas, one state under God,
one and indivisible.
School supplies ordered through the Becker PTA have been delivered to your child's classroom and will be available at Meet the Teacher on Friday or any day thereafter.
Please direct any questions to Sprout School Supplies
Each child has a 4 digit pin number that is their lunch code that comes home in your Thursday folder the first week of school. When they purchase lunch items, they will need to know their 4 digit lunch code. Parents can pay their student's lunch balance directly at the cafeteria or you can prepay online at www.mySchoolBucks.com, Click for instructions.
Click on this link to see a digital version of the current AISD Elementary School lunch menu.
Reduced Price:$.40 (click here for an application for the AISD reduced-price meal program)
Breakfast is served starting at 7:00 am in the cafeteria. If you would like your child to have breakfast at school please make sure that they arrive no later than 7:30 am.
Breakfast is Full Price:$1.50
Reduced Price:$.30 (click here for an application for the AISD reduced-price meal program)
Parents may join their child for lunch or breakfast.
Becker has excellent after-school care options. Every day after-school care is provided on campus by Creative Action and Extend A Care and shuttles from Becker go to Dougherty Arts and Helping Adolescents Lead Others. Examples of after-school activities include Olas, Green Team, yoga and robotics.
Creative Action After School-Becker (www.creativeaction.org/after-school, florinda [at] creativeaction.org, (512) 442-8773 x107)
Licensed bilingual after school care and creativity classes for pre-K through 5th grades onsite at Becker, hours: 2-2:45 pm for Pre-K ($115/month) and 2:45 pm-6:00 pm ($250/ month) (sliding scale spots available & CCMS accepted). Activities include visual art, filmmaking, music, puppetry, creative writing, acting, and more! Bilingual teaching artists support the dual language model.
Extend-A-Care (www.eackids.org, (512) 226-8228, Megan Jones, Director de Centros en Area II/Director Centers II, kmeerschaert [at] eackids.org).
On-site, licensed child care for children from pre-K through 5th grades, at Becker, hours: 2-2:45 for pre-k ($35/month) and 2:45 pm-6:30 pm, $241/full month with discounts for additional siblings but sliding scale available for kids on free or reduced lunch (contact EAC for details).
Creativity Club - Dougherty Arts (www.austintexas.gov/page/dougherty-after-school, 1100 Barton Springs Rd., (512) 974-4040).
Bus picks up from Becker, licensed child care at for kids from 5-12 years old, hours: 3 pm-6 pm, $258/full month.
Picks up from Becker, sports and leadership program for kids from pre-K-5th, hours: 2 pm-6 pm, $250/month; $200 for 3 days/week; $175 for 2 days/week, scholarships available.
Boys and Girls Club at Meadowbrook (1201 W. Live Oak St., (512) 203-6524, Steven Zuniga, Meadowbrook Club Director, Steven.Zuniga [at] bgcaustin.org).
Afterschool club for kids 6-18 years old, $1 to $5/child, not licensed child care, kids need to walk there.
South Austin Recreation Center (1100 Cumberland Rd., 512-444-6601, devon.farber [at] austintexas.gov).
Licensed child care for children from K-5th grades, hours 2:45-6 pm, $100/month but no pickup from Becker. If 5 or more students from Becker enrolled, the recreation center would pick up. Carpooling could also be explored.
There are a variety of after-school clubs and classes that meet, including choir, Green Team, robotics, yoga and more. Look for announcements to come home.
Jump! Gymnastics, 2919 Manchaca Rd. #205, 78704, 512-593-6226, info [at] jumpgymnastics.com">info [at] jumpgymnastics.com, www.jumpgymnastics.com
Kidspa, 5700 W. Slaughter Ln, 78749, 512-301-5772, http://www.kidspaaustin.com/circle-c-ranch/drop-in-childcare
Clubhouse for Kids, 3601 W. William Cannon, Suite 600, 512-892-CLUB, http://www.clubhouse-kids.com
Treetops Learning Center, 1700 W. 32nd St, 78703, 512-467-8500, treetopslearning [at] gmail.com, http://www.treetopslearningcenter.com/dropin.html