The 2019-2020 Class Placement Parent Input Form is currently available for you to provide input about your child’s personality and learning style for next year. Our intent is for each student to be set up for success academically, emotionally, and socially. Please refrain from making specific friend and/or teacher requests, as they will NOT be honored. This form is completely optional and certainly not necessary. However, it is an equal opportunity for parents to provide input on the best learning environment for their child if they feel inclined. All parent input is due Friday, May 17, 2019.
This week we completed our first round of STAAR testing in fourth and fifth grade. On Tuesday, fourth grade students took STAAR Writing and fifth grade took STAAR math. On Wednesday, fifth grade students took STAAR reading. We appreciate the non-testing students and teachers who kept the building quiet and created a respectful environment while their peers were testing. In May, we will have another round of STAAR testing. Third and fourth grade students will take math and reading assessments. Fifth grade students will take the science assessment and fifth grade students in 6/7 math will take the seventh grade math assessment.
Last week we recognized our first group of fifth grade leadership students. These students completed three or more leadership jobs this year and earned a leadership pin in assembly to commemorate the work they have done. We are so proud of their leadership and their willingness to give up recess time to help support students and faculty around BPE. Today we celebrated three more student leaders and we look forward to recognizing many more students each week until the end of the year!
Lost and found will be cleared out over spring break! After the very chilly start to our week our lost and found collection is overflowing! Please remind your children to visit the lost and found to claim their items before spring break.
This week we wrapped up our classroom lessons about kindness. In kindergarten through second grade classes, we read a book about kindness and then each student had the opportunity to drop a rock into water as they shared an act of kindness they had done. We discussed how the ripples in the water represent that ripple effect of each of our acts of kindness. In third through fifth grade classrooms, we shared a similar discussions and watched this beautiful Thai commercial that shows the large impact small acts of kindness can have. We are excited to introduce our new life skill, problem solving, on Monday!
As a reminder, spring break is only two weeks away! At spring break we will clear out the lost and found once again. Please encourage your children to visit the lost and found in the next two weeks to claim their items.
This week we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a day to share love, appreciation, kindness, and compassion and this Sunday, February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness day. Both of these special days line up perfectly with the launch of our final No Place for Hate activity: Project Kindness! Next week, students in each grade will fill out slips of paper with inspirational messages, compliments and other uplifting comments. Once completed, these notes will be placed in jars around the school. Students are encouraged to draw slips from these jars anytime they feel compelled to lift someone’s spirits, or even brighten their own day. This project was created by former BPE 5th graders and we are excited to carry on the project and make it a tradition!
One of our goals for the second semester and also as we look forward to the next school year is to serve more students here at BPE both individually and in a small group setting. While we have several ways we are hoping to achieve this, one change we are starting now is reformatting our small groups. Though some of groups will continue to follow our traditional 6 session format, we will also be starting three and four session mini groups. We've utilized peer models in many of our groups in the past, but we are striving to include even more peer models in each group we serve moving forward. When possible, we are also trying to serve different students in each group (i.e. minimize the number of repeat students in groups). This means many of you may be receiving information about your child joining a small group and we want you to know this should not cause concern! These are just a handful of changes you may see coming and we are so excited to get to work closely with even more students!
Over winter break we cleared out the lost and found and donated remaining items to an orphanage. We will do the same over spring break and again at the end of the school year. We clear out the lost and found both to reduce clutter and make it easier for students to find their lost items. When the lost and found gets really full it becomes more challenging to look for items. The lost and found is still thin, but it is beginning to fill up again! Please encourage your children to visit the lost and found while it is still light enough to sort through so they can claim their lost items.
As we prepare for a three day weekend, it is easy to forget why we have this Monday off from school and work. It is no accident that we chose to focus on empathy during the same month we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We recognize the powerful work Dr. King did in promoting justice and equality and, perhaps most importantly, doing so peacefully. While I imagine many of us as teachers, counselors, and parents encourage our children to stand up to injustice and inequality, I think the traits we most want our children to emulate are his empathy and compassion. Our world is quite different than it was fifty years ago, but our kids are still growing up in a very divisive climate. Dr. King’s message is just as powerful and relevant today. Our hope for this long weekend is that we can pause and reflect on what we are doing to encourage our kids to love, be empathic, and care for all people.
Welcome back from break and happy 2019! We are excited to dive head first into this second semester. It is amazing how quickly the school year has passed already! This month our life skill focus is on empathy. Empathy is a challenging skill to teach, the best way we can promote empathy within our students and community is by modeling it ourselves and encouraging our kids to practice it as frequently as possible. One of my favorite ways for practicing empathy is using characters in the books we are reading to imagine how they might be feeling in various situations throughout the story.
We have also kicked off our second No Place for Hate activity of the school year, which is a Kindness Chain. Students are encouraged to notice acts of kindness happening around campus and acts bestowed upon them. When students see or experience these acts of kindness, they are writing them down on strips of paper and adding them to chains within their classrooms. We will be building these chains over the next couple of weeks and will attach them all to one and other at the end of the month. We are excited to see how many acts of kindness are happening around Bridge Point!
In October, we worked together to create a diversity quilt that represented each individual at Bridge Point and illustrated the significant role each one of us has in shaping and contributing to our Bridge Point family. While BPE students worked on their diversity quilt, students at Barton Creek, Cedar Creek, Eanes, Forest Trail, and Valley View also created diversity quilts to represent the students on their campuses. At the beginning of December, the counselors from each of these schools gathered at the Westlake High School football stadium to bring all of our quilts together to represent our greater Eanes Westlake community! Just as each student at Bridge Point adds unique value to our school, each campus brings something special to our district as a whole. We are so pleased with how this activity panned out and are excited to share a photograph of the final project below. We are so very grateful for all of the students and their families here are Bridge Point and we feel so fortunate to be a part of your community. We hope you all have a safe and joyous winter break and we look forward to seeing you all in the new year!
Please remind your children to visit the lost & found! In an effort to keep our lost and found efficient, any unclaimed items remaining when we leave for winter break will be donated to charity. The best way to make sure your child’s lost items are returned is to clearly label them with first and last names.
This month we are focusing on mindfulness as our life skill. At this time of year in particular, we find ourselves strapped for time and energy and trying to be in multiple places at once. It’s so very important for students, teachers and parents alike to take time to slow down and practice mindfulness. Deep breathing is one of our favorite strategies! Students in third through fifth grade learned about square breathing and even made their own tool to practice. Not sure what square breathing is? Ask your child to teach you!