Saturday, August 31, 2013

ROARing News!

August 31, 2013

Welcome Back Baldwin Community,

We had a very successful first week of school! We have grown in number with almost 740 students. It was so wonderful to see so many happy and excited faces enter our school building on the first day of school. As I walked through classrooms this week, I observed children busily working on writing, reading and math activities. They were already sharing their work and learning with their peers. I am always amazed with how articulate our students are when they are sharing their learning. Please continue to ask your children about their learning and ask them to give you specific details of what they did in class everyday.

As I worked in the cafeteria this week as a cafeteria monitor helping our Bobcats learn or relearn our procedures and routines, I enjoyed listening to the many, many stories the children shared with me about their summer vacations.  By the way, we are in need of cafeteria monitors; please spread the word in the neighborhood or with your family and friends. We need reliable, dependable and loving folks to help us during our lunch times. If you know of someone that is interested in this type of work, have them visit the AISD website to complete a Lunch Monitor application.

Thank you to everyone for allowing us the space and the time to establish our lunchtime routines with all of our students. I know it was not easy staying away during lunch times this week; however, we asked you not to eat with your children for this first week for grades 1-5 and for the first two weeks for those that are in PreK and Kindergarten so that we could help our children learn the routines and procedures. This has been very helpful to us and we are grateful for your support!

I want to thank all of you for helping us implement our new drop off and pick up procedures. I know that change is difficult at times but these new procedures are working well and are helping us keep all of our children safe. The children seem to have adjusted to the new “hug zone” during drop off in the cafeteria and we have already noticed that all of our classes have the space they need to line up and be comfortable every morning and especially during morning assembly on Fridays. I am very grateful to all of you for helping us implement these new procedures and helping us keep all of our Bobcats safe and happy!

I want to take this opportunity to thank our Baldwin PTA for all of the work they did this summer in and around our campus. Have you seen the school marquee as you turn in to our school drive? It is absolutely beautiful! I want to give a shout out to Mrs. Holly A. for making sure that our marquee was in place before this new school year and for working with the different companies that put it together. It’s Fabulous! Our PTA also added some beautiful benches in both of our playgrounds. The benches are purple with some Bobcat Paws on them. These are a great addition to our playgrounds. The PTA also had a running track installed around our field. The children and the teachers are already using this as part of their recess and WOW activity times. The PTA has been a vital part of our school since we opened four years ago. I highly encourage all of you to join our PTA this year. Your voices are important and your participation will help keep us working as a strong learning community. I would like to send a special “thank you” to our PTA president, Kelsey F., for continuously finding ways to support our school and your children’s learning. I am also grateful to the many, many parents that helped us get ready for the start of the new year. There were many tasks that needed to get done and we had numerous parents that came to the school to help us out. Thank you to all that have helped us already this year!

There is a new AISD Board Approved guideline regarding birthday treats that we will be implementing Baldwin. The new guideline, “Lauren’s Law” states, “a parent can provide a treat on the date of the child’s birth. Parents may bring items to celebrate their child’s birthday; however, they cannot be provided to students in the cafeteria during meal serving times.” The federal government (USDA) does not allow competitive foods during meal serving times. Since our meal serving times are from 10:15 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. we will no longer distribute birthday treats to children in the cafeteria. Please see this week’s Baldwin ROAR for more details regarding this new guideline.

Also, don’t forget that our Back to School Nights have been changed. PreK, Kinder, 1st and 2nd grades will meet on Monday, September 9th and 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will meet on Thursday, September 12th; both will be from 6:30 p.m -7:30 p.m. There will be GT informational meetings for parents on both nights beginning at 6:00 p.m.

I am excited and proud to be working with you and your children another year. If this past week is an indication of how our year will go, then I am certain we will have a successful school year!

Roaring with Pride,

Dr. Peña