- Pflugerville Independent School District
- Employee Newsletter
Sept. 30, 2019
Posted by Tamra Spence on 9/30/2019
Pfestival of Bands, Oct. 7
The PfISD Fine Arts department is hosting its 16th Annual Pfestival of Bands program at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 at The Pfield, 1440 W. Pecan St. Gates will open at 6 p.m.
Connally, Hendrickson, Pflugerville and Weiss High School bands will showcase their half-time performances. Cele, Dessau, Kelly Lane, Park Crest, Pflugerville and Westview Middle School bands will perform show tunes in the stands.
The community is invited to come show their support for Pflugerville ISD bands. Admission is $5 and gold passes will be accepted. Programs will also be available for purchase for $5. Presale tickets are available here.
Join the Effective Framework Design team!
Campus Administrators responded to the district’s request to help prioritize district commitments associated with the Effective School Framework. The ESF is a clear vision for what districts and schools across the state do to ensure an excellent education for all Texas students. This year, the A-Team identified Lever 5 as the area with growth opportunities. Lever 5 states that all students have rigorous learning experiences because the school ensures objective-driven daily lessons, classroom routines, and formative assessments that yield the data necessary for teachers to reflect, adjust, and deliver instruction that meets the needs of each student. We are focusing on strengthening the district’s commitments associated with Lever 5 to ensure that campuses are setup for success.
The District commitments that received the most votes from campus leaders (in order) are:
- The district ensures access to high-quality common formative assessment resources aligned to state standards for all tested areas and PK-2nd grade math and reading
- The district has effective systems for identifying and supporting struggling learners
- For assessments that are district provided and graded, the district ensures that schools receive detailed reports within two instructional days
We are thankful for our campus leadership’s feedback and for their help in focusing our work. We are committed to providing effective district systems around these ESF commitments and would like your help in this process. If you are interested in being a part of the Lever 5 Design team, please complete this interest form on or before Oct 11. This committee will meet 2-3 times after-school and focus on the system design, implementation, and improvement of the commitments list above. Thank you for volunteering to help us improve these commitments.
American Legion Veterans Scholarship for Professional Development
In recognition of Veteran’s Day, the American Legion Post 154 of Pflugerville has provided a $600 donation to the Pflugerville Education Foundation to provide a scholarship to PfISD employees honorably discharged from military service or currently serving as a member of the Guard or Reserve.
The award will be given by the Pflugerville Education Foundation during the pre-game Veterans Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 8 at The Pfield.
The scholarship can be used for any educational activity, including but not limited to working towards a degree, license, certification, or professional development needed to maintain professional status. Candidates must be PfISD employees (contractors and substitutes are not eligible).
PfISD Veterans to be honored Nov. 8
PfISD employees who served in the military will be honored on November 8 at The Pfield in a pre-game ceremony. Please mark your calendars. More information about this event will be in the October Employee Newsletter.
Help develop District Early Childhood, CCMR Plans
House Bill 3 (HB 3) amends Texas Education Code (TEC) to add Sec. 11.185 and 11.186 to include plans that target early childhood (EC) literacy and math proficiency and college, career, and military readiness (CCMR). School Boards are now required to adopt plans in early childhood literacy and math, as well as college, career, and military readiness. All plans are required to include:
Early childhood plans are required to include:
- annual goals for aggregate student growth on 3rd grade math and reading STAAR;
- annual targets for students in each group evaluated under closing the gaps domain;
- targeted professional development for classroom teachers in kindergarten through 3rd grade for campuses that the board identifies as not meeting the plan’s goals and that considers the unique needs of students in bilingual education or special language programs.
- annual targets that may be set for students in bilingual or ESL programs.
College, career, and military readiness plans are required to include:
- annual goals for aggregate student growth on CCMR readiness indicators evaluated under the student achievement domain; and
- annual targets for students in each group evaluated under closing the gaps domain.
Additional Information can be found below.
We would like to invite you to be a part of the district-level committee responsible for creating these plans. Schools should have all three required plans in place no later than the end of the 2019–2020 school year and should use the 2019–2020 school year to determine the best possible plan for their students. After-school meetings will begin in February and should terminate in March. Meeting dates are: Feb. 11, Feb. 25, and March 31 from 4:45-6:15 p.m. If you are interested in helping with this committee, please complete the following interest form on or before Nov. 15.
Fall AVID Academy
Teachers who are interested in becoming AVID trained are invited to attend the Fall AVID Academy. Teachers will attend four 2-hour sessions and will receive 6 hours of GT credit, continuous education hours and summer institute training equivalency. Sessions will be held at Westview MS and Kelly Lane MS from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. View the flyer for dates, topics and other information.
HR Front Porch Initiative
The Department of Human Resources is excited to begin our HR campus outreach initiative for the 2019-2020 school year! PfISD Human Resources will visit your campus on your assigned day in your staff lounge. During this time you will have the opportunity to visit with HR about a myriad of HR matters including any benefits, leave, or compensation questions. We are delighted to visit our district campuses and have a conversation on your "front porch." Please mark your calendars to come see us!
- Tuesday, Oct. 1:
- Wednesday, Oct. 2:
Kelly Lane MS, Rowe Lane ES
- Thursday, Oct. 3:
Delco ES, Dessau ES
- Friday, Oct. 4:
Dessau MS, Pflugerville ES, Windermere ES
- Tuesday, Oct. 8:
Caldwell ES, Highland Park ES, Dearing ES
- Wednesday, Oct. 9:
Barron ES, Wieland ES
- Thursday, Oct. 10:
Transportation/SSRV, Cele MS
Pflugerville Education Foundation offers staff Mini Grants!
The Pflugerville Education Foundation, your Education Pfoundation for student success, announces its 2019-2020 Mini-grant schedule and streamlined application process. The Pfoundation will be offering $12,000 in Mini-Grants ranging from $100-$500 per grant during the 2019-2020 school year. A minimum of 4 grants each month between October 2019 and March 2020 will be awarded. The deadline for submission is the last day of each month (including weekends) for the following month’s awards. The next deadline is October 31, 2019. Notification will be made on the third Thursday of each month following a deadline. The simplified application can be found here: https://forms.gle/e4bcnLoN5CKRB1ar9
The purpose of mini-grants is to enhance classroom instruction in areas not routinely allocated in regular budgetary funds or not eligible for reimbursement from other sources. One example of a funded project last year was Adapting for Art submitted by Parmer Lane Elementary. The Art Teacher wrote, “Many students are successful in my classroom that struggle in academic subject areas because they are able to express themselves without using words which can be a huge hurdle for some of our highest needs students. I want to do my best to meet their diverse needs, but often struggle because I don’t have the materials needed to adapt their lessons. I would like to create an adaptive art toolkit that would include adaptive supplies, creature comforts and essential tools for the students and adults who work with them.”
For questions, please contact Tina “Marie” Felan, Executive Director at 512-594-0171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAFSA Window Opens Oct. 1
For many, Oct. 1 signifies the fall – leaves turning orange and gold, and maybe pumpkin spice in their coffee. But for Pflugerville ISD high school seniors and their parents, Oct. 1 marks a significant step in the college application process.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) window opens Oct. 1, which will send high school students throughout the United States vying for limited grant, loan and work-study funds for next year’s fall semester.
To assist PfISD students in making the next jump in their lifetime journey, the district will host a series of FAFSA application completion events each Saturday in October. PfISD will also support students in getting their FAFSA and Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) paperwork done, and submitted to postsecondary institutions of their choice through the ApplyTexas portal.
“Pflugerville ISD is committed to preparing all students for the transition from high school to multiple pathways after graduation – both career and college,” said PfISD Special Programs Executive Director Cara Schwartz.
Filing for FAFSA is free, and FAFSA.gov provides a list of documents necessary to the process. Students may list up to 10 schools they are interested in attending, even if they have not yet applied or been accepted to the institutions.
“Research indicates two-thirds of almost all living wage jobs will require a postsecondary credential,” said Schwartz. “However, training for credentials can be expensive.”
The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in grants (including Pell Grants), loans and work-study funds each year to help pay for college or career school. Most students are eligible to receive financial aid from the federal government. Age, race, or field of study will not affect eligibility.
An often overlooked aspect of the application process is that many colleges, state agencies, and scholarship foundations require FAFSA in order to award scholarships and grants to middle- and upper-middle-class students attending expensive schools. Some private colleges, for example, award need-based aid to some students from families earning more than $200,000 a year.
“The overwhelming message from the college side is that there are scholarships that don’t look at financial need, but do require FAFSA/TASFA information,” said Hendrickson College and Career Counselor Leigh Ann Spradlin.
FAFSA is a prerequisite for Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Grad PLUS Loans and Parent PLUS loans. These loans are available without regard to demonstrated financial need.
PfISD FAFSA Saturday events will take place at the following dates, times and locations:
Oct. 5: Weiss High School, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Oct. 12: Pflugerville High School, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Oct. 19: Hendrickson High School, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Oct. 26: Connally High School, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For more information, please visit FAFSA.gov or review the video below about FAFSA:
2020-2021 Academic Calendar Survey
Our District Academic Advisory Council (DAAC) is requesting your feedback as part of their calendar development process. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey below to ensure your voice is considered.
The Pflugerville ISD instructional calendar is the result of a framework developed through collaboration between community, staff and district leadership. The framework is intended to balance the needs of all stakeholders, especially our students and teachers.
Discount Childcare for Connally Feeder Pattern Staff
Pflugerville ISD, in partnership with the YMCA, is now offering discounted childcare for full-time district staff members who are employed at the following campuses: Connally HS, Westview MS, Copperfield ES, Northwest ES, Parmer Lane ES and River Oaks ES. This is a pilot program. There is limited availability and spots will be given on a first come, first serve basis.
Childcare, from ages 8 weeks to 5 years, will be provided from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at Northwest Elementary School. Discounted rates are listed below. Rates include breakfast, lunch and snack. Payments will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck.
Masters & Doctoral Programs for Educators
Concordia University is offering affordable Masters and Doctoral programs for educators. There are two information sessions coming up on Wednesday, Oct. 16 and Thursday, Oct. 17. View the flyer for more details or email Andrea Ehmen at email@example.com.
Make Your Next Floral Purchase with HHS Students
We provide services to the community that include weddings, sympathy, custom arrangements and more. I have attached the flyer for this year, please consider Hawk Pfloral Shop for all of your floral needs.
In addition, Advanced Floral Design students are providing a floral subscription service, Pflower of The Month Club, to Murchison Elementary, Kelly Lane Middle School, Central Office and Support Services. This service not only allows you to have fresh flowers for your desk or loved one once a month, it provides students with more opportunities to gain hands on experience and advance their skills in floral design.
Get your Employee T-shirts and PfISD Straws!
If you have not picked up your 2019 district t-shirt “We Are Family” and would still like one, email Suzi Meyer with your size and campus. Shirts are still available in Medium, Large and X-Large. Starting Oct. 1 we will begin selling them to the general public for $5.
Support our PfISD students
Don't forget you can show your PfISD employee badge and gain free entry into any home Fine Arts production and athletic event. Support our PfISD students and view some great entertainment! Badges only work at events and activities in PfISD facilities and regular-season games (no playoff games).
Help us share the great stories on Social Media!
We’re excited to let you know about a new and easier way for you to submit photos and videos to the Community Relations Staff to use on social media.
A new email account has been established to help streamline the process of submitting content. If you have photos, videos or other content ideas you think deserve to be on your campus or the district’s social media accounts, you can now email them to SocialMedia@pfisd.net.
This will help us collect more content from teachers, administrators and staff members in the trenches doing the great work to make this district so successful.
How do I submit content?
Email your photos or videos to SocialMedia@pfisd.net and include a short description of what is happening (who, what, when, where, why) and you MUST include the names of students who appear in the photos/videos. ** This is important so the Community Relations staff can check parental permissions before posting the content.**
We prefer that you send in no more than 4 photos at a time.
Don’t know what to submit? Here are a few ideas:
- Students interacting/working together for a learning activity
- Students having fun learning (kids smiling is the best content of all!)
- Students helping each other
- Students being helpful in the classroom
- Teachers being supportive
- If it supports our mission, vision and core beliefs, send it our way.
- 100 Social Media Ideas
Did you know district employees are not permitted to hold raffles, bingo or other "games of chance" fundraisers due to charitable law? View the Employee Handbook for other policies on fundraisers.
The Board of Trustees took action on a variety of items at the September 26 regular meeting. Among other items, they approved class size waivers due to growth, our annual renewal of Microsoft Licenses, video and physical access security upgrades, as well as the purchase of an additional 125 laptops and 5 charging carts to address student needs across the District.
To view the entire Board Meeting video, visit the district's YouTube page.
Mayor's Healthiest School Awards
Fourteen Pflugerville ISD schools were recognized by the Austin Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council during the council’s annual awards ceremony. The district also was honored as one of the healthiest workplaces.
Highland Park Elementary and Parmer Lane Elementary each received Mayor’s Healthiest School Awards and mini-grants to go toward the physical education programs at the schools to help promote healthy and active lifestyles among their students. Murchison Elementary received an honorable mention for healthiest schools.
The District also was honored among the Mayor’s Healthiest Workplaces as a silver level awardee.
In addition to the honors received by Highland Park, Parmer Lane and Murchison, a total of 12 schools earned an MFHC Exemplary Rating for the 2018-19 school year. Those schools were: Caldwell Elementary, Dearing Elementary, Delco Primary (now Elementary), Highland Park Elementary, Mott Elementary, Murchison Elementary, Parmer Lane Elementary, River Oaks Elementary, Rowe Lane Elementary, Wieland Elementary, Cele Middle School and Dessau Middle School.
“Our vision in PfISD is passionately serving the best interests of students and part of that is teaching the whole child,” said PfISD Superintendent Dr. Douglas Killian. “Teaching them the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle now helps set a precedent for them moving forward. I’m proud of the efforts of all our physical education teachers in this district to make a commitment to promoting health and fitness to our students.”
Austin Mayor Steve Adler started the MHFC in 2004 and began the Mayor’s Healthiest Schools and Mayor’s Healthiest Workplaces awards in 2017.
PfISD has been among the leaders all three years of the program with Murchison among the three grant winners for the elementary level each of the first two years. Now this year, Highland Park and Parmer Lane give PfISD two of the three elementary grant winners.
Winning schools receive a $1,000 mini-grant to support their efforts toward health and wellness initiatives on campus and a commemorative banner to display.
HHS Recognized by ESPN, Special Olympics
During a special video presentation on Friday morning, Hendrickson High School was recognized by the Special Olympics and ESPN as one of the top schools in the nation for inclusion.
ESPN anchor Hannah Storm appeared by video announcing Hendrickson as a recipient of a national banner of honor, awarded to only five schools nationwide. Earlier this week, Hendrickson was named to the 2019 ESPN Honor Roll as part of its Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools National Recognition Program, joining 33 other high schools and universities as finalists for the national banner awards.
“All schools who join the inclusion revolution are on the right track to making our world a more inclusive place, but these national banner presentations are given exclusively to the elite Unified Champion Schools who have met the 10 national standards of inclusions and have been nominated by their state’s Special Olympics program,” Storm said.
PfISD Special Olympics coordinator and coach Amy Wiesenhutter said this is an amazing honor for Hendrickson to receive and one that has been earned after students and staff have created a welcoming atmosphere through years of effort and inclusion.
“I can’t begin to express how proud I am of Hawk nation,” she said. “These students have totally created a climate of acceptance for all through many different activities. The environment of Hendrickson High School has been greatly impacted by the students generating a total unified movement and choosing to include. Congratulations to Hendrickson on this well-deserved national recognition.”
Unified Champion Schools are recognized for their work in creating an inclusive environment on campus for all, turning the focus beyond Special Olympics events and to a whole school movement for inclusion. Through the program teachers, students and staff are encouraged to work together to create supportive classrooms, inclusion schoolwide activities and opportunities for growth and success.
In the video Storm said ESPN and the Special Olympics would be coming to Hendrickson to present the school with its banner. That event is currently scheduled for March.
For more information about the Special Olympics, Unified Champion Schools and Unified Sports visit www.espn.com/specialolympics.
Other schools to receive national banners of recognition from the Special Olympics and ESPN are: Bullitt East High School from Mount Washington, Kentucky; Fife High School in Fife, Washington; Miami Southridge Senior High School in Florida and Colorado State University.
- Pflugerville Education Foundation Golf Tournament: Oct. 3
- Board of Trustees Workshop: Oct. 8
- Staff Development/Student Holiday: Oct. 11
- Staff and Student Holiday: Oct. 14
- Board of Trustees Meeting: Oct. 17
To view more perks, visit The Pfair.