Primary Pride

                                                        PRIMARY NEWSLETTER
Top Lion
Dear Parents,
 
Things are very busy right now with appraisal conferences, attendance committee meetings, and end of year requirements. We are also preparing for our Book Fair next week - information went home yesterday! Next Wednesday, the 26th, is our second Student Led Conference Day for this year. Remember that these are not parent-teacher conferences, but times for your child(ren) to show what they have learned and how much they have grown. IB believes in student-centered and whole child learning in the PYP, and having them take responsibility and understand their learning is a part of that. We know that parking will again be a problem so we ask that you communicate with your child's teacher and that you come at the assigned time as much as possible. The book fair will be open that night until 6, so there is plenty of time to shop!
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
Attendance Letters
These letters recently went out for the third quarter of the school year.   This is due to the policies as outlined in the Student-Parent Handbook. Each family has signed that they have read this document, so this should be no surprise to anyone. Letters are for your information unless marked as a concern area on the front. The attendance committee will be meeting in the coming weeks for students who have received these letters marked as having a required meeting - again, as is written in the policy. Meridian works hard to help families in situations where severe illness, surgery, etc. is involved.  As I've said many times, 3 tardies equal an absence and when you have 39 tardies you are looking at 13 absences and this can also result in these meetings. Financially these absences have a huge impact on our school - and on our school rating!  This is why charter schools are allowed to release students to return to their home campus for excessive absences. Please make sure you are considering this information as we go through this fourth quarter!   
Book Fair
The spring book fair is the "buy one get one free" book fair! It will be held next week in the primary library. On Monday (4/24) from 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.;  and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  We hope to see you there!
FitnessGram
FitnessGram testing will begin this week for 3rd-5th grade students. This program is required by the state of Texas for all public schools in their physical education program. FitnessGram is a fitness assessment and reporting program for youth. There are 7 components that are tested in grades 3-5:  shoulder stretch, trunk lift, curl-ups, push-ups, body composition (height and weight), and a pacer test for running endurance. Students will complete different components with Coach Taylor and Coach Griffin over the course of the rest of the year. We encourage students not to stress over their scores, as this is just a "check-in" we do each year to see how they have progressed from the year before. 
Resolution
At last month's Meridian School Board Meeting a Resolution Supporting the Student Community was adopted.   This is similar to what has been done in area districts and matches well with the IB philosophy!    The Resolution can be found on our website and on Facebook   Click here to read the Resolution.    
April 30th is FINAL DEADLINE to Pre-Order Yearbook
The final deadline to pre-order your yearbook is April 30th(while supplies last). The current price is $45. Personalizations are no longer available.  IF we do not sell out online, extra books will be sold for $55 on a first-come, first-served basis when the books are delivered in May.  Order today and save yourself $10 and a panic attack when you realize your kiddo could end up without a book! Order HERE.
Calendar
April 24-27 - Scholastic Book Fair (see above for hours)
April 26 - Student Led Conferences and Book Fair
April 28 - Orchestra Concert 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the Gym
May 2 - Second Grade Off Campus Learning Experience
May 4 - First Thursday event in Round Rock (p.m.)
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 10 - STAAR for 5th grade science
May 11-12 - STAAR Make-up testing
May 18 - 5th Grade Exhibition  5:30-7:00 p.m.
May 19 - Wellness Day
May 22 - Switch Day
May 24 - No Early Release Wednesday - full day of school
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties - spirit wear day for staff and students
 
August 1 - Meet the Teacher evening for 1st and 5th grades 5:30 - 7:00
August 2 - Meet the Teacher evening for 2nd and 3rd  grades 5:30 - 7:00
August 3 - Meet the Teacher evening for 4th grade and Kindergarten 5:30 - 7:00
August 9 - First Day of School for the 2017-2018 School Year!
August 21 - Meet the Teacher evening for 1st and 5th grades 6:00 p.m.
August 22 - Meet the Teacher evening for 2nd and 3rd  grades 6:00 p.m.
August 23 - Meet the Teacher evening for 4th grade and kindergarten 6:00 p.m.

Sincerely,
April 19, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
TX Public Charter Schools Rally
Wednesday, April 26
 
Sign up to catch a ride to the Capitol HERE!
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 


 
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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Dear Parents,
  
We are wishing great luck and a great experience to our MYP colleagues today as they continue their MYP Verification (Authorization) visit. A team is here made up of practitioners from around the country to look at all of the great things they are doing!    
  
Thank you to the team that organized the Arts Alliance this weekend. I've loved seeing the shirts and hearing of the activities...thank you so much for giving of your time to make it all happen! I'm hoping that everyone  remembers that we are off this Friday for a Weather Make-up Day. Certainly we did not have to use this built in state day with our warmer than normal winter! We have many things going on right now and will use it to catch our breath. April is appraisal month and a treat for me, as I get to meet with each individual teacher and staff member for an extended period of time to reflect on the year and their work. That means however that I am not available for conferences and meetings as much as I usually would be. I appreciate your understanding as these conferences are both something I love and are required by TEA.
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
2nd Grade IB
Congrats to Second Grade students and teachers as they finished their Who We Are planner. They again learned just a bit about what it would be like to be a child without shoes - and they worked with an organization to collect shoes for those unable to have them. This year that organization was Soles 4 Souls - and they are pleased to announce that they collected 455 pairs of shoes to donate!
5th Grade IB
Congrats to fifth grader Brody Box who will be representing our fifth grade and their work on Be Sweet to Others Day. Fifth grade partnered with the Drops of Grace organization for their service project. In a letter thanking the school, the Drops of Grace Team wrote, "Thank you for organizing the walk for Drops of Grace on February 14th! Your generosity and your love are contributing to the well we are drilling this month in Nicaragua at the orphanage. It was awesome watching the kids helping other kids!" Several fifth graders were interviewed on this day, and afterward student Brody Box was asked to basically replicate the interview at their annual charity fundraiser held at the end of April. This is a local nonprofit humanitarian organization and they expect about 200 persons to attend this event. The evening will include acknowledgement of organization partners, a talk on the work in Malawi, and Brody's special guest  interview about the fifth grade project. As they said in the invitation, "It just meant so much to us that Meridian would partner with us and the kids were all so supportive and excited about doing this...it makes us believe that we all need the heart of a child." We are so proud of Brody and our fifth grade staff and students!
Resolution
At last month's Meridian School Board Meeting a Resolution Supporting the Student Community was adopted. This is similar to what has been done in area districts and matches well with the IB philosophy! The Resolution can be found on our website and on Facebook.  Click here to read the Resolution. 
Big News for TX Charter Schools
Several bills are moving forward in the legislative process that if passed would help narrow the funding gap for students attending a public charter school and those at traditional school districts
 
Benefits of these bills:
  • General per student funding could increase
  • For the first time, charter schools could receive facility funding
  • Charter schools could receive access to low finance bond money
How can you make a difference?
 
We encourage you to take ACTION:
  • Share your story. Write letters to your lawmakers encouraging them to pass these bills. (See a sample letter here.) Drop off your letter at any Meridian office or email  giving@mwschool.org, and we'll make sure they get in the right hands.
  • Join us for a rally at the Capitol on April 26 to support Texas public charters schools.
Click HERE and HERE to learn more!
 
Click HERE to RSVP and reserve a spot on the bus leaving Meridian and going to the Capitol. (Rally begins at 12pm. Bus will leave Meridian at 9am and return at 3pm.) 
April 30th is FINAL DEADLINE to Pre-Order Yearbook
The final deadline to pre-order your yearbook is April 30th(while supplies last). The current price is $45. Personalizations are no longer available.  IF we do not sell out online, extra books will be sold for $55 on a first-come, first-served basis when the books are delivered in May.  Order today and save yourself $10 and a panic attack when you realize your kiddo could end up without a book! Order HERE.
New "Meridian Silverware Policy"
In an effort to limit landfill trash, we have chosen to use reusable silverware for students who buy their lunches. Unfortunately, we have lost a huge number of our metal utensils this year. We believe that many of the lost utensils have gone home in lunch boxes after being "borrowed." Therefore, we have come up with a new "Meridian Silverware Policy" which is effective immediately.
 
Students who purchase lunch will continue to be provided with a reusable, metal utensil. However, those who bring their lunch from home and forget to pack a utensil, will be provided a plastic fork.
 
The opposite may be happening as well. If you are wondering where your forks are disappearing to, they may have been left at Meridian. Below is a picture of forks and spoons we have collected this year.  You may pick up any claimed forks from the Middle School Office.
 
In that same vein, please send any utensils you believe may belong to Meridian back to school. They are expensive to replace! Thank you for your understanding and support in this matter!

Calendar
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences and Book Fair
May 2 - Second Grade Off Campus Learning Experience
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 10 - STAAR for 5th grade science
May 11-12 - STAAR Make-up testing
May 18 - 5th Grade Exhibition  5:30-7:00 p.m.
May 19 - Wellness Day
May 22 - Switch Day
May 24 - No Early Release Wednesday - full day of school
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
April 11, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
Meridian Fundraiser
Saturday, April 15 @ 1pm

Click HERE to learn more!
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 


 
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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Dear Parents,
 
Thank you to everyone who came out last Saturday for the annual Garden Party. A special thanks goes to Becca Edwards for organizing the event and to all the volunteers who helped make it a success!
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
Arts Alliance - THIS Saturday!
We have a great lineup of activities and performances:
  • Live music
  • Digital arts
  • Balloon art
  • Guitar lessons
  • Henna art
  • African dance
  • Culinary arts
  • Kung fu
  • Indian dance
  • Concessions & pizza
  • 10th Grade Personal Projects
  • Open mic in the black box theatre 
  • Write your name in Mandarin
  • Visit the website for more!
Purchase Meridian spirit wear and watch it be screen-printed while you wait! Two designs to choose from:
 
 
Please consider signing up to volunteer. Slots are timed so that parents can volunteer and still enjoy the event with their families! 
 
Sign up HERE!
 
Questions? Contact Elizabeth at elizabethsbooth@gmail.com
Big News for TX Charter Schools
Several bills are moving forward in the legislative process that if passed would help narrow the funding gap for students attending a public charter school and those at traditional school districts
 
Benefits of these bills:
  • General per student funding could increase
  • For the first time, charter schools could receive facility funding
  • Charter schools could receive access to low finance bond money
How can you make a difference?
 
We encourage you to take ACTION:
  • Share your story. Write letters to your lawmakers encouraging them to pass these bills. (See a sample letter here.) Drop off your letter at any Meridian office or email  giving@mwschool.org, and we'll make sure they get in the right hands.
  • Join us for a rally at the Capitol on April 26 to support Texas public charters schools.
Click HERE and HERE to learn more!
 
Click HERE to RSVP and reserve a spot on the bus leaving Meridian and going to the Capitol. (Rally begins at 12pm. Bus will leave Meridian at 9am and return at 3pm.) 
New "Meridian Silverware Policy"
In an effort to limit landfill trash, we have chosen to use reusable silverware for students who buy their lunches. Unfortunately, we have lost a huge number of our metal utensils this year. We believe that many of the lost utensils have gone home in lunch boxes after being "borrowed." Therefore, we have come up with a new "Meridian Silverware Policy" which is effective immediately.
 
Students who purchase lunch will continue to be provided with a reusable, metal utensil. However, those who bring their lunch from home and forget to pack a utensil, will be provided a plastic fork.
 
The opposite may be happening as well. If you are wondering where your forks are disappearing to, they may have been left at Meridian. Below is a picture of forks and spoons we have collected this year.  You may pick up any claimed forks from the Middle School Office.
 
In that same vein, please send any utensils you believe may belong to Meridian back to school. They are expensive to replace! Thank you for your understanding and support in this matter!

First Grade Action Project
First Grade students have been exploring what living things need to survive and how living things are dependent on each other and their environment for survival. Students have brainstormed and decided they would like to take action by helping homeless dogs and cats in local community shelters. Many of the shelters have a need for items such as used towels, newspapers and plastic bags. We would like to invite you to join us in collecting these items. Items can be donated to any of our First Grade classes from Wednesday, March 29th to Wednesday, April 26th. We are excited to have an opportunity to make a difference in our community. In addition, as the requested items are being recycled we will also be helping to protect our environment.
April 30th is FINAL DEADLINE to Pre-Order Yearbook
The final deadline to pre-order your yearbook is April 30th(while supplies last). The current price is $45. Personalizations are no longer available.  IF we do not sell out online, extra books will be sold for $55 on a first-come, first-served basis when the books are delivered in May.  Order today and save yourself $10 and a panic attack when you realize your kiddo could end up without a book!
Order HERE.

Calendar
April 8 - Arts Alliance (Sign up HERE!)
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences and Book Fair
May 2 - Second Grade Off Campus Learning Experience
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 10 - STAAR for 5th grade science
May 11-12 - STAAR Make-up testing
May 18 - 5th Grade Exhibition  5:30-7:00 p.m.
May 19 - Wellness Day
May 22 - Switch Day
May 24 - No Early Release Wednesday - full day of school
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
April 5, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 


 
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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Dear Parents,
 
A very short newsletter today as I have spent the day working with STAAR administration for fourth and fifth graders. Our students are so wonderful - and I'm proud of the K-3 students who had a very long day without much of a break and without making noise in support of our testers. Restroom monitors were in place to take care of any noise in the halls - but there really was not any. The whole building was incredibly quiet. There were no specials classes today, as specials teachers also helped give group administrations and help in other ways. It is definitely an all-hands on deck type of day! Please give your student an extra hug and let them tell you about their interesting day!
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
STAAR Testing
STAAR testing will take place again tomorrow -  Wednesday -  for 5th graders. Again, know that this day is very different for all of our students due to the stringent regulations from the state. The building is maintained at a very quiet level - students are asked to be very respectful of those taking tests. Volunteers help to maintain the requirements in the restrooms and in the hallways (thank you volunteers!)  The test is long - with four hours being given to each student (although the state intends for them to be able to finish in two). We ask that parents make sure that students get a good sleep the night before and have a good breakfast. Students are allowed quiet breaks during the testing as needed. After completing the test the students may only read or rest their heads on the desk - they are not allowed to draw or talk. The regulations are very specific and really would be difficult for adults to follow! We encourage our students to take their time, check their work, and be sure that they can say they did their personal best - that is all we can ask for!
First Grade Action Project
First Grade students have been exploring what living things need to survive and how living things are dependent on each other and their environment for survival. Students have brainstormed and decided they would like to take action by helping homeless dogs and cats in local community shelters. Many of the shelters have a need for items such as used towels, newspapers and plastic bags. We would like to invite you to join us in collecting these items. Items can be donated to any of our First Grade classes from Wednesday, March 29th to Wednesday, April 26th. We are excited to have an opportunity to make a difference in our community. In addition, as the requested items are being recycled we will also be helping to protect our environment.
Garden Party - THIS Saturday!

We'll have live music, yoga instruction, a scavenger hunt, and the following activities which require volunteers:
  • Balloons, drinks, and popcorn sales
  • Make your own wildflower seed bomb
  • BioBlitz 2017 (info here)
  • Ms. Willows' composting worms
  • Face painting
  • Garden craft
  • Make your own lavender bath bomb
Special guests will include Ms. Holcombe's very own pet chicken, Southwestern University's Environmental Club, and Ms. Shepherd demonstrating how to pack a trash-free lunch!
 
Please consider signing up to volunteer. Slots are timed so that parents can volunteer and still enjoy the event with their families! 
 
Sign up HERE!
 
Questions? Contact Becca at bpaulsenedwards@gmail.com
Spring Pictures
The second round of school pictures will take place on Monday, April 3. Forms should have come home today with your student. These forms need to be returned to the teacher by the April 3 date. No money is sent at this time - orders will be taken after the proofs have been received. Note that this is an opportunity to have your child's picture taken in school uniforms, or in more formal attire. Based on our experience over previous years, I'd like to stress that this is not meant to be a costume event. Please do not send children for pictures in costume with princess or Halloween attire, etc.  Many of our families get a second semester photo in uniform to look at their child's growth this year - others want the "Sunday dress" look with jackets and ties, etc. It is totally optional for you to participate at all. Please check your child's folder for the information!
Secondary Model United Nations
The MUN club is having a fundraiser wants to invite all the primary students and their parents to participate. It will be held at PizzaRev (RR Outlet mall) on Friday, March 31st, during the whole day. Our MUN officers will be there after school greeting guests and appreciating their support; although the benefits will be given from open to close, as long as they mention to the cashier that they are there to support Meridian's MUN club. Thank you so much!  - Model U.N. Members
 

 
Senior Visual Arts Exhibition 
Every year Meridian Seniors pursuing Visual Arts in the Diploma Program create an exhibition of their own artwork. Last spring was the very first exhibition for senior visual artists, and five students put on an overwhelmingly exciting show. Seven seniors will be working both collaboratively and independently to present their work to the Meridian Community on March 31st from 5:00-7:00pm in the M Building. Please save this date to help our young visual artists celebrate their hard work and dedication to their craft. 
Calendar
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
April 1 - Garden Party - 11:00 - 1:00
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 8 - Arts Alliance
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences and Book Fair
May 2 - Second Grade Off Campus Learning Experience
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 10 - STAAR for 5th grade science
May 11-12 - STAAR Make-up testing
May 18 - 5th Grade Exhibition  5:30-7:00 p.m.
May 19 - Wellness Day
May 22 - Switch Day
May 24 - No Early Release Wednesday - full day of school
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
March 28, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 


 
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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Dear Parents,

I'm hoping that you had a wonderful spring break last week and enjoyed time as a family! The next few weeks are certainly packed with activities and they will go so fast. Please keep a watch on the calendar section below to make sure you are aware of everything that is taking place. Report cards and Lifetouch photo order forms were sent home today with most students. I spent yesterday reading report card comments and looking at the growth the students have made. It's hard to believe that there is only one more grading period!
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
STAAR Testing
Initial STAAR testing will take place next week on Tuesday and Wednesday for 4th and 5th graders. Please know that this day is very different for all of our students due to the stringent regulations from the state. The building will be maintained at a very quiet level - students will be asked to be very respectful of those taking tests. Volunteers will be helping to maintain the requirements in the restrooms (one student at a time) and in the hallways (see sign up below.) The test is long - with four hours being given to each student (although many do not need that much time). We ask that parents make sure that students get a good night's sleep the night before and have a good breakfast. Students are allowed quiet breaks during the testing as needed. After completing the test the students may only read or rest their heads on the desk - they are not allowed to draw or talk. The regulations are very specific and really would be difficult for adults to follow! We encourage our students to take their time, check their work, and be sure that they can say they did their personal best - that is all we can ask for!
 
Volunteers -  The following link is to our sign up genius for restroom and hallway volunteers on our STAAR testing dates (Tuesday and Wednesday, March 28-29)
Spring Pictures
The second round of school pictures will take place onMonday, April 3. Forms should have come home today with your student. These forms need to be returned to the teacher by the April 3 date. No money is sent at this time - orders will be taken after the proofs have been received. Note that this is an opportunity to have your child's picture taken in school uniforms, or in more formal attire. Based on our experience over previous years, I'd like to stress that this is not meant to be a costume event. Please do not send children for pictures in costume with princess or Halloween attire, etc.  Many of our families get a second semester photo in uniform to look at their child's growth this year - others want the "Sunday dress" look with jackets and ties, etc. It is totally optional for you to participate at all. Please check your child's folder for the information!
Secondary Model United Nations
I hope you are well and that you had time to rest and enjoy your Spring Break. The MUN club is having a fundraiser next week and we want to invite all the primary students and their parents to participate, if possible. It will be held at PizzaRev (RR Outlet mall) next Friday, March 31st, during the whole day. Our MUN officers will be there after school greeting guests and appreciating their support; although the benefits will be given from open to close, as long as they mention to the cashier that they are there to support Meridian's MUN club. Please show this flyer upon checkout. Thank you so much! - Model U.N. Members
Senior Visual Arts Exhibition 
Every year Meridian Seniors pursuing Visual Arts in the Diploma Program create an exhibition of their own artwork. Last spring was the very first exhibition for senior visual artists, and five students put on an overwhelmingly exciting show. Seven seniors will be working both collaboratively and independently to present their work to the Meridian Community on March 31st from 5:00-7:00pm in the M Building. Please save this date to help our young visual artists celebrate their hard work and dedication to their craft. 
Calendar
March 21 - Report cards come home
March 25 - ViP playground work day
March 28 - STAAR test for 4th Writing and 5th Math
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
March 30 - Board Meeting
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 8 - Arts Alliance
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences and Book Fair
May 2 - Second Grade Off Campus Learning Experience
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 10 - STAAR for 5th grade science
May 11-12 - STAAR Make-up testing
May 18 - 5th Grade Exhibition  5:30-7:00 p.m.
May 19 - Wellness Day
May 22 - Switch Day
May 24 - No Early Release Wednesday - full day of school
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
March 21, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 


 
Stay Connected

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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Dear Parents,

So many times we have parents ask how they can help... and I know how many of you sincerely want to help Meridian be successful. Below is an area we truly need help with... during my years at River Oaks, our teachers were always free to tutor children in the morning thanks to our "Car Dads"... these were Dads who came in the mornings before school and helped with our three areas of arriving students. These Dads were known to all because they were there to help kids get into the building - rain or shine - and all of the kids knew them! They sometimes were found wearing funny hats, and always got lots of holiday presents ☺! They were very loved. Here at Meridian we ask much more of our teachers than the regular neighborhood schools with regard to wearing other hats and helping in other ways. Our teachers are here to teach students all day and the morning tutorials help fill the void of the interventionists we do not have.  We need help!   Please see below and consider whether this is something you could do!
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
Help Needed!
As mentioned above, we sincerely need assistance with a crossing guard especially, and morning help at the entrance to the Primary School. While we can provide teachers to do every day morning duty at the Fast Pass area and some have a daily door station, we still have a need for teachers to provide tutoring for students and we are out of staff to do so.  All of us (primary staff) have dismissal duty every day and I would like to work towards reducing the number of classroom teachers having morning duty every day. If a Meridian parent would be willing to consider doing a crossing guard position even one day a week, we would love to have your help. Please stop in or call the primary office and Jessica Boese and I will coordinate it with you! We would so appreciate your help!
Cafeteria Volunteer Training 
We continue to appreciate cafeteria volunteers as well - another training is being offered tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 8:15. If you can't make it and still want to volunteer, please call the primary office and leave that message and we will get back to you! The success of this year's cafeteria program is a direct result of the valuable dedication of our parent and grandparent volunteers.
5th Grade Parents
Exhibition is coming closer and each step of the way is very important. We are (at the urging of our parent community) working to help 5th grade students be aware of the requirements they will experience in middle school next year. This includes the requirements for homework and grades. The last time I checked today, we had students who had not completed any of the homework requirements. Please know that this will have an impact on their grades. The fifth grade teachers wrote some very clear information in today's newsletter and I ask you to be sure to read it. I have seen some amazing work these last few days from some of the students - and I very much want all of them to have a wonderful exhibition experience!
STAAR
Next week is spring break and quickly thereafter is our first STAAR testing session of the year. For primary this means 4th and 5th grade on Tuesday, March 28 and 5th grade only on Wednesday, March 29. We will be reminding you to make sure that your child has a great breakfast those days, gets sleep the night before, and has positive thoughts as they come in to school that morning! More information will be given out in the next newsletter.
Geography Bee
The National Geography Bee is a challenging and fascinating competition similar to the National Spelling Bee. Finished for this year, I encourage you to look for it when it begins again in the fall. Congratulations to Pranav Boopalam, the winner of Meridian's Bee; and thank you to Jeff Zollner for being the sponsor of the program. Take a look at the quizzes and games available at NatGeoBee.org
Classroom Activities
Last week I spoke of the second grade upcoming learning experience (May 2) to an area nature center. More on that will come home in April with second graders. I followed that with information on second grade working with hatching chicks - with second grade still on my mind. It is actually first grade that has been deeply involved in the study of the life cycle and watching the process through egg incubators and now to the stage of heat centers for our chicks. It has been great to watch and hear the students discuss the process and to have had the opportunity to watch them grow so quickly. Everyone has stopped in to watch them - even Buzz!
Senior Visual Arts Exhibition 
Every year Meridian Seniors pursuing Visual Arts in the Diploma Program create an exhibition of their own artwork. Last spring was the very first exhibition for senior visual artists, and five students put on an overwhelmingly exciting show. Seven seniors will be working both collaboratively and independently to present their work to the Meridian Community on March 31st from 5:00-7:00pm in the M Building. Please save this date to help our young visual artists celebrate their hard work and dedication to their craft. 
Calendar
March 9 - Board Meeting
March 11-19 - Spring Break
March 21 - Report cards come home
March 25 - ViP playground work day
March 28 - STAAR test for 4th Writing and 5th Math
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
April 1 - Garden Party
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 8 - Arts Alliance
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 10 - STAAR for 5th grade science
May 11-12 - STAAR Make-up testing
May 18 - 5th Grade Exhibition
May 22 - Switch Day
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
March 7, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 


 
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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Dear Parents,
 
Congratulations to fifth grade and Mr. Crenshaw for a wonderful concert last Thursday night! It was so much fun to be a part of - both the vocal and instrumental music were so impressive!
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
Meridian School Board
As Meridian staff, we would like to like to thank Alexia Thex for her time and dedication serving as the parent member on the MWS Board for the past four and a half years. For the first time since 2012, the board is considering candidates for the position. On March 7th, parents are invited to meet the proposed parent candidate with a Q&A during a General ViP Meeting. This meeting will be held at 6:30pm in the primary cafeteria. All parents are invited to attend and participate as our next parent representative is selected to serve on the MWS Board.
 
Questions? Please contact vipleaders@mwschool.org
Off-Campus Learning Experiences
I've enjoyed hearing about the Off-Campus Learning Experience with our fourth graders at the Waco National Monument last Friday and loved seeing some of the photos.   It seems the trip went very smoothly and the experiences were quite enjoyable. One quote I received....
 
"The Off Campus Learning Experience destroyed my idea of spectacular! It shows how far human civilization has come since the beginning of time. The opportunity to go on this trip will forever influence how we think and continue to inquiry. "   ....Oliver
                                                                                               
We can now start preparing for second grade trip, which this year will be on May 2 to a local nature center in connection with the unit of inquiry. More coming soon for second grade parents.   
Picture Day - March 6th
Class (not individual) pictures will be taken on MONDAY, MARCH 6. Order forms should have come home today with your child(ren).
 
Class Pictures MUST BE PRE-ORDERED. Forms are due back this Friday, March 3rd but we will accept forms on Monday morning, March 6th. The teacher will be collecting the order forms and turning them in to the photographer directly on Monday when the class picture is taken. Please don't forget to order if you want these!
Arrival Traffic Issues
Parents please be aware that we are having issues with student safety... Our teachers truly want nothing more than to be with your children to teach them and keep them safe. When you are arriving at the Primary front entrance car line, we need you to follow the guidance of the staff and volunteers who are there! Dropping off prior to the crosswalk, having them cross car lanes not at crosswalk, being on the cell phone which is against school policy, etc. is not OK and we need those things to stop - we want your children to be the focus of all we do.   
5th Grade Parents
At my last two principal coffees, one of the main topics has been whether we need to do anything to prepare our students going into middle school with the expectations there. One element of this is the importance of homework. We are doing a bit of that right now with Exhibition homework.  Please be aware that this is important to your child's project and grade and we are monitoring it carefully. This will have an impact on the projects as well - and we want them to have a very successful exhibition experience!
Cafeteria Volunteer Training
As we have moved into the Spring semester, our number of cafeteria volunteers has decreased. The success of this year's cafeteria program is a direct result of the valuable dedication of our parent and grandparent volunteers. In order to provide the opportunity for new volunteers to participate in our cafeteria program, we are offering an additional cafeteria volunteer training on Tuesday, March 7 at 8:15 a.m. We look forward to seeing you there and are so thankful for the support you provide for our students!
Classroom Activities
Second grade is anxiously awaiting the arrival of up to 60 chicks very soon. Several eggs are showing signs of cracking and movement. In the mean time they are spending some time watching the dceaglecam.org live stream, as "Mr. President" and "The First Lady" care for their pair of eggs high in a tree in the National Arboretum!
Pre-Kinder Information
When the Mays Building was renovated in 2016, a separate entrance and four classrooms on the east side were designed and outfitted to be the future home of Meridian's preschool. Eventually serving a total of 80 three and four-year-old students, the preschool would be an extension of the PYP. (Yes, there's an IB curriculum for preschoolers!)

As we experienced much growth over this past year, the staff recommended and the board agree that leadership efforts should be focused on integrating the student and staff growth into Meridian's culture, thus delaying the opening of the preschool until such a time when adequate effort is available to open at the level of excellence expected at Meridian.

Many of you may be anxiously awaiting the preschool's opening and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to open in the future.
Senior Visual Arts Exhibition 
Every year Meridian Seniors pursuing Visual Arts in the Diploma Program create an exhibition of their own artwork. Last spring was the very first exhibition for senior visual artists, and five students put on an overwhelmingly exciting show. Seven seniors will be working both collaboratively and independently to present their work to the Meridian Community on March 31st from 5:00-7:00pm in the M Building. Please save this date to help our young visual artists celebrate their hard work and dedication to their craft. 
Calendar
March 3 - 3-5 International Movie Night - VOTE HERE!
March 11-19 - Spring Break
March 21 - Report cards come home
March 28 - STAAR test for 4th Writing and 5th Math
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
April 1 - Garden Party
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 8 - Arts Alliance
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 18 - 5th Grade Exhibition
May 22 - Switch Day
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
February 28, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 


 
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Top Lion
Dear Parents,

Our Evaluation visit is over for another 3-5 years and we are tired! ☺ Spring break will be especially welcomed this year. Though there is technically nothing done differently during a visit, everyone is anxious during that time and it is emotionally exhausting. The three visitors were very thorough and had great things to say, as well as suggestions for continued growth - just as they should. The final report is what is important and you never know how long it will take to receive from the IBO. I'm hoping we will have it by the end of the year. Having Monday for professional development was great because it allowed us to have time to reflect on the visit and the comments they made to us. I am incredibly proud of the work that the staff has done in the six years at this school.... It is so much more than is normally found and they have worked so hard. The one common thing we heard strongly from all three of the visitors was about our amazing children and the respect and kindness that they saw in the Meridian environment. I have many examples of things students said to them - and again that made us all incredibly proud!  
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
Cell Phone Use in Carline
We continue to see drivers in carline while talking on their cell phone. While the large majority do not do this, it is important to note that it is dangerous for anyone to be on their cell phone during carline. Additionally, it is against the law to use a hand-held phone in a school zone or on school property, unless the car is parked. We appreciate your attention to this in the interests of the safety of all!
Fifth Grade Parents
Fifth grade students will perform their PYP Connections Concert this Thursday, February 23rd. PLEASE HAVE YOUR STUDENT ENTER THROUGH THE FIFTH GRADE EXTERIOR DOOR BY 6:15 - that is where the students will be gathering. Parents can then meet in the lobby - doors will be opened at 6:20 for the concert, which will take place in the gym.
Fourth Grade Parents
A one-page note with reminders will be in your child's Tuesday folder.  Please read carefully to be sure that your student has a great experience this Friday!
Lost & Found
We have lots of jackets and sweaters in lost and found. More importantly we have several pairs of glasses! If your child is missing them - please call the office with a description and we will get to the right person. Please remember that NONE of these many items has any identifying marks on them. We return any item that has a name on it!
Classroom Activities
Third grade is finishing their fourth planner:  Adaptations alter environmental interactions. Students are working hard to complete their habitat survival guide. They are using their research skills and self-management skills throughout the project and have had to work cooperatively in habitat groups to support each other. They have also had to be independent and show commitment in completing their individual books. A formative assessment showed their understanding of adaptations in response to challenges. They created an adaptation model by considering challenges within a particular habitat -- physical challenges or changes in life that lead to challenges. As they created their model they also developed a written description of the adaptation and how it responds to the challenge. These will be shared with their parents at this Friday's Adaptation Gallery from 8:45 - 9:30.  
Senior Visual Arts Exhibition 
Every year Meridian Seniors pursuing Visual Arts in the Diploma Program create an exhibition of their own artwork. Last spring was the very first exhibition for senior visual artists, and five students put on an overwhelmingly exciting show. Seven seniors will be working both collaboratively and independently to present their work to the Meridian Community on March 31st from 5:00-7:00pm in the M Building. Please save this date to help our young visual artists celebrate their hard work and dedication to their craft. 
Illnesses
We continue to experience (as is Williamson County) a higher than normal level of illness of upper-respiratory, strep, flu, and flu-like symptoms. Thank you for following the policy of keeping your child home if running a fever and for 24-hours after. Sending them medicated to reduce the fever and having us send home when the fever returns is not an option and exposing others is of course very much frowned upon - so thank you for following the policy and working with Nurse Raskin in this way. We want our children (AND OUR STAFF) to stay well!
Preschool Update
When the Mays Building was renovated in 2016, a separate entrance and four classrooms on the east side were designed and outfitted to be the future home of Meridian's preschool. Eventually serving a total of 80 three and four-year-old students, the preschool would be an extension of the PYP. (Yes, there's an IB curriculum for preschoolers!)

As we experienced much growth over this past year, the staff recommended and the board agree that leadership efforts should be focused on integrating the student and staff growth into Meridian's culture, thus delaying the opening of the preschool until such a time when adequate effort is available to open at the level of excellence expected at Meridian.

Many of you may be anxiously awaiting the preschool's opening and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to open in the future.
Calendar
February 23 - 5th Grade Choir Concert
February 24 - 4th Grade off campus learning experience in Waco
February 24 - Box Tops Deadline - turn in at any office
February 25 - Arts Alliance - MOVED TO APRIL 8!
March 3 - 3-5 Movie Night
March 11-19 - Spring Break
March 21 - Report cards come home
March 25 - Playground Workday
March 28 - STAAR test for 4th Writing and 5th Math
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
April 1 - Garden Party
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 8 - Arts Alliance
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 16 - 5th Grade Exhibition
May 22 - Switch Day
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
February 23, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 


 
 
 
BOX TOP DEADLINE: FEB 24
TURN IN AT ANY OFFICE!
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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Dear Parents,
 
Happy Be Sweet to Others Day from Meridian! I have really enjoyed the grade level projects and seeing all that they have accomplished. I watched blankets be made last week, have seen the boxes for first grade bookmarks to be set up in the local libraries, watched fourth grade packing birthday boxes, etc. Read below about all of the wonderful service the students and teachers have been doing! This week we will be welcoming a team representing the International Baccalaureate Organization. This group will be here to evaluate our work as a Primary Years Program school. They will be talking with each teacher, visiting classrooms and talking to students, and talking with various groups within the school. Their goal is to look at each of the required "standards" and make sure that the school is addressing each one at the appropriate level. We are proud of our work and anxious to share all about Meridian!
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
Fifth Grade Choir
Fifth grade students will preform their PYP Connections Concert next Thursday, February 23rd. Watch for more information in next Tuesday's newsletter!
Volunteer Opportunity
Many of our students are enjoying the benefits of our therapy dogs on campus two days a week. Some of our students are also supporting the Who Reads? We Read! Program at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter at 1855 SE Inner Loop in Georgetown. Students of all ages are invited to read to the dogs and cats on Sundays from 1-2:30 p.m. by bringing a book to the visit or borrowing one at the shelter. You can email for more information atMonica@FANSOFWCRAS.COM
Classroom Activities
Second grade students recently finished up their "How We Express Ourselves" planner, where they used multiple artistic medias to express something they themselves are passion about. They then began their fourth planner under "Who We Are" (looking at how individuals can influence and define our values) by having two great guest speakers. Students are focusing on evaluating the attributes of citizens - looking at values such as individuality, courage, independence, community responsibility, etc. In their reading they are looking at literary characters through this lens and the attributes of the learner profile and the attitudes.  They are also connecting to historical figures that have impacted cultural values - such as Thurgood Marshall, Theodore Roosevelt, Irma Rangel, etc. Through independent research they are identifying persons who have made an impact on the world. This includes specific people we identify with in our global community such as Blake Mycoskie and Roshan Thomas. Students are bringing in items that represent themselves - or something important in their lives. It is a very introspective unit of inquiry and leads them towards the goal of having an understanding and appreciation of themselves, how they have been influenced by others, and now how they can be the influence and make a difference in their world and community!
Be Sweet to Others Day
Great things have been happening in the classrooms! Here again is the list of grade level projects being completed today....
  • Kindergarten - All kindergarten students wrote and decorated cards for a local nursing home. The cards were delivered on Monday February 13th. Today they looked at the pictures and discussed how their action made a difference!  
  • First grade - Students were sweet to others by sharing their love of reading!  They partnered with the Round Rock and Georgetown Libraries and made bookmarks for their patrons. They delivered the bookmarks to the libraries last Saturday and today discussed the impact of the action and of their service to others.
  • Second grade students are learning to write friendly letters. Each student wrote a message of encouragement to a child receiving treatment at Dell Children's Hospital. They then asked families to donate a coloring/activity book with a box of crayons or markers - 350 sets were donated!! These were wrapped together with ribbon and donated in hopes of brightening the day of these children. Today they reflected on their work and their service.
  • Third graders became "blanketeers" by making blankets for Project Linus. Project Linus donates blankets to bring warmth, comfort, and security to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. The grade level held a "Make-a-Blanket" Day last week and each classroom finished approximately 100 blankets for the donation. Teachers and several students took the blankets to the donation center on Saturday! Today was spent with follow up activities to their action.
  • Fourth grade built "birthday boxes" - an entire birthday party in a box - for several children who are currently living in a shelter. The fourth grade students created cards to put inside the boxes and gifts were given as well. The fourth grade team began personally delivering the birthday boxes yesterday and shared their experiences today with the classes.
  • Fifth graders participated today in a walk for water to simulate the struggle millions of women and children endure each day to obtain clean water. They raised $701 to donate to drops of grace, a local Round Rock organization that provides water wells and other relief for impoverished citizens around the world. Representatives from the organization were here today to walk with the students and accept the donations.

Illnesses
We continue to experience (as is Williamson County) a higher than normal level of illness of upper-respiratory, strep, flu, and flu-like symptoms. Thank you for following the policy of keeping your child home if running a fever and for 24-hours after.  Sending them medicated to reduce the fever and having us send home when the fever returns is not an option and exposing others is of course very much frowned upon - so thank you for following the policy and working with Nurse Raskin in this way. We want our children (AND OUR STAFF) to stay well.
Calendar
Week of February 13 - Primary Years Program evaluation visit
February 14 - Be Sweet to Others Day for grade level service projects
February 20 - No School - Professional Development Day (or bad weather day if needed)
February 23 - 5th Grade Choir Concert
February 24 - 4th Grade off campus learning experience in Waco
February 25 - Arts Alliance
March 3 - 3-5 Movie Night
March 11-19 - Spring Break
March 21 - Report cards come home
March 25 - Playground Workday
March 28 - STAAR test for 4th Writing and 5th Math
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
April 1 - Garden Party
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 16 - 5th Grade Exhibition
May 22 - Switch Day
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
February 14, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 
 
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Top Lion
Dear Parents,
 
The schedule is incredibly full right now! We have so many things going on - from events to classroom work, meetings, and special projects for next week's Be Sweet to Others Day. Thanks to those of you who were able to attend the K-2 IB Night and Book Fair last Tuesday. It was wonderful to watch you interact with your children in the various games and activities - it was a great opportunity for them to show what they know and do. It was also interesting to watch parents look for the "right" answer....(as most of us have been trained to do)....while some of your children instead experimented and knew that there may not be a right answer but a variety of ways to do things!   We earned over $500 in book credits from The Barefoot Librarian and will be spending that money on growing our PYP and international collections! Thanks so much!

We also are experiencing (as is Williamson County) a higher than normal level of illness of upper-respiratory, flu, and flu-like symptoms. Thank you for following the policy of keeping your child home if running a fever and for 24-hours after. Sending them medicated to reduce the fever and having us send them home when the fever returns is not an option and exposing others is of course very much frowned upon - so thank you for following the policy and working with Nurse Raskin in this way. We want our children (AND OUR STAFF) to stay well!

NEWSLETTER TOPICS

Fourth Grade Parents
Though we were expecting this later this spring, in working with the personnel with the National Park Service at the Waco Mammoth National Monument, we have gone ahead and chosen Friday, February 24th as the off-campus learning experience. You can read about these in the Student-Parent Handbook, but you probably know that these experiences are done every other year beginning in 2nd grade. Information was sent home with your student today. It is of course optional for your child to attend, but last year's event was so wonderful for our students. They not only were able to see the exhibits but were able to participate in a "dig" while there and bring home some treasures! 
Mini-Courses for Spring
Choice Sheets are due tomorrow for second semester mini-courses and 4th and 5th parents hopefully have seen and signed them. Each time I read these I want to attend several of the classes! This semester's courses will revolve around the central idea: Diversity enhances creativity. I thought you might enjoy seeing the choices:

Dream World - the art of surrealism and the artists inspired by it (acrylic painting).

How to Be Highly Effective - How people develop effective habits and do things "smarter, not harder."

The Games We Play - The history of games and an investigation of games that students may not know.

Writing for Peace and Prosperity - Learning to write for a sense of well-being and mindfulness.

It's Mindboggling! - A look into the brain and its parts!

The Art of Relaxation and Fitness - Exploring the ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi.

Undercover Food - Busted! - A look at nutritional aspects through science and the role of advertising.

Yoga Basics - Yoga as practiced around the world - for different reasons!

Steady on the Beam - Being balanced in several aspects of life and as the key to many things.

Making Beautiful Music - A look at how music can impact people - including composition and recording.
Food Policy
Parents I remind you that you signed a form saying that you read and understood the Student-Parent Handbook which is posted on the school website under "Parents" and "Students." The food policy states:

In addition to the no food policy for student birthdays, NO FOOD of any kind should be sent to school to be handed out to students in the classroom AT ANY TIME. This includes any kind of miscellaneous celebration or holidays not being celebrated as a school-wide event. Foods sent from home for this purpose will not be distributed and will be returned.  

We ask that you do not put teachers in a difficult positioin by asking them to break this policy - even though we truly know you have the best of intentions. The teachers hate to send them back home to you - but if they don't they are breaking school policy - which is not a good idea for an employee. They have been told to contact me if it happens in the future.
Be Sweet to Others Day
I am including this section one more week for anyone who has missed previous issues of the newsletter: I am very very proud of our staff for doing a refocus on our "Valentines Day" activities. We knew that based on last May's "party experience" with the fire department, we needed to work to make a change. The result is a Service Project called Be Sweet to Others Day. Each grade level has chosen a Service Project (listed below) tied to current, past or future grade level planners. On Feb. 14th they will celebrate the conclusion of the project and discuss how they have participated in action and service. On the 14th they will be able to bring valentines for their friends, and they will get a "sweet treat" per their classroom teacher, but we will do this instead of the traditional party. Party days such as the one before winter break result in a full day loss of instruction and our visit will take place that week so that is not an option. In addition, we noted that in the parent surveys last fall, several parents asked about having more service projects in the Primary Program. Although these generally begin in middle school, based on primary students having learned about "Action," this will be a great way for them to move their discussions from action to service. An overview of the projects are below:

Kindergarten is planning for all kindergarten students to write and decorate cards for a local nursing home.  The cards will be delivered on Monday February 13th.  We will be taking pictures and sharing them on Tuesday February 14th.

First grade students are being sweet to others by sharing their love of reading! They are partnering with the Round Rock and Georgetown Libraries and making bookmarks for their patrons. They will deliver the bookmarks to the libraries on Saturday, February 11th and on Tuesday will reflect on the impact of the action.

Second grade students are learning to write friendly letters. Each student will write a message of encouragement to a child receiving treatment at Dell Children's Hospital. They are asking families to donate a coloring/activity book with a box of crayons or markers. These will be wrapped together with ribbon and donated to brighten the day of these children. 

Third graders will be making blankets to donate to Project Linus. Project Linus donates blankets to bring warmth, comfort, and security to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. They will have a "Make-a-Blanket" Day next week to prepare as many blankets as they can and Project Linus will be on hand to receive them

Fourth grade will be building a "birthday box" - an entire birthday party in a box for a child who is currently living in a shelter. The fourth grade students will be creating cards to put inside the box and a gift will be given as well.  The fourth grade team will personally deliver the birthday box to the shelter.

Fifth graders will be participating in a walk for water to simulate the struggle millions of women and children endure each day to obtain clean water. They will be accepting donations for drops of grace, a local Round Rock organization that provides water wells and other relief for impoverished citizens around the world.
Calendar
February 20 - No School - Professional Development Day (or bad weather day if needed)
February 23 - 5th Grade Choir Concert
February 24 - 4th Grade off campus learning experience in Waco
February 25 - Arts Alliance
March 3 - 3-5 Movie Night
March 11-19 - Spring Break
March 21 - Report cards come home
March 28 - STAAR test for 4th Writing and 5th Math
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
April 1 - Garden Party
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 16 - 5th Grade Exhibition
May 22 - Switch Day
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
February 7, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 
 
Stay Connected

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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
Top Lion
Dear Parents,
 
Today we welcome Eve Panzer, known as the Barefoot Librarian, to Meridian for our first PYP book fair. Though much smaller than our annual book fairs, we love the types of books that Eve provides as they align well to our IB units of inquiry. We are two weeks from our "Evaluation Visit" - the second visit to Meridian's PYP that the International Baccalaureate will do to determine the quality of our program. We are anxious to share all that we do. We have constructed our program with the PYP in mind and have several unique elements because of it. Next week I will talk about one of them - our mini-courses. Today I want to tell you how proud I am of the projects below. I emailed with other IB consultants last night about it - this is exactly how we want our students to be. I wish I could post a video of the third graders excitedly telling me how much better this was than eating candy☺. They sincerely are caught up in the excitement of doing good things for others. That, combined with last week's amazing board presentation of an MYP Personal Project - where I listened to the student speak about how she began this way of thinking while in 5th grade's passion project and 6th grade exhibition... how proud I am of our Meridian community!

NEWSLETTER TOPICS

Tutorials
As I said last week - I am very very proud of our staff for doing a refocus on our "Valentines Day" activities. We knew that based on last May's "party experience" with the fire department, we needed to work to make a change. The result is a Service Project called Be Sweet to Others Day. Each grade level has chosen a Service Project (listed below) tied to current, past or future grade level planners. On Feb. 14th they will celebrate the conclusion of the project and discuss how they have participated in action and service. On the 14th they will be able to bring valentines for their friends, and they will get a "sweet treat" per their classroom teacher, but we will do this instead of the traditional party. Party days such as the one before winter break result in a full day loss of instruction and our visit will take place that week so that is not an option. In addition, we noted that in the parent surveys last fall, several parents asked about having more service projects in the Primary Program. Although these generally begin in middle school, based on primary students having learned about "Action," this will be a great way for them to move their discussions from action to service. An overview of the projects are below:

Kindergarten is planning for all kindergarten students to write and decorate cards for a local nursing home.  The cards will be delivered on Monday February 13th.  We will be taking pictures and sharing them on Tuesday February 14th.

First grade students are being sweet to others by sharing their love of reading! They are partnering with the Round Rock and Georgetown Libraries and making bookmarks for their patrons. They will deliver the bookmarks to the libraries on Saturday, February 11th and on Tuesday will reflect on the impact of the action.

Second grade students are learning to write friendly letters. Each student will write a message of encouragement to a child receiving treatment at Dell Children's Hospital. They are asking families to donate a coloring/activity book with a box of crayons or markers. These will be wrapped together with ribbon and donated to brighten the day of these children. 

Third graders will be making blankets to donate to Project Linus. Project Linus donates blankets to bring warmth, comfort, and security to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. They will have a "Make-a-Blanket" Day next week to prepare as many blankets as they can and Project Linus will be on hand to receive them

Fourth grade will be building a "birthday box" - an entire birthday party in a box for a child who is currently living in a shelter. The fourth grade students will be creating cards to put inside the box and a gift will be given as well.  The fourth grade team will personally deliver the birthday box to the shelter.

Fifth graders will be participating in a walk for water to simulate the struggle millions of women and children endure each day to obtain clean water. They will be accepting donations for drops of grace, a local Round Rock organization that provides water wells and other relief for impoverished citizens around the world.
K-1-2 PYP Family Night
After the success of the 3-5 Family Night in October, we now want to hold a session for K-1-2 students and their parents. This session will take place tonight, January 31 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Students can bring their parents to experience activities from their past, current or future planners.
Meridian Valentine's Parent/Child Dance is Sat, Feb 4th!
Advance tickets are $10 ($15 at the door)
 
K-2nd - 4:30-6:00pm   
 
3rd-5th - 6:30-8:00 pm 
Primary Principal's Coffee
The next Primary Principal's Coffee has been scheduled for Tuesday morning, February 7th from8:15 until 9:30. To sign up please go to:
Yearbook Purchase Deadline is TODAY!
Last call for ordering a yearbook! This year's edition, "Navigating our Complex World" looks exciting! TODAY is the LAST DAY to purchase for this year with the option to have it personalized. Books will be sold online from February-April but only while supplies last. The current price is $45. If copies remain after delivery, extra books will be sold for $55 on a first come basis.   
 
Click HERE to order your yearbook today!
Calendar
January 31 - PYP Book Fair from 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. in primary library
January 31 - K-1-2  IB Parent Night
February 1 - PYP Book Fair from 8:00 - 1:00 in the primary library
February 4 - Parent/Child Dance - more coming!
February 4 - Robotics competition
February 7 - Primary Principal Coffee
February 20 - No School - Professional Development Day (or bad weather day if needed)
February 23 - 5th Grade Choir Concert
February 25 - Arts Alliance
March 3 - 3-5 Movie Night
March 11-19 - Spring Break
March 21 - Report cards come home
March 28 - STAAR test for 4th Writing and 5th Math
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 16 - 5th Grade Exhibition
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
January 31, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
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Dear Parents,
 
A big thank you to Doug Cho and his Math Pentathlon group for being so flexible last Saturday morning with their mock tournament. Meridian also hosted a Destination Imagination Area Competition in the primary building, so things were a bit tight. As the school has grown and offers more opportunities, scheduling gets more complex. It appeared that everything went well for both groups, and I know it was exciting for our students and a good way to welcome visitors to Meridian.

NEWSLETTER TOPICS

Tutorials
As we get closer to the end of January, we will begin STAAR tutorials for some in 4th and 5th grades. Third grade tutorials, and some additional 4th and 5thgrade groups will begin at the end of February. Qualifying for tutorials is based on the benchmark scores received combined with your child's classroom progress and other considerations. Please know that we cannot offer these to every student.  At the same time, while the first STAAR exams are given the last week of March, we hope that you keep in mind that this test is but one measure of their abilities. We all want our children to do their very best, and to receive the highest of marks - but that is not the way the world works... it's ONE measure. You might consider this video (amazingly from a principal in Singapore....testing is not just an issue in the United States.) 
Absence Letters
These continue to go out as we finalize the many letters for 6 and over absences. Remember that 3 tardies equal 1 absence - 21 tardies equal 7 absences! Tardies, as always, are at 8:05. I believe we are extremely lenient on bad weather days and when we know there is a local accident because we have heard it from staff and other parents. Please take attendance seriously as it counts very highly in our school rating. Our rating is not just based on STAAR scores anymore! In addition - this directly impacts the funding for our school.
IB Book Fair!
On January 31 and February 1 Primary will be hosting an IB PYP Book Fair. Different from our traditional Scholastic Fairs, this one will focus on the elements of IB and make connections to what many of our students are learning in our units of inquiry. This is a small company that puts up a booth at Texas IB Schools events around the state each year and we are fortunate to get them to come to Meridian. Teachers always make a point of stopping at this organization's exhibit and we love the books! The fair will be open from 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday so that those attending the K-1-2 PYP Night will be able to shop.  They will also be open on Wednesday from 7:30 until dismissal at1:00. Watch for more info coming home!   
February - IB Visit and Valentines
February is just a week away, and our staff grows excited (and a bit anxious) to host our IB PYP Evaluation Visit. In just three weeks a group from the IB organization will visit us over a period of days to determine if we are still eligible to be considered an authorized PYP school. I am sure we will do fine and am so very proud of our work, but of course we want it to go well and beyond.    

One thing I am very very proud of our staff for doing is a refocus on our "Valentine's Day" activities. We know that not everyone feels that this holiday is appropriate, and we also know that based on last May's "party experience" with the fire department, we need to work to change things. The result is a Service Project called Be Sweet to Others Day. Each grade level will be choosing a Service Project and working on that for the next few weeks - tying it to current, past or future grade level planners. Fifth grade for instance will be doing a Walk for Water connection. They will complete the main project by Friday, Feb. 10 and on the 14th will celebrate the conclusion and discuss how they have participated in action and service. On the 14th they will be able to bring valentines for their friends, and they will get a "sweet treat" per their classroom teacher, but we will do this instead of the traditional party. Party days such as the one before winter break result in a full day loss of instruction and we know our visit will take place that week so that is not an option. In addition, we noted that in the parent surveys last fall, several parents asked about having more service projects in the PrimaryProgram. Although these generally begin in middle school, based on primary students having learned about "Action," this will be a great way for them to move their discussions from action to service. I will be anxiously awaiting the classroom newsletters announcing their projects. Please watch for your grade level communications!
K-1-2 PYP Family Night
After the success of the 3-5 Family Night in October, we now want to hold a session for K-1-2 students and their parents. This session will take place on January 31 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Students can bring their parents to experience activities from their past, current or future planners.  Mark your calendars! 
Meridian Valentine's Parent/Child Dance is Sat, Feb 4th!
Advance tickets are $10 ($15 at the door)
 
K-2nd - 4:30-6:00pm   
 
3rd-5th - 6:30-8:00 pm 
Primary Principal's Coffee
The next Primary Principal's Coffee has been scheduled for Tuesday morning, February 7th from8:15 until 9:30. To sign up please go to:
Yearbook Purchase Deadline Approaching
Last call for ordering a yearbook! This year's edition, "Navigating our Complex World" looks exciting! January 31st is the LAST DAY to purchase for this year with the option to have it personalized. Books will be sold online from February-April but only while supplies last. The current price is $45.  If copies remain after delivery, extra books will be sold for $55 on a first come basis.   
 
Click HERE to order your yearbook today!
Calendar
January 25 - College T-Shirt Day
January 31 - PYP Book Fair from 8am - 7pm inprimary library
January 31 - K-1-2  IB Parent Night
February 1 - PYP Book Fair from 8am - 1pm in theprimary library
February 4 - Parent/Child Dance - more coming!
February 4 - Robotics competition
February 7 - Primary Principal Coffee
February 20 - No School - Professional Development Day (or bad weather day if needed)
February 23 - 5th Grade Choir Concert
February 25 - Arts Alliance
March 3 - 3-5 Movie Night
March 11-19 - Spring Break
March 21 - Report cards come home
March 28 - STAAR test for 4th Writing and 5thMath
March 29 - STAAR test for 5th Reading
March 30-31 - STAAR make-up testing
April 3 - Spring picture day for students
April 14 - No School
April 26 - Student Led Conferences
May 8 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Math
May 9 - STAAR test for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th in Reading
May 16 - 5th Grade Exhibition
May 25 - Last Day of School - classroom parties

Sincerely,
January 24, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal
 
 
2016-2017
Annual Fund

 
 
Stay Connected

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Dear Parents,
 
Thank you so much for all that you contribute to support our school. Last week we enjoyed another great lunch before a long evening at work. Though we have the lunch at 1:30, there are meetings that go until 6:30 that day and the staff is able to go out at every break and get some additional food if they are able. With regular lunches lasting about 20 minutes, and with the fact that people can't go out to get lunch or to a restaurant to eat lunch as in some professions, this really does mean a lot! Plus we have great (and creative) cooks in our parent group. We also benefitted from monies raised at ViP events, as last week they announced the ViP grants funded. I can't wait to see these winning items be put to use. The document cameras alone will be so welcomed. Thank you again!
NEWSLETTER TOPICS
Car Pick-Up
Though I usually try to write comments with no emotion - on this I really can't. I think we need to stop and rethink our priorities with regard to parents picking up their children during dismissal. If getting out fast is your priority, I will tell you that this is the fastest it can be. We had two incidents last week that came close to disaster for our students and staff. It was due to speed and not following the directions that have been in place all year. Also, parents dropping off in Fast Line before staff has arrived. Car line is not the time nor place to express frustrations. Parents count on us to protect their children from other parents who are not making good decisions. We ask that you follow all procedures and be patient or make other arrangements.   
4th & 5th Grade Parents - Connections Night - Jan 19
Fourth and fifth grade parents - on January 19 from 6:30 - 7:30 we will be holding our annual Connections Night, which celebrates our first semester of mini-courses.  This year's Central Idea is "Diversity enhances creativity." All mini-courses were developed by the teachers and connected to this statement. We always look forward to their showcase of both talent and product. Please mark your calendar!
K-1-2 PYP Family Night - Jan 31
After the success of the 3-5 Family Night in October, we now want to hold a session for K-1-2 students and their parents.  This session will take place on January 31 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Students will bring their parents to experience activities from their past, current or future planners.  Mark your calendars!   
Primary Principal's Coffee
The next Primary Principal's Coffee has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 7th from 8:15 until 9:30.
 
To sign up please go to:
Classroom Happenings
Third grade continues on their planner under Who We Are - with the central idea communities shape individuals. This includes the line of inquiry on the influence of role models. They have been discussing responsibility and what that truly means and how awareness leads to taking action. For a formative assessment, students were asked to choose someone who is a role model for themselves and to answer several questions. Without names, I have to share one of them.... "XX (fellow student), you have influenced me to be quiet in the hallways and be a good person in school. What has made you a good role model to me is you being quiet and talking when you can talk. When you work with groups you cooperate with your teammates and listen to what they are saying. You've been a great friend to others and follow the rules. I also like how you try your best when we were in a group of what action means." Wow - they notice - and that should cause all of us adults to remember that!

Fifth grade is doing one of my favorite planners - Action facilitates change in structure and organization. They are: Looking at the action pyramid, learning that before you choose to take action or do something, you need to have good knowledge of the situation;  they are studying metamorphosis; they are exploring more of the American revolution and the Articles of Confederation which preceded the Constitution; and all of this will assist them as they prepare for Exhibition in the spring, with central idea of Movement drives society. These students are amazing to watch (and so are their teachers)!
SAVE THE DATE! Parent-Child Dance - Feb 4th
Put it on your calendar! The annual Parent/Child Dance will be on Saturday, February 4, in the Middle School Gym! More information coming soon!
Yearbook Purchase Deadline Approaching
We will have another beautiful yearbook cover this year! Have you ordered YOUR copy yet? This year's theme is "Navigating Our Complex World." There is an important yearbook purchase deadline approaching: January 31st is the LAST DAY to purchase a yearbook with the option to have it personalized with your student's name and/or an activity icon (e.g. a basketball or music symbol) printed on the cover. Books will continue to be sold online from February through April without personalization options, BUT ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. The current yearbook price is $45. IF we do not sell out online, we will sell the extra books for $55 post-delivery on a first-come, first-served basis. Order today to save $10 and to guarantee your copy before we sell out!
 
Click HERE to order your yearbook today!
Calendar
January 19 - Connections Night for Grades 4 and 5
January 20 - K-1-2 Movie Night
January 24 - GeoBee Exams 3:45
January 25 - College T-Shirt Day
January 31 - K-1-2  IB Parent Night
February 4 - Parent/Child Dance - more coming!
February 7 - Primary Principal Coffee
February 20 - No School - Professional Development Day (or bad weather day if needed)
February 23 - 5th Grade Choir Concert
March 3 - 3-5 Movie Night
March 11-19 - Spring Break

Sincerely,
January 17, 2017
K McBride_Headshot
Kelly McBride
Primary Principal