Monday, September 20, 2010

Roaring News from Dr. Peña

September 20, 2010

Hello Baldwin Community! We have completed four weeks at our new school and what an exciting adventure it has been thus far! Congratulations to our students, teachers and parents for finishing these four weeks with such enthusiasm and energy.

Since this is my first blog of the new school year, Boy, do I have some "Roaring" news to share with you! Ms. Kane and I have visited classrooms for the past four weeks and we have observed exciting and challenging work in all classrooms. We have observed and heard children sharing their ideas on different topics such as "nifty numbers," "story characters," "personal memoirs," and the "constitution."  We also observed children from all different grade levels using different art tools in art class to show their creativity. As we walk through each hallway of our beautiful new school, Ms. Kane and I have to stop and admire the beautiful work that is displayed by each class.

Some of you are aware that we have morning assembly every day in the cafeteria where either Ms. Kane or I share some thoughts for the day and/or recognize students that are celebrating their birthdays or their accomplishments. We say the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag and the Texas Flag together every morning too. Every class has been assigned a week to lead the pledge of allegiance. It is very rewarding to see our student leaders take pride in modeling this for all of our bobcats. We also review our Baldwin Guidelines for Success which we say that Baldwin Bobcats will "ROAR"-by being R-respectful, O-outstanding, A-accepting, and R-responsible. The children have also become experts at our quiet signal. Ask them to show you what this is if you haven't experienced it with us.  On Fridays, it is even more exciting at morning assembly because we sing the school song together. Mrs. Stevens our music teacher wrote the school song this summer and all of our children sing it with such pride every Friday! They are pros at this! I get goose bumps when I hear them sing the school song with so much pride on Fridays!

Another great accomplishment for us since we are a new school is the formation of our first Baldwin Choir. I want to thank Ms. Stevens, our Music teacher, for taking the time to hold auditions and for getting our choir started. The students I spoke to about the choir were very excited that they were chosen and can't wait to sing for us.  Being involved in extracurricular activities is very important in the development of the whole child. We also thank you parents for encouraging your children to try-out for the Baldwin Choir. We still have many other traditions to establish at Baldwin and we have the whole year to do this together.

On another note, the Accelerated Reader program, which was purchased with funds from some anonymous donors, the PTA and our school budget will begin very soon. We are working on getting all of the necessary class lists to the company so that we can begin using the system. We will send more details on how this program will be implemented in Grades 1-5 at Baldwin.

I want to publicly thank the Baldwin PTA for all that they have accomplished and done for our school. They have been hard at work since the association was formed late last spring. Please mark your calendars for the Fall Carnival. It will take place on October 22 from 5:30-8:30. The PTA is still looking for volunteers so please visit the PTA website for more details on how you can help with this important event.  We want to make this a great carnival so make plans to attend!!

The annual PTA membership drive will be held this week; please read the information that will be sent home with your child or through the Baldwin Google Group to become a member of the Baldwin PTA. The PTA is also holding a general PTA meeting and a spirit "paw"ty  on September 21 at 6:30 p.m.  The meeting will be in the cafeteria for the adults and the "paw"ty will begin in the gym with DJ Guy. Your children will be supervised by adults while you attend the PTA meeting. As soon as the meeting concludes, we will open the partition between the cafeteria and the gym so that you can join the celebration and enjoy some dancing with your children. This will only last an hour so come to the meeting at 6:30 and then be ready to show off your dance moves.

Math Pentathlon coaches' training took place last week and we had many parents and community members join us for this training. Many of our Baldwin parents have volunteered to be coaches. Thank you to everyone who is a part of this fun and challenging program! We know our Bobcats will be learning so much through this after school activity. We are also proud that the Baldwin "Bots" will be starting this year too. Our Sister School, Kiker elementary, was kind enough to let us borrow a couple of robots to help us get started and our Baldwin PTA also donated some funds to help us purchase 2 robots. Thank You PTA for your help and thank you to the parents that are leading the Baldwin "Bots" Club.

I will begin holding a monthly parent-principal coffee hour to talk with you in an informal setting. We will hold the first one on October 1 in the cafeteria at 8:00 a.m. This forum will give us an opportunity to hear your ideas and any concerns.  There is also a principal's suggestion box in the office, if you prefer to present your concerns in an anonymous way feel free to fill out one of the forms in the office and place it in the box. I will do my best to address these concerns at the coffee times once a month and/or through this blog.  Please join us if you can on October 1 for the first parent-principal coffee hour from 8-9 a.m.

I look forward to an exciting first year together. Please visit the PTA website for volunteer opportunities at Baldwin. We will see you at Baldwin!

Go Bobcats!

Roaring with Pride,

Dr. Peña