Saturday, October 27, 2012


Hello Baldwin Community, 

WOW! we have completed 9 weeks of classes already! Can you believe it? Your children and the Baldwin staff have been extremely busy these first nine weeks of classes. Your children learned about prominent Hispanic figures and their contributions to our world during Hispanic Heritage Month, some students wrote personal narratives and biographies, and others learned about the states of matter at many different levels. Students' work is displayed throughout the building and it is evident that they have been working hard and have been learning some very difficult concepts. One of my favorite things to do everyday, is to walk through the building reading and reviewing the work that is on display. I also love visiting classrooms and hearing your children make connections across the content areas and to their personal experiences. Thank you for continuing to reinforce their learning with the daily homework and home discussions. 

The Baldwin Carnival was so much fun this year. The children were very excited with all of the games and activities. The mechanical bull was new at the carnival and even I attempted to break the record. I was challenged by a fourth grader to stay on longer than him but I didn't do as well as he did. Robert stayed on the bull for 37 seconds and I only stayed on for 7 seconds. Yes, that's right, only 7 seconds. I hope that bull is ready for me next year! During the course of the evening, I had 19 cascarones broken on my head. The students were all very kind and gentle as they cracked the cascarones on me and I had to shake off a few times before I could get all of the confetti out of my hair and clothes. I think I will need to buy a few dozen cascarones next year and be ready to strike back. The food was delicious again this year and the drum band was also very entertaining during the time I sat down to eat. The train was a lot of fun too. I jumped in the train with Gabriel, one of our second graders, and we had so much fun together. I want to thank Erica Macias, the Carnival Coordinator; she started organizing this year's carnival back in early August and she never lost her smile. I also want to thank our PTA President, Kelsey Friedman for working alongside Erica and helping her find the many, many volunteers to help with the preparations, with the booths and with the clean up. I remember seeing many, many parents before, during and after the carnival working to make this event very special for our children. I won't attempt to name everyone I saw because I know I will forget many of you. I do want everyone to know that our annual Carnival would not be possible without all of the efforts each one of our families puts forth. At the end of the night, one of our students came up to me and said, "Dr. Pena , I can't wait for next year's carnival!" You know what, I can't wait either! Thank you again to all of you for making our carnival a special time for all of us but especially for the children. 

The fifth graders went to Camp Champions this past week and they had a blast! As I helped them pack the buses to leave on Wednesday morning you could see the excitement in each of the children. When they arrived back at Baldwin on Thursday afternoon, they were exhausted but yet so excited to tell me all that they did while at camp. One student said, "I had the best time ever! I learned so much and I had such a great time with the other fifth graders." The teachers that attended camp reported that our students were an outstanding representation of Baldwin and that they learned so much in those two days, including what it is to be a team player, show perseverance and have courage. Thank you to our fifth grade teachers and support staff that accompanied our students and thank you parents for allowing them to attend camp. 

Have you heard that we are having a parade at Baldwin this Wednesday? It's true! We are having our first annual "Vocabulary Parade" this Wednesday at 8:15 am. in the front circle of our school. Mrs. Dethlefsen and our teachers have read the book "Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster" to all of the students so that they could understand what this parade would be all about. We would like all of our students to select a vocabulary word, which will then become their costume. We would like for them to choose a word that they don't know and learn it with you and then come in a costume that represents their word. The parade will be here soon so put your thinking caps on! How would you show the word adrift? or shortsighted? or Zigzag? Help us make vocabulary building a Parade of Words by having your child participate in the parade. We would love to have parents, grandparents and community members come watch the parade so don't forget it is on Wednesday at 8:15 am. See you then! 

I want to take this time to remind parents about the school policy regarding visitors during lunch time. We love having visitors at our school throughout the day and we want you to keep coming. However, during lunch time, if you decide to come eat with your child, we ask that you have your child eat with you at the parent/visitor tables. This is time that you have set aside to eat with your child and we want you to enjoy it with him/her. It is not acceptable to eat at the table that is assigned to the class with all of the other children and it is not ok for your child to invite a friend to the parent/visitor table either. If you come to the school to eat with your child, we ask that you eat at the parent/visitor table with your child only. This policy has been in effect since we opened Baldwin three years ago and we are making sure that everyone is following our school policy. Thank you for your support in following this school rule. 

Don't forget that the deadline to sign up to participate in the HEB gift card program is this Wednesday, October 31st. The funds that were raised last year by the PTA through the HEB gift card program helped us fund a part time technology specialist. Ms. Trevino started with us this week and she is already working in the computer lab assisting teachers and students and helping us throughout the building with troubleshooting. The more participants we have in this program, the more money that is then given back to Baldwin. Also, this year, the PTA is giving an Ice Cream party to the class that has the most participants sign up for this program. I heard on Friday, that Mrs. Lengle's class was ahead. Let's see if we get any more participants in other classes. Thanks for your support!

I look forward to these next nine weeks of learning and I look forward to seeing you at Baldwin!
Roaring with Pride, 
Dr. Peña