Monday, September 28, 2015

Principal Update

CELEBRATIONS
COLLEGE READINESS
It is never too early to begin preparing for college!  Our kindergarten students are well on their way.  Each week they are being introduced to a new College Work of the Week.  The students discuss the word, its meaning and various examples of the word.  Don’t forget to ask your kindergartner about this week’s college word!

Watch D.O.G.S.
We had a great turn out at our Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) Kick Off.  Click here for the Sign-Up Genius if you are interested in being a Watch “DOG” this school year.  For more information or if you have questions about the program, please contact our Top DOG, Chris Zeschuk @ czeschuk@hotmail.com.  

CAMPUS NEWS
WESTWOOD H.S. VS. McNEIL H.S. - SOCK & UNDERWEAR DRIVE
Westwood High School Principal, Mrs. Arterbury, invites all Westwood Feeder Pattern schools to participate in the annual  Westwood H.S. vs. McNeil H.S. Sock & Underwear Drive.  This is a friendly competition to collect new no-show socks and underwear for the RRISD Clothes Closet for elementary-high school age children.  The losing principal has to wear the other one’s jersey at the football game.  Mrs. Arterbury says she doesn’t look good in McNeil gear!   
The drive will end on October 7, 2015. Please send any new socks &  underwear for kids to the front office at Canyon Creek, if you'd like to donate to the cause.

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING at CCE?
We always welcome parent volunteers at CCE.  Our parents are our biggest partners and your help and support are critical.  You can complete your application online by clicking here.  If  you want to volunteer but do not have a social security number, please stop by our front office for a paper application and we will make sure your application gets submitted.  


COMING SOON
LOVE AND LOGIC PARENTING CLASSES
Love and Logic is a philosophy founded by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D.  The Love and Logic Institute is dedicated to making parenting and teaching fun and rewarding, instead of stressful and chaotic.  The Love and Logic parenting classes work with parents to teach positive ways to develop their children to be responsible, caring, honest and thoughtful by using The Love and Logic Curriculum.
Classes will be offered at Anderson Mill Elementary:
In Spanish: on October 21, 2015 from 8:00-10:00 a.m.
In English: on October 28, 2015 from 8:00-10:00 a.m.
To register please contact Jackie Cyriac, Parent Specialist @      
jackie_cyriac@roundrockisd.org.


REMINDERS
PTA REFLECTIONS - LET YOUR IMAGINATION FLY
Reflections is a National PTA program which focuses on encouraging artistic talent among students.  The areas that the students may submit entries in are: Visual Arts, Literature, Photography, Musical Composition, Film Production and Dance Choreography.  The four grade divisions for the participants are: Primary (preschool-grade 2), Intermediate (grades 3-5), Middle/Junior (grades 6-8) and Senior (grades 9-12).  The theme for this year is “Let Your Imagination Fly”.  All entries are due by November 6th.  Information was sent home with students.  More information and rules for participation can be accessed at http://www.txpta.org/programs/reflections/participate/.  


ROBO LAB
Robo Lab is making preparations to begin in October!  Robo Lab is a Lego robotics class, which takes place during the school day for third, fourth and fifth graders in the fall and second graders in the spring. Click here to see the schedule for third, fourth and fifth grade.  The children learn math, science and technology concepts, as well as problem solving and teamwork. It is paid for with your PTA contributions.  We encourage parents to come see Robo Lab in action and volunteer to lend a hand. You do not need to know anything about Lego robotics, just be interested and encouraging! The volunteer sign up will be available soon. Contact Carol Wada at ccwada@sbcglobal.net with any questions.

LUNCHROOM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
It is our goal to provide our students with a fine dining experience in the cafeteria during lunch.  If you are available to volunteer your time to assist students during this time, your extra set of hands would be greatly appreciated.  Volunteering in the cafeteria is a fun way to interact with not only your child, but other Canyon Creek Comets.  Click here for the Sign-Up Genius to volunteer.  


IMPORTANT DATES
Wednesday, September 30th Toy Drive ends

Friday, October 2nd Box Tops Collection ends

Sunday, October 4th PTA Green Team Clean Up Day at CCE, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Tuesday, October 6th Site Based Advisory Meeting, 3:15 p.m.

Wednesday, October 7th Gr. 2 OLSAT Testing

Thursday, October 8th Gr. 2 OLSAT Testing

Monday, October 12th Student Holiday (no school!)

Thursday, October 15th Homeroom Parent Information Meeting, 7:45 a.m., Library

Wednesday, October 21st PTA Board Meeting, 10 a.m., Parent Resource Center

Monday, October 26th Red Ribbon Week Begins!

Wednesday, October 28th Early Release Day, 12:45 p.m.

Friday, October 30th Gr. 2 Field Trip - Inner Space Cavern


Sincerely,
Jenny Kasson
Principal

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Principal Update

CELEBRATIONS
NEW FACES IN THE OFFICE
We have a few new faces in our front office.  Please help me welcome Cynthia Quesnel, our Registrar, Laura Lewis, our Administrative Associate and Charlsie Weidright, our Nurse.  These awesome ladies are here to support our campus.  Please don’t hesitate to stop by the office with any questions you might have.  



BLUE JEAN DRIVE
Blue Jeans Go Green!  Fourth grade Project Based Learning project
Please  recycle  your  new  and  gently  used  denim  jeans  and  jackets.    Fourth  Grade students will  be  collecting  items  beginning Tuesday, October 13th  through  Friday,  October 23rd.  The collection  box  will  be located  in  the  hallway  by  the  1st  floor  elevator.  All denim will be donated to the RRISD Clothes Closet.  Let’s continue our tradition of generosity at CCE!

GROWTH MINDSET IS HAPPENING IN FIFTH GRADE!
Kids tend to fare better when they regard intelligence and other abilities not as fixed traits that they either have or lack, but as attributes that can be improved through effort.  Contrary to popular belief, high achievement isn’t merely a product of talent and ability.  In fact, our internal beliefs about our own abilities, skills and potential actually fuel behavioral patterns and predict success.  Our fifth grade teachers recognize this and are encouraging and teaching their students how to reframe their thinking to a growth mindset model.  Check out this great visual hanging in the hallway.  


CAMPUS NEWS
STAAR REPORTS
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has now released the statewide passing rates for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) mathematics tests in grades 3-8.  The State Board of Education adopted new rigorous math standards in April 2012 with implementation for grades K-8 in the 2014-2015 school year.  Due to Commissioner Williams along with teachers, parents and superintendents across the state, the decision was made to exclude these results  from the 2015 state accountability system.  We now have the 2014-2015 Confidential Student Reports for students who took STAAR last school year.  Expect these to be sent home with students on Tuesday, September 22nd in students’ Tuesday Folders.  

IXL
We are pleased to share that Canyon Creek will continue using the online math resource, IXL.  IXL is a comprehensive math review site with an unlimited number of practice questions in thousands of skills-all of which are aligned to state standards.  One of the best things about IXL is that your child can access it from home, so you have a chance to see your child’s progress.  We encourage all students to utilize this resource throughout the week.  IXL is designed to help your child learn at his or her own pace.  The website is adaptive and will adjust to your child’s demonstrated ability level.  The site also saves all of your child’s results, so you and the classroom teacher can monitor progress being made.
You should receive your child’s log-in information from your child’s teacher.  If you need assistance, please contact the teacher.  We look forward to seeing students take advantage of this resource and strengthen math skills taught at school.

BUDDY BENCH PROJECT & TOY DRIVE
Have you ever heard of a Buddy Bench on a school playground?  Well...Canyon Creek will have one very soon.  This is a project we have been looking into since last school year.  It was fate when a middle school Girl Scout (a former Comet) asked about completing a project at Canyon Creek in order to obtain her Girl Scouts Silver Award.  

About the Buddy Bench….
The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.  The way the Buddy Bench works is if students feel lonely on the playground without anything to do, they can go to the Buddy Bench and another student will come to the bench and ask to play or talk.  This whole idea began when a second grade student noticed lonely friends on the playground.  The story spread quickly and now more and more schools are adding a Buddy Bench to their playground.  

Our Girl Scout would like to have a toy drive from September 21st - September 30th.  The purpose of this drive is to collect small toys, including cards, small game boards (without too many pieces), conversation starters, etc.  These items will accompany the Buddy Bench as a way to help engage students on the playground.  If you would like to donate, the donation box is located in the school office.  



GEOGRAPHY BEE PARENT INFORMATION MEETING
Preparations for our 2nd Annual National Geographic Geography Bee are underway.  Students in fourth and fifth grades are eligible to participate in the Geography Bee.  There will be an information meeting for parents who are interested in learning more about this enrichment opportunity.  The meeting will take place on Thursday, September 24th, 7:45 a.m. in the CCE Library.  If you have questions prior to the meeting, please contact Mary Anne Hettenhaus @ Maryanne_hettenhaus@roundrockisd.org.


COMING SOON
CHERISHED ART FUNDRAISER
The Cherished Art Fundraiser is coming soon!  The CCE Art and Music Departments will be offering unique products through Cherished Art again this year!  Your student's artwork can be reproduced on t-shirts, aprons, coffee mugs, key chains, note cards ... you name it, we can do it!  Proceeds from this sale directly benefit the Canyon Creek Art and Music departments and will be used to supplement our RRISD budget.  Look for more information in mid-to-late October regarding sale deadlines and products offered.  Products will be delivered in plenty of time for holiday giving!  Participation in this fundraiser is optional, but we do ask that you return your student's artwork to us regardless of your participation.   The artwork will be included in your child's art portfolio.  You may also submit siblings' artwork, and even your own!  Questions?  Contact either Debbie Martin (Music) or Sharon Preston (Art).

PTA REFLECTIONS - LET YOUR IMAGINATION FLY
Reflections is a National PTA program which focuses on encouraging artistic talent among students.  The areas that the students may submit entries in are: Visual Arts, Literature, Photography, Musical Composition, Film Production and Dance Choreography.  The four grade divisions for the participants are: Primary (preschool-grade 2), Intermediate (grades 3-5), Middle/Junior (grades 6-8) and Senior (grades 9-12).  The theme for this year is “Let Your Imagination Fly”.  All entries are due by November 6th.  More information will be sent home with students soon.  Rules for participation can be accessed at http://www.txpta.org/programs/reflections/participate/.  

ROBO LAB
Robo Lab is making preparations to begin in October!  Robo Lab is a Lego robotics class, which takes place during the school day for third, fourth and fifth graders in the fall and second graders in the spring. Click here to see the schedule for third, fourth and fifth grade.  The children learn math, science and technology concepts, as well as problem solving and teamwork. It is paid for with your PTA contributions.  We encourage parents to come see Robo Lab in action and volunteer to lend a hand. You do not need to know anything about Lego robotics, just be interested and encouraging! The volunteer sign up will be available soon. Contact Carol Wada at ccwada@sbcglobal.net with any questions.

REMINDERS
MATH PENTATHLON
Friday, September 18th is the last day to register your child for Math Pentathlon!  Click here to register and learn more details about Math Pentathlon.  Contact Shipra Jain @ shipra_jain@hotmail.com or Prarthna Sesh @ prarthna.seshatre@gmail.com if you have questions.

BOX TOPS
Don’t stop collecting those Box Tops!  There are prizes at stake, here!  Our school wide competition will end on Friday, October 2nd!  Also, don't forget that the HEB Box Tops special promotion is taking place Sept. 16th - Sept. 29th. If you purchase 10 General Mills Box Top items you get a certificate for 60 bonus box tops.  And... if you buy 15 box tops items, you get a certificate for 100 bonus box tops! Go to http://www.boxtops4education.com/participating-products to see the list of participating products to plan your purchases. Each child that brings in an HEB Bonus certificate of 60 or more will get a small prize. Thanks for making this such a fun and important fundraising opportunity for CCE! Contact Cory Vessa at vessacory@hotmail.com if you have any questions. Thank you to our sponsors - Papa John's Pizza at Volente Plaza, Qualtech Automotive, Prima Pizza Pasta, Subway at Four Points and Ms. Doughnuts.

LUNCHROOM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
It is our goal to provide our students with a fine dining experience in the cafeteria during lunch.  If you are available to volunteer your time to assist students during this time, your extra set of hands would be greatly appreciated.  Volunteering in the cafeteria is a fun way to interact with not only your child, but other Canyon Creek Comets.  Click here for the Sign-Up Genius to volunteer.  



IMPORTANT DATES
Friday, September 18th Deadline to sign up for Destination Imagination & Math Pentathlon

Monday, September 21st Vision & Hearing Screening, Toy Drive begins

Wednesday, September 23rd Early Release, 12:45 p.m.

Thursday, September 24th Picture Day & Geography Bee Parent Meeting, 7:45 a.m.

Friday, September 30th Toy Drive ends

Friday, October 2nd Box Tops Collection ends

Sunday, October 4th PTA Green Team Clean Up Day at CCE, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Sincerely,
Jenny Kasson

Principal

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Principal Update


CELEBRATIONS
SINGING STARS
We are excited to share that 91 fourth and fifth grade students are participating in our Singing Stars choir!  Mrs. Martin does such an amazing job with our students.  The participation continues to increase each year.  This just may be the largest elementary choir in our district!  Singing Stars’ first public performance will be on Monday, November 9th, 7 p.m. at the Westwood Learning Community Concert which will be held at the Raymond E. Hartfield Performing Arts Center.

CAPTURING KIDS’ HEARTS
“If you have a child’s heart, you have his head.”
--Flip Flippen
This is our second year to implement learnings from Capturing Kids’ Hearts training.  Capturing Kids’ Hearts is a powerful process that allows every member of the school family to foster and become part of a high-performing learning community.  The goal is to develop healthy relationships between school adults and students and to teach effective skills to help:
  • develop self-managing classrooms and decrease discipline issues through the use of the Social Contract
  • utilize the EXCEL Teaching Model and reinforce the role of emotional intelligence in teaching
  • build classroom rapport and teamwork to create a safe, trusting environment
  • develop students’ empathy for diverse cultures/backgrounds
  • increase classroom attendance by building students’ motivation and helping them take responsibility for their actions and performance

One of the components of CKHs you may have already observed is teachers greeting students with a handshake each morning.  The Social Contract is another component and is the backbone of Capturing Kids’ Hearts.  Each classroom spent time the first day of school getting to know each other and developing their Social Contract.  The contract involves students and the teacher talking through these 4 questions: (1) How do you want to be treated by the teacher?  (2) How do you want to treat each other? (3) How do you think the teacher wants to be treated? (4) How will we treat each other during times of conflict?  Here are a few examples of actual contracts in our classrooms.  The Canyon Creek staff also follows a Social Contract!




CAMPUS NEWS
OPEN HOUSE NEXT WEEK
Tuesday, September 15th will be our Open House night.  The purpose for this night is for parents to meet with their child’s teacher, learn more about the classroom and grade level and learn about systems, procedures and more.  Information provided during this time will help ensure a successful school year for you and your child! Due to limited space in our classrooms, we encourage parents to attend without their children, if possible.  We will follow a tight schedule so arriving on time will be very important.  Our first PTA meeting will take place in the cafeteria as well.   We hope to see you there.  The schedule for this event is below:

              6:00 p.m. Kinder, First and Second Grades Open House
              6:30 p.m. PTA Meeting in the Cafeteria
              7:00 p.m. Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades Open House

MATH PENTATHLON
Math Pentathlon registration for 2015-2016 is open now until September 18th.  Click here to register and learn more details about Math Pentathlon.  Contact Shipra Jain @ shipra_jain@hotmail.com or Prathna Sesh @ prarthna.seshatre@gmail.com if you have questions.

WATCH DOGS KICK OFF
Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) is a one-of-a-kind, school based father involvement program that works to support education and safety.  Who are WatchDOGS?  Father, grandfathers, step-fathers, uncles and other father figures who are willing to volunteer to serve at least one day a year in a variety of school activities assigned by the school administrators.  Activities may include reading with students, playing during recess, lending a hand in the cafeteria, assisting with traffic and participating in classroom lessons.  Our annual Watch D.O.G.S. Pizza Kick Off event will take place on Thursday, September 17th at 6 p.m. in the CCE Cafeteria.  Please attend to learn more about the program, sign up to volunteer and enjoy pizza with other “D.O.G.S.” and their kids (yes, kids are welcome to attend!).  Click here to RSVP for the Kick Off event.

LUNCHROOM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
It is our goal to provide our students with a fine dining experience in the cafeteria during lunch.  If you are available to volunteer your time to assist students during this time, your extra set of hands would be greatly appreciated.  Volunteering in the cafeteria is a fun way to interact with not only your child, but other Canyon Creek Comets.  Click here for the Sign-Up Genius to volunteer.  


GEOGRAPHY BEE PARENT INFORMATION MEETING
Preparations for our 2nd Annual Geography Bee are underway.  Students in fourth and fifth grade are eligible to participate in the Geography Bee.  There will be an information meeting for parents who are interested in learning more about this enrichment opportunity.  The meeting will take place on Thursday, September 24th, 7:45 a.m. in the CCE Library.  If you have questions prior to the meeting, please contact Mary Anne Hettenhaus @ Maryanne_hettenhaus@roundrockisd.org.

REMINDERS
JOIN PTA
Please consider joining the Canyon Creek PTA.  Your donation makes the many programs our PTA offers our students possible.  Our PTA utilizes a one-time Opt-Out donation to remove the majority of fundraising events it would take to provide the level of service our PTA provides.  Please visit the PTA website to join and/or to sign up to volunteer.  There are still open positions in need of volunteers.

BOX TOPS
Our annual Box Top Collection Competition started this week (Sept. 8 - Oct. 2).  Classes compete to bring in the most Box Tops and win prizes! Also, don't forget that the HEB Box Tops special promotion is coming soon, Sept. 16 - Sept. 29. If you purchase 10 General Mills Box Top items you get a certificate for 60 bonus box tops.  And... if you buy 15 box tops items, you get a certificate for 100 bonus box tops! Go to http://www.boxtops4education.com/participating-products to see the list of participating products to plan your purchases. Each child that brings in an HEB Bonus certificate of 60 or more will get a small prize. Thanks for making this such a fun and important fundraising opportunity for CCE! Contact Cory Vessa at vessacory@hotmail.com if you have any questions. Thanks you to our sponsors - Papa John's Pizza at Volente Plaza, Qualtech Automotive, Prima Pizza Pasta, Subway at Four Points and Ms. Doughnuts.

DESTINATION IMAGINATION
Is your child interested in participating in Destination Imagination? The DEADLINE to sign up is Friday, September, 18th!  
Please send an email to xuhaojuan@gmail.com with the following information:   
Name of the child
Grade
Teacher
Your email address
Do you know what team you want to work with? If yes, please include the name of the team manager. If you would like to sign up to be a team manager, please note this in your email.
Please include your full name and phone number. If you already have a team, please give the name of the children on the team.
An information session will take place on Wednesday, September 9th at 7 p.m. in the CCE Library.  Come learn more about Destination Imagination at CCE!  


PARENT VOLUNTEER BACKGROUND CHECK REQUIRED
Any person wishing to volunteer in RRISD is required to complete a Volunteer Application each school year.  Please click here to complete the online Volunteer application. We know the school year gets busy, so we encourage you to take care of this as soon as possible.  Once you fill out the application it will be good for the entire school year.  The online application takes less than five minutes to complete and will be processed within 48 hours.  It is important to use your legal name and click “Submit” in order for the application to be processed.  You will need to bring your photo id to campus to be verified and scanned, in order to complete the process.  

STAY IN THE KNOW
Communication with our parents is very important to us.  We want to ensure that our families stay informed of various campus events and showcase the great learning that takes place in our classrooms.  We will send “A Note from the Principal” each week via e-mail.  The note will include celebrations, campus news and important dates.  If other members of your family would like to receive these updates, please have them click on this link and sign up to receive e-News from Canyon Creek.  
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!  Do you want to review information provided in previous “Notes from the Principal”?  Follow the Principal’s Blog.  

IMPORTANT DATES
Thursday, September 10th TAG Open House, 6-7 p.m. (parents of students who currently receive TAG services, only)

Tuesday, September 15th Open House Night & PTA General Meeting
6:00 p.m. - Kinder, 1st, 2nd grades Open House             
6:30 p.m. - PTA General Meeting
7:00 p.m. - 3rd, 4th, 5th grades Open House

Wednesday, September 16th Scouting Night, Boys & Girls, 6:30 p.m., CCE Cafeteria

Thursday, September 17th Watch DOGS Kick Off/Info. Night, 6 p.m., CCE Cafeteria

Friday, September 18th Deadline to sign up for Destination Imagination & Math Pentathlon

Monday, September 21st Vision & Hearing Screening

Wednesday, September 23rd Early Release, 12:45 p.m.

Thursday, September 24th Picture Day & Geography Bee Parent Meeting, 7:45 a.m.

Sincerely,
Jenny Kasson
Principal