Edition 14: Spelling Bee Signups, Veteran's Day and more

Brentwood Families,

Hope this finds you well! Another week down. Here are some things you might want to know about this week:

  • Looking ahead, the fourth annual Scripps Spelling Bee will take place on Jan 16, but practice can start now. Brentwood Bulldogs in grades 1-5 are eligible to participate. The winner of the school bee will be eligible to move on to Schripps’ regional and national Bees! To sign up, go to this form.

  • We have a long-standing tradition of helping neighbors in need. About ~20% of our students benefit from free and reduced meals, and some families struggle to buy groceries. To help, the PTA collects donated $10 HEB gift cards. Principal Laroche and our school counselor will privately deliver the cards to families in need. There are 3 easy ways to help: 

    • Buy online, print at home, and deliver them to the school office.

    • Buy online, email to our gift card coordinator at kh1231@yahoo.com; She'll print and deliver.

    • Purchase in-store and bring them to the office.


What’s else is going on at Brentwood?

What’s happening in the community?

More to Know

  • November Lunch Menu: Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin’ or buyin’?

  • Thinking about Middle School? Information about middle school choice tends to roll in throughout the winter and early spring, so we’ve also created a page you can bookmark labeled Middle School Fall 2020 Round Up where we’ll store all the info we receive. Please send info that should be included to bulldogbark@brentwoodpta.com.

Lucky Edition 13: Middle School Panel, Box Tops & More

Brentwood Families,

Good job! You survived quite a week - different outfits each day for Red Ribbon week. Halloween costumes. Sugar highs. A freeze! You may have even survived taking your kiddos out to dinner on Friday in their PJs after pajama day (or was that just me?)

This week, we also received our November Family Newsletter from the school. If you missed it, you can catch it here. We’ve also captured key dates on our Event Calendar.

Looking ahead, families of 4th and 5th graders may be starting to think about middle school. Get a jump start on being informed at this week’s PTA Meeting & Middle School panel. Because information about middle school choice tends to roll in throughout the coming months, we’ve also created page you can bookmark labeled Middle School Fall 2020 Round Up where we’ll store all the latest information.


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Top This!

Box Tops for Education recently launched new mobile apps for iOS and Android that automatically identifies all participating Box Tops products and bonus offers when you scan your receipts. It’s true! You’ll earn ten cents per participating product, and send the earnings directly to Brentwood.

Best of all, the original Box Tops aren't quite obsolete yet. Some products still feature traditional, clippable Box Tops for Education labels. You can "double dip" by submitting both the digital and physical versions of the Box Tops.

So far this year, we’ve earned less than $100. That means we’re at least $1,000 short of the precedent Brentwood set last year!

So here’s your reminder: scan your receipts every time you buy a box top product. If you put a teacher's name in the "Give Credit" section, it’ll count towards the Popsicle Party contest at the end of the year.


What’s else is going on at Brentwood?

What’s happening in the community?

More to Know

  • November Lunch Menu: Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin’ or buyin’?

  • Seeking Food Assistance? Central Texas Food Bank provides resources for families seeking food assistance when AISD in on break, and throughout the year. Learn more at www.centraltexasfoodbank.org.

  • Brentwood Student Art on Display! In the month of November, visit the AISD Performing Arts Center. Artwork to see Brentwood art in addition to art from 13 other schools in the district. If you get a chance to see the fabulous art, visit the PAC at 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd. Austin, TX 78723, 512-414-4761.

November Family Newsletter

We’ve pulled highlights from the November 2019 Family Newsletter in to this post for easy reading. To get the full newsletter, download this PDF.

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Principal’s Corner

Dear Bulldog Families,

Happy November!  With Thanksgiving around the corner  November is often filled with reminders all around to give thanks.  I am thankful as I walk around our school and see the magic of authentic learning in our classrooms. Our teachers dedicate themselves to leading students to discover their learning and I am thankful I get to see these moments everyday at Brentwood!

In October we enjoyed Music in the Mornings hosted by PTA.  several musicians, including current and former Brentwood students, parents, and community members showcased their talents and created a beautiful start to our mornings.  I hope you were able to enjoy at least one musical performance.  October was also National Bullying Prevention Month.  PTA also hosted a fun filled Carnival that many of our families enjoyed.  Thank you to all families who met with teachers to discuss your child’s progress. It is the partnership between school and families that make Brentwood a special place for children to learn and grow.

Stay connected with the most current news about our partial rebuild and full modernization by signing up at aisdfuture.org. Stop by the main hallway near the front office to see the renderings of our future building. Also, mark your calendar for our community construction and  November 19, 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

We have had a handful of lice cases reported at Brentwood.  We work closely with our health room to monitor and communicate student lice reports and ways we can help prevent lice at school.  If your child has lice please share with your child’s teacher. All classes are supposed to keep backpacks, jackets, and other clothing items separately from each other. Also, we ask that students do not share clothing items. We make all efforts to keep our campus clean and free from illness and lice. If you would like to read more about lice you can find information on the AISD district website or contact Nurse Nelson in the health room.

Thank you for sharing your children with us each day.  WE are committed to teaching and caring for our students!

Amber Laroche
Proud Brentwood Principal


Counselor’s Corner

Hello Bulldogs!

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 There were several exciting weeks facilitated through the counseling program at Brentwood in October! We participated in AISD’s Pride Week, a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ students, staff and families and showcase the district's commitment to creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment. Please visit AustinISD.org/respectforall for more information. A committee of parent and teacher volunteers helped me plan activities that engaged, educated, and inspired students at Brentwood. Students received district-provided #AISDpride stickers and were invited to wear rainbow colors. All classes received a counselor guidance lesson which emphasized that love makes a home and that families take many different shapes and forms. There was a "Pride for our Promising Leaders" bulletin board outside my office which included pictures and biographies of current LGBTQ+ leaders. Students also created a handprint mural which symbolized our united effort to keep Brentwood safe, supportive, and inclusive.

We also participated in Red Ribbon Week. This important week celebrated the nationwide commitment to raising drug awareness in our schools. Brentwood “Dived In” to this week with a variety of themed-attire and activities that promoted making safe, healthy choices. Themed-attire included Hawaiian shirts, mismatched clothes/socks, fun hats, sports team or Brentwood shirts, and pajamas! My guidance lessons during Red Ribbon Week and the surrounding weeks helped students explore peer pressure and the importance of showing good integrity.

The McCallum High School PALS made their first visit to Brentwood in October. The selected students were very excited to begin building positive relationships! I have also been building relationships with students who have come to introduce themselves and talk with me. My door is always open, so please feel free to stop by anytime!

Tess McKenna
Brentwood Counselor


Culture Fusion from Ms. Stephens and Ms. Deines

Gratitude Journaling

Now that November is upon us it is time to practice the art of gratitude. Try implementing gratitude journaling into your daily mindfulness routine.  Check out the article that talks about the research. "New research is starting to explore how gratitude works to improve our mental health." -Joel Wong & Joshua Brown

Learn more here


Gifted and Talented Assessment Process

Brentwood Elementary’s Gifted and Talented (GT) program is "designed to move students with high ability at a pace appropriate to their rate of learning through studies that go beyond the age-level or grade-level expectations."

We are currently in the process of testing 3rd-5th grade students. We will begin accepting Grades K-2 nominations on November 4th.

To nominate your child, you will need to complete these two forms:

  1. Checklist for Parents, and

  2. GT Parent Nomination Form.

Both forms can be found here.

Please submit electronic forms only to Tess McKenna at tess.mckenna@austinisd.org. Upon receipt you will receive a confirmation email.


Brentwood Literacy with Ms. Atkinson 

Last month we shared with you, information about AISD’s new language arts book adoption. In the coming months, we will share some of the target language that is used within the K-12 textbook. The use of common language around discussion of stories will help support your child in building a literacy bridge across grade levels and between school and home learning. 

The common language the new textbook adoption is using are from Kylene Beers and Robert Probst’s series, Notice & Note. These lifelong educators organized 6 signposts for students to pay attention to as they travel on their reading journey. Like text features, these signposts signal students to pay closer attention to what they are reading and take note of what a particular passage in the text is being highlighted by the author so that the reader may reach a deeper understanding of the text.

 There are 6 Types of Signposts being taught for use in Literary (or Fiction) Texts:

  1. Contrasts and Contradictions

  2. Aha! Moment

  3. Tough Questions

  4. Words of the Wiser

  5. Again & Again

  6. Memory Moment

In our next newsletter, we will share some basic anchor questions that comport with each of these signposts that you can use at home with your own child as you read together.


Library News – Kate Slaten

November is Picture Book Month.  In our library they are called Everybody books, because everyone in our school uses them.  Teachers and students from Pre-K- 5th can find something in a picture book.  These books can enhance classroom lessons, start children on their road to reading, and be comfort books for older students to revisit.  

No one is ever “too old” for the clever words and pictures in these special books.

The students in Second Grade will spend the month looking at picture books and discussing whether they meet some of the criteria for the Caldecott Award.  The Caldecott Award is given “for distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation for children".  The winner is announced in late January. 

Here are some great articles on the importance of sharing and reading picture books with children of all ages.


Attendance – Carmen Menjivar

Parents, join forces with us to eliminate absences that can be prevented by making every effort to schedule medical and other appointments outside school hours and by making sure your children get plenty of sleep so they arrive at school on time.

If your child is absent from all or part of a school day, the student—upon arrival or return to school—must bring a note signed by the guardian or health care professional that describes the reason for the absence.  All notes should be provided within two days of returning to school.  The campus will update attendance records based on the provided documentation.

Our attendance goal is 97% each week.  Stop by the attendance board near the front office to see our percentages from the previous school week.

  • Oct.07-11. 98%                                                                        

  • Oct.14-18.97%

  • Oct.21-27.97%

Middle School Fall 2020 Round-Up

It can be hard to keep track of all the information about middle school options. As we receive information, we’ll stockpile it here to help you keep things straight. Bookmark this page to stay on top of the latest and greatest info, and share anything you don’t see here with us by emailing it to bulldogbark@brentwoodpta.com.


Lamar Middle School Fine Arts Academy

Lamar Middle School and Fine Arts Academy is a middle school serving 6th-8th grades in the AISD system. It is located at 6201 Wynona Avenue in north central Austin near the intersection of Koenig and Burnet. The principal is George Llewellyn, and the assistant principals are Marisela Bowen, Mayra Mondik and Jeremy Raymond-Watson.

Fifth graders interested in applying to the Lamar Middle School Fine Arts Academy can find out all you need to know on this website. Auditions and portfolios are a requirement for visual arts, as well as other fine art strands (choir, band, orchestra, creative writing, dance, and more!) Please visit the site for all the fine art majors. Mrs. Gardner and Ms. Flaherty will need to do an online recommendation form for those students applying in the visual arts, choir, and band. 

Edition 12: Red Ribbon Week

Brentwood Families,

Your kiddos probably have costumes & candy corn on their minds this week, but their Thursday night getups aren’t the only fun outfits they’ll don. It’s Red Ribbon Week. Show awareness by following the week’s themes…

What’s else is going on at Brentwood?


More to Know

  • Lunch Menu: Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. We’ll change the link to point to the November menu as soon as we have it!

Edition 11: Halloween Carnival is Here!

Brentwood Families,

I’m posting this a day early because today’s the big day… Halloween Carnival! Show up from 3pm-6pm to get surprised, spooked… and sugared up!

Principal Laroche shared an album full of pictures from weeks 7-9. From Outdoor School for 5th graders, to Austin ISD Pride Week, to 2 beautiful weeks of Music in the Mornings, and a professional learning day full of team building, planning, and social, emotional, learning collaboration. Check it out here.


What’s else is going on at Brentwood?

Get ready for Red Ribbon Week: Oct 28-Nov 1

Prepare your kiddo’s goofiest ensembles to show awareness during Red Ribbon Week.


More to Know

  • October Lunch Menu: We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?

  • Ghastly Grown-up Volunteers Hunted. You can still help with Halloween Carnival take-down! Adults, sign up here.


Upcoming Community & After-School Events

Edition 10: Prepare for a Spooky Spectacle

Brentwood Families,

Music in the Mornings bring performances from our talented students!

Music in the Mornings bring performances from our talented students!

What a big week! Last week had a lot going on:

  • Donations from Keep It Simple Fundraiser totalled around $18,700! Paired with additional donations throughout the year, we are likely to get to our goal of $20k in the end. THANK YOU to all the families who donated, and CONGRATS to the committee that worked so hard to raise these funds!

    • The best news: since we hit $15k, our kiddos will get to enjoy a PAJAMA PARTY on Fri, Nov 1.

  • Austin ISD Pride Week was a big hit.

  • Music in the Morning brought our first set of fabulous performers. Students, grown-ups and full-on ensembles helped students start their days on the right foot.

Luckily, students enjoyed a 4-day weekend to recuperate. Today, many parents will be visiting teachers for parent/teacher conferences, and starting tomorrow we’ll be enjoying our next set of musical performers… while gearing up for next weekend’s spooktacular Halloween Carnival!

Save when you buy tickets in advance at the  Brentwood PTA store .

Save when you buy tickets in advance at the Brentwood PTA store.


What’s going on at Brentwood?


More to Know

  • Know anyone who will have a 3- , 4- , or 5-year-old during the 2020–21 school year? Sign up to learn about Austin ISD early childhood programs, including registration, events and activities you can do at home to help your child thrive!

  • October Lunch Menu: We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?


Chances to Chip In

  • Ghastly Grown-up Volunteers Hunted. Halloween Carnival needs adults to help assemble the spooky haunted house and the suspenseful flashlight box maze. Weekend set up has several other open spots, too. Even an hour of your time can help. Adults, sign up here.

  • Spooky Student Volunteers Sought: Students 6th grade and up can join in the fun of the carnival by running a booth. We’ll verify your service hours. Students, sign up here.


Upcoming Community & After-School Events

Edition 9: Fit to be Tie-Dyed

Brentwood Families,

To sweeten the pot:  If we can hit $15k, students get a PAJAMA PARTY on Fri, Nov 1. Think of what a treat that will be, after trick or treating all night long.

To sweeten the pot: If we can hit $15k, students get a PAJAMA PARTY on Fri, Nov 1. Think of what a treat that will be, after trick or treating all night long.

Latest updates from our Keep It Simple team: We've only raised about $13,500. That's a great start, but we still have a long way to go to hit the goal of $20k! We've extending the deadline to Friday, October 11. But time’s not what matters. It’s donations! Have you donated yet? Do you want to donate a little more?

Editor’s Note: All this talk about fundraising seriously interferes with my dog-pun-to-substance ratio. If you donate today, and we hit our goal, I’ll be able to stop beggin’.


What’s going on at Brentwood?


This Week: Austin ISD Pride Week 2019

The week of October 7-10th Austin ISD is hosting its own Pride week, a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ students, staff and families and showcase the district's commitment to creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment. Learn more about the Austin ISD Program.

A committee of parent and teacher volunteers have planned activities that will engage, educate, and inspire students at Brentwood.

  • Students will receive district-provided #AISDpride stickers and are invited to wear rainbow colors on Thursday, October 10th.

  • During the weeks of Sept. 23 - Oct. 10th, all classes will receive a counselor guidance lesson which emphasizes that love makes a home and that families take many different shapes and forms.

  • There will be a "Pride for our Promising Leaders" bulletin board outside the counselor office which includes pictures and biographies of current LGBTQ leaders.

  • Students will create a handprint mural which symbolizes our united effort to keep Brentwood safe, supportive, and inclusive.

If you have any questions, please contact Brentwood’s counselor, Tess McKenna, at tess.mckenna@austinisd.org.


More to Know

  • PTA’s got a new ‘gram. We’re here to keep you informed, so today we offer a lesson in the latest slang. To “stan” is to be an overzealous or obsessive fan. Now you know. If you want to stan the PTA (which we highly recommend), please follow our sweet new Instagram account.

  • RAVE about Brentwood. The RAVE program, aka Recognizing All Valuable Employees, was established to publicly honor Austin ISD employees who exemplify the highest level of customer service. Brentwood’s team works so hard, and every little bit of encouragement keeps them going. Submit your RAVEs here.

  • School Changes. Austin ISD is hosting a series of conversations about the proposed school changes. They’re seeking input on the scenario options (will be finalized later this fall) which are aimed at improving academics, equity and facilities across the district. See the meeting times here.

  • October Lunch Menu: We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?


Chances to Chip In

  • Ghastly Grown-up Volunteers Hunted. Halloween Carnival needs adults to help assemble the spooky haunted house and the suspenseful flashlight box maze. Weekend set up has several other open spots, too. Even an hour of your time can help. Adults, sign up here.

  • Spooky Student Volunteers Sought: Students 6th grade and up can join in the fun of the carnival by running a booth. We’ll verify your service hours. Students, sign up here.

  • Last chance to share your musical skillz. During Music in the Morning, students enjoy live performances by fellow students, parents, and community members, as they arrive at school. Only 2 spots remain between on Oct 16 & 17th. Sign up here.


Upcoming Community & After-School Events

Edition 8: 🎵Ooooh-oh, we're half way there...

Brentwood Families,

Ooooh-oh, we’re halfway there! Ooooh-oh, we’re livin’ on a … TELL ME YOU DIDN’T SING IT IN YOUR HEAD!

Y’all - As of Thursday night, we were nearly halfway to our goal! Before Oct 8, we need another $10,800 in donations and Keep It Simple will be a WRAP. Donate today and let’s put this puppy to rest.


What’s going on at Brentwood?


Austin ISD Pride Week 2019

The week of October 7-10th Austin ISD is hosting its own Pride week, a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ students, staff and families and showcase the district's commitment to creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment. Learn more about the Austin ISD Program.

A committee of parent and teacher volunteers have planned activities that will engage, educate, and inspire students at Brentwood.

  • Students will receive district-provided #AISDpride stickers and are invited to wear rainbow colors on Thursday, October 10th.

  • During the weeks of Sept. 23 - Oct. 10th, all classes will receive a counselor guidance lesson which emphasizes that love makes a home and that families take many different shapes and forms.

  • There will be a "Pride for our Promising Leaders" bulletin board outside the counselor office which includes pictures and biographies of current LGBTQ leaders.

  • Students will create a handprint mural which symbolizes our united effort to keep Brentwood safe, supportive, and inclusive.

If you have any questions, please contact Brentwood’s counselor, Tess McKenna, at tess.mckenna@austinisd.org.

Austin Pride Week Events


More to Know

It was originally Mr. Belding who put the PAL in principal.

It was originally Mr. Belding who put the PAL in principal.

  • School Changes. Austin ISD is hosting a series of conversations about the proposed school changes. They’re seeking input on the scenario options (will be finalized later this fall) which are aimed at improving academics, equity and facilities across the district. See the meeting times here.

  • This is Custodian and Groundskeeping Appreciation Week. Encourage your kiddo to take a few minutes to show admiration and gratitude to those who keep our buildings and grounds looking good every day!

  • It’s also National Principals Month. How will we show our appreciation for the one who puts the ‘PAL’ in Principal?

  • Lunch Menu: We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?


Chances to Chip In

  • Donations Sought for Austin Pets Alive: Second grade Brownie Troop #42619 is collecting items for Austin Pets Alive, an ongoing Brentwood Girl Scout initiative. The collection box is near the office. APA needs items like creamy Jif peanut butter, wet cat & dog food, meat-based baby food, puppy pads, laundry detergent, plastic sandwich bags, paper towels, baby wipes, etc. For more info, visit APA’s wishlist.

  • Share your musical skillz. During Music in the Morning, students enjoy live performances by fellow students, parents, and community members, as they arrive at school. Act fast! Only l2 spots remain between Oct 7 thru Oct 18. Sign up here.


Upcoming Community & After-School Events

PROD-halloween-dog.jpg

What did Texas weather say when the calendar hit Autumn?

I’m not FALLing for that!

Edition 7: Let's Just Keep It Simple

Brentwood Families,

www.brentwoodpta.com_keep-it-simple-2019 (1).png

Keep It Simple 2019
is underway!

With our biggest annual fundraiser, there's nothing to buy, and nothing to sell. As of Fri, Sep 20, we were at $2,655, 13% of our $20k goal. Between now and Oct 8, we need another $17,349 in donations!


What’s going on at Brentwood?


More to Know

  • Numbers are in from the book fair…. and it was quite a success! The library asked us to extend another warm thank you to the many parents, grandparents, and volunteers who took part in the book fair. The event raised close to $6000 for the library to purchase new, fabulous, current books for our students to read.

  • Sept Lunch Menu: We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?


Chances to Chip In

We’re ready to be serenaded.

  • October’s almost here and that means once again, we’re seeking out your musical talent! During Music in the Morning, students will enjoy live performances by fellow students, parents, members of the community, as they arrive at school. Spots are available each morning from Oct 7 thru Oct 18. Help us start their day on the right note! Sign up here.

Sponsors the Halloween Carnival

  • Not a business owner? You’re cool, too. You can still donate to the carnival. Please mention in the notes section that your donation is for the fall carnival.


Upcoming Community & After-School Events

Edition 6: What a Pawsome Week

Brentwood Families,

A big thank-you to the many volunteers who made last week’s events possible. Between Picnic at the Playground, Grandparents Days, and the Scholastic Book Fair, we really raised the woof.

Along the way, Ms. Stephens led a successful campaign to help get Brentwood teachers a new set of paw-fessional books for their book club. Congrats on hitting the goal, teachers!

This week brings lots of activity as well. Keep reading for all the details…


What’s going on at Brentwood?


More to Know

  • Last Thursday’s Campus Architect Team Community Mtg, was one of several chances to learn more about the design development phase of the Brentwood Elementary modernization project. In case you had to miss it, we’ve got the presentation for you.

  • Sept Lunch Menu: We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?


Chances to Chip In

www.brentwoodpta.com_keep-it-simple-2019 (1).png

Keep It Simple 2019
starts this week!

With our biggest annual fundraiser, there's nothing to buy, and nothing to sell. Just donate.

Sponsors needed for the Halloween Carnival

  • Not a business owner? No problem!  You can still donate to the carnival. Please mention in the notes section that your donation is for the fall carnival.


Upcoming Community & After-School Events

Edition 5: Book Fair, Grandparents Days, Picnic at the Playground, and More!

What’s going on at Brentwood?

More to Know

Bulldog T-Shirt Status Update: If you ordered your Bulldog T-shirt online, it was likely delivered to the teacher’s classroom on Wednesday or Thursday of last week. Still need to order one? You can still order online through Sep 20.

Sept Lunch Menu is Out: We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?

September 11 is this Wednesday. HB 1501 requires school districts to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001 with a moment of silence at the beginning of the first class period of the day. Before the moment of silence, the instructor must make a statement of reference to those who died on September 11, 2001. Principal Laroche has adjusted the district sample statement for elementary schools and will read this over the announcements on Wednesday, Sept. 11:

Today commemorates the events that happened on September 11, 2001. Even though you were not born in 2001, it is important to remember this event. The events of September 11th shocked the world and many lives were lost. People everywhere, and of all ages, sent cards, gifts, and money. Many came to New York City to offer help. The events of September 11th altered the course of history and have led to changes that impact our lives today. We must show kindness and understanding towards all people, and that we must have the courage to protect and defend each other. Our moment of silence today will be in memory of Sept. 11.

Chances to Chip In

Last Call for Book Fair Volunteers

Our fall Book Fair goes down this week, and we could still use a few more parent volunteers to help set up, sell books, and more. Sign up here. Questions? Contact our school librarian, Ms. Slaten, at kate.slaten@austinisd.org.

Join the Taste of Brentwood 2020 Committee

PTA is seeking committee members to help plan Brentwood's adults-only fundraising event featuring local restaurants, cocktails, music, and a silent auction. This year's event will be Fri, Feb 7. To help, contact Paige Deegan at pfillipp@gmail.com.

Donate to the Brentwood Teacher Book Club

Teachers at Brentwood are hoping to purchase professional books for a book club that will help them continue to learn and grow in their (very important) craft. So far, they’re about 1/3 of the way to their goal. Donate to the cause.

After-School Opportunities

Brentwood Choir Program (4th and 5th grade)

Ms. Flaherty has announced an after school choir program available to 4th and 5th graders. The choir will perform several times throughout the year. Rehearsals will be on Tuesday afternoons from 3:00-3:45 in Ms. Flaherty’s room beginning Tuesday, September 17th.  Learn more.

Globetrotter Kids (1st thru 4th grade)

Globetrotter Kids explore our world and its many cultures, gaining global understanding and cultural respect along the journey. Fall 2019 will feature TURKEY, MADAGASCAR & SWEDEN. Members will learn about the geography, history, language, art, music, and, most importantly, the people, through games, art projects and other hands-on activities. Starting Oct 2nd and running for 12 weeks, classes are held either Wednesday OR Friday, from 3 to 4 pm. Learn more.

Community Events This Week

Edition 4: The First Full Month Begins

Editor’s Note: If you just got here from the button in the Sept 8 Bark email, I linked the wrong week’s post! Go here for the latest!


The school year is truly in full swing now and there’s a lot to keep up with. Luckily this weekend bring sus one extra day to get things in order. Here are some of the latest updates.

  • Bulldog Shirt Orders: If you purchased a Bulldog t-shirt for tie-dying online, or you are a teacher waiting for them to be delivered, fear not! The printers will get them to us this week. They’ll be delivered over the course of the next week, by our amazing volunteers. Ordering will remain open online till September 20.

  • Stay Connected with Principal Laroche’s Posts: We also want to make sure you’re aware of Principal Laroche’s Facebook page, where for years, she has shared highlights of campus happenings. It’s truly heartwarming.

  • Volunteering this Year? Parents who plan to volunteer or chaperone field trips this year at Brentwood need to sign up for a background check. Get the details.

  • Free books from Kellog’s: If you buy any Kellogg’s® participating product before Sep 30, 2019, and upload a photo of the receipt within 30 days of purchase, you get a book of your choice to keep or donate. There are 125 titles from various reading levels. Get the details.

  • Sept Lunch Menu is Out: We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?

  • Code of Conduct: You’ve probably heard about it from your teachers at Back to School night, but Principal Laroche asked us to remind everyone about the Austin ID Student Code of Conduct.

What’s going on at Brentwood?

Chances to Chip In

Join the Taste of Brentwood Committee

We need YOUR help for Taste of Brentwood 2020! We’re seeking committee members to help us plan Brentwood's adults-only fundraising event featuring local restaurants, cocktails, music, and a silent auction. This year's event is slated to take place on Friday, February 7. To join in the fun, contact Paige Deegan at pfillipp@gmail.com.

Sponsor a magazine for the Library

Whether your child likes nature, sports, coding, or jokes, Librarian Ms. Slaten has them covered with magazines. Let’s be sure her awesome picks make it to the library shelves! Subscriptions start in Sep/Oct, and sponsors are recognized on the display copy each month. Back issues are available for check-out. Find the list of the magazines needing sponsors on the bulletin board outside the library door.

After-School Opportunities

Film Kids (4th & 5th Grade): Like making movies? Film Kids is an after-school club that meets on Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:45 and starts on Oct. 3rd. We pitch, plan, film and act in original movies that are shown in a film festival at the end of each semester. Snacks and equipment are provided and everyone gets a DVD of their work. Call 512-567-0778 or e-mail Brian Cox at austinfilmkids@hotmail.com for questions (10 weeks, $260). Learn more at filmkids.org.

Running @ Brentwood: The mission of Austin Youth Fitness is to teach kiddos to love running and biking as well as the proper form and technique in order to be life long athletes. The AYF Fall 2019 Running Club is for kiddos K-5th and will meet Mondays from 3:15 to 4:15pm, starting on Sept 9th. Learn more at austinyouthfitness.com.

In case you missed it…

Last week’s Bulldog Bark has some information that’s still relevant.

  • What’s the Birthday Book Club?

  • Community news from the Girl Scouts

Edition 3: You've made it Week 2!

Congrats!

You survived the first week. Not only that, but was that a little bit of rain yesterday?Don’t mind the sweaty 100+ degree temps… it’s basically fall, y’all.

Here’s what’s going on at Brentwood in coming weeks…


Chances to Chip In

Volunteers for the Book Fair

Our fall Book Fair goes down Sep 9-13, and we need parent volunteers to help set up, sell books, and more. Sign up here. Questions? Contact our school librarian, Ms. Slaten, at kate.slaten@austinisd.org.

Sponsor a magazine for the Library

Whether your child likes nature, sports, coding, or jokes, Librarian Ms. Slaten has them covered with magazines. Let’s be sure her awesome picks make it to the library shelves! Subscriptions start in Sep/Oct, and sponsors are recognized on the display copy each month. Back issues are available for check-out. Find the list of the magazines needing sponsors on the bulletin board outside the library door.

Share H-E-B Gift Cards with Families in Need

We have a long-standing tradition of helping neighbors in need. About ~20% of our students benefit from free and reduced meals. Some families struggle to buy groceries. To help, the PTA collects donated $10 HEB gift cards. Principal Laroche and our school counselor will privately deliver the cards to families in need. There are 3 easy ways to help: 

  • Buy online, print at home, and deliver them to the school office.

  • Buy online, email to our gift card coordinator at kh1231@yahoo.com; She'll print and deliver.

  • Purchase in-store and bring them to the office.


More to know

Birthday Book Club

Celebrate your child’s birthday by donating a book to the Brentwood library. For just $10, they’ll get to choose from a special batch of brand new library books. A photo of them with their book will be shown on the screen outside the library - and emailed to you, of course!. A special bookplate inside the front cover recognizes the honoree, and they’ll be the first one to check it out. May birthdays are celebrated in April to allow students time to read their books before the library closes. Summer birthdays are celebrated on half-birthdays. You’ll receive a flyer from the library when your kiddo’s birthday is coming around! Learn more.

What's for Lunch?

We've made lunch menus easy to keep up with. Go to brentwoodpta.com/lunchmenu to be redirected to the latest lunch menu. Now the only question is - are you bringin' or buyin'?


Community news

Girl Scouts

Build long-lasting friendships through fun activities like camping, earning badges, community events, volunteering, taking on leadership roles, selling cookies, and lots more. At Brentwood, over 120 students participate, making it a vibrant community. Meeting frequency and times are decided by troop leaders, and range from once/week to once/month. Interested? Email habibi1231@gmail.com with your name, your daughter's name, and her grade. Please include whether you’d consider being a co-leader. There will be initial meeting for prospective leaders to answer questions and assign mentors.


In case you missed it…

Last week’s Bulldog Bark has some information that’s still relevant.

  • A note from Candace, our PTA President

  • Tips and reminders for dropping off each day

  • …and more!

Edition 2: Tuesday's the big day, y'all!

A Note from Candace, our PTA President

Dear Brentwood families,

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The new school year is upon us, even though it seems like it was just last week that we wrapped up the last school year! I know I’m looking forward to getting to know my son’s 2nd grade teacher and watching him grow and learn over the course of the next year. I’m also looking forward to serving as president of the Brentwood PTA as we plan another year of fun events and work hard to raise the funds to support teachers and staff to provide the programs that we value and cherish here at our school.

We have three major fundraisers planned for the coming year.

  • The first one, Keep It Simple, begins in September and is exactly what it sounds like: there’s nothing to sell, no fun run to plan for. You just write a donation check (it’s tax deductible, and many parents are able to get matching funds from their employers!) and call it good. Last year, we raised over $18,000 during Keep It Simple, which comprises about a third of our annual budget.

  • Our second fundraiser is the Fall Carnival, which will take place in October and is always a good bet for spooky fun for the whole family.

  • Finally, our Taste of Brentwood parent party, an offsite social event with silent auction and tasting portions from some of the area’s favorite restaurants, will take place in February.

To pull off all of these fun events and important fundraisers, and to strengthen our bonds as a community, we need the support of as many folks from the village as possible. Every one of us has different skills, talents, and resources that our PTA and school need to thrive. This support can take many forms: serving as homeroom parent, volunteering in classrooms, helping to make our major events as successful as possible by giving time and energy. The first step is to simply join the PTA. Then, find ways to get involved and do your part to help ensure that our children have the very best educational experience possible. If you have any questions about how you can best support the Brentwood PTA, please email me at hello@brentwoodpta.com.

I also look forward to seeing fellow parents at the Boo-Hoo/Woo-Hoo breakfast in the library on the Tuesday after dropoff. Come share coffee and breakfast treats with one another, and welcome our new kinder families into the fold. It’s a great way to break the ice at the beginning of the school year! 

Candace Pruett
Brentwood Elementary PTA President


Keep up with all that’s happening at Brentwood


Tips for dropping off

On Tuesday morning, parents are welcome to walk their children to their classroom.

Beginning on Wednesday, let your kiddo wait with their class until their teacher picks them all up to go to the classroom at 7:35am.

  • Pre-K–2nd grade waits in the gym.

  • 3rd–5th grade waits in the café.


More to consider

The beginning of school will be full of things to do. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Get your Bulldog T-Shirts – Tie-dyed class t-shirts are a Brentwood tradition, which is why your student’s supply list includes a white t-shirt. Many students tie-dye a Brentwood Bulldogs tee. Purchase online and we’ll deliver your order directly to your child's class.

  • New this year: Snag a Spirit Yard Sign – Let’s blanket the whole ‘hood with Bulldog pride. Order a school spirit yard sign online, and pick it up at the PTA membership tables during school dropoff. Snag Your Sign


In case you missed it…

Last week’s Bulldog Bark has some information that’s still relevant.

  • Upcoming events like the library reception

  • New faces at Brentwood

  • Changes to the Austin ISD Dress Code

  • Box Tops are going digital

  • …and more!


Community news

  • Kidsnetic Mindfulness Club with Ms. Hollander!
    Ms. Hollander will be hosting this fun, relaxing after school club on Tues & Wed afternoons, starting Sep 3. Sign your child up for one or both days in the 8-week session.
    Learn more and register

Edition 1: Dive in to the 2019-2020 School Year!

Welcome back! And if you’re new here, welcome!

The Bulldog Bark is one of the best ways to stay informed about what’s going on at Brentwood. So please spread the word to other Brentwood families, new or returning.

Tips for easing back into school

Sending your children back to school after summer break can feel overwhelming.

Follow these tips to ease the transition

School Supplies

The deadline to order school supplies has already passed, so it’s time to gather the supplies if you didn’t order. Bring school supplies. unlabeled, to Meet the Teacher Night.

Reminder: Even if you pre-ordered school supplies online, white t-shirts, water bottles, headphones, and pencil pouches aren’t included in school supply kits.

2019-2020 school supply list

Get your Bulldog T-Shirts

Speaking of white t-shirts, tie-dyed class t-shirts are a Brentwood tradition. Many students tie-dye a Brentwood Bulldogs tee. Order by August 14th, 2019 to pick them up at Meet the Teacher night, or purchase them after August 15 and have them delivered directly to your child's class.

Pre-order your Bulldog t-shirts online

Sign up for School Cash Online

New this year, School Cash Online will make it easy for Brentwood Elementary families to pay their child’s Grade Level Enrichment fees, Birthday Book Club donation, and other fees. Processing individual cash and checks takes time away from teachers’ important responsibilities, so by paying online, you’ll be saving teachers time.

Learn more about School Cash Online

Brentwood Library Seeks Volunteers

  • Looking for a way to be involved in your child's school?

  • Have an hour to spare a week?

  • Possess fond library memories from your own days as a student?

  • Love books and want to know what is new and trending in children's literature?

If you answered YES! to one or more of the above questions, then save the date for Brentwood Library's Volunteer Reception, where you’ll find out how you can volunteer in the library. The event takes plan on Friday, August 23rd at 8:00am in the Brentwood Library.

Library Volunteer Reception Details

New Faces at Brentwood

A recent letter from Principal Laroche explained some of the staff changes at Brentwood this year. While several folks have moved on to new roles, we’ll welcome an array of new faces:

  • Ms. Beck (5th grade)

  • Ms. Garcia (Special Education)

  • Ms. Dymkowski (Assistant Principal)

  • Ms. Mckenna (Counselor)

  • Mr. Kline (Teacher Assistant)

  • Ms. McCullugh (Teacher Assistant)

  • Ms. Thompson (Kinder)

  • Ms. Miksch (Kinder)

  • Ms. Settles (1st grade)

  • Ms. Farris (1st grade)

  • Ms. Kang (2nd grade)

  • Ms. Gallegos (4th grade)

  • Ms. Coronado (4th grade)

At the time of Ms Laroche’s letter, Brentwood is still in search of a highly qualified candidate for the special education SCORES teaching position.

Some teachers are changing roles: Ms. Briggs will teach pre-kindergarten, Ms. Berry will join 1st grade, Ms. De La Paz will join 2nd grade, and Ms. Blanchard will join the special education team as a teacher assistant.

New Austin ISD Dress Code

Over the summer, Austin ISD adopted a revised student dress code, the first revision since May 2007. The new dress code will take effect at the start of school.

Learn more about the new dress code

Box Tops are Going Digital

Box Tops for Education has launched new mobile apps that make it easier than ever to earn. Scan your receipts, and the app will automatically identify all eligible products. You’ll earn ten cents each for Brentwood. Tell grandparents, aunts, uncles, and everyone else how easy it is to contribute.

Not only that, but the original Box Tops aren't quite gone yet. Some products will still feature the old-school clippable label for a while. Supporters (that’s you!) can "double dip" by submitting both the digital and physical versions of the Box Top.

Those little Box Tops can make a big difference! Last year, your clipped tops brought in a whopping $1,163.90 for Brentwood.

Download the app for iOS or Android.

New PTA Website

Our ‘lil ole PTA site has gotten a new look. We’ve updated the site to make information easier to find, more up to date, and easier to maintain. Let us know what you think and if you notice anything we can improve.

Check it out in all its glory→

Other Reminders:

  • Brentwood is a Nut Aware campus. If a student has a nut allergy, the parents or teacher may request that other parents voluntarily try to use non-peanut or tree nut snacks and food items in their kids’ lunch and snacks. Brentwood teaches all students to NOT share food. Parents can help by teaching students about their own allergies at home, and letting the school know about any allergies.

  • Required Notifications: The office has asked us to share two required annual memos regarding AHERA Asbestos Management and Integrated Pest Management. Check them out here.

Enjoy the last week of summer, Bulldogs!

Register for School Cash Online

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School Cash Online will make it easy for Brentwood Elementary families to pay their child’s Grade Level Enrichment fees, Birthday Book Club donation, and other fees that may apply to other grade level activities or projects.  Once you sign up, you’ll be able to access your account year-round for any children you have enrolled in Austin I.S.D.

Once your grade level is ready to start accepting funds for the year, families who have enrolled will receive an email prompting them to complete payment for your enrichment fees.

Processing individual cash and checks takes time away from teachers’ important responsibilities, so by paying online, you’ll be saving them time.

Get started in 3 steps

  1. Go to austinisd.schoolcashonline.com.

  1. Follow a few steps to create an account and then add your children to the newly created account. You only have to do this once. This account will be good until your child graduates from an AISD high school!

  2. Review and purchase your child’s back to school items using direct online payment. A 3% Merchant Fee will apply to all online payments.

For more details on the registration process, review this guide.